I’ve posted only a large chunk of John’s commentary on the blog today, not it’s entirety . Due the length and detail, I’m only posting portions of his analysis. John’s essay here is one of the most truly enlightening reads on the subject of “How did we get here?” on par with “The Creature from Jekyll Island”. Please click on the link in the title to truly educate yourself on the genesis of how America has become Moscow on the Mississippi.
By John Galt
May 14, 2009
“We stand at Armageddon, and we battle for the Lord.” -Theodore Roosevelt, August 6, 1912 final line from the speech “A Confession of Faith” before the National Progressive Party convention
I wish to begin this editorial with special thanks to Glenn Beck for re-stimulating my interest in this era of American history. I have always found the period from the 1907 Panic through the creation of the Federal Reserve Bank to be instructive as well as fascinating as the ideals expressed in that time period created the foundation for this era, and problems we now are encountering in our society. The theories about evolutionary law, not Darwinism mind you, economic Progressive thought, and the revision of the traditional ideals of our Constitution via the adoption of the 16th and 17th Amendments all should give one pause to reflect. Thanks to Mr. Beck, I have done so again and found another culprit which aided and abetted the destruction of our traditional American values and system, intentional or unintentional as it may have been.
Thus I say, “Blame Wisconsin” and in this somewhat wordy historical opinion piece, I shall attempt to tie together the idealism of the Progressives with the current era of what I call “PSD” or ‘Progressive Socialist Disorder’, which infests our nation’s major political parties and has created a nightmare scenario for our future.
Progressive Socialist Disorder
America’s evolution from a balanced form of republican representative government into a dominant state subscribing to the ideals of Federalism or a strong centralized national government did not occur overnight. The end of the Civil War created the time line of change which has extended to our current period where the sponge known as centralized government absorbed more and more power and economic dominance because that system of managing our nation’s affairs and of the people was determined by an unelected elite to be the most practical solution.
“Unelected” might seem puzzling to the reader as many of us and our fellow citizens vote every two years in Senatorial, Congressional, Presidential, and statewide elections yet thanks to the Progressive idealists in Wisconsin and the Socialists of our past, the true concentration of power was removed from the electorate in many cases and delegated to the appointed and recruited technocracy known as American bureaucracy. For example the link to the speech from Theodore Roosevelt at the top of this piece could have come from this location, at www.theodoreroosevelt.combut in fact I elected to demonstrate the desires of our bureaucratic origins; the link at the top of the page comes from our own Social Security Administration which not only highlights the Progressive agendas of Theodore but of course his fifth cousin, Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Ah the apple does not fall far from the tree when it comes to destroying Constitutional principles.
The historical references and data with this government sponsored bureaucratic nightmare are worthy of taking your time to read and review at your leisure as it demonstrates the glorification of clerical unity and bureaucratic power when you read the SSA website.
So what is “Progressive Socialist Disorder” (PSD) and why is it an affliction that could quite possibly destroy not just the United States Constitution, but the concept of America itself?
First we have to transport our frame of reference to the era where the debate began. Shortly after the Civil War concluded in the United States a book was printed in Germany in 1867 that created a shudder throughout the modern industrialists mindset titled Das Kapital by Karl Marx. While the notions presented in this book were dismissed out of hand by most Americans and many within the traditional business community worldwide, the idea that wealth was not a creation of the individual or business endeavor but the result of labor, the group effort or one portion of the industrial process became popular among those within the trade unionist movements and the leaders of the lesser, or lower economic stratus in societies worldwide.
The consequences of the Marxist movement throughout history from that day forward can not be dismissed nor ignored by capitalists as the Progressive movement has served the purpose of the ‘useful idiot’ which has enabled many of the programs which Marx and Engels advocated and now are considered a “necessary” part of modern American society. I shall reflect further on in this piece as to the acquiescence of these useful idiots and their purpose which has the current generation of our nation and quite possibly the next two generations unless drastic changes occur immediately; a highly unlikely prospect considering the mindset of our citizenry.
The Marxist movement created a conflict within American society where socialism was viewed with disdain by many and un-American in its concepts and origins, a sort of European societal aberration of which its principles were not just foreign but objectionable to the emerging Progressive movement of the late 1880’s. Professor Richard Ely, PhD, the Associate Professor of Political Economy at John Hopkins University, wrote a book in 1889 titled An Introduction to Political Economy where he outlined not only the traditional views of American society but also added his views of the Socialist movement and why it will not succeed within the American system. In Chapter V. titled ‘Socialism’ on page 245 he correctly identifies the most glaring weakness of the Socialist idealism:
“The danger to freedom appears to be a very real one. It is frankly admitted that up to a certain point there is a tendency on the part of government to improve as its functions increase. But would this hold with the indefinite extension of the sphere of government? Let us admit that s our livelihood would depend on the efficiency of government all the force and energy which now go into private services would be turned into public channels. But what would happen if, in spite of all precautions, some unscrupulous combination should secure the control of government?”
