Trump, Bannon and MacArthur

Posted in Christianity/America on February 25th, 2017 by dhawkinsmo

MacArthurI read a lot. And because I read a lot, I have a view of the world that many do not have. Steve Bannon yesterday at CPAC gave a speech which was picked apart and analyzed by the NY Times HERE. Of course it was a negative article but I want to give some perspective to Trump’s and Bannon’s ideas about The New Nationalism here in the US. I think it’s safe to say that General Douglas MacArthur was a nationalist and a patriot as well as being a brilliant general. And it appears to me that Trump and Bannon are also patriots who want to see the USA be reat again.   I once borrowed a copy of MacArthur’s book “Reminiscences” from the library and copied off some key quotes. Over the years I lost the quotes, but I recently found one of the key quotes on a blog so I thought I should copy it off onto my blog because it’s such an important quote on this topic. Here it is … Sourced from this blogger’s own personal copy of MacArthur’s book … (Reminiscences by Douglas MacArthur, (McGraw-Hill Book Company, New York, NY, 1964), First Edition, Library of Congress Catalog Card Number: 64-22955, pp. 414-418.)

Great changes have taken place in our military establishment, some good, some not so good. Materially the improvement has been spectacular, psychologically yet to be proven. The men in the ranks are largely citizen soldiers, sailors or airmen—men from the farm, the city, from school, from the college campus—men not dedicated to the profession of arms; men not primarily skilled in the art of war; men most amazingly like the men you know and see and meet each day of your life.

If hostilities come, these men will know the endless tramp of marching feet, the incessant whine of sniper bullets, the ceaseless rustle of sputtering machine guns, the sinister wail of air combat, the deafening blast of crashing bombs, the stealthy stroke of hidden torpedoes, the amphibious lurch over perilous waves, the dark majesty of fighting ships, the mad din of battle and all the tense and ghastly horror and savage destruction of a stricken area of war.

These men will suffer hunger and thirst, broiling suns and frozen reaches, but they must go on and on and on when everything within them seems to stop and die. They will grow old in youth burned out in searing minutes, even though life owes them many tranquil years. In these troubled times of confused and bewildered international sophistication, let no man misunderstand why they must do that which they must do. These men will fight, and, perchance die, for one reason only—for their country—for America. No complex philosophies of world intrigue and conspiracy dominate their thoughts. No exploitation or extravagance of propaganda dims their sensibilities. Just the simple fact, their country called.

But now strange voices are heard across the land, decrying this old and proven concept of patriotism. Seductive murmurs are arising that it is now outmoded by some more comprehensive and all-embracing philosophy, that we are provincial and immature or reactionary and stupid when we idealize our own country; that there is a higher destiny for us under another and more general flag [the United Nations]; that no longer when we send our sons and daughters to the battlefields must we see them through all the way to victory; that we can call upon them to fight and even to die in some halfhearted and indecisive war; that we can plunge them recklessly into war and then suddenly decide that it is a wrong war or in a wrong place or in a wrong time, or even that we can call it not a war at all by using some more euphemistic and gentler name [humanitarianism]; that we can treat them as expendable, although they are our own flesh and blood; that we, the strongest military nation in the world, have suddenly become dependent on others for our security and even our welfare.

Listen not to these voices, be they from the one political party or from the other. Be they from the high and the mighty or the lowly and forgotten. Heed them not. Visit upon them a righteous scorn, born of the past sacrifices of your fighting sons and daughters. Repudiate them in the market place, on platforms, from the pulpit. The highest encomium [praise] you can still receive is to be called a patriot, if it means you love your country above all else and will place your life, if need be, at the service of your Flag.

Great changes, even more comprehensive than in the military field, have taken place in industry. In its massive and almost limitless potential, the rugged determination of its leaders, the skill and energy of its workers, here has been welded an industrial supremacy such as the world has never before known. It comprises not only a power in being but a reserve power capable of being quickly mounted to meet and overcome any eventuality that might arise. This not only ensures a continuity of human progress but imposes an almost impassable barrier against any who would threaten the security of the American continent. It has thus become a leavening influence in a world where war and the threat and fear of war would otherwise so distort the minds of men as to threaten the progress of the human race.

It represents a condition of preparedness born of American enterprise and vision, nurtured upon American energy and incentive, and depending for its ultimate strength upon American will and determination. It is the result and fruition of the capitalistic system—a system embracing every segment of American society—the owners of industry, the workers in industry, the public served by industry. This free enterprise based upon the right to work and the right to possess the fruits of that work has created an economic freedom which is the basis of all other freedoms.

But this very success has created its own perils and harassments, both from without and from within. For from one end of the world to the other there is a titanic struggle to seize control of industry and of the economics. Whether this be in the masquerade of Communism or Socialism or Fascism the purpose is the same—to destroy a primary element of Freedom and preempt it for the State.

The capitalistic system has hence become the great target, although it has never failed to provide the resource for an ever increasing standard for human life, has never failed to maximize the fruits of human energy and creative enterprise, has never failed to provide the sinews for victory in war. It has built this nation far beyond the wildest dreams of its architects; it has through the scientific means of communication closed the international geographic gap to permit rapid and effective trade and commerce among the people of the world, has elevated the laborer, the farmer and the tradesmen to their rightful station of dignity and relative prosperity, and has established the pattern for modern industrialization and scientific development.

