On the homepage today, we publish an expanded version of a piece that appears in the current issue: “Ike as Weapon: The use and abuse of Eisenhower’s Farewell Address, with its warning about the ‘military-industrial complex.’” It begins this way:
Suggest that the defense budget be increased, and you may well hear about Eisenhower’s Farewell Address. Tsk tsk, people will say: the military-industrial complex. We must not forget Eisenhower’s warning about that complex. A reminder of the 34th president is supposed to put a conservative Republican, in particular, in his place. People who otherwise have no use for Eisenhower or his brand of Republicanism — liberals, leftists, “paleocons,” and libertarians — suddenly like Ike, when it comes to this military-industrial complex.
Paul said, “Even Eisenhower, back in the ’50s, said, you know, ‘Beware of the military-industrial complex.’” That word “even” is full of meaning. Eisenhower was the winning general in a world war, which is why people such as Paul use him as a weapon.
It is done ignorantly. We tend to know just one phrase from Eisenhower’s Farewell Address — “military-industrial complex” — but the context of the phrase is important, and so is the speech as a whole. The speech, as I say in my piece, is a “minor classic of conservatism.” It deserves to be known (as well as heeded).
I don’t remember the Pheromones, but it sounds like they would have been perfect for my Ann Arbor.