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From warfare to peacefare economic thinking从战争到和平的经济思维

By Jan Oberg, PhD , co-founder and director of  The Transnational Foundation for Peace and Future Research, TFF, in Lund, Sweden
文|扬·奥伯格(Jan Oberg)  瑞典隆德跨国和平与未来研究基金会创始人、主任、博士        翻译|王晓波

导读

世界需要新思维、新理论和新结构来解决问题——再也不能不假思索地将钱和武器用于已经失效、过时的社会经济体系了,因为人们误以为它能解决任何问题。但事实上,它只会使问题恶化,并加剧衰退和灭亡

全球军事消费:规模和涉及的一些方面

经济战和环境战争

武器生意

从民用经济向军事经济转变,或者反过来

商业促进和平

 

 

Jan Oberg:Jan Oberg (1951) is a Danish-Swedish peace researcher with a PhD in sociology, a docent degree in peace and conflict studies and an extensive writing and lecturing career.
His best known books are Myths of Our Security (1981), Developing Security and Securing Development (1983), Winning Peace (with Dietrich Fischer and Wilhelm Nolte 1988) and Predictable Fiasco. On the Iraq Conflict and Denmark as an Occupying Power (2004). Since then, he publishes only online.
He is co-founder and director of the independent think tank, The Transnational Foundation for Peace and Future Research (TFF) in Lund, Sweden, where he has lived since 1972. Its website is https://transnational.live He also has a personal blog at https://janoberg.me – and his CV site is https://janoberg.taplink.ws/
Jan Oberg has received a number of awards, has been nominated many times for the Nobel Peace Prize. He is an honorary doctor at the Buddhist Soka University in Tokyo.
More: https://janoberg.me
More: https://obergphotographics.com


Global military consumption: Its size and some of its dimensions

In this article we shall explore some basic connections between war, economy and peace. They are fundamentally important for any society but one seldom finds comprehensive analyses of their complex relations and lots of empirical data seem to simply not even exist.

Indeed, in spite of its huge size, the worldwide military economy is probably the least researched and therefore least problematised and discussed aspect of the global economy.

The combined national budget allocations for military affairs worldwide amounted to US$ 2100 billion in 2021, or 2,2% of the global GDP ①.  The five biggest spenders in 2020, which together accounted for 62 per cent of global military expenditure, were the United States, China, India, Russia and the United Kingdom.

It seems immediately striking that there is comparatively little research on what this specific resource consumption means for the world in terms of economic performance, its positive and negative effects on other sectors and interactions as well as its opportunity costs.

The mentioned sum of US$ 2100 billion can be compared with other types of allocations in the global economy. Estimates of how much money it would take to end global climate change range between $300 billion and $50 trillion over the next two decades. ②The UN peacekeeping budget is just over US$ 6,5 billion, or 0,3% of the world’s military consumption, and the basic UN budget approved by the UN General Assembly for 2021 was US$ 3,2 billion. ③

And if the world had the political will to end global poverty and the absurd wealth gap, one may quote Grace Zhao of the Borgen Project: – ”According to Mark Anielski, co-founder of the Canadian company Genuine Wealth, it would cost $29.39 billion to bump the incomes of 5.64 billion people to just $10 a day. This amount does not include individuals earning below $10 in developed countries. Though the cost seems steep, in reality, $29.39 billion is only 0.5% of the estimated wealth of our billionaires. That is how much it really costs to fight global poverty. Even if income for the 80% living below $10 a day was bumped up to $20 a day, the $85.7 billion would only add up to 1.6% of the wealth of billionaires.” ④

Further, let’s also point out that there are a number of complementary costs associated with the national military budgets. Thus, in real terms, one should add:

a. costs for veterans returning from the wars and being a social cost burden on the economy for the rest of their lives;
b. costs of those who die in warfare abroad and, therefore, cannot contribute to their country’s economy;
c. intelligence services;
d. civil defence and homeland defence;
e. some university and other institutes carrying out defence and war-related research,
f. debt repayment on loans obtained for defence and war purposes;
g. think tanks with a focus on the security sector and whose research results are integrated into military decision-making by various agencies.

Another item that is intimately connected with the global security and war economy is military research and development (R&D). Some of it may be included in national defence budgets, some of it is part of the national education and science budget. Data is not easy to come by but, the in 2017 the top ten OECD countries spent almost US$ 70 billion on military R&D. ⑤

The military share of global public R & D seems to be unknown. However, a recent study based on figures up to 2009 indicates that the military share of total national public R & D varies between about 0.5% and 55%, thus for instance: Finland 2%, Canada 5%, Italy 4%, Norway 6%, South Korea 17%, Spain 18%, Sweden 18%, United Kingdom 35% and the United States 57%. ⑥

Then there is the issue of spin-off, i.e. the civilian utility of military research. Again, up-to-date, overall figures seem non-existent. However, what can be said is that if society needs a particular product – say hearing devices, global communication systems like the Internet or teflon pans – it would be cheaper to allocate resources directly for R&D into them than waiting for military R&D to perhaps – or perhaps not – lead to such products by spin-off from weapons R&D.

