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If only the world had heeded the warnings of history, so cleverly laid before the audience by Ambassador Dodd.  For that matter, Dodd's speech, given to the Berlin Branch of the American Chamber of Commerce, could have been directed at the US, Europe, and the world today.  Granted, there is not a blatant, heinous Hitler rising to power; however, the field is ripe for a repeat, clearly demonstrated by history over and over again.  

The social experiment, in scientific terms, has a fixed number of variables.  Why is it so difficult for world leaders to learn, adjust policies, and avoid the disasterous outcomes repeated innumerable times?  Of course, human nature, fight or flight, survival, and what we call character defects, etc.  This article won't address this debate.

However, Dodd's speech brilliantly walks the audience through history perfectly depicting the wrongful policies that repeatedly create chaos and misery.  The speech is masterful.  I can't believe I hadn't heard of this before.

Here are a few of my favorite lines from Dodd's speech:

With the breakdown of the old Roman democracy after the enormous success of the Punic Wars, great group leaders contending for personal and group advantages brought the Republic to the verge of collapse.

Governments from the top fail as often as those from the bottom; and every great failure brings a sad social reaction, thousands and millions of helpless men laying down their lives in the unhappy process. Why may not statesmen study the past and avoid such catastrophes?

No scheme has ever worked well more than a decade or two without popular support...

We must not think our generation is the only one that has suffered from violent economic and social disruptions.

In conclusion, one may safely say that it would be no sin if statesmen learned enough of history to realise that no system, which implies control of society by privilege seekers, has ever ended in any other way than collapse.

To set the stage, it is October, 1933.  Hitler became Chancellor of Germany in January, 1933.  The brutalities of the SS and SA were dismissed as a regime start-up tactic and that, in time, the new regime would become more moderate.  In short, wishful thinking.

As if in some trance of denial, the world refused to acknowledge the potential dangers.  In fact, the US was more concerned about Germany repaying its debts.  That was the mission given to Ambassador Dodd by the State Department:  Get our money back!

What is perhaps more unsettling, according to author Erik Larson's book In the Garden of Beasts*, is that the Pretty Good Club (well-healed, well-off, well-connected men of privilege) at the State Department actually sympathized with Hitler's "Jewish Probem."  Anti-semitism was not limited to Germany in 1933.  The Pretty Good Club did not like Ambassador Dodd's speech at all.  In fact, the State Department's Pretty Good Club didn't like Dodd because he was not born into a wealthy, privileged American family.  Dodd was not one of them.

It took a few months for Ambassador Dodd to admit that Germany's new regime was, in fact, brutal to both Americans who didn't raise their arms and shout "Heil Hitler" and Germany's Jewish population.  The attacks on Americans continued in spite of the fact that Hitler had announced that the "Heil Hitler" requirement did not apply to Ex-Pats in Germany.

The last straw for Ambassador Dodd was the brutal Storm Trooper attack of the young son of a prominent American family, in the middle of the day, on a busy Berlin sidewalk during one of the many Storm Trooper parades.  

Months of diplomatic requests to protect Americans in Germany from these attacks were fruitless.

Needless to say, Amabassador Dodd had to walk a very tight rope in Berlin.  So, when Dodd was invited to address the Berlin Branch of the American Chamber of Commerce scheduled for October 12, 1933, Dodd decided to address the problem.  In his own words:

"It was because I had seen so much injustice and domineering little groups, as well as heard the complaints of so many of the best people of the country, that I ventured as far as my position would allow and, by historical analogy, warned men as solemnly as possible against half-educated leaders being permitted to lead nations into war.

..."to continue to persuade and entreat men here not to be their own worst enemies"

Dodd admitted he chose the innocuous title of his speech Economic Nationalism.

After the speech he told a friend

"I had no delusions about Hitler when I was appointed to my post in Berlin, but I had at least hoped to find some decent people around Hitler. I am horrified to discover that the whole gang is nothing but a horde of criminals  and cowards"
Interestingly, the German's in the audience loved the speech as did others who read the speech afterwards.  Dodd was heartened and said
"My interpretation of this is that all liberal Germany is with us -- and more than half of Germany is at heart liberal"
Below I have presented two copies of Ambassador Dodd's October, 1933 speech.  One with no links and one with links for those who might enjoy the historical lessons Dodd was trying to impart.

DODD'S SPEECH IS A WAKE UP CALL

I believe, and I don't say this lightly, we are on a dangerous precipice, one that has happened over and over throughout history.  

Specifically, the western world is beginning to look ripe for wide-spread unrest or worse.  The signs of a potentially horrific power grab by nationalist-minded extremists are here and now:

<>  economic inequality and inflation which always creates civil unrest;

<>  an increasingly unrepresentative, authoritative, plutocratic, barely transparent governance; and

<>  media/message control.

All of the above purchased by the very wealthy that choose to spend more on building militaries and seemingly loathe to fund socially responsible polices.

It is well-known that there are some very well-organized factions in the United States that are broiling for a good fight.  They are armed to the teeth and have been stirred up to a hateful frenzy by Fox News and Tea Party/Right Wing Politicians.  Those they hate and see as enemies of the USA & Freedom are very similar to those Hitler Et Al used to stir up Germany's extremists in 1933.  

In response, the US liberals/progressives are also stirred up in response to the economic unfairness that has evolved over the past few decades, culminating in the  nouveau poverty they face and the erosion of opportunities to live secure, dignified lives without the constant fear of losing everything due to bad luck:  A chronic, life-threatening disease and/or loss of employment.

In short, middle class Americans are witnessing a full fledged policy war to end any/all social safety nets and economic fairness their families enjoyed when they were children.  The real possibilities of America becoming a bastion of Dickensian policy looms as a profound reality.  If we are honest, nothing speaks more clearly than the Orwellian term for the now wide-spread Right to Work laws.

The Rhetoric of Divisiveness is the biggest enemy of the United States.  Divided we all fall, except for the wealthy and well-connected who will be able to cloister themselves from the civil unrest.  For that matter, they can move their families elsewhere like Eric Prince has already done.

I know I'm talking to the choir here, but perhaps you can share history's lessons with some of your friends who are still on the fence and haven't swallowed the vitriolic policy dogma spewed 24/7 hook, line, and sinker.  I hope so.

For those who understand world history, specifically Hitler's evolving Germany of 1933, and are up to speed on US/Global policies that are eroding democracy under the guise of fighting The Wars on Terror and Drugs, coupled with draconian measures to balance budgets while simultaneously increasing spending for national defense, it is no wonder that our alarm bells are going off.  

Dodd's speech helps coalesce our thought process, explaining why his alarm bells were ringing loudly in October, 1933 in Hitler's Berlin.  Dodd witnessed Hitler's rise, first hand, up close and personally, as the German population descended into brutal chaos and madness.

Although the speech's title and even some portions of the speech refer to economics, Ambassador Dodd's intention was to alert the world, using historical empirical evidence, of the dangers of using nationalism, bigotry, a skewed vision of what is good, and militant brute force/fear to solve a country's problems.  Hitler used all of these, and the good-hearted German's were either eliminated or co-opted out of fear.

Will these people listen?  Romney's friends jets parked near his recent Park City brain storming/fund raising weekend (you might want to turn down the sound, the roar is loud):

There are two (2) versions below.  The speech as copied from the link and Dodd's speech with links to his historical references for those who might enjoy knowing the historical contexts Dodd refers to.

Enjoy and please share with those you know who are confused by the rhetoric of the candidates.  History is a great teacher.

From the FDR Library:

Address by William E. Dodd, American Ambassador to Nazi Germany at  Luncheon of American Chamber of Commerce in Berlin, Germany, 12 October 1933

ECONOMIC NATIONALISM

In times of great stress men are too apt to abandon too much of their past social devices and venture too far upon unchartered courses.  And, the consequence has always been reaction, sometimes disaster.  With the breakdown of the old Roman democracy after the enormous success of the Punic Wars, great group leaders contending for personal and group advantages brought the Republic to the verge of collapse.  Then a Caesar rose, asserted autocratic powers and for a time stabilised society.  The great fact so appealed to Gibson that he wrote the masterpiece of all historical work.  He overlooked or under-emphasised the cruelties and the outside exploitation of his golden empire.  

I allude to this because human governmental and economic combinations have always appeared under a few patterns and both philosophers and politicians waver and hesitate between the models offered in a Cato, a Gracchus or a Julius Caesar and the ideals which these figures connote.  There are not many forms of human association- though many new names have been invented from time to time.  

Half-educated statesmen today swing violently away from the ideal purpose of the first Gracchus and think they find salvation for their troubled fellows in the arbitrary modes of the man, who fall an easy victim to the cheap devices of the lewd Cleopatra.  They forget that the Gracchus democracy failed upon the narrowest of margins and the Caesars succeeded only for a short moment as measured by the test of history.

"We must not think our generation is the only one that has suffered from violent economic and social disruptions."

As in ancient times, so in modern....  When the Spanish were dumping shiploads of South American gold and silver per year into the medieval complex of economic Europe, and prices, wages and currency values got as much out of all control as they are today, men cast about wildly for remedies.  

There have rarely been more chaotic times in human history than those of the hundred years which followed the discovery of American and the religious reforms of Martin Luther.  No nation's existence was half secure; no economic class rested upon sure foundation; peasants wandered aimlessly about their countries, starving by the hundreds of thousands; and city proletarians were everywhere ready to turn pirates upon the seas or mercenary soldiers upon the land.  When Queen Elizabeth died in 1603, England was confronted with imminent chaos, and forty-five years later France was in even worse plight, though victorious in the Thirty Years' War.

We must not think our generation is the only one that has suffered from violent economic and social disruptions.  The Puritan fathers thought to redistribute the benefits of government and make England a model land; the Fronde rioters of France and Paris thought to anticipate the revolution of 1789.

