|From the archives of The Memory Hole|
On the Defense Origins of the New Imperialism
The time must come when the defense program passes from being a
gigantic pump-primer into being the main engine. Walter Lippmann, New
York Herald Tribune, September 19, 1940.
It is important to notice that the recent recovery has been in the main a
war boom and an armament boom. Editorial, Mr. Roosevelt on Production, New York Times, October 25, 1940, p. 20.
There will be 4,000,000 persons employed in this country in June, 1941,
as the result of National Defense orders which were awarded up to November 1 , according to a preliminary study made by the Division of
Industrial Economics of the National Industrial Conference Board. The
Commercial and Financial Chronicle, December 14, 1940, p. 3486.
Roosevelt . . . is pointing the national policy toward a world leadership,
toward a merger of British and American interests. What Roosevelt sees:
England, even if saved, will be unable to maintain an immense fleet and a
large army; will be unable to hold together the British Empire. The U.S.
will be in a position to inherit much of the British power, will then become
the senior partner in empire, with Britain the junior partner. United
States News, December 27, 1940, p. 4.
To be blunt about it, the United States has become a military state.
Editorial, Wehrwirtschaft in America, Business Week, January 4, 1941,
It is important to notice that the recent recovery has been in the main a war boom and an armament boom. Editorial, Mr. Roosevelt on Production, New York Times, October 25, 1940, p. 20.
There will be 4,000,000 persons employed in this country in June, 1941, as the result of National Defense orders which were awarded up to November 1 , according to a preliminary study made by the Division of Industrial Economics of the National Industrial Conference Board. The Commercial and Financial Chronicle, December 14, 1940, p. 3486.
Roosevelt . . . is pointing the national policy toward a world leadership, toward a merger of British and American interests. What Roosevelt sees: England, even if saved, will be unable to maintain an immense fleet and a large army; will be unable to hold together the British Empire. The U.S. will be in a position to inherit much of the British power, will then become the senior partner in empire, with Britain the junior partner. United States News, December 27, 1940, p. 4.
To be blunt about it, the United States has become a military state. Editorial, Wehrwirtschaft in America, Business Week, January 4, 1941, p. 48.
Periodically we are told that in the United States we now have a $90 billion defense industry establishment.1 It is surely somewhat
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more than that. It is difficult to find a careful breakdown of this industrial colossus, and to determine, for instance, if the many firms producing exclusively for the Vietnam war are included; there were already 5,000 of them two years ago. One might also be edified to learn what firms skim off most of the cream of foreign aid money, which is obviously spent mostly in the U.S.A. and then dispatched as material largesse to favored governments in many parts of the world, as a palpable adjunct of defense. The delicate avoidance by even the most determined and stubborn anti-foreign aid forces of investigating or publicizing this side of the problem to any serious degree is puzzling, to say the least. We do know considerably, however, about the generous portion of foreign aid money trimmed off at the start by American legal firms acting as advisory counsel to the recipient countries, often over 15 per cent of the total allocation. The cooperation of private business in the export of socialism through such programs is another side of the picture, and equally unemphasized. Undoubtedly a considerable part of the space race industrial complex fails to qualify as defense activity in the narrow definition of the latter, though it certainly deserves to be so identified. And finally, a generous part of the total industrial community receives spin-off benefits from the purely defense sector in a large number of ways; one need not dwell in addition on the legion of incomes earned in a peripheral relationship to defense while appearing to be utterly alien to it. Though it is customary to read denunciations by various captains of industry of government in business and the pervasive penetration by the state into all areas of economic activity, it is not common to encounter criticisms of the government by them when it comes to its function in allocating defense contracts. All but a very few who do express reservations are usually found ultimately taking part, in the spirit of a puritanical maiden aunts poorly concealed delight upon being taken out on a round of night club visitations.
There seems to be an immense multitude who believe that this vast system is a product of this decade, intertwined in some way with the Vietnam war. There are many others who are of the impression it has always been this way to a greater or lesser degree. But defense was an invention of the last six months of 1940. It had no precedent despite the superficial similarity to the preparedness boom of 1916. In 1940 defense had only a limited relationship to the army and navy preparations for war; it was the first step of a prodigious American planetary expansion which has yet to stop.
Where once a policy was adopted, and followed to the limit imposed
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by specified resources, with national defense the reverse took place; policy tended to extend as far as the immense appropriations and provisions of military and other materials could stretch. One may note as a partial illustration a comparison of the modest number of American military and naval installations in the world in 1940 with the many thousands of these scattered over the planet over a quarter of a century later. Another area, fully as illustrative, concerns the political: the modern involvement by treaty or otherwise in the internal affairs of half the governments of the worlds states, as against the absence of such relations in 1940.
The 1932 platform of the Democratic Party, on which Franklin D. Roosevelt campaigned for the presidency, heartily denounced the military spending of the administration of Herbert Hoover, and flatly called for economy in this area, that the people in time of peace may not be burdened with an expenditure fast approaching $1 billion annually. Ironically, the first billion-dollar budget for the army and navy occurred early in Mr. Roosevelts second term, and it never fell below that figure again, nor has it to this day; in fact, in recent years such budgets have been fifty times as high as those of the pre-World War II Roosevelt era. But it was especially ironic that Mr. Roosevelt should say, in his celebrated speech in Buenos Aires in December, 1936, the first year the billion mark was passed in military spending in this country:
We know, too, that vast armaments are rising on every side and that the work of creating them employs men and women by the millions. It is natural, however, to conclude that such employment is false employment, that it builds no permanent structure and creates no consumers goods for lasting prosperity. We know that nations guilty of these follies inevitably face the day either when their weapons of destruction must be used against their neighbors or when an unsound economy like a house of cards will fall apart.
While Mr. Roosevelt was intoning these peaceful sentiments his regime was already spending on the army and navy in peacetime a sum exceeding the total of all federal government costs in 1917, and which nearly equaled what it cost to fight the last year of the Civil War. But the spending on arms at this point had barely begun. And it was through the wondrous device of defense that it grew to proportions, from 1940 on, which made even the expenditures during previous wars seem frugal penny-counting by comparison. The invention of the abstraction national defense was an innovation in American statecraft comparable to that of relativity in physics. While
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it did, and still does, require a potential enemy lurking on the horizon, what this concept permits on the home front and makes possible in the form of intervention in the domestic affairs of others, limited only by resources and interveners, makes the old-style imperialism appear limited and naive when juxtaposed. Though it is unquestioned that the most awesome device for the redistribution of wealth within a country and the destruction of it in anothers country is war, modern defense approaches and passes all but the most protracted of martial enterprises in the former category.
