Richard Seymour applies to join the Sorbonne faculty

In a very general sense, militarisation could be seen as an integral aspect of capitalism.

Rilly?

That would explain why the Socialist states spent so much more of their paltry wealth on the military than the capitalist states did then?

As a matter of mild interest, when does reality ever get a look in with these people?

16 thoughts on “Richard Seymour applies to join the Sorbonne faculty”

  1. Without bothering to read the link, due to my lazy bastardy, I presume he’s doing the usual thing of assuming all capitalism is like the East India Companies of centuries ago.

  2. “As a matter of mild interest, when does reality ever get a look in with these people?”

    Is that one of those, “questions to which the answer is No”, thingies?

  3. Come on Tim, you already know the only reason the Soviet Union tooled up was because it was hemmed in by militaristic capitalist states like Finland.

  4. Pingback: I can explain « Peter Risdon

  5. Barry Rundquist and Thomas Carsey’s study of military procurement in the United States demonstrates that this has a distributive aspect. Such spending in the US helps already wealthy, booming locales become even wealthier, but it does not tend to make poor areas wealthier and nor does it reduce unemployment.

    Because:

    a) Making military hardware is high-tech high-skill task. High-tech, high-skill industries tend to cluster and are therefore (causally in one direction or the other) in low-unemployment, wealthier areas.

    b) When people from poor areas join the military, the evil bastards immediately send them away from their poor areas to basic training and then on to their career postings.

    c) “Pork-barrel”.

    d) Seymour is a particularly virulent breed of Trot ignoramus.

  6. The amount one spends on defence can be a factor of the threat. Throughout the cold war NATO’s gnp was far larger & it was NATO who first threatened nuclear warfare. In the circumstances it was reasonable for the soviets to put significant effort into defence.

    China is currently spending a lower % of gdp on the military than the US (& spending less time invading foreign countries).

  7. @Neil Craig

    “defence”

    ..which is why once they had a strategic nuclear deterrence they substantially reduced their conventional forces.

    Oh wait!

    Far better to rely on the “it wasn’t really Socialist” defense to explain away all the ills of Socialism. That one never goes stale.

  8. Surreptitious Evil

    China is currently spending a lower % of gdp on the military

    Amazingly, the Chinese Communist Party tell the occasional fib or two

  9. So Much for Subtlety

    Neil Craig – “The amount one spends on defence can be a factor of the threat. Throughout the cold war NATO’s gnp was far larger & it was NATO who first threatened nuclear warfare. In the circumstances it was reasonable for the soviets to put significant effort into defence.”

    Depends when you date the Cold War. And what you count. But if the Soviet Union was so peaceful, could you please explain to me why in 1939 it had more tanks than the Germans? More tanks than the rest of the world put together in fact. Can you please describe for us the reasons why the Soviet Union had more offensive weapons like tanks than the rest of the world put together but no modern defensive weapons such as anti-tank guns?

    Actually, for the record, NATO specifically did not threaten nuclear war. For almost five years the US had a nuclear weapon monopoly. And they did not use it. Not once.

  10. The Soviet military mindset was deeply paranoid and only felt secure if it had such an overwhelming preponderance of force that everyone else felt insecure. That lead to arms races until Georgi Arbatov ( much underrated figure) persuaded Gorbachev of the benefits of mutual security.

    The key point was the deployment of SS20s. NATO had very old Pershing 1 IRBMs which they weren’t doing anything to. The USSR upgraded their IRBMs to SS20s because more missles made them feel more secure. That pushed NATO to agree to deploy Cruise and Pershing 2. Pershing 2 scared the crap out of the Sovs since it was so fast they feared it could destroy Moscow before they could do anything. It finally dawned that more missiles had made them LESS secure. The NATO offer of withdrawal of Pershing.Cruise for withdrawal of the SS20s made that link obvious.

    Anyone who has the the Cold War was the West’s fault either thought a Finlandised Europe would have been a good thing or hasn’t read much serious history.

  11. Bloke in Central Illinois

    Neil Craig, I suppose you think that little spot of bother around Berlin in 1948 was America’s fault, too?

  12. Hang on. Has some really tried to persuade Neil Craig to misspell “defence” as “defense”?

  13. Richard Seymour is utterly rewriting history
    (i) “units of capital (corporations etc) tend to be concentrated within national states”
    No, historically the greatest need for and use of capital was international trade where you bought stuff in country A and transported to country B, sold it at a profit in local currency, used most of that local currency to buy other goods (you spent some on food) and returned to country A. Major investment in goods and transport (whether ships or camel train), far greater than a local shop or forge or windmill.
    (ii) “militarisation could be seen as an integral aspect of capitalism”
    Absolutely not – the oligarchs generally wanted peace and trade, while the democrats wanted war.

  14. If anyone uses the phrase “in a very general sense” to advance some thesis you can make a fairly safe bet that they’re talking horseshit. It’s hand-waving cockwaffle of the first water.

  15. sackcloth and ashes

    ‘The amount one spends on defence can be a factor of the threat. Throughout the cold war NATO’s gnp was far larger & it was NATO who first threatened nuclear warfare. In the circumstances it was reasonable for the soviets to put significant effort into defence’.

    Except that the militarisation of the Soviet economy – and the focus on building up the Red Army at the expense of civilian needs – began under Stalin in the early 1930s.

    You dribbling cretin.

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