20/01/11

ainda se fazem presidentes assim?


Faz hoje meio século que terminaram os 8 anos de Dwight D. Eisenhower como presidente dos Estados Unidos. Era uma sexta-feira. O seu discurso de despedida foi proferido na terça-feira anterior, a 17 de Janeiro de 1961. Trata-se de um discurso muito interessante, todo ele. Queremos aqui realçar um aspecto desse discurso: aquela passagem pela qual foi criado o conceito de "complexo militar-industrial". Eisenhower dá uma descrição concisa mas relevante dessa realidade nova - e alerta para as preocupações que ela justifica.

Uma das páginas do suporte escrito do discurso.
(National Archives and Records Administration, aqui)

Eis um excerto (editado) da secção do discurso que trata do "complexo militar-industrial":
«A vital element in keeping the peace is our military establishment. (...) Until the latest of our world conflicts, the United States had no armaments industry. (...) [W]e have been compelled to create a permanent armaments industry of vast proportions. (...)
This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence – economic, political, even spiritual – is felt in every city, every Statehouse, every office of the Federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society.
In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.
We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.»

Cabe notar que Eisenhower, ainda referindo-se ao complexo militar-industrial, tece considerações sobre a investigação científica, as quais ainda hoje merecem reflexão:
Akin to, and largely responsible for the sweeping changes in our industrial-military posture, has been the technological revolution during recent decades.
In this revolution, research has become central; it also becomes more formalized, complex, and costly. A steadily increasing share is conducted for, by, or at the direction of, the Federal government.
Today, the solitary inventor, tinkering in his shop, has been over shadowed by task forces of scientists in laboratories and testing fields. In the same fashion, the free university, historically the fountainhead of free ideas and scientific discovery, has experienced a revolution in the conduct of research. Partly because of the huge costs involved, a government contract becomes virtually a substitute for intellectual curiosity. For every old blackboard there are now hundreds of new electronic computers.
The prospect of domination of the nation's scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present and is gravely to be regarded.
Yet, in holding scientific research and discovery in respect, as we should, we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite.

Vale a pena ler mais deste discurso.
Entretanto, deixo um vídeo sobre parte da secção relativa ao complexo militar-industrial (com legendas em espanhol):


Para lá das diferenças ideológicas, pergunto: ainda se fazem presidentes assim?

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