"You can't write novels without a touch of paranoia. I'm paranoid as an act of good citizenship, concerned about what the powerful people are up to. I suspect them of making money any way they can. It intrigues me that people want to be rich, and I try to imagine what they do when they are rich....People are very willing to kill, to make killing machinery, and let kids go over to Vietnam to run the killing machines. The suggestion of declaring a victory in Vietnam and withdrawing is charming. I'd simply get out. I've lost my honor enough to know that it doesn't come to much to lose one's honor. Unfortunately, military successes are seen as a proof of moral or racial superiority. The other people -- by virtue of not being bulletproof -- will not be permitted to reproduce.

When I lived in Schenectady, the old families were Dutch Reformed. The biggest and oldest church in town was Dutch Reformed -- very stern, the church of the Boers and apartheid. Neither there nor elsewhere do the sermons preach against something simple -- like greed or killing someone. I think people should be offended by so many things, beginning with the sight of a rabbit killed by a hunter. You can teach savagery to people, and I think a lot of people teach savagery to their children to survive. They may need the savagery, but it's bad for the neighbors, I prefer to teach gentleness.

I would alert teachers to the fact that paranoia is part of every personality. I would tell teachers to direct this paranoia in some way -- toward being suspicious of the military-industrial complex, for example, although I've always liked engineers."

Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.
New York Times
March 21, 1969

1 comment:

RoseCovered Glasses said...

I am a 2 tour Vietnam Veteran who recently retired after 36 years of working in the Defense Industrial Complex on many of the weapons systems being used by our forces as we speak.

Politicians make no difference.

We have bought into the Military Industrial Complex (MIC). If you would like to read how this happens please see:


Through a combination of public apathy and threats by the MIC we have let the SYSTEM get too large. It is now a SYSTEMIC problem and the SYSTEM is out of control. Government and industry are merging and that is very dangerous.

There is no conspiracy. The SYSTEM has gotten so big that those who make it up and run it day to day in industry and government simply are perpetuating their existance.

The politicians rely on them for details and recommendations because they cannot possibly grasp the nuances of the environment and the BIG SYSTEM.

So, the system has to go bust and then be re-scaled, fixed and re-designed to run efficiently and prudently, just like any other big machine that runs poorly or becomes obsolete or dangerous.

This situation will right itself through trauma. I see a government ENRON on the horizon, with an associated house cleaning.

The next president will come and go along with his appointees and politicos. The event to watch is the collapse of the MIC.

For more details see: