J.K. Galbraith, Economist of Peace

By Jacques Fontanel, Fanny Coulomb

Galbraith, as economist of peace, denounces excessive militarism. The military sector illustrates perfectly the power of techno-structures, which are partially autonomous, thus escaping all democratic controls. Galbraith was led to develop a heterodox view of military issues, which is profoundly original despite being inspired by Keynesian and Marxist theories. Military power, in both developing and developed countries, is in contradiction with both democracy and economic development. Even though military expenditures may exercise a short-term positive influence, in the long run, it represents an economic waste that hinders economic development in the poorest regions and favors the emergence of bloody conflicts that only benefit a few. This is why Galbraith pleads for disarmament and for a decrease in military aid to developing countries. In fact, Galbraith has relentlessly pushed economists to study the real problems of their time, including war and military expenditures issues.


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