Australian PM promotes AUKUS as platform for a total war economy

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese this week outlined a truly chilling vision of basing the country’s entire economy on militarism and war.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese with US President Joe Biden at Point Loma naval base, March 13, 2023, San Diego. [AP Photo/Evan Vucci]

He was speaking alongside US President Joe Biden and UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak at the US naval base in San Diego to unveil details of the AUKUS plan to supply Australia with nuclear-powered long-range submarines, which are designed specifically for attacking China from its coastal waters.

Albanese boasted that his Labor government was making “the biggest single investment in Australia’s defence capability in our history,” predicted to cost an astronomical $368 billion over 30 years.

This was dressed up as “deterrence” from “aggression” but it is a pivotal part of the escalating military encirclement of China by the US and its closest partners, accompanied by the provocative Red Alert declarations in the corporate media of the necessity to prepare for war with China within three years.

Albanese equated the AUKUS pact to the establishment of a car industry in Australia by the US transnational corporations General Motors and Ford in the wake of World War II. “The scale, complexity and economic significance of this investment is akin to the creation of the Australian automotive industry in the post-World War II period,” he declared.

Albanese thus likened the expansion of civilian industry following the last world war with the building of an economy based on destruction—the production of weaponry for the next world war, almost certainly a nuclear one that would threaten the very survival of humanity!

This would require, the prime minister emphasised, a “whole-of-nation effort.” That means the establishment of a total war economy in which all else, including social spending and the jobs, wages and conditions of the working class, must be subordinated to the requirements of a vast military expansion.

Albanese proposed tying the future of young people to the fortunes of the military and weapons manufacturers, feeding off the eventual construction of eight submarines in Australia. He spoke of “creating jobs and growing businesses, right around Australia” and “educating young Australians today for the opportunities of tomorrow.”

In reality, comparatively few jobs are going to be created by the AUKUS deal, and even within an expanded military. Those who are incorporated are going to be trained to produce and use weapons capable of killing millions. The vast majority of youth will be condemned to unemployment and poorly paid, insecure casual jobs.

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