As the New Deal began to crumble badly around the edges between the late summer of 1937 and the fall of 1938, and the momentum of the domestic welfare state programs sagged, the attention to sin abroad increased sharply. One notes in the histories of the Roosevelt era an abrupt switch of attention from domestic matters to foreign affairs, or, to put the latter another way, the domestic affairs of other parts of the world. With this shift in emphasis is a parallel change in army and navy budgets, markedly upward, but dwarfed by the national defense appropriations which were made starting with the last six months of 1940.
It took less than three years for Mr. Roosevelt to get rid of his revulsion for an economy based on armaments., By the late months of 1940 the world began to get an idea of what an economy heavily dependent on the hardware of war could really be like. And it was a democracy, not a totalitarian power, that showed the way, in the same manner that Britains Lt. Gen. Sir Francis Tuker, K.C.I.E., later was to explain to the defeated German enemy how total war was so much more effectively conceived by a democracy. Total war is the war that is made by a democracy that has thrown its conscience to the winds, declaimed General Tuker. It is solidly pursued, relentless and ruthless.2 (It is obvious that a democracy could not engage in such gestures as that of Hitler in allowing the trapped British army at Dunkirk to escape safely back to England.)
It must be evident to most that a bureaucracy the size of that existing in the United States is quite unthinkable without the cooperation of a
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large and healthy segment of the business world. Those who make au enterprise out of railing at bureaucrats and politicians invariably evade facing the fact that the great majority of them are from influential industrial, financial, and commercial circles, and frequently complicate the picture with legal and military experience as well. Whichever party assumes control of national affairs, one finds people of the same background and occupation. And the similarity is never more evident than when foreign relations is the subject under consideration. What goes under the heading of internationalism is erected upon a solid bi-partisan structure of nearly three decades of existence, both wings of which flap in unison ( politics stops at the waters edge) on almost all occasions involving basic aspects of Americas role in the world. This is one of the most enduring inheritances of defense.
As Congress, in the summer and early fall of 1940, began to vote into law one massive panicky defense appropriations bill after another, with virtually no one in opposition, the civil war which the state builds within the business community by its interferences spread some more. While one sector of business, finance, and industry writhed in painful anticipation of the harmful consequences of defense upon it, another salivated in expectation of the lush consequences of producing in a protected market, with disposal of the product guaranteed and all costs and overhead taken care of in advance by a single predictable customer, the state. There were people in the business world unable to adjust to the swift movement to military production and who were aware of the situation almost at once, as manpower and materials began to drift out of the civilian market to defense. However, there were far many more who were unaware, and learned to their dismay only with the passing of time.
But, for those able to get on board, things were exhilarating. Industrial output in the country established an all-time high peak in 1940, exceeding the boom year of 1929 by ten per cent. The machine-tool industry alone between September, 1939, when the war broke out, and December, 1940, expanded capacity by 50 per cent. And with scores of shell, gun, and powder plants going up all around, one could understand Newsweeks blaring headline, New Plant Facilities Permit Gigantic Production for 41.3 There was nothing new about this moder-
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ate national crawl toward war and the economic dislocations it caused. The famed author of Treasure Island, Robert Louis Stevenson, in his article The Day After Tomorrow in The Contemporary Review in 1887, seemed to have boiled it all down in a single sentence: Great powers are slow to stir; national affronts, even with the aid of newspapers, filter slowly into popular consciousness; national losses are so unequally shared, that one part of the population will be counting its gains while another sits by a cold hearth.
At this time one is also able to observe the relationship between the extension of power at home and the control of the citizenrys attitude toward distant areas. The manufacture of foreign enemies, to the end of domestic political survival in consequence of propaganda exploitation of such, is a low-visibility maneuver which deserves special attention. Michael Hermond Cochran, one of the most formidable of the revisionist historians in the between-the-wars decades of 1919-1939, condensed the issue into a single sentence in an article in H. L. Menckens American Mercury in December, 1932, when he wrote, The plain fact is that foreign policy is always based on internal policy, that the men who make this foreign policy belong to groups whose main and often only interest lies in acquiring, preserving, or strengthening their control at home. And the political tenure-seekers had another advantage, Cochran pointed out; public opinion in every country, whatever its form of government, is always almost completely at the mercy of the groups that happen to dominate that government.4
4 Cochran, The Real Cause of War, American Mercury (December, 1932), pp. 410-417. Professor Cochran actually anticipated by more than fifteen years the principal thesis of George Orwells 1984, the use of foreign policy to control domestic policy, (It is universally ignored that Orwell was not writing science fiction but describing what was already fully developed in 1948, and that his publisher persuaded him to go along with the transposition of the last two numbers of the date as a sales device.) As Cochran and Orwell evaluated state practice, particularly with respect to the exploitation of history, it did not matter any longer whether anything was true or not; the important thing was whether
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The big German offensive of May-June of that year had placed Western Europe from Norway to southern France under their control and expelled the English from the continent. The bug-eyed panic which promptly ensued in certain circles in the United States was accompanied by the trembling bawls of terror of the most respected loudspeakers of the academic, political, journalistic, and radio world in all the land. It is, insofar as it persists as a literary relic, something which subsequent arrivals to maturity examine with incredulity. But all during the last six months of 1940 the invasion scare maintained its influence, and had much to do with such policy actions as the passage of the infamous Smith Act in July, the transfer of fifty ships of the U.S. Navy to Britain in September, the ominous adoption of conscription in peacetime5 for the first time in American history in October, and the repeated but sophisticated use of war threats to continental United States in Mr. Roosevelts campaign for a third term as president, all of which undoubtedly had a part to play in his success in the first week of November.6 One wit reacted to the reelection with the couplet
a play on administration spokesmen and their constant reiteration that Roosevelts position relative to the struggle in Europe was to provide Britain with all aid short of war, which accompanied Roosevelts loudly proclaimed promise in his Navy Day address in Boston just before the election that the parents of Americas young men need never fear that he would send the latter off to any foreign wars. The entire sorry trail of deception was reminiscent of Voltaires recommendation to his cronies during his attack on the President de Brosses: Lie, my friends, keep lying; I shall do the same for you if the occasion requires. (The voluminous attention to the credibility gap of the Johnson regime in handling the Vietnam war has diverted atten-
5 Editorialized The Commercial and Financial Chronicle (October l9 1940, p. 2238), No sadder commentary on the state of world affairs could well be imagined than the simple fact that conscription in peace time began formally m the United States on Wednesday [October 16], when all males between ages of 21 and 35, inclusive, registered for selective service.
