1: The Triumph of the Tranzi.
2: The Supremacy of the Super-Protestants.
3: The Short History of the Global Triumph of the Tranzi.
4: The March of the Minotaur.
1: The Triumph of the Tranzi.
Today, is the day of the Tranzi.
The triumph of the Tranzi is the triumph of a particular kind of fascism:
Today, we see what Tranzism is and how it triumphed.
The triumph of the Tranzi is, on the one hand, a triumph for a particular group of people and a particular kind of ideology/religion; however, on the other the other hand, it is really the seemingly final triumph – a global triumph – of Bertrand de Jouvenel’s Minotaur.
In the next two posts, the center-piece of the STEEL-cameralist manifesto, we will learn the real nature of the Minotaur and set forth a complimentary companion piece to Reactionary Future’s Patron Theory of Politics.
First, what do we mean by “Tranzi”?
To refresh your memory, the following are the basic tenets of the creed:
The ascribed group over the individual citizen. The key political unit is not the individual citizen, who forms voluntary associations and works with fellow citizens regardless of race, sex, or national origin, but the ascriptive group (racial, ethnic, or gender) into which one is born.
A dichotomy of groups: Oppressor vs. victim groups, with immigrant groups designated as victims. Transnational ideologists have incorporated the essentially Hegelian Marxist “privileged vs. marginalized” dichotomy. (IE: r Nietzsche’s Master/Slave dichotomy).
Group proportionalism as the goal of “fairness.” Transnational progressivism assumes that “victim” groups should be represented in all professions roughly proportionate to their percentage of the population. If not, there is a problem of “underrepresentation.”
The values of all dominant institutions to be changed to reflect the perspectives of the victim groups. Transnational progressives insist that it is not enough to have proportional representation of minorities in major institutions if these institutions continue to reflect the worldview of the “dominant” culture. Instead, the distinct worldviews of ethnic, gender, and linguistic minorities must be represented within these institutions.
The “demographic imperative.” The demographic imperative tells us that major demographic changes are occurring in the U. S. as millions of new immigrants from non-Western cultures enter American life. The traditional paradigm based on the assimilation of immigrants into an existing American civic culture is obsolete and must be changed to a framework that promotes “diversity,” defined as group proportionalism.
The redefinition of democracy and “democratic ideals.” Transnational progressives have been altering the definition of “democracy” from that of a system of majority rule among equal citizens to one of power sharing among ethnic groups composed of both citizens and non-citizens. James Banks, one of American education’s leading textbook writers, noted in 1994 that “to create an authentic democratic Unum with moral authority and perceived legitimacy, the pluribus (diverse peoples) must negotiate and share power.” Hence, American democracy is not authentic; real democracy will come when the different “peoples” that live within America “share power” as groups. (IE: note the Form V Reality distinction here.)
Deconstruction of national narratives and national symbols of democratic nation-states in the West. In October 2000, a UK government report denounced the concept of “Britishness” and declared that British history needed to be “revised, rethought, or jettisoned.” In the U.S., the proposed “National History Standards,” recommended altering the traditional historical narrative. Instead of emphasizing the story of European settlers, American civilization would be redefined as a multicultural “convergence” of three civilizations—Amerindian, West African, and European. In Israel, a “post-Zionist” intelligentsia has proposed that Israel consider itself multicultural and deconstruct its identity as a Jewish state. Even Israeli foreign minister Shimon Peres sounded the post-Zionist trumpet in his 1993 book , in which he deemphasized “sovereignty” and called for regional “elected central bodies,” a type of Middle Eastern EU.
Promotion of the concept of postnational citizenship. In an important academic paper, Rutgers Law Professor Linda Bosniak asks hopefully “Can advocates of postnational citizenship ultimately succeed in decoupling the concept of citizenship from the nation-state in prevailing political thought?”
The idea of transnationalism as a major conceptual tool. Transnationalism is the next stage of multicultural ideology. Like multiculturalism, transnationalism is a concept that provides elites with both an empirical tool (a plausible analysis of what is) and an ideological framework (a vision of what should be). Transnational advocates argue that globalization requires some form of “global governance” because they believe that the nation-state and the idea of national citizenship are ill suited to deal with the global problems of the future.