The first prominent opponent of capitalism was Karl Marx who shunned the use of violence and sought the voluntary acceptance of the principle of communal ownership of the sources and means of production. The innate common sense of the human race, however, rejected this principle and the element of force was injected by the Bolshevik after the close of the First World War Then was combined the theory of Karl Marx with the principle of Nihilism [anarchy; revolutionary insurgency] under which the control of public policy was sought through terrorism and violence. This combination known as Communism has had many successes. The minority, the Communist Party, in many sectors of the globe has been able to establish its rule over the majority. Only where the concept of human liberty was most deeply rooted and greatly advanced were such minority pressures decisively thrown back.

Such was the case in this nation where our economy, built upon the principle of private capitalism, became recognized as the great barrier to the universal enforcement of the theories of modern Communism. There followed repeated and diversified efforts to reduce and destroy it. Resort was had to the control of private profit by the Marxism-inspired device of confiscatory taxation and the levies upon privately accumulated resources.

It began in this country with the Federal Income Tax Law of 1914 which gave unlimited access to the people’s wealth, and the power for the first time to levy taxes not for revenue only but for social purposes. [The Communist Manifesto by Marx and Engels, 1848, Chapter II, Proletarians and Communists, plank #2: "A heavy progressive or graduated income tax."] Since then the sphere of government has increased with a kind of explosive force.

Karl Marx, while planning the destruction of all constitutional government, said: “The surest way to overturn the social order is to debauch the currency.” And the Russian dictator, Lenin, that implacable foe of the free enterprise system, predicted as early as 1920 that the United States would eventually spend itself into bankruptcy.

Karl Marx referred, of course, to the process of inflation, induced by extreme taxation; the process of “planned economy” [known today as social engineering]; the process of controlling economic conditions and thereby controlling the lives of individuals—a control of fiscal, monetary and general economic forces which produce higher prices and a gradual devitalizing of the purchasing power of money. The continuing rise in the cost of living is due to our drift deeper and deeper into inflation [the hidden tax] until today our whole economic, social and political system is infected by an inflationary mentality. “Taxation with its offspring inflation,” said Lenin, in support of the basic thesis of Karl Marx, “is the vital weapon to displace the system of free enterprise.”—the system on which our nation was founded—the system which has made us the most prosperous people of all history—the system which enabled us to produce over half of the world’s goods with less than one-seventeenth of the world’s area and population—the system which gave our people more liberty, privileges and opportunities than any other nation ever gave its people in the long history of the world. To destroy it is the sure road to Socialism. And by Socialism is meant the forcing of a centrally controlled economic life upon all persons in the nation under an authoritarian monopoly that is politically managed. Actually, there has been through the direction of our own public policy an incessant encroachment on the capitalistic system. Most officials of our government over the past years will deny, and justifiably, any intent to establish in this nation the basis for the emergence of a Socialistic, much less a Communistic State, but the course of fiscal policy has done just that. The fact is unmistakable and clear that if the capitalistic system—free enterprise—is to be preserved to the future generations of our people, the course of government must be oriented to foster and preserve adequate incentive to encourage the thrift, the industry and the adventure which brought our nation to its present pre-eminence among all of the other nations of the earth and which alone can carry it forward in peace and security and progress.

I realize full well that the restless spirit of the times seeks change. But change should not be made for the sake of change alone. It should be sought only to adapt time tested principles which have been proven in the crucible of human experience to the new requirements of an expanding society. To do otherwise is not true liberalism. The Constitution is not to be treated as an instrument of political expediency. Every move that is made to circumvent its spirit, every move that is made to over-centralize political power, every move that is made to curtail individual liberty is reaction in its most extreme form. For the framers of the Constitution were the most liberal thinkers of all the ages and the Charter they produced out of the liberal revolution of their time has never been and is not now surpassed in liberal thought.

The object and practice of liberty lies in the limitation of governmental power. Through the ages the constantly expanding grasp of government has been liberty’s greatest threat. Daniel Webster once said on the floor of the Senate:

“Our security is our watchfulness of executive power. It was the Constitution of this department, which as infinitely the most difficult part in the great work of creating our present government; to give the executive department such power as should make it useful, and yet not such as should render it dangerous; to make it efficient, independent and strong, and yet to prevent it from sweeping away everything by its union of military and civil authority, by the influence of patronage, and office, and force. . . . I do not wish to impair the power of the President as it stands written down in the Constitution. But, I will not blindly confide, where all experience admonished me to be jealous; I will not trust executive power, vested in the hands of a single magistrate, to keep the vigils of liberty.”

He spoke those words 129 years ago; but they could as well have been spoken but yesterday.

There are many who have lost faith in this early American ideal and believe in a form of socialistic, totalitarian rule, a sort of big brother deity to run our lives for us. They no longer believe that free men can successfully manage their own affairs. Their thesis is that a handful of men, centered in government, largely bureaucratic not elected, can utilize the proceeds of our toil and labor to greater advantage than those who create it. Nowhere in the history of the human race is there justification for this reckless faith in political power. It is the oldest, most reactionary of all forms of social organization. It was tried out in ancient Babylon, ancient Greece and ancient Rome; in Mussolini’s Italy, in Hitler’s Germany, and in all communist countries. Wherever and whenever it has been attempted, it has failed utterly to provide economic security, and has generally ended in national disaster. It embraces an essential idiocy, that individuals who, as private citizens, are not to manage the disposition of their own earnings, become in public office supermen who can manage the affairs of the world.

The fundamental and ultimate issue at stake is liberty, itself—liberty verses the creeping socialization in every domestic field. Freedom to live under the minimum of restraint! A least common denominator of mediocrity against the proven progress of pioneering individualism! The free enterprise system or the cult of conformity! The result will determine the future of civilization. It will be felt on every human life. It will be etched in blazing rainbow colors on the very arch of the sky.