Raytheon Stock Surges on Syrian Attack

Raytheon Stock Surges on Syrian Attack

Massachusetts-based defense contractor Raytheon manufactures the Tomahawk missiles that were used in Saturday morning’s airstrike on Syria. Raytheon and other defense contractors such as General Dynamics, Boeing, Lockheed Martin and Northrup Grumman stock prices have surged since the election of president Trump.

These companies have tens of thousands of contracts with the federal government in order to produce weapons for national “defense”. In the 2019 budget, the Department of Defense was allocated $686 billion, a 13% increase from the 2017 budget.

This increase in defense spending translates into large and lucrative defense contracts for the aforementioned private companies. Taxpayer money is funnelled from the taxes on the working class to the government which serves the interests of the  bourgeoisie. The bourgeois government then creates contracts with these private contractors who produce the weaponry and logistics that supply the U.S military.

These defense contractors have their stocks traded on the major stock exchanges. Owners of these stocks are able to extract both dividends and capital gains and live like parasites off the labor of the working class.

The so-called “military industrial complex” is often touted as an explanation for the connection between government spending, military production, and imperialism. This explanation is not sufficient because it does not examine the current relations of production, namely the capitalist economic system. It also implies that the imperialistic tendencies can be remedied if only the right leaders enacted the correct set of policy prescriptions.

The overproduction of weaponry and the export of capital is inherent to the capitalist mode of production. As Lenin aptly noted, imperialistic violence and reaction are not simply policies preferred by the ruling elite. The economic foundation of society, the capitalist mode of production, requires the production, circulation, and use of military technologies for the benefit of the oligarchy. For as long as capitalism continues to exist the major defense contractors and parasitic bourgeois class will profit off death and destruction.