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122 Int'l Lab. Rev. 397 (1983)
Guns and Butter: Can the World Have Both

handle is hein.journals/intlr122 and id is 411 raw text is: International Labour Review, Vol. 122, No. 4, July-August 1983

Guns and butter:
Can the world have both?
Inga THORSSON *
This article deals with a global future which must be planned and
prepared today-with the need to stop the arms race and convert, through
disarmament measures, resources now used for military purposes to con-
structive development goals.
Efforts to achieve gradual and controlled disarmament are pursued
through political negotiations at the bilateral and multilateral levels. In the
nuclear age this expresses the growing need felt by the peoples of the world
for security and survival since, despite decades of failure to reach verifiable
disarmament agreements, such negotiations are still seen as the only way of
achieving results. There is now, however, a renewed emphasis on the need to
convince peoples and political leaders not only of the military perils of the
arms race but also of its serious economic effects on rich and poor countries
alike. Thus, before attempting an analysis of the economic and social
consequences of disarmament, it seems necessary to discuss the economic
and social consequences of the arms race.
As Commonwealth Secretary-General Shridath Ramphal has pointed
out, the worsening economic crisis is a crisis of contraction, marked by
deepening poverty, mounting unemployment, massive debts and payment
deficits, collapsed commodity prices and a rising barricade of protectionism.
This could lead to an era of instability that might alter the political geography
of the world and unleash forces of apocalyptic dimensions if we do not face
up, as an international community, to the urgent need to move towards
global management of the world economy and to work towards its recovery.
In this connection the arms race is one crucial factor affecting growth and
productivity, employment and inflation, international trade and monetary
systems, and hence development.
There have been many attempts over the years to relate disarmament
more concretely to development, and to show how the arms race weakens
* Under-Secretary of State, Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Sweden. The author was
Chairman of the United Nations Group of Governmental Experts on the Relationship between
Disarmament and Development.

Copyright 0 International Labour Organisation 1983

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