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War is a Racket

    I just re-read the short treatise 'War is a Racket' by Brigadier General Smedley D. Butler. He reminds us that there are parties that are interested in war, and that will press for war in order to make money. A lot of money. He also reminds us that it is the low and middle classes that pay for wars, in both blood and taxes. This was written in 1935, after the First World War and describing events leading to the Second.1

    He proposed that war should require a plebiscite where the decision to vote is decided by those who would be called upon to fight and possibly die in that war. He also proposes a Constitutional Amendment that would not allow for U.S. military forces to leave the continental U.S. (and the Panama Canal Zone, in his day we were in charge of that), and for air and naval forces to be limited to operating within a few hundred miles from our shores. He wanted to take away the ability of interested parties to create a situation where the people of the U.S. would choose to go to war.

    This is possible, not only through a Constitutional Amendment but with blockchain technology as well. Smart Contracts written on the Ethereum blockchain allow parties to come to an agreement, and it takes away the parties ability to breach the agreement. Anything that can be expressed digitally or connected to the internet can be linked to -and controlled by- the blockchain. This will allow citizens to create a Smart Social Contract with their government that will prevent the government from acting outside of its mandate before the action takes place.

    I propose that we can create a new social contract where the people of a State have more control over the decision to go to war (among others). This new social contract can be represented by putting a government on a blockchain and using smart contracts to ensure that the government does not have the ability to act outside of its mandate. General Butler's plebiscite could be made easily with blockchain technology voting systems that already exist. Through blockchain-connected smart property, the military can be limited to operating within certain bounds.

1.  It is important to note that Smedley Butler is renowned in the Marine Corps as a battle-hardened combat veteran, who served during the Mexican-American War, the Philippine-American War, the Boxer Rebellion, all over Central/South America in the Banana Republic Wars, and WWI. He was awarded the Medal of Honor twice. He was also awarded the Brevet Medal (at the time it was the Medal of Honor for officers). So, he basically won the Medal of Honor three times.


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