A Tribute to John T. Flynn

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In
his two classic critiques of the New Deal and Rooseveltian global
imperialism, 1944′s As
We Go Marching
and The
Roosevelt Myth
, which first appeared in 1948, John T. Flynn
detailed in his own pugnacious style the deception, deceit and disaster
that were the four presidential terms of Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
As Ralph Raico described Flynn in his introduction to the 50th anniversary
edition of The Roosevelt Myth, “There is little doubt that
the best informed and most tenacious of the Old Right foes of Franklin
Roosevelt was John T. Flynn.”

This
commitment to liberty cost Flynn much, both financially and professionally.
In his life, Flynn would find himself blacklisted, first by the
Progressive-Left, then later by the Buckleyized/Trotskyized New
Right. But this persecution only seemed to clarify his insights
and commitment to liberty, much as similar blacklisting did to Ludwig
von Mises and Murray N. Rothbard. Gregory Pavlik, the editor of
Forgotten
Lessons
, a book of essays by John T. Flynn, summed up his
career: “When Flynn died in 1964 he was an outcast from both the
then-fashionable varieties of liberalism and conservatism. His life
was a testament to his character – he refused to compromise his
deepest convictions for the affection of trendy demagogues of any
political stripe.”

John
Thomas Flynn was born in 1882 in Washington, D.C., into a middle
class old Irish Catholic family, and went to school in New York
City. During his formative years, the ramifications of the Spanish-American
War created in him a life-long opposition to imperialism, whether
European or American. He entered Georgetown to study law, but was
irresistibly drawn towards a career in journalism. After serving
as the editor of papers in New Haven and New York, he began a career
as a freelance writer, focusing on political influence and corruption
on Wall Street. In particular, he later worked as the chief researcher
for the Nye Committee of the U.S. Senate investigating the role
of New York banks and the munitions industry (the putative military-industrial
complex “merchants of death”) in involving the United States in
World War I. Although a staunch supporter of a free economy, Flynn
was also a populist, and viewed the rich and powerful as conspirators
for war and preparations for war against the interests of the middle
and lower classes.

Flynn
was a critic of Roosevelt’s New Deal, and of Roosevelt’s motives
and personality traits virtually from the start, viewing the entire
program as a copy of Mussolini’s Fascist State corporatism. Key
to Flynn’s critique of New Dealism was the similarity between the
Code Authorities of Roosevelt’s National Recovery Administration,
and Mussolini’s state-supervised industrial cartels. Flynn observed
and documented in his critique that many American intellectuals,
politicians, and businessmen greatly admired Mussolini and his policies.

It
was Benito Mussolini, after all, who wrote “If the nineteenth century
was the century of the individual ([classical] liberalism implies
individualism),” then “this [the twentieth century] is the ‘collective’
century, and therefore the century of the State. …Fascism spells
government.”

In
response to Flynn’s unremitting criticisms of him, Roosevelt personally
wrote a letter to a magazine editor suggesting that Flynn “should
be barred hereafter from the columns of any presentable daily paper,
monthly magazine, or national quarterly.” Shortly thereafter, Flynn
was fired from The New Republic and found it increasingly
difficult to find outlets for his work. The New Dealers’ inside
and outside the government had begun a smear campaign against all
critics of the New Deal, and of Roosevelt in particular, as Nazi
sympathizers.

In
the postwar period Flynn began a career as a staunch Old Right radio
commentator and authored several books. Unlike the so-called New
Right, Flynn remained an anti-interventionist during the Cold War,
opposing the Korean war and the creeping Vietnam quagmire, and predicted
that the Soviet leviathan would collapse on its own, as every Misesian
knows it did. At the age of 79, he ended his public career in 1960.
John T. Flynn died in 1964.

