By John Stanton
“It is wrong to believe that postwar American suburbanization prevailed because the public chose it…Suburbaniza
Turns out the “American Dream” of owning a couple of automobiles and a home with cable television in the greener pastures of the suburbs was/is, in good measure, a national security matter. The homes beyond the city center that Americans live in and the highways they cruise are all the result, directly or indirectly, of a national defense program that planers hoped would ensure the existential survivability of America.
Making it tougher for the “Reds”, or these days’ terrorists, to figure out how to vaporize the critical functional elements of America’s national power by dispersing centralized populations/indu
The United States government actively promoted the long term urban dispersal of its populations and industries because of the threat of nuclear annihilation by the, then, USSR. Immediately following World War II and throughout the 1950’s, publications like the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists carried the views of prominent officials/academ
As a result of the largely successful national defense efforts at urban dispersal in the 1950’s, today’s opponents (Russia, China, terrorists) planning a nuclear attack on, say, the Pentagon in Arlington County, Virginia–and defense industrial base office sites that surround it—know that it would be merely a symbolic act as US military command and control functions, and defense manufacturing sites, are not centralized but scattered all over the Washington, DC—Baltimore Metropolitan Region; indeed, all over the country. Deborah Natsios’ National Security SPRAWL: Washington, DC provides one of the premier studies of the after-effect of urban dispersal/suburb
The threat of nuclear war and the argument for urban dispersal/suburb
Who knew that urban renewal and building codes were based, in part, on the need for defense against nuclear weapons?
Dream On: No Free Will, No Free Market
There is a lot of bluster about the free and open market that is supposed to exist in the Western World, in particular in the United States. Senior officials revolving in and out of the federal government and the commercial sector are very fond of promoting the benefits of privatization, deregulation and the invisible hand of the free market which, allegedly, magically sets prices, encourages or discourages competition, and provides consumers free choice in the selection of hard and soft goods.
That is a really big lie.
It is the US federal government, and its national defense dollars, that has stimulated the development of nearly every single technological innovation during and since World War II. It was federal tax breaks/subsidies
According to American Capitalism and its Effects, “People in consumerist societies live by the influence of advertisements, and often methodically buy things they do not need, and in most cases, cannot afford. This, in turn, leads to greater economic disparity, and despite having the most or latest products, consumerists have a feeling of unfulfillment due to spending a lot of money, yet having nothing of personal importance.”
It is a tough thought for any American to bear in mind. At least it should be. Less than six degrees of separation removes an American from some product or service that originated from the national defense imperative.
Unmanned Aerial Vehicles/Drones, The Internet, the World Wide Web, Radar and Laser technology, Synthetic Rubber/Oil/Nylon
No wonder the US national security community, most recognizably the uniformed military services, are increasingly deified by the American public and viewed with the awe reserved for the Gods. As organized religion has faded in America, the new religion of militarism has ascended.
It makes perfect sense as it was programmed by national defense planners long ago into the sequence that is the American Dream.
John Stanton is a writer from Virginia. Reach him at captainkong22@gm