Book Notes: The New Deal and Washington
I want to look at two topics we have touched on in previous book notes that reappear in this weeks reading. Because the reading to date has largely taken place in the 1930’s, FDR’s New Deal has been touched on a number of times in the reading. Washington, and the freedom of Communists to move in and out of the Washington circles has also been mentioned. I believe Communism is the logical conclusion of socialism, and may even be a more accurate name for statism. Looking at the Communist of the 30’s gives us insight into today’s statist.
In the second paragraph of this weeks reading, Chambers discusses moving his family to a new city. He states, “At first, I had thought of moving them to Washington. But that city was crowded (the New Deal was in full swing) and rents were high. ” He was looking at Washington because he was going to be involved in the Communist apparatus that was currently in Washington. We also find out that Chambers believes that at least two, and possibly more, apparatus were operating in Washington during this time. I have seen a number of maps put out showing a similar effect today. While much of the country is experiencing double digit unemployment, the Washington DC area has the been experiencing the third largest job growth of any metropolitan area (according to the Washington Business Journal). Large governmental involvement in the economy of the country translates into big job gains for the District of Columbia, and many opportunities for those who want to see more government involvement in our everyday life.
The other comparison to today I want to draw is between FDR’s philosophy of how to improve the nation and President Obama’s. There are more comparison’s between the two presidents than I can list here. Many on the left look at the similarities and brag about them. Others would like to see Obama go much further than FDR. Both Presidents share a statist philosophy that only the government can save us in times of need. Chambers records Alger Hiss’s feelings on FDR:
Hiss’s contempt for Franklin Roosevelt as a dabbler in revolution who understood neither revolution nor history was profound. It was the common view of Roosevelt among Communists, which I shared with the rest.
I think it is worth noting that the Communists viewed Roosevelt as a “dabbler in revolution”. I think the same could be said of President Obama, and may even be said by statist. When statist say that the stimulus bill isn’t working because we didn’t spend enough money, I believe they are accusing Obama of “dabbling” in revolution and really want him to go in all the way.
One of the messages of Goldberg’s Liberal Fascism was that statist and progressives’ don’t understand their own history. It’s important that we do. Here is an example of where President Obama is repeating history. We have seen how this tale ends. My fear is that the current story might have an even more disastrous ending.
For Next Week: I would like to cover up to the beginning of Chapter 10. For those of you keeping up, is the 50 or so pages a week pace ok? Would you like to see more pages in a week? Less?