The Ideological War Within the West. John Fonte. 2002.
That was in 2002, but what was being said in 1942, when the storms of war were raging around the world in the battle for global supremacy? Let’s see.
2: The Supremacy of the Super-Protestants.
Compare the above with the following Time Magazine piece about the Protestant “super-protestant” program for peace (power) after “World War II:
These are the high spots of organized U.S. Protestantism’s super-protestant new program for a just and durable peace after World War II:
“Ultimately, “a world government of delegated powers.””
A world government under Tranzi imperium.
“Complete abandonment of U.S. isolationism.”
USG will never return to Foreign Policy A but will always practice Foreign Policy C.
The rest of the principles just flesh out the new Tranzi Imperium:
Strong immediate limitations on national sovereignty.
International control of all armies & navies.
A universal system of money … so planned as to prevent inflation and deflation.
(See our Error Theory of Economics here.)
Worldwide freedom of immigration.
Progressive elimination of all tariff and quota restrictions on world trade.
Autonomy for all subject and colonial peoples” (with much better treatment for Negroes…”)
American Malvern. Time Magazine. 1942.
There is six decades but not six degrees of separation between Protestantism, Progressivism and Tranzism. We have stated before that Harvard and the other Ivy league universities are the central institution of the Tranzi Empire (which were all founded by Protestants BTW).
Here is a different way of understanding the Tranzi system. View, as one UR commentator once said, the presidency as a “lighting rod” and “dummy terminal” for the State Department and the State Department as a dummy terminal for Harvard and Harvard as a dummy terminal for a certain group of people with a certain set of interests and an ideological orientation to go along with those interests.
3: The Short History of the Global Triumph of the Tranzi.
Some reactionaries still have problems accepting that the Tranzi is still, in word and deed, essentially Christian.
The truth is that it is not Christianity but Power conflict that is ultimately responsible; though the nature of the Christian religion makes it especially apt for Power to make use of it.
The short history of the global Triumph of the Tranzi is as follows:
1: Constantine the Great forges early Christianity into an Imperial Religion in order to secure his power.
2: Martin Luther Kicks off the Protestant Reformation and the various Princely states make us of Protestantism to secure their power.
3: The English Puritans, led by Cromwell, mount a successful rebellion against the Crown and enshrine the principle of Parliamentarianism over Absolute Monarchy; though, a weakened, sham monarchy, is later restored, the horse is well out of the barn.
4: The Protestants rebel again against the Crown in the name of popular sovereignty; this time in America and this time for good.
5: The French Revolution – the fruit of weak government and Protestant ideas – unleash the slogans of liberty, equality and fraternity and while the Jacobins are put down, they do not stay down and later emerge as Communists. Feudalism is dead and the Minotaur is now rampant.
7: The election of FDR saw the conquest of the Republic by Harvard (today’s main focus, see below).
8: World War 2 saw the conquest of Europe and East Asia by USG with USG now becoming the Planet’s Apex Predator.
9: The collapse of the Soviet Union saw the Tranzi Empire as the last fascism standing.
3: The March of the Minotaur.
The following should be considered a direct sequel to this post.
Th following will draw from one source that was written just before and during WW2 on the emerging American Fascism. Our source is journalist and public intellectual, John T. Flynn’s 1944 book As We Go Marching. Flynn spends a great deal of the book looking at Italian and German Fascism in depth but then looks at the “Good Fascism” (American Fascism). Flynn’s book is essential reading and does an exemplary job of answering the who/what/when/how, though not, crucially, why questions (the next two posts answer the “why” question).
Retrospectively, the crucial period of transformation for USG was 1932 to 1945, where it became a Fascist state and a world empire. The checks and balances system failed to stop the Tranzi take-over of the state.
Here is Flynn discussing what Fascism is, from the introduction:
Because our attention is fixed upon the element of dictatorship— which is just one ingredient of that order—we dismiss the whole thing as merely a form of gangsterism. Hence we hear such loose and superheated definitions as this: that it is a “revolt against Western culture” or “an attack upon our civilization.” It is, alas, not a revolt against Western culture but a fruit—bitter and poisonous—of that culture.
