The Government That Cried “Wolf,” by Robert Gore

Through history, no institution has come close to government in its ability to inflict violence, terror, chaos, and death. War is almost exclusively the province of government. Every legal system rests in government the right to initiate force against its own citizens, to take money from them to fund itself, to promulgate laws, to decide what is just and what is not, and to dispense its justice and inflict punishment. Just an enumeration of those powers should leave one apprehensive; a survey of the historical record should leave one pale with fright.

Ten words transmuted a healthy American fear of government into an embrace: “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” Fear, per se, is not something to be afraid of. Conscientious parents try to inculcate all sorts of fears in their offspring: of poisonous creatures and plants, strangers offering rides, drugs and alcohol, unprotected sex, and the wrath of parents. Government, per se, is something to be afraid of, but Franklin Roosevelt’s alchemy turned the Founding Fathers’ dangerous master into the Superhero that would save the citizenry from the fearsome things it was not supposed to fear. Roosevelt’s famous admonition was a smokescreen; fear was his most powerful ally.

Perhaps the best explication of the causes of the Great Depression is Murray Rothbard’s America’s Great Depression. The brand new Federal Reserve stoked an inflationary boom during the Roaring Twenties. Such booms and their attendant speculative manias, fed by artificial, central-bank bolstered credit, always go bust (the current “boom” will meet the same fate).

For the first time since June 1921, the money stopped increasing [in mid-1929], and remained virtually constant. The great boom of the 1920s was now over, and the Great Depression had begun. The country, however, did not really discover the change until the stock market finally crashed in October. (Rothbard)

Roosevelt was a second-rate mind, but a first-rate politician (the latter has come to require the former). He had no inkling that the government’s central bank had caused the Great Depression, but he knew the American people were afraid, and their fear was just the ticket for his massive expansion of government power. The only thing the New Deal’s hodgepodge of programs did to the economic contraction was make it worse (unemployment was higher and the GDP lower in 1938 than in 1933, when he took office), but that wasn’t the point. Roosevelt’s program had permanently changed the relationship of the people and the government. From that time forward, the government was responsible for redressing fears, even if the government itself had created the conditions that led to those fears.

The US is protected from foreign invasion by the Pacific and Atlantic, its huge land mass and varied topography, friendly neighbors to the north and south, and its dominance of the Western Hemisphere. Roosevelt had promised during the 1940 campaign to keep the US out of burgeoning wars in Europe and Asia, although he was itching to join the fights. Whether or nor the Roosevelt administration provoked Japan into attacking the US, and whether or not Roosevelt knew beforehand of the attack on Pearl Harbor, are still matters of debate, although a strong case can be made for the latter and a very strong case for the former. Grievous as Pearl Harbor was, there was no way Japan, a comparative dwarf, was going to launch an invasion of the giant US, but the attack served Roosevelt’s purpose—it created a groundswell of support for the country’s entry into the war.

Any country at war is fearful. You can still read breathless accounts of the “existential threat” the US faced during World War II, and how, had we not intervened, we’d be speaking Japanese or German today. Germany could not defeat Great Britain across the 26-mile English Channel. It was also engaged in a losing campaign in the USSR. Even had it won instead of lost both engagements it still would have had to cross either the Atlantic or Pacific and fight an industrially and militarily superior opponent on its home territory, while trying to keep the people it had conquered subjugated. The only chance Germany ever had of defeating the US was to develop the atomic bomb, but the US had most of the physicists and the industrial capability to construct isolated, difficult-to-detect research and enrichment facilities. The allies were astonished at the end of the war when they saw just how rudimentary the German effort was.

The government came up with another danger: domestic subversion by US enemies. People of Japanese descent were put in internment camps, Hollywood was enlisted in a massive propaganda campaign directed by the government, and everyone was kept on edge, warned to be watchful for fifth column activities. No grand plots were uncovered, rather, it was our ally, the Soviet Union, that engaged in most of the espionage and surreptitious penetration of important government, military, and industrial programs (including the atomic bomb).

