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Ex America: 50th Anniversary of The People's Pottage Kindle Edition
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Garret Garrett is a phenomenal writer, clear-sighted, incisive and incredibly cogent. His analysis is devastating because it's almost undeniable. As you watch him build his argument, it's impossible to not be convinced, yet he doesn't baffle with intellectual vocabulary and sophistry-- he is a classic old-school Yankee, writing with the clear-spoken wisdom of a farm boy disillusioned by the big city.
I highly recommend this to anyone.
This book is one of many written by Garet Garrett.. Absolute must read for today.
They say he died a sad man because of what our country has become, unless things change and fast I fear that is my fate also.
I now have almost all of the books he has written
Note: This book (without the foreword by Bruce Ramsey) is available for free download on the von Mises website.
The first essay, "The Revolution Was", is the most important in the book. It was written in 1938, and Garrett shows how the Roosevelt New Deal constituted a revolution that overthrew the American form of government. The first two paragraphs are so powerful, I will simply quote them: "There are those who still think they are holding the pass against a revolution that may be coming up the road. But they are gazing in the wrong direction. The revolution is behind them. It went by in the Night of Depression, singing songs to freedom. There are those who have never ceased to say very earnestly, `Something is going to happen to the American form of government if we don't watch out.' Those were the innocent disarmers. Their trust was in words. They had forgotten their Aristotle. More than 2,000 years ago he wrote of what can happen within the form, when `one thing takes the place of another, so that the ancient laws will remain, while the power will be in the hands of those who have brought about revolution in the state.'"
He then goes on to detail the process by which this was accomplished, consciously, fraudulently, and against the will of the people. Roosevelt's platform contained three main planks, things for which he unceasingly criticized Hoover in the first election: (1) a drastic reduction of the size of government, to reduce spending by at least 25%; (2) a balanced federal budget; (3) a "sound currency maintained at all hazards". These were the policies for which he was elected to office. He was a liar and a traitor. Federal spending, government agencies, and federal deficits exploded to previously unimaginable sizes in the first two years of his administration (sound familiar, anyone?). Roosevelt demanded the American people exchange their privately held gold for government bonds that promised to repay in gold, but before that legislation was even passed the legislation was already drafted to default on the promise and seize the American people's gold. Garrett has quotes from Roosevelt's notes that show that he never intended to keep these promises: but he knew what he had to say to get elected. By these steps, and many others, a revolution was accomplished in the American government, and total power was centralized in the hands of an omnipotent federal bureaucracy, the one thing the drafters of the Constitution wanted to guard against at all hazards.
The second essay, "Ex America" examines the policies pursued during and following the Second World War, and especially how Roosevelt, once again lying to the American people and proceeding against their will, aggressively pursued involvement in the war, and was illegally carrying out war measures many months before Pearl Harbor was attacked. He shows how all the changes that had occurred in the last fifty years were effected before the people knew what was happening, when it was too late. The people did not vote for getting into World War I. They elected Wilson in 1916 on the slogan, "He kept us out of war." They did not vote for the New Deal. They elected Roosevelt on his promises of less government, balanced budgets, and sound money. They did not vote for World War II. They elected him again in 1940 on promises that he would keep them out of foreign wars at all hazards. They never voted for the welfare state. They never voted for United Nations. They never voted for a interventionist, meddling foreign policy. All of this was financed by confiscatory taxation, and, more importantly, inflation. But as these changes were effected, one by one, they were accepted with resignation, and there is no going back. Government only grows bigger, never smaller.
The third essay, "Rise of Empire", details the transition from a non-interventionist foreign policy, to imperialism: squandering the people's confiscated wealth on foreign aid in every corner of the world; putting power to declare war into the hands of the President so that we can be plunged into war at any time; subordinating every domestic concern to the militarism required by our new foreign policy of aggression; transforming a huge segment of the economy into war industry; entangling us in an enormous network of satellite nations that have to be continually supported and appeased; and using the environment of fear and war as the excuse for limitless expansion of state power and spending.
All of this is highly relevant now. "The People's Pottage" is a reference to Esau in the Bible, who sold his birthright for a "mess of pottage". Our birthright was freedom, and it was taken away without protest. The reason I believe this books is so important, is that it shows clearly that we did not lose our freedom with the election of Bush, as the leftists think. We did not lose our freedom with the election of Obama, as the neocons think. The Republican and the Democratic parties are the complimentary wings of the same monster: the American empire. The left supports war as long as it can have the welfare state, and the right supports the welfare state as long as it can have war. The result is what we have now, and it hasn't changed in my lifetime, nor is it likely to change before the empire bankrupts itself, as all empires in history have done. It happened long ago. "The Revolution Was."
Note: This is a verbatim copy of my review for Garet's "Salvos Against the New Deal" because both are strong, extremely well articulated arguments against the same political cancer.