Recognizing Statism’s Sources… the Patterns of Collectivism’s Cronies
“Today the great issue before the American people is freemen
against the tide of Statism which is sweeping three-quarters of the world—
whether it be called Communism, Fascism, Socialism or
the disguised American mixture of Fascism and Socialism called “Managed Economy” now being transformed into a further ambiguity, the “Welfare State.”
~Herbert Hoover 1946
In the spring of 1938, upon his return from Europe, having interviewed over 350 dignitaries and leaders, Herbert Hoover gave a series of presentations across America in hopes of awakening Americans to the choices facing the American people regarding their individual, civil, religious, and economic liberties, and the future sovereignty of the nation.
“Every few centuries the world gives birth to new systems of government and life. Or it resurrects old systems under new phrases. In any event they mostly revolve around two old and diametrically opposed concepts—
that the development of the individual is the prime purpose of the state
or the individual is the pawn of the state…..
Both Fascism and Socialism hold to the other concept— that the individual is but the pawn of an all-wise, omnipotent state. …
Let no man believe in either of two popular misapprehensions so widespread in this country today. This philosophy of Communism is not imposed suddenly, new born, from the bottom up. And this thing called Fascism is not imposed, suddenly, new born, from the top down. Both grew in prepared soils. Both are the aftermath of gradual infection of Democracy, a gradual perversion of true liberalism.
And let me again repeat that Democracies are first infected by the plausible notions of “Cure the business slump” through so-called economic planning…And step by step more force and coercion must be applied until all liberty—economic and personal and political — is lost.
If our own so-called Planned Economy is not an infection from the original stream of Fascism it is at least a remarkable coincidence.”
During this 1938 European trip, Hoover interviewed leaders like the Prime Minister of Belgium asking questions regarding what motivating forces had led to twelve democracies in Europe becoming more or less dictatorships. (Italy, Germany, Austria, Hungary, Greece, Romania, Bulgaria, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Turkey.) History verifies that the Belgian Prime Minister’s reply was both accurate and concise:
“Misery; socialists; Communists, aided by liberals who believed they could have totalitarian economics and maintain personal liberty; spenders; demagogues; too many political parties; weak compromising governments.”
The Prime Minister also added:
“The movement away from democracy in each country was gradual at the start, but created its own accelerations by frightening business and thus increased disorganization of the economic system and increased unemployment.”
Many of the responses from these Hoover interviews were not only accurate and prophetic in their contemporary timeframe, but when viewed from our perspective they are eerily relevant for Americans today.
Hoover heard a new note as to the role of the United States from the Belgian Prime Minister and several of his Ministers. It was a perspective Hoover was to hear over and over again from leaders of the smaller European countries. Hoover asked the question:
“What do you think the relation of the United States to Europe should be?”
The replies were in summary:
“If war comes again, the United States should keep out. First because you must maintain at least one great center of social stability, of moral and economic power, around which the world can rally after a war is over; and second, your American ideas of foreign relations and your insistence of freedoms which are not fitted to the European scene.
Your ideas introduce cross currents, fan conflicts which can only delay those settlements which Europe must find for itself. If general war comes again, European civilization will be near death; it can only revive if you have preserved it in America from the moral and physical destructions which would come to you from war.”
It’s interesting that Austria’s Chancellor Schuschnigg exclaimed nearly the same thing to a similar question:
“Keep out of European power politics and wars! Your people do not understand the forces of Europe. You make things worse; your great part is to preserve a sanctuary where civilization can live.”
In response to a query regarding causes of transition from democracy to partial dictatorship in Austria, the condensed response from Schuschnigg was:
“Democracy is not fitted to a people in misery;
it is fitted to peoples in prosperity.
Out of misery comes a score of agitations and remedies— Communism, Socialism, Fascism, agrarian and religious blocks and what not—all with their political parties represented in parliament. No group has a majority; no ministry can have stability, strength or last for long.
Moreover, political and social chaos creates economic chaos because it destroys the initiative in business. Finally the people themselves welcome strong government— dictatorship, if you wish to call it that. You in America know little of what you have to be thankful for.”
(This conversation was just eight days before Austria would be absorbed into Nazi Germany and Chancellor Schuschnigg would be imprisoned by Adolf Hitler who watched the ecstatic masses of Austrians “Heil” (bless him) from the same apartment Hoover had occupied at the Imperial Hotel in Vienna.)
