Militarism Aff 1ac – Final



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1AC – Framing

Current militaristic culture primes society to fight wars at all times and at all costs. This system starts with propaganda that infiltrates scholarship – the impact is the ongoing ignorance of the war on the home front and a flawed approach to problem solving that trends to relentless conflict.


Boggs 11 – Carl, Ph.D. Political Science, University of California, Berkeley (“The Global IndusTrIal Complex”, Published by Lexington Books, 2011, ISBN 978-0-7391-3697-3) RMT

As the American people are asked to endure burdensome costs and sacrifices of war and preparation for war, mechanisms of legitimation take on new meaning. Empire, a bloated war economy, recurrent armed interventions, hardships on the home front—all these must be made to appear “natural,” routine, even welcome if not noble. The historical myth of national exceptionalism, combined with hubris associated with economic, technological, and military supremacy, contributes to this ideological function. To translate such an ideological syndrome into popular language and daily life, to fully incorporate it into the political culture, is the task not so much of a classical state-run propaganda system as a developed hegemonic ideology reliant more on education and the media. In the United States, media culture has evolved into an outgrowth of megacorporate power that sustains the most far-reaching ideological and cultural network in history. Hollywood films alone have for many decades served as a crucial vehicle for legitimation of Empire. The repetitive fantasies, illusions, myths, images, and storylines of Hollywood movies (not to mention TV and other outlets) can be expected to influence mass audiences in rather predictable ways, much along lines of advertising and public relations. One popular response to the flood of violent combat, action-adventure, sci-fi, and horror films (with their companion video games) is stronger readiness to support U.S. military operations that, in an intensely patriotic, violent milieu will require little overt justification except where American casualties are deemed excessive. Such ideological legitimation is needed in a context where even the ensemble of corporate, military, and government power cannot suffice.

Despite its command of institutional power, tools of violence, and material resources, therefore, the system requires something along lines of a culture of militarism. In the United States, militarism has indeed evolved into an ideology forged by media culture, political messages, academic discourses, and patriotic indoctrination. If the linkage between militarism and daily life goes back in history, it has taken on new dimensions with the dramatic growth of the media and popular culture over the past few decades. If the culture of militarism endows warfare with a popular sense of meaning and purpose, it also constitutes the hegemonic façade behind which the power structure can more or less freely operate, domestically and worldwide. The decay of American economic, political, and social life cannot be understood apart from this destructive cyclelikely to worsen as the elites strive to maintain the advantages of Empire against new challenges. By the early twenty-first century it was obvious that war, and orientation to war, had become a way of life in the United States, a society in which both leaders and general population could be said to have grown addicted to war. If the United States fails to qualify as a full-fledged “warrior societyat the level of ancient Sparta, Nazi Germany, interwar Japan, or even Israel today, the military influence is perhaps even more pervasivethough not always recognizable as such—owing to the global presence of American power.

Who could expect otherwise, as the Pentagon dominates the globe with its military, technological, and communications presence, with its hundreds of bases and sites, and its status as the world’s biggest landlord (overseeing 300,000 housing units globally)? The U.S. military runs its own vast propaganda network with scores of newspapers and magazines, invests in hundreds of movies and TV programs, develops state-of-the-art video games, and is by far the largest sponsor of research and development, allowing it to influence such fields as nuclear physics, chemistry, astronomy, and electrical engineering. What might be called the militarization of the academy is reflected in the capacity of the Pentagon to shape research goals at such respectable universities as UC Berkeley, MIT, Stanford, Johns Hopkins, Penn State, and Carnegie Mellona few of the more than 350 institutions that routinely get military contracts. Under the familiar guise of national security, American society has seen a convergence of military, corporate, and academic centers of power.