6 To exploit the masses no substitute has ever been found for the Big Bad Wolf of Threatened Invasion. Benjamin DeCasseres, The Individual Against Moloch (New York: Blackstone Publishers, 1936), p. 42.
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tion from the far greater credibility gap of the Roosevelt machine before and during World War II, but there are too many opponents of the current war who luxuriated in that of 1939-1945 and its preliminaries and as a consequence do not care to examine the problem in any greater depth than that which suits their immediate political interests.)
Not long after the election, while the liberal cliche factories were still whinnying about the grave dangers to Western civilization, and the New Dealers were quietly climbing out of steam shovels and farm tractors and trying on torpedo boats and bombing planes for size, at the same time still talking about the beauties of peace, one of the first blunt, honest expressions of what was really in store for the citizenry was put on the record. It came from Dr. Virgil D. Jordan, president of the National Industrial Conference Board, probably the most prestigious economic policy think-tank in North America in those times,7 and was ostensibly meant for the august assembly of the Investment Bankers Association of America at their annual convention in Hollywood, Florida, on December 10, 1940.
This meeting had been advertised for some time. Early in November and again in December, the IBAs president, the Detroit banker Emmett F. Connely, had revealed its agenda. Its central theme, he announced, would be the big financial and economic problems arising out of the war, and the staid and influential Commercial and Financial Chronicle predicted that it would be the most important meeting the organization has ever held. The topic of Jordans address, The Capital Needs of Industry for National Defense, was announced December 1, at which time it was revealed that two other national figures would speak before the bankers, Dr. Harold G. Moulton of the equally influential Brookings Institution, and Elmo B. Roper, research director of the Fortune Magazine survey of public opinion, the famous Fortune polls.8
The handling of Jordans long and in many ways quite sensational dissertation was rather curious. It was not even mentioned in Business Week, Nations Business, the Economist, or the Bankers Magazine (this journal did not even mention the IBA convention in a long list of December bankers gatherings), nor was it a topic for news note in the business and financial sections of Time, Newsweek, or the United
8 The Commercial and Financial Chronicle (November 16, 1940), p. 2886, (December 7, 1940), p. 8334.
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States News. It was not commented on in the Nation or New Republic, but managed to make the back pages of the New York daily press.9 Ignored by Vital Speeches,10 it was published in full only by the Commercial and Financial Chronicle on December 21, in ten long columns of tiny type,11 and may have had a mere handful of readers. Ten days later, the Communist weekly New Masses printed part of the speech with minimum (for them) comment; indeed, with Stalinist Russia a neutral at that moment, the New Masses was a momentarily detached observer of the wars competing sides. But except for these, the Jordan address went unnoticed.
Jordans speech was delivered before bankers and purportedly was supposed to concern banking and financial topics and policies. But the first half of the address barely mentioned finance at all; it was a discourse on world economic grand strategy and a forecast of global political eventualities such as one might have expected from the White House, or at least the State Department, with the possible omission of Jordans harsh remarks about the public relations practices of governments at war, which in many ways sounded like an updating of Jonathan Swifts Treatise on the Art of Political Lying (1727) [This may be wrongly attributed; credit is usually given to Swift's friend, the Tory, John Arbuthnot (1712)--the gnomes]. Perhaps it was too close to an election (and a pre-election campaign filled with massive efforts at dissimulation on such subjects) to expect a major public official to sponsor such views publicly. The country was heatedly engaged in the controversy over deeper involvement in the war and the mass of the citizenry wanted no part of it.
This mood was best expressed in the American Institute of Public Opinion (headed by George Gallup, himself a member of a number of pro-war organizations) survey on the last day of December, 1940, in which 88 per cent of those questioned declared they would vote against war if the question were raised in a nation-wide referendum. After the close call of January, 1938, this is undoubtedly the last thing the war-bound New Deal regime would ever have permitted. Too many people still remembered the resolution proposed by Rep. Lewis
10 This journal did publish Jordans address of May 20, 1942, before the NICB, though this was couched in elementary moral rhetoric reminiscent of something that might be delivered before Boy Scouts. Jordan, National Mobilization for Victory, Vital Speeches (July 15,1942), pp. 599-601.
11 Pp. 3611-3616. See also the lead editorial The Financial Situation, in the issue for December 14 pp. 3436-3438, and the reprinting of the abbreviated United Press summary of Jordans address in the same issue, p. 3494.
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Ludlow of Indiana in the fall of 1937, requiring a national popular referendum before a declaration of war, unless continental United States was attacked. Its defeat in the House of Representatives in mid-January of the next year, 209-188, stirred feverish comment for weeks thereafter. (A shift of only 11 votes would have put it across, and it aroused immense curiosity that 55 congressmen, 52 of them Democrats, had previously signed the petition to bring the resolution to the House floor, and then voted against the resolution. It was generally credited to Roosevelt personally in getting this voted down, as a consequence of his strong condemnatory letter to House majority leader Bankhead, described at the time as a most unusual resort for any President in defeating undesired [by him] legislation. But it was a very narrow escape.)
Still, many of these people were now being torn in another direction, a stake in a job directly related to the war drive cloaked at the moment under the label defense. A Twentieth Century Fund study, published three days before the AIPO survey disclosing massive unwillingness to fight, concluded that the defense program could be expected to provide 6,000,000 new jobs in industry.l2 Said the New Republic at the time of the defeat of the Ludlow Resolution, It can be said that the masses of the people throughout the country who favor Roosevelts social program are opposed to participation in any war on foreign soil. Three years later they still were opposed, but defense was complicating matters for them by then.
Jordan did not cringe in fear of Hitler appearing over Keokuk, as the most influential contingent of brain-warpers of the press, radio, and screen pretended to be doing. He was a composed and confident exponent of Americas role, already well established for most of the twentieth century, of opposing change in the world, wherever it might threaten to take place, but particularly if it involved the old buccaneer Britain surrendering even part of the loot of three centuries to any rising young pirates in the national state system.