Out of these chaotic eras there came two try-outs of economic nationalism, applied by autocratic methods.   The first system was worked out by the marvelous little group of statesmen that surrounded Charles II.  In 1660-1673 the aged Earl of Clarendon, a politician and a master historian, aided by the unscrupulous Duke of Buckingham, the canny Lord Arlington and the profiteer Duke of Albemarle, worked out a marvelous system which was to save England and fit all the trans-Atlantic colonies into a water-tight system.  It was unlawful to ship a pound of gold out of the country.  

No foreign goods were to be imported except upon a sort of quota system.  A monopoly market was created for sugar, tobacco and ship timber, produced in the colonies.  All "quota" imports from the colonies were taxed at two to four times their producers' value to enable to government to ignore public opinion and collect taxes without the consent of the people.  Merchants and manufacturers were authorised to sell their goods to the public at prices fixed by the government.

And surplus products were to be dumped upon the continental market at half the prices paid at home.  It was a marvelously perfect scheme under which workers on the land were to have no return at all for their labour, landlords somewhat more and industrialists and traders princely profits.  His Majesty, Charles II, was to be autocratic master of the system and make war upon Holland, the one rival and free-trade advocate which might upset the scheme.

But no scheme has ever worked well more than a decade or two without popular support, and when the King had beaten Holland in 1674 and annexed all strategic points in North America, the craft Earl of Shaftsbury counseled by the canny John Locke, moved into the slums of London, organised groups of shouting, hurrahing followers, gained control of a parliament which could no longer be postponed and brought the cheap autocrat's life to a miserable end in 1684; and the long subdued lower middle classes of the country united with the new aristocracy and made the unloved William III of Holland King of England. All the larger cities and more developed shires, supported by the angry colonies from Massachusetts to South Carolina, shouted loud harrahs. It was the "glorious revolution," hardly a score of lives lost in the process. All the strenuous decrees of Charles II became dead letters which no one seriously heeded.

Seventy years later, when George III tried to revamp the system, the colonies revolted and started a world commotion, which lasted thirty years. Stuart economic nationalism had failed.

The English had hardly launched their scheme before John Baptiste Colbert, master statesman about Louis XIV, contrived a better system for the perfect government of France. Son of a moor trader in Rheims, he invented a pedigree, which proved him to be of noble birth, and he managed to get it to the snobbish young monarch. That was enough.

He was granted despotic powers. He dispossessed hundreds of great families of newly rich folk, handed their properties over to the Crown, condemned thousands to death because they resisted, and so readjusted taxes that Louis henceforth had income enough to wage war when he would, and, at the same time, pension every promising leader or emerging writer, not excluding scores in Germany and Spain. The recalcitrant landed aristocracy was everywhere subdued, parliaments were not allowed to assemble, while the nouveaux riche and all the talent of the time were allowed to bask in the sunshine of the royal presence.

The young monarch rose to unparalleled eminence in Europe and Colbert applied by decree an import-export system like that of England.

Nothing could come in except upon approval and the payment of high tariffs. Every surplus, except gold, must go out at whatever prices could be obtained. A third class like that of England arose. Monopoly privileges prevailed everywhere. A countryman who objected to aristocratic hunters running over his ripe wheat fields was simply shot like a pheasant or a partridge. France was wonderfully organized from the top-like Augustus Caesar's reorganised Rome. There was not a popular assembly in a hundred and forty years, and terrorizing wars were the older of the time 1666-7, 1672-6, 1683-7, 1190-97, 1701-13.

France was perfectly pyramided at home and on the continent. The glamor of Versailles was seen and imitated all over Germany, while thousands of men rotted in French prisons because they had ventured to protect; and peasant farmers reached so low an estate that, like North American Indians, they lived off roots and herbs or died unswept along the roadside, as they do today in a great minority government of our time.

It was the economic nationalism which "had saved France after the chaotic days of Mazarin." However, it collapsed in 1789 with a crash and a thunder which reverberated for a score of years all over the world. Thus, the best laid schemes of Bourbon autocrats failed as dismally as that of their Stuart cousins. Governments from the top fail as often as those from the bottom; and every great failure brings a sad social reaction, thousands and millions of helpless men laying down their lives in the unhappy process. Why may not statesmen study the past and avoid such catastrophes?

When Napoléon I came to his end in 1815, a great world congress had set everything to rights in Vienna and told everybody how to behave for a hundred years; but soon came the accustomed chaos in victorious as well as defeated countries. From 1818 to 1846 there was depression; here and there, everywhere, as now the markets of Europe, except for cotton, were dead for young America, and Europe was distracted by debts and new revolutions. Would mankind never learn the effects of war?

In far-off Kentucky, a lean, lanky, half-educated, but clever orator, Henry Clay, worked out in 1823 another system of economic nationalism. He would bar the ports of the United States against cheap, but excellent European goods, associate all Latin-American peoples with those of his own country, create huge markets by building cities, roadways, and canals and leave the builders of the new industry and the new-old banking system the utmost freedom in exploiting their fellows. It was an unconscious imitation of the English and the French systems of the seventeenth century - the fussy, cantankerous John Randolph was about the only member of Congress, who knew enough of history, to give Clay's so-called "American system" its proper European name. Clay fought long and hard, always dreaming of the Presidency for himself, and the ability to reward his ablest lieutenants, Daniel Webster and the unscrupulous bank president, Nicholas Biddle, with plushy jobs and honourifics. He was defeated by the rising cotton kingdom in the South and it was left to the troubled Abraham Lincoln, in the midst of a great war, 1861-64, to grant industrialists and bankers all that the dead Clay had promised them.

The economic nationalism, which Benjamin Franklin and George Mason had feared and warned Washington against, was now firmly fixed on "free American soil" and its success was far greater than that of Clarendon or Colbert. England, France and Germany had, after long debates, adopted in the main the Adam Smith philosophy on which the Americans had gone to war in 1776. That is, Europe had adopted the ideals of Young America and opened their markets in order to sell their growing industrial output to the far corners of the world. The United States had adopted the attitude of Europe in 1776 and closed their vast domestic market while they sold billions of dollars’ worth of foodstuffs to England, France and Germany.

There had never been anything like it in all history. England and Germany developed more in fifty years than either of them had developed in the preceding five hundred years. It was the machine age, and populations increased faster than machines. Cyrus McCormick, a Virginia inventor, showed American farmers how to grow wheat at thirty cents a bushel and produce meat at two cents a pound. And American farmers, aided by free land and new machines, drove British and German farmers out of business and crowded them on to emigrant boats bound for the farms of the great West. "Everybody was getting rich."

But the masters of industry, of railroads and banks managed to pocket nearly all the profits and there came a depression and an outcry, which all but enabled the young William Jennings Bryan to work a revolution in 1896. He failed on a narrow margin through bribed votes, and the system was sustained in wobbly estate till Europe went to war in 1914 as France had done in 1805. The outcome all the world knows.

The marvelous American system seemed successful at when it was not, and the Presidents of 1921-28 with their optimistic Secretary of Treasury thought it a sort of millennium which must rapidly cover the earth. To this dream, a later President added the prophesy that poverty, the curse of mankind, would be abolished when he took his seat in the mansion on Pennsylvania Avenue.  [Editor's Note:  Hoover signed the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act of 1930 over the objections of more than 1,000 economist.  Hoover was intent on protecting American jobs and wages, but his actions resulted in a trade war that hurt American workers far more than he could have ever imagined.]

But when the collapse came; it was almost as terrible as that of 1789 in Paris. The hopeful, buoyant United States now fell into the economic chaos into which the Great War had thrust all the states of Europe. The unemployed outnumbered the dead and wounded of the recent struggle. In place of Hoover's universal and everlasting prosperity, there was threat of universal poverty. The American economic nationalism the dangers of which Franklin and Mason had foreseen in 1787 had run its course - as had the schemes of Clarendon and Colbert.

In conclusion, one may safely say that it would be no sin if statesmen learned enough of history to realise that no system, which implies control of society by privilege seekers, has ever ended in any other way than collapse. The wisest of all American statesmen insisted all his life that the way to develop the ideal social order was to leave every man the utmost freedom of initiative and action and always to forbid any man or group of men to profiteer at the expense of others.  

May we not reasonably expect the statesmen of today a sufficient knowledge of the blunders of the past to realise that if western civilisation is to survive, they must find a way to avoid the crime and the terrific disasters of war; they must learn how to develop in a friendly spirit the resources of undeveloped regions of the world; they must lower, not raise, the barriers against the migration of surplus populations; and they must facilitate, and not defeat, the interchange of surplus goods - with these rational changes of international procedure, a higher culture might easily be carried to the masses of men everywhere; without these, another war and chaos.

Ambassador Dodd's speech with links:

ECONOMIC NATIONALISM
                                                           I.

"Succeeded only for a short moment as measured by the test of history."

In times of great stress men are too apt to abandon too much of their past social devices and venture too far upon unchartered courses.  And, the consequence has always been reaction, sometimes disaster.  

With the breakdown of the old Roman democracy after the enormous success of the Punic Wars, great group leaders contending for personal and group advantages brought the Republic to the verge of collapse.  

Then a Caesar rose, asserted autocratic powers and for a time stabilised society.  The great fact so appealed to Gibbon that he wrote the masterpiece of all historical work.  He overlooked or under-emphasised the cruelties and the outside exploitation of his golden empire.  

I allude to this because human governmental and economic combinations have always appeared under a few patterns and both philosophers and politicians waver and hesitate between the models offered in a Cato, a Gracchus or a Julius Caesar and the ideals which these figures connote.  There are not many forms of human association - though many new names have been invented from time to time.  

Half-educated statesmen today swing violently away from the ideal purpose of the first Gracchus and think they find salvation for their troubled fellows in the arbitrary modes of the man, who fall an easy victim to the cheap devices of the lewd Cleopatra.  They forget that the Gracchus democracy failed upon the narrowest of margins and the Caesars succeeded only for a short moment as measured by the test of history.