It can safely be stated that a sizeable percentage – up to about 50% – of the best brains in a series of countries are devoted to developing more and more sophisticated weapons and warfare doctrines rather than to R&D for the betterment of humanity in terms of basic human need satisfaction, civilian socio-economic development, health, welfare and happiness.

So, to summarise what we’ve said so far: The real costs of the military world is much higher than national budget allocation for ministries of ’defence.’

And then there is the global arms trade. According to SIPRI which measures the trade in major weapons but not all weapons, the figure for 2019 at US$ 118 billion adding that ”the true figure is likely to be higher.” ⑦ The five largest exporters in 2014 – 2018 were the United States, Russia, France, Germany and China. Together, they accounted for 75% of the total volume of arms exports in 2014–18. In terms of trends, US and French arms exports rise; Russian, Chinese and German arms exports fall.
In summary: While it must be taken into account that we do not have all the empirical facts and build on some expert estimates which are based on a series of assumptions rather than measurable empirical facts, the mere proportions are mind-boggling: The governments of the world prioritise military affairs – security and warfare capabilities – way over civilian conflict-resolution and the solution of humanity’s most urgent problems such as environmental degradation and poverty alleviation. In purely economic terms, solving them would, it seems, cost only a fraction over a few years of one year’s military consumption.

The huge sums we have just shed light on are also clearly under-researched. Rather little seems to be known about the positive and negative effects of this particular resource allocation and how it impacts on the economy of various sectors, supply chains and more in countries, regions as well as globally.

Therefore, in proportion to the possible US$ 2000-3000 billion we are here focusing on, there is woefully little research, political and media discussion – also of the possible alternatives: Such as handling conflicts in non-military ways, methods of converting military resources and put them to good use for the betterment of people’s lives and the so-called opportunity costs: What could the world, humanity, achieve if we seriously pursues the UN high goal, stated for decades, of general and complete disarmament?
One explanation of this enigmatic state of affairs is, of course, that the world’s many national MIMACs – Military-Industrial-Media-Academic Complexes – consisting mainly of elites with common interests in armament rather than peace and operating mostly outside democratic domains – have a vested interest in living without too much public attention and debate. Another explanation is that governments which conduct wars and give preference to military over civilian defence and security measures generally do not tend to finance critical research about that or research into the many other options.

 

Economic and environmental warfare

So far we have looked at the resources allocation aspects: What’s the price of the world’s military and the overarmament culture that could be called militarism? How does it compare with what governments allocate to other, less destructive and more productive purposes?

But then there is also warfare conducted through economic means, a kind of weaponisation of economic interactions that are otherwise supposed to be free and regulated by market mechanisms.

Here economic and financial resources are used as a weapon against political and/or economic adversaries. They can be trade blocs that exclude others, sanctions, embargos, transport cut-offs, blockades and tarifs, cutting off countries from payment services such as SWIFT, etc. Think also of the misuse, or withholding, of medicine and humanitarian aid for political purposes or using food as a weapon, now so cynically growing out of the NATO/Russia conflict in Ukraine.

With its over 8000 economic sanctions, the US stands for almost half of all sanction regimes worldwide which, over time, has cost countries (and the US itself) billions of dollars and killed millions of people. ⑧

And there is a war on the environment. Dumping waste into the oceans could be termed environmental warfare, war on the environment. So too is spreading mines throughout large agricultural areas that can then not be used for production for years. Or one may think of chemical warfare – such as agents for defoliation – as well as what the environmental consequences would be of the use of nuclear weapons that would turn vast territories into radioactive deserts. And there is the use of land for bases, exercises, military infrastructure etc. Allegedly, the world’s military is the largest single polluter on earth – perversely so in the name of ’security.’ ⑨

We are here moving beyond genocide and must use terms such as eco-cide and omni-cide – the latter the result of the use of just a fraction of the world’s nuclear arsenals.
Sadly, we must acknowledge that the environment, Mother Earth, is also a silent victim of militarism, economic and military warfare shaped mainly by male scientists, politicians, generals, etc. We seem to be oblivious to the extent and depth to which global politics operates on a male-dominated anthropocentric social cosmology, or implicit way of thinking.

 

The business of weapons

It is true that there is money and employment in arms production. One reason is that it is a monopsonistic market – i.e. there is only one client, the state. Cost overruns happens as a rule in all advanced weapons projects, and the taxpayers will have to swallow them.

