1980s >> 1980 >> no-906-february-1980

50 Years Ago: The Cost of Armaments

At the moment of writing the stage is being prepared for the Five Power naval conference, whose object is to solve the problem that could not be solved in the 1927 Geneva conference.

What is the problem? To those who have not given much thought to it, the problem appears to be the question of the peace of the world and this view is supported by the frequent references in newspapers, pamphlets and books to the ‘spirit of peace’, the ‘spirit of humanity’, the ‘spirit of the Kellog Pact’ and various other spineless spirits . . . In fact, the problem is not the peace of the world but an attempt to set a limit to the ruinous expenditure upon armaments.

Where will it all end? The capitalist can see no end but the continued production of ever more terrible means of causing destruction. He is not concerned with the scrapping of implements of war, but only with decreasing their cost.

So, finally, the high ideals of the Naval conference are really £sd and have as much real concern for welfare of humanity as the capitalist has for the real welfare of his wage slaves.

From an article “What is behind the Naval conference?” by G. McClatchie,

Socialist Standard February 1930.