"We must not think our generation is the only one that has suffered from violent economic and social disruptions."

As in ancient times, so in modern....  When the Spanish were dumping shiploads of South American gold and silver per year into the medieval complex of economic Europe, and prices, wages and currency values got as much out of all control as they are today, men cast about wildly for remedies.  

There have rarely been more chaotic times in human history than those of the hundred years which followed the discovery of America and the religious reforms of Martin Luther.  

<>  No nation's existence was half secure;

<>  No economic class rested upon sure foundation;

<>  Peasants wandered aimlessly about their countries, starving by the hundreds of thousands; and

<>  City proletarians were everywhere ready to turn pirates upon the seas or mercenary soldiers upon the land.  

When Queen Elizabeth I died in 1603, England was confronted with imminent chaos, and forty-five years later France was in even worse plight, though victorious in the Thirty Years' War.

We must not think our generation is the only one that has suffered from violent economic and social disruptions.  The Puritan fathers thought to redistribute the benefits of government and make England a model land; the Fronde rioters of France and Paris thought to anticipate the revolution of 1789.

III.

"Stuart economic nationalism had failed."

Out of these chaotic eras there came two try-outs of economic nationalism, applied by autocratic methods:

The first system was worked out by the marvelous little group of statesmen that surrounded Charles II.  In 1660-1673 the aged Earl of Clarendon, a politician and a master historian, aided by the unscrupulousDuke of Buckingham, the canny Lord Arlington and the profiteer Duke of Albemarle, worked out a marvelous system which was to save England and fit all the trans-Atlantic colonies into a water-tight system:

<>   It was unlawful to ship a pound of gold out of the country.  

<>  No foreign goods were to be imported except upon a sort of quota system.  

<>  A monopoly market was created for sugar, tobacco and ship timber, produced in the colonies.  

<>  All "quota" imports from the colonies were taxed at two to four times their producers' value to enable to government to ignore public opinion and collect taxes without the consent of the people.  

<>  Merchants and manufacturers were authorised to sell their goods to the public at prices fixed by the government.

<>  And surplus products were to be dumped upon the continental market at half the prices paid at home.  

It was a marvelously perfect scheme under which workers on the land were to have no return at all for their labour, landlords somewhat more, and industrialists and traders princely profits.  

His Majesty, Charles II, was to be autocratic master of the system and make war upon Holland, the one rival and free-trade advocate which might upset the scheme.

But no scheme has ever worked well more than a decade or two without popular support, and when the King had beaten Holland in 1674 and annexed all strategic points in North America, the crafty Earl of Shaftsbury, counseled by the canny John Locke,  

<>  moved into the slums of London,

<>  organised groups of shouting, hurrahing followers,

<>  gained control of a parliament which could no longer be postponed and

<>  brought the cheap autocrat's life to a miserable end in 1684; and

<>  the long subdued lower middle classes of the country united with the new aristocracy and made the unloved William III of Holland King of England.

All the larger cities and more developed shires, supported by the angry colonies from Massachusetts to South Carolina, shouted loud harrahs.

It was the "glorious revolution," hardly a score of lives lost in the process. All the strenuous decrees of Charles II became dead letters which no one seriously heeded.

Seventy years later, when George III tried to revamp the system, the colonies revolted and started a world commotion, which lasted thirty years. Stuart economic nationalism had failed.

IV.

"Governments from the top fail as often as those from the bottom; and every great failure brings a sad social reaction, thousands and millions of helpless men laying down their lives in the unhappy process. Why may not statesmen study the past and avoid such catastrophes?"

The English had hardly launched their scheme before John Baptiste Colbert, master statesman about Louis XIV, contrived a better system for the perfect government of France.  Son of a moor trader in Rheims, he invented a pedigree, which proved him to be of noble birth, and he managed to get it to the snobbish young monarch. That was enough.

He (John Baptiste Colbert) was granted despotic powers.

<>  He dispossessed hundreds of great families of newly rich folk,

<>  Handed their properties over to the Crown,

<>  Condemned thousands to death because they resisted, and so

<>  Readjusted taxes that Louis henceforth had income enough to wage (four) wars when he would, and, at the same time,

<>  Pension every promising leader or emerging writer, not excluding scores in Germany and Spain.

<>  The recalcitrant landed aristocracy was everywhere subdued,

<>  parliaments were not allowed to assemble,

while the nouveaux riche and all the talent of the time were allowed to bask in the sunshine of the royal presence.

The young monarch rose to unparalleled eminence in Europe and Colbert applied by decree an import-export system like that of England.

<>  Nothing could come in except upon approval and the payment of high tariffs.

<>  Every surplus, except gold, must go out at whatever prices could be obtained.

<>  A third class like that of England arose.

<>  Monopoly privileges prevailed everywhere.

<>  A countryman who objected to aristocratic hunters running over his ripe wheat fields was simply shot like a pheasant or a partridge.

<>  France was wonderfully organized from the top - like Augustus Caesar's reorganised Rome.

<>  There was not a popular assembly in a hundred and forty years, and terrorizing wars were the order of the time 1666-7, 1672-6, 1683-7, 1190-97, 1701-13.

France was perfectly pyramided at home and on the continent.

The glamor of Versailles was seen and imitated all over Germany, while thousands of men rotted in French prisons because they had ventured to protect; and peasant farmers reached so low an estate that, like North American Indians, they lived off roots and herbs or died unswept along the roadside, as they do today in a great minority government of our time.

It was the economic nationalism which "had saved France after the chaotic days of Mazarin."

However, it collapsed in 1789 with a crash and a thunder which reverberated for a score of years all over the world.

Thus, the best laid schemes of Bourbon autocrats failed as dismally as that of their Stuart cousins.

Governments from the top fail as often as those from the bottom; and every great failure brings a sad social reaction, thousands and millions of helpless men laying down their lives in the unhappy process. Why may not statesmen study the past and avoid such catastrophes?

V.

The economic nationalism, which Benjamin Franklin and George Mason had feared and warned Washington against, was now firmly fixed on "free American soil" and its success was far greater than that of Clarendon or Colbert.

When Napoléon I came to his end in 1815, a great world congress(which created the Concert of Europe) had set everything to rights in Vienna and told everybody how to behave for a hundred years; but soon came the accustomed chaos in victorious as well as defeated countries.

From 1818 to 1846 there was depression; here and there, everywhere, as now the markets of Europe, except for cotton, were dead for young America, and Europe was distracted by debts and new revolutions.

Would mankind never learn the effects of war?

In far-off Kentucky, a lean, lanky, half-educated, but clever orator, Henry Clay, worked outin 1823 another system of economic nationalism.

Henry Clay's plan would

<>  Bar the ports of the United States against cheap, but excellent European goods,

<>  Associate all Latin-American peoples with those of his own country,

<>  Create huge markets by building cities, roadways, and canals and

<>  Leave the builders of the new industry and the new-old banking system the utmost freedom in exploiting their fellows.

It was an unconscious imitation of the English and the French systems of the seventeenth century - the fussy, cantankerous John Randolph was about the only member of Congress, who knew enough of history, to give Clay's so-called "American system" its proper European name.

Clay fought long and hard, always dreaming of the Presidency for himself, and the ability to reward his ablest lieutenants, Daniel Webster and the unscrupulous bank president, Nicholas Biddle, with plushy jobs and honourifics.

He was defeated by the rising cotton kingdom in the South, James Polk,  and it was left to the troubled Abraham Lincoln, in the midst of a great war, 1861-64, to grant industrialists and bankers all that the dead Clay had promised them.

The economic nationalism, which Benjamin Franklin and George Mason had feared and warned Washington against, was now firmly fixed on "free American soil" and its success was far greater than that of Clarendon or Colbert.

England, France and Germany had, after long debates, adopted, in the main,  the Adam Smith philosophy on which the Americans had gone to war in 1776.

That is, Europe had adopted the ideals of Young America and opened their markets in order to sell their growing industrial output to the far corners of the world.

The United States had adopted the attitude of Europe in 1776 and closed their vast domestic market while they sold billions of dollars’ worth of foodstuffs to England, France and Germany.

There had never been anything like it in all history.

England and Germany developed more in fifty years than either of them had developed in the preceding five hundred years.

It was the machine age, and populations increased faster than machines.

Cyrus McCormick, a Virginia inventor, showed American farmers how to grow wheat at thirty cents a bushel and produce meat at two cents a pound. And American farmers, aided by free land and new machines, drove British and German farmers out of business and crowded them on to emigrant boats bound for the farms of the great West.

"Everybody was getting rich."  (sarcasm, my note here)

But the masters of industry, of railroads and banks managed to pocket nearly all the profits and there came a depression and an outcry, which all but enabled the young William Jennings Bryan to work a revolution in 1896. He failed on a narrow margin through bribed votes, and the system was sustained in wobbly estate till Europe went to war in 1914 as France had done in 1805. The outcome all the world knows.

The marvelous American system seemed successful when it was not, and the Presidents of 1921-28 with their optimistic Secretary of Treasury thought it a sort of millennium which must rapidly cover the earth.

To this dream, a later President added the prophesy that poverty, the curse of mankind, would be abolished when he took his seat in the mansion on Pennsylvania Avenue.  [Editor's Note:  Hoover signed the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act of 1930 over the objections of more than 1,000 economist.  Hoover was intent on protecting American jobs and wages, but his actions resulted in a trade war that hurt American workers far more than he could have ever imagined.] (My note:  To Republican Hoover's credit he did raise taxes on the wealthy and corporations, a fact rarely mentioned)

VI.

"One may safely say that it would be no sin if statesmen learned enough of history to realise that no system, which implies control of society by privilege seekers, has ever ended in any other way than collapse."

