Randoms

I’ve covered the saga of DC’s old mayor being thrown out before. Most of his political appointees, notably Michelle Rhee, were also thrown out. Unsurprisingly, the new mayor has been embroiled in a series of scandals. The new mayor also got rid of most of the old mayor’s appointees. Rhee, for example, was replaced by a black woman with similar views (this was apparently enough to satisfy black voters in DC). One notable exception to this trend was the old mayor’s chief of police, a white woman, who is the second most popular political figure in DC (after the President).

In other DC news, here’s a worthwhile story about gentrification across the river. Don’t miss the "no whites" signs being put everywhere.

It’s worth remembering that bankruptcy isn’t the end of world.

Audacious Epigone on the Sailer Strategy

Ferdinand doesn’t seem to think that Eisenhower was a commie. Fine. But it is worth remembering that by the end of Ike’s term in office, people working for the Soviets were effectively running many federal agencies.

Heartiste.

Advertisements

37 Responses to Randoms

  1. icr says:

    “But it is worth remembering that by the end of Ike’s term in office, people working for the Soviets were effectively running many federal agencies.”

    Seriously, I’m trying hard to think who those people might have been.

  2. Jehu says:

    Eisenhower gets a lot of slack from me for his magnificent Operation Wetback. He’s the last US president that actually gave a damn about the demographic hegemony of me and mine.

  3. dearieme says:

    I understand (but correct me if I’m wrong) that Truman binned a lot of FDR’s commies. Did they make a comeback under Ike?

  4. Tschafer says:

    With all due respect, Foseti, that comment about Ike is just nuts. Who under Eisenhower was a commie? What Eisenhower appointees were Soviet agents, or Soviet sympathizers? Curtis LeMay? John Foster Dulles? Lewis Strauss, refused confirmation due to his anti-communism? Ezra Taft Benson? Charles Wilson, the “Instant Massive Retaliation” guy? Dick Nixon, the scourge of the 1950’s left? These guys were all pretty rock-ribbed anti-Communists. Was PB Success in Guatemala a pro-commie operation? Was Operation Ajax, that overthrew the Pro-Soviet Mossadegh? How about the efforts to fund anti-Communist forces in Europe? The war against the communist Huks in the Philippines? Our aid to anti-communist forces in Vietnam? Name names, as we used to say back then. Otherwise, this is really nasty slur on a guy who was actually a pretty good President, at least compared to what we have now.

  5. Tschafer says:

    And of course, Ferdinand is full of s**t, as usual these days, even to the point of endorsing Mark Ames, a genuine reeling buffoon who makes Hunter S. Thompson look like Emerson, and who is only fit to give advice on where to find the cheapest Ingushi hookers in Denepropetrovsk. Besides, Eisenhower didn’t institute those 90% tax rates, he inherited them from the Democrats, and he did his best to lower them. Kennedy did lower them, upon which the economy boomed. If Ferd thinks that confiscatory taxation is the way to get the country out of a recession, fine, but if he wants to convince others of this, he’s going to have to do better than that.

  6. TGGP says:

    I agree Mark Ames isn’t worthy any time, but I’m also perplexed by the Eisenhower comment. I thought the influx of commies happened under FDR and I don’t know which knew commies Foseti is referring to.

  7. james wilson says:

    No one paid 91% in the Eisenhower era. Very wealthy people pay well under 20%, always. What very high rates accomplish is to give the government power to regulate how and where the rich place their money. Power and relevance for second-rate people.

    • Tschafer says:

      From what I’ve heard, that’s absolutely true. As I recall, one year, only two people in the U.S. actually paid taxes at the 91% rate. Of course, one can frame an argument in favor of higher marginal tax rates, but Ferd doesn’t begin to do this. His entire “argument” seems to be that we had high taxes in the 1950’s, and had fairly high economic growth rates, which isn’t even an argument. I mean, we also had black and white TV, leaded gas, and really cool hats back then, too. Does anyone really think that a return to these things would spur economic growth? (Well, alright, maybe the hats…). As noted, I don’t follow the standard conservative line on lots of things, like tariffs, etc, and I’m willing to be convinced that we need a more steeply graduated income tax system. But class warfare rhetoric, 1950’s nostalgia, and Mark Ames ain’t going to do it…

  8. moldbug says:

    For instance, Eisenhower’s “autobiography,” Crusade in Europe, was ghostwritten by CPUSA member Joseph Fels Barnes. This can’t possibly be a coincidence.

    If you define “communist” as “Stalinist,” which just happens to be the official definition, communism in America becomes of insignificant importance after 1950 or so. This is because American communism splits with Soviet communism after WWII, resulting in the historical phenomenon known as – duh – the “Cold War.” Or as some would say, the “Anglo-Soviet split.” By the same reasoning, China was not a communist country after 1961. Mao, in fact, became a staunch anti-communist – just like Dean Acheson. And just like Eisenhower.

