- Publisher: The Reviewer (1978)
- ASIN: B001MDD08S
- Average Customer Review: 79 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #16,623,015 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Naked Capitalist: a Review and Commentary on Dr. Carroll Quigley's Book: Tragedy and Hope, a History of the World in Our Time Paperback – 1978
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This book must be understood as an attack from the right on "Tragedy and Hope" -- not the 21st century neocon right, but the old fashioned right that may be best thought of as a libertarian point of view these days. Mr. Skousen's approach is consistent with his conservative religious background (LDS) and his background in law enforcement (FBI and later Salt Lake City Chief of Police). Skousen's academic background is reflected in his exegesis of "Tragedy and Hope".
I thought his defense of J. Edgar Hoover and Joe McCarthy was thought provoking, and not to be dismissed out of hand as most left-leaning people would tend to do. By illustrating the clear link between the Eastern Establishment and Communism, the author perhaps provides a better understanding of the criticism of corporate media as "Liberal". Corporate owned media did at times cover the issue of Communists in government in a way that tended to downplay the extent to which the government, particularly the State Department, was infiltrated by Communists, which could lead a right-wing or even a neutral observer to believe that the fourth estate had Communist sympathies.
But that's only part of the story. The corporate owned media has also had a history of covering up the extent to which Fascism has infested USA finance, corporations and government. One example from the time span that Skousen focused on, but which he failed to mention, is the Fascist plot to overthrow the US government shortly after the start of FDR's first term. Jules Archer's recently re-printed book, The Plot to Seize the White House: The Shocking True Story of the Conspiracy to Overthrow FDR, tells this story persuasively. The earliest incarnation of the HUAC (House Committee on Un-American Activities), the Special Committee on Un-American Activities (1934-1937) actually investigated not only domestic Communist activities, but domestic Fascist activities as well, including the plot just mentioned. Contemporary press coverage of the Congressional hearings and the plot itself was shameful for the most part, particularly the coverage by Time magazine and the New York Times. They covered the story in a way similar to later coverage of UFO and Elvis sightings, poking fun at the very suggestion that such a plot could even exist.
While I am grateful that Skousen wrote this unique review/critique of "Tragedy and Hope", I would urge readers to take "The Naked Capitalist" as a point of departure in their study of the power elite, not the final word. The plutocrats who run things behind the scenes take on many guises, using politicians and movements across the political spectrum to further their malevolent aims. They quite obviously used both Fascism and Communism simultaneously for a time and have moved on to other totalitarian movements, such as neoconservatism and various religious movements. Focusing excessively on these movements and philosophies only serves to distract us from discovering the actual puppet masters.
I must finally express my disappointment with the inclusion of a vitriolic attack by Al Smith on FDR's New Deal policies in an appendix. Al Smith had preceded FDR both as Governor of New York, and as a Democratic presidential nominee. Smith lost the nomination in 1932 to FDR, who, unlike Smith in 1928, went on to win the election. There is the argument that while Smith had maintained his previous progressive beliefs, the Democratic Party under FDR had moved on to Socialist tendencies. (In other words, the Democratic party left him, he didn't leave the party.) However, if Skousen were to choose a disaffected Democrat to criticize the New Deal, he could not have picked a better example of a sellout, a turncoat, and perhaps even a traitor, than Al Smith. Smith was first of all a sore loser, and secondly had by that time become a 100% owned asset of the Eastern plutocrats, the very class that "The Naked Capitalist" rails against. Smith was a prominent member of the Liberty League which sponsored the Fascist plot against FDR I referred to above. I again refer to The Plot to Seize the White House: The Shocking True Story of the Conspiracy to Overthrow FDR for details.
By suggesting that Al Smith was still the brown bowler wearing "Happy Warrior" in 1936 that he had been in the 1920s disingenuous to put it mildly.
I have yet read Quigley's magnum opus but intend on doing so when I have time to dedicate to the 1300 pages
This is essentially a study guide for Tragedy & Hope: A History of the World in Our Time by Carroll Quigley. I have read much of Tragedy and Hope in bits and pieces from the library but it is long and dry even if it is relevant. This book The Naked Capitalist summarizes Tragedy and Hope for people who don't have the time to read the much larger book yet still want to be informed about what Quigley, the insider, has to report about the activities of the elite.
Skousen has a bias but it is an informed one. As far as I can tell and I read from all parts of Quigley's book if not all of it, Skousen does an excellent job and does not over simplify to justify his own opinions. For the serious reader there are countless footnotes to Quigley's book.