But when the collapse came; it was almost as terrible as that of 1789 in Paris.

The hopeful, buoyant United States now fell into the economic chaos into which the Great War had thrust all the states of Europe.

The unemployed outnumbered the dead and wounded of the recent struggle.

In place of Hoover's universal and everlasting prosperity, there was threat of universal poverty.

The American economic nationalism, the dangers of which Franklin and Mason had foreseen in 1787, had run its course - as had the schemes of Clarendon and Colbert.

In conclusion, one may safely say that it would be no sin if statesmen learned enough of history to realise that no system, which implies control of society by privilege seekers, has ever ended in any other way than collapse. The wisest of all American statesmen insisted all his life that the way to develop the ideal social order was to leave every man the utmost freedom of initiative and action and always to forbid any man or group of men to profiteer at the expense of others.  

May we not reasonably expect the statesmen of today have a sufficient knowledge of the blunders of the past, to realise that if western civilisation is to survive,

<>  they must find a way to avoid the crime and the terrific disasters of war;

<>  they must learn how to develop, in a friendly spirit, the resources of undeveloped regions of the world;

<>  they must lower, not raise, the barriers against the migration of surplus populations;

<>  and they must facilitate, and not defeat, the interchange of surplus goods -

with these rational changes of international procedure, a higher culture might easily be carried to the masses of men everywhere; without these, another war and chaos.

*************

And here we are.

<>  We continue the crimes and disasters of war;

<>  We watch as multi-national corporations rob and pillage the resources, including human, of other lands;

<>  We are all over the place regarding immigration; and

<>  We watch as corporations send all of our goods onto the global market to be pooled under one price and sold back to us and others at inflated rates, with few exceptions.  Price fixing has been simplified with the creation of OPEC, where price fixing used to be against the law.

If you have read through Dodd's speech and understand the historical examples, are you better able to see through the weak rhetoric of our political candidates?

I genuinely hope you will reach out to the Ron Paul supporters in your circle.  I believe they don't all understand the historical failures of many of Paul's doctrine.

And don't let any politician, including Democrats, try to steer the US in the wrong directions under the guise of economic nationalism that does NOT include the phrase "living wage."

America is a hair's breadth away from resembling Colbert's France and Clay's vision for America:

Privilege and security for the few, insecurity and misery for the many.

We have seen this movie before!

_______

*William Dodd's quotes taken from this book:  In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler's Berlin.

My Book Review:  5 Stars for author's research and presentation of on-the-street and behind-the-diplomatic-curtain reality.  The author's presentation of the story uses real letters written to or from US Ambassador Dodd and his querky, intellectual daughter who seems to know all the important writers and correspondents of the year 1933, both American and German.  Yes, I've read better written books with a wider breadth of information; however, I really enjoyed the up close and personal expose' of this critical year depicting Hitler's rise to power.  Finding Dodd's speech made the purchase worthwhile.

Originally posted to War on Error on Wed Jul 04, 2012 at 03:39 PM PDT.

Also republished by The Bain Files.

Poll

Dodd's speech opened my eyes, helps sort out the political rhetoric and dangers of some policies we are hearing.

87%88 votes
12%13 votes

| 101 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (158+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Gooserock, mickT, bobswern, Sychotic1, 3goldens, stormicats, divineorder, sfcouple, mollyd, mimi, jayden, Habitat Vic, Williston Barrett, EdMass, politik, parryander, McGahee220, Jim P, Empty Vessel, Empower Ink, Dreaming of Better Days, Amber6541, GAS, FrY10cK, Mary Mike, defluxion10, radarlady, kevinpdx, heyday, Lorinda Pike, NewDealer, Karl Rover, sharonsz, Shockwave, Egalitare, Wolf10, SherwoodB, SeaTurtle, dmhlt 66, Yellow Canary, bmaples, weck, 417els, Keone Michaels, Hillbilly Dem, TexDem, wader, Munchkn, Nulwee, luckylizard, howabout, peptabysmal, Alumbrados, IndieGuy, CTLiberal, antirove, Zinman, YucatanMan, Zorge, dalfireplug, jasan, NYC Sophia, Wheever, roadbear, jcrit, bnasley, muddy boots, coolbreeze, ZappoDave, johnel, markthshark, millwood, Fresno, zaka1, Late Again, maxzj05, 1Watt Hermit, RFK Lives, SueM1121, Ignacio Magaloni, Friendlystranger, annetteboardman, Carol in San Antonio, petulans, Cat Servant, lineatus, Sandino, susakinovember, amsterdam, prgsvmama26, expatjourno, radical simplicity, jaysunb, marina, pyegar, skod, DBunn, daveygodigaditch, Hastur, fumie, Simplify, life is making tacos, elwior, renbear, kestrel9000, Ginny in CO, dRefractor, berko, gulfgal98, isabelle hayes, ruleoflaw, dance you monster, NoMoreLies, bluesheep, rapala, Justus, a2nite, bluedust, DefendOurConstitution, LamontCranston, flowerfarmer, reginahny, DemInCville, jfromga, commonmass, Beetwasher, PBen, Joieau, yuriwho, johanus, AnnieR, asterkitty, Arahahex, Pescadero Bill, Johnathan Ivan, sunny skies, wasatch, chmood, tgypsy, Oldowan, Loudoun County Dem, mikeconwell, opinionated, hungrycoyote, GDbot, IreGyre, Powered Grace, emal, trumpeter, redlum jak, jm214, djohnutk, pgm 01, MJ via Chicago, eOz, mkor7, dskoe, leap

    It's difficult to be happy knowing so many suffer. We must unite.

    by War on Error on Wed Jul 04, 2012 at 03:39:49 PM PDT

  •  Thank you, I will take the time to read the speech (17+ / 0-)

    for sure, especially after reading this:

    Interestingly, the German's in the audience loved the speech as did others who read the speech afterwards.  Dodd was heartened and said

    "My interpretation of this is that all liberal Germany is with us -- and more than half of Germany is at heart liberal"

    That is too much and too good to me to not be seduced to read his speech. What a statement. He must have been a man with a heart to say the least.
  •  If you haven't read (14+ / 0-)

    In the Garden of Beasts, you should.

    Somebody said Party! I got excited. I love Parties! Especially Parties with exclamation marks! Now I'm sad because there's not a Party! h/t AnnetteK ;-)

    by EdMass on Wed Jul 04, 2012 at 04:20:53 PM PDT

  •  They don't market it (23+ / 0-)

    as "divisiveness".  It's sold as "rugged individualism".    People will gladly join you in denouncing "divisiveness", by which they mean, anybody that fails to go along to get along, to follow the herd.  The herd of atomized, isolated "rugged individualists" that have made the deliberate choice of social and political powerlessness because it apparently serves some form of ego self-gratification.  Not one I can understand, but obviously quite real, based on its apparent vast appeal.

    The law, in its majestic equality, forbids rich and poor alike from sleeping under bridges. ~ Anatole France

    by ActivistGuy on Wed Jul 04, 2012 at 04:34:06 PM PDT

  •  Thanks for an excellent Diary. (30+ / 0-)

    I have been very concerned about our Nation for some time, culminating in an almost utter disbelief at how policies, programs and laws that benefit the most and help those in need get ridiculed and dismissed as something evil.  

    I am deeply puzzled over the seemingly lack of care by the most wealthy over the looming disaster of climate change.  These folks should be screaming for some kind of corrective action and yet their silence is deafening.  Why is that?

    Collectively, billionaires could generate a call to action, actively support scientific research and educate the citizens about the need to change our current lackadaisical and apathetic attitude towards this coming ecological tragedy.

    As awful as this sounds, there are times when I think some of those at the top 1% have been convinced that a little mass extinction might be a good thing---for them.  

    I am very troubled and very afraid for our country's wonderful experiment in a Constitutional Republic.   It is as if our checks and balances are being replaced with the tyranny of a Congress that can do whatever it wants.  

    "It took us a couple of days because I like to know what I'm talking about before I speak." President Barack Obama 3/24/09

    by sfcouple on Wed Jul 04, 2012 at 04:37:47 PM PDT

    •  One more Point: (9+ / 0-)

      There is currently a front page Diary by Joan McCarter:
      "House will start anti-Obamacare Votes with defunding effort."

      This is a law passed by both houses of Congress, signed by the President, ruled constitutional by the Supreme Court and yet that means nothing to these thugs----they just don't care as they will do anything to stop it.  

      I truly don't see how this can even be legal, isn't the House in violation of some law?  Maybe I need a constitutional lawyer to explain this stuff to me......

      "It took us a couple of days because I like to know what I'm talking about before I speak." President Barack Obama 3/24/09

      by sfcouple on Wed Jul 04, 2012 at 05:39:04 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  What's wrong with that? I disagree with (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cryonaut

        Republicans, but are they not allowed to propose and pass, if they can, whatever legislation they desire? I believe, as legislators elected, they can do that!

        And Obama can veto their efforts, or the courts can find them unconstitutional.

        If they were organizing gangs to physically attack the bills supporters, then you'd have something to complain about.

        Two hundred million Americans, and there ain't two good catchers among 'em. --Casey Stengel

        by LongTom on Thu Jul 05, 2012 at 07:24:08 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  So these ignorant and greedy fuckers want to (0+ / 0-)

          undermine a law that will help save peoples' lives and as a result those people likely will die for lack of care, and you think that's how this government should be functioning?

          They are not physically attacking, but they will be doing physical harm. How many degrees of separation is that?

          Romney - his fingernails have never been anything but manicured.

          by Pescadero Bill on Thu Jul 05, 2012 at 08:26:23 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yes, that's how the government should be (0+ / 0-)

            functioning. I'll match my contempt and revulsion for the right wingers in Congress with anybody's, but, having been elected, let's not pretend their use of their power is (to this point) illegitimate. They have every right to propose, vote on, and pass (if they can) the most appalling legislation they can think of.

