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U.S. Navy shipbuilding costs have been rising faster than healthcare and college tuition


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#1
funkervogt

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https://www.nextbigf...are-system.html

[I am generally skeptical of content from Nextbigfuture, but this article accords with many other things I've read from reputable sources.]

 

To be fair, real cost inflation of military hardware is happening in every country, for warships and most other kinds of weapons. Basically, as the weapons get more complex and packed with more computers and sensors, systems integration becomes harder and the costs inexorably rise. However, the weapons cost inflation rate is particularly bad in the U.S. for reasons relating to DoD bureaucracy, a dysfunctional and corrupt military-industrial nexus, and a fetish for making (or, more frequently, attempting to make) a revolutionary, clean-sheet designed piece of hardware instead of an evolutionary upgrade to an older, proven piece of hardware. 

 

Obviously, this cost trend bodes poorly for the U.S. Navy, and for the overall fiscal health of the U.S. going into the future. Unfortunately, the causes of this problem are deeply entrenched in the DoD and are perpetuated by powerful interests in the government and the private defense sector. 



#2
Erowind

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We could stop putting any R&D funding into the military at all.


Current status: slaving away for the math gods of Pythagoras VII.


#3
Maximus

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We could stop putting any R&D funding into the military at all.

That would be a bad idea for two reasons;

 

1. Just because you stop investing in your military doesn't mean the other great powers will as well.

 

2. The military uses R&D funding to work on cutting edge tech projects. Sure, these technologies are intended for military use, but they inevitably have civilian spin-offs. The internet being the most obvious example. Protecting national security is a great cover for getting billions of dollars in funding for tech projects. I don't see any other governmental agency that could get such levels of funding for its projects. I wish there was a "Department of Cutting Edge Scientific Research Projects" , but there isn't. Research is distributed across all kinds of agencies, and more often than not these will be underfunded. Take NASA for example; the research they do is cutting-edge, but funding is far below what it should be. People (some people) see NASA as some phoney waste of money on blue-sky research that won't have any civilian applications for decades (not true). When it comes to military research, people are much more likely to support higher levels of funding because of the national security aspect. 

 

I think the solution isn't to outright say we should ban all military R&D funding (let's be honest, there's no chance this will ever happen), but to fix the system.


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#4
Erowind

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1. No great power would invade another in this economy, it would mean suicide for them economically and current technology could ward off smaller threats like religious extremism for decades without trouble. Let's take this a step further and disband the military altogether and let the national guard be the defensive force it was meant to always be. My anarchism shows through for sure, but standing armies like the ones we have now would be seen as lunacy by the countries of histories past. It used to be that if war had to be made the people, the lord or whoever would raise an army for that purpose because it was too expensive to field a standing one. And even though our economies can support that now, it doesn't justify the extra expense.

 

2. The military industrial complex won't ever be fixed by reform under a capitalist economy. The corporate model of research punishes scientists and is a danger to scientific progress. Any model under capitalism will fall prey to this, it's systematic and working as intended. Civilian byproducts are just that, byproducts. To quote Justin Podur in his article Science and Liberation:

 

The business of science makes science vulnerable to attack by authoritarian governments and conservative movements, streamlining opportunities for the wealthy and powerful to steer science to their own benefit. As a result, we can create tens of thousands of chemicals but haven’t thought much about what to do with them after we’ve used them. Half a dozen countries have nuclear weapons that can destroy whole cities, but no country has a functioning renewable energy system.

 

My perspective is that corporate research is anti-scientific and harmful to society, as is research controlled by the state. I understand that I haven't put much into why that is here but those answers are out there in a relatively concise format expressed by people more eloquent than myself. I'm not going to link you any of the monster articles Starspawn likes to post. Seriously I hope you check that out, it's like a 10 minute read and worth the time. I don't expect you to agree, but at least we might find some more common understanding.

 

https://briarpatchma...-and-liberation

 

 

 

Okay, now I'm going to link a bunch of stuff that I don't expect anyone to read but it's here if anyone wants it.

 

If it intrigues you more here's a short essay that more explains a position than the why behind it.

 

https://theanarchist...be-an-anarchist

 

And this is the zine it's from

 

https://anarchotrans.../2015/04/h2.pdf

 

And if you're looking to really jump down the rabbit hole and read some more reasoned arguments this is a good place to start.

 

https://store.c4ss.o...not-capitalism/

 

https://c4ss.org/resources

 

https://c4ss.org/

 

The Center for Stateless Society is wonderful in general.

 

Oh and if you're ever curios what actually turned me into an anarchist it's probably of combination of these two texts.

 

https://theanarchist...unist-anarchism

 

That really spoke my language, it made no attempt to defend the soviets all while showing me how the church, state and rich all benefit from everyone else's misery. (Granted some churches are cool, mostly smaller ones.) Berkman does a really good job of simplifying everything down to a level that's easy to digest without leaving out the why.

 

https://docs.google....Ck0u_QhyBc/edit

 

That one above is incomplete, but still a very important stepping stone to connecting anarchist and transhumanist thought. And that's the thing, anarcho-transhumanism is remarkably new, there are no foundational texts on the ideologue to point to. Everyone in this fledgling movement that practically declared war on primitivist thought is still working to write everything down and understand what exactly it is that we're saying. (For context in North America primitivism was the dominant strain of anarchism for decades and it's finally dying in the wake of new thought from transhumanists in North America and insurrectionists in Europe.)

 

With all of that said, I'm still wrapping my head around the economics of everything and doing my best to understand how to move forward. But there's one thing I'm certain of, capitalism is dangerous and must be replaced by something.

 

In the same way that feudalism was eating alive capitalism will face the same fate.


Current status: slaving away for the math gods of Pythagoras VII.





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