    (Alger Hiss (founder of the UN) was a protege of Dean Acheson, whom Adolf Berle described as “leader of the pro-Russian group in the State Department.” (Acheson, like so many, was a protege of Felix Frankfurter.) Eisenhower did not keep Acheson as Secretary of State, but he kept the Acheson-Hiss State Department – and indeed collaborated quite enthusiastically in purging its enemies. This was not an accident or a mistake.

    What really pissed off liberals about the Hiss trial was that (a) Hiss was almost certainly (informally) authorized at the highest level to do what he did, and (b) would of course not have continued his backchannel after the Anglo-Soviet split. In other words, Hiss was not a spy, like Aldrich Ames, but a loyal bureaucrat. Since the New Dealers could not make these arguments explicitly, they lied and ranted and whined and spat as usual. Nor could the McCarthyists elucidate this truth, even if they knew it – no one could have handled it. The reality of Hiss was horrendous enough. The memory of FDR was untouchable. It’s really impossible to overstate the mendacity of FDR, who “never told the truth when a lie would do.”)

    You’ll note that this definition of communism quite conveniently acquits the New Deal of any complicity in the crimes of Stalin. (And Mao.) It also makes the word “communist” effectively useless in the context of American history, especially postwar American history. This is also very convenient. Of course, everyone in the ’30s who is even slightly cool is a communist in both senses of the word. But they changed their minds about Stalin after 1945, so they can’t possibly be held responsible for their “youthful idealism.” Etc, etc, etc.

    The only reasonable alternative is to define “communist” as a synonym for “liberal” or “progressive,” at least in post-1933 America. By this standard, America is a communist country and probably always will be. Moreover, this was probably inevitable.

    When you live in a communist country, don’t make the mistake of thinking you know anything about your country’s history unless you’ve studied it, very closely, yourself. You’re apt to make a fool of yourself, though at least no one will notice.

  9. josh says:

    It is worth noting that Ike was a political, not strategic, general appointed by FDR. This is at least enough to raise an eyebrow for me. Also, his brother Milton certainly was a fellow traveler at least.

  10. Tschafer says:

    Once again, what commies, what organization, and where? If Ike or Truman knew that someone was a communist, or a Soviet operative, they did their best to get rid of them, as far as I know. If someone has evidence to the contrary, I’d like to hear it. ITo my understanding, there is nothing in the Venona tapes that implicates anyone of any note in the Eisenhower Administration. Sure, there were probably some covert operatives and sympathizers in the permanent bureaucracy, but there have been under every administration. If Ike ran an organization full of commies, so has every U.S. president since 1917, including Reagan. Eisenhower may not as been as conservative as we reactionaries would have liked, but to imply that Ike was pro-communist isn’t reactionary, it’s Bircher nonsense.

    • Vladimir says:

      The main problem in discussing these issues is the assumption that people could be divided into two neat categories: loyal Americans of whatever ideological inclination versus Soviet-controlled moles and traitors. I have no doubt that under Truman and Eisenhower, people for whom malfeasance of the latter sort was proven were fired from the government and, whenever possible, prosecuted for espionage. In this regard, the McCarthyist and Bircher conspiracy theorizing about a vast network of traitors and subversives getting their orders straight from Moscow was indeed mostly unfounded.

      However, the real truth was in fact even worse and scarier than these conspiracy theories. The domestic American left actually believed in pretty much all the worst ideas that a Soviet subversion program would have liked to install and promote — and they believed in these ideas, for the most part, honestly and independently. The real error of the McCarthyists and Birchers was that in their naivete and innocence, when they saw this organized insanity emanating from the highest reaches of the government, academia, NGOs, etc., they simply couldn’t bring themselves to believe that it might be anything other than an un-American foreign body implanted by nefarious aliens and traitors. They didn’t realize that the political, intellectual, and cultural war they were fighting was a civil war, not a struggle against foreign invasion. It is clear who eventually won decisively in this struggle — and whose side, for all practical purposes, Eisenhower was on.

    • Foseti says:

      I’m not sure about all presidents since 1917, but probably all presidents from Truman to Johnson

  11. Steve Johnson says:

    If Ike ran an organization full of commies, so has every U.S. president since 1917, including Reagan.

    Well, yeah.

  12. Vladimir says:

    Foseti:
    I’ll clarify my thoughts on Ike in a full post next week.

    Please do! I find this topic incredibly fascinating, but between clearly naive conspiracy theorizing on one hand, and ignorant jeering dismissals of the issue by the respectable mainstream on the other, I can find practically no one with whom the issue could be discussed productively.

