Militarism and Capitalism in the 20th Century

TitleMilitarism and Capitalism in the 20th Century
Publication TypeBook Chapter
Year of Publication1990
AuthorsGeyer, Michael
EditorGleditsch, Nils Petter, and Olav NjĂžlstad
Book TitleArms Races: Technological and Political Dynamics
PublisherInternational Peace Research Institute

In this chapter, the author aims to show that the discourse on militarism, militarization, and arms build-ups in the 20th century constitutes a single 'archive.' This is not the result of a continuity of thought, nor is it due to the continuity of a particular social formation. This 'archive,' which itself consists of many and contradictory statements, is shaped by a profound loss, and by the century-long effort to recover this loss. This is the loss of 19th-century political and social project(s) for the formation of a civil society. It is the loss of the notion of civil societies set against a clearly delinated and identifiable military sphere and the rampant violence of the absolutist international order. It also consists in a pervasive anxiety about the replacement of these projects of civil society by militarized social and institutional structures.

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