Speeches on public affairs with Jordans candor were not common in the late months of 1940. His address was particularly revealing, little attempting to hide behind the propaganda of the day, featured by simulated fear of continental invasion and defeat by the Germans,
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and the need to build strong barriers against them via national defense. In his view, defense was merely the preliminary stage of world-wide imperialism, in which he anticipated Henry Luce and his American Century editorial of the spring of 1941. A variety of English notables had already suggested an Anglo-American partnership to police the world, with the United States as the junior partner. Jordan was about the first to diagnose the economic situation and declare openly that the only likely relationship would have to be the reverse. And he was even more honest in using the term imperialism several times to describe the consequences. He was perfectly aware that defense was going to be the smoke-screen behind which this American global expansion was to proceed for years to come.
Jordan is further significant in that he came to the point at once. While a number of prescient observers concentrated exclusively on what defense was doing on the purely domestic side, Jordan was the first prestigious economic analyst of national repute to describe the international political consequences of defense. Though the largest part of his audience of eminent bankers surely thought of defense as a policy tailored to continental dimensions, Jordan was telling them that this was the smaller and lesser side of the matter, the preliminaries to a prodigious global expansion, the second stage of Manifest Destiny. Jordans message was a sophisticated and technical version of that of the national commander of the American Legion, Milo J. Warner, who had announced two weeks earlier that the Legion was fully behind an America prepared to do our fighting outside the United States. A new and great destiny is ahead for our country, Warner had asserted, and that destiny is necessarily bound to sweep us beyond the actual boundaries of our continental United States. Jordan spelled out the potential politico-economic consequences of this new conception of our destiny, a remarkably astute estimate of the likely results, looking back from the vantage point of a generation spent moving in the direction of his prediction.
Jordans only apprehensiveness concerning this defense program was the fear of it being stoked and fired by government credit. He hoped the program might be handled by the resources of the banking system plus new capital formation resulting from savings and taxes, though this was obviously not the way things were going. Seven weeks before Jordans speech, the New York Times (October 25, 1940) had observed editorially that the armament program is being financed entirely by deficit borrowing. However, his estimates of the magnitude of this grand expansion were ludicrously short even of what was to be spent
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only in 1941-1945, and his prediction of a colossal financial debacle at wars end if deficit spending was employed as the principal financial motive power was, of course, never realized. What a state can do without gold apparently was not an unknown factor to him, especially the example of National Socialist Germany, in possession, at about the time of the outbreak of the war in 1939, of just a little more than one fourth of 1 per cent of the total gold bullion in all western European banks.13 One has an even more graphic demonstration of the issue when the German gold is calculated against planetary totals; the reliable Chicago Daily News reporter John T. Whitaker, in a discussion on the subject cabled from Rome on July 23, 1940, observed, The United States already possesses about 80 per cent of the worlds holdings.
It was even more obvious in the case of the more than twenty years of managed money by the Leninist Communist state in Russia, the demise of which had been predicted on a weekly basis for the same period of time by conservative financiers. But the significance of these two, or of Italy or Japan, he ignored, they were rustled together in a package of abhorred totalitarianism, not to be imitated at any cost. What Jordan apparently wanted was a total mobilization within the framework of democratic niceties and private finance capitalism, and the carrying on of a genteel planet-wide imperialism after all the horrid totalitarian dragons in the world had been slain, although his nearly 10,000-word address never once referred to Stalinist Russia.14
Source: The Commercial and Financial Chronicle, January 7, 1939, p. 14. On the evolution of state-controlled and managed economies outside the Soviet Union and antedating that of National Socialist Germany, see Nicolas Montchiloff, Ten Years of Controlled Trade in South-Eastern Europe (London. Cambridge University Press, 1944).
14 The most effective war propaganda tactics in both the prelude to and during World War Two were, as in the 1914-1918 war, atrocity themes, to which there were hardly any limits, and the massive sagas of the boundless cruelty of
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Though one may point to the subsequent vast loss of life and property in the war that Mr. Jordan was confident, and for some reason, we were inextricably enmeshed in, though we spent more in defeating the enemies of the British and continental colonial powers than the value of all the real and personal property of these wartime opponents combined, all this is peripheral to the matter at hand. It was through this war that we were thrust out into the world upon our course of imperialism, as Mr. Jordan so confidently predicted to the countrys investment banking fraternity.15
What happened to the dreamworld? began a famous Fortune magazine editorial early in 1947, what happened to that thermoplastic, aerodynamic, supersonic, electronic, gadgetonic world the admen promised during the war? It was their conclusion that a thorough search for genuine postwar creations in the consumer-goods field yields only the ball-bearing pen.16 We are in a position to see that part of this dreamworld has materialized in the last twenty years, in fits and starts, but hardly in the grand manner suggested by the advertising copy writers of 1940-1945, who were keeping alive the names of firms with virtually nothing to sell, unless one was in the market for an aircraft carrier, a submarine tender, or an anti-tank gun. One of the most striking trends one notes in the advertising pages of
15 Books such as Our Future in Asia by Robert Aura Smith (New York: Viking, 1940), set the tone among journalists and publicists. This and others pushed the message of the beauties of defensive participation in the war against the revolutionary powers of Europe and Asia in order to preserve already acquired economic privileged status in South America, Africa, and Southeast Asia, and lacked almost entirely the expansionist vision painted by Jordan.
16 What Happened to the Dreamworld? Fortune (February, 1947), p. 91.
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the most influential periodicals from the autumn of 1940 onward is the increasing domination of industrial promotion copy by defense; the accent had already markedly departed from selling the civilian customer. While there was little to do but describe the awesome properties and dimensions of the super-weapons contracted for via defense, the admen promised the sky for later on, the golden postwar future, in the words of one agency, whose works Fortune apparently did not forget.
One will have to admit that for some of the cooperators in defense, the war era itself was pretty wonderful. Few things angered the mouthpieces of the new internationalism more during the war than charges that it might also be, and was, profitable to its political exponents and their business and legal associates. But there must have been something to the charge, especially after Controller General of the United States Lindsay C. Warrens testimony before the House of Representatives in 1943 and 1944, that more than fifty billion dollars of slush had already been skimmed off some war contracts, and that extensive lobbying in behalf of war production firms was going on conducted by officers after leaving the armed services.17 (This latter has become a veritable industry in itself, in the last quarter of a century.)
