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Betrayal of the Old Right,
Lecture 3
The Cold War and National Review
The Communists and World War
II
• After the German invasion of Russia, June 22,
1941, America and Soviet Russia were allie...
Communists and WWII
Continued
• Alger Hiss in the State Department was also an
espionage agent. Owen Lattimore, an adviser...
Reaction After the War
• After the end of WWII, there was a reaction
against Soviet gains.
• Republicans claimed that Roos...
Reaction After the War
Continued
• In China, there was a civil war between the
nationalists, under Chiang Kai-Shek, and th...
The Old Right and the
Communists
• During WWII, the Old Right had been suppressed.
Garet Garrett lost his position at the ...
The Old Right and the Cold War
• Sympathy with attempts to investigate and expose
American communists did not imply that t...
Containment
• George Kennan was the main person who
provided a rationale for containment. Note
that for him, Europe was pr...
The Old Right and Containment
• The Old Right did not approve of
containment. They thought the main danger
from communism ...
The Old Right and Containment
Continued
• This was also a concern of the leading ally
of the Old Right in Congress, Senato...
The Korean War
• When the Korean War broke out in June 1950,
President Truman deliberately did not ask
Congress for a decl...
Revisionist History
• The revisionist historians, led by Harry
Elmer Barnes, tried to start a popular
movement against WWI...
Revisionist History Continued
• Among the important revisionist books
were George Morgenstern, Pearl Harbor:
The Story of ...
Campaign Against the
Revisionists
• The Council on Foreign Relations, which
was the successor to Wilson’s Council of
Exper...
Campaign Continued
• The Rockefeller Foundation gave Langer
and Gleason a grant of $139,000 for
research. They got privile...
A Third Alternative
• We have so far discussed two policy options:
containment and the Old Right policy of
opposition to t...
Preventive War
• Among the people who favored preventive war
were many ex-Communists. E.g., Willi Schlamm,
an influential ...
More Preventive War
• These writers retained some of the images
of world struggle that then had learned
while communists.
...
More Preventive War
• Views that favored preventive war had some
support in the US military and the CIA, especially
before...
Buckley
• William Buckley, Jr. was the son of a wealthy
oilman. His father was a friend of Albert Jay
Nock, and Buckley st...
Buckley and the Cold War
• Buckley thought that while the Cold War was
going on, libertarian programs would have to be
sus...
Quotation Continued
• And if they deem Soviet power a menace to
our freedom (as I happen to), they will have
to support la...
Buckley and National Review
• Buckley worked for the CIA for two years. His
boss for part of this time was E. Howard Hunt,...
Buckley and Foreign Policy
• Buckley agreed with Burnham, the main foreign
policy figure in the magazine, that the US shou...
Buckley and the Old Right
• People who openly disagreed with this view
of foreign policy would be purged.
• There were som...
Buckley and Rothbard
• Rothbard wrote a number of articles and
reviews for Buckley on economics.
• Most of the contributor...
Buckley and Rothbard Continued
• Rothbard helped Buckley on the research
for Up From Liberalism.
• They split over Khrushc...
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The Betrayal of the American Right and the Rise of the Neoconservatives, Lecture 3 with David Gordon - Mises Academy

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The Betrayal of the American Right and the Rise of the Neoconservatives, Lecture 3 with David Gordon - Mises Academy

  1. 1. Betrayal of the Old Right, Lecture 3 The Cold War and National Review
  2. 2. The Communists and World War II • After the German invasion of Russia, June 22, 1941, America and Soviet Russia were allies. • American Communists were very influential in the Roosevelt administration. Harry Dexter White, a high official of the Treasury department, was a Communist spy. According to some accounts, Harry Hopkins, a key Roosevelt adviser, was also a Communist.
  3. 3. Communists and WWII Continued • Alger Hiss in the State Department was also an espionage agent. Owen Lattimore, an adviser to Chiang Kai-Shek, was sympathetic to the Chinese communists. • The Russian army made gains in Eastern Europe. The Russians kept the part of Poland they had occupied in September 1939 and the rest of Poland was under a Communist government.
  4. 4. Reaction After the War • After the end of WWII, there was a reaction against Soviet gains. • Republicans claimed that Roosevelt had made unnecessary concessions at the Yalta Conference, Feb. 1945.
