Masters of War




                           The Masters of War

Some problems are circular in nature and although logic can identify each part it cannot break the chain of causation.

In our times a major war without modern weapons would be impossible.

An accusing finger points to those responsible for weapons of war, although in the present case the target can be somewhat inaccurate. For instance who exactly are ‘The Masters of War’ as Bob Dylan sang: ‘You that make the big guns’?

To begin at the very beginning.

A simplistic question: What are guns for?

Answer: guns are for killing.

The major use and intent of these weapons is to allow human beings to explode metallic projectiles into the bodies of other humans with intent to maim or kill.

Darwin is generally considered to have given birth to the concept of evolution.

However, the manufacture of devices specifically designed to murder members of its own species can hardly be regarded as evolved.

Unless the direction of that evolution is regarded as irrelevant.

Does the manufacturer of these weapons become then the legitimate target of this accusing finger?

Unfortunately, owing to a great degree of confusion over this point the finger has been somewhat misguided and pointed at the wrong target, allowing the real perpetrators to go blithely about their business unidentified.

So who is it precisely that makes these weapons?

Is it governments?

No, governments are composed of politicians whose only function is to talk.

Then who is it?

The common answer might be given as: the armament manufacturers.

And who exactly are these?

Is it the directors of the companies?

Well, no. What a director (of any company) mostly does is make the odd phone call; dictate a letter to his secretary or send an email and then go to lunch. He never actually touches a weapon and it is doubtful if he could even get it together to make a half-decent bow and arrow.

Is it the shareholders of the company?

No all they do is receive and spend their dividends; they do not even touch these weapons.

Who then is it?

For the most part it is the working class toilers who kiss their wives each morning and leave for a day’s work at the weapons factory. There they set up their lathes, calibrate the machines and press the buttons that turn out the rifles, machine-guns, cannon, grenades and big guns and countless bullets bayonets and bombs etc.

And these are the very class of people, for the most part, that these weapons are made to kill.

Even so it is sadly doubtful if any amongst them would join an anti-war protest.

Dave Tomlin
Pic: © Roger Wright







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6 Responses to Masters of War

    1. Your article was not what I expected. I feel the Masters of War are the Military Industrial Complex gang of scum that produce missiles, etc. for use in war (often not even in war just to attack another country) and do it to MAKE MONEY. I guess it may be dangerous to even mention these literally Hell bent (I hope) bastards.

      Comment by Jean Furchtsamer on 2 May, 2013 at 8:40 pm
    2. Interesting comments are always welcome even though a little inaccurate.
      Jean, how you feel is in this case is irrellevant. Every sane person hates war; this is feeling.
      To identify exactly who makes the weapons however requires analysis, something that feeling lacks.
      Your gang of scum as my article points out, do not make weapons, they are office workers at various levels from simple clerks to directors, and their work would be the same whatever industry they sold their labour to. They do not make weapons!
      You might say they cause them to be made, but this is not so since those who actually make the weapons by their labour (for money!), could tell them where to stick their job.

      Comment by dave tomlin on 3 May, 2013 at 1:41 pm
    3. Dave, I don’t know if you remember the time when I produced a pamphlet in 1980 suggesting a particular day 1st June 1983 as a day to IMAGINE THE PLANET WITHOUT WEAPONS? In the three years between writing the A4 page and 1st June 1983 I gave many talks on the IDEA of imagining a weapon-less world. It usually took about an hour to convince the audience of the usefulness of the proposition of everyone imagining this for ONE MINUTE. When at last a minute’s silence occured the result was often explosive. On one occasion a retired Major confessed that actuall;y he was a murderer and no longer wished to be looked upto and called ‘major’!!!! Weapons are made, maintained and used by the agents of FEAR. neil oram

      Comment by neil oram on 9 May, 2013 at 2:51 pm
    4. ‘Weapons are made, maintained and used by the agents of FEAR’.

      I’m not sure that this comment is helpful in identifying those who actually make weapons, which was what my piece attempted to do. The agents of fear are, I suppose, anyone connected with the arms industry no matter how obscurely, but they don’t all make weapons. This role is filled by ordinary workers ‘just doing their job’. Therefore the contempt and disgust felt by all sane people towards the arms industry in general has been misdirected, and should now be channelled towards the real culprits which might have some effect, forcing them perhaps down on their knees to weep in shame.

      Comment by dave tomlin on 11 May, 2013 at 12:55 pm
    5. Though correct in saying working ‘class’ people make weapons your intimation involves some kind of guilt on their part. This seems unfair. When people are robbed of their rights to land, to real food and to their health, indebted for life for a home and an education they have very little choice in how to make their way in such unjust systems. However the thieves who steal our heritage and replace it with the freedom to do one thing (consume) and those who broach the deals alongside foreign ministers are the ones where we should direct our attention. You use semantics to distract the reader from the wider reality. Arms dealers are responsible for making guns. The guys in the factories are victims, though you would be right to say they are not innocent victims.

      Comment by Mike Paul on 16 May, 2013 at 11:13 pm
    6. Arms dealers are not responsible for making guns, they do not make guns they make deals. The workers in the factories who actually ‘MAKE’ the guns are of course, as you say, also victims of the wider system, but they cannot be absolved of guilt since it is directly by their hands that weapons are produced.
      The loss of land rights has been with us since the time of the enclosures, around the time of the Tudors, which was also, to put it very mildly, unfair.
      When I ask who makes the guns the emphasis is on ‘makes’. Take away the arms dealers and the foreign ministers and there would still be weapons. Your ‘wider reality’ merely confuses the issue again; the pointing finger must be accurate if it is to be effective.

      Comment by Dave Tomlin on 17 May, 2013 at 12:26 pm

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