No decent study of this aspect of the matter has ever been made, nor of its obverse, that part of the economy which prospered little or not at all during the high days of wartime defense production. Prodigious government wartime use of the railroads, for instance, did not even begin to bail out the railroads. In January, 1944, President A. T. Mercier of the Southern Pacific Railroad revealed that today 27 per cent of the total United States railroad mileage is still in receivership.18 Undoubtedly many other sectors of economic activity languished during this time when everyone supposedly was getting fat, even though a combination of defense and conscription (14,000,000 men entered the armed forces, and 6,000,000 ended up overseas in that foreign war that Mr. Roosevelt promised no Americans would participate in) ended the mass unemployment which had plagued the country under Republicans and Democrats alike. One of the first things we must realize is that in the 1930s we never did find the answer to full employment, admitted the formidable New Dealer Chester Bowles nearly a decade later. Only the defense program in
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1940 put our people to work and only the war and the cold war that followed have kept them at work.19
We all know that this was a commercial war, declared President Woodrow Wilson in his post-World War I speech at St. Louis on September 5, 1919. We are still waiting for an honest history of World War II (starting at least with 1933) based on the same approach, especially one dwelling on conflicting material interests as the principal cause, exacerbated by national political decisions on the part of the largest states to solve their local problems by dissolving them in a much larger one. One can only speculate on what might have resulted had the war ended in a negotiated peace well before most of the killing and destruction had taken place, but it is hard to imagine a worse situation than that which has grown out of total victory.
No war in history has produced so much talk and writing as World War II nor has there ever been a time of so much wartime literature and palaver which said nothing. The eminent doyen of journalism in America at the end of the war, Henry L. Mencken, described the coverage of the war as having been done not well but wordily. Mencken characterized the war correspondents collectively as a sorry lot, either typewriter-statesmen turning out dope stuff drearily dreamed up, or sentimental human interest scribblers turning out maudlin stuff about the common soldiers, easy to get by the censors. The primary duty of reporters is to tell the truth until it becomes dangerous, Mencken insisted, but concluded gloomily that as far as the reporting of the war by Americans to Americans was concerned, there wasnto much of that.20 The pens of the journalists are made of the same steel as the cannon, observed Aristide Briand, the famous French foreign minister of the 1920s (co-sponsor of the fateful Briand-Kellogg
19 No More Liberal Cliches, The Reporter (January 19, 1954), p. 6. There is a remarkably similar admission by an even more famous New Deal functionary Rexford Guy Tugwell, in his recent book, The Brains Trust ( New York: Viking 1968). Bowless most prestigious job in the New Deal bureaucracy was that of administrator for a time of the notorious wartime Office of Price Administration. In a long address in New York City on February 29, 1944, he admitted that OPA price controls on food alone were being evaded to the tune of $1.2 billion annually, that 5 per cent of all gasoline sales were also being made on the black market, and that there were many millions of dollars of overcharges on numerous non-food items as well. The real situation was undoubtedly somewhat worse than this. See verbatim report of the address in New York Times, March 1, 1944, p. 13.
20 A Sorry Lot, Time (January 14, 1946), pp. 68-69.
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pact to outlaw war). While wars are going on, one should expect that reporters of that war will be serving largely as civilian combat auxiliaries, concentrating on home-front morale instead of a description of what is actually going on.
Undoubtedly the area in which maximum evasion and calculated obscurantism occurred was that of war aims. If one takes the wartime tonnage of print and millions of radio words on the subject at face value, excluding the bellowing about saving civilization and the like, obviously intended for the unsophisticated or the pre-occupied, we come to the realization that as far as the non-Communist side of the Allied partnership against the Axis powers was concerned, there really was just one tangible war aim, the preservation of the British Empire (and possibly those of the French, Belgians, and Dutch as well).
However, it is very rare to find an honest declaration of this objective. Jordans was the first of any significance by a public figure, and probably the best of all in so few words. It is a mystery why it was so thoroughly ignored. As the war progressed, the objective of empire preservation was even more occluded particularly after the United States entered as a belligerent. British spokesmen, mainly Winston Churchill, took on the task of telling the world, sandwiched in between the pious claims to be fighting for civilization, morality, and such classic rnysticisms as the national interest (a recent one is world responsibility), that come what may, the last thing the war was being fought for was the liquidation of the Empire.21 It is ironic that it became one of the wars very first casualties. The cost of defeating the challengers guaranteed that.
Leftists in and out of Churchills coalition government concentrated on other alleged goals of the war, the majority of them preposterous but momentarily beguiling. But they rarely fooled the realists. Even as early as December, 1940, the Very Rev. William Ralph Inge, the celebrated gloomy dean of Londons St. Pauls Cathedral, declared, Those who prate about a better social order after the war are talking mischievous nonsense. However the war ends, we shall be an im-
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poverished nation.22 The best brief official statement confirming Dean Inges prediction came from Brendan Bracken, British minister of information (Britains equivalent of Germanys Josef Goebbels and the U.S.A.s Elmer Davis). In assessing the cost to Britain of five years of war, on November 28, 1944, he announced, We have sacrificed most of our Victorian inheritance. What was the treasure of our grandfathers has gone, and it has been well and gladly sacrificed.23 The last sentence was hard to believe, for no one gladly becomes impoverished, but it was an instructive commentary on a brand of conservatism which could bring about impoverishment as a substitute for affluence, and call it survival. The realities of the situation which Bracken hailed so poetically were spelled out late in August of the next year by Oliver Lyttelton, minister of production in the same Churchill government, when he declared that the standard of living of every citizen in this country, and nearly every citizen in the British empire, depends upon our receiving sympathetic help and a large measure of financial aid from the United States.24 Mendicancy had replaced solvency some time before this, however. Lord Woolton, minister of reconstruction, had calculated on July 6, 1944, We have sold all we have and have incurred overseas debts double the amount of our previous overseas investments.
But all is never lost, apparently. One of the recent trends in English historiography is the development of a kind of positive-good theory on the impact and consequences of the twentieth-century world wars on England. They are now being viewed as necessary (particularly World War II) to bringing democracy and socialism to England. Historical works by English writers critical of becoming involved in these wars are gently dismissed as being Whiggish.
A catalog of everything of American initiative that went awry during the great war to shore up the Western colonial system would be a multi-volume project. Even such apparently generous gestures as Lend-Lease performed mightily in visiting ruin to Britains foreign trade, which began to seep through to some of the more astute even before the war ended. But it was obvious to many of those with long years of living experience under European imperialism that the United States was not going to be a successful heir and residuary legatee (Dr.
23 Cited in Neilson, Tragedy of Europe, V p. 100.
24 In Neilson, ibid., V, p. 524. The wartime austerity program in England continued long after the war. Food rationing lasted into 1954 and coal was rationed until July 14, 1958.