What is not true is that the ’military-industrial complex’ is good for the overall economy.

Advanced weapons production is extremely capital-intensive and creates comparatively little employment and, thus, consumption. By and large the weapons industry is a cancer on a society’s economy compared with investments in the social, cultural and educational sectors.

But of course, if a country destroys another country, it may hope to gain contracts for the reconstruction and thereby get rid of its surplus capital – and prepare for the next destruction.

 

Conversion from civilian to military economy and vice versa

There are virtually no studies of how fast a country can switch from a peacetime to a wartime economy. Conversion simply happens because it is considered politically necessary – for instance when a country decides to start or join a war.

One may take the topical example of arming Ukraine and re-arming all NATO members as a response to the Russian military intervention in Ukraine.

Within a few months, between US$ 50-100 billion has been allocated by NATO and other countries in military support to Ukraine. Germany immediately decided to increase its budget to roughly US$ 110 billion (Russia’s total military budget is US$ 66 billion). NATO emphasises an immediate increase to at least 2% of the alliance members’ GDP and Secretary-General Stoltenberg told the world on June 27, 2022, prior to NATO’s Madrid Summit, that that should now be seen as a floor rather than as a ceiling. He also announced the alliance’s “biggest overhaul of collective defense and deterrence since the Cold War” through increasing the strength of its rapid reaction force nearly eightfold to 300,000 troops from 40,000. He also told the world that, since 2014, NATO has increased its collective military budget by US$ 350 billion – that is about 5 times more than Russia’s total military budget.

In the face of such formidable steps, one may legitimately ask socio-economic questions such as these: Where is the money going to come from in economies that were already under strain from economic decline and the Covid pandemic? Which social classes will pay the price – what social benefits will be reduced and for whom? What has such decision-making at summits far away from parliaments got to do with democracy? And with NATO already spending 12 times more than Russia on armament, is there any thinkable point at which enough will ever be enough?

These same countries have never shown a convincing will to find the necessary funds that are needed for, say, global poverty alleviation, eradicating illiteracy or put a brake on the speed down the road to global environmental catastrophe. Instead, the perverse proportions we have outlined in the first sections of this analysis are destined to get not a little but much worse.

Are we, perhaps, seeing a Western world arming itself to death instead of solving its own, self-inflicted structural as well as philosophical problems?  

What will be necessary for humanity to survive is disarmament and trans-armament – change in the thinking and practising of defence and security that will not become a perpetuum mobile for militarism – that is toward a fundamentally new defensive defence, human and global – common – security thinking and conversion of militarist resources to intelligent civilian conflict-management – and education for it.

Regrettable, economist and politicians have told the world for decades that it would be very difficult to convert military industries to civilian use. But that isn’t true. There do exist studies – also commissioned by the United Nations such as the Thorson Report – that overwhelmingly document that it is eminently possible to convert military industries to civilian production and thereby boost socio-economic productivity and innovation. There is much more employment to be created in sectors such as health, education, and culture than in military production. It’s better to build fascinating new cities and create sustainable societies than to first destroy a society and then re-build it – as in Bosnia, Iraq, Libya, Syria, etc.

All it takes is a) an ability to live with images of real challenges instead of inventing enemies by demonisation and paranoia; b) a switch to a new way of defence and security thinking; c) a more global common-humanity perspective than narrow nationalism, and finally d) a political will to set in motion such conversion Shall a global military catastrophe in the wake of rampant militarism happen before we come to our senses.

 

Business for peace

It’s often stated that countries go to war for economic reasons, for instance to gain access to valuable minerals and energy deposits. That is true in many cases but most often those wars turn out to cost much more in economic, environmental and human terms than what the country earns.

We say ”Go to war” – but could countries also ”Go to peace” – and what would that mean?

Could we also think of economic – and other – peacefare?  That is, ways to structure extraction, production, consumption and waste-handling in such a way that we do as little harm to other countries, people, culture and environment as possible and cooperate for the common good rather than for the exploitation of them for just our own interest?

There is no doubt possible that we could build peace – i.e. reduce all kinds of violence and realise human and societal potentials – when we shape our economies. But capitalism is not a system that takes all factors and interests into account or treat them in win/win terms, rather more in win/lose in the short-term perspective and lose/lose in the long-term.

What the world needs to urgently discuss is how to shape a new economic system that reduces all kinds of violence – direct physical, psychological, structural, cultural and environmental – that is as unavoidable as rampant with the capitalist limitless materialist growth philosophy.

How do we satisfy human material and non-material needs for all with a system that does as little harm to other people, other cultures and to Mother Earth in the process of extraction, production, consumption and waste handling/recycling? While there are limits to quantity, there are no limits to quality.