Roosevelt constructed the templates for government-inspired fear that have been used ever since: economic insecurity, foreign domination, and subversion from within. It is now the government’s power-expanding job to confront all three, so it often cries “wolf.” Since the end of World War II, the American people been told to be afraid of something: the Cold War, the red scare, falling dominoes in the Korean peninsula and then Southeast Asia, missile gaps, nuclear holocaust, the radical left, the radical right, Islamic extremism and terrorist plots, sleeper cells, domestic terrorists, the USSR, Russia, China, Iran, and so on. Government has grown in a Rooseveltian fashion to address all these threats and fears. It has stationed troops and weaponry and made war all over the globe; it monitors our electronic interactions and communications, where we go, and what we buy and sell; all to keep us safe at night. To scare aware any economic monsters in the closet it has gone deeply in debt and had its central bank buy up that debt and suppress interest rates, lest anyone try to rely on themselves rather than the government to meet life’s contingencies.

The government has promised largess it can’t deliver. The mounting debt has slowed the economy to a crawl and promises future financial crises. Our intervention in the Middle East has notched up the chaos; thousands of refugees attempting to escape it have drowned in the Mediterranean, and each new “war” on a terrorist group creates more terrorists. Governmental surveillance has rendered a good part of the Bill of Rights a dead letter, but the security we traded for our liberty remains ever elusive. Roosevelt deliberately got it wrong: what we have to fear is a government peddling fear. Even in a flock of sheep there are smarter and dumber lambs, and the smarter ones have realized that their shepherd is a wolf. On present form, the 2016 election promises the flock a choice between escorts to the slaughterhouse. The defining issue of our times is whether enough get wise, and do something about it, before we’re all converted to lamb chops.

A TIME OF OPTIMISM, NOT FEAR

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13 responses to “The Government That Cried “Wolf,” by Robert Gore

  1. Pingback: America Is Safer Than Any Big Power In Modern History——Ignore The Neocon Alarmists, by Stephen Kinzer | STRAIGHT LINE LOGIC

  2. Pingback: He Said That? 4/21/15 | STRAIGHT LINE LOGIC

  3. Pingback: SLL: The Government That Cried Wolf | Western Rifle Shooters Association

  4. Is anyone willing to admit that, until the Praetorian Guard no longer exists, there is NO sense in touching Your Betters? Once one gets to that point, the way forward becomes far more obvious.

    And do understand that Your Betters know full well how essential the Praetorian Guard is to their continued existence, and will use the full power of the Central Bank to make sure they get their paychecks in a timely manner, REGARDLESS of the state of the State. And when the fiat currency finally becomes worthless, the Praetorian Guard will be “authorized” to confiscate “resources” from Mere Citizens. For “the good of the country“, of course. And the Praetorian Guard will get second picks from whatever is confiscated, right behind their Masters…

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  5. “The US is protected from foreign invasion by the Pacific and Atlantic, its huge land mass and varied topography, friendly neighbors to the north and south, and its dominance of the Western Hemisphere.”

    Not to mention the most important point – the most heavily-armed populace on Earth. And it doesn’t hurt that we have missiles that can sink ships from afar, either.

    Anyway, your point is correct as far as it goes: anyone who fears external invasion has a screw loose. However we are already an occupied country, under the boot heel of Washington DC tyrants.

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    • You fail to understand that a foreign country does NOT need to invade in order to conquer. Our Red Chinese “friends” have nuclear missiles that can strike CONUS. Without a credible nuclear response, they will have no compunction to not use them. They see very well how long it took Hiroshima and Nagasaki to recover from those strikes. To the Asian cultures, that timespan is ridiculously short. They launch a strike to hit every major hive and wipe out over half the US population. They wait a year until the radiation levels die down and we have further die-off, and then they send in their excess males to wipe up the rest. For them, that is a no-lose situation. They gain massive new resources, including space for their population, and they get rid of a significant number of military-age males who have no credible means of satisfying their “urges” due to the one-child policy they have had for years. If, after the collapse, this country is not able to stand up a credible nuclear force within a year, we will be a communist nation. Better learn your Putonghua now.

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  6. Alfred E. Neuman

    Reblogged this on The Lynler Report.

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  7. Since you brought up WW2, let’s take a hard look at the Causus Belli: the invasion of Poland. Everyone knows that war was declared against Germany for invading Poland. What is conveniently overlooked is that the Soviets also invaded Poland…yet somehow, Britain declined to declare war on the Soviets, something they were obliged to do according to treaty. Excuses can be (and are) made for the Britain’s dereliction of duty in this regard, but it is interesting how little examination this fact gets.

    Adolf Von Thadden (either a right-wing German politician, or a neo-Nazi, depending on your point of view) wrote a book (Stalins Falle: Er wollte den Krieg) making the case that Stalin engineered WW2 in order to advance communism by cleverly manipulating Britain, France, and Hitler (and later, FDR) into fighting each other. This book was reviewed by the Institute of Historical Research (either an organization dedicated to historical revisionism, or dedicated to holocaust denial, again depending on your point of view) and makes for interesting reading: http://www.ihr.org/jhr/v18/v18n3p40_Michaels.html. I’d read the book myself, but no english translation seems to exist.

    It is pretty well understood (although certainly not widely understood) that the Soviets had penetrated both the Roosevelt administration and British intelligence before and during WW2. Hitler was evil, but Stalin was worse, and we picked Stalin’s side….Were we destroying fascism, or advancing the cause of communism? Based on the outcome of the war, both of those goals were achieved. Building on your observations of how FDR manipulated the Japanese, and the possibility that FDR was being manipulated by Stalin (either indirectly, directly, or both), one wonders exactly what role the US played in this entire conflict.

    The rather convenient death (or assassination) of General Patton becomes more interesting when one considers his rather outspoken views against Stalin and the USSR, and how he considered the cessation of hostilities against Germany to be the perfect time to commence hostilities against the Soviets.

    I find it interesting that Von Thadden’s wikipedia page makes no mention of his second career as a historian.

    It’s easy to dismiss sources like Von Thadden as Nazi apologists, but history is written by the victors, which is why it is always worth looking at what the losing side had to say.

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  8. Attrition will soon decimate the baby boomers. All connection to the WWII era will disappear. With the boomers goes a huge group of armed,informed,well-educated people along with the burned out Hippies All the scumbags have to do is wait ten years. But…they can’t. The greedy,evil, sons of bitch’s want it all and they want it now.

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  9. except among the willfully ignorant, there’s no “controversy” about Roosevelt and Round II. During the spring and early summer of 1941, at co-conspirator Churchill’s behest, FDR waged an undeclared, illegal Naval war in the Atlantic; US warships escorted Brit convoys, attacked U-boats, while heavy naval units circled lazily in the mid-Atlantic warzone, hoping to attract a torpedo. Donald Dorrit’s A LOG OF THE USS VINCENNES is an excellent firsthand source on these matters, and there are many others. But Hitler saw the trap, did not bite and, when several U.S. destroyers were inadvertently torpedoed during night convoy battles, Congress – also knowing exactly what Roosevelt was up to – refused to declare war on Germany. After 22 June 1941, and the initial string of Nazi victories on the Eastern Front, the communists in the State and Treasury Depts. (Alger Hiss, Harry Dexter White and Co.) were desperate to save the Red Empire. So they handed FDR a plan to backdoor America into the European War by provoking/baiting Japan. Roosevelt already has most of America’s Pacific Fleet staked out at Pearl Harbor like a Judas Goat, so it was a simple matter of cutting off most of Japan’s external trade, 90% of her fuel supply, and demanding that Japan’s policies in its own imperial backyard – east and southeast Asia – correspond to America’s imperial interests instead of Japan’s. That worked.

    incidentally, on the matter of Roosevelt’s foreknowledge of the oncoming Japanese attack, the Germans had in September of 1941 set up a radiotelephone intercept station on the Dutch coast; over the next 3 years that station picked off and de-scrambled scores of Churchill-Roosevelt conversations. The November 26th, 1941, conversation is particularly interesting: Churchill and Roosevelt (via a partial Brit break of the Japanese naval code) discuss the upcoming Jap attack on Pearl Harbor and how to play it in considerable detail. On this and related matters see Gregory Douglas, GESTAPO CHIEF – THE 1948 OSS INTERROGATIONS OF HEINRICH MUELLER, Vol. I., pp. 42-55, 246-254

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  10. indyjonesouthere

    American Betrayal written by Diana West is a good source to learn about the influence of Communists in FDRs administration and those after FDR. That same Communist influence survives to this day in the political and university system.

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  11. indyjonesouthere

    The blog “Gates of Vienna” has an archive on comments on Wests book and defense of the material in the book.

    Like

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