We get far too much of our information about fascism from the daily reports of its dramatics—its marching black or brown shirts, its saluting legions, its posturing leaders, its violent techniques for obtaining power, its persecution of Jews, its suppression of free speech, and, finally, its inevitable adventures in the dark field of imperialism.
These are the products of regimes that are built on violence; and violence is the essential weapon of every kind of dictatorship whether it be the dictatorship of the royal Louis XIV or the proletarian Joseph Stalin. It is violence and force that create the incidents and episodes that make the material of news. There are other weapons and instruments of policy in the arsenal of the fascist besides the castor-oil bottle, the torch, and the sword. What we must seek are those other instruments which distinguish the fascist dictatorship from all other dictatorships.
These fascist dictators are popular dictators, by which I mean dictators who, though by no means loved by the people, nevertheless hold their power through them. They are demagogic dictators as distinguished from purely military dictators. The regime includes a group of social and economic ingredients without which the dictatorships could never have been established and without which they could not have lasted so long.
The distinction between democratic and military rule is clear for Flynn and it is clear for us.
In a new preface to the book, Ron Radosh writes:
The American fascist was an individual who believed in “marshalling great armies and navies at crushing costs to support the industry of war and preparation for war which will become our greatest industry,” all conducted under “a powerfully centralized government in which the executive will hold in effect all the powers with Congress reduced to the role of a debating society.
Flynn’s prototype American fascist was not a thug in brownshirt or SS uniform; it was the American statesman who sought to erode the people’s power in Congress and to concentrate undue authority in the hands of the President. Flynn warned against militarism and imperialism; yet his cry for constitutional government was to become purely a rallying cry for the Right-wing in American life.
Now, we come to Flynn’s analysis of the New Deal regime. The following is a long, but edited, extract that documents the Triumph of the American Tranzi.
THE GOOD FASCISM: AMERICA I · Permanent Crisis in America
There was a renewal of depression, and the President himself had to admit in his 1939 message that his expectations of recovery when he reduced expenditures were overoptimistic. It had become plain to the political elements in the government that there was something wrong, that the idea of public works during an emergency, used even on an enormous scale, had not produced recovery and was merely a stopgap. The situation of the administration was critical in the highest degree. Almost all its plans had been discarded. The AAA was declared unconstitutional; the NRA was scrapped by the Supreme Court just as it was falling into utter chaos; the devaluation of the dollar and the idea of a managed currency, as well as the gold-buying plan, had proved ineffective; social security was an aid to the unfortunate but did nothing to make the economic system work. Apparently nothing was holding back a tidal wave of deeper depression save the spending and borrowing program which everyone had either denounced or apologized for.
The public debt had risen as total depression deficits amounted to 19 billions. What possible avenue of escape opened for the government in the presence of rising unemployment, rising taxes at last, farmers, workers, the aged, investors all clamoring for swift and effective aid and the land filling up again with messiahs and their easy evangels?
About this time a group of young men published a little book— An Economic Program for American Democracy (Vanguard, 1938). It got little enough attention at the time. Its authors styled themselves Seven Harvard and Tufts Economists. It proclaimed boldly that the capitalist system as we have known it was done and that, instead of balancing budgets, the government should adopt the unbalanced budget as a permanent institution; that the only salvation of the nation was in a greater and ever-expanding program of national expenditures met with revenues raised by borrowing. Completely unknown at the time, these men were actually announcing in this small book the theories that had been worked over by John Maynard Keynes in England and Dr. Alvin H. Hansen in this country. But they were by no means the inventors of them. They had already had a vogue in Germany under the republic, which indeed had been influenced by them in its fiscal policies. Their theory, very briefly stated, is as follows: The present capitalist system is no longer capable of functioning effectively. The reasons for this are as follows:
The dynamic element in the capitalist system is investment. Since millions of people save billions of dollars annually, these billions must be brought back into the stream of spending. This can be done only through investment. When private investment is either curtailed or halted, these savings remain sterilized or inert and the capitalist system goes into a depression. Nothing can produce a normal revival of the capitalist system save a revival of investment. Private investment cannot be any longer revived on a scale sufficient to absorb the savings of the people. Hence recovery through private investment is hopeless. Private investment cannot be revived because there are no longer open to savers adequate opportunities for investment.