Tens of billions are targeted annually for higher-tech warfare agendas: urbanassault counterinsurgency methods, satellite technology, nuclear modernization, robotics and other forms of remote combat, laser-guided weapons, war-gaming, and database collections among others. 19 In a militarized society the armed forces experience is bound to touch the lives of tens of millions of people, often in the most intimate ways—and often outside the ranks of the military itself. In her study of the “homefront,” Catherine Lutz comments: “In an important sense . . . we all inhabit an army camp, mobilized to lend support to the permanent state of war readiness that has been with us since World War II. No matter where we live, we have raised war taxes at work, and future soldiers at home lived with the cultural atmosphere of racism and belligerence that war mobilization often uses or creates, and nourished the public opinion that helps send soldiers off to war. . . . All experience the problems bred by war’s glorification of violent masculinity and the inequalities created by its redistribution of wealth to the already privileged.” Lutz adds that “we all have lived with the consequences of the reinvigorated idea that we prove and regenerate ourselves through violence.” This reality turns out to be even more all-consuming for military personnel and residents of Fayetteville, North Carolina—home of the sprawling Fort Bragg army base—that Lutz chose as the focus of her research. Here all the contradictions of U.S. militarism came home to roost—a “dumping ground for the problems of the American century of war and empire.” Here we have exaggerated problems of poverty, crime, child abuse, alcoholism, prostitution, homelessness, and a wide array of physical and mental injuries. These are the fruits of a permanent war system that transfigures daily life for those within and close to the “homefront” of Empire.



This is a world geared to warfare, preparation for warfare, killing, and refinement of the instruments for killing. In her classic work Military Brats, Mary Edwards Wertsch brilliantly weaves together narratives of life in the military, focusing on two lingering motifs—the warrior ethos, and the authoritarian character of social relations. She writes: “Growing up inside the fortress [as she did] is like being drafted into a gigantic theater company. The role of the warrior society, even in peacetime, is to exist in a state of perpetual ‘readiness’: one continuous dress rehearsal for war. The principal actors are immaculately costumed, carefully scripted, and supplied with a vast array of props. They practice elaborate large-scale stage movements—land, air, sea exercises simulating attacks and defenses.” All this is part of a deep socialization process that Wertsch expertly unravels. Well before 9/11 and the subsequent wars, she could remark that “this is a society prepared to wage war with the same relentless attention to detail it brings to every moment of every day.” 23 22 In such a culture authoritarian values inevitably prevail: “The Fortress, in short, is an authoritarian society. The masks worn there are authoritarian masks, each exactly like the others of its rank, each subservient to those of high rungs. The notions of conformity, order, and obedience reign supreme.” She adds: “The great paradox of the military is that its members, the selfappointed front-line guardians of our cherished American democratic values, do not live in a democracy themselves. Not only is individuality not valued in the military, it is discouraged. There is no freedom of speech, save on the most innocuous level. There is no freedom of assembly for anything that is not authorized. There is not even a concept of privacy . . .” God, community, family, nation—everything is glorified through the mediations of warfare, violence, hierarchy, and aggression.

The permanent war system undermines democracy at every turn: imperial projects lead to authoritarian controls domestically and globally. Militarization gives rise not only to a warrior ethos but to hierarchy, discipline, secrecy, surveillance, lopsided allocations, and narrowed debate in government operations. Richard Falk writes of a shift toward fascism in the global order that, he argues, permeates American domestic politics as power and wealth come to dominate the field of decision-making. An imperial arrogance that champions U.S. exceptionalism and subverts universal norms of legality on the world scene, that strives toward full-spectrum dominance, sooner or later generates a regime of lawlessness and violence at home. A Hobbesian universe, after all, is predictably rife with fear and hate. Falk observes that an authoritarian scenario will be momentarily disguised as necessary security adjustment to the threats of global terrorism.” 27 26 While this “scenario” has surely gained new credence since 9/11, the pattern was set during World War II with solidification of the war economy and security state. Further, as discussed in the first two chapters, the United States has throughout its history worked tirelessly to defeat democratic possibilities outside its own borders. The neocons, as we have seen, embrace an uncompromising global authoritarianism (while preaching “democracy promotion”) driven by U.S. entitlement to world supremacy. Falk argues: “ . . . I consider it reasonable to think of something one might call global fascism as the mentality of those seeking to regulate the world, from either above or below, according to their I went on to demonstrate how the libertarian principle of self-ownership supports PIA and why people cannot be responsible for all effects of their actions:

The core of the debate isn't about statistics but the fundamental cultural conflict of gun control –militarism permits gun ownership since it affirms their understanding of violence and world view


Braman 6 [Donald Braman (Irving S. Ribicoff Fellow, Yale Law School) & Dan M. Kahan, "Overcoming the Fear of Guns, the Fear of Gun Control, and the Fear of Cultural Politics: Constructing a Better Gun Debate," Emory Law Journal, 2006] AZ

