Reflecting upon war simply means reflecting on the condition of the human race. Such conditions clearly reveal how the third World War might come about. Developed countries, like America and the likes, have got pivotal features for preparing themselves for this war. Expectation of World War III follows from the globally acceptable definitions of reality. Following these misleading definitions, power houses, the likes of America, make decisions or rather fail to do so; with the masses and the public collectively accepting, and the intellectuals elaborating and justifying their moves. Most World War III causes are justified as very necessary and expecting its coming considered as realism. Businessmen and politicians, journalists and intellectuals, preachers and generals, all fight this war, creating the historical situation where the war is looked at as inevitable (Campbell, M & Campbell, M.J, pg. 321).
Realism and necessity, to this group, is being used as a way of hiding their inadequacies of political and moral imagination. Among the two groups, that is, the leaders and the led, insensibility to direct violence is quite evident as the willingness to participate in violence. The drive to go to war is subtle, massive, self directed and very official. War is not viewed as an interference with peace; but peace has become the very uneasy interlude within wars. Peace is often seen as a balance fright and terror, both mutual (Mills, pg. 85).
There are various features leading to America's permanent state of war. These features include, but are not limited to, the pivotal decision, war economy that is permanent, and the military metaphysicians. The pivotal decision refers to the 'fail safe' orders that come into operation each time an alarm is raised. Even though the alarm might be false, the American government will always have forces ready to try to manage the situation. This causes anxiety and fear among the populace the world over, making others also prepare for war. This will always involve the mass production of weapons, largely claimed to be for self defense (Mills, pg. 55 & 56).
As far as from the end of the Second World War, many people, in the elite circle, in the U.S. feel that their economic prosperity is more often under-pinned through the permanent war economy. This group thinks that desperate political and economical problems can always arise if there is an existing genuine peace and disarmament program. If there is an alarm that peace talks may occur, leave alone treaties being arranged, stocks will reflect a 'peace scare', by the jitters. When there is increased unemployment and the masses demand for actions to be taken, the government usually justifies themselves by talking about the money to be spent or the money spent in ensuring that the country's borders are safe from terror attacks (Mills, pg. 56).
Arms-race decisions are among some of the causes, central to the Third World War. This is because the elite in the U.S usually accept the military metaphysic. These people, it seems, are quite incapable of making decisions geared towards stopping this thrust towards the Third World War. The reasons usually vary from the condition and shape of the military, political, and economic institutions, to the conditions into which the intellectuals, masses and the public have been pushed and fallen. Military men and their institutions have instilled fear among the common citizens leading to a state of both political and economic withdrawal (Elwell, slide. 53-58).
For the executives, military metaphysic aligns directly with their interests. Under circumstances seen as planned and a stable flow of profit, the corporations executives are have their risks taken care of by money from the public coffers. They usually expect the exploitation for private profit, in the research developments, which are always risky, but paid for by money from the public (Mills, pg.85 & 87).
America's never ending clamor for war is as a result of both the national character and its historical developments. War is not a highly rated phenomenon. It originates from a government dominated by a defined elite rooted in a particular system which is socioeconomic. Preparations and the start of war form the basic politics of the power holding class, and reflect the aims and drives of the social structure. Looking at the relationship between economic systems and the war machine, it is realized that the military forces participate least, or not at all, in carrying out capitalistic aims. The economy, on the other hand, serves the military war machine. Not that military power has now become the major instrument of economic policies; but militarism, to some level, is used as an end and economic policy being a means of it (Murray, pg. 9).
Politically, there is a conflict between the determinants, the monopolists and the masses. The monopolists, on their own, tend to defend their privileges, profits and positions at all costs, even if it is through an atomic holocaust. The masses, on the other hand, and the rest of the world, can loose everything, from the nuclear warfare, to the dread of its prospects. This group, however, does not see, directly, the casual connection existing between atomic annihilation threat and capitalism. Whichever side conquers the other, will be the main determinant where peace or war will be lying. Even though the Washington legislatures are accused of acting irresponsibly, the militarists on the other hand, also act irresponsibly towards the American people and to the humanity welfare in general, despite their aggressive protests to the contrary (Walter, pg. 84).
