World War I as Fulfillment: Power and the Intellectuals

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In contrast
to older historians who regarded World War I as the destruction
of progressive reform, I am convinced that the war came to the United
States as the “fulfillment,” the culmination, the veritable apotheosis
of progressivism in American life.[1]
I regard progressivism as basically a movement on behalf of Big
Government in all walks of the economy and society, in a fusion
or coalition between various groups of big businessmen, led by the
House of Morgan, and rising groups of technocratic and statist intellectuals.
In this fusion, the values and interests of both groups would be
pursued through government.

Big business
would be able to use the government to cartelize the economy, restrict
competition, and regulate production and prices, and also be able
to wield a militaristic and imperialist foreign policy to force
open markets abroad and apply the sword of the State to protect
foreign investments. Intellectuals would be able to use the government
to restrict entry into their professions and to assume jobs in Big
Government to apologize for, and to help plan and staff, government
operations. Both groups also believed that, in this fusion, the
Big State could be used to harmonize and interpret the “national
interest” and thereby provide a “middle way” between the extremes
of “dog-eat-dog” laissez faire and the bitter conflicts of proletarian

Also animating
both groups of progressives was a postmillennial pietist Protestantism
that had conquered “Yankee” areas of northern Protestantism by the
1830s and had impelled the pietists to use local, state, and finally
federal governments to stamp out “sin,” to make America and eventually
the world holy, and thereby to bring about the Kingdom of God on
earth. The victory of the Bryanite forces at the Democratic national
convention of 1896 destroyed the Democratic Party as the vehicle
of “liturgical” Roman Catholics and German Lutherans devoted to
personal liberty and laissez faire and created the roughly homogenized
and relatively non-ideological party system we have today. After
the turn of the century, this development created an ideological
and power vacuum for the expanding number of progressive technocrats
and administrators to fill. In that way, the locus of government
shifted from the legislature, at least partially subject to democratic
check, to the oligarchic and technocratic executive branch.

World War I
brought the fulfillment of all these progressive trends. Militarism,
conscription, massive intervention at home and abroad, a collectivized
war economy, all came about during the war and created a mighty
cartelized system that most of its leaders spent the rest of their
lives trying to recreate, in peace as well as war. In the World
War I chapter of his outstanding work, Crisis
and Leviathan
, Professor Robert
concentrates on the war economy and illuminates the interconnections
with conscription.

this paper, I would like to concentrate on an area that Professor
Higgs relatively neglects: the coming to power during the war of
the various groups of progressive intellectuals.[2]
I use the term “intellectual” in the broad sense penetratingly described
by F.A. Hayek: that is, not merely theorists and academicians, but
also all manner of opinion-molders in society – writers, journalists,
preachers, scientists, activists of all sort – what Hayek calls
“secondhand dealers in ideas.”[3]
Most of these intellectuals, of whatever strand or occupation, were
either dedicated, messianic postmillennial pietists or else former
pietists, born in a deeply pietist home, who, though now secularized,
still possessed an intense messianic belief in national and world
salvation through Big Government. But, in addition, oddly but characteristically,
most combined in their thought and agitation messianic moral or
religious fervor with an empirical, allegedly “value-free,” and
strictly “scientific” devotion to social science. Whether it be
the medical profession’s combined scientific and moralistic devotion
to stamping out sin or a similar position among economists or philosophers,
this blend is typical of progressive intellectuals.

In this paper,
I will be dealing with various examples of individual or groups
of progressive intellectuals, exulting in the triumph of their creed
and their own place in it, as a result of America’s entry into World
War I. Unfortunately, limitations of space and time preclude dealing
with all facets of the wartime activity of progressive intellectuals;
in particular, I regret having to omit treatment of the conscription
movement, a fascinating example of the creed of the “therapy” of
“discipline” led by upper-class intellectuals and businessmen in
the J.P. Morgan ambit.[4] I shall
also have to omit both the highly significant trooping to the war
colors of the nation’s preachers, and the wartime impetus toward
the permanent centralization of scientific research.[5]

There is no
better epigraph for the remainder of this paper than a congratulatory
note sent to President Wilson after the delivery of his war message
on April 2, 1917. The note was sent by Wilson’s son-in-law and fellow
Southern pietist and progressive, Secretary of the Treasury William
Gibbs McAdoo, a man who had spent his entire life as an industrialist
in New York City, solidly in the J.P. Morgan ambit. McAdoo wrote
to Wilson: “You have done a great thing nobly! I firmly believe
that it is God’s will that America should do this transcendent service
for humanity throughout the world and that you are His chosen instrument.”[6]
It was not a sentiment with which the president could disagree.

Pietism and Prohibition

One of the
few important omissions in Professor Higgs’s book is the crucial
role of postmillennial pietist Protestantism in the drive toward
statism in the United States. Dominant in the “Yankee” areas of
the North from the 1830s on, the aggressive “evangelical” form of
pietism conquered Southern Protestantism by the 1890s and played
a crucial role in progressivism after the turn of the century and
through World War I. Evangelical pietism held that requisite to
any man’s salvation is that he do his best to see to it that everyone
else is saved, and doing one’s best inevitably meant that the State
must become a crucial instrument in maximizing people’s chances
for salvation. In particular, the State plays a pivotal role in
stamping out sin, and in “making America holy.”

To the pietists,
sin was very broadly defined as any force that might cloud men’s
minds so that they could not exercise their theological free will
to achieve salvation. Of particular importance were slavery (until
the Civil War), Demon Rum, and the Roman Catholic Church, headed
by the Antichrist in Rome. For decades after the Civil War, “rebellion”
took the place of slavery in the pietist charges against their great
political enemy, the Democratic party.[7]
Then in 1896, with the evangelical conversion of Southern Protestantism
and the admission to the Union of the sparsely populated and pietist
Mountain states, William Jennings Bryan was able to put together
a coalition that transformed the Democrats into a pietist party
and ended forever that party’s once proud role as the champion of
“liturgical” (Catholic and High German Lutheran) Christianity and
of personal liberty and laissez faire.[8][9]

The pietists
of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries were all postmillennialist:
They believed that the Second Advent of Christ will occur only after
the millennium – a thousand years of the establishment of the
Kingdom of God on earth – has been brought about by human effort.
Postmillennialists have therefore tended to be statists, with the
State becoming an important instrument of stamping out sin and Christianizing
the social order so as to speed Jesus’ return.[10]

Professor Timberlake
neatly sums up this politico-religious conflict:

Unlike those
extremist and apocalyptic sects that rejected and withdrew from
the world as hopelessly corrupt, and unlike the more conservative
churches, such as the Roman Catholic, Protestant Episcopal, and
Lutheran, that tended to assume a more relaxed attitude toward
the influence of religion in culture, evangelical Protestantism
sought to overcome the corruption of the world in a dynamic manner,
not only by converting men to belief in Christ but also by Christianizing
the social order through the power and force of law. According
to this view, the Christian’s duty was to use the secular power
of the state to transform culture so that the community of the
faithful might be kept pure and the work of saving the unregenerate
might be made easier. Thus the function of law was not simply
to restrain evil but to educate and uplift.[11]

Both prohibition
and progressive reform were pietistic, and as both movements expanded
after 1900 they became increasingly intertwined. The Prohibition
Party, once confined – at least in its platform – to a
single issue, became increasingly and frankly progressive after
1904. The Anti-Saloon League, the major vehicle for prohibitionist
agitation after 1900, was also markedly devoted to progressive reform.
Thus at the League’s annual convention in 1905, Rev. Howard H. Russell
rejoiced in the growing movement for progressive reform and particularly
hailed Theodore Roosevelt, as that “leader of heroic mould, of absolute
honesty of character and purity of life, that foremost man of this
world….”[12] At the Anti-Saloon
League’s convention of 1909, Rev. Purley A. Baker lauded the labor
union movement as a holy crusade for justice and a square deal.
The League’s 1915 convention, which attracted 10,000 people, was
noted for the same blend of statism, social service, and combative
Christianity that had marked the national convention of the Progressive
Party in 1912.[13] And at the
League’s June 1916 convention, Bishop Luther B. Wilson stated, without
contradiction, that everyone present would undoubtedly hail the
progressive reforms then being proposed.

During the
Progressive years, the Social Gospel became part of the mainstream
of pietist Protestantism. Most of the evangelical churches created
commissions on social service to promulgate the Social Gospel, and
virtually all of the denominations adopted the Social Creed drawn
up in 1912 by the Commission of the Church and Social Service of
the Federal Council of Churches. The creed called for the abolition
of child labor, the regulation of female labor, the right of labor
to organize (i.e., compulsory collective bargaining), the elimination
of poverty, and an “equitable” division of the national product.
And right up there as a matter of social concern was the liquor
problem. The creed maintained that liquor was a grave hindrance
toward the establishment of the Kingdom of God on earth, and it
advocated the “protection of the individual and society from the
social, economic, and moral waste of the liquor traffic.[14]

The Social
Gospel leaders were fervent advocates of statism and of prohibition.
These included Rev. Walter Rauschenbusch and Rev. Charles Stelzle,
whose tract Why Prohibition! (1918) was distributed, after
the United States’ entry into World War I, by the Commission on
Temperance of the Federal Council of Churches to labor leaders,
members of Congress, and important government officials. A particularly
important Social Gospel leader was Rev. Josiah Strong, whose monthly
journal, The Gospel of the Kingdom, was published by Strong’s
American Institute of Social Service. In an article supporting prohibition
in the July 1914 issue, The Gospel of the Kingdom hailed the progressive
spirit that was at last putting an end to “personal liberty”:

Liberty” is at last an uncrowned, dethroned king, with no one
to do him reverence. The social consciousness is so far developed.
and is becoming so autocratic, that institutions and governments
must give heed to its mandate and share their life accordingly.
We are no longer frightened by that ancient bogy – “paternalism
in government.” We affirm boldly, it is the business of government
to be just that – Paternal. Nothing human can be foreign
to a true government.[15]

As true crusaders,
the pietists were not content to stop with the stamping out of sin
in the United States alone. If American pietism was convinced that
Americans were God’s chosen people, destined to establish a Kingdom
of God within the United States, surely the pietists’ religious
and moral duty could not stop there. In a sense, the world was America’s
oyster. As Professor Timberlake put it, once the Kingdom of God
was in the course of being established in the United States, “it
was therefore America’s mission to spread these ideals and institutions
abroad so that the Kingdom could be established throughout the world.
American Protestants were accordingly not content merely to work
for the kingdom of God in America, but felt compelled to assist
in the reformation of the rest of the world also.”[16]

American entry
into World War I provided the fulfillment of prohibitionist dreams.
In the first place, all food production was placed under the control
of Herbert Hoover, Food Administration czar. But if the US government
was to control and allocate food resources, shall it permit the
precious scarce supply of grain to be siphoned off into the “waste,”
if not the sin, of the manufacture of liquor? Even though less than
two percent of American cereal production went into the manufacture
of alcohol, think of the starving children of the world who might
otherwise be fed. As the progressive weekly The Independent
demagogically phrased it. “Shall the many have food, or the few
have drink?” For the ostensible purpose of “conserving” grain, Congress
wrote an amendment into the Lever Food and Fuel Control Act of August
10, 1917, that absolutely prohibited the use of foodstuffs, hence
grain, in the production of alcohol. Congress would have added a
prohibition on the manufacture of wine or beer, but President Wilson
persuaded the Anti-Saloon League that he could accomplish the same
goal more slowly and thereby avoid a delaying filibuster by the
wets in Congress. However, Herbert Hoover, a progressive and a prohibitionist,
persuaded Wilson to issue an order, on December 8, both greatly
reducing the alcoholic content of beer and limiting the amount of
foodstuffs that could be used in its manufacture.[17]

The prohibitionists
were able to use the Lever Act and war patriotism to good effect.
Thus, Mrs. W. E. Lindsey, wife of the governor of New Mexico, delivered
a speech in November 1917 that noted the Lever Act, and declared:

Aside from
the long list of awful tragedies following in the wake of the
liquor traffic, the economic waste is too great to be tolerated
at this time. With so many people of the allied nations near to
the door of starvation, it would be criminal ingratitude for us
to continue the manufacture of whiskey.[18]

Another rationale
for prohibition during the war was the alleged necessity to protect
American soldiers from the dangers of alcohol to their health, their
morals, and their immortal souls. As a result, in the Selective
Service Act of May 18, 1917, Congress provided that dry zones must
be established around every army base, and it was made illegal to
sell or even to give liquor to any member of the military establishment
within those zones, even in one’s private home. Any inebriated servicemen
were subject to courts-martial.

But the most
severe thrust toward national prohibition was the Anti-Saloon League’s
proposed eighteenth constitutional amendment, outlawing the manufacture,
sale, transportation, import or export of all intoxicating liquors.
It was passed by Congress and submitted to the states at the end
of December 1917. Wet arguments that prohibition would prove unenforceable
were met with the usual dry appeal to high principle: Should laws
against murder and robbery he repealed simply because they cannot
be completely enforced? And arguments that private property would
be unjustly confiscated were also brushed aside with the contention
that property injurious to the health, morals, and safety of the
people had always been subject to confiscation without compensation.

When the Lever
Act made a distinction between hard liquor (forbidden) and beer
and wine (limited), the brewing industry tried to save their skins
by cutting themselves loose from the taint of distilled spirits.
“The true relationship with beer,” insisted the United States Brewers
Association, “is with light wines and soft drinks-not with hard
liquors.” The brewers affirmed their desire to “sever, once for
all, the shackles that bound our wholesome productions to ardent
spirits.” But this craven attitude would do the brewers no good.
After all, one of the major objectives of the drys was to smash
the brewers, once and for all, they whose product was the very embodiment
of the drinking habits of the hated German-American masses, both
Catholic and Lutheran, liturgicals and beer drinkers all. German-Americans
were now fair game. Were they not all agents of the satanic Kaiser,
bent on conquering the world? Were they not conscious agents of
the dreaded Hun Kultur, out to destroy American civilization?
And were not most brewers German?

And so the
Anti-Saloon League thundered that “German brewers in this country
have rendered thousands of men inefficient and are thus crippling
the Republic in its war on Prussian militarism.” Apparently, the
Anti-Saloon League took no heed of the work of German brewers in
Germany, who were presumably performing the estimable service of
rendering “Prussian militarism” helpless. The brewers were accused
of being pro-German, and of subsidizing the press (apparently it
was all right to be pro-English or to subsidize the press if one
were not a brewer). The acme of the accusations came from one prohibitionist:
“We have German enemies,” he warned, “in this country too. And the
worst of all our German enemies, the most treacherous, the most
menacing are Pabst, Schlitz, Blatz, and Miller.”[19]

In this sort
of atmosphere, the brewers didn’t have a chance, and the Eighteenth
Amendment went to the states, outlawing all forms of liquor. Since
twenty-seven states had already outlawed liquor, this meant that
only nine more were needed to ratify this remarkable amendment,
which directly involved the federal constitution in what had always
been, at most, a matter of police power of the states. The thirty-sixth
state ratified the Eighteenth Amendment on January 16, 1919, and
by the end of February all but three states (New Jersey, Rhode Island,
and Connecticut) had made liquor unconstitutional as well as illegal.
Technically, the amendment went into force the following January,
but Congress speeded matters up by passing the War Prohibition Act
of November 11, 1918, which banned the manufacture of beer and wine
after the following May and outlawed the sale of all intoxicating
beverages after June 30, 1919, a ban to continue in effect until
the end of demobilization. Thus total national prohibition really
began on July 1, 1919, with the Eighteenth Amendment taking over
six months later. The constitutional amendment needed a congressional
enforcing act, which Congress supplied with the Volstead (or National
Prohibition) Act, passed over Wilson’s veto at the end of October

With the battle
against Demon Rum won at home, the restless advocates of pietist
prohibitionism looked for new lands to conquer. Today America, tomorrow
the world. In June 1919 the triumphant Anti-Saloon League called
an international prohibition conference in Washington and created
a World League Against Alcoholism. World prohibition, after all,
was needed to finish the job of making the world safe for democracy.
The prohibitionists’ goals were fervently expressed by Rev. A.C.
Bane at the Anti-Saloon League’s 1917 convention, when victory in
America was already in sight. To a wildly cheering throng, Bane

America will
“go over the top” in humanity’s greatest battle [against liquor]
and plant the victorious white standard of Prohibition upon the
nation’s loftiest eminence. Then catching sight of the beckoning
hand of our sister nations across the sea, struggling with the
same age-long foe, we will go forth with the spirit of the missionary
and the crusader to help drive the demon of drink from all civilization.
With America leading the way, with faith in Omnipotent God, and
bearing with patriotic hands our stainless flag, the emblem of
civic purity, we will soon bestow upon mankind the priceless gift
of World Prohibition.[20]

the prohibitionists found the reluctant world a tougher nut to crack.

