In 1961, at the end of his presidency of the United States, President Dwight Eisenhower gave a farewell speech in which he popularized the term “Military-Industrial Complex.” This is an excerpt from that speech:
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.
Eisenhower’s solemn warning a half century ago has become a dominant, pervasive reality in American life. And yet the Military Industrial Complex (MIC) is also nearly invisible, rarely mentioned in the media or among social activists.
The MIC @ 50 conference will take place on January 14-16, 2011, on the campus of Guilford College in Greensboro, NC. There is no charge to attend. The purpose of the event is to bring the MIC back into the spotlight as a key factor shaping our society and public life. The program will combine careful, critical scholarship with activism, analysis of the past with practical discussion about plans for challenge and change.
The MIC@50 conference was conceived by Quaker House, a peace project which has been at work since 1969 next door to Fort Bragg in Fayetteville NC. It is presented jointly with the Friends Center at Guilford College, a Quaker institution founded in 1837, and is co-sponsored by the North Carolina Council of Churches.
I will be presenting a workshop on the mythology of change — how things change and how they do not, at 3PM on Saturday, January 15.
For more information, directions, etc., please click here.
Program Associate for Peace, NCCC