Friday, March 16, 2012

"The Road We've Traveled": Just Another Complete Coincidence?

President Obama's re-election committee recently released a 17-minute video called, "The Road We've Traveled."

The title is a bit curious, isn't it?  It sounds completely innocuous but why "The Road We've Traveled"?  The title doesn't convey success nor does it imply a sense that the President has overcome obstacles.

Stuart Chase
Out of sheer coincidence, supposed coiner of the term New Deal, Stuart Chase, wrote a book in 1942 called "The Road We Are Traveling."  Or is it a coincidence? Read on an you be the judge.  Is this a path toward greater freedom for mankind or is it the road to a new serfdom?

The Road We Are Traveling was sponsored by The Twentieth Century Fund, since renamed The Century Foundation.  According to their web site, they support "progressive ideas that advance security, opportunity, and equality."  They claim to be non-partisan, but also freely admit, "we are not neutral."  One of the trustees is John Podesta who is founder of the Center for American Progress, who was also President Bill Clinton's Chief of Staff, and was also co-chairman of the Obama Administration transition team.  But I'm sure that's all a coincidence, too.

In the book, Chase outlines how the world in 1942 is changing from a system based on "free enterprise" into a new, unknown system that he calls "X".  Here is an excerpt from pages 94 to 97.  One might go so far as to call this a "fundamental transformation."

(click a page to enlarge the original)

In war and peace, boom and depression, the march toward centralized, collective controls has continued. Planning has often been identified with socialism. Yet orthodox socialists themselves are far from pleased with the collectivism practiced in Russia, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, and they look with grave suspicion on the New Deal. Something has appeared which nobody anticipated, nobody wanted and nobody really understands. Mr. James Burnham has called it the "managerial revolution," in the first intelligent attempt to understand it which I have seen. Many more studies will be needed before the mystery is cleared up. We have something called "X," which is displacing the system of free enterprise, all over the world. If we do not know yet what to call it, we can at least describe its major characteristics. They include, in most countries: 

Free Enterprise into "X"
  • The underwriting of employment by the government, either through armaments or public works. (see American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009)
  • The underwriting of social security by the government--old-age pensions, mother's pensions, unemployment insurance and the like.
  • The underwriting of food, housing and medical care, by the government. The United States is already experimenting with providing the essentials. Other nations are far along the road. (in 1942, the United States had passed Social Security, but had not passed the "Great Society" welfare and Medicare legislation of the Johnson Administration) 
  • The use of the deficit spending techniques to finance these underwritings. The annually balanced budget has lost its old-time sanctity. (all of President Obama's budgets have had nearly trillion-dollar annual deficits.  The United States Senate has passed no budget in over 1,000 days)
  • The abandonment of gold in favor of managed currencies. (see "FDR Ends Gold Standard in 1933" and "Nixon Ends Bretton Woods International Monetary System")
  • The control or foreign trade by the government, with increasing emphasis on bilateral agreements and barter deals.
  • The control of natural resources, with increasing emphasis on self-sufficiency.
  • The control or energy sources--hydroelectric power, coal, petroleum, natural gas.
  • The control of transportation--railway, highway, airway, waterway.
  • The control of agricultural production. (see "Family-farm advocates say new child farm-labor rules would destroy farms' generational structure")
  • The control of labor organizations, often to the point of prohibiting strikes.
  • The enlistment of young men and women in youth corps devoted to health, discipline, community service and ideologies consistent with those of the authorities. The CCC camps have just inaugurated military drill.
  • Heavy taxation, with special emphasis on the estates and incomes of the rich.
  • Not much "taking over" of property or industries in the old socialistic sense. The formula appears to be control without ownership. It is interesting to recall that the same formula is used by the great corporations in depriving stockholders of power.
  • The state control of communications and propaganda.
These characteristics are incipient in some countries, full-blown in others. If you check off those which are observable in the United States in 1942; in Britain, in Germany, in Mexico, in Japan, in Sweden, in Russia, a comparison of checkmarks will show some amazing parallels. Is the whole list good or bad? That is a meaningless question. Some items point strongly to community survival, which is perhaps the most fundamental good there is. Some are clearly contrary to the liberal democratic ideal. Most of them are anathema to the doctrines of Adam Smith. Good or bad, there they are, in the middle of the stage.

Study this list and think hard about it. At first reading, most Americans will not recognize it as something which applies to them. Yet there is not an item on the list which is not applicable in some degree to the United States. We have no official propaganda bureau yet, but the FCC controls radio broadcasting. Further, it is not a war list, though the war has increased the impact. These items are referents for "X," the new structure which is being molded, and for which there is as yet no name. Names are thrown around--"socialism," "state capitalism," "fascism,"-but they mean nothing, and only lead to confusion.

See also ...

  • And another, "The Road We Really Traveled" starring Barack Obama


  1. Fantastic graph: The Trail of Amazing Coincidences.

  2. Why don't we call it what it really is! Communism, pure and simple!!