But so long as statistics continue to fund the parties’ arguments, the gun debate, we believe, will remain bankrupt. Purely instrumental arguments lack the power to persuade because they ignore what really motivates individuals to favor or oppose gun controlnamely, their cultural worldviews. 3 Their prominent (and in many respects fabled) role in American history imbues guns with a surfeit of social meanings. For one segment of American society, guns symbolize honor, human mastery over nature, and individual self-sufficiency. By opposing gun control, individuals affirm the value of these meanings and the vision of the good society that they construct. For another segment of American society, however, guns connote something else: the perpetuation of illicit social hierarchies, the elevation of force over reason, and the expression of collective indifference to the well-being of strangers. These individuals instinctively support gun control as a means of repudiating these significations and of promoting an alternative vision of the good society that features equality, social solidarity, and civilized nonaggression. These competing cultural visions, we will argue, are what drive the gun control debate. They are what dispose individuals to accept certain empirically grounded public-safety arguments and to reject others. Indeed, the meanings that guns and gun control express are sufficient to justify most individuals’ positions on gun control independently of their beliefs about guns and safety. It follows that the only meaningful gun control debate is one that explicitly addresses whether and how the underlying cultural visions at stake should be embodied in American law. So why isn’t that what the protagonists in the mainstream academic and political debate are talking about? The answer is that they adhere to a common understanding⎯we intend to argue misunderstandingabout the inappropriateness of injecting partisan cultural values into democratic deliberations. Liberal norms are often thought to enjoin the state from imposing a cultural or moral orthodoxy. From this premise, it is said to follow that citizens and their representatives should avoid morally partisan stancetaking when debating public issues and instead frame their arguments in terms accessible to individuals of diverse cultural persuasions. The prevention of physical harm seems culturally ecumenical in this way. That’s why most citizens are moved to speak in the empirical, consequentialist idiom of public safety, even though instrumental arguments conceal the cultural foundations of their views toward guns. The problem with this strategy for minimizing cultural conflict, however, is that it doesn’t work. Because what individuals believe about the facts of gun control is inextricably bound up with their cultural identities, factual disagreement turns out to be no less divisive than explicit appeals to contested cultural values. Indeed, far from quieting cultural conflict, consequentialism as a liberal discourse strategy tends only to accentuate it. Because it is attractive only to citizens who are averse to cultural conflict, consequentialism as a liberal discourse strategy assures that whatever transparent cultural discourse persists is dominated by cultural zealots, thereby exaggerating each side’s perception that the other is bent on cultural domination.

Resistance to militarism begins in the classroom – as a judge, prioritize analysis of militarism to challenge dominant regimes of power, promote critical thinking against war culture, and disobey the traditions of state-defined civic duty


Giroux 13 [Henry Giroux (social critic and educator, and the author of many books, Global Television Network Chair in English and Cultural Studies at McMaster University), "Violence, USA: The Warfare State and the Hardening of Everyday Life," excerpt from America’s Education Deficit and the War on Youth, 2013] AZ

