The Salesmen of Death You've Never Heard About

The Salesmen of Death You've Never Heard About

Intro (00:00:00)

  • War has evolved from simple violent conflicts to involving private corporations that manufacture and sell powerful weapons globally.
  • The author's interest in understanding the arms trade led to the discovery of a book called "Merchants of Death," which provides insights into why countries, especially the United States, engage in the global arms trade.
  • The author's intention is to create a visual map of arms trade data to better understand the patterns and dynamics of the global arms trade.
  • The author acknowledges the support of sponsors, particularly BetterHelp, an online therapy platform, for making this deep dive data journalism possible.
  • The global arms trade involves the manufacturing and sale of weapons by private corporations to various countries and entities around the world.
  • The arms trade has been a significant factor in major conflicts and rivalries throughout history, including World War I.
  • The United States plays a prominent role in the global arms trade, both as a manufacturer and exporter of weapons.
  • The author aims to investigate and understand the reasons behind the United States' involvement in the global arms trade and its implications.

The Industrial Revolution (00:05:05)

  • The Industrial Revolution transformed warfare from handheld tools to machine-based combat.
  • Coal and oil provided massive energy sources, enabling steam-powered warships, iron-shielded vessels, and efficient transportation of armies and supplies.
  • Arms makers engineered war scares to incite fear and boost arms sales.
  • Advanced scientific death machines replaced simple weapons, leading to increased national war budgets.
  • Governments were not in control of this industrial weaponry production.

The Merchants of Death (00:06:35)

  • Hiram Maxim, the inventor of the machine gun, traveled the world to sell his invention to different governments, including China, Persia, and the British in Africa.
  • The arms industry in the late 1800s and early 1900s operated as a free market, with corporations like the C family, Dupont family, Remington, and Alfred Nobel selling weapons to anyone who would purchase them, including opposing sides in conflicts.
  • Notable arms merchants like Bosle Sahara sold weapons and submarines to arch-rivals Greece and Turkey.
  • World War I (1914-1918) witnessed unprecedented carnage due to advancements in weaponry and chemical warfare, resulting in tens of millions of casualties.
  • Post-war criticism of the unregulated arms trade emerged, with arguments that arms makers exacerbated tensions and caused wars.

The Arms Trade Mapped (00:16:40)

  • The United States is the world's leading exporter of weapons, with private companies manufacturing and selling weapons subject to government approval.
  • The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) provides data on the origin and destination of weapons, revealing the extent and reach of the US arms trade.
  • The video aims to educate viewers about the merchants of death and the consequences of the arms trade, featuring interviews with experts and insights from Sam Ellis from the channel Search Party.
  • The video highlights the importance of geopolitical explainers and the intersection of sports and geopolitics, using Saudi Arabia as an example.
  • The composer, Tom Fox, has made all the music used in the videos available for free, with the option to license it for commercial use.
  • The speaker promotes a poster called "All Maps Are Wrong," which displays various map projections on a single grid, and is available for purchase to support the channel.
  • The speaker expresses gratitude to the team, experts, and think tank "cypri" for their contributions and data provision.

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