Scott Horton Interviews Thomas E. Woods

Scott Horton, June 26, 2009

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Thomas E. Woods, author of Meltdown: A Free-Market Look at Why the Stock Market Collapsed, the Economy Tanked, and Government Bailouts Will Make Things Worse, discusses Seymour Melman‘s [.pdf] research into the societal repercussions of a military economy, the diversion of research scientists from the private sector to Cold War military programs, the transformation of the U.S. university system into a DOD jobs program and the corruption of defense contractors into companies that can’t compete in a free market.

MP3 here. (22:11)

Thomas E. Woods, Jr., is the New York Times bestselling author of nine books. A senior fellow at the Ludwig von Mises Institute, Woods holds a bachelor’s degree in history from Harvard and his master’s, M.Phil., and Ph.D. from Columbia University.

24 Responses to “Thomas E. Woods”

  1. [...] touch: how the military-industrial complex distorts and undermines the free economy.  I spoke about this the other day with Scott Horton on Antiwar Radio.  (N.b.: One of us uses a bad word.) « [...]

  2. [...] Woods recently made the great point that US GDP is significantly smaller than what it is officially claimed to be, because none [...]

  3. When the U.S. Department of War metamorphosed into the Orwellian 'Department of Defense" this was the original 'Jobs program." Our entering World War 2 soon ended the decade-long Great Depression by putting twelve million people into our armed forces which easily replaced the thirteen million previously unemployed. Deserts, which had no economic purpose soon became thriving oases of economic activity to service the military presence. The outrage that results whenever closing one of these bases is mentioned not only happens here on our own shores but even in places like Germany where similar results are seen whenever an attempt is made to terminate our military facilities from having been there for over six decades. There are many problems with this situation. Unnecessary militarism is a costly waste and worse still is by having this enormous program it must be used in order to justify its expense. This is the main reason that since the end of World War 2 we have been at war somewhere on this planet ever since. This cancer has consumed other empires in the past and we are now seeing our own in the final days of its existence. Steve, World War 2.

  4. Forget about Global Warming. The main problem facing "human beings" is that the Pentagon aims to achieve a disarming and unanswerable first-strike capability according to former Trident missile engineer Bob Aldridge-http://www.plrc.org-and also according to former UN weapons inspector Scott Ritter-antiwar radio archive. Both of them believe it´s suicidal. According to Bob Aldridge the US Navy can track and destroy all enemy submarines simultaneously and Minuteman-3s and Trident-2 D5s linked to NAVSTAR obtain a CEP of 30-40 metres, enough to destroy any hard target. Please see the article by Keir Lieber and Daryl Press, "The Rice of US Nuclear Primacy" in the 2006 March/April issue of Foreign Affairs. A First-Strike Capability won´t be complete without the missiles in Poland to shoot down any surviving Russian missiles. Even if it´s only for blackmail, the Russians may have no choice but implementing Launch On Warning. Trident missile engineer Bob Aldridge resigned because a disarming and unanswerable first-strike capability is suicidal.

  5. I heard your whole show. Your analysis of liberal/progressive websites is 100% correct. One little factoid which you may want to know is that they ban people at those lefty sites very fast if you challenge anything they say. As long as you agree with their views these leftwing sites will not ban you. Crooks and Liars is the worst when it comes to censorship as well. Questioning Israel or the Neocons is a no-no at those leftwing sites as well. Questioning the "owners" of say C&L or AmericanBlog are forbidden unless you want to be banned as well. So, Scott, you are so correct about leftwing hypocrisy on the Internet. Most of these so-called leftwing bloggers were just anti-Bush haters and saw in Obama someone who could finally win for their side. These liberal/progressive bloggers for the most part lack the ability to think critically and many are phonies and frauds, including Arianna Huffington. Huffington hated Bill Clinton yet now loves Obama even though the current president has many of those Clinton retreads in his new administration. You know, Larry Summers, Rahm Emanuel, Leon Panetta, etc. Obama is a war-mongerer and fraud who supports war.

  6. Continued—Scott, as a leftist/radical and someone who has been banned from commenting on sites like Crooks and Liars, I just wanted to concur with your opinion about those so-called liberal/progressive sites like DU, Huffington Post, BuzzFlash, etc., regarding their b.s. By the way, I got banned at C&L because I dared to point out their double standards, yet, at the same time actually agreeing with their overall point made about NOT attacking abortion clinics, or killing abortion doctors. When it comes to Obama regarding foreign policy issues do not expect those leftwing sites like Crooks and Liars, Huffington Post, or Democratic Underground to be real honest or provide any deep analysis. The best analysis I get is here at antiwar.com and antiwarradio as well as at Counterpunch. Many people claim to be liberal or progressive when all they are really just shills for the Democratic Party which no longer represents the working man or woman.

  7. Scott, loved the way you ended the show, cussing and all!

    You would take FreedomWatch to a whole new level. The show seems to concentrate more on domestic intervention. It could use you and your guests to shore up its coverage of foreign intervention.

    To me, the next leg of our fight against tyranny is to make military service a Scarlett Letter.

    Best,

    Glenn

  8. See Nader's praise of Melman here: http://www.zmag.org/znet/viewArticle/7196
    There is other Melman content on ZNet as well.

  9. Go Scott go. Great stuff. F**king right on!!!

  10. Scott,

    This was an interesting interview. However, I think you ought to reconsider your seemingly less-than-nuanced position that government schools are not the worst problem in this country versus "the Empire."

    You're right… the Empire is a travesty for all the reasons you and Thomas mentioned. But let's not forget that this Empire rests on domestic consent in a lot of ways. Maybe libertarians and some "leftists" have withdrawn their consent to the war, but there are still millions of people in this country that support the wars and support the idea of the State, regardless of the war question.