Such theories exist, from Gandhi and onwards, but they are left out of universities and the public discourse. Departments of Economy and Colleges of Commerce don’t seem to have a clue but train people to fit into the philosophical and mindless wasteland called the market place, devoid of values, norms and ethics. As Oscar Wilde let’s one of his characters say: ”What is a cynic? Its’ a man who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing.”

Capitalist and military – MIMAC – power elites go for short-term thinking and profits, not for the common good of humanity in the long-term perspective.

Fair or equal-benefit cooperation creates synergy and mutual, human as well as economic growth. That’s of course something the confrontational, violent economy theory and economic warfare by definition never can. It’s self- as well as other-destructive. And there are reasons to believe that it’s coming to an end.

The world needs new thinking, new theories and new structures to solve its problems – not more automatic pumping money and weapons into defunct, outdated socio-economic systems in the delusional belief that that will solve any problems. It will aggravate them and accelerate the decline and fall.

When we cooperate and create win-win outcomes in horisontal structures, we get to know each other and become mutually (not unequal/exploitative) dependent. That opens up, at least in principle, for the potential to reduce the risk of conflict and war. Particularly when the economy tools are not used to transfer values but to show respect for cultural and other differences – unity in diversity instead of uniformity. Many and different economies networking – but not one master plan to be imposed on everybody else worldwide.

More or less missionary universalisation of one culture’s system makes everyone more poor and create legitimate resistance. The Occident should recognise that before it is too late.

That would also increase multipolarity and diversity and reduce vulnerability. A single, totally integrated world economy would, if in systemic crisis, drag everyone down. Globalisation presupposes a certain degree of self-reliance and diversity.

If moved forward wisely, one would like to hope that China’s visionary macro project in both time and space – the Belt and Road Initiative, BRI – will not only bind the world together in peace and diversity but could also shape a whole new philosophy of peaceful and sustainable global co-existence.

Because, as Danish philosopher Piet Hein says it, we must choose: Co-existence or No-existence.

(https://janoberg.me/ for more information about the author.)

①According to SIPRI, Stockholm
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_military_expenditures
②See Sami Adler, How Much Would It Cost to End Climate Change?
https://www.globalgiving.org/learn/cost-to-end-climate-change/
③See ”The UN budget” at Better World Campaign
https://betterworldcampaign.org/resources/briefing-book-2022/united-nations-budget
④Grace Zhao, How Much Does It Cost to End Global Poverty?
https://borgenproject.org/how-much-does-it-really-cost-to-eliminate-global-poverty/
⑤Congressional Research Service, Government Expenditures on Defense Research and Development by the US and other OECD countries. Fact sheet.
https://sgp.fas.org/crs/natsec/R45441.pdf. Statista has these data:
https://www.statista.com/statistics/1102845/government-research-development-defense-spending-oecd-country/
⑥See Enrico Moretti, Claudia Steinwender and John Van Reenen, The Intellectual Spoils of War?, University of California at Berkely, 2021
https://eml.berkeley.edu/~moretti/military.pdf
⑦SIPRI, Financial value of the global arms trade
https://www.sipri.org/databases/financial-value-global-arms-trade
⑧See for instance, Jomo Kwame Sundaram and Anis Chowdhury, ”US leads Sanctions Killing Millions to No End”
https://transnational.live/2022/06/23/us-leads-sanctions-killing-millions-to-no-end/
⑨See TFF’s magazine ”Bootprint – Militarism & Environment”
https://flipboard.com/@janoberg/bootprint—militarism-environment-tk0qmnrsy

About The Transnational Foundation for Peace & Future Research, TFF

“TFF – The Transnational Foundation for Peace & Future Research – is an independent think tank, a global network that aims to bring about peace by peaceful means. It inspires a passion for peace from the grassroots to the corridors of power.
TFF is a global network think tank. It promotes conflict-mitigation and reconciliation in general, as well as in a more targeted way in a selected number of conflict regions – through meticulous on-the-ground research, active listening, education and advocacy.
The Foundation is committed to doing diagnosis and prognosis as well as proposing solutions. It does so in a clear, pro-peace manner.”
TFF works in support of two major UN Charter norms – “to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war” and that “peace shall be brought about by peaceful means”.
The Foundation helps people learn to handle conflicts with less violence towards other human beings, other cultures and nature. Many of its Associates are professors or teachers in other capacities.
TFF is a networking organization with Nordic and international Associates. It is all-volunteer, accepts as a principle no funds from government or corporations.
We believe that alternatives to the main trends of our time are desirable and possible – indeed necessary for humankind to survive and live with dignity.
TFF is critical and constructive. It is and shall remain an experiment in applied peace research and global networking.
More: https://transnational.live

 

 


 



扬·奥伯格(Jan Oberg):