Women at War and at the Polls

Another direct
outgrowth of World War I, coming in tandem with prohibition but
lasting more permanently, was the Nineteenth Amendment, submitted
by Congress in 1919 and ratified by the following year, which allowed
women to vote. Women’s suffrage had long been a movement directly
allied with prohibition. Desperate to combat a demographic trend
that seemed to be going against them, the evangelical pietists called
for women’s suffrage (and enacted it in many Western states). They
did so because they knew that while pietist women were socially
and politically active, ethnic or liturgical women tended to be
culturally bound to hearth and home and therefore far less likely
to vote.

Hence, women’s
suffrage would greatly increase pietist voting power. In 1869 the
Prohibitionist Party became the first party to endorse women’s suffrage,
which it continued to do. The Progressive Party was equally enthusiastic
about female suffrage; it was the first major national party to
permit women delegates at its conventions. A leading women’s suffrage
organization was the Women’s Christian Temperance Union, which reached
an enormous membership of 300,000 by 1900. And three successive
presidents of the major women’s suffrage group, the National American
Woman Suffrage Association – Susan B. Anthony, Mrs. Carrie
Chapman Catt, and Dr. Anna Howard Shaw – all began their activist
careers as prohibitionists. Susan B. Anthony put the issue clearly:

There is
an enemy of the homes of this nation and that enemy is drunkenness.
Everyone connected with the gambling house, the brothel and the
saloon works and votes solidly against the enfranchisement of
women, and, I say, if you believe in chastity, if you believe
in honesty and integrity, then take the necessary steps to put
the ballot in the hands of women.[21]

For its part,
the German-American Alliance of Nebraska sent out an appeal during
the unsuccessful referendum in November 1914 on women suffrage.
Written in German, the appeal declared, “Our German women do not
want the right to vote, and since our opponents desire the right
of suffrage mainly for the purpose of saddling the yoke of prohibition
on our necks, we should oppose it with all our might….”[22]

America’s entry
into World War I provided the impetus for overcoming the substantial
opposition to woman suffrage, as a corollary to the success of prohibition
and as a reward for the vigorous activity by organized women in
behalf of the war effort. To close the loop, much of that activity
consisted in stamping out vice and alcohol as well as instilling
“patriotic” education into the minds of often suspect immigrant

Shortly after
the US declaration of war, the Council of National Defense created
an Advisory Committee on Women’s Defense Work, known as the Woman’s
Committee. The purpose of the committee, writes a celebratory contemporary
account, was “to coordinate the activities and the resources of
the organized and unorganized women of the country, that their power
may be immediately utilized in time of need, and to supply a new
and direct channel of cooperation between women and governmental
department.”[23] Chairman of
the Woman’s Committee, working energetically and full time, was
the former president of the National American Woman Suffrage Association,
Dr. Anna Howard Shaw, and another leading member was the suffrage
group’s current chairman and an equally prominent suffragette, Mrs.
Carrie Chapman Catt.

The Woman’s
Committee promptly set up organizations in cities and states across
the country, and on June 19, 1917 convened a conference of over
fifty national women’s organizations to coordinate their efforts.
It was at this conference that “the first definite task was imposed
upon American women” by the indefatigable Food Czar, Herbert Hoover.[24]
Hoover enlisted the cooperation of the nation’s women in his ambitious
campaign for controlling, restricting, and cartelizing the food
industry in the name of “conservation” and elimination of “waste.”
Celebrating this coming together of women was one of the Woman’s
Committee members, the Progressive writer and muckraker Mrs. Ida
M. Tarbell. Mrs. Tarbell lauded the “growing consciousness everywhere
that this great enterprise for democracy which we are launching
[the US entry into the war] is a national affair, and if an individual
or a society is going to do its bit it must act with and under the
government at Washington.” “Nothing else,” Mrs. Tarbell gushed,
“can explain the action of the women of the country in coming together
as they are doing today under one centralized direction.”[25]

Mrs. Tarbell’s
enthusiasm might have been heightened by the fact that she was one
of the directing rather than the directed. Herbert Hoover came to
the women’s conference with the proposal that each of the women
sign and distribute a “food pledge card” on behalf of food conservation.
While support for the food pledge among the public was narrower
than anticipated, educational efforts to promote the pledge became
the basis of the remainder of the women’s conservation campaign.
The Woman’s Committee appointed Mrs. Tarbell as chairman of its
committee on Food Administration, and she not only tirelessly organized
the campaign but also wrote many letters and newspaper and magazine
articles on its behalf.

In addition
to food control, another important and immediate function of the
Woman’s Committee was to attempt to register every woman in the
country for possible volunteer or paid work in support of the war
effort. Every woman aged sixteen or over was asked to sign and submit
a registration card with all pertinent information, including training,
experience, and the sort of work desired. In that way the government
would know the whereabouts and training of every woman, and government
and women could then serve each other best. In many states, especially
Ohio and Illinois, state governments set up schools to train the
registrars. And even though the Woman’s Committee kept insisting
that the registration was completely voluntary, the state of Louisiana,
as Ida Clarke puts it, developed a “novel and clever” idea to facilitate
the program: women’s registration was made compulsory.

Governor Ruftin G. Pleasant decreed October 17, 1917 compulsory
registration day, and a host of state officials collaborated in
its operation. The State Food Commission made sure that food pledges
were also signed by all, and the State School Board granted a holiday
on October 17 so that teachers could assist in the compulsory registration,
especially in the rural districts. Six thousand women were officially
commissioned by the state of Louisiana to conduct the registration,
and they worked in tandem with state Food Conservation officials
and parish Demonstration Agents. In the French areas of the state,
the Catholic priests rendered valuable aid in personally appealing
to all their female parishioners to perform their registration duties.
Handbills were circulated in French, house-to-house canvasses were
made, and speeches urging registration were made by women activists
in movie theaters, schools, churches, and courthouses. We are informed
that all responses were eager and cordial; there is no mention of
any resistance. We are also advised that “even the negroes were
quite alive to the situation, meeting sometimes with the white people
and sometimes at the call of their own pastors.”[26]

Also helping
out in women’s registration and food control was another, smaller,
but slightly more sinister women’s organization that had been launched
by Congress as a sort of prewar wartime group at a large Congress
for Constructive Patriotism, held in Washington, D.C. in late January
1917. This was the National League for Woman’s Service (NLWS), which
established a nationwide organization later overshadowed and overlapped
by the larger Woman’s Committee. The difference was that the NLWS
was set up on quite frankly military lines. Each local working unit
was called a “detachment” under a “detachment commander,” district-wide
and state-wide detachments met in annual “encampments,” and every
woman member was to wear a uniform with an organization badge and
insignia. In particular, “the basis of training for all detachments
is standardized, physical drill.”[27]


government and the Woman’s Committee recognized that immigrant
ethnic women were most in need of “patriotic education.”


A vital part
of the Woman’s Committee work was engaging in “patriotic education.”
The government and the Woman’s Committee recognized that immigrant
ethnic women were most in need of such vital instruction, and so
it set up a committee on education, headed by the energetic Mrs.
Carrie Chapman Catt. Mrs. Catt stated the problem well to the Woman’s
Committee: Millions of people in the United States were unclear
on why we were at war, and why, as Ida Clarke paraphrases Mrs. Can,
there is “the imperative necessity of winning the war if future
generations were to be protected from the menace of an unscrupulous
militarism.”[28] Presumably US
militarism, being “scrupulous,” posed no problem.

Apathy and
ignorance abounded, Mrs. Catt went on, and she proposed to mobilize
twenty million American women, the “greatest sentiment makers of
any community,” to begin a “vast educational movement” to get the
women “fervently enlisted to push the war to victory as rapidly
as possible.” As Mrs. Catt continued, however, the clarity of war
aims she called for really amounted to pointing out that we were
in the war “whether the nation likes it or does not like it,” and
that therefore the “sacrifices” needed to win the war “willingly
or unwillingly must be made.” These statements are reminiscent of
arguments supporting recent military actions by Ronald Reagan (“He
had to do what he had to do”). In the end, Mrs. Catt could come
up with only one reasoned argument for the war, apart from this
alleged necessity, that it must be won to make it “the war to end

The “patriotic
education” campaign of the organized women was largely to “Americanize”
immigrant women by energetically persuading them (a) to become naturalized
American citizens and (b) to learn “Mother English.” In the campaign,
dubbed “America First,” national unity was promoted through getting
immigrants to learn English and trying to get female immigrants
into afternoon or evening English classes. The organized patriot
women were also worried about preserving the family structure of
the immigrants. If the children learn English and their parents
remain ignorant, children will scorn their elders, “parental discipline
and control are dissipated, and the whole family fabric becomes
weakened. Thus one of the great conservative forces in the community
becomes inoperative.” To preserve “maternal control of the young,"
then, “Americanization of the foreign women through language becomes
imperative.” In Erie, Pennsylvania, women’s clubs appointed “Block
Matrons,” whose job it was to get to know the foreign families of
the neighborhood and to back up school authorities in urging the
immigrants to learn English, and who, in the rather nave words
of Ida Clarke, “become neighbors, friends, and veritable mother
confessors to the foreign women of the block.” One would like to
have heard some comments from recipients of the attentions of the
Block Matrons.

All in all,
as a result of the Americanization campaign, Ida Clarke concludes,
“the organized women of this country can play an important part
in making ours a country with a common language, a common purpose,
a common set of ideals – a unified America.”[30]

Neither did
the government and its organized women neglect progressive economic
reforms. At the organizing June 1917 conference of the Woman’s Committee,
Mrs. Carrie Catt emphasized that the greatest problem of the war
was to assure that women receive “equal pay for equal work.” The
conference suggested that vigilance committees be established to
guard against the violation of “ethical laws” governing labor and
also that all laws restricting (“protecting”) the labor of women
and children be rigorously enforced. Apparently, there were some
values to which maximizing production for the war effort had to
take second place.

Mrs. Margaret
Dreier Robins, president of the National Women’s Trade Union’s League,
hailed the fact that the Woman’s Committee was organizing committees
in every state to protect minimum standards for women and children’s
labor in industry and demanded minimum wages and shorter hours for
women. Mrs. Robins particularly warned that “not only are unorganized
women workers in vast numbers used as underbidders in the labor
market for lowering industrial standards, but they are related to
those groups in industrial centers of our country that are least
Americanized and most alien to our institutions and ideals.” And
so “Americanization” and cartelization of female labor went hand
in hand.[31][32]

Saving Our Boys from Alcohol and Vice

One of organized
womanhood’s major contributions to the war effort was to collaborate
in an attempt to save American soldiers from vice and Demon Rum.
In addition to establishing rigorous dry zones around every military
camp in the United States, the Selective Service Act of May 1917
also outlawed prostitution in wide zones around the military camps.
To enforce these provisions, the War Department had ready at hand
a Commission on Training Camp Activities, an agency soon imitated
by the Department of the Navy. Both commissions were headed by a
man tailor-made for the job, the progressive New York settlement-house
worker, municipal political reformer, and former student and disciple
of Woodrow Wilson, Raymond Blaine Fosdick.

Fosdick’s background,
life, and career were paradigmatic for progressive intellectuals
and activists of that era. Fosdick’s ancestors were Yankees from
Massachusetts and Connecticut, and his great-grandfather pioneered
westward in a covered wagon to become a frontier farmer in the heart
of the Burned-Over District of transplanted Yankees, Buffalo, New
York. Fosdick’s grandfather, a pietist lay preacher born again in
a Baptist revival, was a prohibitionist who married a preacher’s
daughter and became a lifelong public school teacher in Buffalo.
Grandfather Fosdick rose to become Superintendent of Education in
Buffalo and a battler for an expanded and strengthened public school
system. Fosdick’s immediate ancestry continued in the same vein.
His father was a public school teacher in Buffalo who rose to become
principal of a high school. His mother was deeply pietist and a
staunch advocate of prohibition and women’s suffrage. Fosdick’s
father was a devout pietist Protestant and a “fanatical” Republican
who gave his son Raymond the middle name of his hero, the veteran
Maine Republican James G. Blaine. The three Fosdick children, elder
brother Harry Emerson, Raymond, and Raymond’s twin sister, Edith,
on emerging from this atmosphere, all forged lifetime careers of
pietism and social service.

While active
in New York reform administration, Fosdick made a fateful friendship.
In 1910, John D. Rockefeller, Jr., like his father a pietist Baptist,
was chairman of a special grand jury to investigate and to try to
stamp out prostitution in New York City. For Rockefeller, the elimination
of prostitution was to become an ardent and lifelong crusade. He
believed that sin, such as prostitution, must be criminated, quarantined,
and driven underground through rigorous suppression.

In 1911, Rockefeller
began his crusade by setting up the Bureau of Social Hygiene, into
which he poured $5 million in the next quarter century. Two years
later he enlisted Fosdick, already a speaker at the annual dinner
of Rockefeller’s Baptist Bible class, to study police systems in
Europe in conjunction with activities to end the great “social vice.”
Surveying American police after his stint in Europe at Rockefeller’s
behest, Fosdick was appalled that police work in the United States
was not considered a “science” and that it was subject to “sordid”
political influences.[33]

At that point,
the new Secretary of War, the progressive former mayor of Cleveland
Newton D. Baker, became disturbed at reports that areas near the
army camps in Texas on the Mexican border, where troops were mobilized
to combat the Mexican revolutionary Pancho Villa, were honeycombed
with saloons and prostitution. Sent by Baker on a fact-finding tour
in the summer of 1916, scoffed at by tough army officers as the
“Reverend,” Fosdick was horrified to find saloons and brothels seemingly
everywhere in the vicinity of the military camps. He reported his
consternation to Baker, and, at Fosdick’s suggestion, Baker cracked
down on the army commanders and their lax attitude toward alcohol
and vice. But Fosdick was beginning to get the glimmer of another
idea. Couldn’t the suppression of the bad be accompanied by a positive
encouragement of the good, of wholesome recreational alternatives
to sin and liquor that our boys could enjoy? When war was declared,
Baker quickly appointed Fosdick to be chairman of the Commission
on Training Camp Activities.

Armed with
the coercive resources of the federal government and rapidly building
his bureaucratic empire from merely one secretary to a staff of
thousands, Raymond Fosdick set out with determination on his twofold
task: stamping out alcohol and sin in and around every military
camp, and filling the void for American soldiers and sailors by
providing them with wholesome recreation. As head of the Law Enforcement
Division of the Training Camp Commission, Fosdick Bascom Johnson,
attorney for the American Social Hygiene Association.[34]
Johnson was commissioned a major, and his staff of forty aggressive
attorneys became second lieutenants.