    • Tschafer says:

      Please note, Vladimir, I’m certainly not denying that there were communist sympathizers in the U.S. government, and I agree with you about the convergance of liberalism and communism. I just don’t believe that the fact that any of this can be particularly laid at the feet of Eisenhower. History indicates that he pretty much did what he could, and if the left in the U.S. was de facto pro-soviet, that was hardly his fault. From what I can gather from his autobiography and other soures, Eisenhower thought that attempting to purge all liberals from the government, or totally reversing the New Deal, would have torn the U.S. apart, in the face of an aggressive and predatory USSR, so he tried to remove the active soviet sympathizers from sensitive positions, and move the rest into positions where they were harmless, while appointing conservatives to the crucial positions, and slowly moving the U.S. in a rightward direction. This may have been the wrong decision, but it wasn’t pro-communist, or naive. and if every president since 1917 has had to cope with similar problems, that just shows how intractable the problem was. Eisenhower was far and away our best president between 1932 and 1980.

      • Vladimir says:

        However, looking back at the 1950s America, the struggle was not about preserving the New Deal status quo versus radical reaction. Ideas of the latter sort were completely outside the political mainstream in the fifties, insofar as they existed at all. The question was whether the leftist dominance in the intellectual circles — and consequently in the federal bureaucracies, academia, foundations, etc. — would be permitted to lead to further radical transformation and re-engineering of the country and the whole society in the leftward direction. The answer, of course, turned out to be yes, and the political forces that mounted any serious opposition were defeated utterly and consigned to infamy by the official history. And in the final analysis, the whole issue of Soviet infiltrators and sympathizers, although far from nonexistent, was a giant red herring, which did a spectacularly good job of distracting the right opposition and making them unable to understand the real enemy they were facing.

        In this situation, the left didn’t need any active support from Eisenhower or any other major politicians — by that time, it had already acquired its engines of power completely independent of any electoral politics, embodied in the whole nexus of the academia, foundations, federal bureaucracies, media, judiciary, etc. It was enough for Truman, Eisenhower, and others to play the role of reasonable moderates who were tough on real confirmed pro-Soviet traitors, but at the same time condemned and obstructed any political action against the respectable domestic left as deluded, extremist, and irresponsible. The right’s misguided focus on Soviet-led communist conspiracy, of course, only made the latter position seem reasonable. However, in those few moments when the rightists zoomed in on the real problem with lucidity — the Reece Committe being the most notable example — Eisenhower was, to say the least, not at all supportive. (According to Rothbard’s account, the committee’s obstruction by Wayne Hays was “in quiet league with the Eisenhower White House.”)

  13. josh says:

    Has anyone else here actually read “The Politician?” It’s a fun read to say the least.

    • Tschafer says:

      Never read it. Should I?

      • jhglassman@cox.net says:

        Sure, it’s not long. Here’s a link:

        http://www.robertwelchuniversity.org/press.php

        Check out “None Dare Call it Treason”,”Roosevelt’s Road to Russia”, and anything by John T. Flynn. I love this Bircher stuff. Why are supposed free thinkers so afraid to touch the stuff?
        I mean, of course there was an internationalist conspiracy. I mean, duh. What do you think the Rockefeller Foundation has been doing since 190-whatever? Read some of their early literature, they weren’t exactly trying to hide it. Bob Welch may not have nailed the details, but obviously there is a lot of meat in there to chew over.

        Also, can anybody come up with a reasonable explanation for the promotions of Ike and Marshall aside from internationalist bona fides? They weren’t exactly seasoned warriors.

  14. Tschafer says:

    Not that this has anything to do with Ike or Ferd, but Moldbug is ON FIRE over at UR. Check it out, when you get the time.

  15. james wilson says:

    This thread gives new legs to Wittaker Chambers comment to his wife as he decided to turn in his traitor card and leave the communist underground–they were leaving the winning side for the losing side, voluntarily. Maybe that is what a reactionary is.

  16. asdf says:

    Tschafer: I think most here have a similar view to you, in that Eisenhower was the least bad president from ’32-’80.

    But the Reece Committee incident that Vladimir mentions was indeed very important. They actually went into the activities of the Ford Foundation and related nonprofits and showed how they had been hijacked.

    The Eisenhower administration didn’t push right like it needed to push right. Perhaps this was impossible as the ratchet could only go left. Instead it did a “no friends to the right” kind of thing, sort of like National Review purging all anti-immigration writers in the 90s.

    Put simply: he pursued containment, not rollback. That does make him the least bad. But especially given that he went after rollback proponents, it doesn’t make him good.

  17. Vladimir says:

    jhglassman,

    I also find this sort of literature fascinating, though it is very hard to disentangle the real clues from conspiracy-minded flights of fancy. For example, I recently read The Politician, and while on the one hand it presents many indisputable and damning facts that mainstream history is silent about, at the same time it also contains some outlandish examples of conspiracy-mongering. (For example, I am from ex-Yugoslavia, and I can assure you that Welch’s theories about the Tito-Stalin split, which he took for granted from the writings of some Serbian emigre, are wildly off the mark.)