扬·奥伯格是一名丹麦裔的瑞典和平研究员。上世纪80年代,他担任隆德大学和平与冲突研究所(LUPRI)所长,并在这十年中担任丹麦政府安全与裁军政策委员会(SNU)委员。1989年离开隆德大学后,他曾多次在日本、奥地利、意大利和瑞士担任客座教授,并曾在这些国家以及南斯拉夫、布隆迪、美国、俄罗斯、北欧国家等地举办学术课程或讲座。扬·奥伯格曾在南斯拉夫、格鲁吉亚、布隆迪、索马里、伊拉克、伊朗和叙利亚等战区担任冲突分析师、调解人、顾问和和平教育家。他最著名的著作包括《我们的安全神话》(1981)、《发展安全和确保发展》(1983)、《赢得和平》(与Dietrich Fischer和Wilhelm Nolte 合著,1988)、《可预见的惨败》以及《丹麦作为占领国》(2004)。

 

全球军事消费:规模和涉及的一些方面

在这篇文章中,我们将探讨战争、经济与和平之间的一些基本联系。它们对任何社会都至关重要,但人们很少能找到对其复杂关系的综合分析,而且许多实证数据似乎根本不存在。

事实上,尽管全球军事经济规模巨大,但它可能是全球经济中研究最少的方面,因此提出的问题和讨论也就最少。

2021年,各国用于全球军事事务的国家预算拨款总额达到2.1万亿美元,占全球GDP的2.2%①。2020年,美国、中国、印度、俄罗斯和英国五大军费支出国的合计支出占到全球军费支出的62%。

令人震惊的是,对于这一特定资源消费对世界意味着什么的研究相对较少,包括其经济表现、对其他行业的积极和消极的影响与互动以及它的机会成本。

上面提到的2.1万亿美元的总额可以与全球经济中其他类型的拨款进行比较。据估计,在未来20年内,解决全球气候变化所需的资金规模在3000亿美元至50万亿美元之间②。联合国的维和预算刚刚超过65亿美元,占世界军事消费的0.3%,而联合国大会批准的2021年联合国基本预算为32亿美元③。

如果世界有解决全球贫困和令人惊愕的贫富悬殊的政治意愿,那么可以听听博根项目的格雷斯·赵说过的一段话:“根据加拿大真实财富公司联合创始人马克·安尼尔斯基的测算,确保56.4亿人的收入每天都能达到10美元,需要花费293.9亿美元。这一数值没有包括发达国家中收入低于10美元的那些人。虽然这笔钱听上去金额很大,但实际上它只是亿万富翁估计财富的0.5%。而它就是消除全球贫困的真正成本。即使把每天生活在10美元以下的80%的人的收入增加到20美元,所需的857亿美元也只占亿万富翁财富的1.6%。”④此外,我们还要指出,与国家军事预算相关的还有许多额外成本。具体来讲,它们包括:从战场归来的那些退伍军人的费用,以及他们余生开支所形成的社会费用负担;那些在国外战争中阵亡的人的成本,因为他们无法再为其国家的经济做出贡献;情报部门;民防和国土防御;一些大学和其他从事与国防和战争相关的研究机构;为国防和战争目的获得的贷款的债务偿还;聚焦安全领域的智囊团,其研究成果被各机构用于军事决策的参考。

另一个与全球安全和战争经济密切相关的方面是军事研发。其中一些可能纳入国防预算中,一些则成为国家教育和科学预算的一部分。这方面的数据不容易获得,不过2017年,经合组织前十大国家在军事研发上花费了近700亿美元⑤。

全球公共研发中的军事份额似乎不得而知。不过,最近一项基于截至2009年数据的研究表明,军事在国家公共研发总额中所占的份额在0.5%到55%之间,例如:芬兰2%、加拿大5%、意大利4%、挪威6%、韩国17%、西班牙18%、瑞典18%、英国35%和美国57%⑥。

随之而来的是其附带的利益问题,即军事研究的民用效用。这方面同样无法获取最新的总体数字。但是,可以肯定的是,如果社会需要一种特定的产品,比如听力设备、像互联网这样的全球通信系统或者不粘锅,那么将用于研发的财力直接分配到这些产品研发中要比军事研发等待可能——也许不可能——衍生出来像武器这样的产品便宜得多。

还可以有把握地说,在众多国家中,相当比例(可能高达50%)的最优秀的人才致力于开发越来越尖端的武器和作战策略,而不是投身于改善人类的基本需求、民间社会经济发展、健康、福利和幸福的研发。