Employing the
argument of health and military necessity, Fosdick set up a Social
Hygiene Division of his commission, which promulgated the slogan
“Fit to Fight.” Using a mixture of force and threats to remove federal
troops from the bases if recalcitrant cities did not comply, Fosdick
managed to bludgeon his way into suppressing, if not prostitution
in general, then at least every major red light district in the
country. In doing so, Fosdick and Baker, employing local police
and the federal Military Police, far exceeded their legal authority.
The law authorized the president to shut down every red light district
in a five-mile zone around each military camp or base. Of the 110
red light districts shut down by military force, however, only 35
were included in the prohibited zone. Suppression of the other 75
was an illegal extension of the law. Nevertheless, Fosdick was triumphant:
“Through the efforts of this Commission [on Training Camp Activities]
the red light district has practically ceased to be a feature of
American city life.”[35] The
result of this permanent destruction of the red light district,
of course, was to drive prostitution onto the streets, where consumers
would be deprived of the protection of either an open market or
of regulation.

In some cases,
the federal anti-vice crusade met considerable resistance. Secretary
of Navy Josephus Daniels, a progressive from North Carolina, had
to call out the marines to patrol the streets of resistant Philadelphia,
and naval troops, over the strenuous objections of the mayor, were
used to crush the fabled red light district of Storyville, in New
Orleans, in November 1917.[36]

In its hubris,
the US Army decided to extend its anti-vice crusade to foreign shores.
General John J. Pershing issued an official bulletin to members
of the American Expeditionary Force in France urging that “sexual
continence is the plain duty of members of the A.E.F., both for
the vigorous conduct of the war, and for the clean health of the
American people after the war.” Pershing and the American military
tried to close all the French brothels in areas where American troops
were located, but the move was unsuccessful because the French objected
bitterly. Premier Georges Clemenceau pointed out that the result
of the “total prohibition of regulated prostitution in the vicinity
of American troops” was only to increase “venereal diseases among
the civilian population of the neighborhood.” Finally, the United
States had to rest content with declaring French civilian areas
off limits to the troops.[37]

The more positive
part of Raymond Fosdick’s task during the war was supplying the
soldiers and sailors with a constructive substitute for sin and
alcohol, “healthful amusements and wholesome company.” As might
be expected, the Woman’s Committee and organized womanhood collaborated
enthusiastically. They followed the injunction of Secretary of War
Baker that the government “cannot allow these young men to be surrounded
by a vicious and demoralizing environment, nor can we leave anything
undone which will protect them from unhealthy influences and crude
forms of temptation.” The Woman’s Committee found, however, that
in the great undertaking of safeguarding the health and morals of
our boys, their most challenging problem proved to be guarding the
morals of their mobilized young girls. For unfortunately, “where
soldiers are stationed the problem of preventing girls from being
misled by the glamour and romance of war and beguiling uniforms
looms large.” Fortunately, perhaps, the Maryland Committee proposed
the establishment of a “Patriotic League of Honor which will inspire
girls to adopt the highest standards of womanliness and loyalty
to their country.”[38]

No group was
more delighted with the achievements of Fosdick and his Military
Training Camp Commission than the burgeoning profession of social
work. Surrounded by handpicked aides from the Playground and Recreation
Association and the Russell Sage Foundation, Fosdick and the others
“in effect tried to create a massive settlement house around each
camp. No army had ever seen anything like it before, but it was
an outgrowth of the recreation and community organization movement,
and a victory for those who had been arguing for the creative use
of leisure time.”[39] The social
work profession pronounced the program an enormous success. The
influential Survey magazine summed up the result as “the
most stupendous piece of social work in modern times.”[40]

Social workers
were also exultant about prohibition. In 1917, the National Conference
of Charities and Corrections (which changed its name around the
same time to the National Conference of Social Work) was emboldened
to drop whatever value-free pose it might have had and come out
squarely for prohibition. On returning from Russia in 1917, Edward
T. Devine of the Charity Organization Society of New York exclaimed
that “the social revolution which followed the prohibition of vodka
was more profoundly important than the political revolution which
abolished autocracy.” And Robert A. Woods of Boston, the Grand Old
Man of the settlement house movement and a veteran advocate of prohibition,
predicted in 1919 that the Eighteenth Amendment, “one of the greatest
and best events in history,” would reduce poverty, wipe out prostitution
and crime, and liberate “vast suppressed human potentialities.”[41]

Woods, president
of the National Conference of Social Work during 1917–18, had long
denounced alcohol as “an abominable evil.” A postmillennial pietist,
he believed in “Christian statesmanship” that would, in a “propaganda
of the deed,” Christianize the social order in a corporate, communal
route to the glorification of God. Like many pietists, Woods cared
not for creeds or dogmas but only for advancing Christianity in
a communal way; though an active Episcopalian, his “parish” was
the community at large. In his settlement work, Woods had long favored
the isolation or segregation of the “unfit,” in particular “the
tramp, the drunkard, the pauper, the imbecile,” with the settlement
house as the nucleus of this reform. Woods was particularly eager
to isolate and punish the drunkard and the tramp. “Inveterate drunkards”
were to receive increasing levels of “punishment,” with ever-lengthier
jail terms. The “tramp evil” was to be gotten rid of by rounding
up and jailing vagrants, who would be placed in tramp workhouses
and put to forced labor.

For Woods the
world war was a momentous event. It had advanced the process of
“Americanization,” a “great humanizing process through which all
loyalties, all beliefs must be wrought together in a better order.”[42]
The war had wonderfully released the energies of the American people.
Now, however, it was important to carry the wartime momentum into
the postwar world. Lauding the war collectivist society during the
spring of 1918, Robert Woods asked the crucial question, “Why should
it not always be so? Why not continue in the years of peace this
close, vast, wholesome organism of service, of fellowship, of constructive
creative power?”[43]

The New Republic


The New
Republic magazine, founded in 1914 as the leading intellectual
organ of progressivism, was a living embodiment of the burgeoning
alliance between big-business interests, in particular the House
of Morgan, and the growing legion of collectivist intellectuals.
Founder and publisher of the New Republic was Willard W.
Straight, partner of J.P. Morgan & Co., and its financier was
Straight’s wife, the heiress Dorothy Whitney. Major editor of the
influential new weekly was the veteran collectivist and theoretician
of Teddy Roosevelt’s New Nationalism, Herbert David Croly. Croly’s
two coeditors were Walter Edward Weyl, another theoretician of the
New Nationalism, and the young, ambitious former official of the
Intercollegiate Socialist Society, the future pundit Walter Lippmann.
As Woodrow Wilson began to take America into World War I, the New
Republic, though originally Rooseveltian, became an enthusiastic
supporter of the war, and a virtual spokesman for the Wilson war
effort, the wartime collectivist economy, and the new society molded
by the war.

On the higher
levels of ratiocination, unquestionably the leading progressive
intellectual, before, during, and after World War I, was the champion
of pragmatism, Professor John Dewey of Columbia University. Dewey
wrote frequently for the New Republic in this period and
was clearly its leading theoretician. A Yankee born in 1859, Dewey
was, as Mencken put it, “of indestructible Vermont stock and a man
of the highest bearable sobriety.” John Dewey was the son of a small
town Vermont grocer.[44] Although
he was a pragmatist and a secular humanist most of his life, it
is not as well known that Dewey, in the years before 1900, was a
postmillennial pietist, seeking the gradual development of a Christianized
social order and Kingdom of God on earth via the expansion of science,
community, and the State. During the 1890s, Dewey, as professor
of philosophy at the University of Michigan, expounded his vision
of postmillennial pietism in a series of lectures before the Students’
Christian Association. Dewey argued that the growth of modem science
now makes it possible for man to establish the biblical idea of
the Kingdom of God on earth. Once humans had broken free of the
restraints of orthodox Christianity, a truly religious Kingdom of
God could be realized in “the common incarnate Life, the purpose
animating all men and binding them together into one harmonious
whole of sympathy.”[45]

Religion would
thus work in tandem with science and democracy, all of which would
break down the barriers between men and establish the Kingdom. After
1900 it was easy for John Dewey, along with most other postmillennial
intellectuals of the period, to shift gradually but decisively from
postmillennial progressive Christian statism to progressive secular
statism. The path, the expansion of statism and “social control”
and planning, remained the same. And even though the Christian creed
dropped out of the picture, the intellectuals and activists continued
to possess the same evangelical zeal for the salvation of the world
that their parents and they themselves had once possessed. The world
would and must still be saved through progress and statism.[46]

A pacifist
while in the midst of peace, John Dewey prepared himself to lead
the parade for war as America drew nearer to armed intervention
in the European struggle. First, in January 1916 in the New Republic,
Dewey attacked the “professional pacifist’s” outright condemnation
of war as a “sentimental phantasy,” a confusion of means and ends.
Force, he declared, was simply “a means of getting results,” and
therefore would neither be lauded or condemned per se. Next, in
April Dewey signed a pro-Allied manifesto, not only cheering for
an Allied victory but also proclaiming that the Allies were “struggling
to preserve the liberties of the world and the highest ideals of
civilization.” And though Dewey supported US entry into the war
so that Germany could be defeated, “a hard job, but one which had
to be done,” he was far more interested in the wonderful changes
that the war would surely bring about in the domestic American polity.
In particular, war offered a golden opportunity to bring about collectivist
social control in the interest of social justice. As one historian
put it,

because war
demanded paramount commitment to the national interest and necessitated
an unprecedented degree of government planning and economic regulation
in that interest, Dewey saw the prospect of permanent socialization,
permanent replacement of private and possessive interest by public
and social interest, both within and among nations.[47]

In an interview
with the New York World a few months after US entry into
the war, Dewey exulted that “this war may easily be the beginning
of the end of business.” For out of the needs of the war, “we are
beginning to produce for use, not for sale, and the capitalist is
not a capitalist [in the face of] the war.” Capitalist conditions
of production and sale are now under government control, and “there
is no reason to believe that the old principle will ever be resumed….
Private property had already lost its sanctity …industrial
democracy is on the way.”[48]

In short, intelligence
is at last being used to tackle social problems, and this practice
is destroying the old order and creating a new social order of “democratic
integrated control.” Labor is acquiring more power, science is at
last being socially mobilized, and massive government controls are
socializing industry. These developments, Dewey proclaimed, were
precisely what we are fighting for.[49]

John Dewey saw great possibilities opened by the war for the advent
of worldwide collectivism. To Dewey, America’s entrance into the
war created a “plastic juncture” in the world, a world marked by
a “world organization and the beginnings of a public control which
crosses nationalistic boundaries and interests,” and which would
also “outlaw war.”[50]

The editors
of the New Republic took a position similar to Dewey’s,
except that they arrived at it even earlier. In his editorial in
the magazine’s first issue in November 1914, Herbert Croly cheerily
prophesied that the war would stimulate America’s spirit of nationalism
and therefore bring it closer to democracy. At first hesitant about
the collectivist war economies in Europe, the New Republic
soon began to cheer and urged the United States to follow the lead
of the warring European nations and socialize its economy and expand
the powers of the State.

As America
prepared to enter the war, the New Republic, examining
war collectivism in Europe, rejoiced that “on its administrative
side socialism [had] won a victory that [was] superb and compelling.”
True, European war collectivism was a bit grim and autocratic, but
never fear, America could use the selfsame means for “democratic”

The New
Republic intellectuals also delighted in the “war spirit” in
America, for that spirit meant “the substitution of national and
social and organic forces for the more or less mechanical private
forces operative in peace.” The purposes of war and social reform
might be a bit different, but, after all, “they are both purposes,
and luckily for mankind a social organization which is efficient
is as useful for the one as for the other.”[51]
Lucky indeed.

As America
prepared to enter the war, the New Republic eagerly looked
forward to imminent collectivization, sure that it would bring “immense
gains in national efficiency and happiness.” After war was declared,
the magazine urged that the war be used as “an aggressive tool of

“Why should
not the war serve,” the magazine asked, “as a pretext to be used
to foist innovations upon the country?” In that way, progressive
intellectuals could lead the way in abolishing “the typical evils
of the sprawling half-educated competitive capitalism.”

Convinced that
the United States would attain socialism through war, Walter Lippmann,
in a public address shortly after American entry, trumpeted his
apocalyptic vision of the future:

We who have
gone to war to insure democracy in the world will have raised
an aspiration here that will not end with the overthrow of the
Prussian autocracy. We shall turn with fresh interests to our
own tyrannies – to our Colorado mines, our autocratic steel
industries, sweatshops, and our slums. A force is loose in America.
Our own reactionaries will not assuage it. We shall know how to
deal with them.[52]

Walter Lippmann,
indeed, had been the foremost hawk among the New Republic
intellectuals. He had pushed Croly into backing Wilson and into
supporting intervention, and then had collaborated with Colonel
House in pushing Wilson into entering the war. Soon Lippmann, an
enthusiast for conscription, had to confront the fact that he himself,
only twenty-seven years old and in fine health, was eminently eligible
for the draft. Somehow, however, Lippmann failed to unite theory
and praxis.

Young Felix
Frankfurter, progressive Harvard Law Professor and a close associate
of the New Republic editorial staff, had just been as a
special assistant to Secretary of War Baker. Lippmann somehow felt
that his own inestimable services could be better used planning
the postwar world than battling in the trenches. And so he wrote
to Frankfurter asking for a job in Baker’s office. “What I want
to do,” he pleaded, “is to devote all my time to studying and speculating
on the approaches to peace and the reaction from the peace. Do you
think you can get me an exemption on such highfalutin grounds?”
He then rushed to reassure Frankfurter that there was nothing “personal”
in this request. After all, he explained, “the things that need
to be thought out, are so big that there must be no personal element
mixed up with this.” Frankfurter having paved the way, Lippmann
wrote to Secretary Baker. He assured Baker that he was only applying
for a job and draft exemption on the pleading of others and in stern
submission to the national interest. As Lippmann put it in a remarkable
demonstration of cant:

I have consulted
all the people whose advice I value and they urge me to apply
for exemption. You can well understand that this is not a pleasant
thing to do, and yet, after searching my soul as candidly as I
know how, I am convinced that I can serve my bit much more effectively
than as a private in the new armies.


said the New Republic, European war collectivism was
a bit grim and autocratic, but never fear, America could use
the selfsame means for ‘democratic’ goals.”


No doubt.

As icing on
the cake, Lippmann added an important bit of “disinformation.” For,
he piteously wrote to Baker, the fact is “that my father is dying
and my mother is absolutely alone in the world. She does not know
what his condition is, and I cannot tell anyone for fear it would
become known.”

no one else “knew” his father’s condition either, including his
father and the medical profession, for the elder Lippmann managed
to peg along successfully for the next ten years.[53]

Secure in his
draft exemption, Walter Lippmann hied off in high excitement to
Washington, there to help run the war and, a few months later, to
help direct Colonel House’s secret conclave of historians and social
scientists setting out to plan the shape of the future peace treaty
and the postwar world. Let others fight and die in the trenches;
Walter Lippmann had the satisfaction of knowing that his talents,
at least, would be put to their best use by the newly emerging collectivist

As the war
went on, Croly and the other editors, having lost Lippmann to the
great world beyond, cheered every new development of the massively
controlled war economy. The nationalization of railroads and shipping,
the priorities and allocation system, the total domination of all
parts of the food industry achieved by Herbert Hoover and the Food
Administration, the pro-union policy, the high taxes, and the draft
were all hailed by the New Republic as an expansion of
democracy’s power to plan for the general good. As the Armistice
ushered in the postwar world, the New Republic looked back
on the handiwork of the war and found it good: “We revolutionized
our society.” All that remained was to organize a new constitutional
convention to complete the job of reconstructing America.[54]

But the revolution
had not been fully completed. Despite the objections of Bernard
Baruch and other wartime planners, the government decided not to
make most of the war collectivist machinery permanent. From then
on, the fondest ambition of Baruch and the others was to make the
World War I system a permanent institution of American life. The
most trenchant epitaph on the World War I polity was delivered by
Rexford Guy Tugwell, the most frankly collectivist of the Brain
Trusters of Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal. Looking back on “America’s
wartime socialism” in 1927, Tugwell lamented that if only the war
had lasted longer, that great “experiment” could have been completed:
“We were on the verge of having an international industrial machine
when peace broke,” Tugwell mourned. “Only the Armistice prevented
a great experiment in control of production, control of prices,
and control of consumption.”[55]
Tugwell need not have been troubled; there would soon be other emergencies,
other wars.