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Jordans description) in the classical manner. Probably the bluntest and least evasive of all the critical commentaries was that of Hadj Thami el Glaoui, pasha of the Moroccan city of Marrakesh, in 1944:
American policy today stirs up everything and settles nothing. The result is that it creates a void, opening the way to new tyrannies instead of new freedoms. At the bottom of Americas attitude is the assumption that all the world wishes to be American. And that assumption is false.25
Britain is a sunset country, dying a slow death, remarked the contemporary English novelist John Fowles to New York City reporters in an interview early in 1966.26 Fowles is just one of many who have been describing this drawn-out process of demise since 1945. It is a course the hectic action of one American political regime after another has been unable to do more than delay. Saving the British state (as opposed to the English society) has been a top priority item ever since the war of 1914, but the vast cost incurred has not prevented change, saved the Empire, or even prevented England from going socialist, a course which all English politicians have followed. (One need only recall Churchills twenty-page, 5,000 word Conservative Party policy manifesto in the late spring of 1945, while he was campaigning for re-election, in which the opening point was the Conservative stand for free enterprise as against Labor socialism, which was followed by a list of eight major areas of massive government intervention and control that Britons could count on if Churchill and the Tories won.)27 Protracted industrial warfare between national states has done more to spread and entrench socialism than the efforts of all socialist zealots in recorded time combined and compounded.
When it comes to imperialism in the old style, it is obvious, and has been for nearly three generations, that Americans are no good at it
26 National Observer (January 24,1966), p. 21.
27 Churchill in Dreamland, Newsweek (June 18, 1945), pp. 58-59. Churchills defeat was one of the most stunning political upsets of all time. The press media on both sides of the Atlantic expected him to be reelected by a vast margin, and confidence exuded from all the other agencies of communication as well. Lord Moran, Churchills physician, commenting during the campaign, suggested that even Stalins favorite was Churchill It is not easy for anyone to get into Stalins mind, but as far as one can make out, Stalin thinks that the prime minister is a broth of a boy. Stalin doesnt like a man who lives on nuts and soda water. (Undoubtedly a reference to Churchills opponent Clement Attlee, though it might also have been applied to the moralist and vegetarian Sir Stafford Cripps, with whom Stalin had wartime association.)
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and have no noticeable talent for it. In fact, the different ways of administering lands far from continental United States led to a large apologetic literature denouncing the term imperialism when applied to the deeds of Americans in distant places. And the trained seals employed in the writing of official history and related materials concerning public and world affairs, who of late have had to jump a little less high every year for their fish, have become wondrously expert in implanting this semantic conditioned reflex.
But the kind of imperialism Dr. Jordan predicted to the investment bankers nearly twenty-eight years ago has long been a fact of international life. The military expansion accompanying defense, now a global, and likely to be soon an extra-terrestrial, affair, and the economic explosion across the planet, are its current manifestations. The present-day defense industry sector is a necessary complement and accompaniment to both. And there is a world stirring of unrest against both today. Best sellers complaining of the latter, such as the recently published The American Take-Over of Britain,28 a rich periodical literature assay of the subject in several lands, and the headaches of the American dollar overseas, are some of its measurable expressions. The American difficulties in Southeast Asia, the pending disintegration of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, and recurrent growls about enclaves of United States armed forces and weapons in far-away areas presumably enjoying being defended, are harbingers of rebellion against the former. For many, the critical estimate of the Moroccan pasha in 1944 has never lost its validity.
As World War II (the great patriotic war, as Soviet politicians refer to it) recedes into the past and the volume of propaganda bombast bawling huzzas to its great conquering chiefs abates, more and more sobered estimates of its significance emerge, even if the world political scene built on its ruins remains largely intact. That of the famed English literary figure Malcolm Muggeridge is a fitting summary not only of the substance of the war but of its hallowed aims,
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not the least of which was the hope of salvaging the old imperial system: 29
In all the immense literature about the 1939-1945 war, one may observe a legend in process of being shaped. Gradually, authentic memories of the warof its boredom, its futility, the sense it gave of being part of a process of inevitable decompositionfade in favor of the legendary version, embodied in Churchills rhetoric and all the other narratives by field marshals, air marshals, and admirals, creating the same impression of a titanic and forever memorable struggle in defense of civilization. In fact, of course, the wars ostensible aimsthe defense of a defunct Empire, a spent Revolution and bogus Freedomswere meaningless in the context of the times. They will probably rate in the end no more than a footnote on the last page of the last chapter of the story of our civilization.
The contemporary world has turned its back on the attempt and even on the desire to live reasonably, wrote the famed philosopher George Santayana at the height of the Korean war.30 The level of international insanity has not abated in the fifteen years since the uttering of these words: the decay described by Muggeridge in recent days is one of its reflections. In an important sense it plots out a development peculiar to modern universal industrial war, the essence of defeat brought down on victor and vanquished alike. It is almost always forgotten how thin and fragile are the conventions upon which rest such abstract sentiments as national patriotism and military discipline, to give just a pair of examples, in modern national states. We are familiar with the spectacular and sudden rupturing of these in lands which are the losers of wars, and cognizant as well that sometimes they are never regained or restored. This has become accepted as a commonplace consequence of defeat. But we now are beginning to realize that the spiritual weariness and morale breakdown of the defeated are no longer self-contained, that variations of these, with the same virulent potency may incubate among the triumphant. The glorious world empire vision described by Virgil Jordan, heaping up in the imagination like the serried piles of sun-tinted cumulus clouds on a summer sunset horizon has long lost its romance. A large part of what people have been told was worth fighting for has turned out to be little more than words, the substance for the most part amounting to hardly anything but illusion. More than a generation ago the poet Prescott Chaplin observed, We
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live on a crazy planet, our backgrounds sketched in blood, the story told by prostitutes, idiots, or innocents. We have been ruled by fools, tutored by liars.31 Santayana has referred to the great wars of this century as adventures in enthusiastic unreason. But the same specious verbiage and spinal-cord reactions which helped prepare populaces for participation in them are with us today, helping to re-emphasize the timelessness of Chaplins analysis. All we lack at the moment is a restatement of Jordans policy essay, projecting a great outer-space imperialism as a substitute and replacement for the planetary adventure which has now run full course.
The Report from Iron Mountain
No account of where defense has taken us in the last three decades should conclude without some attention to the Report from Iron Mountain on the Possibility and Desirability of Peace (New York: Dial Press, 1967). As the purported product of the ruminations of a committee of fifteen experts called together by the United States government, it is, on the basis of internal evidence, a hoax. All its sources are mentioned in its text and notes, and the entire study is obviously a summarization of past and not new research, with a concluding inversionary emphasis of the findings with the presumed deliberate intent to shock and stir: George Orwell did precisely this two decades ago with his Nineteen Eighty-four (London: Secker and Warburg, 1949).
