The Military Industrial Complex

The Fifties and the Military Industrial Complex

After World War Two there was a period of rebuilding and regeneration. The fifties was a period of social conservatism and rebuilding.

General Eisenhower, a war hero, became President Eisenhower. The President was a soldier. When he left, he warned of the changes in the structure of America. He coined the term: “military industrial complex” which basically means: “war is business“.

Large groups of business interests (producers and manufacturers) conspire with political affiliates to maintain their business. If there is a war, it is good for the economy. That means peace is bad for business. What a dangerous situation for the world!

This is the original speech which Eisenhower gave.

Can you complete the transcript?

Ladies and Gentleman

my fellow Americans

the beginning of a century
the mid-point of a century
the end of a century

What did you hear?

our world conflicts
our national conflicts

Until the latest of our world conflicts the US had no armaments industry

American makers of plough-shares
American makers of weapons

Have you ever used a plough?


We can no longer risk emergency …

we have been compelled to create

added to this

three and a half million men and women

this conjunction of… and … is new in the American experience…

the American experience
the European experience
the Asian experience

the total influence of this is felt in every city
the total effect of this is felt in every city

Which one did you hear?

we recognize the imperative need for this development but
we recognize the over-arching need for this development but

yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications

grave implications
serious consequences

the very structure of our society


the acquisition of wanted or unwanted influence

the potential for the disastrous rise of

our liberties and democratic processes

the rise of fascism
the fall of fascism

What is fascism?

we must never let … endanger our liberty

endanger our liberty
endanger our freedom

only an alert …

to be alert
to be on guard
to be ever on your guard
to be ever on one’s guard

so that we may prosper together

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