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Arms spending is vast. In 2008 global arms spending will be a record £561 billion. This is seventeen times as much as the world spends on famine relief (£32 billion). Obviously spending so much money has its effect on the world economy. A central plank of the theory of the Socialist Workers’ Party is the theory of the permanent arms economy. Mick Brooks looks at the view of classical Marxism on arms spending and assesses the SWP’s theory.