By: Matt Issent
Major General Smedley Butler aired these infamous words that fell on deaf ears during his speech in 1933 and today, in 2018 they remain lost in the human consciousness; the U.S. is in perpetual war under the dystopian 1984 ideology “War is peace.” Most Americans let alone most of the world have little understanding on why war occurs and why it keeps on occurring. Most people will believe that war is used to defeat enemies in distant lands that have brutalized their citizens or have attacked a nation that we are in alliance with. This is not the case, this may be the ‘justification’ for war as it is broadcasted all across the world but it is not the reason why those who wage war go to war.
”WAR is a racket. It always has been.” “A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of the people. Only a small “inside” group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few, at the expense of the very many. Out of war a few people make huge fortunes.” “[War] is the only [racket] in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives.”
Major General Smedley Butler was an outspoken critic of the war machine he was a part of, having played significant roles in the Spanish-American War, the Boxer Rebellion, the Banana Wars, and World War 1 on the Western Front. He understood why war was waged, who benefited, and proposed ways to end this racket. “Three steps must be taken to smash the war racket. 1. We must take the profit out of war. 2. We must permit the youth of the land who would bear arms to decide whether or not there should be war. 3. We must limit our military forces to home defense purposes. “
“There were lots of brilliant ideas for profit making during the war.” Major General Smedley Butler said as he spoke of the industries that made vast profits off of the deaths of our countrymen and their enemies, naming banksters, steel, leather, and vast other manufactures who reaped exorbitant profits during the Great War.
Beautiful ideals were painted for our boys who were sent out to die. This was the “war to end all wars.” This was the “war to make the world safe for democracy.” No one mentioned to them, as they marched away, that their going and their dying would mean huge war profits. No one told these American soldiers that they might be shot down by bullets made by their own brothers here.
Major General Smedley Butler concluded his speech with “TO HELL WITH WAR!”
Please take the time to read the full text of “War Is A Racket” By Major General Smedley Butler for a more complete understanding of why war is not beneficial for the average American and how the blood of our people is quantified in profits for the owners of industry and the banking elite.