    Where do they get those ideas? Government schools, which not only worship the State and teach that it is good and a beneficial part of a smoothly operating modern civil society, but government schools help to perpetuate the notion that there can be Good Wars and Bad Wars… if you permit people the "exception" that wars like WW2 were Good Wars, it is not too much of a leap of faith to believe that maybe all wars can be Good Wars if only they can be properly justified. And at that point you've lost them on the anti-war message completely.

    Woods was correct, that Melman's great weakness in his argument was advising that money should be spent domestically on welfare programs rather than on international war fighting and the MIC. The problem is that they're just two sides of the same coin… Empire. One side promotes moral and intellectual support for the other which executes the policy.

    I think so long as you look at these issues as isolated from one another and somehow unrelated ("I'm tired of hearing about how government schools are the worst program" paraphrasing you), your entire argument will suffer and you'll end up losing a lot of people with an incosistent message that allows for these welfarist loopholes that will ultimately work against the very objective you strive for.

    Something for you to consider, and I hope you will, you're a good thinker. Great show, thanks!

  11. Historically speaking, societies without government-funded school are not less warlike.

  12. I'm a Gattonian on education. Abolish all government schools the day before yesterday. I'm just saying the Judge's show never addresses war – the biggest and most destructive government program of all, and the "germ of every other" government evil – as a subject, though Lew Rockwell and Ron Paul bring it up when they can.

    When libertarians – especially on Fox – attack the Left from the Right, it just makes them sound like pseudo-conservatives. I prefer the Lew Rockwell approach. Loosely paraphrasing: "They are evil butchers. Mass murderers. The worst people on earth (right now anyway)."

  13. I'm a Gattonian on education. Abolish all government schools the day before yesterday. I'm just saying the Judge's show never addresses war – the biggest and most destructive government program of all, and the "germ of every other" government evil – as a subject, though Lew Rockwell and Ron Paul bring it up when they can.

    When libertarians – especially on Fox – attack the Left from the Right, it just makes them sound like pseudo-conservatives. I prefer the Lew Rockwell approach. Loosely paraphrasing: "They are evil butchers. Mass murderers. The worst people on earth (right now anyway)."

    –Scott

  14. Scott,

    I see. Thanks for the reply!

  15. Scott mentioned in the interview that shifting from military spending to a civilian economy might be difficult. However, I often make comments on liberal blogs and point out that Harding did nothing to cure the 1921 depression other than slash spending and tax rates. Tom Woods speaks to that in this video:

    http://consultingbyrpm.com/blog/2009/04/tom-woods

    The usual liberal response to my point is something like, "Oh, that was just a simple switch-over from WWI to a peace-time economy" (I'm not sure where such an argument gets them in advancing Keynesianism). I would think that such a change-over would be more traumatic than curing a simple peace-time business recession. Nevertheless, it appears that the solution to a militarized economy would necessarily be to slash spending and tax rates to effectuate a quick switch to a non-military economy. So much for military Keyensianism.

  16. Once WW2 ended, the GI Bill sent so many veterans to our colleges that they were the biggest group on any important campus. Since that time, the Universities are beholden to the GI Bill to pay tuitions for a good fraction of their enrollment. This is how since WW2 the military-industrial-complex spread into universities.

  17. Let us not forget the role the nation's colleges played in helping to keep students out of the war in Vietnam.when student's grades were raised to prevent they from being vulnerable to the draft. People like Dick Cheney were given many deferments to avoid serving in combat though many like him supported the war provided others fight it. steve, ww2

  18. I vouch for student draft deferments. In fact, I vouch for all draft deferments. I had a nice college student deferment from 1969 through March 1973. As I recall, the draft officially ended soon after my deferment expired. If my low draft lottery number hadn't made me a antiwar zealot, I might not have been so susceptible to the writings of Murray Rothbard in January, 1973. As we used to say, F*CK THE DRAFT!

  19. If they say, "Oh, that was a simple switch-over…" you might reply that the Keynesian mainstream all predicted economic disaster after World War II because of the dropoff in "spending"; they predicted catastrophic economic consequences. Why didn't these people, who share your leftist friends' views, dismiss their own fears on the grounds that this would be a "simple switch-over"?

  20. I do say that. I even send them to a site where they can check federal outlays 1945-1948:

    http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/data/budget.php

    Being leftists, they tend to be immune to little technical things — like facts and logic. At this point in the debate, they generally start calling me names like "wingnut", which I don't think is the compliment it is here in Detroit.

    http://www.wattabrightidea.com/images/Anthony_the

    My favorite insult was first being accused of learning everything I know from mass e-mails. As I further bested them in debate, I became the guy who sent out the mass e-mails.

    Love 'em.

  21. [...] Scott Horton Interviews Thomas E. Woods [...]

  22. [...] ~Arnold J. Toynbee and James Burke, as paraphrased by Wikipedia   The myth dies hard. Thomas E. Woods of the Mises Institute appeared last summer on Scott Horton’s Antiwar.com radi… to try to kill it, as quite possibly only he can, but even his deft hands are full. He’s [...]

  23. [...] ~Arnold J. Toynbee and James Burke, as paraphrased by Wikipedia   The myth dies hard. Thomas E. Woods of the Mises Institute appeared last summer on Scott Horton’s Antiwar.com radi… to try to kill it, as quite possibly only he can, but even his deft hands are full. He’s [...]

  24. [...] class.   ~Arnold J. Toynbee and James Burke, as paraphrased by Wikipedia   The myth dies hard. Thomas E. Woods of the Mises Institute appeared last summer on Scott Horton’s Antiwar.com radio pr… to try to kill it, as quite possibly only he can, but even his deft hands are full. He’s up [...]

Leave a Reply