A large part of what is in this much-discussed report has appeared over and over in a different format in revisionist writing for about the same period of time that Orwells book has existed, and is consequently rather tame material for those acquainted especially with World War II revisionism.
Report from Iron Mountain takes less than two hours to read, and could hardly have taken much more than a week to write, probably by a single person conversant with the sources cited. To suggest that fifteen academic specialists needed to spend two and a half years in sustained labor to come up with this tidbit is itself a spoof, but a necessary one, in order to carry out the bogus solemnity by which it is characterized.
There is as much imaginative insight into the likely nature of a warless world system in some of the better works of science fiction as there is in this report; such masterpieces of the latter as The Space
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Merchants32 by Frederik Pohl and C. M. Kornbluth, and Player Piano33 (reprinted under the title Utopia 14)34 by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., come directly to mind.
The seminal ideas in this report have also been turned over for some twenty years or more by Lawrence Dennis in his newsletter Appeal to Reason,35 in a different context. In fact, the discussion of war as a form of make-work project along the lines of pyramid-building sounds uncannily like bits of Chapter XVI of Dennis early World War II book, The Dynamics of War and Revolution,36 which was titled, After War, Pyramid Building.
The report is a brilliant mixture of some of the most tortured and infuriating academic baffle-gab ever committed to print, interspersed with astonishingly effective and lucidly-written passages, though it also contains an alarming amount of repetition for such a brief work. Its pretentiousness is without doubt its most deceptive quality. But the suspicious auspices under which this report has been launched do not diminish the ominous quality of its contents.
It has as its fundamental thesis the proposal that the modern world order of national states is based on the war system, which is, of course, a theme of some venerability It concludes, however, that there arc no workable substitutes for war in the foreseeable future, and that all possible alternatives taken up in the report have grave shortcomings, and if undertaken are very likely to fail in keeping the state system healthy and functioning; they can be completed in too short a time, with too few people and too little spending. In substance, the price of peace is, simply, too high.
Among the services attributed to war in the enhancing and entrenching of the state system are (1) its reliable function in destroying a substantial fraction of the economic output without equivalent contribution, thus providing reasons for sustained employment in guaranteed
33 New York: Scribners, 1952.
34 New York: Bantam Books, 1954.
35 Published since 1946 in Northfield, Massachusetts, the successor to his pre-World War II Weekly Foreign Letter, which was issued in New York City.
36 New York: Weekly Foreign Letter, 1940. This book had a curious history. It was originally printed and bound under the auspices of the publisher Harper, and was ready for publication early in May of 1940. At this moment, the German drive through the Low Countries and France got under way, and for reasons which were never made public, but which become very obvious if one reads the book, Harper decided not to publish it at all. Dennis thereupon bought the plates and the already finished books and issued it under the imprint of his newsletter. It is still one of the outstanding pieces of realistic political thinking which has been done in this country in the twentieth century.
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production which is not subject to market imponderables, (2) providing employment in the armed forces for a large number of otherwise unemployable types among both officers and enlisted men, and (3) serving as an effective brake on population expansion when the war system moves from a cold to a hot stage, though in a dysgenic fashion. The latter is conceded to be a major long-term weakness of war, but one which strategic bombing and other methods of carrying the war to the entire civilian community is overcoming. The discussion of the subject of atomic warfare follows closely the favorable speculations published during the last half-dozen years by the new breed of state policy advisors known in some circles as the megadeath intellectuals. To make too common a use of fear is to destroy its efficacy, Emile Faguet37 pointed out long ago. The tactic adopted by the more recent official speculators on what atom bombs are likely to do to the home front no longer follows the horror line of the era of 1945-1960, but tries to convey the notion that it might not be so bad after all.
Whatever may be said about the devils advocate style and intent of the report, it has stripped away the cloak concealing defense. It is revealed here to be an integral part of the war system, a vital sector of war preparation for a campaign to be carried on to an enemy or for expansionist intentions (this essentially is what Dr. Jordan was trying to tell the investment bankers in December, 1940) masked under the guise of a good word, since all but a small fraction of the populace see virtue in defending oneself. It is no accident that the most characteristic trait of every empire in history is that it has been endlessly and tirelessly preoccupied with empire defense, that is, the protection of its loot in the areas it has liberated, the most appealing and effective propaganda term yet fabricated to disguise conquest and theft.
To further dismay the multitude whose thought has been circumscribed by the propaganda verbiage of the war state system, the report scoffs at the assumption that wars result from conflicts of interest, and mysteriously omits all reference to the traditional mechanisms of popular political control; its emphasis is on the survival of the war system and the state which depends on it regardless of the wishes of electorates.38 Perhaps the phantom fathers of the report might
38 There is a tone of studied superiority in the makeup of the report which reflects in part the flavor of Bulwer-Lyttons satiric romance The Coming Race (1870), in which an American discovers a utopia populated by a very advanced people who were extremely scornful of democracy, which they called Koombosh, government of and by the ignorant.
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have cited in their extenuation the celebrated John Stuart Mill and his observation that an efficient and well-managed democracy was impossible without experts who were given full freedom to do what only they could do.
Report from Iron Mountain, though it may appall the more idealistic and optimistic among libertarians, can be read as a succinct accounting of where we have been taken by defense, and a rationalization for the route we are likely to take from here. Others detect in it the same tongue-in-cheek quality which James Burnham pointed out in Nicolo Machiavellis The Prince, in his The Machiavellians, Defenders of Freedom.39 However, our concern for the moment is with where and when an important element of all this began, not with what it has brought to pass nor with what is still likely to eventuate.
At some point the war racket will just wear out, predicted John T. Flynn over a dozen years ago in a trenchant critique titled Militarism The New Slavery for America.40 It will come to an end, as it has in every country that has used this evil thing called militarism to generate prosperity. In view of current tendencies, one may be inclined to suggest that it is somewhat early to start watching for its demise. In the 1920s there were American armed forces in three countries. During the Second World War they were in thirty-nine countries and as of the summer of 1967 they were in sixty-four.41 This latter figure is also the approximate percentage of the world total of direct foreign investments currently owned by United States Americans, a fact which has no necessary direct relation. The new imperialism must be analyzed with complex tools and methods.