            It's up to normal people and THEIR party--the Democrats--to stop them. Let's hope they're capable of it.

            Two hundred million Americans, and there ain't two good catchers among 'em. --Casey Stengel

            by LongTom on Thu Jul 05, 2012 at 01:00:49 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Some of the 1% have embraced eugenics for (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      marina, Munchkn

      more than a century.

      The American Eugenic History Timeline

      1907  Indiana passes first eugenic sterilization law

      1914  First National Conference on Race Betterment held at Battle Creek, Michigan

      Race Betterment Foundation begun, largest eugenic center in the Midwest

      We need to know our history, that's for sure.

      It's difficult to be happy knowing so many suffer. We must unite.

      by War on Error on Wed Jul 04, 2012 at 08:21:01 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Why? (19+ / 0-)
    Why is it so difficult for world leaders to learn, adjust policies, and avoid the disasterous outcomes repeated innumerable times?
    Because our systems, due to our severely limited understanding of our nature, are so primitive that it is always trivially easy to capture political leaders to divert enough of their work to advancing private interests to bring down the rest of the society.

    Our own framers sat down at least a century after some of the major threats that corporations, speculation and their concentration of wealth posed to societies. Several of them expressed serious concern about those forces taking hold here. Thomas Jefferson at least briefly indicated support for a Freedom from Monopoly as a basic human right.

    Nevertheless, the system actually built by those men we so often characterized as enlightened is perfectly unaware and unprepared to address those then-century-old threats.

    And so we've always been a nation of panics, depressions, a few very wealthy and most everyone else poor to struggling --outside the one period when a very radical, complex economic scheme was pasted onto it. But because of the vulnerabilities of our system overall, it only took half a lifetime to begin tearing down that scheme enough to hand the nation over to the very forces the framers were far-sighted enough to fear.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Wed Jul 04, 2012 at 04:49:45 PM PDT

  •  "Fifteen Steps to Corporate Feudalism" (13+ / 0-)

    I am reading this timely book by Dennis Marker.

    He clearly lines out how America has succumbed to a new form of government. This new system where the super-rich 1% have destroyed the system based on a strong American middle-class is a system as described by William Dodd;

    In conclusion, one may safely say that it would be no sin if statesmen learned enough of history to realise that no system, which implies control of society by privilege seekers, has ever ended in any other way than collapse.

    Citizens United consolidates the power of the "privilege seekers" and it must go quickly.

    IMO I see a revolution coming and it will be ugly.

    Yes, bloodshed can be avoided but time is running out.

    Daily Kos an oasis of truth. Truth that leads to action.

    by Shockwave on Wed Jul 04, 2012 at 05:52:01 PM PDT

    •  I agree, which is why I keep shouting out here (7+ / 0-)

      To add to your Fifteen Steps to Corporate Feudalism (we are almost there, except for about 25% of working Americans) here's the 14 Signs of a Fascist Government

      It's difficult to be happy knowing so many suffer. We must unite.

      by War on Error on Wed Jul 04, 2012 at 08:26:04 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Ok, its dated for those who don't have video play (16+ / 0-)

        Dr. Lawrence Britt has examined the fascist regimes of Hitler (Germany), Mussolini (Italy), Franco (Spain), Suharto (Indonesia) and several Latin American regimes. Britt found 14 defining characteristics common to each:

        1. Powerful and Continuing Nationalism - Fascist regimes tend to make constant use of patriotic mottos, slogans, symbols, songs, and other paraphernalia. Flags are seen everywhere, as are flag symbols on clothing and in public displays.

        2. Disdain for the Recognition of Human Rights - Because of fear of enemies and the need for security, the people in fascist regimes are persuaded that human rights can be ignored in certain cases because of "need." The people tend to look the other way or even approve of torture, summary executions, assassinations, long incarcerations of prisoners, etc.

        3. Identification of Enemies/Scapegoats as a Unifying Cause - The people are rallied into a unifying patriotic frenzy over the need to eliminate a perceived common threat or foe: racial , ethnic or religious minorities; liberals; communists; socialists, terrorists, etc.

        4. Supremacy of the Military - Even when there are widespread
        domestic problems, the military is given a disproportionate amount of government funding, and the domestic agenda is neglected. Soldiers and military service are glamorized.

        5. Rampant Sexism - The governments of fascist nations tend to be almost exclusively male-dominated. Under fascist regimes, traditional gender roles are made more rigid. Divorce, abortion and homosexuality are suppressed and the state is represented as the ultimate guardian of the family institution.

        6. Controlled Mass Media - Sometimes to media is directly controlled by the government, but in other cases, the media is indirectly controlled by government regulation, or sympathetic media spokespeople and executives. Censorship, especially in war time, is very common.

        7. Obsession with National Security - Fear is used as a motivational tool by the government over the masses.

        8. Religion and Government are Intertwined - Governments in fascist nations tend to use the most common religion in the nation as a tool to manipulate public opinion. Religious rhetoric and terminology is common from government leaders, even when the major tenets of the religion are diametrically opposed to the government's policies or actions.

        9. Corporate Power is Protected - The industrial and business aristocracy of a fascist nation often are the ones who put the government leaders into power, creating a mutually beneficial business/government relationship and power elite.

        10. Labor Power is Suppressed - Because the organizing power of labor is the only real threat to a fascist government, labor unions are either eliminated entirely, or are severely suppressed.

        11. Disdain for Intellectuals and the Arts - Fascist nations tend to promote and tolerate open hostility to higher education, and academia. It is not uncommon for professors and other academics to be censored or even arrested. Free expression in the arts and letters is openly attacked.

        12. Obsession with Crime and Punishment - Under fascist regimes, the police are given almost limitless power to enforce laws. The people are often willing to overlook police abuses and even forego civil liberties in the name of patriotism. There is often a national police force with virtually unlimited power in fascist nations.

        13. Rampant Cronyism and Corruption - Fascist regimes almost always are governed by groups of friends and associates who appoint each other to government positions and use governmental power and authority to protect their friends from accountability. It is not uncommon in fascist regimes for national resources and even treasures to be appropriated or even outright stolen by government leaders.

        14. Fraudulent Elections - Sometimes elections in fascist nations are a complete sham. Other times elections are manipulated by smear campaigns against or even assassination of opposition candidates, use of legislation to control voting numbers or political district boundaries, and manipulation of the media. Fascist nations also typically use their judiciaries to manipulate or control elections.
         

        It's difficult to be happy knowing so many suffer. We must unite.

        by War on Error on Wed Jul 04, 2012 at 08:35:33 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Anti-nationalism is the one element of anti- (0+ / 0-)

          fascism with which I have some problems --nationalism in the defense of democracy or national liberation for instance.

          The frog jumped/ into the old pond/ plop! (Basho)

          by Wolf10 on Wed Jul 04, 2012 at 08:46:30 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Where are you connecting "anti-nationalism" to? (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Shockwave, Wolf10, Munchkn

            I'm interested in your concern.

            It's difficult to be happy knowing so many suffer. We must unite.

            by War on Error on Wed Jul 04, 2012 at 09:41:25 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  "1. Powerful and Continuing Nationalism..." (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              War on Error, Shockwave

              Admittedly, nationalism is a very tricky proposition--a two edged sword, if you will. I am very far from being a flag waver. I've burned it during during the Vietnam war and during the Bush administration I hung it upside down from my front porch when the news and spirit moved me.

              It has more to do with the values that are associated with it. For example,  economic nationalism in trade policy in order to defend working class gains in rights and working standards is entirely warranted as would be environmental environmental concerns.

              Perhaps I took the phrase out of context.

              The frog jumped/ into the old pond/ plop! (Basho)

              by Wolf10 on Wed Jul 04, 2012 at 10:31:33 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Economic nationalism (5+ / 0-)

                The horse is out of the barn.  What we have to push for is fair trade based on The Rule of Law.  It's the wild, wild west out there right now.  And we live in the country of hegmony, not gathering lots of warm, fuzzy feelings from the masses beyond our borders quite often.

                At home, the lawlessness has allowed chain stores and restaurants get away with paying less than a living wage and providing no benefits like vacation, sick pay, health insurance and pensions.

                Corporations and multi-nationals are emboldened today like they never have been before in the history of the world.  Well, in the western world.  The WW has been pillaging the lands and impoverishing natives elsewhere forever.

                Karma?  Not if we, who have the most of everthing including freedom now, step up and JUST SAY NO MORE!

                It's difficult to be happy knowing so many suffer. We must unite.

                by War on Error on Wed Jul 04, 2012 at 10:48:07 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  The definition of nationalism (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            War on Error, Wolf10, Munchkn
            A sense of national consciousness exalting one nation above all others and placing primary emphasis on promotion of its culture and interests as opposed to those of other nations or supranational groups
            That's very different from the movements you're talking about.
            •  how does nationalism differ from hegemony? (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              radical simplicity, Wolf10, Munchkn

              In your opinion.  Cam hegemony become an outcome of nationalism?  What changes when religion and nationalism are coupled:  Religious nationalism?

              So many questions, so little time.

              Hegemony

               preponderant influence or authority over others : domination

              2
              : the social, cultural, ideological, or economic influence exerted by a dominant group

              It's difficult to be happy knowing so many suffer. We must unite.

              by War on Error on Thu Jul 05, 2012 at 09:39:23 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  4th of July fireworks are going off outside (7+ / 0-)

        as I watch this video. Depressing.

        And how incredible that so many don't see that Citizens United spells the end of our democracy. Its result, playing out before our eyes, is clearly a form of election rigging, albeit not at the ballot box.

  •  Another 1933 pronoucement defining fascism: (8+ / 0-)
    The open terrorist dictatorship of the most reactionary, most chauvinistic and most imperialist elements of finance capital.
    Admittedly this thumbnail definition was coined by a bunch of dirty rotten commie rats but it is nonetheless apt .

