“General Dynamics develops biometric technologies which have collected data on over 230 million individuals as well as to develop surveillance systems to legally and illegally monitor their targets.” — Will Griffin
The Chicago-based Crown Family might be known for their philanthropic efforts around the country, donating millions of dollars to universities, art institutions and a variety of other causes. Where did all that wealth come from? James Crown is the current director of General Dynamics (GD), the 5th largest weapons producer in the country and has their hands dirty in the Saudi-led war in Yemen, in Palestine and even at the Mexico border. His father, Lester Crown, was a previous president and chair of GD. His grandfather, Henry Crown, created the Material Service Corporation which eventually merged with GD, and gained controlling interest in GD in 1959, also becoming its director and chair.
Daniel Ellsberg is a former U.S. military analyst employed by the RAND Corporation who precipitated a national uproar in 1971 when he released the Pentagon Papers, the U.S. military’s account of activities during the Vietnam War, to The New York Times.
Capitalism—the system by which a relatively tiny group owns the means of production and enriches themselves through hoarding the workers’ surplus value, transforming the natural world into goods and services—is inherently destructive, exploitative, and polluting. Capital is concentrated in very few hands. The richest one percent own half of the world’s wealth (Frank, CNBC, 14 Nov 2017), and the three wealthiest humans in the United States own more wealth than the bottom fifty percent of the population of the country (Kirsch, Forbes, 9 Nov 2017). This trend of the rich getting richer only accelerated during the COVID-19 pandemic. Billionaire wealth skyrocketed while the masses suffered.
The U.S. war industry is comprised of the corporations that develop, market, and sell weapons of war and related goods & services to the Pentagon and allied regimes. In this episode of War Industry Muster we analyze the corporate underpinnings of the Special Relationship.