40 (New York: Americas Future, 1955), p. 14. Flynn revealed the influence of Major General Smedley D. Butler of the United States Marines, who wrote a pointed little volume upon his retirement which was published under the title War Is a Racket (New York: Round Table Press, 1935). Though General Butler spent over thirty years in military service and won two Congressional Medals of Honor in his career, which he whimsically described as that of a glorified bill-collector, he obviously gained nothing out of being an American pro-consul in the Caribbean. He died on June 21, 1940, in Media, Pennsylvania, leaving an estate of only $2,000; Los Angeles Times, July 19, 1940, p. 15.
41 Agency for International Development, U.S. Overseas Loans and Grants, Obligations and Loan Authorizations, July 1, 1945 to June 30,1967 (Washington D.C,, March 29, 1968), cited in Harry Magdoff, The Age of Imperialism, Monthly Review (June, 1968), pp. 11-54, This useful study might have been made much stronger by an examination of Russian and Chinese imperialism since the end of World War II, but is understandably limited as a result of the Marxian guidelines which it follows.
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Virgil Jordans Speech
CAPITAL NEEDS OF INDUSTRY FOR NATIONAL
Condensed from an address by Virgil D. Jordan, president, National Industrial Conference Board, before the annual convention of the Investment Bankers Association in Hollywood, Florida, December 10, 1940.
Before we can understand any of the needs of industry for national defense, we must first try to comprehend what this thing we call our defense program really means. We have not yet been willing to look the phrase squarely in the face. We vaguely recognize that it has something to do with the world war raging in Europe, Africa, and Asia, the depressing news of which we read in our morning paper, but I am afraid that most of us still have only the dimmest idea about the relation of our defense program to this planetary struggle.
When it began in September, 1939, we could not be blamed for feeling that we did not know enough of the facts about this war to be sure of the part we should play in it. Since then we have learned more, but not much, and even today few people, if any, know the truth about conditions in any country involved in it, or even in our own; and if anyone does, no one is telling it. In peace time it is the accepted custom and normal manners of modern government to conceal all important facts from the public, or to lie about them, in war it is a political vice which becomes a public necessity. People in every country, including our own, have more or less reconciled themselves to being pushed around by their public employees and treated as though they were helpless wards or incompetent inmates of some vast institution for the indigent and feeble-minded. It is much in this spirit and atmosphere that the chatter and prattle about our national defense program proceeds in this country today.
Whatever the facts about this war may have been or are now, it must be unmistakably clear to any intelligent person that we are engaged in it. Our government has committed the American community to participation in this war as the economic ally of England, and as her spiritual, if not her political, partner in her struggle with the enemies of the British Empire everywhere in the world, to help prevent, if possible, their destruction of the Empire, and if this should not be possible, to take her place as the heir and residuary legatee or receiver for whatever economic and political assets of the Empire survive her
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defeat. To meet this commitment our government has been, or will be, compelled to assume control of the lives, property, resources, and productive organization of the American community, and to do so more completely than it anticipated would be necessary in carrying out the program of socialization upon which it was engaged during the six years before the war began.
In broad and blunt terms, that is what the national defense program really means, and it is in the light of this fundamental fact that all problems of economic policy, as regards business, investment, consumption, labor, and government, must be considered henceforth. Whether this colossal commitment, of which the American community was, and still is, largely unconscious, was a wise one for the future of the American people, is a debatable but now utterly idle question, and I for one am not willing to debate it any more.
We should realize, however, that even the job of winning the war, with England or alone, is only part of the task to which America has committed herself for the future. Whatever the outcome of the war, America has embarked upon a career of imperialism, both in world affairs and in every other aspect of her life, with all the opportunities, responsibilities, and perils which that implies. This war inevitably involves a vast revolution in the balance of political and economic power, not only internationally but internally. Even though, by our aid, England should emerge from this struggle without defeat, she will be so impoverished economically and crippled in prestige that it is improbable she will be able to resume or maintain the dominant position in world affairs which she has occupied so long. At best, England will become a junior partner in a new Anglo-Saxon imperialism, in which the economic resources and the military and naval strength of the United States will be the center of gravity. Southward in our hemisphere and westward in the Pacific the path of empire takes its way, and in modern terms of economic power as well as political prestige, the sceptre passes to the United States.
What this implies in terms of economic expansion for an indefinite period in the future no one at this time can even imagine. From the pages of British experience, however, we know some of the things that this white mans burden may mean when we assume it. We know that it implies a vast responsibility of assembling, applying, and conserving the financial resources. Upon which it rests We know, too, from some of the darker pages of British experience in the past century, that it implies an enormous task of expanding and maintaining a vast organization of man-power, machines, and equipment, not merely for national
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defense, but for effective and continuous exercise of international authority in the maintenance of peace and order. We should realize, too, that before this part of our new imperial responsibilities can be performed, they must rest upon the solid and broad base of internal unity and domestic prosperity, which will imply intelligent and courageous reconstruction of our own economic and political life after the immediate war effort is over.
We may be afraid of the unfamiliar and forbidding word imperialism in connection with the commitment we have made. We may prefer, in the current American fashion, to disguise it in a vague phrase like hemisphere defense. But, consciously or unaware, America has been destined to that career by its temperament, capacities, and resources, and by the drift of world events, not merely in recent years but since the beginning of the century, and certainly since the last war. The confused and often infantile financial adventures of the 20s, of the depression, and of the New Deal period, as well as the disintegration of Europe in the past decade and the desperate plight of England, have driven us along that road, and provided us not only with the occasion but with the economic tools, the social attitudes, and now the political manners and customs of modem imperialism. In fact, in the event of a German victory there is no escape from that responsibility except by a relapse to a position of inferiority, which is inconceivable. We have no alternative, in truth, than to move along the road we have been traveling in the past quarter century, in the direction which we took with the conquest of Cuba and the Philippines and our participation in the last World War.
All this is what lies beneath the phrase national defensesome of it deeply hidden, some of it very near the surface and soon to emerge to challenge us. Both the immediate task of defending Britain and perhaps saving her from defeat, and the more distant responsibility and opportunities of imperial inheritance, will require the immense effort and vast sacrifice which any great destiny demands if it is to be fulfilled. We must be prepared, as we are not yet prepared, for such effort and sacrifices, but if and when we make them willingly, we must be equally determined that they shall not be made in vain. We shall regard the effort and the sacrifice necessary both to win the war and to fulfill the responsibilities of empire as an immense investment in the future of America, and perhaps in the future of civilization.
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