Opportunities for investment are not open any longer for three chief reasons: (1) because the frontier is gone, with its opportunities for territorial expansion and the discovery of new resources; (2) because population increase has slowed down to a snail’s pace; (3) because technological development has matured. That is to say, there is no longer in sight any such 180 great inventions as the railroads, the automobile, etc., which will change all the arrangements of our social life and call for huge money expenditures. The present capitalist system is therefore incapable of recovering its energy.
This is not a mere emergency condition but is a characteristic of the system which will continue indefinitely. For this reason we must adopt a new type of economic organization. This new type is called the Dual System or the Dual Consumptive System. Under this system the government will become the borrower of those savings funds which private business will not take. It must then spend these funds putting them again into circulation. What we must look forward to, therefore, is a “long-range program of government projects financed by borrowed funds.”
This theory has, in greater or less degree, been adopted by those most influential in the present government. It is not an idea that has infected a few choice spirits on the perimeter of the New Deal. It has become a part of the New Deal—indeed its most essential part.
The evidence of this is that the job of planning for the postwar problems of America was taken over by the President himself, was not committed to any of the departmental bureaus, but was installed in his own executive office under his own eyes.
For this purpose he organized as a department of his own office the National Resources Planning Board. The man who is the leading exponent of this theory, Dr. Alvin H. Hansen of Harvard, was brought to Washington as economic adviser of the Federal Reserve Board and installeds the chief adviser of the National Resources Planning Board. Six of the seven Harvard and Tufts economists who prepared the published plan were brought to Washington and made economic counsel of various important agencies. Mr. Richard V. Gilbert, one of them, and one of the most vocal apostles of this theory, is at the moment I write guiding the economic destinies of the OPA, which is supposed to be leading the battle against inflation. Most of the others have been given posts of importance in the government. Dr. Hansen has been described by such journals as the `New Republic and Fortune as the man “whose fiscal thinking permeates the New Deal.” The board has put out a series of pamphlets designed to outline its guiding ideas. The most important of these was written by Dr. Hansen. Everywhere in Washington, in the most important key positions, are men who have been indoctrinated with this theory.
….The author of the article from which I have quoted tops it off with the admiring observation that “the Nazis by experimentation were learning what to do while Keynes was discussing these theories in England.”
This is what is being offered to America. I quote once more:
The irony of this financial revolution that has been unfolded in Germany lies in its implications for the future of economic democracy. What the Nazis have done, in essence, is to begin to chart the unknown realms of the dynamic use of government securities.
Tragically for Germany and the whole world the brilliant contribution of her financial genius has been obscured by its diversion to the uses of tyranny and destruction.
But can any of these financial methods be utilized so that a wise, self-governing people, determined to preserve individual freedom and anxious to make full use of individual initiative, could make private enterprise and capitalism better serve the purposes of economic democracy?
If this is so—and I believe it is—we shall do well to examine the potentialities of this new arithmetic of finance as carefully and dispassionately as we should study, let us say, those of a new German development in aircraft manufacture, and seize upon whatever we can use for our own democratic ends.
This was written in 1941. The author was painfully behind the times. For already in 1938 the administration had practically seized upon this theory of finance. It is a little astonishing how far the parallel between our fiscal theories and those of Germany go and how, once adopted, quite without design, they led off into the same weird bypaths.
For instance, Italy before World War I had already learned how to increase the charges of social security in order to provide the government with money, not for social security but for its regular expenditures, and the same thing appeared in Germany.
