Dwight Eisenhower’s farewell speech (Jan 17, 1961) still rings true … .

The most often quoted segment: 

This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence – economic, political, even spiritual – is felt in every city, every state house, every office of the federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society.

“In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.

We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.

(Does it seem to anyone else that the quality of U.S. leadership has been steadily falling for the past 50 years?)


2 thoughts on “Dwight Eisenhower’s farewell speech (Jan 17, 1961) still rings true … .

  1. It’s got to be one of the most misunderstood quotes in recent US political history. People usually only go with the “beware of the Military-Industrial Complex”, without the greater point that Eisenhower was making – namely, that the Military-Industrial Complex is dangerous but also necessary, so you need to be watchful.

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