On
Roosevelt the Man:

He
had little interest in books. Friendly biographers say, as if it
were some sort of special genius, that what he knew he “absorbed
from others” rather than from books. However, one does not “absorb”
history or economics from others in chats. They must be patiently
studied over long periods out of the only sources that are available – the appropriate books. Miss Perkins, who knew him from his early
manhood up to his death, says he was not a student, that he knew
nothing of economics and that he admitted he had never read a book
on the subject. Edward J. Flynn, his campaign manager in the 1940
election and closely associated with him as a friend and as Secretary
of State of New York while he was governor, says he never saw him
reading a book. Three men who worked closely with him in the White
House and one of them previously in Albany, also say they never
saw him interested in a book, save an occasional detective story.

His
career as a lawyer was extremely sketchy. He began as a law clerk
with Carter, Ledyard and Milburn. Later a junior in that firm found
an old memo addressed to the office manager and signed by Mr. Ledyard
directing him “under no circumstances to put any serious piece of
litigation” in the hands of “young Mr. Roosevelt.”

At
this point Roosevelt could not be tagged as a man with any indispensable
qualifications in any field of life. He was 40 years old. He had
the reputation of being a snob. In the legislature, says his devoted
follower Frances Perkins “he didn’t like people very much … he
had a youthful lack of humility, a streak of selfrighteousness and
deafness to the hopes, fears and aspirations which are the common
lot.” Democrats like Bob Wagner and Al Smith and others “thought
him impossible and said so.”


some of his intimates [said] he was a complex character. There was
really nothing complex about Roosevelt. He was of a well-known type
found in every city and state in political life. He is the wellborn,
rich gentleman with a taste for public life, its importance and
honors, who finds for himself a post in the most corrupt political
machines, utters in campaigns and interviews the most pious platitudes
about public virtue while getting his own dividends out of public
corruption one way or another. In any case, they are a type in which
the loftiest sentiments and pretensions are combined with a rather
lowgrade political conscience.

Roosevelt
was a stamp collector all his life and like all stamp collectors
he got to know the location on the map of all the countries whose
stamps he owned. He loved to display this special knowledge. But
this simple and rudimentary subject of geography is not to be confused
with the far more formidable subject of European and Asiatic economic,
social and political movements. In setting all this down, I am not
accusing Roosevelt of being a wicked man because he was not a good
student, did not read books on economic or social science or law
or politics and knew less about foreign affairs than William Borah
or Herbert Hoover or Key Pittman or Carter Glass. I merely seek
to set the picture straight and to frame Mr. Roosevelt within the
more or less narrow limits which bound his intellectual energies
and interests.

However,
he did believe that he knew a great deal about these subjects, although
occasionally he admitted he did not understand financial and economic
questions too well. But he had a way of doing a little bragging
about his intellectual equipment, about which he was secretly a
little sensitive. For instance, he wore the purely honorary Phi
Beta Kappa key given him while he was governor by William Smith-Hobart
College, a girls’ school in New York State, leaving visitors to
suppose he had got it at Harvard. He used to tell a story about
how he humiliated a legal antagonist before a jury. The weakness
in the story was that it was an old courtroom joke told about lawyers
time out of mind, that he took credit for it personally and that
he had never tried a jury case in his life. Another time he explained
to Emil Ludwig some course he had just taken by saying he had learned
that technique “when he was a teacher” and his superior had taught
him how to handle pupils. Of course he had never been a teacher.
When he was President he told a room full of senators, all of whom
had gone through World War I while he was in civilian clothes, that
he had “seen more of war than any man in the room.” And in one of
his speeches when he was assuring the audience of his horror of
war, he explained it by the terrible things he had seen on the battlefield,
describing the regiment he had seen wiped out, the thousands of
young soldiers he had seen choked with blood in the mud of France,
although he had never been in a battle in his life. And though he
had never served in the Army or Navy, he got some local post to
make him a member of the American Legion, after which he went around
on occasion wearing a Legion cap.

In
the case of Roosevelt, with his somewhat easy approach to official
virtue, his weakness for snap judgments, his impulsive starts in
unconsidered directions, his vanity, his lack of a settled political
philosophy, his appetite for political power and his great capacity
as a mere politician, the Presidency became in his hands an instrument
of appalling consequences.

