More Sorensen

Parts 2 and 3 of Christian Sorensen’s “A People’s Guide to the War Industry” are HERE and HERE. Part 1 is available HERE. All three are presented by Consortium News.

Part 2 is subtitled “Profits & Deception.” Part 3 is subtitled “Bribery & Propaganda.” (Click on them to read.)

I sent these two comments about Part 2 (quoted sentences from the article are in italics):

“I have a question concerning this paragraph: ‘The ruling class profits by underpaying the workers. A given worker on a given day produces value, which we’ll call A, B, C, D, E, F, and G. The corporation pays the worker a wage comparable to F and G. The rest (A, B, C, D, E) is “surplus value.” This difference between what a worker is paid in wages and the value a worker creates is how the corporation profits.

“Doesn’t it leave out all sorts of other expenses of the corporation, including property taxes, costs of materials including energy, corporate income taxes, and insurance? … There must be others. Possibly, these would fall under H, I, J, K, etc. If so, shouldn’t you say so?”

“A few paragraphs later: ‘We can harness the human mind in many ways. Nonetheless, so far — by the numbers — the U.S. government has only spent significant monies on military and war. Try throwing that kind of money at the sciences and arts every year — via other federal departments, such as Interior, Agriculture, Health & Human Services, Transportation — and see where unpressured, non-militarized research and development lead.

“Comment: It would help to see a pie chart or other simple graphic to put the military and war spending in context.”

I wouldn’t bother with my own comments on the second installment except that by the time I got them in, the comments window was closed.

A question on the second installment I didn’t think to ask was: roughly what percentage of the workforce in this industry is unionized, and by what international unions, and if the author thinks workforce unionization would tend to make union members averse to anti-war efforts.

The third installment, of five, is the shortest by far and seems to confine itself to vividly describing subject matter of some political science and media studies courses. In that installment one of the accompanying photos shows usually invisible National Public Radio personnel in a studio of NPR’s Washington headquarters.

— Mark Channing Miller

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