Movements Return on 54 Year Cycle
Millions rallied around the nation (some globally) against gun violence against schools and citizens yesterday. Estimates of 800,000 mostly students in Washington DC March 24, 2018 compare favorably with the 1,000,000 mostly women on January 21, 2017. These enormous rallies come 54 and 55 years after the civil rights march of August 23, 1963, with a then record 300,000 crowd. Back then we had the great movements for civil rights, against the Vietnam War, followed by women’s and environmental rights several years after the first two. Now we have Black Lives Matter, the Women’s counter-inaugural protest, and the Parkland Students against school mass murders. Then a landslide election in 1964 brought in the Great Society reforms and programs, now a blue wave election in 2018, 54 years later, threatens to turn around congress 180 degrees in philosophy. Democrats needing 23 seats to regain the majority, may gain over a hundred seats if the recent Pennsylvania special election is indicative. It is remarkable that this repetition occurs at the same long cycle time with similar economic prosperity.
Advanced Empire Decay
Seventy Years of hollowing out the manufacturing sector to apply similar resources of capital, research, and people to military spending have weakened the US industrial economy largely replaced by the financial services economy. Profits from the financial services industry have increased to nine times their share of the US economy in the forty years since the seventies. Just as the New Deal momentum was in its last hurrah back then, now the Reagan conservative revolution is looking at its imminent demise. Then the American empire was at its peak under Kennedy while now the American empire will have trouble recovering from Trump. Ever since 1945 the memory of pre-empire Roosevelt America remained strong for many Americans until after the 1980 Reagan election. Now many Americans do not remember what America used to be. Prior to 1980 all Americans shared prosperity equally, with all classes doubling their income in those 35 post war years. Now Americans in the bottom 99% have remained without meaningful wage increases while the top 1% has seen their income more than quadruple. Thanks to the FOX News propaganda channel since 1996 and Rush Limbaugh since 1988, Americans have been uniquely misinformed about politics. Thus despite his documented record of 2000 lies in his first year in office, Trump continues the lying, repeated by FOX news and his 24 million Twitter followers and 16 million Facebook followers, to hold on to his 35% base while turning off everyone else. Polls show that 12% believe they are in the top 1% in income, while another 23% believe they will be in the top 1% someday. These deluded and aspiring groups supplement the actual 1% to make up the essence of the 35% Trump Republican base. The key Reagan deception was to sell America on his 25% tax cut plan that in fact gave a 60% tax cut to the top 1% while giving a mere 15% tax cut for the middle class. This same four to one ratio of benefits continues in the Trump tax “reform” plan. But thanks to the 2011 “occupy” movement, Americans now know they are being had. They also know that 24,000 would lose their health care under the Trump Republican proposals that failed last year. Nevertheless, 13,000 will lose their health care coverage due to the partial repeal slipped into the tax bill, with an estimated 10% increase in premiums due to that change.
Murder Rates Match Military Spending Rates
Steve Mills, who teaches medicine at the University of Minnesota, has shown that households that have a gun in the house are five times as likely to be shot to death as those in households without firearms. My own findings show that most of the seven largest economy nations correlate strongly between military spending and murder rates, with a near perfect correlation as high as 0.996 during the last twenty years of the Cold War. There is probably a lot of overlap between gun holding households and veterans. One friend of mine once read a book about mass murderers and told me that they all had military backgrounds, and there are few exceptions to that pattern today. Murder and crime rates are higher around military bases, and I learned at the 1999 hundredth anniversary Hague Peace Conference that Okinawa Japan women are often raped by US soldiers so much that the national government had to overrule the local government to keep the US base there. Japan is a very low military low crime country. In the fifties, the US learned how to train soldiers to kill, because over 70% of troops never fire their guns in combat in wars including World War Two, because humans are so naturally horrified about killing another human being. 78% of combat deaths in that war were due to artillery, a safely out of sight, out of mind, way to kill others.
Three Reasons Why Military and Murder are Related
There are three reasons why murder rates and military spending rates are so closely aligned. First is the military drain on the economy, which leads to more desperate and crime prone people. Second is the de-personalization of others that comes with dividing the world into friends and enemies. Among the usual 2% of us with deviant behavior, this makes it easier to commit a crime against others. If we can easily de-personalize our victims, we can then more easily commit crimes against them. Meetings between criminals and their victims in prison therapy are often very troubling to the criminal when they see for the first time the consequences of their actions first hand in the eyes of the victims. Third is the direct impact of training millions of people how to kill in wars. When you have such training it is easier to escalate a fist fight in a bar into a homicide. Just as in Shakespeare’s play MacBeth, murder is easier and easier after the first very difficult murder decision.
Guns or the Military
Guns are the easier to see as the “cause” of the mass murder problem. Other nations have far fewer gun murders, and one comparison of murders between Canada and the US shows similar amounts of other categories of murders per capita, similar knifings, poisonings, and strangling’s, and others, while showing a big drop in gun murders. Britain has reduced guns to the point that it has 60% less murders than would be suggested by its military rate. But that is true also for France, Virginia, and New England, a four-some that correlate 93%, but at 60% lower than for US, Germany, Sweden, Italy, and Japan. But this may be related to comparing 150 year old societies with 400 year old societies. Is it the guns or the level of maturation of the society that reduces crime rates? Crime rates in the US went down after the 1991 end of the Cold War to half their rates, just as military spending went down also in the nineties. Some would ascribe this to abortion being legal since 1973, 18 years before 1991, but that would not explain the similar drop in crime in Western Europe. German homicides have dropped 40% since 2000 while the US homicide rate has dropped only 20% thanks to the wars and military escalation.
For the additional “Crime and the Military” papers and graph on my academia.edu website:
Please cite this work as follows:
Reuschlein, Robert. (2018, March 26), “Gun Control Students March”, Madison, WI: Real Economy Institute. Retrieved from: https://www.expertclick.com/NewsRelease/Gun-Control-Students-March,2018155580.aspx
Dr. Peace, Professor Robert Reuschlein, Real Economy Institute, Nobel Peace Prize Nominated Vetted 2016, Given Odds 2017, Possible Favorite in 2018 Nobel Peace Prize October 5th.
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