There
was a wide streak of egotism in Roosevelt which made it impossible
for him in some circumstances to perceive the fine line that divides
correct from improper conduct in public office particularly in so
exalted an office as the presidency. For instance, Roosevelt had
been all his life an ardent stamp collector…. When he became President
he found himself the actual head of the Post Office and of the Bureau
of Printing and Engraving. Very early in the game he got Jim Farley,
his Postmaster General, who knew nothing of this seemingly harmless
pastime, to get for him the imperforate first sheets (that is, sheets
minus the usual perforations) of a number of new stamp issues. Farley
got the sheets, paid face value for them, gave one sheet of each
issue to the President, one to Mrs. Roosevelt, one to Louis Howe
and a few others. Shortly after, an authority in the field called
on Farley and explained to him that these imperforate sheets were
great rarities, because so difficult to get, that they would have
immense commercial value and this was an act of dubious ethical
value. Farley assured him that the sheets would not get into commerce,
that they were merely given to the President for his personal collection,
etc. Shortly after a sheet turned up in Virginia. The man who had
warned Farley wrote to the owner and asked a price on it. He wanted
$20,000.

On
Roosevelt’s Monument:

There
remains an incident unique in national political history. It is
the singular story of the Roosevelt estate and the schemes he personally
managed to create a shrine for himself with government money and
funds extorted from federal officeholders. So far as I know our
political annals reveal no comparable example of personal vanity
completely unrestrained by any sense of shame.

Statues
are built by the hundreds to all grades of celebrities. But shrines
are reserved for those few whose records, strained through the sieve
of history, provide the evidences of greatness which merit this
extraordinary tribute. In good time the candidate for such honors
will have his claim recognized. The greatest of our shrines – Washington’s
home at Mount Vernon – was restored and is maintained by a private
group, the Mt. Vernon Ladies Association. After Jefferson’s death,
his estate was saved for his heirs by some friends and his home – Monticello – is operated by the Thomas Jefferson Memorial Foundation,
a private organization…. Franklin D. Roosevelt took no chances
on being neglected. He personally conceived the idea of a shrine
for himself, organized and promoted the movement himself and personally
pushed it through. And he did this long before the war – before
he had been enlarged by events and propaganda for good or evil into
a world figure.

The
idea took form in Roosevelt’s mind in 1938. By this time the depression
had returned to his doorstep. Over 11,000,000 people were unemployed.
He had just told Henry Morgenthau that the best course for them
was to rock along for the next two years on a two or three billion
dollar a year deficit and then go out of office, turn the mess over
to the Republicans and wait for the people to call them back to
power in 1944. It is incredible but true that it was at this moment
of frustration he should have cooked up this plan for a national
shrine for himself. He now conceived the plan of having built on
his Hyde Park estate a library and workshop which he would use as
his place of business when he left the White House. The next stage
in this scheme was to make it a “memorial library,” the funds for
which would be put up by the thousands of party workers who held
office in his administration. And so it turned out in this first
stage – a Franklin D. Roosevelt Memorial Library. He would give
the land out of his mother’s estate. The Democratic officeholders
would pay the bills to build and furnish it. As a “memorial library”
it would be exempt from taxation. And there he and his staff would
work, as later proposed, for Collier’s at $75,000 for himself, plus
three of four of his staff on the Collier’s payroll. All this was
managed by a committee to raise the money and complete the project
consisting of his law partner, Basil O’Connor, Joseph Schenck, later
sent to jail by the government, Ben Smith, a Wall Street operator
and several others. They raised $400,000 from those elements of
the “common man” who held Democratic jobs.

By
the time it was finished the idea had expanded…. The United States,
through the National Archives, became the owner and maintainer of
the “library,” thus taking that burden off his hands. The “library”
was to house his papers and collection of ship models, etc., as
well as provide him with a completely free workshop for the rest
of his life and become a monument after his death.

