Last week, I explored the notion that perhaps — just perhaps — Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal was part of a larger plan to detour the United States into socialism.
It seems absurd, of course. We all grew up admiring FDR for his wisdom and courage and were taught that he had saved the country from the Great Depression through his government-funded stimulus programs.
But nowadays, with the benefit of hindsight, and with our generation holding the bill for 75 years of “stimulus,” “welfare” and “entitlement” programs, it is appropriate to study President Roosevelt’s policies with the same intense scrutiny that we apply to President Obama’s. They are at root, after all, the very same policies.
Author John Franklin Carter, a friend and admirer of Roosevelt, wrote in his 1934 book “The New Dealers” that the New Deal “was caused by one very simple fact: that we can produce more than enough for everybody in this country.”
This is the myth of “permanent plenty” that Carter sets out as fact in his book, and it explains why he thinks the New Deal would have been necessary with or without a Great Depression. But, of course, the Depression made it so much easier.
In the words of President Obama’s first chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste. And what I mean by that is an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before.” Emanuel, of course, engineered the passage of the 2009 stimulus bill and the 2010 health-care bill by channeling the American public’s fear of the Great Recession into an opportunity to create a second New Deal.
So this is not just a history lesson. These are lessons that must be learned sooner or later by the American public if they don’t wish to be turned into a permanent underclass dependent on the “moral aristocracy” (educated at Yale, Harvard and Princeton) that John Franklin Carter proposed as the new overlords of America.
Carter laid the whole plan out in the first few pages of his book.
“[FDR] invented nothing in the New Deal. This is his greatest achievement. He combined ... familiar elements so calmly and with so friendly a smile, that even after a year of the New Deal there are still people who do not realize that a revolution has taken place.”
I can trump that. Even 75 years after the New Deal, there are millions of people who do not realize that a revolution took place — silently, bloodlessly, and dangerously. But Carter went a step further. Just one year into the New Deal, he warned that it could not be stopped. Even if Roosevelt were assassinated or defeated in re-election, the revolution would continue.
“Whatever happens, the New Deal will go on — as either a peaceful revolution or a bloody one — for ten, twenty or fifty more years, until it has achieved its purpose.”
That is a bold statement — and a scary one for those who pledge their allegiance to the Constitution. But clearly, Carter felt that the New Deal was more important than the Constitution. Now here is a scary question: Has that revolution yet achieved its purpose? Or is it still under way? Is that the real explanation for the agenda of stimulus and bailouts of the last two years?
Each of you must judge for yourself, but after 75 years of life under the FDR progressive revolution, should we be surprised that Congress has declared health care to be a right? Should we be surprised that Congress and the president want to give away American citizenship to illegal immigrants? Should we be surprised that Obama signed into law the greatest overhaul of the banking industry since the New Deal?
Certainly not if you listen to John Franklin Carter: “Slow or fast, the New Deal is moving to establish a better distribution of American abundance, and Roosevelt is simply a symptom of that process and not its cause.”
There again, we have the language of socialism — “a better distribution of American abundance.” Or you can call it “redistribution of wealth” if you want. Or as President Obama said, “I think when you spread the wealth around, it’s good for everybody.”
Or as Karl Marx, the father of communism, put it: “From each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs.”
Should we be surprised to see American presidents lining up with Karl Marx in their efforts to create a “welfare state” that will redistribute “American abundance” in an effort to create a more just society?
It was surprising to me — because I had never bothered to study the history of the New Deal before. It just seemed like one of those things that the government did because it had to do it. Desperate times, after all, call for desperate measures.
But what if Carter was right, and Franklin Roosevelt was just the “master-of-ceremonies” in the New Deal, and not the “manager” who was behind it. What if he was instituting a program of redistribution of wealth not because of exigent circumstances, but because that was the goal all along? What if the goal was really to expand the powers of the federal government in order to concentrate power in the hands of the few — the “moral aristocracy” who thought they knew better than the rest of us how to apply economic and social justice.
Carter assures us that FDR used the methods of his predecessors such as Grover Cleveland, Teddy Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson and “the methods of the World War” to promulgate the New Deal reforms. In particular, he saw the usefulness of “spawning ... emergency inter-Departmental Committees, Board and Administrations” and the “wholesale use of publicity and propaganda to win and hold popular support for a prolonged national effort.”
It is certainly apropos to note that the New Deal was essentially the start of the massive federal bureaucracy that we have today. The “committees, board and administrations” in their turn spawned endless regulations, rules and loopholes that turned the American citizenry into trained monkeys who learned to jump through hoops for their paltry rewards and a pat on the head. Good monkey. It also has led through the years to an ever-burgeoning executive branch, which now can dictate to the American public without legislative authority on every topic under the sun — whether it’s pretending that CO2 is a dangerous pollutant or pretending that Glenn Beck is a dangerous American.
Yep, with enough “publicity and propaganda” you can convince the majority of people that CO2, the gas that leaves your mouth when you exhale, is a dangerous pollutant, but that doesn’t make it so. And as for Glenn Beck, he is dangerous only to the extent that he pokes holes in the “publicity and propaganda” being promoted by the power brokers in Washington, D.C. He isn’t dangerous to America; he is dangerous to the people who run America.
And just who are those people? Who are the forces that envision their task as “moving to establish a better distribution of American abundance”?
We get some frightening clues in John Carter’s 1934 book.
“Roosevelt had the benefit of several other great national experiments as useful points of reference for the American New Deal,” Carter forthrightly opines. “He had before him the spectacle of the Soviet Union with its recent dramatization of economic reorganization through the Five-Year Plan. He had before him the example of Fascist Italy with its regimentation of business, labor and banking in the ‘Corporative State.’ He had before him the instances of Kemal, Mussolini and Hitler in restoring national pride and self-confidence to beaten or dispirited peoples.”
So there you have it, straight from the horse’s mouth. John Franklin Carter, an ally and advocate of the New Deal, a close confidante of FDR — without the benefit of political correctness — told the unvarnished truth. The New Deal was modeled after the examples and policies of Stalin, Hitler and Mussolini — the poster boys for communism, national socialism and fascism.
Carter even goes so far as to compare the National Recovery Administration created by Roosevelt to the Soviet “GPU,” the State Political Directorate which was the precursor of the more infamous KGB and which created the infamous Gulag system for political prisoners in the Soviet Union.
Remember, these associations between the New Deal and fascism or communism are not my idea, or even Carter’s idea — it’s in the historical record, and the admiration society went both ways. Hitler told the American ambassador that the New Deal represented “the quintessence of the German state philosophy.” Mussolini said admiringly of FDR that “America has a dictator” and wrote in a review of Roosevelt’s book, “Looking Forward,” that FDR’s rhetoric and proposals were “reminiscent of the ways and means by which fascism awakened the Italian people.”
Looking backward, the question is what will awaken the American people out of the slumber into which they have fallen? After 75 years of “revolution” and “redistribution of American abundance,” we don’t need a New Deal any longer — we need a fresh deck.