    By the way, do you know if None Dare Call It Treason can be found somewhere online?

  18. teageegeepea says:

    Stalin remained a revered figure in China. China’s split with the Soviets really occurs after his death. One might even argue that Mao was correct to claim that the Russians were deviating from Stalinism! U.S support for the Chinese faction (both sides supporting Jonas Savimbi in Angola, Pol Pot after the Vietnamese ousted him, Pakistan against India) was simply opportunism against the next largest power (as one might exepct from Vampire of the Continent).

    “None dare call it treason” is available for download at the Internet Archive.

    Foseti, why would you end the list at Johnson?

    Eisenhower’s strategy of containment ended up being successful, and communism collapsed of its own failings. I can understand folks complaining about naivete regarding the intentions of the bolsheviks, just as we do regarding Nazis, but I don’t see why any rollback proponents should feel vindicated by history. Fighting large wars against comparable powers is what drove the growth of the U.S government in the first place.

    • Foseti says:

      At some point there was a split between American communists and the Soviets. You’re probably right that Johnson is too early for this break.

    • Vladimir says:

      “None dare call it treason” is available for download at the Internet Archive.

      Yes, I noticed that, but it’s in some strange DRM’ed format that I have no idea how to open. Do you?

      • Handle says:

        It’s in encrypted DAISY there unfortunately (which can be a pain to break), but it’s available out there in regular PDF too. I can point you in the right direction if you send me an email. Handle at multizionism dot com.

  19. Tschafer says:

    Well, Mencius, if you’re going to say that “The U.S. is a communist country, and always has been”, then yes, Eisenhower was a commie sympathizer. So was Washington, and Harding, and McKinley, and Millard Fillmore. Can we at least leave this at “Under the commonly accepted definition of the words, Eisenhower was not a communist sympathizer”?

    By the way, I do want to point out that Foseti stated in his original post that “by the end of Ike’s term in office, people working for the Soviets were effectively running many federal agencies”. Not liberals, not New Dealers, people “working for the Soviets”. I still have not seen any evidence that this was the case.

    • Foseti says:

      Tschafer,

      I understand your points and I think you’re probably correct. My language at least was sloppy. I’m not sure you’d want to argue that federal agencies were run by American-socialists, but by Ike’s time, Hiss and many of his ilk had split with the Soviets, been run out, or moved deeper into cover.

      Still, why defend Eisenhower so ardently when there are lots of people who actually tried to fight the Soviets?

      At best, Ike is the guy who made the FDR revolution official, by refusing to fight for it and the guy who formalized the still reigning practicing of ardently avoiding identifying former US officials who worked for the Soviets. Under Ike, the Republicans became the party of ratifying major changes made by the Democrats. We became – for all intents and purposes – a one-party, pro-New Deal state.

      Ike has his upsides as a general, but I see very few as a politician.

      • Tschafer says:

        I suppose my defense of Eisenhower is primarily due to the fact that he gets denounced by both left and right for a good many things that were not his fault, or were not faults at all. He’s denounced by the left as the Cold Warrior who created MAD and overthrew “socialist” governments, and for allowing Nazi scientists into the U.S. under “Project Paperclip”, he’s denounced by the New Urbanists for creating modern suburbia, he was denounced by the hippies for being staid and bourgeois, and now, to put the cap on it all, he gets accused of being pro-communist, of all things!

        As much as I respect your judgement, Foseti, I have to disagree with you on Ike as president. Eisenhower did a lot of good. He essentially created the economic strategy that Reagan eventually used to bring down the USSR. His creation of the Interstate system and coaxiel cable installation made the U.S. a genuine continental nation. He created the strategic deterrent that prevented WWIII. He started us on our march into space. He was the only president who really knew how to use the CIA. He ended the endless stalemate in Korea by threating the North with nukes. And he started the U.S. on an economic growth path that is only now coming to an end.

        You have a lot of good points to make, of course. Eisenhower made huge mistakes. He didn’t take the threat of domestic communism seriously enough. He was far too accomodating of the New Deal. Suez was just a disaster, as Eisenhower later realized. But overall, I believe that Ike did a good job, given the constraints he was operating under

  20. Semaus says:

    Exchange the word “communist” with the word “internationalist” and this theory becomes more palatable.

  21. […] has created a bit of a kerfuffle with his observation that Eisenshower was objectively pro-communist. Various people say no way, Moldbug says it’s so. Foseti refines his position a bit. The line […]

  22. shoppingdeal says:

    shoppingdeal…

    […]Randoms « Foseti[…]…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: