2315 The accumulation of arms strikes many as a paradoxically suitable way of deterring potential adversaries from war. They see it as the most effective means of ensuring peace among nations. This method of deterrence gives rise to strong moral reservations. The arms race does not ensure peace. Far from eliminating the causes of war, it risks aggravating them. Spending enormous sums to produce ever new types of weapons impedes efforts to aid needy populations; it thwarts the development of peoples. Over-armament multiplies reasons for conflict and increases the danger of escalation.
2316 The production and the sale of arms affect the common good of nations and of the international community. Hence public authorities have the right and duty to regulate them. The short-term pursuit of private or collective interests cannot legitimate undertakings that promote violence and conflict among nations and compromise the international juridical order.
The great thing about passages like this from the Catechism is that they don’t contain the phrase “Simon Peter says” and so, as I have learned from both Progressives and Reactionary Dissenters, you can safely ignore them with the magic words “prudential judgment” (which is Latin for “this threatens my political tribe, so shut up!”). All you have to do is make the case that sober, rock-ribbed Republican analysis shows that it is wild-eyed crazy utopianism to spare a single cent from a military budget that makes Jabba the Hutt look slim and fit, and that besides nobody will even miss all those starving people, so why even try? Ignore the fact that you could cut our $663.8 billion military budget by 90% and it would still be the largest in the world. Close with a snort about ivory tower theologians and their crazy dreamscape world of kumbaya hippie socialism. Pat yourself on the back for providing the well-grounded realpolitik perspective that keeps loony celibates who know nothing about real life from intruding on the smooth, well-oiled working of the democratic capitalist military-industrial complex that has things well in hand. Carve eight days of spending from the world’s military budget? Next they’ll be saying we can send a man to the moon or cure polio! What a bunch of utopian maroons!
HT: Caelum et Terra