During his farewell address on Jan. 17, 1961, President Dwight Eisenhower famously warned of the danger of the growing military-industrial complex. At the time, U.S. military spending was about $300 billion and 10 percent of the gross domestic product.
Military spending today is more than twice that: about $650 billion. But it is down to about 4 percent of the GDP. (A desire to justify increasing that spending is likely behind calls from the neocon war hawks like Senator John McCain to make war on Syria and Iran, and perhaps re-invade Iraq.)
Clearly, the military-industrial complex has wielded considerable influence over U.S. foreign policy. But something else Eisenhower warned about has come true and had just as deleterious an effect on U.S. policy as the war industry.
“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,” Eisenhower 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 scientific-technological elite.”
And that, my friends, has come to fruition through the growth of climate change pseudoscience.
Here’s Eisenhower’s entire address: