In another thread
, a discussion which included Red Harvest and myself drifted off topic, and began touching on questions relating to the course American diplomacy should have taken in the years leading up to the Pearl Harbor attack. To allow that thread to return to its original topic, I have decided to create a new thread for the purpose of responding to Red Harvest.
No, it pretty much reads that way unfortunately. So I will repeat: Fascism is no more the answer and no less dangerous than communism.
I strongly disagree with the above. Literally nothing
is as dangerous or as evil as communism. To give a specific example of this, consider the following quote
I handled hundreds of signals to all parts of the Soviet Union which were couched in the following form:
"To N.K.V.D., Frunze. You are charged with the task of exterminating 10,000 enemies of the people. Report results by signal.--Yezhov."
And in due course the reply would come back:
"In reply to yours of such-and-such date, the following enemies of the Soviet people have been shot."
----Former Soviet Spy-Chief Vladimir Petrov
The above-described extermination quotas refer to a reign of terror Stalin had unleashed against his own nation's population. His theory was that if local NKVD officials were given extermination quotas, many of the people rounded up to meet those quotas would be chosen more or less at random. But a number of others would be selected because they seemed different than the norm; and people such as this were (in Stalin's eyes) more likely to be threats to his regime. This effort alone resulted in millions of deaths of innocent people. Additional millions of mass murders were committed during the Ukrainian forced famine; and still more millions occurred during purges, anti-Christian religious persecution, exterminations of the kulaks, exterminations of nationalists, exterminations of disfavored ethnic minorities, and other extermination efforts.
In contrast, pre-war Nazi Germany was responsible for perhaps a few hundred non-lawful executions. To attempt to establish moral equivalence between that and the Soviet regime is absurd. Is is true that, during the war, the Nazi government starved or otherwise killed millions of innocent people. These efforts were in large part a response to the British food blockade, a blockade which cut Germany off
from desperately needed food supplies.
As 1940 drew to a close, the situation for many of Europe's 525 million people was dire. With the food supply reduced by 15% by the blockade and another 15% by poor harvests, starvation and diseases such as influenza, pneumonia, tuberculosis, typhus and cholera were a threat. . . . Former president Herbert Hoover, who had done much to alleviate the hunger of European children during WW1, wrote
| The food situation in the present war is already more desperate than at the same
| stage in the [First] World War. ... If this war is long continued, there is but one
| implacable end... the greatest famine in history.
The Nazis' logic was that if they couldn't feed everyone within their borders, they would starve or otherwise exterminate the people they liked the least, or who were least necessary for the war effort. There is no doubt that both the Nazi and Soviet regimes were brutal. Nevertheless, there is a strong difference between a decision to exterminate millions of people during famine conditions, as the Nazis did, and a decision to exterminate tens of millions of people during a time of peace, when the government is perfectly able to feed everyone--which is what the Soviets were guilty of.
There moral compass and behaviour are both so far outside the realm of normal that insane seems the appropriate descriptor.
Unfortunately, it is not an unheard-of thing for political leaders to lack any moral compass whatsoever. When Western democracies elect such men to positions of power, people will sometimes (but not always) call them despicable. But they are almost never called insane. As examples of Western politicians who lacked this moral compass, I would point to those responsible for Operation Keelhaul
On March 31, 1945, Soviet General Secretary Joseph Stalin, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, and U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt concluded the final form of their plans in a secret codicil to the agreement. Outlining the plan to forcibly return the refugees to the Soviet Union, this codicil was kept secret from the US and British people for over fifty years.
The name of the operation comes from the naval practice of corporal punishment, keelhauling. In his book Operation Keelhaul, Epstein states: "That our Armed Forces should have adopted this term as its code name for deporting by brutal force to concentration camp, firing squad, or hangman's noose millions who were already in the lands of freedom, shows how little the high brass thought of their longing to be free." . . .
Tolstoy described the scene of Americans returning to the internment camp after having delivered a shipment of people to the Russians. "The Americans returned to Plattling visibly shamefaced. Before their departure from the rendezvous in the forest, many had seen rows of bodies already hanging from the branches of nearby trees."
Neither FDR, Truman, nor Churchill--the three Western democratic leaders most responsible for handing millions of refugees over to the Soviets for mass murder--are typically described as insane.
That is crossing over into the extreme right wing revisionist form of history with the "pro-communist" assertion. It's a rehash of the same bunk that McCarthy was spewing.
The above was in response to me using the phrase "pro-communist" to describe FDR. To describe FDR as "pro-communist" is neither right wing, left wing, or middle of the political road. It is simply correct. Anyone who argues otherwise is making an incorrect (and non-credible) argument.
The best place to start by looking at the following pro-Soviet propaganda
poster. Yes, FDR's administration really did say that!
FDR did not limit himself to pro-Soviet propaganda posters: he directly involved himself
in the creation of the pro-Soviet propaganda film Mission to Moscow
FDR's pro-Soviet diplomatic stance is also the subject
of a CIA article.
Certain that he had the correct line on Stalin, FDR desired to meet him, turn his famous charisma on him, and decide world affairs with him on a personal basis. As early as March 1942, he wrote British Prime Minister Winston Churchill:
| I think I can personally handle Stalin better than either your Foreign Office
| or my State Department. Stalin hates the guts of all your top people. He
| thinks he likes me better, and I hope he will continue to do so.9
Guided by this conviction, FDR steered a straight-line policy on “Russia,” as he unfailingly and mistakenly called the Soviet Union: unswerving conciliation of Stalin, capped off with a face-to-face meeting. . . .