因此,总结一下我们到目前为止所表述的:军事领域的实际成本远高于“国防部”的国家预算拨款。

接下来就是全球武器交易。根据专门测算主要武器(但不是所有武器)的瑞典斯德哥尔摩国际和平研究所(SIPRI)提供的数据,2019年武器交易的金额为1180亿美元,它并补充说“准确的数字可能会更高”⑦。2014年至2018年,美国、俄罗斯、法国、德国和中国是五大武器出口国,它们的武器出口合计占到武器出口总量的75%。从趋势上看,美国和法国的武器出口有所上升;俄罗斯、中国和德国的武器出口有所下降。

总而言之,虽然必须考虑到我们并没有所有的实证事实,只是基于一些专家的一系列假设而非可测算的实证事实的估计,但仅仅是这样的比例就已经令人惊愕了:世界各国的政府将军事事务——安全和战争能力——置于解决民间冲突以及像环境恶化和减贫等人类最紧迫的问题之上。从纯粹经济学的角度看,解决这些问题所需的成本在几年时间里似乎只占一年军事支出的一小部分。

我们在上面提到的用于军事的巨额资金显然也没有得到充分研究。关于这一特定资源分配的积极和消极方面,以及它对各行业和供应链的经济影响乃至对国家、地区和全球的影响,人们似乎知之甚少。

也就是说,面对我们在这里关注的可能高达2000-3000亿美元的巨额资金,令人遗憾的是,几乎没有人对此进行研究,政界和媒体也没有讨论——而且没有可能的替代方案,例如,以非军事方式处理冲突,将军事资源转而用于改善人民的生活;以及所谓的机会成本:如果我们认真追求联合国几十年来倡导的全面彻底裁军的崇高目标,世界和人类能够实现什么?

对这一神秘现象的一种解释是,世界上许多国家的军事工业媒体学术综合体(MIMACS)主要由在军备而非和平方面有共同利益的精英组成,而且他们主要在民主领域之外运作,即在没有太多公众关注和辩论的情况下享受着既得利益。另一种解释是,进行战争并优先考虑军事措施而非民事防御和安全措施的政府通常不愿意资助有关这一话题的重要研究或对许多其他选项展开研究。

 

经济战和环境战争

到目前为止,我们从资源配置方面进行了探讨:世界军队和可以被称为军国主义的过度武装文化的代价是什么?它与政府分配给其他用于破坏性较小、生产性更强的资金相比较是怎样的情况?

但是,除此以外还有通过经济手段进行的战争,它是一种经济互动的武器化,不是自由的或由市场机制监管的。

当前,经济和金融资源被用作对付政治和/或经济对手的武器。它们可以是采取将一些国家排除在外,对其进行制裁、禁运、运输中断、封锁和加征关税,或者切断其SWIFT等支付服务的贸易集团。此外,还有出于政治目的滥用或扣留药品和人道主义援助,或将粮食当作武器的做法。现在北约与俄罗斯在乌克兰的冲突就正在这样愈演愈烈。

美国对俄采取了一万多项经济制裁,占到全球制裁措施的近一半。多年来,这些制裁已经使许多国家(包括美国本身)损失了数十亿美元,造成数百万人死亡⑧。

还有对环境的战争。向海洋倾倒废物可以被称为环境战,即对环境实施的战争。在大片的农业地区布设地雷也是如此,这些地雷导致这些土地在几年内都不能用于生产。此外,人们可能还会想到化学战——例如落叶剂——以及使用核武器后导致大片土壤变成放射性沙漠的环境后果。还有将土地用于基地、演习和军事基础设施的做法。据称,世界上的军队是对地球最大的单一污染者——而它却打着“安全”的旗号⑨。

我们在这里虽然不会用到种族灭绝,但必须使用诸如生态灭绝和全灭这样的术语——后者是使用世界核武库中的一小部分就会产生的后果。

可悲的是,我们必须承认,环境和地球是主要由男性科学家、政治家和将军们等发起的军国主义、经济和军事战争的无声受害者。我们似乎忽视了全球政治在男性主导的以人类为中心的社会宇宙学或通过其固有的思维方式进行操纵的广度和深度。

 

武器生意

的确,武器生产过程中有金钱和就业机会。一个原因是它是一个垄断市场——只有一个客户,即国家。在所有先进武器项目中,成本超支的现象时常都会发生,最终纳税人不得不为它们“埋单”。

不真实的是,“军工综合体”认为武器对整体经济有利的说法。

先进的武器生产是高度资本密集型的,但它创造的就业机会和消费都相对较少。总的来说,与社会、文化和教育领域的投资相比,武器工业是社会经济的一个毒瘤。

当然,如果一个国家摧毁了另一个国家,它可能希望获得重建该国家的合同,这样它就可以利用其剩余资本,并为下一次破坏做好准备。

 

