Chickens of the Interventionist Liberals - Henry Elmer Barnes

The Balance-Sheet of Globaloney

Some may feel that I have been too harsh on our totalitarian liberals but, in reality, I have thus far only called attention to a small segment of the disastrous results which their interventionist policy has produced, namely, the increase of reaction and intolerance which the liberals are now so fiercely denouncing. As a matter of fact, virtually all of the public ills from which we are now suffering have been produced or enormously intensified by our intervention in the second World War, the Cold War and the Korean War. For this intervention our totalitarian liberals, aided by the Atlantic seaboard Anglophiles and special pressure groups, have been overwhelmingly responsible. Hence, it is not unfair to attribute to their policies and efforts the outstanding public misfortunes to which we are now subject.

Among the evils created or intensified by global meddling and by our intervention in hot ajnd cold wars are the following: Political disasters can be observed in the jeopardy or termination of true democratic government and in the emergence, in different degrees among the countries of the world, of military managerialism and other totalitarian mechanisms and devices. Our civil liberties have been invaded and flouted to an unprecedented extent. Our Constitution has become a scrap of paper in the hands of war-minded politicians and the military managers.

Interventionism and war have led to varying types of economic totalitarianism, extending all the way from the bureaucratic military state capitalism of the United States to the rigorous Communism of Soviet Russia. The capitalistic system and free enterprise have been dealt a serious, if not fatal, blow in the Old World, and have been seriously undermined here at home. Inflation, rising living costs, currency depreciation, an astronomical public debt, and crushing taxation are among the economic penalties exacted by interventionism in the United States. Our economy is being undermined and our natural resources exhausted.

Our social life has turned increasingly chaotic in the face of the disconcerting uncertainties of the personal, political and international future created by cold and phony wars. A collective anxiety neurosis has been developing and is reflected in general unrest and uneasiness. Pathological results can be observed in the notable increase of crime, racketeering, degeneracy, and mental disease. The decline of political morals after a decade and a half of official mendacity with regard to world affairs and their domestic relationships has undermined public morale. It has led to unparalleled political graft and public corruption which make the Grant and Harding administrations seem, by comparison with the totalitarian-liberal administration of Truman, to be striking examples of sound statecraft and political integrity.

All in all, we seem to be moving toward a system of totalitarianism modelled on the military managerialism forecast by John T. Flynn in his As We Go Marching (1944). Its eventual form is portrayed in all its grim horrors in George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four. The chief nations of the world have slipped more or less gradually into this way of life, based as it is upon linking political and economic policy to a state of perpetual war, hot, cold, or phony. Soviet Russia has entered this totalitarian pattern more completely than the so-called Free Nations, but even among the latter the trend is moving in seemingly irrevocable fashion toward the Orwellian nightmare.

Such is the heritage which we have received from fifteen years of interventionist and totalitarian liberalism. It would be an illuminating and instructive exercise, which the totalitarian liberals are not likely to encourage, to compare without exaggeration or prejudice the evils and burdens brought into American life since 1937 by the interventionist liberals with the most extreme composite picture of the machinations and subversive acts of the American Communists during the same period, recognizing, of course, that there was a great deal of collaboration between these two groups.

No reasonable person would doubt that, if the Communists had possessed the power, they might have done more damage to the American way of life than the interventionist liberals have actually accomplished. But they did not possess this power and there was little probability that they would have attained it in any predictable period. The threat from American Communism has been mainly a dire possibility; the damage already done by our interventionist liberals is a dolorous and calamitous accomplished fact, to say nothing of what may yet take place as a result of the continuance of their policies. Hence, for example, it seemed rather paradoxical and incongruous that the Senate Committee on Subversive Influence in the Educational Process allowed the extreme interventionist liberal, President Harry D. Gideonse of Brooklyn College, to emerge from the hearings in the guise of a hero, while relatively insignificant alleged Communists and fellow-travellers on the faculty of the College were severely manhandled.

Despite all the multifarious disasters which the interventionist liberals have brought to our country, they are still unabashed and unrepentant and can count on the support of American public opinion. A more devastating indictment of our channels of communication and information during the last fifteen years could not be drawn than what is implicit in this fact. It would require a Voltaire to do full justice to the situation.

It is, perhaps, somewhat idealistic, or even a bit naive, to expect American public opinion to shift greatly on foreign policy, in the light of the blackout of facts relative to this subject for more than a decade. Even the relatively skeptical German people, still suffering from the effects and memory of a devastating war, could be rigidly indoctrinated by Nazi propaganda within five years. For fifteen years, the American people have been indoctrinated with interventionist propaganda by a press, radio and cinema as universally and intolerantly consecrated to globaloney as the German agencies of communication were to the principles of National Socialism after 1933. As an able publicist has recently observed:

"Never was a people slipping into the slavery of a permanent-war statism freer from dissent, disloyalty, or the spirit of revolt than is the American people today."

Nevertheless, despite the seemingly insuperable difficulties involved, it may safely be maintained that, unless we are able to throw off the yoke and menace of globaloney and interventionism, any and all efforts to attain the good life in the United States—civil liberty, intellectual freedom, economic security, social justice, and the like— are doomed to ultimate and complete failure. Until we free ourselves from the octopus of world-meddling, reformist zeal will remain comparable to excitement over engraving invitation cards to a gala party on a sinking ocean liner.