Fifty-two years ago today, President Dwight Eisenhower gave his farewell speech and warned about “the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex.” He said, “The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.
“We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes,” he said. “We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.”
Eisenhower was prescient on this subject. But in the speech he warned of much more.
He warned that the technological revolution, which was just beginning, would become formalized and complex, would come under the direction of the Federal government and would be dominated by the “scientifictechological elite.”
“The prospect of domination of the nation’s scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present and is gravely to be regarded,” he said. “Yet, in holding scientific research and discovery in respect, as we should, we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientifictechnological elite.”
It’s obvious Eisenhower’s warnings were not heeded. Our foreign policy is now captive to the military-industrial complex. No longer, as it was “throughout America’s adventure in free government” up to Eisenhower’s time, are “our basic purposes … to keep the peace; to foster progress in human achievement, and to enhance liberty, dignity and integrity among people and among nations.” Our leaders have failed in that regard, and that failure has led to perpetual war.
Meanwhile, the “scientifictechnological elite” he warned about has taken over domestic energy policy. President Barack Obama is sinking untold billions of dollars into driving us into inefficient and unworkable “green industries” under the false notion of anthropomorphic global warming.
Read the full text of Eisenhower’s speech here.