Challenging the warfare state also has an important educational component. C. Wright Mills was right in arguing that it is impossible to separate the violence of an authoritarian social order from the cultural apparatuses that nourish it. As Mills put it, the major cultural apparatuses not only “guide experience, they also expropriate the very chance to have an experience rightly called ‘our own.’”55 This narrowing of experience shorn of public values locks people into private interests and the hyper-individualized orbits in which they live. Experience itself is now privatized, instrumentalized, commodified, and increasingly militarized. Social responsibility gives way to organized infantilization and a flight from responsibility. Crucial here is the need to develop new cultural and political vocabularies that can foster an engaged mode of citizenship capable of naming the corporate and academic interests that support the warfare state and its apparatuses of violence, while simultaneously mobilizing social movements to challenge and dismantle its vast networks of power. One central pedagogical and political task in dismantling the warfare state is, therefore, the challenge of creating the cultural conditions and public spheres that would enable the U.S. public to move from being spectators of war and everyday violence to being informed and engaged citizens. Unfortunately, major cultural apparatuses like public and higher education, which have been historically responsible for educating the public, are becoming little more than market-driven and militarized knowledge factories. In this particularly insidious role, educational institutions deprive students of the capacities that would enable them not only to assume public responsibilities, but also to actively participate in the process of governing. Without the public spheres for creating a formative culture equipped to challenge the educational, military, market, and religious fundamentalisms that dominate U.S. society, it will be virtually impossible to resist the normalization of war as a matter of domestic and foreign policy. Any viable notion of resistance to the current authoritarian order must also address the issue of what it means pedagogically to imagine a more democratically oriented notion of knowledge, subjectivity, and agency and what it might mean to bring such notions into the public sphere. This is more than what Bernard Harcourt calls “a new grammar of political disobedience.”56 It is a reconfiguring of the nature and substance of the political so that matters of pedagogy become central to the very definition of what constitutes the political and the practices that make it meaningful. Critical understanding motivates transformative action, and the affective investments it demands can only be brought about by breaking into the hardwired forms of common sense that give war and state-supported violence their legitimacy. War does not have to be a permanent social relation, nor the primary organizing principle of everyday life, society, and foreign policy. The war of all-against-all and the social Darwinian imperative to respond positively only to one’s own self-interest represent the death of politics, civic responsibility, and ethics, and set the stage for a dysfunctional democracy, if not an emergent authoritarianism. The existing neoliberal social order produces individuals who have no commitment, except to profit, disdain social responsibility, and loosen all ties to any viable notion of the public good. This regime of punishment and privatization is organized around the structuring forces of violence and militarization, which produce a surplus of fear, insecurity, and a weakened culture of civic engagementone in which there is little room for reasoned debate, critical dialogue, and informed intellectual exchange. Patricia Clough and Craig Willse are right in arguing that we live in a society “in which the production and circulation of death functions as political and economic recovery.”57 The United States understood as a warfare state prompts a new urgency for a collective politics and a social movement capable of negating the current regimes of political and economic power, while imagining a different and more democratic social order. Until the ideological and structural foundations of violence that are pushing U.S. society over the abyss are addressed, the current warfare state will be transformed into a full-blown authoritarian state that will shut down any vestige of democratic values, social relations, and public spheres. At the very least, the U.S. public owes it to its children and future generations, if not the future of democracy itself, to make visible and dismantle this machinery of violence while also reclaiming the spirit of a future that works for life rather than death—the future of the current authoritarianism, however dressed up they appear in the spectacles of consumerism and celebrity culture. It is time for educators, unions, young people, liberals, religious organizations, and other groups to connect the dots, educate themselves, and develop powerful social movements that can restructure the fundamental values and social relations of democracy while establishing the institutions and formative cultures that make it possible. Stanley Aronowitz is right in arguing that: the system survives on the eclipse of the radical imagination, the absence of a viable political opposition with roots in the general population, and the conformity of its intellectuals who, to a large extent, are subjugated by their secure berths in the academy [and though] we can take some solace in 2011, the year of the protester…it would be premature to predict that decades of retreat, defeat and silence can be reversed overnight without a commitment to what may be termed “a long march” through the institutions, the workplaces and the streets of the capitalist metropoles.58 The current protests among young people, workers, the unemployed, students, and others are making clear that this is not—indeed, cannot be—only a short-term project for reform, but must constitute a political and social movement of sustained growth, accompanied by the reclaiming of public spaces, the progressive use of digital technologies, the development of democratic public spheres, new modes of education, and the safeguarding of places where democratic expression, new identities, and collective hope can be nurtured and mobilized. Without broad political and social movements standing behind and uniting the call on the part of young people for democratic transformations, any attempt at radical change will more than likely be cosmetic. Any viable challenge to the new authoritarianism and its theater of cruelty and violence must include developing a variety of cultural discourses and sites where new modes of agency can be imagined and enacted, particularly as they work to reconfigure a new collective subject, modes of sociality, and “alternative conceptualizations of the self and its relationship to others.”59 Clearly, if the United States is to make a claim to democracy, it must develop a politics that views violence as a moral monstrosity and war as virulent pathology. How such a claim to politics unfolds remains to be seen. In the meantime, resistance proceeds, especially among the young people who now carry the banner of struggle against an encroaching authoritarianism that is working hard to snuff out all vestiges of democratic life.


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