The F-35 fighter jet has been plagued by malfunctions and cost overruns for years, yet Congress continues to order up more. The bipartisan consensus to fund tools of war rather than pro-worker programs like affordable housing or childcare is still strong.
Michael Brenes teaches history at Yale University. His new book is For Might and Right: Cold War Defense Spending and the Remaking of American Democracy.
Liberal internationalism is just another shade of US imperialism, dressed up in the language of democracy. But leftists have to do more than criticize: we must develop a viable alternative that prizes international collaboration and demilitarization.
J. Edgar Hoover is notorious for his decades-long campaign to stamp out the Left by surveilling and even killing radicals like Fred Hampton. What is less well known is that liberals played an important role in enabling Hoover’s antidemocratic crusade.
From its vicious occupation in the early 20th century to its military bases in the present, the US has long had a brutal, domineering relationship with the Philippines. And crucially, it’s depended on the labor of colonized Filipinos themselves.
The American military has long been fertile ground for the far right. To weaken the radical right’s power, we need to dismantle the warfare state — and build in its place a humane welfare state that provides for all.
World War I wasn’t a war for democracy — it was a catastrophic, barbaric conflict that left tens of millions of people dead and set the stage for anti-democratic rollbacks for years to come. Anti-war socialists were right to oppose it.