If
Roosevelt in retreat, harried by the return of the depression in
1938, repudiated by the country on the Court fight and by his party
in the purge fight and faced with a grave revolt and split in his
party, could envisage himself as the only American president to
have a government-built and supported shrine, to what dimensions
would the emanations of his ego swell after America got into the
war, when, like a Roman emperor, he was throwing around unimaginable
billions all over the world, when ministers, kings, dictators and
emperors from everywhere were covering him with flattery as they
begged millions at his hands?

By
the end of 1943, flattery, applause, sycophancy had literally rotted
the nature of Franklin Roosevelt. In December of that year he decided,
like an Egyptian Pharaoh, to transform his home into a great historic
shrine – a Yankee pyramid – where his family might live in a kind
of imperial dignity, where he might retire if he survived the war
as a kind of World Elder Statesman and Dictator Emeritus, and where
he would be entombed. In December, 1943, he deeded to the government
“as a national historic site” his Hyde Park estate, with the proviso
that he and the members of his family would have the right to live
in it as long as they lived…. Secretary Ickes asked Congress for
$50,000 a year for maintenance of the estate. An admission fee is
now charged and it is estimated that the maintenance cost will be
around $100,000 a year.

Thus
Roosevelt is not merely the only president whose home and grave
are maintained by the government as a national shrine, but the government
was doing this even before he passed away and all in accordance
with a project he thought up all by himself and put over before
he died.

On
the New Deal:

… as those around him at the time have testified, he showed not
the least concern about doing anything to arrest the onset of the
panic. What he wanted was a complete crash. He wished for the panic
to sweep on to a total banking disaster. He wished for the public
to see his predecessor [Herbert Hoover] go out in a scene of utter
ruin, thus setting the stage for him to step upon it as the savior
who would rebuild from the very bottom.

[H]e
accepted his high office as one taking over the command of an army
– an army organized for attack. He would recommend measures “that
a stricken nation in the midst of a stricken world may require.”
But – ah, but! – if Congress should fail to go along with him –
“I-shall-not-evade-the-clear-course-of-duty-that-will-confront-me.”
There was an ominous accent of the resolute captain on every word.
He would ask for the one remaining instrument – a grant from Congress
of “broad executive power to wage a war against the emergency, as
great as the power that would be given me if we were in fact invaded
by a foreign foe.”

It
can be truly said that the nation responded to the ringing utterance
of the inaugural address. Congress was prepared to go along in an
extraordinary effort. Partisanship sank to its smallest dimensions.
Everywhere the new President was hailed with unprecedented applause.
In spots the acclaim rose to almost hysterical strains. Rabbi Rosenblum
said we see in him a Godlike messenger, the darling of destiny,
the Messiah of America’s tomorrow. Next morning the New York Times
carried only a single frontpage story that had no connection with
the inauguration. It had to do with another of those Messiahs of
tomorrow. The headline read: VICTORY FOR HITLER EXPECTED TODAY –
Repression of Opponents Makes Election Triumph inevitable.

Roosevelt,
once he got into power, began, in complete violation of his Number
One pledge [to decrease government spending], to spend money like
a drunken sailor and then to promise the earth and the fullness
thereof. He asked nothing of the people but that they vote for him.

In
the Agricultural Department a vast bureau was set up with a wilderness
of checkwriting machines and amidst thundering mechanical noises,
was pouring out a flood of checks to farmers in return for killing
their stock, plowing back crops and burning grain in their fields.

[E]ach
day Morgenthau and Roosevelt met, with Jesse Jones, head of the
RFC, present, to fix the price of gold. They gathered around Roosevelt’s
bed in the morning as he ate his eggs. Then “HennyPenny” and Roosevelt
decided the price of gold for that day. One day they wished to raise
the price. Roosevelt settled the point. Make it 21 cents, he ruled.
That is a lucky number – three times seven. And so it was done.
That night Morgenthau wrote in his diary: “If people knew how we
fixed the price of gold they would be frightened.”