How the funds will be spent or “invested” by the central government is a point upon which all the advocates of this system are by no means agreed. Generally they fall into three groups:
- The first group insists that the government shall not engage in any activities that either compete with private industry or impinge on its province. The government should put out its funds upon projects outside the domain of the profit system—such as public roads, schools, eleemosynary institutions, playgrounds, public parks, health projects, recreational and cultural activities of all sorts. A possible exception might be the development of power across state boundaries. Another exception would be public housing or housing for the underprivileged, which would not actually compete with private industry since private investors never put any money into housing projects of this kind. They would leave the whole subject of producing and distributing goods to private enterprises.
- Another group proposes to invest these government funds in the shares and bonds of private enterprises. An eligible list of public investments would be established. The government would thus become the chief investor in private enterprise and in some cases— the railroads, for instance—the government might own all the bonds and perhaps much of the stock. Thus we would have a private corporation operating the utility in which much if not most of the funds would belong to the government. This plan, of course, would enable the general government, as the largest stockholder or holder of the mortgage, to exercise over properties a whole range of authority and power which it could not possibly exercise as a government per se.
- A third plan is outlined by Mr. Mordecai Ezekiel, economic adviser of the Agricultural Department. He proposes an Industrial Adjustment Administration patterned on the lines of the Agricultural Adjustment Administration. It would work as follows: Industry, organized into local groups united by national councils, would plan each year not the amount of goods it could sell but the amount needed by the nation. This estimate, approved by the government, would be authorized as the production program of the year. Each region and each unit in the region would receive its allocation of what it might produce. Prices would be fixed and all the producing units would proceed to turn out their respective quotas. The government would guarantee the sale of everything produced, underwriting the whole program and taking of the hands of all producers their undisposable surpluses. The risks of business would be transferred almost entirely to the government.
What is stewing in Washington is a potpourri of all these ideas. The National Resources Planning Board in its report to Congress did actually propose that the government should become a partner in railroads, shipping, busses, airlines, power, telephone, telegraph, radio, aluminum, and other basic industries. It proposed also government participation in the financing of industry without setting very much limitation on it. John Maynard Keynes—now Lord Keynes and a member of the Board of Governors of the Bank of England and the most distinguished English-speaking exponent of these theories— speaks of this as “a somewhat comprehensive socialization of investment.“ By this he means to distinguish his plan from the socialization of industry. Industry would be operated by private groups but the investment in industry would be socialized. “It is not the ownership of the instruments of production which it is important for the state to assume. If the state is able to determine the aggregate amount of resources devoted to augmenting the instruments and the basic rate of reward to those who can own them it will have accomplished all that is necessary,” says Lord Keynes.
The government will interpose itself between the corporate enterprise and the investor. The government will sell its securities to the investor, and as these will be guaranteed securities, the government can fix the rate of interest and therefore the rate of reward to the investor. The government will then invest these funds in industry. The industry is “owned” by a private corporation. But the government owns its bonds, perhaps much of its stock.
Thus Lord Keynes thinks Jobs for All, by Mordecai Ezekiel … avoids statism or government ownership of industry.
What is perfectly obvious, however, is that in one form or another these men are attempting to fabricate a system that will not be communistic and will not involve state ownership but will put in the hands of the all-powerful state not only through institutions of public regulation but through financial investment complete control of the economic system, while at the same time running up vast debts against the government and utilizing the public credit to create employment.
Flynn then dryly concludes:
Of course this is fascism.
For this principle of the Dual Consumptive Economy, as Dr. Hansen calls it, or the principle of planned consumption, as the fascists call it, by whatever name it is called is in fact one of the ingredients of the fascist or national socialist system.
And if we will add to it the other ingredients of fascism or national socialism, we will then have that baleful order in America. Whether this is a sound system or not is a matter for discussion.
….. sound or not, as Mr. Dal Hitchcock points out, it is the Nazi system. Whether we shall adopt it or not is hardly any longer a question. We have adopted it. The question is, can we get rid of it, and how? And if we are to continue it, the next question is how can we do so while at the same time continuing to operate our society in accordance with the democratic processes?
Clearly, Flynn recognizes that the old order is finished in America.