    Times have changed somewhat since then so I would propose an updated definition:  Monopolistic crony-capitalism absent and antagonistic toward meaningful democratic processes and constitutionally guaranteed human and political rights for those who own little or no capital.

    Or, if you prefer greater brevity: capitalism without democracy.

    Times have not changed so much that the views, predilections and economic motivations of many among the financial and power elites here and abroad have lost their appetite for this purer, less namby-pamby form of capitalism. Today's China, as one example, is in this regard a perverse wet dream come true.

    We are now in a period when finance capital, highly concentrated in the hands of few, aids and abets brutal authoritarian regimes abroad while at home it is having its way with us by subverting democratic institutions and the rule of law without yet having to resort to the massive use of force.

    Perhaps the greatest difference for Americans between cold war period and now is that then the economic benefits of skulduggery abroad were more widely shared with the general populace while now those benefits are being withheld and/or squandered through financial adventurism.

    This was for corporate America, not an alliance based on principle or some beneficent vision of the great society, but one of temporary necessity until the defeat of communism had been accomplished.

    To those who find the comment lengthy and would exhort me to write my own diary on the topic, I did earlier today:
    Remebrance of the Other 9/11 on this 4th of July

    Cheers

    The frog jumped/ into the old pond/ plop! (Basho)

    by Wolf10 on Wed Jul 04, 2012 at 06:03:00 PM PDT

  •  Thanks for this Diary, a coincidence but.. (9+ / 0-)

    as I lay in bed last night I was trying to think of a way of explaining this very thing to my 26 yr old son without sounding alarmist.
     

    Whoever controls the media, the images, controls the culture

    by nezzclay on Wed Jul 04, 2012 at 06:08:21 PM PDT

  •  I just started reading this book today (5+ / 0-)

    and thinking someone should write a diary about this....and poof there it is. Well done.
    I believe our Right has looked to Hitler for advice on furthering their evil cause.

    "Your image of God creates you." Richard Rohr

    by createpeace on Wed Jul 04, 2012 at 06:24:06 PM PDT

    •  Well.... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Don midwest
      I believe our Right has looked to Hitler for advice on furthering their evil cause
      .
      They've certainly taken quite a few pages from the Nazi propaganda minister.

      I think, therefore I am........................... Plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose AKA Engine Nighthawk - don't even ask!

      by Lilyvt on Wed Jul 04, 2012 at 11:16:27 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  its a very good diary - thanks for (6+ / 0-)

    the work you did on it.  I fear however that the percentage of the population that would even understand what you and or Dodd are talking about is rather small.  They lack either the intelligence or the education.  

    And of those more than half of them see their intelligence and education as a license to take advantage of everyone else, they feel entitled if you will.  Maybe part of the lesson of history is that we go through these terrible cycles, we learn better for a short while and then forget and do it all over again.  I hope that's not true but the evidence would suggest otherwise.

  •  Thank you for this. (7+ / 0-)

    I have things I want to say, but you have made me realize that I have to study this a lot before I can say anything except thank you.

    •  I look forward to your insights. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      FiredUpInCA, Munchkn

      I do think that we are collectively intuiting our dilemma.  Hopefully Dodd's speech, with links to his historical evidence, will help others understand the seriousness we fact with this election.

      I hope that the majority of Americans will reject the autocrats and extremists.

      It's difficult to be happy knowing so many suffer. We must unite.

      by War on Error on Wed Jul 04, 2012 at 08:40:35 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Great book but Hitlerland gives another equally (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Wolf10, War on Error, mimi, Lilyvt, Munchkn

    poignant view of factors for the lead up to Germany's fall into extremism.  The ground work had been laid much prior to Dodd's time. What I found very interesting was how his daughter slept her way through the Nazi party and ended up being a Russian spy.  

  •  In his memoirs ..... (5+ / 0-)

    .... the author William L. Shirer - the author of "The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich" - wrote about William Dodd and his family, expressing his admiration for the ambassador and his family. while he was stationed as a foreign correspondent in Berlin.

          After the war in 1953, Shirer and his wife ran into Martha Dodd and her husband during the intermission of a play, where they had dinner afterwards. several mornings later, he read in the NY Times about her being wanted for espionage and having the FBI come to his home to answer questions. Eerie.

    "We should pay attention to that man behind the curtain."

    by Ed Tracey on Wed Jul 04, 2012 at 07:26:51 PM PDT

    •  Amazing. Oddly, I read The Rise and Fall (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Wolf10, Don midwest, Ed Tracey, Munchkn

      in high school on my own.  I was vastly interested in learning about the history of WWII.  My dad was a Lt Colonel and we watched some TV show about submarines/military together when I was a little girl.  I can't think of the name of the show.

      It's difficult to be happy knowing so many suffer. We must unite.

      by War on Error on Wed Jul 04, 2012 at 08:46:42 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  America Will Have To Experience The Horror (5+ / 0-)

    first hand before they understand it.

    Of course it will be too late by then.

    The Republican Party is Simply a Coalition of Greed and Hate

    by kerplunk on Wed Jul 04, 2012 at 07:48:04 PM PDT

  •  It's very apt. n't (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Wolf10, War on Error, Munchkn
  •  "Premature anti-fascists" should be a new group (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    War on Error, ActivistGuy

    here.

    Premature anti-fascism is a term that was used in the United States to describe the views of those who opposed fascism at a time when the US government was on relatively friendly terms with fascist Italy and (to a lesser extent) Nazi Germany.[33][34] The term was applied especially to supporters of the Second Spanish Republic in the Spanish Civil War, including members of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade.
    Wikepdia: Anti-fascism

    I first encountered the term in something I read by Lillian Hellman.

    The frog jumped/ into the old pond/ plop! (Basho)

    by Wolf10 on Wed Jul 04, 2012 at 08:13:12 PM PDT

  •  The GOP would love to bring Nazi Germany (6+ / 0-)

    here.  Their propaganda machine is working overtime to desensitize Americans to the possibility.  "Obama is like Hitler."  "This is like Nazism."  "This is worse than the Holocaust."  Not a day goes by without some Republican saying one or more of those terms.  This is very carefully orchestrated.  They're looking to make those terms meaningless so that when they do bring that kind of regime, younger generations won't have any idea of how bad it actually is.  When they do start really instituting the real ideas they want, saying, "This is like Nazy Germany" won't actually have any meaning.  They've been throwing the words around like confetti for a reason.  The people who continue to deny the true evil of Republicans, all Republicans, are in for a rude awakening sooner rather than later.  Little by little more and more of the ideas are creeping out and this is no accident.  A couple of weeks ago we actually had the possibility of extermination camps for gays thrown out there.  People cheered in the church when it was brought up.  This is the Republican party.  This is all they are.  The people on our side who just dismiss this as a few crackpots are the ones who worry me the most.  There is a huge block of Americans who would support this.  Big enough to make me really scared.

    We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.

    by owilde69 on Wed Jul 04, 2012 at 08:14:08 PM PDT

    •  Not all Democrats are blameless in this regard: (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      War on Error

      both parties supported dozens of right wing coups throughout the world, particularly during the cold war. Both parties have colluded in the worst aspects of globalization, which has pitted workers with hard won rights against those with none.

      If unfettered finance capital is the culprit and I believe it is, then only a handful of Democrats and no Republican that I can think of are wearing white hats.

      The frog jumped/ into the old pond/ plop! (Basho)

      by Wolf10 on Wed Jul 04, 2012 at 08:20:35 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •   V.P. Wallace warned us in 1944 (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Wolf10, War on Error, marina, Munchkn

      " Still another danger is represented by those who, paying lip service to democracy and the common welfare, in their insatiable greed for money and the power which money gives, do not hesitate surreptitiously to evade the laws designed to safeguard the public from monopolistic extortion. American fascists of this stamp were clandestinely aligned with their German counterparts before the war, and are even now preparing to resume where they left off, after 'the present unpleasantness' ceases."

      http://www.commondreams.org/...

      by Thom Hartman.

      •  Eisenhower also warned us. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Munchkn

        Before watching this, and I know most have, it's important to know about Project Paperclip.

        Operation Paperclip was the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) program used to recruit the scientists of Nazi Germany for employment by the United States in the aftermath of World War II (1939–45). It was conducted by the Joint Intelligence Objectives Agency (JIOA), and in the context of the burgeoning Soviet–American Cold War (1945–91); one purpose of Operation Paperclip was to deny German scientific knowledge and expertise to the USSR[1] and the UK[2] and to (divided) Germany itself.

        Although the JIOA's recruitment of German scientists began after the European Allied victory (8 May 1945), US President Harry Truman did not formally order the execution of Operation Paperclip until August 1945. Truman's order expressly excluded anyone found "to have been a member of the Nazi Party, and more than a nominal participant in its activities, or an active supporter of Nazi militarism." However, those restrictions would have rendered ineligible most of the leading scientists the JIOA had identified for recruitment, among them rocket scientists Wernher von Braun and Arthur Rudolph, and the physician Hubertus Strughold, each earlier classified as a "menace to the security of the Allied Forces".

        To circumvent President Truman's anti-Nazi order, and the Allied Potsdam and Yalta agreements, the JIOA worked independently to create false employment and political biographies for the scientists. The JIOA also expunged from the public record the sci

        entists' Nazi Party memberships and régime affiliations. Once "bleached" of their Nazism, the US government granted the scientists security clearance to work in the United States.

        THESE SCIENTISTS HELPED CREATE THE US MILITARY INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX

        It's difficult to be happy knowing so many suffer. We must unite.

        by War on Error on Wed Jul 04, 2012 at 08:54:41 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Excellent diary, (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    War on Error, Don midwest, Munchkn

    my alarm bells have been going off for the last 15 years, but for the most part the last thirty years have been a struggle with shorter and shorter periods of prosperity and peace.