At the end
of the war, Lippmann was to go on to become America’s foremost journalistic
pundit. Croly, having broken with the Wilson Administration on the
harshness of the Versailles Treaty, was bereft to find the New
Republic no longer the spokesman for some great political leader.
During the late 1920s he was to discover an exemplary national collectivist
leader abroad – in Benito Mussolini.[56]
That Croly ended his years as an admirer of Mussolini comes as no
surprise when we realize that from early childhood he had been steeped
by a doting father in the authoritarian socialist doctrines of Auguste
Comte’s Positivism. These views were to mark Croly throughout his
life. Thus, Herbert’s father, David, the founder of Positivism in
the United States, advocated the establishment of vast powers of
government over everyone’s life. David Croly favored the growth
of trusts and monopolies as a means both to that end and also to
eliminate the evils of individual competition and “selfishness.”
Like his son, David Croly railed at the Jeffersonian “fear of government”
in America, and looked to Hamilton as an example to counter that

And what of
Professor Dewey, the doyen of the pacifist intellectuals –
turned drumbeaters for war? In a little known period of his life,
John Dewey spent the immediate postwar years, 1919–21, teaching
at Peking University and traveling in the Far East. China was then
in a period of turmoil over the clauses of the Versailles Treaty
that transferred the rights of dominance in Shantung from Germany
to Japan. Japan had been promised this reward by the British and
French in secret treaties in return for entering the war against

The Wilson
Administration was torn between the two camps. On the one hand were
those who wished to stand by the Allies’ decision and who envisioned
using Japan as a club against Bolshevik Russia in Asia. On the other
were those who had already begun to sound the alarm about a Japanese
menace and who were committed to China, often because of connections
with the American Protestant missionaries who wished to defend and
expand their extraterritorial powers of governance in China. The
Wilson Administration, which had originally taken a pro-Chinese
stand, reversed itself in the spring of 1919 and endorsed the Versailles

Into this complex
situation John Dewey plunged, seeing no complexity and of course
considering it unthinkable for either him or the United States to
stay out of the entire fray. Dewey leaped into total support of
the Chinese nationalist position, hailing the aggressive Young China
movement and even endorsing the pro-missionary YMCA in China as
“social workers.” Dewey thundered that while “I didn’t expect to
be a jingo,” that Japan must be called to account and that Japan
is the great menace in Asia. Thus, scarcely had Dewey ceased being
a champion of one terrible world war than he began to pave the way
for an even greater one.[58]

Economics in Service of the State: The Empiricism of Richard T.

World War I
was the apotheosis of the growing notion of intellectuals as servants
of the State and junior partners in State rule. In the new fusion
of intellectuals and State, each was of powerful aid to the other.
Intellectuals could serve the State by apologizing for and supplying
rationales for its deeds. Intellectuals were also needed to staff
important positions as planners and controllers of the society and
economy. The State could also serve intellectuals by restricting
entry into, and thereby raising the income and the prestige of,
the various occupations and professions. During World War I, historians
were of particular importance in supplying the government with war
propaganda, convincing the public of the unique evil of Germans
throughout history and of the satanic designs of the Kaiser. Economists,
particularly empirical economists and statisticians, were of great
importance in the planning and control of the nation’s wartime economy.
Historians playing preeminent roles in the war propaganda machine
have been studied fairly extensively; economists and statisticians,
playing a less blatant and allegedly “value-free” role, have received
far less attention.[59]

Although it
is an outworn generalization to say that nineteenth century economists
were stalwart champions of laissez faire, it is still true that
deductive economic theory proved to be a mighty bulwark against
government intervention. For, basically, economic theory showed
the harmony and order inherent in the free market, as well as the
counterproductive distortions and economic shackles imposed by state
intervention. In order for statism to dominate the economics profession,
then, it was important to discredit deductive theory. One of the
most important ways of doing so was to advance the notion that,
to be “genuinely scientific,” economics had to eschew generalization
and deductive laws and simply engage in empirical inquiry into the
facts of history and historical institutions, hoping that somehow
laws would eventually arise from these detailed investigations.

Thus the German
Historical School, which managed to seize control of the economics
discipline in Germany, fiercely proclaimed not only its devotion
to statism and government control, but also its opposition to the
“abstract” deductive laws of political economy. This was the first
major group within the economics profession to champion what Ludwig
von Mises was later to call “anti-economics.” Gustav Schmoller,
the leader of the Historical School, proudly declared that his and
his colleagues’ major task at the University of Berlin was to form
“the intellectual bodyguard of the House of Hohenzollern.”

During the
1880s and 1890s bright young graduate students in history and the
social sciences went to Germany, the home of the PhD degree, to
obtain their doctorates. Almost to a man, they returned to the United
States to teach in colleges and in the newly created graduate schools,
imbued with the excitement of the “new” economics and political
science. It was a “new” social science that lauded the German and
Bismarckian development of a powerful welfare-warfare State, a State
seemingly above all social classes, that fused the nation into an
integrated and allegedly harmonious whole. The new society and polity
was to be run by a powerful central government, cartelizing, dictating,
arbitrating, and controlling, thereby eliminating competitive laissez-faire
capitalism on the one hand and the threat of proletarian socialism
on the other. And at or near the head of the new dispensation was
to be the new breed of intellectuals, technocrats, and planners,
directing, staffing, propagandizing, and “selflessly” promoting
the common good while ruling and lording over the rest of society.
In short, doing well by doing good. To the new breed of progressive
and statist intellectuals in America, this was a heady vision indeed.

Richard T.
Ely, virtually the founder of this new breed, was the leading progressive
economist and also the teacher of most of the others. As an ardent
postmillennialist pietist, Ely was convinced that he was serving
God and Christ as well. Like so many pietists, Ely was born (in
1854) of solid Yankee and old Puritan stock, again in the midst
of the fanatical Burned-Over District of western New York. Ely’s
father, Ezra, was an extreme Sabbatarian, preventing his family
from playing games or reading books on Sunday, and so ardent a prohibitionist
that, even though an impoverished, marginal farmer, he refused to
grow barley, a crop uniquely suitable to his soil, because it would
have been used to make that monstrously sinful product, beer.[60]
Having been graduated from Columbia College in 1876, Ely went to
Germany and received his PhD from Heidelberg in 1879. In several
decades of teaching at Johns Hopkins and then at Wisconsin, the
energetic and empire-building Ely became enormously influential
in American thought and politics. At Johns Hopkins he turned out
a gallery of influential students and statist disciples in all fields
of the social sciences as well as economics. These disciples were
headed by the pro-union institutionalist economist John R. Commons,
and included the social-control sociologists Edward Alsworth Ross
and Albion W. Small; John H. Finlay, President of City College of
New York; Dr. Albert Shaw, editor of the Review of Reviews and influential
adviser and theoretician to Theodore Roosevelt; the municipal reformer
Frederick C. Howe; and the historians Frederick Jackson Turner and
J. Franklin Jameson. Newton D. Baker was trained by Ely at Hopkins,
and Woodrow Wilson was also his student there, although there is
no direct evidence of intellectual influence.

In the mid-1880s
Richard Ely founded the American Economic Association in a conscious
attempt to commit the economics profession to statism as against
the older laissez-faire economists grouped in the Political Economy
Club. Ely continued as secretary-treasurer of the AEA for seven
years, until his reformer allies decided to weaken the association’s
commitment to statism in order to induce the laissez-faire economists
to join the organization. At that point, Ely, in high dudgeon, left
the AEA.

At Wisconsin
in 1892, Ely formed a new School of Economics, Political Science,
and History, surrounded himself with former students, and gave birth
to the Wisconsin Idea which, with the help of John Commons, succeeded
in passing a host of progressive measures for government regulation
in Wisconsin. Ely and the others formed an unofficial but powerful
brain trust for the progressive regime of Wisconsin Governor Robert
M. La Follette, who got his start in Wisconsin politics as an advocate
of prohibition. Though never a classroom student of Ely’s, La Follette
always referred to Ely as his teacher and as the molder of the Wisconsin
Idea. And Theodore Roosevelt once declared that Ely “first introduced
me to radicalism in economics and then made me sane in my radicalism.”[61]

Ely was also
one of the most prominent postmillennialist intellectuals of the
era. He fervently believed that the State is God’s chosen instrument
for reforming and Christianizing the social order so that eventually
Jesus would arrive and put an end to history. The State, declared
Ely, “is religious in its essence,” and, furthermore, “God works
through the State in carrying out His purposes more universally
than through any other institution.” The task of the church is to
guide the State and utilize it in these needed reforms.[62]

An inveterate
activist and organizer, Ely was prominent in the evangelical Chautauqua
movement, and he founded there the “Christian Sociology” summer
school, which infused the influential Chautauqua operation with
the concepts and the personnel of the Social Gospel movement. Ely
was a friend and close associate of Social Gospel leaders Revs.
Washington Gladden, Walter Rauschenbusch, and Josiah Strong. With
Strong and Commons, Ely organized the Institute of Christian Sociology.[63]
Ely also founded and became the secretary of the Christian Social
Union of the Episcopal Church, along with Christian Socialist W.D.P.
Bliss. All of these activities were infused with postmillennial
statism. Thus, the Institute of Christian Sociology was pledged
to present God’s “kingdom as the complete ideal of human society
to be realized on earth.” Moreover,

Ely viewed
the state as the greatest redemptive force in society. In Ely’s
eyes, government was the God-given instrument through which we
had to work. Its preeminence as a divine instrument was based
on the post-Reformation abolition of the division between the
sacred and the secular and on the State’s power to implement ethical
solutions to public problems. The same identification of sacred
and secular which took place among liberal clergy enabled Ely
to both divinize the state and socialize Christianity: he thought
of government as God’s main instrument of redemption….[64]

When war came,
Richard Ely was for some reason (perhaps because he was in his sixties)
left out of the excitement of war work and economic planning in
Washington. He bitterly regretted that “I have not had a more active
part then I have had in this greatest war in the world’s history.”[65]
But Ely made up for his lack as best he could; virtually from the
start of the European war, he whooped it up for militarism, war,
the “discipline” of conscription, and the suppression of dissent
and “disloyalty” at home. A lifelong militarist, Ely had tried to
volunteer for war service in the Spanish-American War, had called
for the suppression of the Philippine insurrection, and was particularly
eager for conscription and for forced labor for “loafers” during
World War I. By 1915 Ely was agitating for immediate compulsory
military service, and the following year he joined the ardently
pro-war and heavily big business–influenced National Security League,
where he called for the liberation of the German people from “autocracy.”[66]

In advocating
conscription, Ely was neatly able to combine moral, economic, and
prohibitionist arguments for the draft: “The moral effect of taking
boys off street corners and out of saloons and drilling them is
excellent, and the economic effects are likewise beneficial.”[67]
Indeed, conscription for Ely served almost as a panacea for all
ills. So enthusiastic was he about the World War I experience that
Ely again prescribed his favorite cure-all to alleviate the 1929
depression. He proposed a permanent peacetime “industrial army”
engaged in public works and manned by conscripting youth for strenuous
physical labor. This conscription would instill into America’s youth
the essential “military ideals of hardihood and discipline,” a discipline
once provided by life on the farm but unavailable to the bulk of
the populace now growing up in the effete cities. This small, standing
conscript army could then speedily absorb the unemployed during
depressions. Under the command of “an economic general staff,” the
industrial army would “go to work to relieve distress with all the
vigor and resources of brain and brawn that we employed in the World

Deprived of
a position in Washington, Ely made the stamping out of “disloyalty”
at home his major contribution to the war effort. He called for
the total suspension of academic freedom for the duration. Any professor,
he declared, who stated “opinions which hinder us in this awful
struggle” should be “fired” if not indeed “shot.” The particular
focus of Ely’s formidable energy was a zealous campaign to try to
get his old ally in Wisconsin politics, Robert M. La Follette, expelled
from the US Senate for continuing to oppose America’s participation
in the war. Ely declared that his “blood boils” at La Follette’s
“treason” and attacks on war profiteering. Throwing himself into
the battle, Ely founded and became president of the Madison chapter
of the Wisconsin Loyalty Legion and mounted a campaign to expel
La Follette.[69] The campaign
was meant to mobilize the Wisconsin faculty and to support the ultrapatriotic
and ultrahawkish activities of Theodore Roosevelt. Ely wrote to
TR that “we must crush La Follettism.” In his unremitting campaign
against the Wisconsin Senator, Ely thundered that La Follette “has
been of more help to the Kaiser than a quarter of a million troops.”[70]
“Empiricism” rampant.

The faculty
of the University of Wisconsin was stung by charges throughout the
state and the country that its failure to denounce La Follette was
proof that the university – long affiliated with La Follette
in state politics – supported his disloyal antiwar policies.
Prodded by Ely, Commons, and others, the university’s War Committee
drew up and circulated a petition, signed by the university president,
all the deans, and over 90 percent of the faculty, that provided
one of the more striking examples in United States history of academic
truckling to the State apparatus. None too subtly using the constitutional
verbiage for treason, the petition protested “against those utterances
and actions of Senator La Follette which have given aid and comfort
to Germany and her allies in the present war; we deplore his failure
loyally to support the government in the prosecution of the war.”[70]

Behind the
scenes, Ely tried his best to mobilize America’s historians against
La Follette, to demonstrate that he had given aid and comfort to
the enemy. Ely was able to enlist the services of the National Board
of Historical Service, the propaganda agency established by professional
historians for the duration of the war, and of the government’s
own propaganda arm, the Committee on Public Information. Warning
that the effort must remain secret, Ely mobilized historians under
the aegis of these organizations to research German and Austrian
newspapers and journals to try to build a record of La Follette’s
alleged influence, “indicating the encouragement he has given Germany.”
The historian E. Merton Coulter revealed the objective spirit animating
these researches: “I understand it is to be an unbiased and candid
account of the Senator’s [La Follette’s] course and its effect –
but we all know it can lead but to one conclusion – something
little short of treason.”[71]

Gruber well notes that this campaign to get La Follette was “a remarkable
example of the uses of scholarship for espionage. It was a far cry
from the disinterested search for truth for a group of professors
to mobilize a secret research campaign to find ammunition to destroy
the political career of a United States senator who did not share
their view of the war.”[72] In
any event, no evidence was turned up, the movement failed, and the
Wisconsin professoriat began to move away in distrust from the Loyalty

After the menace
of the Kaiser had been extirpated, the Armistice found Professor
Ely, along with his compatriots in the National Security League,
ready to segue into the next round of patriotic repression. During
Ely’s anti–La Follette research campaign he had urged investigation
of “the kind of influence which he [La Follette] has exerted against
our country in Russia.” Ely pointed out that modem “democracy” requires
a “high degree of conformity” and that therefore the “most serious
menace” of Bolshevism, which Ely depicted as “social disease germs,”
must be fought “with repressive measures.”

By 1924, however,
Richard T. Ely’s career of repression was over, and what is more,
in a rare instance of the workings of poetic justice, he was hoisted
with his own petard. In 1922 the much-traduced Robert La Follette
was reelected to the Senate and also swept the Progressives back
into power in the state of Wisconsin. By 1924 the Progressives had
gained control of the Board of Regents, and they moved to cut off
the water of their former academic ally and empire-builder. Ely
then felt it prudent to move out of Wisconsin together with his
Institute, and while he lingered for some years at Northwestern,
the heyday of Ely’s fame and fortune was over.