[The]
curious epidemic of grotesque notions sponsored by shallow and in
some cases dangerous men is, of course, not an unknown phenomenon.
When little men think about large problems the boundary between
the sound and the unsound is very thin and vague. And when some
idea is thrown out which corresponds with the deeply rooted yearnings
of great numbers of spiritually and economically troubled people
it spreads like a physical infection and rises in virulence with
the extent of the contagion. The spiritual and mental soil of the
masses near the bottom of the economic heap was perfect ground for
all these promisers of security and abundance. Roosevelt prospered
on that.

Actually
the one thing he did that was based on a very definite philosophy
was the program that consisted of the NRA and the AAA. This was
a plan to take the whole industrial and agricultural life of the
country under the wing of the government, organize it into vast
farm and industrial cartels, as they were called in Germany, corporatives
as they were called in Italy, and operate business and the farms
under plans made and carried out under the supervision of government.
This is the complete negation of [classical] liberalism. It is,
in fact, the essence of fascism. Fascism goes only one step further
and insists, logically, that this cannot be done by a democratic
government; that it can be done successfully only under a totalitarian
regime. Of course, Roosevelt did not know that he was indulging
in a fascist experiment because he did not know what fascism was.
In those days fascism was not defined as anti-Semitism. It was a
word used to describe the political system of Mussolini. Roosevelt
merely did something which at the moment seemed politically expedient
because it satisfied a vast mass of farmers and business men. He
never examined the fundamentals of it because that was not the way
his mind worked. The NRA did not fully satisfy the technocratic
groups represented by the Tugwells and their disciples in spite
of the many points of resemblance. The NRA left too much control
in the hands of business whereas they would have preferred to see
that control in the hands of the technicians – preferably the professors.
As for the Reds, they did not move in heavily until the second term
and not en masse until the third term, although the entering wedge
was made in the first. And then the point of entry was the labor
movement.

The
test of fascism is not one's rage against the Italian and German
war lords. The test is – how many of the essential principles of
fascism do you accept and to what extent are you prepared to apply
those fascist ideas to American social and economic life?

When
you can put your finger on the men or the groups that urge for America
the debt-supported state, the autarchial corporative state, the
state bent on the socialization of investment and the bureaucratic
government of industry and society, the establishment of the institution
of militarism as the great glamorous public-works project of the
nation and the institution of imperialism under which it proposes
to regulate and rule the world and, along with this, proposes to
alter the forms of our government to approach as closely as possible
the unrestrained, absolute government – then you will know you have
located the authentic fascist.

But
let us not deceive ourselves into thinking that we are dealing by
this means with the problem of fascism. Fascism will come at the
hands of perfectly authentic Americans, as violently against Hitler
and Mussolini as the next one, but who are convinced that the present
economic system is washed up and that the present political system
in America has outlived its usefulness and who wish to commit this
country to the rule of the bureaucratic state; interfering in the
affairs of the states and cities; taking part in the management
of industry and finance and agriculture; assuming the role of great
national banker and investor, borrowing millions every year and
spending them on all sorts of projects through which such a government
can paralyze opposition and command public support; marshaling great
armies and navies at crushing costs to support the industry of war
and preparation for war which will become our greatest industry;
and adding to all this the most romantic adventures in global planning,
regeneration, and domination all to be done under the authority
of a powerfully centralized government in which the executive will
hold in effect all the powers with Congress reduced to the role
of a debating society. There is your fascist. And the sooner America
realizes this dreadful fact the sooner it will arm itself to make
an end of American fascism masquerading under the guise of the champion
of democracy.

It
should be equally clear that all this is in no sense communism….
[A] reason for the confusion is the character of the men who are
authentic and honest New Dealers but who were not communists….
They began to flirt with the alluring pastime of reconstructing
the capitalist system. They became the architects of a new capitalist
system. And in the process of this new career they began to fashion
doctrines that turned out to be the principles of fascism. Of course
they do not call them fascism, although some of them frankly see
the resemblance. But they are not disturbed, because they know that
they will never burn books, they will never hound the Jews or the
Negroes, they will never resort to assassination and suppression.
What will turn up in their hands will be a very genteel and dainty
and pleasant form of fascism which cannot be called fascism at all
because it will be so virtuous and polite.