    We have major problems that are not being addressed and are getting worse.  We have people in power that do not understand social policy and the necessity of a balanced ecomony which is interdependant for the survival of all.  Moreover, being born within the decade immediately after the Holocaust and being Jewish I have been particularly concerned especially since our country has crossed the line with the separation of church and state.

    I found especially interesting this part:

    It is well-known that there are some very well-organized factions in the United States that are broiling for a good fight.  They are armed to the teeth and have been stirred up to a hateful frenzy by Fox News and Tea Party/Right Wing Politicians.  Those they hate and see as enemies of the USA & Freedom are very similar to those Hitler Et Al used to stir up Germany's extremists in 1933.
    Especially because as some know here I have been dealing with a person in condo building that has bought not only into the Fox News, Tea Party/Right Wing Political rhetoric, but also the many conspiracy theories that are floating around on the Internet as well.  Some of which are very similar to anti-Semantic Nazis proganda, they are just updated to current events.  I been working with the ADL and Jewish Federation and this past month we ended up in court and I have been granted an Order of Protection due to imitation and harassment from person.  But, I'll tell you this, to have experience this level of hate and rage that has almost intimidated out of my for safety because I'm Jewish as well as disabled and it has been a very frightening experience.

    It seems looking at history we have these cycles which could be avoid if only the lessons from the previous periods of horrific history were learned and passed down.  The signs have been there for a long time and everyone has ignored them.

    "During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolution­ary act. " George Orwell

    by zaka1 on Wed Jul 04, 2012 at 08:49:13 PM PDT

    •  Typos above: (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      War on Error

      Sorry, I hit the post instead of preview.

      "During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolution­ary act. " George Orwell

      by zaka1 on Wed Jul 04, 2012 at 08:53:25 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Oh my gosh, zaka1. I am so sorry. (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        zaka1, marina, Don midwest, Munchkn

        I don't understand this hate.  I wish you could simply move to get away from the unhinged neighbor.  I say unhinged because I believe bigotry is an emotional disorder.  

        I had never been at the hated end of the stick until I moved from New England to Utah.  I got a job at a huge company and found that I was instantly disliked by the majority of employees because I was seen as "another rude North Easterner"

        Mild, compared to what you have experienced, but I am sensitive.  I felt the aching in my heart caused by their shunning.

        Now I am old and as recently as today, I found myself in my car with an insanely angry, younger woman screaming at me in her car while giving me the finger.  The hateful rage in her face caused my heart to ache with fear.  She was totally unhinged and hated me as much in that moment as a person can hate.

        Too be hugely honest, I have found myself being invited to hate during this year's political campaign.  It's an invitation and I hope I never accept it.  But before this time, I don't remember hearing the invitation before.

        We all have to be careful I think.

        I hope you will be safe, zaka1.  Peace.

        It's difficult to be happy knowing so many suffer. We must unite.

        by War on Error on Wed Jul 04, 2012 at 09:07:17 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  A heartfelt thank you (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          War on Error, marina, Don midwest, Munchkn

          War on Error.  Yeah, this person has been putting out hate literature in our building especially hateful against the Jewish and other ethic minorities.  But mostly hateful against the Jewish population.  I started challenging this person in December last year, and even the condo board ignored this and allowed it to continue.  

          Since December, I've been cussed at, threaten to be spit on in our parking garage.  He also threaten to spit on me and cussed me at least five other times, he has spit on my car four or five times.  I went down to the parking garage to tell him to leave me a alone after the last time he threaten to spit on me and cussed at me.  I don't know what I was thinking, but I wanted to take my power back.  He took a baseball bat out of his car, he didn't use it, and the police were called.  And then my my tire was flatten to the rim a couple of days later.  That was the final last straw (the gentleman who parks next me whom is also a minority had his tire just about flatten on the same day, it was just too much of a coincidence.)  I've been afraid to be outside my condo or go to my mailbox or car or be outside on my patio because he would drive by and stop his car and cuss me out and act like he was coughing up phlegm to spit on me.  

          Unbelievable especially being disabled.  I was going to move, but financially and physically this is probably the best place for me.  Plus, it was just wrong for me to have to move because someone thinks they have the right to imitate another person into moving out of their home.  I can't believe this is happening in this day and age.

          I still get shaky talking about this.

          "During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolution­ary act. " George Orwell

          by zaka1 on Wed Jul 04, 2012 at 09:38:46 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  It's good to talk about things, zaka1 (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            zaka1, marina, Don midwest, Munchkn

            Now that you have a protective order, the hate monger will face a police record if he harms you.  I hope the police in your area are good people and not bigots, too.

            Perhaps you and your parking neighbor can be mailbox/outing buddies.  I would try to buddy up for my outings for a while.  In time the HM will either move or find someone else to intimidate.  What makes a brother hate another brother?

            Just, please zaka1, try not to put yourself in a position where you could end up dead right, k?  I know of the tenacity you speak of, btw.  It's adrenaline driven for me.

            Please promise to be careful.

            It's difficult to be happy knowing so many suffer. We must unite.

            by War on Error on Wed Jul 04, 2012 at 09:52:18 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I'm being careful (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              War on Error, Don midwest, Munchkn

              and thank you.  I don't normally respond the way I did, but it was more of being tired of my own fear and feeling scared and anxious.  It is hard to imagine what others have experienced in history this was just one person.  Anyway, I don't want to tie up your diary with my stuff.  Be careful yourself, those of us that believe in humanity are going to have to be strong and stick together to get through these difficult times.

              Peace. . .

              "During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolution­ary act. " George Orwell

              by zaka1 on Wed Jul 04, 2012 at 10:48:53 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  It's okay to hate Nazis. eom (0+ / 0-)

          Two hundred million Americans, and there ain't two good catchers among 'em. --Casey Stengel

          by LongTom on Thu Jul 05, 2012 at 07:27:42 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  I also wanted to add (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        War on Error, Don midwest, Munchkn

        that there are too many groups of individuals that are being targeted in this country and that also has me concerned.  If you look back at that period of time in history you will also see some of the same groups being targeted now as back then and that is what is very upsetting and worrisome.  

        "During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolution­ary act. " George Orwell

        by zaka1 on Wed Jul 04, 2012 at 09:12:20 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Excellent job relating that speech to the present (8+ / 0-)

    I have a few issues, though.

    The "American System" was opposed by John Randolph at least in part, because it conflicted with the Southern desire to expand slavery and preserve states rights. And its vision of an expansive federal government able to build internal improvements (such as canal and road building) was critical to the development and unity of the US, e.g., both in the mid 19th century and in the '50s building of interestate highways.

    As for tariffs (also part of the American System), Dodd's comment that we "must facilitate, and not defeat, the interchange of surplus goods"  is basically a plea for free trade.  And today free trade is opposed by many on the left -- e.g., in reaction to NAFTA, as destructive to labor here.

    So these are not all easy issues.  Yes, Dodd's warning about the ascendancy of a plutocracy is well taken.  But not all issues are that cut and dried.

    And because I share a birthday with Lincoln, I must defend him.  Dodd caricatures him as merely acquiescing to bankers, etc.  But look at this Lincoln quote:

    Labor is prior to, and independent of, capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration.
    Unfortunately, preserving the Union required total commitment to financing the Civil War.  And Lincoln's post-war efforts were of course cut short, and the real surrender to economic royalism took place under both Republican and Dem Presidents of the lat 19th century.

    Finally, (although I know the diarist's point is much more complex than this) I'm always a bit wary of arguments based, at least in part, that "we should have stopped Hitler when we had the chance," because a simplistic view of this can and has been used as a rationale for the Iraq War and a potential Iran War.

       

    The GOP: "You can always go to the Emergency Room."

    by Upper West on Wed Jul 04, 2012 at 08:54:57 PM PDT

    •  Great response. (6+ / 0-)

      My take from Randolf, is that he saw Clay's views more in line with the European models of landed aristocracy and the ruling party who cared nothing for the rest of the people.  Slavery was certainly an issue and the worst example of how the 1%, to use today's term, have no problem using and abusing humans they deem "less than".

      Clay and Randolf ended up dueling!

      Those were the good old days (snark).

      Dodd's comment

      we "must facilitate, and not defeat, the interchange of surplus goods"
      I am emphasizing "surplus goods."   Like you, I pondered this as well.  My take is that Dodd meant

      1.  Fair trade, not free trade.  Rules are established and followed to insure that the arrangement is good for the peoples of both countries.  Hardly the moded of "free trade" we are witnessing.  Dodd was pushing against America's push for economic isolationism/nationalism.

      2.  Surplus goods is attached to several of his comments regarding trade.  So, a country makes something, satisfies the people's/country's needs and then markets the Surplus elsewhere.  This makes perfect sense.  

      However, because the 1% have subverted democracy, corporations make stuff and then collude to optimize profits with little or no regard for the common good of the people or the corporations country of origin.

      OPEC is a perfect example.  The oil and gas now being sucked out of North Dakota, Wyoming, Utah and other states either leaves the country or joins the Oil Cartel to be sold back to US at a world price.  The people where this gas and oil are being extracted should raise a ruckus.  In short, corporations are now doing to States what they have been doing to Africa for ever: Exploiting natural resources for corporate gains.  It's our karma, folks.

      1933 wasn't that long ago; however, there are values that existed then that have been discarded by a wider swath of the population.  

      This is why there is a danger at hand IF the grownups don't refresh their history lessons and return our country to a truly representative government where the Plutocrats and the Working Class cooperate for the "common good" of all here and abroad.  We got it right in the 1950s, with the exception of segregation.  We fixed that in the 1960s.  The 1970s was a good decade, too.

      Then the PNAC Plutocrats grabbed power and brainwashed the Christians with the abortion wedge issue and here we are.