Economics in Service of the State: Government and Statistics

is a vital, though much underplayed, requisite of modern government.
Government could not even presume to control, regulate, or plan
any portion of the economy without the service of its statistical
bureaus and agencies. Deprive government of its statistics and it
would be a blind and helpless giant, with no idea whatever of what
to do or where to do it.

It might be
replied that business firms, too, need statistics in order to function.
But business needs for statistics are far less in quantity and also
different in quality. Business may need statistics in its own micro
area of the economy, but only on its prices and costs; it has little
need for broad collections of data or for sweeping, holistic aggregates.
Business could perhaps rely on its own privately collected and unshared
data. Furthermore, much entrepreneurial knowledge is qualitative,
not enshrined in quantitative data, and of a particular time, area,
and location. But government bureaucracy could do nothing if forced
to be confined to qualitative data. Deprived of profit and loss
tests for efficiency, or of the need to serve consumers efficiently,
conscripting both capital and operating costs from taxpayers, and
forced to abide by fixed, bureaucratic rules, modern government
shorn of masses of statistics could do virtually nothing.[74]

Hence the enormous
importance of World War I, not only in providing the power and the
precedent for a collectivized economy, but also in greatly accelerating
the advent of statisticians and statistical agencies of government,
many of which (and who) remained in government, ready for the next
leap forward of power.

Richard T.
Ely, of course, championed the new empirical “look and see” approach,
with the aim of fact-gathering to “mold the forces at work in society
and to improve existing conditions.”[75]
More importantly, one of the leading authorities on the growth of
government expenditure has linked it with statistics and empirical
data: “Advance in economic science and statistics strengthened belief
in the possibilities of dealing with social problems by collective
action. It made for increase in the statistical and other fact-finding
activities of government.”[76]
As early as 1863, Samuel B. Ruggles, American delegate to the International
Statistical Congress in Berlin, proclaimed that “statistics are
the very eyes of the statesman, enabling him to survey and scan
with clear and comprehensive vision the whole structure and economy
of the body politic.”[77]

this means that stripped of these means of vision, the statesman
would no longer be able to meddle, control and plan.

Moreover, government
statistics are clearly needed for specific types of intervention.
Government could not intervene to alleviate unemployment unless
statistics of unemployment were collected – and so the impetus
for such collection. Carroll D. Wright, one of the first Commissioners
of Labor in the United States, was greatly influenced by the famous
statistician and German Historical School member, Ernst Engel, head
of the Royal Statistical Bureau of Prussia. Wright sought the collection
of unemployment statistics for that reason, and in general, for
“the amelioration of unfortunate industrial and social relations.”
Henry Carter Adams, a former student of Engel’s, and, like Ely,
a statist and progressive “new economist,” established the Statistical
Bureau of the Interstate Commerce Commission, believing that “ever
increasing statistical activity by the government was essential
– for the sake of controlling naturally monopolistic industries.”
And Professor Irving Fisher of Yale, eager for government to stabilize
the price level, conceded that he wrote The Making of Index
Numbers to solve the problem of the unreliability of index
numbers. “Until this difficulty could be met, stabilization could
scarcely be expected to become a reality.”

Carroll Wright
was a Bostonian and a progressive reformer. Henry Carter Adams,
the son of a New England pietist Congregationalist preacher on missionary
duty in Iowa, studied for the ministry at his father’s alma mater,
Andover Theological Seminary, but soon abandoned this path. Adams
devised the accounting system of the Statistical Bureau of the ICC.
This system “served as a model for the regulation of public utilities
here and throughout the world.”[78]

Irving Fisher
was the son of a Rhode Island Congregationalist pietist preacher,
and his parents were both of old Yankee stock, his mother a strict
Sabbatarian. As befitted what his son and biographer called his
“crusading spirit,” Fisher was an inveterate reformer, urging the
imposition of numerous progressive measures including Esperanto,
simplified spelling, and calendar reform. He was particularly enthusiastic
about purging the world of “such iniquities of civilization as alcohol,
tea, coffee, tobacco, refined sugar, and bleached white flour.”[79]

the 1920s Fisher was the leading prophet of that so-called New Era
in economics and in society. He wrote three books during the 1920s
praising the noble experiment of prohibition, and he lauded Governor
Benjamin Strong and the Federal Reserve System for following his
advice and expanding money and credit so as to keep the wholesale
price level virtually constant. Because of the Fed’s success in
imposing Fisherine price stabilization, Fisher was so sure that
there could be no depression that as late as 1930 he wrote a book
claiming that there was and could be no stock crash and that stock
prices would quickly rebound. Throughout the 1920s Fisher insisted
that since wholesale prices remained constant, there was nothing
amiss about the wild boom in stocks. Meanwhile he put his theories
into practice by heavily investing his heiress wife’s considerable
fortune in the stock market. After the crash he frittered away his
sister-in-law’s money when his wife’s fortune was depleted, at the
same time calling frantically on the federal government to inflate
money and credit and to re-inflate stock prices to their 1929 levels.
Despite his dissipation of two family fortunes, Fisher managed to
blame almost everyone except himself for the debacle.[80]

As we shall
see, in view of the importance of Wesley Clair Mitchell in the burgeoning
of government statistics in World War I, Mitchell’s view on statistics
are of particular importance.[81]
Mitchell, an institutionalist and student of Thorstein Veblen, was
one of the prime founders of modern statistical inquiry in economics
and clearly aspired to lay the basis for “scientific” government
planning. As Professor Dorfman, friend and student of Mitchell’s,
put it:

the type of social invention most needed today is one that offers
definite techniques through which the social system can be controlled
and operated to the optimum advantage of its members.” (Quote
from Mitchell.) To this end he constantly sought to extend, improve
and refine the gathering and compilation of data…. Mitchell
believed that business-cycle analysis …might indicate the
means to the achievement of orderly social control of business

Or, as Mitchell’s
wife and collaborator stated in her memoirs:

he [Mitchell]
envisioned the great contribution that government could make to
the understanding of economic and social problems if the statistical
data gathered independently by various Federal agencies were systematized
and planned so that the interrelationships among them could be
studied. The idea of developing social statistics, not merely
as a record but as a basis for planning, emerged early in
his own work.[83]

important in the expansion of statistics in World War I was the
growing insistence, by progressive intellectuals and corporate liberal
businessmen alike, that democratic decision-making must be increasingly
replaced by the administrative and technocratic. Democratic or legislative
decisions were messy, “inefficient,” and might lead to a significant
curbing of statism, as had happened in the heyday of the Democratic
party during the nineteenth century. But if decisions were largely
administrative and technocratic, the burgeoning of state power could
continue unchecked. The collapse of the laissez-faire creed of the
Democrats in 1896 left a power vacuum in government that administrative
and corporatist types were eager to fill.

then, such powerful corporatist big business groups as the National
Civic Federation disseminated the idea that governmental decisions
should be in the hands of the efficient technician, the allegedly
value-free expert. In short, government, in virtually all of its
aspects, should be “taken out of politics.” And statistical research
with its aura of empiricism, quantitative precision, and nonpolitical
value-freedom, was in the forefront of such emphasis. In the municipalities,
an increasingly powerful progressive reform movement shifted decisions
from elections in neighborhood wards to citywide professional managers
and school superintendents. As a corollary, political power was
increasingly shifted from working class and ethnic German Lutheran
and Catholic wards to upper-class pietist business groups.[84]

By the time
World War I arrived in Europe, a coalition of progressive intellectuals
and corporatist businessmen was ready to go national in sponsoring
allegedly objective statistical research institutes and think tanks.
Their views have been aptly summed up by David Eakins:

The conclusion
being drawn by these people by 1915 was that fact-finding and
policymaking had to be isolated from class struggle and freed
from political pressure groups. The reforms that would lead to
industrial peace and social order, these experts were coming to
believe, could only be derived from data determined by objective
fact-finders (such as themselves) and under the auspices of sober
and respectable organizations (such as only they could construct).
The capitalist system could be improved only by a single-minded
reliance upon experts detached from the hurly-burly of democratic
policy-making. The emphasis was upon efficiency – and democratic
policymaking was inefficient. An approach to the making of national
economic and social policy outside traditional democratic political
processes was thus emerging before the United States formally
entered World War I.[85]

Several corporatist
businessmen and intellectuals moved at about the same time toward
founding such statistical research institutes. In 1906–07, Jerome
D. Greene, secretary of the Harvard University Corporation, helped
found an elite Tuesday Evening Club at Harvard to explore important
issues in economics and the social sciences. In 1910 Greene rose
to an even more powerful post as general manager of the new Rockefeller
Institute for Medical Research, and three years later Greene became
secretary and CEO of the powerful philanthropic organization, the
Rockefeller Foundation. Greene immediately began to move toward
establishing a Rockefeller-funded institute for economic research,
and in March 1914 he called an exploratory group together in New
York, chaired by his friend and mentor in economics, the first Dean
of the Harvard Graduate School of Business, Edwin F. Gay. The developing
idea was that Gay would become head of a new, “scientific” and “impartial”
organization, The Institute of Economic Research, which would gather
statistical facts, and that Wesley Mitchell would be its director.[86]

Opposing advisers
to John D. Rockefeller, Jr., won out over Greene, however, and the
institute plan was scuttled.[87]
Mitchell and Gay pressed on, with the lead now taken by Mitchell’s
longtime friend, chief statistician and vice president of AT&T,
Malcolm C. Rorty. Rorty lined up support for the idea from a number
of progressive statisticians and businessmen, including Chicago
publisher of business books and magazines, Arch W. Shaw; E.H. Goodwin
of the US Chamber of Commerce; Magnus Alexander, statistician and
assistant to the president of General Electric, like AT&T, a
Morgan-oriented concern; John R. Commons, economist and aide-de-camp
to Richard T. Ely at Wisconsin; and Nahum I. Stone, statistician,
former Marxist, a leader in the “scientific management” movement,
and labor manager for the Hickey Freeman clothing company. This
group was in the process of forming a “Committee on National Income”
when the United States entered the war, and they were forced to
shelve their plans temporarily.[88]
After the war, however, the group set up the National Bureau of
Economic Research, in 1920.[89]

While the National
Bureau was not to take final shape until after the war, another
organization, created on similar lines, successfully won Greene’s
and Rockefeller’s support. In 1916 they were persuaded by Raymond
B. Fosdick to found the Institute for Government Research (IGR).[90]
The IGR was slightly different in focus from the National Bureau
group, as it grew directly out of municipal progressive reform and
the political science profession. One of the important devices used
by the municipal reformers was the private bureau of municipal research,
which tried to seize decision-making from allegedly “corrupt” democratic
bodies on behalf of efficient, nonpartisan organizations headed
by progressive technocrats and social scientists.

In 1910 President
William Howard Taft, intrigued with the potential for centralizing
power in a chief executive inherent in the idea of the executive
budget, appointed the “father of the budget idea,” the political
scientist Frederick D. Cleveland, as head of a Commission on Economy
and Efficiency. Cleveland was the director of the New York Bureau
of Municipal Research. The Cleveland Commission also included political
scientist and municipal reformer Frank Goodnow, professor of public
law at Columbia University, first president of the American Political
Science Association and president of Johns Hopkins; and William
Franklin Willoughby, former student of Ely, Assistant Director of
the Bureau of Census, and later President of the American Association
for Labor Legislation.[91] The
Cleveland Commission was delighted to tell President Taft precisely
what he wanted to hear. The Commission recommended sweeping administrative
changes that would provide a Bureau of Central Administrative Control
to form a “consolidated information and statistical arm of the entire
national government.” And at the heart of the new Bureau would be
the Budget Division, which was to develop, at the behest of the
president, and then present “an annual program of business for the
Federal Government to be financed by Congress.”[92]

When Congress
balked at the Cleveland Commission’s recommendations, the disgruntled
technocrats decided to establish an Institute for Government Research
in Washington to battle for these and similar reforms. With funding
secured from the Rockefeller Foundation, the IGR was chaired by
Goodnow, with Willoughby as its director.[93]
Scan Robert S. Brookings assumed responsibility for the financing.

When America
entered the war, present and future NBER and IGR leaders were all
over Washington, key figures and statisticians in the collectivized
war economy.

By far the
most powerful of the growing number of economists and statisticians
involved in World War I was Edwin F. Gay. Arch W. Shaw, an enthusiast
for rigid wartime planning of economic resources, was made head
of the new Commercial Economy Board by the Council for National
Defense as soon as America entered the war.[94]
Shaw, who had taught at and served on the administrative board of
Harvard Business School, staffed the board with Harvard Business
people; the secretary was Harvard economist Melvin T. Copeland,
and other members included Dean Gay.

The board,
which later became the powerful Conservation Division of the War
Industries Board, focused on restricting competition in industry
by eliminating the number and variety of products and by imposing
compulsory uniformity, all in the name of “conservation” of resources
to aid the war effort. For example, garment firms had complained
loudly of severe competition because of the number and variety of
styles, and so Gay urged the garment firms to form a trade association
to work with the government in curbing the surfeit of competition.
Gay also tried to organize the bakers so that they would not follow
the usual custom of taking back stale and unsold bread from retail
outlets. By the end of 1917, Gay was tired of using voluntary persuasion
and was urging the government to use compulsory measures.

major power came in early 1918 when the Shipping Board, which had
officially nationalized all ocean shipping, determined to restrict
drastically the use of ships for civilian trade and to use the bulk
of shipping for transport of American troops to France. Appointed
in early January 1918 as merely a “special expert” by the Shipping
Board, Gay in a brief time became the key figure in redirecting
shipping from civilian to military use. Soon Edwin Gay had become
a member of the War Trade Board and head of its statistical department,
which issued restrictive licenses for permitted imports; head of
the statistical department of the Shipping Board; representative
of the Shipping Board on the War Trade Board; head of the statistical
committee of the Department of Labor; head of the Division of Planning
and Statistics of the War Industries Board (WIB); and, above all,
head of the new Central Bureau of Planning and Statistics. The Central
Bureau was organized in the fall of 1918, when President Wilson
asked WIB chairman Bernard Baruch to produce a monthly survey of
all the government’s war activities. This “conspectus” evolved into
the Central Bureau, responsible directly to the president. The importance
of the bureau is noted by a recent historian:

The new Bureau
represented the “peak” statistical division of the mobilization,
becoming its “seer and prophet” for the duration, coordinating
over a thousand employees engaged in research and, as the agency
responsible for giving the president a concise picture of the
entire economy, becoming the closest approximation to a “central
statistical commission.” During the latter stages of the war it
set up a clearinghouse of statistical work, organized liaisons
with the statistical staff of all the war boards, and centralized
the data production process for the entire war bureaucracy. By
the war’s end, Wesley Mitchell recalled, “we were in a fair way
to develop for the first time a systematic organization of federal

Within a year,
Edwin Gay had risen from a special expert to the unquestioned czar
of a giant network of federal statistical agencies, with over a
thousand researchers and statisticians working under his direct
control. It is no wonder then that Gay, instead of being enthusiastic
about the American victory he had worked so hard to secure, saw
the Armistice as “almost a personal blow” that plunged him “into
the slough of despond.” All of his empire of statistics and control
had just been coming together and developing into a mighty machine
when suddenly “came that wretched Armistice.”[96]
Truly a tragedy of peace.