Soon afterward, the President entrusted former envoy Davies with a new mission: flying to Moscow and telling Stalin in private how much the American President respected him and how much he wanted to build their special relationship. To prove it, Davies was to tell the tyrant that FDR wanted to meet him face-to-face.
Prior to his departure in May 1943, Davies brought a fresh print of Mission to Moscow to the White House for a sneak preview. After its viewing, he secured FDR’s permission to take a copy with him to Moscow, along with a sealed envelope that the President had prepared for Stalin.
. . . Davies met Stalin in the Kremlin and read him the letter. He emphasized the US government’s disapproval of British imperialism and broadly hinted that the USA and the USSR, without the British, could rule the world together. . . . Davies then retired with Stalin to the Kremlin screening room to watch Mission to Moscow, where his cinematic glorification of the dictator, to his disappointment, did not win a rave review, but only a grunt or two. However, Davies got what he came for: Stalin agreed to meet FDR in Alaska. Davies’ biographer, Elizabeth Kimball MacLean, calls it “the coup of his diplomatic career.”10
The coup proved ephemeral, as did all of the other coups in Davies’ career. Stalin had no intention of roving far from home. He kept putting off the meeting, frustrating and reducing FDR to pleading. Where once he had made a concession to FDR’s physical handicap, Stalin now began to insist on the capital of Iran as a venue, despite its extra hardship for the President. On 25 October 1943, Roosevelt pointed out that “I would have to travel 6,000 miles and you would have to travel 600 miles from Russian [sic] territory.” He implored Stalin not to fail him “in this crisis,” and stooped to the words: “I am begging you.”11
This desire for a long-term alliance was also echoed by FDR's Office of War Information (OWI). According to a public statement
from the OWI, "The possibility for the friendly alliance of the Capitalist United States and the Socialist Russia is shown to be firmly rooted in the mutual desire for peace of the two great countries."
Given that FDR fought a war to save the Soviet Union, turned over millions of refugees to the machinery of Soviet mass murder, distributed pro-Soviet propaganda, allowed his administration to become overrun by Soviet spies, routinely referred to Joseph Stalin as "Uncle Joe," and spoke of his desire for a long-term alliance between the USSR and the United States, it's hard to see what more he could possibly have done to convince a reasonable-minded person that he was pro-Soviet.
The overarching problem over the past 11+ years is that supply siders (who can't operate a calculator or read a graph from what I've seen), supported by Greenspan's testimony cut our govt. revenue during good times driving us into deficit then, and resulting in deficits that are enormous now. (The result of all this supply siding excess that was supposed to be so stimulative has been the lowest economic growth rate of the modern era--a complete refutation of the whole premise.)
You seem to be confusing Keynesian economics with neoclassical economics. According to classical economists--such as Adam Smith, as well as a number of very talented people who came after him--a nation's economic output was driven by its aggregate supply curve. Economic downturns sometimes occurred. This was generally seen as the result of the pricing mechanism being out of whack. The best medicine was to allow prices to move freely, so that a new, full employment equilibrium could be reached as quickly as possible.
John Maynard Keynes disagreed with this perspective. He felt that both the cause of, and cure for, economic downturns could be found in what he called an aggregate demand curve. This idea of an aggregate demand curve is a complex construct--too complex to exist in simple economies. The Keynesian aggregate demand curve represents the amalgamation of the Keynesian IS and LM curves. Keynes believed that, during economic downturns, the government should attempt to deliver stimulative shocks to the economy--for example by printing more money than the private sector had been expecting it to print, and by borrowing and spending more than the private sector had anticipated. These actions would shift the LM and IS curves respectively, thereby causing an increase in aggregate demand. The idea was to give the economy a short-term "stimulus" or a "shot in the arm." To those who complained about this short-term thinking, Keynes replied, "in the long run we are all dead."
As happy as they were at having "discovered" what they claimed was an aggregate demand curve, even Keynesians admitted that in the long run, economic output is determined by the aggregate supply curve. Starting with Hoover, most presidents have been Keynesian in nature; in large part because the Keynesian focus on the short-term appeals to politicians who have to run for office every four years. Supply side economics represented a departure from that way of thinking; and an effort to focus on the long-run goal of improving the supply curve. Improving the supply curve involves making companies more productive, for example by reducing paperwork and regulatory burdens, and by taking other measures conducive to high economic output. Lower taxes can
be a legitimate part of supply side economics, at least under certain circumstances. If someone wanted to lower taxes because he believed that lower taxes and lower spending would be best for the economy over the long-term, his view would be supply side. If he wanted to lower taxes as a way of creating a short-term "stimulus" and economic boost, his perspective could be more accurately described as Keynesian.
If fewer workers can produces more widgets, then the employer uses fewer workers to supply the market...and pockets the additional profit from reduced labor cost.
Workers today can produce far more than had been the case in the Elizabethan era. Workers in the Elizabethan era could produce far more per-person than had been the case in the Stone Age. Much of of human progress consists of enabling workers to produce progressively more. While new inventions can sometimes cause short-term disruptions, the increases in productivity such inventions create are the only reason we're not still living in caves.