The fall of America:
…America has now stumbled through the same marshes as Italy and Germany—and most European countries. Her leaders had proclaimed their undying belief in sound finance and balanced budgets while they teetered timidly on unbalanced ones. The public clamor for benefits, the cries of insistent minorities for relief and work, the imperious demand of all for action, action in some direction against the pressure of the pitiless laws of nature—all this was far more potent in shaping the course of the administration’s fiscal policy than any fixed convictions based on principle.
An unbalanced budget, after all, is a more or less impersonal evil, not easily grasped by the masses; but an army of unemployed men and the painfully conspicuous spectacle of shrinking purchasing power are things that strike down sharply on their consciousness.
It is not easy, perhaps, to eat one’s words about balancing the budget. But it is easier than facing all these angry forces with no plan. It is easier to spend than not to spend. It is running with the tide, along the lines of least resistance. And hence Mr. Roosevelt did what the premiers of Europe had been doing for decades. Only he called it a New Deal.
So much for Fascist economics, now for democratic militarism.
IV · Democratic Militarism
AT THIS MOMENT we are at war. There is not much difference of opinion among Americans as to the propriety of a national army raised on the principle of universal service during war. But when the war ends we may be sure that a powerful movement will spring up for a continuance of the principle of universal service during peace. It may be recalled that I defined militarism as a system of conscription in time of peace. If we go in for that we will have militarism, whatever excuse we may offer for doing it
Many others, like Congressman Sabath, saw in universal military training an opportunity for young men to acquire training in skilled trades. And General George C. Marshall, Army Chief of Staff, told Americans that “it is only through discomforts and fatigue that progress can be made toward the gradual triumph of mind and muscle over the softness of the life to which we have all been accustomed.” Thus we can depend on a considerable number of very respectable people who have no wish to engage in aggressiveness to support the institution of militarism because they like armies, feel the taste for them in their blood, and look upon them as a great school of discipline and order and as an expression of our national power.
These two stubborn forces—the lack of federal projects for spending, with the resistance of the states to spending on local projects that will complicate their already perilous fiscal position, and the resistance of the conservative groups to rising expenditure and debt —will always force a government like ours to find a project for spending which meets these two conditions: It must be a strictly federal project and it must be one upon which the conservative and taxpaying elements will be willing to see money spent. The one great federal project which meets these requirements is the army and navy for national defense.
And this, of course, is quite inadequate unless it is carried on upon a scale which gives it all the characteristics of militarism. I do not propose to examine the psychological basis for this devotion of the conservative elements to military might. The inquiry is interesting, but here we are concerned with the fact and it is a fact. It is a fact that military outlays, at least within limits, generally can be counted on to command the support of those elements which are generally most vigorous in the opposition to public spending.
At the same time those elements among the workers who are generally opposed to militarism are weakened in this resistance by the beneficial effect which war preparation has upon employment.
Thus militarism is the one great glamorous public-works project upon which a variety of elements in the community can be brought into agreement. This economic phase of the institution, however, is not always stressed, being smothered under the patriotic gases pumped out in its defense. Nevertheless, this economic aspect is never absent from the consciousness of most people who champion militarism. Thus, for instance, in 1940, when the drive for conscription in peacetime was running into some obstacles, the New York Post, which, like all militaristic champions, was for the measure only for the noblest reasons, perceived that a large number of our dumb proletarians resisted the infection.
Mr. Edward Hallett Carr, of the London Times, puts his finger on the central idea in this subject. He sees with clarity that war has performed and still performs a social purpose, even though it be not a moral one.
The wars of the last century were gilded with an oblique moral purpose even though they were raw aggressions because nations suffering from scarcity made it a high moral purpose to possess themselves of Asiatic and African territories to provide their people with the necessities of life. There is not too solid a foundation to this pretense, but it was made nevertheless. Now, however, we are told that scarcity is a thing of the past, at least among the great favored nations.
Now for the crucial claim:
But war now finds its social purpose in the struggle against unemployment and inequality.
“Against these evils, which democracy and laissez-faire capitalism cannot cure,” says Mr. Carr, “large-scale war provides an effective if short antidote.”
This is the central idea, but it is a mistake to suppose that it is war itself which is the chief weapon used against unemployment and unequal distribution of wealth.
