Sixty years ago, President Eisenhower warned us about the military-industrial complex.
He told us it was sapping our resources and livelihood. He said its total influence — economic, political, and spiritual — was warping the very structure of our society. Its growing power, Ike warned, posed a grave danger to our liberties and our democratic processes.
We heard his words, but we failed to act on them.
Ike didn’t just issue a warning in his farewell address in 1961. He gave us a mission. He literally put us on guard duty, as he said we must guard against the growing power of the Complex. He challenged us to be an alert and knowledgeable citizenry.
Notice those three words: alert, knowledgeable, citizenry. Ike told us to get smart, to be vigilant, to be fully informed and involved citizens.
Not citizen-soldiers for war, but citizen-guards against the growing power of the U.S. military and its weapons makers within a democracy that was increasingly compromised by militarism and imperialism.
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