      On the precipice staring into a valley of potential chaos if we don't get the extremists out of our government and demand that Congress actually represent the people in a socially responsible manner.

      Dare we dream?  Yes, but we have to work really hard.

      We must Get Out the Vote like our lives depend on it, imo.  

      Then we progressives need to find the courage to run against the Right Wing in our school boards, and town, state, and federal elections.  We might be harmed doing so, but the harm will be minimal compared to the brutal chaos we could face.

      It's difficult to be happy knowing so many suffer. We must unite.

      by War on Error on Wed Jul 04, 2012 at 09:33:43 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Absolutely agree (4+ / 0-)

        and yet ironically, it was the European former aristocracies that became more egalitarian than the US, especially after WW II (but the aristocracies are now using the crisis to reassert their power and tear that down).

        Did you read the Vatican "maybe John Paul 1 was murdered" diary still on the rec. list?  Even without being a conspiracy theorist, it makes you wonder about the coalescing of an international reactionary movement in the late '70s, the "Oct. '80 surprise, leading to Reagan, Thacher, the ascendance of the religious and tax-hating right, etc.

        The GOP: "You can always go to the Emergency Room."

        by Upper West on Wed Jul 04, 2012 at 10:26:57 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I haven't read that article yet but will. (4+ / 0-)

          Do you remember this?  There is no doubt in my mind that th end-game will be Theocratic.

          Evangelicals and Catholics Together

          Evangelicals and Catholics Together is a 1994 ecumenical document signed by leading Evangelical and Roman Catholic scholars in the United States. The co-signers of the document were Charles Colson and Richard John Neuhaus, representing each side of the discussions. [1] It was part of a larger ecumenical rapprochement in the United States that had begun in the 1980s with Catholic-Evangelical collaboration in para-church organizations such as Moral Majority during the Ronald Reagan administration.[dubious – discuss][citation needed]
          China is a challenge for Rome

          It's difficult to be happy knowing so many suffer. We must unite.

          by War on Error on Wed Jul 04, 2012 at 11:03:05 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  the 70s were a historical inflection point (5+ / 0-)

          in a whole lot of ways. we really need a lot more historical research published about that era, and disseminated to the general public. right now, we have at best people's experience of it, but not in a systematic sort of way that historical research can reconstruct. and the half of the country who weren't born or weren't old enough to remember what was going on don't even have that, and have to rely on BS media narratives, old movies and TV shows, and other people's recollections passed down long after the fact.

          more 70s historians please!

        •  The Powell memo. Powell was rewarded with a SCOTUS (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          War on Error, Upper West

          … seat.

          Corporate-owned media started flexing its muscle, using its control of the marketing channel for pop culture and youth culture to slip in right-wing individualist memes and split the younger generation into scores of isolated subcultures using "identity marketing."

          The Dutch kids' chorus Kinderen voor Kinderen wishes all the world's children freedom from hunger, ignorance, and war.

          by lotlizard on Thu Jul 05, 2012 at 06:13:35 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Ok, postulate a recognition of (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    War on Error, Don midwest, Munchkn

    the nature of Hitler and Germany in 1933. While you're at it, postulate an awareness of what Japan would get up to. Then look at the political reaction to the much better-known characteristics of those two countries before Dec 1941. More than enough people remained isolationist until world events smacked them between the eyes.

    I don't think Americans are the kind of people who react to threats like those until it's almost too late. Same story today with rare exceptions. And all in all, it's probably not going to change. It will just look like somebody is trying to "lie us into another war" most of the time.

    Moderation in most things.

    by billmosby on Wed Jul 04, 2012 at 09:57:29 PM PDT

  •  And today campus police in Berkeley have an... (5+ / 0-)

    ...armored personnel carrier. The largest eavesdropping apparatus in history is being built in Utah. Police forces are acquiring drones for surveillance and acoustic weapons for crowd control. The Democratic president claims the right to assassinate people on his say-so alone or to imprison them forever without trial.

    And so on.

    Makes you wonder if some plans are being made that might incite massive civil unrest. Why else would the authorities be strengthening all of their tools of oppression?

    Barack Obama: Gives people who tortured other people to death a pass, prosecutes whistleblowers. Change we can believe in!

    by expatjourno on Wed Jul 04, 2012 at 10:24:10 PM PDT

  •  while i share your sense of forboding (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    War on Error, dizzydean

    i don;t really buy dodd's speech's free trader critique of economic nationalism, nor its attempt to position free trade as a friend of democracy but protectionism as a tool of anti-populist aristocrats.

    the history of the past several decades indicates otherwise.

  •  Amazon has 763 reviews of this book (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Apost8, War on Error

    And the first review itself has over 1,200 votes for "helpful" and that first review itself also has 100 comments. There are very well known people who post on the web and are lucky if they get a dozen comments. These are huge numbers.

    There are people in the USA who are very concerned with what is happening.

    Many see the current back and forth between the political parties a diversion of the real problems.

    This diary and the comments show the level of dialogue needed today.

    Far too many diaries on dailykos.com are horse race of the latest news from the political game.

    There are two typical responses by trolls who don't want any serious discussion of a topic.

    One is CT - conspiracy theory. I don't expect this to come up on this diary. This is history with enough time to look back and see the things that were missed, and to see how many parallels there are to today.

    Another troll trick is to say something like "this is a trivial topic, why did you waste your brilliance on such a small thing"

    Also, don't think that that trick will work here.

    It will be interesting to see what put downs come up here.

    To see these troll tricks, and others, checked out the diary on the possible murder of the Pope which is currently on the rec list.

    http://www.dailykos.com/...

  •  Excellent, thought provoking post - Many thanks. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    War on Error, Munchkn

    “The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane.” — Marcus Aurelius

    by LamontCranston on Thu Jul 05, 2012 at 06:17:35 AM PDT

  •  It really irks me when teabaggers use the (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    War on Error, GDbot, Munchkn

    "Obama is Hitler" moniker.  We rightfully own the comparison -- Bush is (was) Hitler, and republicans are Nazis.  Great diary.

  •  excellent diary. kkkarl rove is an avid (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    War on Error

    student of history & that's one reason he's so intent on rewriting it to suit the rw narrative he's pushing.

    it's another reason why the rw have targeted history (& science) as their #1 enemy in the war on education they've been waging for the last 3+ decades -- he who controls the pen (or keyboard), gets to tell the story.

  •  Some odd observations in Dodd's speech. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    War on Error

    "...the Caesars succeeded only for a short moment as measured by the test of history."

    Well, 600 years, give or take, isn't really an eyeblink, is it?

    The idea that no government can succeed without popular support begs for the definition of "popular support." It also overlooks the fact that Hitler had a lot of popular support. Although Hitler failed to get a majority of the votes in 1932, once his propaganda machine began operating and his ramping up for war improved the economy, sad to say he probably would easily have won an election, had he allowed one, in 1936 or later.

    Two hundred million Americans, and there ain't two good catchers among 'em. --Casey Stengel

    by LongTom on Thu Jul 05, 2012 at 07:19:07 AM PDT

  •  Do you mean "Dickensian" ? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    War on Error
    The real possibilities of America becoming a bastion of Dicksonian policy looms as a profound...

    Almost nothing has a name.

    by johanus on Thu Jul 05, 2012 at 07:30:39 AM PDT

  •  Some thoughts (0+ / 0-)

    First off, in broad terms, when there have been major movements leading to a change in governmental systems, the key players have tended to be from the middle class.  This has been true since at least the 15th century in Europe--from the Reformation to the English Civil Wars to the French Revolution to the Communist Revolution to the rise of fascism to the fall of the Soviet Union/Eastern Bloc.  It has generally been the middle classes who have had their livelihoods/social status squeezed to the point where they lost confidence in the existing system and sought something new.  

    What that "new" might be is wide open.  While today there is a strong authoritarian tendency within the political right of the US/Europe, there is also a powerful strain of rejectionism of central authorities.  On the political left, there is a broad acceptance of the importance of the role of the state, tossed together with a reason-based technocratic tendency.  

    So, where might this lead.  IMHO, we have a problem of messaging.  Since Vietnam/Watergate and exacerbated by the Reagan years, confidence in the efficacy of government has been increasingly undermined.  Even many democrats make the argument that government run programs are less likely to succeed than private enterprise.  When the downturn began in 2008, who was to blame?  Despite the plain facts that the big banks and corporations were primarily responsible, many have argued and believed that it was the government's fault in the first place and that the response by government was hopelessly bungled.  So, rather than blaming the true culprits, the actor who actually saved the day takes the fall.

    Throw in that this process is being made worse by the efforts of those same corporations through the flood of money into the political system.  Confidence is eroded by the idea that the politicians, political appointees and even the courts have been bought off by the moneyed interests.  

    The parallel one could draw from Weimar here is that confidence had fallen in the government and the Nazis blamed the Jews as  the hidden special interests behind the ineptitude of the government.  However, unlike the 1930s, today there is no overarching ideological force(s) (communism and fascism) already in place to take advantage of the lack of confidence.

    Instead, we have discontent, with "sides" forming around two muddled poles in the form of the political parties.  Now, if there is a general economic collapse, what then?  I think that the Democratic Party might suffer some losses, but, due to its strong structural base (women, minorities), it will survive.  The GOP might regain all of the levers of government and impose its ideology temporarily, but it would only have a small window of time in which to do so.  

    Is our democratic republic in danger?  I don't think so.  Unlike the 1930s, there is no model that appears successful enough to merit replication.  The executive branch would probably gain more authority at the expense of Congress, but that has been a relatively unbroken trend since FDR.  One would hope that if the GOP acquired power, it would only be for a short time, at which point the country might be ready for a revival of New Deal style governmental intervention.      

    Buck up--Never say die. We'll get along! Charlie Chaplin, Modern Times (1936).

    by dizzydean on Thu Jul 05, 2012 at 10:11:39 AM PDT

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