Book Notes: A "Hard Look at the New Deal"

“I saw that the New Deal was only superficially a reform movement.  I had to acknowledge the truth of what its more forthright protagonists, sometimes unwarily, sometimes defiantly, averred:  The New Deal was a genuine revolution, whose deepest purpose was not simply reform within existing traditions, but a basic change in the social, and above all, the power relationships within the nation.”{emphasis mine}

In this weeks reading, Whittaker Chambers provides some very powerful insights into the New Deal.  I think these are important because these same insights could be applied to such progressive policies as Obamacare in today’s world.  Chambers arrives at the above section after he has broken with communism, and begins to look at the New Deal through fresh eyes.  He argues that the New Deal was a revolution, but without guns.  This was a revolution carried out in the halls of power in Washington, D.C. and not on the traditional battlefield.

Chambers also realizes that he finally understood why so many communists were in government:  their objectives and the administrations were the same.  Chambers describes those in government as revolutionists.  Some understood what they were doing, some didn’t recognize it, but were still very passionate about it.  Because the communists and the non-communists had the same goals, they worked together in Washington:

…the basic point of the revolution — the shift of power from business to government — the two kinds of revolutionists were at one; and they shared many other views and hopes.  Thus men who sincerely abhorred the word Communism, in the pursuit of common ends found that they were unable to distinguish Communists from themselves…

He says later that because of this, any move against the Communists occupying the government of the day was seen as a move against liberals because liberals couldn’t distinguish between themselves and Communists.  I think we see this today with socialists, progressives, and liberals.  To some extent, these words describe the exact same thing.  Many politicians believe there is a difference, but they may not be able to actually list a difference.

This is also why many Americans have rejected the Democratic agenda of the last 18 months, and why few Democrats are running on their legislative success.  If the New Deal of the 1930’s was a revolution, Obamacare is a revolution in a much smaller time scale.  The New Deal imposed a “beneficial tyranny” on people just as Obamacare hopes to do the same in the coming years.  Harry Reid said in a recent debate that insurance companies should be forced to do mammograms.  There has to be a person there for the mammogram to be performed on.  Reid was saying that individuals should be forced to have mammograms.
As soon as we accept this premise, we will have to accept that other procedures can be forced on us because they save the government money.  Then the revolution will be complete because there will be no aspect of our personal life that can’t be attacked under saving the Government / the people / our mother country money.

For Next Week: I want to cover up to section XII of Chapter 11.  As an aside, re-read pages 471 through 473.  Everywhere Chambers says “New Deal” replace it with “Obamacare” when you read it this time.