Gay tried valiantly
to keep the war machinery going, continually complaining because
many of his aides were leaving and bitterly denouncing the “hungry
pack” who, for some odd reason, were clamoring for an immediate
end to all wartime controls, including those closest to his heart,
foreign trade and shipping. But one by one, despite the best efforts
of Baruch and many of the wartime planners, the WIB and other war
agencies disappeared.[97] For
a while, Gay pinned his hopes on his Central Bureau of Planning
and Statistics (CBPS), which, in a fierce bout of bureaucratic infighting,
he attempted to make the key economic and statistical group advising
the American negotiators at the Versailles peace conference, thereby
displacing the team of historians and social scientists assembled
by Colonel House in the Inquiry. Despite an official victory, and
an eight volume report of the CBPS delivered to Versailles by the
head of CBPS European team, John Foster Dulles of the War Trade
Board, the bureau had little influence over the final treaty.[98]

Peace having
finally and irrevocably arrived, Edwin Gay, backed by Mitchell,
tried his best to have the CBPS kept as a permanent, peacetime organization.
Gay argued that the agency, with himself of course remaining as
its head, could provide continuing data to the League of Nations,
and above all could serve as the president’s own eyes and ears and
mold the sort of executive budget envisioned by the old Taft Commission.
CBPS staff member and Harvard economist Edmund E. Day contributed
a memorandum outlining specific tasks for the bureau to aid in demobilization
and reconstruction, as well as rationale for the bureau becoming
a permanent part of government. One thing it could do was to make
a “continuing canvass” of business conditions in the United States.
As Gay put it to President Wilson, using a favorite organicist analogy,
a permanent board would serve “as a nervous system to the vast and
complex organization of the government, furnishing to the controlling
brain [the president] the information necessary for directing the
efficient operation of the various members.”[99]
Although the President was “very cordial” to Gay’s plan, Congress
refused to agree, and on June 30, 1919 the Central Bureau of Planning
and Statistics was finally terminated, along with the War Trade
Board. Edwin Gay would now have to seek employment in, if not the
private, at least the quasi-independent, sector.

But Gay and
Mitchell were not to be denied. Nor would the Brookings-Willoughby
group. Their objective would be met more gradually and by slightly
different means. Gay became editor of the New York Evening Post
under the aegis of its new owner and Gay’s friend, J.P. Morgan partner
Thomas W. Lamont. Gay also helped to form and become first president
of the National Bureau of Economic Research in 1920, with Wesley
C. Mitchell as research director. The Institute for Government Research
achieved its major objective, establishing a Budget Bureau in the
Treasury Department in 1921, with the director of the IGR, William
F. Willoughby, helping to draft the bill that established the bureau.[100]
The IGR people soon expanded their role to include economics, establishing
an Institute of Economics headed by Robert Brookings and Arthur
T. Hadley of Yale, with economist Harold G. Moulton as director.[101]
The institute, funded by the Carnegie Corporation, would be later
merged, along with the IGR, into the Brookings Institution. Edwin
Gay also moved into the foreign policy field by becoming secretary-treasurer
and head of the Research Committee of the new and extremely influential
organization, the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR).[102]

And finally,
in the field of government statistics, Gay and Mitchell found a
more gradual but longer-range route to power via collaboration with
Herbert Hoover, soon to be Secretary of Commerce. No sooner had
Hoover assumed the post in early 1921 when he expanded the Advisory
Committee on the Census to include Gay, Mitchell, and other economists
and then launched the monthly Survey of Current Business. The Survey
was designed to supplement the informational activities of cooperating
trade associations and, by supplying business information, aid these
associations in Hoover’s aim of cartelizing their respective industries.

Secrecy in
business operations is a crucial weapon of competition, and conversely,
publicity and sharing of information is an important tool of cartels
in policing their members. The Survey of Current Business made available
the current production, sales, and inventory data supplied by cooperating
industries and technical journals. Hoover also hoped that by building
on these services, eventually “the statistical program could provide
the knowledge and foresight necessary to combat panic or speculative
conditions, prevent the development of diseased industries, and
guide decision-making so as to iron out rather than accentuate the
business cycle.”[l03]

In promoting
his cartelization doctrine, Hoover met resistance both from some
businessmen who resisted prying questionnaires and sharing competitive
secrets and from the Justice Department. But, a formidable empire-builder,
Herbert Hoover managed to grab statistical services from the Treasury
Department and to establish a “waste elimination division” to organize
businesses and trade associations to continue and expand the wartime
“conservation” program of compulsory uniformity and restriction
of the number and variety of competitive products. As assistant
secretary to head up this program, Hoover secured engineer and publicist
Frederick Feiker, an associate of Arch Shaw’s business publication
empire. Hoover also found a top assistant and lifelong disciple
in Brigadier General Julius Klein, a protégé of Edwin
Gay’s, who had headed the Latin American division of the Bureau
of Foreign and Domestic Commerce. As the new head of the bureau,
Klein organized seventeen new export commodity divisions –
reminiscent of commodity sections during wartime collectivism –
each with “experts” drawn from the respective industries and each
organizing regular cooperation with parallel industrial advisory
committees. And through it all Herbert Hoover made a series of well-publicized
speeches during 1921, spelling out how a well-designed government
trade program, as well as a program in the domestic economy, could
act both as a stimulant to recovery and as a permanent “stabilizer,”
while avoiding such unfortunate measures as abolishing tariffs or
cutting wage rates. The best weapon, both in foreign and domestic
trade, was to “eliminate waste” by a “cooperative mobilization”
of government and industry.[104]

A month after
the Armistice, the American Economic Association and the American
Statistical Association met jointly in Richmond, Virginia. The presidential
addresses were delivered by men in the forefront of the exciting
new world of government planning, aided by social science, that
seemed to loom ahead. In his address to the American Statistical
Association, Wesley Clair Mitchell proclaimed that the war had “led
to the use of statistics, not only as a record of what had happened,
but also as a vital factor in planning what should be done.” As
he had said in his final lecture in Columbia University the previous
spring, the war had shown that when the community desires to attain
a great goal “then within a short period far-reaching social changes
can be achieved.”

“The need for
scientific planning of social change,” he added, “has never been
greater, the chance of making those changes in an intelligent fashion
has never been so good.” The peace will bring new problems, he opined,
but “it seems impossible” that the various countries will “attempt
to solve them without utilizing the same sort of centralized directing
now employed to kill their enemies abroad for the new purpose of
reconstructing their own life at home.”

But the careful
empiricist and statistician also provided a caveat. Broad social
planning requires “a precise comprehension of social processes”
and that can be provided only by the patient research of social
science. As he had written to his wife eight years earlier, Mitchell
stressed that what is needed for government intervention and planning
is the application of the methods of physical science and industry,
particularly precise quantitative research and measurement. In contrast
to the quantitative physical sciences, Mitchell told the assembled
statisticians, the social sciences are “immature, speculative, filled
with controversy” and class struggle. But quantitative knowledge
could replace such struggle and conflict by commonly accepted precise
knowledge, “objective” knowledge “amenable to mathematical formulation”
and “capable of forecasting group phenomena.” A statistician, Mitchell
opined, is “either right or wrong,” and it is easy to demonstrate
which. As a result of precise knowledge of facts, Mitchell envisioned,
we can achieve “intelligent experimenting and detailed planning
rather than agitation and class struggle.”

To achieve
these vital goals none other than economists and statisticians would
provide the crucial element, for we would have to be “relying more
and more on trained people to plan changes for us, to follow them
up, to suggest alterations.”[105]

In a similar
vein, the assembled economists in 1918 were regaled with the visionary
presidential address of Yale economist Irving Fisher. Fisher looked
forward to an economic “world reconstruction” that would provide
glorious opportunities for economists to satisfy their constructive
impulses. A class struggle, Fisher noted, would surely be continuing
over distribution of the nation’s wealth. But by devising a mechanism
of “readjustment,” the nation’s economists could occupy an enviable
role as the independent and impartial arbiters of the class struggle,
these disinterested social scientists making the crucial decisions
for the public good.

In short, both
Mitchell and Fisher were, subtly and perhaps half-consciously, advancing
the case for a postwar world in which their own allegedly impartial
and scientific professions could levitate above the narrow struggles
of classes for the social product, and thus emerge as a commonly
accepted, “objective” new ruling class, a twentieth-century version
of the philosopher-kings.

It might not
be amiss to see how these social scientists, prominent in their
own fields and spokesmen in different ways for the New Era of the
1920s, fared in their disquisitions and guidance for the society
and the economy. Irving Fisher, as we have seen, wrote several works
celebrating the alleged success of prohibition, and insisted even
after 1929, that since the price level had been kept stable, there
could be no depression or stock market crash. For his part, Mitchell
culminated a decade of snug alliance with Herbert Hoover by directing,
along with Gay and the National Bureau, a massive and hastily written
work on the American economy. Published in 1929 on the accession
of Hoover to the presidency, with all the resources of scientific
and quantitative economics and statistics brought to bear, there
is not so much as a hint in Recent Economic Changes in the United
States that there might be a crash and depression in the offing.

Recent Economic Changes study was originated and organized
by Herbert Hoover, and it was Hoover who secured the financing from
the Carnegie Corporation. The object was to celebrate the years
of prosperity presumably produced by Secretary of Commerce Hoover’s
corporatist planning and to find out how the possibly future President
Hoover could maintain that prosperity by absorbing its lessons and
making them a permanent part of the American political structure.
The volume duly declared that to maintain the current prosperity,
economists, statisticians, engineers, and enlightened managers would
have to work out “a technique of balance” to be installed in the

Economic Changes, that monument to “scientific” and political
folly, went through three quick printings and was widely publicized
and warmly received on all sides.[106]
Edward Eyre Hunt, Hoover’s long-time aide in organizing his planning
activities, was so enthusiastic that he continued celebrating the
book and its paean to American prosperity throughout 1929 and 1930.[107]

It is appropriate
to end our section on government and statistics by noting an unsophisticated
yet perceptive cry from the heart. In 1945 the Bureau of Labor Statistics
approached Congress for yet another in a long line of increases
in appropriations for government statistics. In the process of questioning
Dr. A. Ford Hinrichs, head of the BLS, Representative Frank B. Keefe,
a conservative Republican Congressman from Oshkosh, Wisconsin, put
an eternal question that has not yet been fully and satisfactorily

There is
no doubt but what it would be nice to have a whole lot of statistics.
I am just wondering whether we are not embarking on a program
that is dangerous when we keep adding and adding and adding to
this thing.

We have been
planning and getting statistics ever since 1932 to try to meet
a situation that was domestic in character, but were never able
to even meet that question. Now we are involved in an international
question. It looks to me as though we spend a tremendous amount
of time with graphs and charts and statistics and planning. What
my people are interested in is what is it all about? Where are
we going, and where are you going?[108]

An earlier
version of this paper was delivered at a Pacific Institute Conference
on “Crisis and Leviathan,” at Menlo Park, CA, October 1986.


The title of this paper is borrowed from the pioneering last chapter
of James Weinstein’s excellent work, The Corporate Ideal in
the Liberal State, 1900–1918 (Boston: Beacon Press, 1968).
The last chapter is entitled, “War as Fulfillment.”

Robert Higgs, Crisis And Leviathan (New York: Oxford University
Press, 1987), pp. 123–158. For my own account of the collectivized
war economy of World War I, see Murray N. Rothbard, “War Collectivism
in World War I," in R. Radosh and M. Rothbard. eds., A New History
of Leviathan: Essays on the Rise of the American Corporate State
(New York: Dutton. 1972), pp. 66–110.

F.A. Hayek, “The Intellectuals and Socialism,” in Studies in
Philosophy, Politics and Economics (Chicago: University of
Chicago Press, 1967), pp. 178ff.

On the conscription movement, see in particular Michael Pearlman,
To Make Democracy Safe for America: Patricians and Preparedness
in the Progressive Era (Urbana: University of Illinois Press,
1984). See also John W. Chambers II, “Conscripting for Colossus:
The Adoption of the Draft in the United States in World War I,”
PhD diss., Columbia University. 1973; John Patrick Finnegan, Against
the Specter of a Dragon: the Campaign for American Military Preparedness,
1914–1917 (Westport, Conn. Greenwood Press, 1974); and John Gany
Clifford, The Citizen Soldiers: The Plattsburg Training Camp
Movement (Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 1972).

On ministers and the war, see Ray H. Abrams, Preachers Present
Arms (New York: Round Table Press, 1933). On the mobilization
of science, see David F. Noble, America By Design: Science,
Technology and the Rise of Corporate Capitalism (New York:
Oxford University Press, 1977), and Ronald C. Tobey, The American
Ideology of National Science, 1919–1930 (Pittsburgh: University
of Pittsburgh Press, 1971).

Cited in Gerald Edward Markowitz, “Progressive Imperialism: Consensus
and Conflict in the Progressive Movement on Foreign Policy, 1898–1917.”
PhD diss., University of Wisconsin, 1971, p. 375, an unfortunately
neglected work on a highly important topic.

Hence the famous imprecation hurled at the end of the 1884 campaign
that brought the Democrats into the presidency for the first time
since the Civil War, that the Democratic Party was the party of
“Rum, Romanism, and Rebellion.” In that one phrase, the New York
Protestant minister was able to sum up the political concerns of
the pietist movement.

For an introduction to the growing literature of “ethnoreligious”
political history in the United States, see Paul Kleppner, The
Cross of Culture (New York: the Free Press, 1970); and idem,
The Third Electoral System, 1853–1892 (Chapel
Hill, N.C.: University of North Carolina Press, 1979). For the latest
research on the formation of the Republican Party as a pietist party,
reflecting the interconnected triad of pietist concerns – antislavery,
prohibition, and anti-Catholicism – see William E. Gienapp,
“Nativism and the Creation of a Republican Majority in the North
before the Civil War,” Journal of American History 72 (December
1985): 529–559.

German Lutherans were largely “high” or liturgical and confessional
Lutherans who placed emphasis on the Church and its creed or sacraments
rather than on a pietist, “born-again” emotional conversion experience.
Scandinavian-Americans, on the other hand, were mainly pietist Lutherans.

Orthodox Augustinian Christianity, as followed by the liturgicals,
is “a-millennialist," i.e., it believes that the “millennium” is
simply a metaphor for the emergence of the Christian Church and
that Jesus will return without human aid and at his own unspecified
time. Modern “fundamentalists,” as they have been called since the
early years of the twentieth century, are “premillennialists,” i.e.,
they believe that Jesus will return to usher in a thousand years
of the Kingdom of God on Earth, a time marked by various “tribulations”
and by Armageddon, until history is finally ended. Premillennialists,
or “millennarians,” do not have the statist drive of the postmillennialists;
instead, they tend to focus on predictions and signs of Armageddon
and of Jesus’ advent.

James H. Timberlake, Prohibition and the Progressive Movement,
1900–1920 (New York: Atheneum, 1970), pp. 7–8.

Quoted in Timberlake, Prohibition, p. 33.

The Progressive Party convention was a mighty fusion of all the
major trends in the progressive movement: statist economists, technocrats,
social engineers, social workers, professional pietists, and partners
of J.P. Morgan & Co. Social Gospel leaders Lyman Abbon, the
Rev. R. Heber Newton and the Rev. Washington Gladden, were leading
Progressive Party delegates. The Progressive Party proclaimed itself
as the “recrudescence of the religious spirit in American political
life.” Theodore Roosevelt’s acceptance speech was significantly
entitled “A Confession of Faith,” and his words were punctuated
by “amens” and by a continual singing of pietist Christian hymns
by the assembled delegates. They sang “Onward Christian Soldiers,”
“The Battle Hymn of the Republic,” and especially the revivalist
hymn, “Follow, Follow, We Will Follow Jesus,” with the word “Roosevelt”
replacing “Jesus” at every turn. The horrified New York Times
summed up the unusual experience by calling the Progressive grouping
“a convention of fanatics.” And it added, “It was not a convention
at all. It was an assemblage of religious enthusiasts. It was such
a convention as Peter the Hermit held. It was a Methodist camp following
done over into political terms.” Cited in John Allen Gable, The
Bull Moose Years: Theodore Roosevelt and the Progressive Party
(Port Washington, NY: Kennikat Press, 1978), p. 75.

Timberlake, Prohibition, p. 24.

Quoted in Timberlake, Prohibition, p. 27. Italics in the
article. Or, as the Rev. Stelzle put it, in Why Prohibition!,
“There is no such thing as an absolute individual right to do any
particular thing, or to eat or drink any particular thing, or to
enjoy the association of one’s own family, or even to live, if that
thing is in conflict with the law of public necessity.” Quoted in
David E. Kyvig, Repealing National Prohibition (Chicago:
University of Chicago Press, 1979), p. 9.