This analysis of the glaring flaw which shines above all else in the Socialist movement was confounded though a few paragraphs further where he warned of the dangers of Mercantilism, which he viewed equally as dangerous. It is wise to keep this conflict in mind as we review the impact of Professor Ely on the state of Wisconsin and by extension the early Progressive movements which emerged within the Republican and Democratic Parties at the turn of the century, which I will discuss within the era of Van Hise, Roosevelt and Wilson.
The impact of this debate created a conflict where Progressives emerged with the kinder, softer Americanized democratic (not the party) version of Euro-Socialism without the hard core Marxist tinge. As American society emerged from the turn of the century, the romanticism was spread about that era by the very education system designed by the Progressive movement and by default, the glorification of their actions at that time. The American citizen has no reason to doubt that conservationism, clean water and pure food were programs which were meritorious in their achievements, as I also have no desire to have a worm pop out of my burger and say “howaydoin” while munching on my Vidalia onion topping. Yet the benefits of that era are somewhat outweighed by their negative accomplishments which have been twisted into positive outcomes as witnessed by Hillary Clinton’s declaration that she was an active Progressive much like those politicians of that era as she stated during the 2007 portion of the Democratic Party debate series.
Now without revealing the thrust of this article at this time, let us say that Hillary and Obama are the poster children for PSD. During the turn of the twentieth century, nothing would offend a supporter of President Roosevelt or the Progressive movement more than accusing them of engaging in stealth socialism. Fast forward to the current administration and once again, if you wish to raise the ire of the “Progressives” point out the activities and outlines of the policies and politics they engage in as “Socialist” or “Marxist” and you win the “right wing extremist” tag and a free phone tap from the Department of Homeland Security should you dare to visit a gun show or send money to Ron Paul.
The reality is that this disdain for the use of proper terminology when applied to the activities the Progressives support and engage in, which are the same positions of Socialists and Marxists alike is the root of PSD or Progressive Socialist Disorder. They wish to engage in the activities of the Socialist ideal but refuse to acknowledge the roots of their activities as such. The self-delusion of their propositions and protestations makes one wonder if they are genuine but the mindset introduced with Roosevelt, Wilson and the Professors behind Progressivism always believed the ends justified the means. Thus you must understand that PSD is not a myth; it is a propagandist proposition to mask the reality of their actions under the flowery ‘Patriotic’ activities of two over-glorified Presidents in the early 1900’s. Thus you now have the understanding that these activities and the individuals who engage in them suffer not from a delusion, but wish to impose that delusion on the citizens of this nation, to create a fog of war which will allow them to complete the task initiated some one hundred and twenty years ago.
The Wisconsin Idea
“The people must be given full power to make their action effective, and at the same time the educational institutions of the commonwealth must be built up in such shape as to give the people the opportunity to learn how to use their power wisely. Nor must political reform stand by itself. it must accompany economic reform; and economic reform must have a twofold object; first to increase general prosperity, because unless there is such general prosperity no one will be well off; and, second, to secure a fair distribution of this prosperity, so that the man of the people shall share in it.” – Theodore Roosevelt, Introduction pages ix and x to The Wisconsin Idea by Charles McCarthy, The Macmillan Company, 1912
….The Constitutionalists are now considered dinosaurs to be mocked and despised for their primitive idealism and their voices to be silenced using whatever methods are necessary.
After all the greater good and the public interest are far more important than an advocate of the positions of Washington or Jefferson that are inconvenient to the current political class. Regulatory expansion is far more important to assure job creation for the allies who adore the cause or can contribute to the expansion of Progressive Socialism. The concepts I have outlined are not outrageous. If you reflect on the original Communist Manifesto, much of what Marx and Engels sought to spread throughout the world’s capitalist economies have been implemented in Europe and the United States while some of the same proposals are being deconstructed in Communist China.
America is at a crossroads and that intersection is wrought with danger. The capitalist must decide if he can tolerate a one and a half party system where the choices for political office will assure the continued destruction of his or her rights and freedoms as well as imposing crushing tariffs on his labors. The other alternative is to retire, or cease to produce for the state, leaving the complicated problem of survival in a country that was once admired by all men and women the world over, yet now has raised doubts about the dedication to the very magnet which brought millions to our shores. The choice is what I call the Great Restoration but it will not be easy and doubtfully be completed in our lifetimes. The trials we are to endure as the absorption of America into the great World-Euro Socialist model appears to be successful and will continue unabated.
The major corporations have chosen their alliances and lot in life and thus that of their employees in this conflict. The new found acquisitions of private corporations or shares of their companies by the Federal government lays the basis for a statutory envelopment of those companies that the administration deems necessary for not just our future, but that of the world movement. This is balanced by a need for the citizenry to have a basic existence and to sell the diminished standard of living to the populace as a necessary evil for the greater good. This will be attempted via the process of economic blackmail, security of the future for retirees, and the perpetual crisis, a concept enjoyed by Fascist governments throughout history to alleviate the pain as new restrictions on freedom are declared. America’s trials are just beginning, even though the elite would have you believe they began in the 1890’s with the banking crisis of that era and since.
Sadly, this crisis as all of the others since 1907 would be long over and resolved had the government stepped aside. Alas, it was not meant to be nor would it appear a celebration of 250 years of our nation as it was envisioned by the Founders.