As
the year 1941 dawned, the experiments of Roosevelt had been under
observation for eight years. There can be no dispute as to the commission
he held from the people. He was not elected to substitute a new
system of government and economy, to set up a socialist or fascist
or communist system or any form of state-planned capitalism. His
promise was to restore conditions under which the American system
of free representative government and the free system of private
enterprise could function at its highest efficiency.

The
word “business” is well understood by our people. It refers to that
collection of great and small enterprises which produce goods and
services for the population. It does two things. It produces our
food, our clothes, our luxuries and necessities; it provides, also,
the jobs by which the people earn the income with which they can
purchase these things. As Roosevelt came into power one might have
supposed that business was some gigantic criminal conspiracy against
the welfare of the nation. He began with a sweeping attack upon
business and he kept it up until the war. Even during the war, in
such moments as he could give to the subject, he was making plans
for further assaults upon business.

On
Roosevelt and the War:

In
January, 1938, I talked with one of the President's most intimate
advisers. I asked him if the President knew we were in a depression.
He said that of course he did. I asked what the President proposed
to do. He answered:

“Resume
spending.” I then suggested he would find difficulty in getting
objects on which the federal government could spend. He said he
knew that. What, then, I asked, will the President spend on? He
laughed and replied in a single word:

“Battleships.”
I asked why. He said: “You know we are going to have a war.” And
when I asked whom we were going to fight he said “Japan” and when
I asked where and what about, he said “in South America.” “Well,”
I said, “you are moving logically there. If your only hope is spending
and the only thing you have to spend on is national defense, then
you have got to have an enemy to defend against and a war in prospect.”

Apparently
the best hope of a war at that moment for popular consumption was
with the Japanese, who had just sunk the Panay, and as there was
little chance of arousing the American people to fight around Japan,
South America seemed a more likely battleground to stimulate our
fears and emotions. There is nothing new about this. Kings and ministers
have toyed with this device for ages and convinced themselves they
were acting wisely and nobly.

Here
he was with a depression on his hands – eleven million men out of
work, the whole fabric of his policy in tatters, his promise only
a few months old to balance the budget still fresh in the minds
of the people and yet pressing the necessity, as he put it himself,
of spending two or three billion a year of deficit money and, most
serious of all, as he told Jim Farley, no way to spend it.

Here
now was a gift from the gods – and from the gods of war at
that. Here was the chance to spend. Here now was something the federal
government could really spend money on – military and naval
preparations.

On
The Roosevelt Myth:

[D]uring
the administrations of Franklin Roosevelt I was an active journalist
and as such very close to the events…. For most of the time I
wrote a daily column which appeared in a large number of American
newspapers, a weekly column in an American magazine of opinion and
I contributed to numerous national magazines literally hundreds
of articles dealing with these events.

As
to the … image projected upon the popular mind which came to be
known as Franklin D. Roosevelt [i]t is the author’s conviction that
this image did not at all correspond to the man himself and that
it is now time to correct the lineaments of this synthetic figure
created by highly intelligent propaganda, aided by mass illusion
and finally enlarged and elaborated out of all reason by the fierce
moral and mental disturbances of the war.

Part
of the Roosevelt legend is the concept of a fine old aristocratic
family that became the friend of the common man. It is unimportant,
perhaps, but it serves to illustrate the glittering crust of fable
which overlays this whole Roosevelt story.

In
the beginning, of course, was Roosevelt. And then came the Brain
Trust. After that we had the Great Man and the Brain Trust. The
casual reader may suppose this is just a catch collection of syllables.
But it is impossible to estimate the power these few words exercised
upon the minds of the American people. After all, a crowd of big
business boobies, a lot of butterfingered politicians, two big halls
full of shallow and stupid congressmen and senators had made a mess
of America. That was the bill of goods sold to the American people.
Now amidst the ruins appeared not a mere politician, not a crowd
of tradesmen and bankers and congressmen, but a Great Man attended
by a Brain Trust to bring understanding first and then order out
of chaos.

