The Trillion Dollar Silencer investigates the astounding lack of popular protest at the death and destruction that the military industrial complex is inflicting on people, nations, and the environment, and its budget-draining costs. Where is the antiwar protest by progressives, libertarians, environmentalists, civil rights advocates, academics, clergy, community volunteers, artists, et al? This book will focus on how military largesse infests such public sectors’ interests.
Contractors and bases serve as the economic hubs of their regions. State and local governments are intertwined with the DoD; some states have Military Departments. National Guard annual subsidies are large. Joint projects include aid to state environmental departments for restoration, and government-environmental organization teams to create buffer zones for bombing ranges. Economic development commissions aim to attract military industries and keep the existing bases and corporations. Veterans Administration hospitals are boons to their communities.
Universities, colleges, and faculty get contracts and grants from the DoD and its agencies, such as the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. The Minerva Initiative. Reserve Officers’ Training Corps programs are subsidized by the DoD. Civilian jobs in the DoD provide opportunities for scientists, engineers, policy analysts, and others.
Every kind of business and nonprofit, including environmental and charitable organizations like The Nature Conservancy and Goodwill Industries feeds at the DoD trough via contracts and grants.
Individuals, arts institutions, charities, churches, and universities succumb to the profitability of military-related investments. Pension funds of public and private employees are replete with military stocks.
Philanthropy is another silencer. The DoD itself donates equipment to organizations, especially those of youth, and lends equipped battalions to Hollywood. The weapons firms give generously to the arts and charities, heavily to youth and minorities. They also initiate joint programs such as providing tutors and mentors for robotics teams in public schools.
Our militarized economy is destructive and wasteful. How can we replace the multitude of dependencies on military funding and restore the boundary between it and civil society? Surely a first step is to see how military spending results in the complicity of civil society in its pernicious outcomes. That is what this book tries to reveal
MANALI CHAKRABARTI –
“How is the ruling dispensation of US able to justify a trillion-dollar annual military budget to its own people? A new book by American political scientist Joan Roelofs, provocatively titled THE TRILLION DOLLAR SILENCER: Why There Is So Little Anti-War Protest in the United States (Clarity Press, 2023), provides a panoramic picture of the extent of penetration and entanglement of the US domestic economy and civil society by the military establishment.
…for individuals and collectives who are already politically initiated and opposed to the US imperialist war machine, the present book would be of immense help to widen the cracks of this mighty system…” MANALI CHAKRABARTI, Research Unit for Political Economy, India
JAMES HEDDIE –
“Professor Roelofs’s book The Trillion Dollar Silencer charts the extent to which military funding and propaganda infest and influence virtually every state and public sector. Roelofs’s revelatory little book itemizes all the many vectors along which this pervasive influence is exercised….” JAMES HEDDIE, GlobalResearch.ca
ARNE ALPERT –
“Now, sixty-one years down the road, Joan Roelofs repeats and elaborates on Eisenhower’s warning. Where Eisenhower’s words were brief and prophetic, Roelofs’ are more comprehensive, something like a catalog of a system so immense that it poisons democracy and silences dissent at all levels of society.” ARNE ALPERT, Campaign Nonviolence
POLITICS TODAY –
“Starting with the subject at the very fore, namely the military establishment, Roelofs takes the reader thoroughly, chapter by chapter, through the different organizations and components of the intricate web. Those included are bases and installations, contractors, universities and research institutes, philanthropy and non-profit organizations, state and local governments. What can we do about it? In the final chapter of the book, Roelofs suggests ways to break the silence such as a Green New Deal, creating a peace culture, and conversion to a civilian economy, and also provides some remarks about international relations.
Thorough and ample in modes and scope of information, The Trillion Dollar Silencer contains explanatory images, graphs, charts, and maps to aid and augment understanding for all types and levels of readers. The book joggles the mind in many aspects and brings an awareness to the gravity of the military-industrial hegemony.” POLITICS TODAY
YOSI McINTYRE –
“Back in the day, people were angry about U.S. engagement in overseas “adventures” like the Vietnam War
and the War in Iraq to name two. Today, the military budget is approaching $1trillion and much of the
American public has essential acquiesced to this status quo.
Today, most holders of the more common mutual fund portfolios are not concerned about being invested in weapons
manufacturers stocks. Typically, college students have little knowledge or interest in the anti-war movement that once
thrived on campuses.
Joan Roelofs’ new book The Trillion Dollar Silencer: Why There Is So Little Anti-War Protest in the United States
(Atlanta: Clarity Press, 2022), suggests the answer is money.
Particularly important is the fact that military bases have been placed strategically across the country, often in remote
rural areas, where they become the life blood of economic development. Millions of American workers find jobs with
military contractors or their subsidiaries, which finance scholarships and internships.
The military’s extensive philanthropic endeavors have helped to normalize militarism. A significant portion of grants to
universities, businesses and engineering firms are geared to research and funding to train the next generation of weaponsproducers. Opposition to U.S. foreign policy in universities has resulted in dismissal from employment.” YOSI McINTYRE, SERVAS, United States
JEREMY: KUZMAROV –
Joan Roelofs’ book The Trillion Dollar Silencer: Why There Is So Little Anti-War Protest in the United States provides valuable information and analysis on the military-industrial complex and its influence in stifling anti-war dissent—at a time that it is most urgently needed. Read this book and share it widely so that people in the U.S. can better understand that the real enemy is not Russia or China, but greedy and corrupt “merchants of death” that have destroyed U.S. democracy, as Dwight Eisenhower warned us many years ago. – Jeremy Kuzmarov, Managing editor, CovertAction Magazine.
W.T. WHITNEY –
” a new and much needed book that explains much about praise and support for the U.S. military. The Trillion Dollar Silencer provides a travelogue of sorts through the U.S. military-industrial complex. It moves from the military establishment and big corporations to colleges, universities, NGOs, philanthropies, foundations research institutes, and other kinds of defense contractors….Now is exactly the right time for her highly recommended book.” W.T. WHITNEY, Counterpunch
NEW LABOUR FORUM –
“The Trillion Dollar Silencer by Joan Roelofs (Clarity). One main reason there is so little anti-war protest in the U.S. is that military spending, which represents more than half of the federal government’s discretionary budget, is spread throughout the economy to big corporations, contractors, universities, state and local governments, and nonprofit organizations. While there are huge human, economic, and environmental costs, many Americans benefit in the short term.” NEW LABOR FORUM City University of New York