To dismantle the permanent war machine, Mills argues that one needs to change the course and minds of men in power, the executive, because it's only such a group that have the means of making history. According to Mills, factors controlling war are usually gotten in the power elite and their mentality, the ultimate cause being the metaphysical fixations of violence obsessing the ruling circles of America and the USSR. World War Three can only be prevented, according to Mills, if only the power elite can stop being inflexible. He believes that the intellectuals can help in curbing World War III. He argues that it is the task of the intellectual, the student, and the scholar to confront complications, sort out issues which are insistent, and open up and table them for reasoning (Mills, pg. 15).
Mills defines intellectuals as ministers, scientists, scholars, and even artists. These are people who deal with present time definitions, past recollections, and even possible future images. These people, according to him, form the planned and arranged memory of mankind, the people who the intellect of the human race, and forming part of the discourse of inquiry and reason, and of imagination and sensibility. Thus, when this group joins hands together, they can dismantle the war machines (Mills, pg. 129).
Mills blames intellectuals who have the chance to dismantle the permanent war machines and do not do so simply because they cannot express their views. To quote, he says,
"Every time intellectuals have the chance to speak yet do not speak, they join the forces that train men not to be able to think and imagine and feel in morally and politically adequate ways. When they do not demand that the secrecy that makes elite decisions absolute and unchallengeable be removed, they too are part of the passive conspiracy to kill off public scrutiny. When they do not speak, when they do not demand, when they do not think and feel and act as intellectuals--and so as public men--they too contribute to the moral paralysis, the intellectual rigidity, that now grip both leaders and led around the world" (Mills, pg. 134).
Claiming that "Utopian action is survival action", Mills says that the US has to abolish and forget about its idea of capitalism which is doctrinaire and adopt his very ideas with no regard to the formed opinions of the elite in power. The peace struggle is that aimed at wrestling out the powers to make war from the hands of rulers who are capitalist. This struggle can only be led by those working in a political movement that is independent. Mills presents eighteen peace guidelines, amongst which we have, calling for a stop to the testing of weapons which are nuclear in nature, abandoning of military bases, aiding underdeveloped countries using some portion of the American military budget, and even immediate unilateral disarmament (Horowitz, L & Horowitz, pg. 305 & 306, Page, pg. 87).
Arguing that democracy needs those who bravely bear its consequences, he urges the intellectual to come out and educate the masses on how to dismantle the war machines. He says,
"Democracy requires that those who bear the consequences of decisions have enough knowledge to hold decision-makers accountable. If men hope that contemporary America is to be a democratic society, they must look to the intellectual community for knowledge about those decisions that are now shaping human destiny. Men must depend upon knowledge provided by this community, for by their own private experience they can know only a small portion of the social world, only a few of the decisions that now affect them" (Mills, pg. 173).
He blames the intellectual circles in America for not coming out to publicly portray the power elite as people holding command of unprecedented power. He says,
"Yet leading intellectual circles in America as elsewhere have not provided true images of the elite as men in irresponsible command of unprecedented means of power. Instead, they have invented images of a scatter of reasonable men, overwhelmed by events and doing their best in a difficult situation. by its softening of the political will, the conservative mood of the intellectuals, out of which these images have arisen, enables men to accept public depravity without any private sense of outrage and to give up the central goal of Western humanism, so strongly felt in nineteenth-century American experience: the audacious control by reason of man's fate" (Mills, pg. 173).
Mills is neither a critic of the present nor a prophet of the future because most of his arguments of the causes of World War III are baseless. He thus becomes a status quo victim, and also of his own ideas hampering his imagination sociologically. Mills in his views of the labor movement sees it as he does to the social structure in general, extensively not from its prospects but from the present position. He argues that the trade unions, which are bureaucratized, cannot affect the national policy decisively since they are amalgamated as an unsophisticated interest in the levels middle to the power set up established. He takes for granted the existing conditions of the labor movement, underestimating the great potential of the working class. Mills' lens miniaturizes the powers to be as they magnify the powers that be (Walter, pg. 84).
Mills' proposals as the guidelines to peace all contradict government policies at present. One can evidently ask how his measures can be implemented. What party, political movement or class can press for these proposals? In one instance, he says that it is politically imperative, morally fair, and sociologically realistic to make demands upon the elite and hold them accountable for their actions. In another instance, he confesses that it would not just work if one expects anything from the very quarter. This shows how Mills is undecided and can never be described either as a critic of the present or a prophet of the future (Walter, pg. 84).