These same themes were emphatically echoed from the President of Latvia, Karlis Ulmanis, who had fled to the United States in 1905; graduated from the University of Nebraska, then returned to Latvia under an amnesty granted from Czar Nicholas II in 1913. After Latvia became an independent state in 1918, Ulmanis was elected as its first Prime Minister. Latvia had attempted a democratic form of government but had fallen into complete chaos during the depression. As a result the country was governed in a Fascist form in 1938 with intentions to restore representative and constitutional form when the populace were educated enough to do so. Ulmanis’ explanation of how Fascism came about is worth recounting.
“He said parliamentary government had broken down through multiple parties; the boring from within by the Socialists and the Communists resulting in compromise ministries and inability of a strong government to live; that the government credit and currency had practically collapsed in spending as a cure for unemployment.”
Ulmanis also detailed the forces and incidents that had led to Latvia’s chaos, as well as the parallels and distinctions of the other twelve European revolutions away from democracy to some form of Fascism:
“There were two roots to revolution and several fertilizers. The first root was that few Continental people are adapted to parliamentary democracy.”
[This is increasingly the case in the United States today, as most Americans are not educated on our form of government and the inherent responsibilities of citizens of a Democratic Constitutional Republic]
“That form of liberalism [parliamentary democracy] conceives of at least one majority party. When there are half a dozen, including parties on the extreme right and extreme left, both intent on destroying democracy, it is unworkable. Ministries are then formed by compromise; they are founded mostly on negative action— they cannot last or give strong constructive government.
The second root of revolution was the slow recovery from the impoverishment of war. The financial debacle of 1931, originating in Central Europe, was simply an accumulation of war aftermaths, of which armament, government spending for unemployment, unbalanced budgets, inflation, dislocation of trade channels by the Treaty of Versailles, the dissolution of the economic unit of the Danube Valley, and especially the economic isolation of Russia from the economy of Europe were a part.
The fertilizers were the fifth column operators of the Russian Communists boring into labor groups together with the intellectuals who believed in personal liberty but who thought you could have economic totalitarianism and maintain personal freedoms.
This stage with its “Managed Economy” at once curtailed and frightened business from which unemployment and government spending were both increased. Finally it was chaos.
[President Ulmanis continues…] With the head of the Army I took possession. I thought I could preserve personal liberty by mere restoration of public order, but I quickly discovered that the fundamental cause of chaos arising from the depression was fear—
fear in business men, fear in workmen, fear in farmers, fear of currency, fear of government, all paralyzing economic and moral life. The only way to dissolve fear is more fear. I had to tell men and groups exactly what they had to do and put them in fear [We recognize the majority of the chaos in our own nation today is from a lack of fear of the right sort… “veneration” is a kinder term, but yes, Fear of God….back to President Ulmanis….]…in fear of the concentration camps if and when they wouldn’t do it; fix prices; fix wages; order employees to start the factories, order working men to work, and order farmers to bring their products to market; issue new currency, and order people to take it and lock people up if they wouldn’t. By and by, the system began to function again; confidence returned and the worst was over.
Don’t let anyone tell you that personal liberty can survive in totalitarian economics or that [the] preliminary state called “Managed Economy” can ever stop short of collectivism.
America with its “Managed Economy” is well on the road to chaos and the eclipse of democracy; I have been through it and am on the way out.
And with a laugh he added,
America may need expert advice later on and I will come home— I mean come back— and help.”
Two years later  when Russia violated her treaties and invaded Latvia Karlis Ulmanis was taken prisoner, and a truly great man died or was liquidated in a Russian prison in 1942.
It is said that military strategists study history to gain insight from the past; whereas politicians are always focused on doing something new and innovative and fail to learn from history…thus it keeps repeating.
As the war on liberty continues, it behooves each of us to develop ourselves as statesmen who learn from the former, reclaim the present, and equip future statesmen who will be able to stand vigilantly in defense of Liberty under God.
If we are to live under the Rule of Law, we must first know Him from Whom the Laws of what is right, just and merciful derive.
If a people are to self-govern they must self govern and fulfill the individual responsibilities it requires or…. be governed by external forces as the pawns on the board of the Crony Collective experiencing the joke of the Balkans after the Second World War:
Capitalism is the exploitation of man by man; in Communism it is the reverse.
Without God, they are the same collective.
Quotes from: The Crusade Years 1933-1955, Herbert Hoover’s Lost Memoir of the New Deal Era and Its Aftermath; Edited with an Introduction by George H. Nash
www.cwfpac.com Gary Bauer’s Campaign for Working Families
www.hillsdale.edu Hillsdale’s On-line courses