After
the war in Europe got under way and Roosevelt began to assume the
role of friend not merely of the common man but of the whole human
race, after he began to finger tens of billions, after he finally
put on the shining armor of the plumed knight and lifted his great
sword against the forces of evil on the whole planet – then the
propaganda took on formidable proportions. The most powerful propaganda
agencies yet conceived by mankind are the radio and the moving pictures.
Practically all of the radio networks and all of the moving picture
companies moved into the great task of pouring upon the minds of
the American people daily – indeed hourly, ceaselessly – the story
of the greatest American who ever lived, breathing fire and destruction
against his critics who were effectually silenced, while filling
the pockets of the people with billions of dollars of war money.
The radio was busy not only with commentators and news reporters,
but with crooners, actors, screen stars, soap opera, comedians,
fan dancers, monologists, putting over on the American mind not
only the greatness of our Leader but the infamy of his critics,
the nobility of his glamorous objectives and the sinister nature
of the scurvy plots of his political enemies. The people were sold
first the proposition that Franklin D. Roosevelt was the only man
who could keep us out of war; second that he was the only man who
could fight successfully the war which he alone could keep us out
of; and finally that he was the only man who was capable of facing
such leaders as Churchill and Stalin on equal terms and above all
the only man who could cope successfully with the ruthless Stalin
in the arrangements for the postwar world.

The
ordinary man did not realize that Hitler and Mussolini were made
to seem as brave, as strong, as wise and noble to the people of
Germany and Italy as Roosevelt was seen here. Hitler was not pictured
to the people of Germany as he was presented here. He was exhibited
in noble proportions and with most of those heroic virtues which
were attributed to Roosevelt here and to Mussolini in Italy and,
of course, to Stalin in Russia. I do not compare Roosevelt to Hitler.
I merely insist that the picture of Roosevelt sold to our people
and which still lingers upon the screen of their imaginations was
an utterly false picture, was the work of false propaganda and that,
among the evils against which America must protect herself one of
the most destructive is the evil of modern propaganda techniques
applied to the problem of government.

People
who supposed he wrote his own speeches acclaimed him as a great
orator. People who knew nothing of finance and economics extolled
him as a great economic statesman. But over and above this some
cunning techniques were industriously used to enhance the picture.
For instance, Mrs. Roosevelt took over the job of buttering the
press and radio reporters and commentators. They were hailed up
to Hyde Park for hamburger and hot dog picnics. They went swimming
in the pool with the Great Man. They were invited to the White House.
And, not to be overlooked, it was the simplest thing in the world
for them to find jobs in the New Deal for the members of their families.

Roosevelt
was built by propaganda, before the war on a small scale and after
the war upon an incredible scale, into a wholly fictitious character.

Conclusion:

The
quotes presented here are only a sampling of the wit and keen observations
made by John T. Flynn about that period in American history when
liberty almost died. Throughout his works, Flynn exposes Roosevelt’s
lack of principles, his lies and corruption and nepotism, the shocking
flippancy in his approach to social and economic issues, the turn
towards militarism to obscure the absolute failure of the New Deal
to "solve" the Depression, and punctures the myths surrounding
the whole sordid disaster for Americans and the world that was the
Roosevelt administration.

Today,
as America and the rest of the world faces a President and his advisors
as prone to deceit and statist “solutions” as FDR, libertarians
should follow the great example of John T. Flynn. In our pursuit
to defend and protect individual liberty, we should never cease
telling the truth about the nature and motivations of those who
seek to manipulate tragedies, at the expense of Americans and the
peoples of the rest of the world, for their own personal power,
success and privilege.

January
31, 2003

Adam
Young [send him mail] writes
from Ontario, Canada.


     

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