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World Military and Social Expenditures by Ruth Sivard, 1st edition (1974)
 

Foreword by Saul H. Mendlovitz

When the U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency in 1972 discontinued its annual reporting of world social expenditures in comparison with military, it left a major gap in information readily available to the public for assessing relative progress in world priorities. This report fills that gap, adding valuable new information on world social needs and alternatives to natonal military force.

The global overview makes grim reading. It is a dismal reflection of our values as a world community that we have thought it necessary to invest so much more of our wealth in military power than in meeting the needs of society.

Furthermore, as the author of this report shrewdly observes, one of the most tragic aspects of the arms race is that the military claim on resources has been permitted to grow as the world’s economic product grows larger. In fact, policy leaders are increasingly tying military budgets to some proportion of the gross national product. This is what the report identifies as the “GNP fallacy”. The benefits of growth, which should have improved living for humankind, have instead been used annually to support a monstrous military system. In our opinion, it is time to set specific priority targets, not for further military growth, but for the social needs of the global community.

We at the Institute feel strongly that it is only when a sufficient number of people begin to understand the close relationships between the arms race and international violence, economic depression, social injustice, and ecological instability that the world public will begin to demand a governance for the benefit of humankind rather than for any single nation-state, particular class, or parochial segment of the global population. We believe this report is an important contribution to that thinking.

The author, Ruth Leger Sivard, was responsible for the original ACDA work in this field and is uniquely qualified to carry it forward. It is owing to her initiative and dedication that we have this further insight into our grossly misdirected priorities.

Saul H. Mendlovitz
President
Institute for World Order

Selections from this edition...

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