从民用经济向军事经济转变,或者反过来

实际上针对一个国家能以多快的速度从和平时期转变为战时经济几乎没有任何研究。转变仅仅是因为它从政治上讲被认为是必要的——例如,当一个国家决定发动或加入战争时。

我们可以举一个时下热门的例子,即武装乌克兰并重新武装所有的北约成员国,以应对俄罗斯对乌克兰的军事干预。

在短短几个月时间里,北约和其他国家就向乌克兰提供了500亿至1000亿美元的军事支持。德国立刻决定将其军事预算增加到大约1100亿美元(俄罗斯的军事预算总额是660亿美元)。北约也马上强调将联盟成员国的军事预算至少提高到其GDP2%的水平。2022年6月27日,在北约举行马德里首脑会议之前,秘书长斯托尔滕贝格告诉世界,现在这应该被视为是一个下限,而不是上限。他宣布,通过将其快速反应部队的兵力从4万人增加到30万人(增长了约8倍),联盟“对集体防御和威慑进行了自冷战以来最大的一次彻底改革”。他还告诉世界,自2014年以来,北约已将其集体军事预算增加了3500亿美元,这大约是俄罗斯军事总预算的5倍。

面对如此令人吃惊的举措,人们完全有理由提出这样的社会经济问题:在经济衰退和新冠疫情已经给经济造成巨大压力的情形下,资金将从何而来?哪些社会阶层将为此付出代价?哪些人的社会福利会减少?为谁减少?在远离议会的峰会上做出这样的决策与民主有什么关系?考虑到北约在军备上的支出已经是俄罗斯的12倍,有没有一个思考点能够确定军备预算到多少就足够了?

同样是这些国家,对于寻求其他必要的资金,比如,全球减贫、扫盲或阻止全球环境灾难性改变的步伐,却从未表现出令人信服的意愿。相反,我们在前面分析中概述的反常做法注定会变得更糟。

或许我们看到的西方世界正在将自己武装到死亡,也不愿意解决自已造成的结构性和哲学问题吗?

人类生存需要做的是裁军和超越军备——国防与安全的思维和实践的变化不会永远被军国主义所左右——这是为了实现一种全新的防御性防御和人类及全球共同的安全思维,同时将军国主义使用的资源转化为用智慧的方式对平民冲突加以管理,并对他们进行教育。

令人遗憾的是,经济学家和政界人士几十年来一直告诉世界,将军工产业转为民用事业非常困难。但这不是事实。确实有一些研究——并且受到联合国的委托,比如索尔森报告——绝大多数都证明了将军事工业转变为民用生产,从而提高社会经济生产力和创新的可能性。而且与军工生产相比,卫生、教育和文化等领域能够创造更多的就业机会。与其先摧毁一个社会,然后再重建它——比如在波斯尼亚、伊拉克、利比亚、叙利亚等地,不如直接把城市建设得焕然一新和具有吸引力,并保持社会的可持续发展。

做到这一点需要:面对真实挑战的能力,而不是通过妖魔化和偏执来制造敌人;转向新的国防和安全思维方式;一个比狭隘的民族主义更具全球人类共性的视角;做出这种转变的政治意愿。

在我们清醒过来之前,军国主义的猖獗会给全球带来军事灾难吗?

 

商业促进和平

人们经常说,国家出于经济原因发动战争,例如为了获得有价值的矿产和能源储备。在很多时候,情况的确如此,但在大多数情况下,这些战争在经济、环境和人力方面的成本远远高出该国的收入。

当我们说“开战”时,国家是否能“走向和平”?它究竟意味着什么?

我们还能想到经济和其他方面的和平吗?也就是说,怎样构建开采、生产、消费和废物处理的结构,尽可能将我们对其他国家、人民、文化和环境的危害降到最低,并且为着共同利益展开合作,而不是仅仅为了我们自己的利益去利用它们?

毫无疑问,当我们在发展经济时,我们可以建设和平,即减少各种暴力,并充分拓展人类和社会的潜力。但是资本主义并不是一个将所有因素和利益都考虑在内或者以双赢的方式面对它们的制度,它更愿意从短期角度来看赢输,最终造成从长期来看双输的结果。

现在世界迫切需要讨论的是如何形成一个新的经济体系,减少各种暴力,包括直接的毁坏和在心理、结构、文化及环境方面的破坏。由于资本主义无限制的物质增长哲学极其泛滥,所以各种暴力形式也就无法避免。

那么在开采、生产、消费和废物处理/回收过程中,我们怎样才能通过对其他人、其他文化和地球危害最小的做法来满足所有人的物质和非物质需求?数量或许有限制,但质量是没有限制的。

这样的理论从甘地开始就已存在,但它们被排除在大学和公共话语之外。经济系和商学院似乎也对此束手无策,结果只能训练学生去适应这种被称为市场的哲学和愚蠢的荒地,完全无视价值观、规范和道德。正如奥斯卡·王尔德借他作品中的一个角色所说的那样:“什么是愤世嫉俗者?就是一个知道一切东西的价格,却不知道任何东西价值的人。”