Timberlake, Prohibition, pp. 37–38.

See David Burner, Herbert Hoover: A Public Life (New York:
Alfred A. Knopf, 1979), p. 107.

James A. Burran, “Prohibition in New Mexico, 1917.” New Mexico
Historical Quarterly 48 (April 1973): 140–141. Mrs. Lindsey
of course showed no concern whatever for the German, allied, and
neutral countries of Europe being subjected to starvation by the
British naval blockade. The only areas of New Mexico that resisted
the prohibition crusade in the referendum in the November 1917 elections
were the heavily Hispanic-Catholic districts.

Timberlake, Prohibition, p. 179.

Quoted in Timberlake, Prohibition, pp. 180–181.

Quoted in Alan P. Grimes, The Puritan Ethic and Woman Suffrage
(New York: Oxford University Press, 1967), p. 78.

Grimes, Puritan Ethic, p. 116.

Ida Clyde Clarke, American Women and the World War (New
York: D. Appleton and Co., 1918), p. 19.

Clarke, American Women, p. 27.

Ibid., p. 31. Actually Mrs. Tarbell’s muckraking activities were
pretty much confined to Rockefeller and Standard Oil. She was highly
favorable to business leaders in the Morgan ambit, as witness her
laudatory biographies of Judge Elbert H. Gary, of US Steel (1925)
and Owen D. Young of General Electric (1932).

Ibid., p. 277, pp. 275–279, p. 58.

Ibid., p. 183.

Ibid., p. 103.

Ibid., pp. 104–105.

Ibid., p. 101.

Ibid., p. 129. Margaret Dreier Robins and her husband Raymond were
virtually a paradigmatic progressive couple. Raymond was a Florida-born
wanderer and successful gold prospector who underwent a mystical
conversion experience in the Alaska wilds and became a pietist preacher.
He moved to Chicago, where he became a leader in Chicago settlement
house work and municipal reform. Margaret Dreier and her sister
Mary were daughters of a wealthy and socially prominent New York
family who worked for and financed the emergent National Women’s
Trade Union League. Margaret married Raymond Robins in 1905 and
moved to Chicago, soon becoming longtime president of the league.
In Chicago, the Robinses led and organized progressive political
causes for over two decades, becoming top leaders of the Progressive
Party from 1912 to 1916. During the war, Raymond Robins engaged
in considerable diplomatic activity as head of a Red Cross mission
to Russia. On the Robinses, see Allen F. Davis, Spearhead for
Reform: the Social Settlements and the Progressive Movement, 1890–1914
(New York: Oxford University Press, 1967).

For more on women’s war work and woman suffrage, see the standard
history of the suffrage movement, Eleanor Flexner, Century of
Struggle: The Woman’s Rights Movement in the United States
(New York: Atheneum, 1968), pp. 288–289. Interestingly, The National
War Labor Board (NWLB) frankly adopted the concept of “equal pay
for equal work in order to limit the employment of women workers
by imposing higher costs on the employer. The “only check,” affirmed
the NWLB, on excessive employment of women “is to make it no more
profitable to employ women than men.” Quoted in Valerie I. Conner,
“‘The Mothers of the Race’ in World War I: The National War Labor
Board and Women in Industry,” Labor History 21 (Winter
1979–80): 34.

See Raymond B. Fosdick, Chronicle of a Generation: An Autobiography
(New York: Harper & Bros., 1958), p. 133. Also see Peter Collier
and David Horowitz, The Rockefellers: An American Dynasty
(New York: New American Library, 1976), pp. 103–105. Fosdick was
particularly appalled that American patrolmen on street duty actually
smoked cigars! Fosdick, Chronicle, p. 135.

The American Social Hygiene Association, with its influential journal
Social Hygiene, was the major organization in what was
known as the “purity crusade.” The association was launched when
the New York physician Dr. Prince A. Marrow, inspired by the agitation
against venereal disease and in favor of the continence urged by
the French syphilographer, Jean-Alfred Fournier, formed in 1905
the American Society for Sanitary and Moral Prophylaxis (ASSMP).
Soon, the terms proposed by the Chicago branch of ASSMP, “social
hygiene” and “sex hygiene,” became widely used for their medical
and scientific patina, and in 1910 ASSMP changed its name to the
American Federation for Sex Hygiene (AFSH). Finally, in late 1913,
AFSH, an organization of physicians, combined with the National
Vigilance Association (formerly the American Purity Alliance), a
group of clergymen and social workers, to form the all-embracing
American Social Hygiene Association (ASHA).

In this social
hygiene movement, the moral and medical went hand in hand. Thus
Dr. Morrow welcomed the new knowledge about venereal disease because
it demonstrated that “punishment for sexual sin” no longer had to
be “reserved for the hereafter.”

The first president
of ASHA was the president of Harvard University, Charles W. Eliot.
In his address to the first meeting, Eliot made clear that total
abstinence from alcohol, tobacco, and even spices was part and parcel
of the anti-prostitution and purity crusade.

On physicians,
the purity crusade, and the formation of ASHA, see Ronald Hamowy,
“Medicine and the Crimination of Sin: ‘Self-Abuse’ in 19th Century
America,” The Journal of Libertarian Studies I (Summer
1972): 247–259; James Wunsch, “Prostitution and Public Policy: From
Regulation to Suppression, 1858–1920,” PhD diss., University of
Chicago, 1976; and Roland R. Wagner, “Virtue Against Vice: A Study
of Moral Reformers and Prostitution in the Progressive Era,” PhD
diss., University of Wisconsin, 1971. On Morrow, also see John C.
Burnham. “The Progressive Era Revolution in American Attitudes Toward
Sex,” Journal of American History 59 (March 1973) 899,
and Paul Boyer, Urban Masses and Moral Order in America, 1820–1920
(Cambridge Harvard University Press, 1978), p 201. Also see Burnham,
“Medical Specialists and Movements Toward Social Control in the
Progressive Era: Three Examples,” in J. Israel, ed., Building
the Organizational Society: Essays in Associational Activities in
Modem America (New York: Free Press, 1972), pp. 24–26.

In Daniel R. Beaver, Newton D. Baker and the American War Effort
1917–1919 (Lincoln, Nebr.: University of Nebraska Press, 1966),
p. 222. Also see ibid., pp. 221–224; and C.H. Cramer, Newton
D. Baker: A Biography (Cleveland: World Publishing Co., l96l),
pp. 99–102.

Fosdick, Chronicle, pp. 145–147. While prostitution was
indeed banned in Storyville after 1917, Storyville, contrary to
legend, never “closed” – the saloons and dance halls remained
open, and contrary to orthodox accounts, jazz was never really shut
down in Storyville or New Orleans, and it was therefore never forced
up river. Also, on later Storyville, see Boyer, Urban Masses,
p. 218.

See Hamowy, “Crimination of Sin,” p. 226 n. The quote from
Clemenceau is in Fosdick, Chronicle, p. 171. Newton Baker’s
loyal biographer declared that Clemenceau, in this response, showed
“his animal proclivities as the ‘Tiger of France.'” Cramer, Newton
Baker, p. 101.

Clarke, American Women, pp. 90, 87, 93. In some cases,
organized women took the offensive to help stamp out vice and liquor
in their community. Thus in Texas in 1917 the Texas Women’s Anti-Vice
Committee led in the creation of a “White Zone” around all the military
bases. By autumn the Committee expanded into the Texas Social Hygiene
Association to coordinate the work of eradicating prostitution and
saloons. San Antonio proved to be its biggest problem. Lewis L.
Gould, Progressives and Prohibitionists: Texas Democrats in
the Wilson Era (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1973), p.

Davis, Spearheads for Reform, p. 225.

Fosdick, Chronicle, p. 144. After the war, Raymond Fosdick
went on to fame and fortune, first as Under Secretary General of
the League of Nations, and then for the rest of his life as a member
of the small inner circle close to John D. Rockefeller, Jr. In that
capacity, Fosdick rose to become head of the Rockefeller Foundation
and Rockefeller’s official biographer. Meanwhile, Fosdick’s brother,
Rev. Harry Emerson, became Rockefeller’s hand-picked parish minister,
first at Park Avenue Presbyterian Church and then at the new interdenominational
Riverside Church, built with Rockefeller funds. Harry Emerson Fosdick
was Rockefeller’s principal aide in battling, within the Protestant
Church, in favor of postmillennial, statist, “liberal” Protestantism
and against the rising tide of premillennial Christianity, known
as “fundamentalist” since the years before World War I. See Collier
and Horowitz, The Rockefellers, pp. 140–142, 151–153.

Davis, Spearheads for Reform, p. 226; Timberlake, Prohibition,
p. 66; Boyer, Urban Masses, p. 156.

Eleanor H. Woods, Robert A. Woods; Champion of Democracy
(Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1929), p. 316. Also see ibid., pp. 201–202,
250ff., 268ff.

Davis, Spearheads for Reform, p. 227.

H.L. Mencken, “Professor Veblen,” in A Mencken Chrestomathy
(New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1949). p. 267.

Quoted in the important article by Jean B. Quandt, “Religion and
Social Thought: The Secularization of Postmillennialism,” American
Quarterly 25 (October 1973): 404. Also see John Blewett, S.J.,
“Democracy as Religion: Unity in Human Relations,” in Blewett, ed.,
John Dewey: His Thought and Influence (New York: Fordham
University Press, 1960), pp. 33–58; and John Dewey: The Early
Works, 1882–1989, eds., J. Boydstan et al., (Carbondale: Southern
Illinois University Press, 1969–71), vols. 2 and 3.

On the general secularization of postmillennial pietism after 1900,
see Quandt, “Religion and Social Thought,” pp. 390–409; and James
H. Moorhead, “The Erosion of Postmillennialism in American Religious
Thought, 1865–1925," Church History 53 (March 1984): 61–77.

Carol S. Gruber, Mars and Minerva: World War I and the Uses
of the Higher Learning in America (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State
University Press, 1975), p. 92.

Quoted in Gruber, Mars and Minerva, pp. 92–93. Also see
William E. Leuchtenburg, “The New Deal and the Analogue of War,”
in J. Braeman, R. Bremner, and E. Walters, eds., Change and
Continuity in Twentieth-Century America (New York: Harper &
Row, l966), p. 89. For similar reasons, Thorstein Veblen, prophet
of the alleged dichotomy of production for profit vs. production
for use, championed the war and began to come out openly for socialism
in an article in the New Republic in 1918, later reprinted
in his The Vested Interests and the State of the Industrial
Arts (1919). See Charles Hirschfeld, “Nationalist Progressivism
and World War I,” Mid-America 45 (July 1963), p. 150. Also
see David Riesman, Thorstein Veblen: A Critical Interpretation
(New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1960). pp. 30–31.

Hirschfeld, “Nationalist Progressivism,” p. 150.

Gruber, Mars and Minerva, p. 92.

Hirschfeld, “Nationalist Progressivism,” p. 142. It is intriguing
that for the New Republic intellectuals, actually existent
private individuals are dismissed as “mechanical,” whereas nonexistent
entities such as “national and social” forces are hailed as being

Quoted in Hirschfeld, “Nationalist Progressivism,” p. 147. A minority
of pro-war Socialists broke off from the antiwar Socialist Party
to form the Social Democratic League, and to join a pro-war front
organized and financed by the Wilson administration, the American
Alliance for Labor and Democracy. The pro-war socialists welcomed
the war as providing “startling progress in collectivism,” and opined
that after the war, the existent state socialism would be advanced
toward “democratic collectivism.” The pro-war socialists included
John Spargo, Algie Simons, W.J. Ghent, Robert R. LaMonte, Charles
Edward Russell, J.G. Phelps Stokes, Upton Sinclair, and William
English Walling. Walling so succumbed to war fever that he denounced
the Socialist Party as a conscious tool of the Kaiser and advocated
the suppression of freedom of speech for pacifists and for antiwar
socialists. See Hirschfeld, “Nationalist Progressivism,” p. 143.
On Walling, see James Gilbert, Designing the Industrial State:
The Intellectual Pursuit of Collectivism in America, 1880–1940
(Chicago: Quadrangle Books, 1972), pp. 232–233. On the American
Alliance for Labor and Democracy and its role in the war effort,
see Ronald Radosh, American Labor and United States Foreign
Policy (New York: Random House, l969), pp. 58–71.

In fact, Jacob Lippmann was to contract cancer in 1925 and die two
years later. Moreover, Lippmann, before and after Jacob’s death,
was supremely indifferent to his father. Ronald Steel, Walter
Lippman and the American Century (New York: Random House, l981),
p. 5, pp. 116–117. On Walter Lippmann’s enthusiasm for conscription,
at least for others, see Beaver, Newton Baker, pp. 26–27.

Hirschfeld, “Nationalist Progressivism,” pp. 148–150. On the New
Republic and the war, and particularly on John Dewey, also
see Christopher Lasch, The New Radicalism in America, 1889–1963:
The Intellectual as a Social Type (New York: Vintage Books,
1965), pp. 181–224, especially pp. 202–204. On the three New
Republic editors, see Charles Forcey, The Crossroads of
Liberalism: Croly, Weyl, Lippmann and the Progressive Era, 1900–1925
(New York: Oxford University Press, 1961). Also see David W. Noble,
“The New Republic and the Idea of Progress, 1914–1920,”
Mississippi Valley Historical Review, 38 (December 1951):
387–402. In a book titled The End of the War (1918), New
Republic editor Walter Weyl assured his readers that “the new
economic solidarity once gained, can never again be surrendered.”
Cited in Leuchtenburg. “New Deal,” p. 90.

Rexford Guy Tugwell, “America’s War-Time Socialism” The Nation
(1927), pp. 364–365. Quoted in Leuchtenburg, “The New Deal,” pp.

In January 1927, Croly wrote a New Republic editorial,
“An Apology for Fascism,” endorsing an accompanying article, “Fascism
for the Italians,” written by the distinguished philosopher Horace
M. Kallen, a disciple of John Dewey and an exponent of progressive
pragmatism. Kallen praised Mussolini for his pragmatic approach,
and in particular for the élan vital that Mussolini
had infused into Italian life. True, Professor Kallen conceded,
fascism is coercive, but surely this is only a temporary expedient.
Noting fascism’s excellent achievement in economics, education,
and administrative reform, Kallen added that “in this respect the
Fascist revolution is not unlike the Communist revolution. Each
is the application by force …of an ideology to a condition.
Each should have the freest opportunity once it has made a start….”
The accompanying New Republic editorial endorsed Kallen’s
thesis and added that “alien critics should beware of outlawing
a political experiment which aroused in a whole nation an increased
moral energy and dignified its activities by subordinating them
to a deeply felt common purpose.” New Republic 49 (January
12, 1927), pp. 207–213. Cited in John Patrick Diggins, “Mussolini’s
Italy: The View from America,” PhD diss., University of Southern
California, 1964, pp. 214–217.

Born in Ireland, David Croly became a distinguished journalist in
New York City and rose to the editorship of the New York World.
Croly organized the first Positivist Circle in the United States
and financed an American speaking tour for the Comtian Henry Edgar.
The Positivist Circle met at Croly’s home, and in 1871 David Croly
published A Positivist Primer. When Herbert was born in
1869, he was consecrated by his father to the Goddess Humanity,
the symbol of Comte’s Religion of Humanity. See the illuminating
recent biography of Herbert by David W. Levy, Herbert Croly
of the New Republic (Princeton: Princeton University Press;

See Jerry Israel, Progressivism and the Open Door: America and
China, 1905–1921 (Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press,

For a refreshingly acidulous portrayal of the actions of the historians
in World War I, see C. Hartley Grattan, “The Historians Cut Loose,”
American Mercury, August 1927, reprinted in Haw Elmer Barnes,
In Quest of Truth and Justice, 2nd ed. (Colorado Springs:
Ralph Myles Publisher, 1972), pp. 142–164. A more extended account
is George T. Blakey, Historians on the Homefront: American Propagandists
for the Great War (Lexington: University Press of Kentucky,
1970). Gruber, Mars and Minerva, deals with academia and
social scientism, but concentrates an historians. James R. Mock
and Cedric Larson, Words that Won the War (Princeton University
Press, 1939), presents the story of the “Creel Committee,” the Committee
on Public Information, the official propaganda ministry during the

See the useful biography of Ely, Benjamin G. Rader, The Academic
Mind and Reform: The Influence of Richard T. Ely in American Life
(Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 1966).

