Well it’s about time Australian capitalists increased their profits from the business of killing people.
For too long, countries such as the United States and Russia have dominated the global arms trade, gaining many of the fringe benefits of wars, peace-keeping operations and other euphemisms for vigorous market competition.
I have frequently thought about investing a spare few hundred million in the production of machine guns, cluster bombs, anthrax sprays, nuclear weapons (plus torture instruments) or similar growth industries. The obstacle has always been the thought that the market is already sewn up by the big players.
But maybe Malcolm Turnbull is right, and there are openings for Australian weapons, especially if he goes ahead with the promise (when did he ever break one?) to help Aussie gun/bomb/poison gas makers with $3.5 billion in financing.
To get into the top 10 of death sellers, as Turnbull wants us to do, we might have to start by seeking some niche markets.
For example, if we sold larger quantities of weapons (maybe at a discount to get started) to Indonesia, this would alarm Aussie right wingers about the threat of invasion from Indonesia.
That would be a motive for investing more in Australia’s military, which would probably alarm Indonesian politicians (with considerably more reason) about the threat of Australian attacks, which would encourage Indonesia to buy more Australian weapons, which in turn – it could go on forever, until both economies were among the biggest and best armed in the world, although the populations of both might be starving.
We just have to follow Turnbull’s lead and think creatively, or at least laterally. For example, the number 10 in world weapons sales, whom we will edge out in the Turnbull plan, is Israel.
I don’t know who Israel sells its weapons to, but it’s probably not neighbouring Arab countries. (Maybe it is. How would I know?) Yet, threatened with imminent destruction by boycott, divestment and sanction campaigns, Israel still maintains its defence while selling it when the price is right.
We might learn other tricks of the arms trade from Israel (and China, France, Germany, the UK, Spain, Italy and Ukraine, the other seven in the top 10). For instance, does Israel sell the nuclear weapons it doesn’t admit to having?
Perhaps the Australian government could develop nuclear weapons without saying so, so that Aussie bomb makers could profit from selling thermonuclear weapons to the highest bidder (no receipts, of course).
The sky’s the limit.