资本家和军事工业媒体学术综合体的精英们追求短期思维和利润,而不是从长远角度来看待人类的共同利益。

基于公平和平等的利益合作创造了协同效应,并且能够促进彼此、人类以及经济的发展。当然,这是熟知的对抗性的、暴力经济理论和经济战永远无法做到的,因为后者是自私和损人的。我们有理由相信它终将结束。

世界需要新思维、新理论和新结构来解决问题——再也不能不假思索地将钱和武器用于已经失效、过时的社会经济体系了,因为人们误以为它能解决任何问题。但事实上,它只会使问题恶化,并加剧衰退和灭亡。

当我们平等地合作并创造出双赢的结果时,我们能够相互了解和相互依靠(而不会出现不平等或剥削)。这至少在原则上为减少冲突和战争风险的可能性开辟了道路。特别是当经济工具不是用来强加价值观,而是用来表示对不同文化和差异的尊重时,即多元统一而不是一致性。许多不同的经济体构成了网络——但不会将一个总体规划强加给全世界所有人。

或多或少,以一种文化制度作为普世价值只会使每个人都更加贫穷,并引发合法的抵抗。西方人应该在为时已晚之前认识到这一点。

这也将增加多极化和多样性,减少脆弱性。如果陷入系统性危机,一个单一的、完全一体化的世界经济将拖累所有国家。而全球化则是以一定程度的自力更生和多样性为前提的。

如果能够睿智地向前推进,我们希望中国提出的在时间和空间上都富有远见的宏大项目——“一带一路”倡议——不仅可以把世界在和平与多样性中团结在一起,而且还能够形成一种关于和平与全球可持续共存的全新哲学。

因为,正如丹麦哲学家皮埃特·海因所言,我们必须做出选择:共存或者不存在。

(有关作者的更多详情可登录他的个人网页:https://janoberg.me/)

参考文献:
①According to SIPRI, Stockholm
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_military_expenditures
② See Sami Adler, How Much Would It Cost to End Climate Change?
https://www.globalgiving.org/learn/cost-to-end-climate-change/
③ See ”The UN budget” at Better World Campaign
https://betterworldcampaign.org/resources/briefing-book-2022/united-nations-budget
④Grace Zhao, How Much Does It Cost to End Global Poverty?
https://borgenproject.org/how-much-does-it-really-cost-to-eliminate-global-poverty/
⑤ Congressional Research Service, Government Expenditures on Defense Research and Development by the US and other OECD countries. Fact sheet.
https://sgp.fas.org/crs/natsec/R45441.pdf. Statista has these data:
https://www.statista.com/statistics/1102845/government-research-development-defense-spending-oecd-country/
⑥ See Enrico Moretti, Claudia Steinwender and John Van Reenen, The Intellectual Spoils of War?, University of California at Berkely, 2021
https://eml.berkeley.edu/~moretti/military.pdf
⑦SIPRI, Financial value of the global arms trade
https://www.sipri.org/databases/financial-value-global-arms-trade
⑧See for instance, Jomo Kwame Sundaram and Anis Chowdhury, ”US leads Sanctions Killing Millions to No End”
https://transnational.live/2022/06/23/us-leads-sanctions-killing-millions-to-no-end/
⑨See TFF’s magazine ”Bootprint – Militarism & Environment”
https://flipboard.com/@janoberg/bootprint—militarism-environment-tk0qmnrsy

 

跨国和平与未来研究基金会(TFF,The Transnational Foundation for Peace and Future Research)

TFF——跨国和平与未来研究基金会——是一个独立的智库,一个旨在通过和平手段实现和平的全球网络。它激发了从基层到权力走廊的和平热情。
基金会也是一个全球网络智库。它通过细致的实地研究、积极的倾听、教育和宣传,从总体上促进冲突缓解与和解,并且以更有针对性的方式在一些选定的冲突地区解决问题。
基金会致力于判断、预测和提出解决方案,它采取的是明确支持和平的方式。
基金会在运作时支持联合国宪章的两大准则——“使后代免遭战祸”和“和平应以和平的方式实现”。
基金会帮助人们学会处理冲突,减少对其他人、其他文化和自然采取暴力行为。它的许多成员都拥有教授或教师的身份。
基金会与北欧和国际协会都建立了联系。它的成员都是自愿者,原则上不接受政府或公司的资助。
我们相信,改变我们时代的主要趋势是可取和可能的,事实上,它是人类生存和有尊严的生活所必需的。
基金会兼具批评性和建设性,它现在和未来都是应用和平研究和全球联络的实验平台。
更多详情: https://transnational.live