So spot on it's scary. This is again why I hate political things!
Looking away from Aikido as a money making venture, you would agree that sparring is a total necessity? At least in the sense of learning to "use" Aikido as a martial art.
I'd say sparring is more necessary as a tool for character forging than for the usually remote (for the average aikido practitioner) self defense or combative situations.
How people behaves when SHTF show whats really inside them and what they are made of. How many are ready to look inside this snakepit?