Manchester Union-Leader: Then and Now

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Today’s endorsement of neocon Newt Gingrich further demonstrates that The Manchester Union-Leader has substantially changed for the worse since the death of long-time president and publisher William Loeb (an admirer of Old Right Republican Robert Taft) which can be illustrated by Mr. Loeb’s personal response to this letter below.

On April 11, 1978, when I was the executive director of the Libertarian Party of New Hampshire, I composed the following letter for publication:

Dear Mr. Loeb:

Your March 27 Union Leader editorial, “Red Sails On The Horizon,” warned of the possible dangers of the ever-expanding Soviet Merchant Marine to the NATO alliance. I should like to add some important facts to your careful analysis.

Over fifty years ago, economist Ludwig von Mises stated, without refutation, that central planning by state bureaucracies is inherently inefficient. This is because rational economic calculation is impossible due to the absence of a market pricing system of profit and loss. Socialism is necessarily parasitical as an economic system, being in fact the violent abolition of the market.

If this is the case, how does one explain the increased production in the Soviet Union since 1917?

Anthony Sutton, former Research Fellow at the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace at Stanford University, one of the most prestigious academic “think tanks,” is an expert on the origins of Soviet technology.

He is the author of many works, including the three-volume Western Technology and Soviet Economic Development 1917 – 1930, 1930 –1945, 1945 – 1964.

Surveying every possible source of information, in five languages, and regarding every industry, physical plant capacity, and technological development in the Soviet Union since 1917, Sutton proves “there is no such thing as Soviet technology,” but technology transferred from the Western bloc countries by physical force, monopolistic concessions, harassment, breach of contract, or numerous other unsavory methods.

In National Suicide: Military Aid To The Soviet Union, Sutton observes that over two-thirds (68 percent) of the Soviet Merchant Marine ship tonnage has been built outside of the Soviet Union. The remaining 32 percent was built in Soviet yards and to a great extent with shipbuilding equipment from the West, particularly Finland and the NATO alliances’ Great Britain and Germany.

Also, four-fifths (79.13 percent) of the main marine diesel engines used to propel the vessels of the Soviet Merchant Fleet, were built in the West. Moreover, even this startling statistic does not reflect the full nature of Soviet dependence on the foreign marine diesel technology because all the main engines manufactured in the U. S. S. R. are built to foreign designs.

In effect, powerful international interests in the United States and Western Europe have created the Soviet Military Industrial Complex.

We must end this destructive policy of having the honest, hardworking taxpayers subsidize a potential aggressor so a privileged elite can gain its profits and plunder.

We must adopt a new, realistic approach to foreign affairs . . . one which rejects the very dangerous premises of the present policy.

That approach is non-intervention. It was well regarded by men of our revolutionary era as they faced the concrete tasks of charting sound policy in a world of great power rivalry and large empires — a world much like our own.

Our first president, George Washington, enunciated the non-interventionist viewpoint in his celebrated Farewell Address to the American people in 1796. It was reiterated by John Adams, our second president, and Thomas Jefferson, in his First Inaugural Address in 1801, called for “peace, commerce and honest friendship with all nations, entangling alliances with none.” And so it went. Non-interventionism, despite serious lapses, was the major theme in American foreign policy up to 1898, even to 1917.

In the Twentieth Century, however, American statesmen have largely ignored the arguments for non-intervention, with consistently catastrophic results. A few courageous individuals, men such as Robert Taft, Sr., Harry Elmer Barnes, John T. Flynn, and Roger MacBride, have warned again and again that our freedoms could not survive “perpetual war for perpetual peace,” that military adventures have always undermined republican forms of government. But their words have been generally unheeded.

American foreign policy should seek an America at peace with the world and the defense — against attack from abroad — of the lives, liberty, and property of the American people. Provision of such defense must respect the individual rights of people everywhere.


Charles A. Burris
Executive Director

In response to this letter I received the following personal letter from Mr. Loeb:

Dear Mr. Burris:

Thank you for your good letter. It will be turned over to the editors for publication.

The problem is that the leaders of the American financial complex are such brilliant specialists in their own fields but so ignorant to the world as a whole and so isolated by their wealth that they think that they can make more money as Lenin once said, “manufacturing and selling the rope that will be used to hang them”; but they don’t believe in the last apart of that equation.

Regards and best wishes,


William Loeb

3:09 pm on November 27, 2011