Sidney Fine, Laissez Faire and the General-Welfare State: A
Study of Conflict in American Thought 1865–1901 (Ann Arbor:
University of Michigan Press, 1956), pp.239–240.

Fine, Laissez Faire, pp. 180–181.

John Rogers Commons was of old Yankee stock, descendant of John
Rogers, Puritan martyr in England, and born in the Yankee area of
the Western Reserve in Ohio and reared in Indiana. His Vermont mother
was a graduate of the hotbed of pietism, Oberlin College, and she
sent John to Oberlin in the hopes that he would become a minister.
While in college, Commons and his mother launched a prohibitionist
publication at the request of the Anti-Saloon League. After graduation,
Commons went to Johns Hopkins to study under Ely, but flunked out
of graduate school. See John R. Commons, Myself (Madison,
Wisc.: University of Wisconsin Press, 1964). Also see Joseph Dorfman,
The Economic Mind in American Civilization (New York: Viking,
1949), vol. 3. 276–277; Mary O. Furner, Advocacy and Objectivity:
A Crisis in the Professionalization of American Social Science,
1865–1905 (Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 1975),
pp. 198–204.

Quandt, “Religion and Social Thought,” pp. 402–403. Ely did not
expect the millennial Kingdom to be far off. He believed that it
was the task of the universities and of the social sciences “to
teach the complexities of the Christian duty of brotherhood in order
to arrive at the New Jerusalem “which we are all eagerly awaiting.”
The church’s mission was to attack every evil institution, “until
the earth becomes a new earth, and all its cities, cities of God.”

Gruber, Mars and Minerva, p. 114.

See Rader, Academic Mind, pp. 181–191. On top big business
affiliations of National Security League leaders, especially J.P.
Morgan and others in the Morgan ambit, see C. Hartley Grattan, Why
We Fought (New York Vanguard Press, 1929) pp. 117–118, and
Robert D. Ward, “The Origin and Activities of the National Security
League, 1914–1919,” Mississippi Valley Historical Review,
47 (June 1960): 51–65.

The Chamber of Commerce of the United States spelled out the long-run
economic benefit of conscription, that for America’s youth it would
“substitute a period of helpful discipline for a period of demoralizing
freedom from restraint.” John Patrick Finnegan, Against the Specter
of Dragon: The Campaign for American Military Preparedness, 1914–1917
(Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1974), p. 110. On the broad and
enthusiastic support given to the draft by the Chamber of Commerce,
see Chase C. Mooney and Martha E. Layman, “Some Phases of the Compulsory
Military Training Movement, 1914–1920,” Mississippi Historical
Review 38 (March 1952): 640.

Richard T. Ely, Hard Times: The Way in and the Way Out
(1931), cited in Joseph Dorfman, The Economic Mind in American
Civilization (New York: Viking, 1949). vol. 5, p. 671; and
in Leuchtenburg, “The New Deal,” p. 94.

Ely drew up a super-patriotic pledge for the Madison chapter of
the Loyalty Legion, pledging its members to “stamp out disloyalty.”
The pledge also expressed unqualified support for the Espionage
Act and vowed to “work against La Follettism in all its anti-war
forms.” Rader, Academic Mind, pp. 183ff.

Gruber, Mars and Minerva, p. 207.

Ibid., pp. 208, 208n.

Ibid., pp. 209–210. In his autobiography, written in 1938, Richard
Ely rewrote history to cover up his ignominious role in the get–La
Follette campaign. He acknowledged signing the faculty petition,
but then had the temerity to claim that he “was not one of the ring-leaders,
as La Follette thought, in circulating this petition….” There
is no mention of his secret research campaign against La Follette.

For more an the anti-La Follette campaign, see H.C. Peterson and
Gilbert C. Fite, Opponents of War: 1917–1918 (Madison:
University of Wisconsin Press, 1957), pp. 68–72; Paul L. Murphy,
World War I and the Origin of Civil Liberties in the United States
(New York: W.W. Norton, 1979), p. 120; and Belle Case La Follette
and Fola La Follette, Robert M. LaFollette (New York: Macmillan,
1953), volume 2.

Thus, T.W. Hutchison, from a very different perspective, notes the
contrast between Carl Menger’s stress on the beneficent, unplanned
phenomena of society, such as the free market, and the growth of
“social self-consciousness” and government planning. Hutchison recognizes
that a crucial component of that social self-consciousness is government
statistics. T.W. Hutchison, A Review of Economic Doctrines,
1870–1929 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1953), pp. 150–151, 427.

Fine, Laissez-Faire, p. 207.

Solomon Fabricant, The Trend of Government Activity in the United
States since 1900 (New York: National Bureau of Economic Research,
1952), p. 143. Similarly, an authoritative work on the growth of
government in England puts it this way: “The accumulation of factual
information about social conditions and the development of economics
and the social sciences increased the pressure for government intervention….
As statistics improved and students of social conditions multiplied,
the continued existence of such conditions was kept before the public.
Increasing knowledge of them aroused influential circles and furnished
working class movements with factual weapons.” Moses Abramovitz
and Vera F. Eliasberg, The Growth of Public Employment in Great
Britain (Princeton: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1957),
pp. 22–23, 30. Also see M.I. Cullen, The Statistical Movement
in Early Victorian Britain: The Foundations of Empirical Social
Research (New York: Barnes & Noble, 1975).

See Joseph Dorfman, “The Role of the German Historical School in
American Economic Thought.” American Economic Review, Papers
and Proceedings 45 (May 1955), p. 18. George Hildebrand remarked
on the inductive emphasis of the German Historical School that “perhaps
there is, then, some connection between this kind of teaching and
the popularity of crude ideas of physical planning in more recent
times.” George H. Hildebrand, “International Flow of Economic Ideas-Discussion,”
ibid., p. 37.

Dorfman, “Role,” p. 23. On Wright and Adams, see Joseph Dorfman,
The Economic Mind in American Civilization (New York: Viking
Press, 1949), vol. 3, 164–174, 123; and Boyer, Urban Masses,
p. 163. Furthermore, the first professor of statistics in the United
States, Roland P. Falkner, was a devoted student of Engel’s and
a translator of the works of Engel’s assistant, August Meitzen.

Irving Norton Fisher, My Father Irving Fisher (New York:
Comet Press, 1956), pp. 146–147. Also for Fisher, see Irving
Fisher, Stabilised Money (London: Allen & Unwin,
1935), p. 383.

Fisher, My Father, pp. 264–267. On Fisher’s role and influence
during this period, see Murray N. Rothbard, America’s
Great Depression
, 4th ed. (New York: Richardson & Snyder,
1983). Also see Joseph S. Davis, The World Between the Wars,
1919–39, An Economist’s View (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University
Press, 1975), p. 194; and Melchior Palyi, The Twilight of Gold,
1914–1936: Myth and Realities (Chicago: Henry Regnery,
1972), pp. 240, 249.

Wesley C. Mitchell was of old Yankee pietist stock. His grandparents
were farmers in Maine and then in Western New York. His father followed
the path of many Yankees in migrating to a farm in northern Illinois.
Mitchell attended the University of Chicago, where he was strongly
influenced by Veblen and John Dewey. Dorfman, Economic Mind,
vol. 3, 456.

Dorfman, Economic Mind, vol. 4, 376, 361.

Emphasis added. Lucy Sprague Mitchell, Two Lives (New York:
Simon and Schuster, 1953), p. 363. For more on this entire topic,
see Murray N. Rothbard, “The Politics of Political Economists: Comment,”
Quarterly Journal of Economics 74 (November 1960): 659–665.

See in particular James Weinstein, The Corporate Ideal in the
Liberal State, 1900–1918 (Boston: Beacon Press, 1968); and Samuel
P. Hays, “The Politics of Reform in Municipal Government in the
Progressive Era,” Pacific Northwest Quarterly 59 (October
1961), pp. 157–169.

David Eakins, “The Origins of Corporate Liberal Policy Research,
1916–1922: The Political-Economic Expert and the Decline of Public
Debate,” in Israel, ed., Building the Organizational Society,
p. 161.

Herbert Heaton, Edwin F. Gay, A Scholar in Action (Cambridge:
Harvard University Press, 1952). Edwin Gay was born in Detroit of
old New England stock. His father had been born in Boston and went
into his father-in-law’s lumber business in Michigan. Gay’s mother
was the daughter of a wealthy preacher and lumberman. Gay entered
the University of Michigan, was heavily influenced by the teaching
of John Dewey, and then stayed in graduate school in Germany for
over a dozen years, finally obtaining his PhD in economic history
at the University of Berlin. The major German influences on Gay
were Gustav Schmoller, head of the Historical School, who emphasized
that economics must be an “inductive science,” and Adolf Wagner,
also at the University of Berlin, who favored large-scale government
intervention in the economy in behalf of Christian ethics. Back
at Harvard, Gay was the major single force, in collaboration with
the Boston Chamber of Commerce, in pushing through a factory inspection
act in Massachusetts, and in early 1911 Gay became president of
the Massachusetts branch of the American Association for Labor Legislation,
an organization founded by Richard T. Ely and dedicated to agitating
for government intervention in the area of labor unions, minimum
wage rates, unemployment, public works, and welfare.

On the pulling and hauling among Rockefeller advisers on The Institute
of Economic Research, see David M. Grossman, “American Foundations
and the Support of Economic Research, 1913–29,” Minerva
22 (Spring–Summer 1982): 62–72.

See Eakins, “Origins,” pp. 166–167; Grossman, “American Foundations,”
pp. 76–78; Heaton, Edwin F. Gay. On Stone, see Dorfman, Economic
Mind, vol. 4, 42, 60–61; and Samuel Haber, Efficiency and
Uplift: Scientific Management in the Progressive Era 1890–1920
(Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1964), pp. 152, 165. During
his Marxist period, Stone had translated Marx’s Poverty of Philosophy.

See Guy Alchon, The Invisible Hand of Planning: Capitalism,
Social Science, and the State in the 1920’s (Princeton: Princeton
University Press, 1985), pp. 54ff.

Collier and Horowitz, The Rockefellers, p. 140.

Eakins, “Origins,” p. 168. Also see Furner, Advocacy and Objectivity,
pp. 282–286.

Stephen Skowronek, Building a New American State: The Expansion
of the National Administrative Capacities, 1877–1920 (Cambridge:
Cambridge University Press, 1982), pp. 187–188.

Vice-chairman of the IGR was retired St. Louis merchant and lumberman
and former president of Washington University of St. Louis, Robert
S. Brookings. Secretary of the IGR was James F. Curtis, formerly
Assistant Secretary of the Treasury under Taft and now secretary
and deputy governor of the New York Federal Reserve Bank. Others
on the board of the IGR were ex-President Taft; railroad executive
Frederick A. Delano, uncle of Franklin D. Roosevelt and member of
the Federal Reserve Board; Arthur T. Hadley, economist and president
of Yale; Charles C. Van Hise, progressive president of the University
of Wisconsin, and ally of Ely; reformer and influential young Harvard
Law professor, Felix Frankfurter; Theodore N. Vail, chairman of
AT&T; progressive engineer and businessman, Herbert C. Hoover;
and financier R. Fulton Cutting, an officer of the New York Bureau
of Municipal Research. Eakins, “Origins,” pp. 168–169.

On the Commercial Economy Board, see Grosvenor B. Clarkson, Industrial
America in the World War: The Strategy Behind the Line, 1917–1918
(Boston: Houghton Mifilin, 1923), pp. 211ff.

Alchon, Invisible Hand, p. 29. Mitchell headed the price
statistics section of the Price-Fixing Committee of the War Industries

Heaton, Edwin Gay, p. 129.

See Rothbard, “War Collectivism,” pp. 100–112.

See Heaton, Edwin Gay, pp. 129ff; and the excellent book
on the Inquiry, Lawrence E. Gelfand, The Inquiry: American Preparations
for Peace, 1917–1919 (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1963),
pp. 166–168, 177–178.

Heaton, Edwin Gay, p. 135. Also see Alchon, Invisible
Hand, pp. 35–36.

In 1939 the Bureau of the Budget would be transferred to the Executive
Office, thus completing the IGR objective.

Moulton was a professor of economics at the University of Chicago,
and vice-president of the Chicago Association of Commerce. See Eakins,
“Origins,” pp. 172–177; Dorfman, Economic Mind, vol. 4,
11, 195–197.

Gay had been recommended to the group by one of its founders, Thomas
W. Lamont. It was Gay’s suggestion that the CFR begin its major
project by establishing an “authoritative” journal, Foreign
Affairs. And it was Gay who his Harvard historian colleague
Archibald Cary Coolidge as the first editor and the New York
Post reporter Hamilton Fish Armstrong as assistant editor and
executive director of the CFR. See Lawrence H. Shoup and William
Minter, Imperial Brain Trust: The Council on Foreign Relations
and United States Foreign Policy (New York: Monthly Review
Press, 1977), pp. 16–19, 105, 110.

Ellis W. Hawley, “Herbert Hoover and Economic Stabilization, 1921–22,”
in E. Hawley, ed., Herbert Hoover as Secretary of Commerce:
Studies in New Era Thought and Practice (Iowa City: University
of Iowa Press, 1981), p. 52.

Hawley, “Herbert Hoover,” p. 53. Also see ibid., pp. 42–54. On the
continuing collaboration between Hoover, Gay, and Mitchell throughout
the 1920s see Alchon, Invisible Hand.

Alchon, Invisible Hand, pp. 39–42; Dorfman, Economic
Mind, vol. 3, 490.

One exception was the critical review in the Commercial and
Financial Chronicle (May 18, 1929), which derided the impression
given the reader that the capacity of the United States “for continued
prosperity is well-nigh unlimited.” Quoted in Davis, World Between
the Wars, p. 144. Also on Recent Economic Changes
and economists’ opinions at the time, see ibid., pp. 136–151, 400–417;
David W. Eakins, “The Development of Corporate Liberal Policy Research
in the United States, 1885–1965,” PhD diss., doctoral dissertation
University of Wisconsin, 1966, pp. 166–169, 205; and Edward Angly,
comp., Oh Yeah? (New York: Viking Press, 1931).

In 1930, Hunt published a book-length, popularizing summary, An
Audit of America. On Recent Economic Changes, also
see Alchon, Invisible Hand, pp. 129–133, 135–142, 145–151,

Department of Labor – FSA Appropriation Bill for 1945.
Hearings Before the Subcommittee on Appropriations. 78th Congress,
2nd Session, Part I (Washington, 1945), pp. 258f., 276f. Quoted
in Rothbard, “Politics of Political Economists,” p. 665. On the
growth of economists and statisticians in government, especially
during wartime, see also Herbert Stein, “The Washington Economics
Industry,” American Economic Association Papers and Proceedings
76 (May 1986), pp. 2–3.

N. Rothbard
(1926–1995) was the author of Man,
Economy, and State
, Conceived
in Liberty
, What
Has Government Done to Our Money
, For
a New Liberty
, The
Case Against the Fed
, and many
other books and articles
. He was
also the editor – with Lew Rockwell – of The
Rothbard-Rockwell Report

Rothbard Archives

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