War does wipe out unemployment and does create and distribute widely new money income.
But far more important than war is the preparation for war.
Indeed war itself is often a by-product of this preparation and of the circumstances which lead to preparation.
War produces a more complete result but it is temporary, passes swiftly, and leaves behind it immense dislocations.
But preparation for war can go on for a long time—for forty years in Germany and France and Italy.
War or preparation for war establishes the government as the one big customer for the one big industry to which almost all industries become tributary: the armament industry.
Preparation for war —national defense, it is called—can take a million or more men in this country in peacetime out of the labor market and put them in the army while at the same time three times as many can be drawn into the industries which provide them with tanks, planes, guns, barracks, food, clothes, etc., all paid for by the government with funds raised largely if not altogether by debt.
The liberals and the pacifists have not stopped fascism:
It has been the pacifist, the liberal, and the radical who have been supposed to be the bulwark against militarism—here as elsewhere. Yet even in their armor is a flaw, which originates in the profound economic necessity upon which the true-hearted militarists have floated.
William James, the pragmatic fascist:
A good many years ago William James, an avowed pacifist, could twist out of his own mind an argument for universal service.
He wrote: “Reflective apologists for war at the present day all take it religiously. It is a sort of sacrament. Its profits are to the vanquished as well as to the victor, and, quite apart from any question of profit, it is an absolute good, we are told, for it is human nature at its highest dynamic. Its “horrors” are a cheap price to pay for rescue from the only alternative of a world of clerks and teachers, of coeducation and zoophily, of consumers’ leagues and associated charities, of industrialism unlimited and feminism unabashed.”
But, alas, James was to add: So far as the central idea of this feeling goes no healthy-minded person, it seems to me, can help to some degree partaking of it. Militarism is the great preserver of our ideals, of hardihood, and human life with no use for hardihood would be contemptible. Without risks or prizes for the darer, history would be insipid indeed. So long as anti-militarists propose no substitute for war’s disciplinary function, no moral equivalent for war, analogous one might say to the mechanical equivalent for heat, so long they fail to realize the full inwardness of the situation.
And so James proposed a conscription of youth for a war upon nature. But James had not put his finger on the mark. It is not war as a discipline and a field of glory for which we must find a substitute. It is war as a source of economic energy for which apparently we must find a substitute, if we are to look upon the subject in that way.
Mr. Carr examines this subject more intelligently. “War as an economic instrument is possible because it is possible to work up a moral support for war—or for national defense. War produces its economic effects wholly by sending the government off upon a gigantic spree of spending borrowed funds. It would be possible to obtain the same effects by spending borrowed.
Lastly, we come to imperialism.
V · American Imperialism
EMBARKED, as we seem to be, upon a career of militarism, we shall, like every other country, have to find the means when the war ends of obtaining the consent of the people to the burdens that go along with the blessings it confers upon its favored groups and regions. Powerful resistance to it will always be active, and the effective means of combating this resistance will have to be found. Inevitably, having surrendered to militarism as an economic device, we will do what other countries have done: we will keep alive the fears of our people of the aggressive “ambitions of other countries and we will ourselves embark upon imperialistic enterprises of our own.
Two words have come into extensive use since the present war began. One is “isolationism”; the other is “internationalism.” Curiously internationalism has come to be a synonym for interventionism. Intervention was a word used to describe the policy of those who insisted that America should intervene in the European war. There were many lifelong and sincere internationalists—men who were warm supporters of the League of Nations or similar plans for world co-operation—who were opposed to American entry into the war. The two words represent wholly different ideas.
Imperialism, too, has come to describe a kind of internationalism, so that one who opposes it is scornfully called an isolationist. Imperialism is an institution under which one nation asserts the right to seize the land or at least to control the government or resources of another people. It is an assertion of stark, bold aggression.
John T. Flynn. As We Go Marching.
In other words, as we argued previously and will argue again shortly, “war made the state and the state made fascism.”
In the next two posts, we set forth our explanatory account as to why fascism triumphed and why the growth of the centralized, totalitarian state was unstoppable in the European Minotaur of War and the American Minotaur of War respectively.