Crisis perception (2), which is more specific to science and mathematics, includes a prediction of a massive, impending shortage of scientists, mathematicians and engineers. The demand for these people is linked to the unsubstantiated claim that a technological panacea, controlled by transnationals, will keep “us” competitive and ultimately transform the human world into a global village free from pollution and international conflict. Consequently, the military would seem to be redundant. Although some endeavors have recently been curtailed, the military (especially in the U.S.A.) appears to be expanding into the ostensible role of benign global peace force and protector of the environment. The recent “Gulf War” has certainly been a testament to the extreme distortion of this premise. Protection of the environment (i.e., U.S. interests) by the military is a natural outgrowth of the exponential depletion of global resources as more and more people are scrambling for a diminishing piece of the pie. As such, military activity will continue to increase (since 1948, military spending has tripled), and only the perceived threat will shift: from the Soviets to the exhaustion of natural “resources.” It is ironic that these future protectors of the environment account for an estimated 10-30% of all world environmental destruction.
Currently, over one half of the world’s scientists and engineers work for, or get research grants directly from, defense departments. In the U.S., it has been estimated that two thirds of this group work for the military-industrial complex. The massive requirement of scientists and engineers fostered through crisis perception (2) would be primarily usurped by expanding military activities. It is therefore in the interests of the military to promote an educational crisis in science and mathematics.
Any idea may be substantiated within a sufficiently narrow context, whether it is the absolute safety of pesticides, the absolute necessity for biotechnology or the absolute existence of an educational crisis. As the military-industrial complex grows and the enclosure of the world by transnationals and the banking system proceeds, the “crisis in education” is manufactured by vested military and corporate interests that are only concerned with maintaining the status quo and their version of democracy.
These influences obscure the real crisis in education which includes the inequality of the system with respect to race, class and gender, the pursuit of information rather than wisdom, and the preparation of human commodities for the machinery of corporate control.
Bourque, Dan. “Corporate and Military Influences in the “Educational Crisis.” Synthesis/Regeneration Vol 5. Winter 1993. http://www.greens.org/s-r/05/05-02.html