The amount of global resources devoted to war would suggest that the goal of humanity is to destroy itself.
In 2008, the world spent $1.5 trillion on warfare, 48 percent of which was spent by the United States. Over 40 percent of US tax dollars are spent on the military, compared with just 3 percent on social programs.(1)
Since 2001, US military spending has more than doubled, and U.S. arms export sales are fueling the general rise in global military spending.
There are currently between 25,000 and 30,000 nuclear weapons in the world; the United States and Russia own 97 percent of them. Both nations maintain more than 1,000 nuclear warheads on high alert, ready to launch within minutes.(3) Less than 0.05% of the explosive power of the current global arsenal would be enough to produce a prolonged nuclear winter that would end life on Earth as we know it.(4)
The resources currently devoted to war could eliminate world poverty. They could provide every child with a good education. They could provide every person on the planet with clean water, safe housing, sanitation, nutritious food, and medical care. They could restore our environment. More than that, putting human needs first would result in a world of peace and prosperity.
Who decides to use our resources for war instead of solving social problems and developing human potential?
The capitalist class are determined to increase their wealth and power, even if it means the end of humanity. The vast majority would never make such a choice.
The wealth produced by human hands should be used to improve people’s lives, not to destroy them.
We have two urgent tasks: We must remove the warmongers from power and we must build a cooperative socialist society that has no use for war.