  5. 5. Reaction After the War Continued • In China, there was a civil war between the nationalists, under Chiang Kai-Shek, and the Chinese communists. When China fell to the communists in 1949, critics charged that communist sympathizers in the State Department and elsewhere were responsible. • The Amerasia case (1945) attracted attention as an example of Communist espionage. The left- leaning magazine published classified documents.
  6. 6. The Old Right and the Communists • During WWII, the Old Right had been suppressed. Garet Garrett lost his position at the Saturday Evening Post. • The Old Rightists were smeared by Roosevelt supporters as fascists and pro-Nazis. • After the war, many on the Old Right wanted to pay back the communists by exposing their influence. John T. Flynn wrote The Lattimore Story. (1953). The Old Right was sympathetic to Joe McCarthy’s anti-communist investigations.
  7. 7. The Old Right and the Cold War • Sympathy with attempts to investigate and expose American communists did not imply that the Old Right was sympathetic to the Cold War. • When relations between the US and Soviet Russia started to worsen, the policy of the Truman administration was containment. This meant that the Soviets were held to seeking to expand in Europe. They shouldn’t be allowed to go farther.
  8. 8. Containment • George Kennan was the main person who provided a rationale for containment. Note that for him, Europe was primary. • Examples of containment include Truman Doctrine, the Marshall Plan, and the NATO alliance. • Dean Acheson, the Secretary of State under Truman, favored containment.
  9. 9. The Old Right and Containment • The Old Right did not approve of containment. They thought the main danger from communism was internal, not external. • Garet Garrett and John T. Flynn warned that an interventionist foreign policy would lead to a militarized society.
  10. 10. The Old Right and Containment Continued • This was also a concern of the leading ally of the Old Right in Congress, Senator Robert Taft. He opposed the NATO alliance. • Herbert Hoover and Joseph Kennedy also opposed containment.
  11. 11. The Korean War • When the Korean War broke out in June 1950, President Truman deliberately did not ask Congress for a declaration of war. • Instead, he claimed that he was acting under the authority of the United Nations. • For the Old Right, surrender of American sovereignty was a vital issue. Taft denounced Truman because he violated the Constitution on the declaration of war.
  12. 12. Revisionist History • The revisionist historians, led by Harry Elmer Barnes, tried to start a popular movement against WWII, just like the revisionist movement after WWI. • Although they published a number of important books, they were unable to change public opinion on the war.
  13. 13. Revisionist History Continued • Among the important revisionist books were George Morgenstern, Pearl Harbor: The Story of the Secret War; Charles Tansill, Back Door to War; Charles Beard, President Roosevelt and the Coming of the War, 1941; and the collection edited by Barnes, Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace.
  14. 14. Campaign Against the Revisionists • The Council on Foreign Relations, which was the successor to Wilson’s Council of Experts, sponsored a two-volume work by William L. Langer and S. Everett Gleason. Specifically designed to head off a revisionist movement. The CFR was concerned that “the debunking journalistic campaign following World War I should not be repeated.”
  15. 15. Campaign Continued • The Rockefeller Foundation gave Langer and Gleason a grant of $139,000 for research. They got privileged access to State Department documents.
  16. 16. A Third Alternative • We have so far discussed two policy options: containment and the Old Right policy of opposition to the Cold war. There was another policy alternative. • Some people thought that US foreign policy was not going far enough. Why stop at containment. Soviet conquests should be “rolled back”, even at the cost of a preventive nuclear war.
  17. 17. Preventive War • Among the people who favored preventive war were many ex-Communists. E.g., Willi Schlamm, an influential editor who worked for Henry Luce, was a former German Communist. • Frank S. Meyer had been an official of the US Communist party. • James Burnham was a former Trotskyite. • All of these became editors of National Review
  18. 18. More Preventive War • These writers retained some of the images of world struggle that then had learned while communists. • Whitaker Chambers, who exposed Alger Hiss as a Communist spy, viewed the Cold War as a conflict between the forces of God and the forces of Satan. See his book Witness.
  19. 19. More Preventive War • Views that favored preventive war had some support in the US military and the CIA, especially before Russia exploded an A bomb in 1949. Curtis LeMay, the head of the SAC, is one example. • Burnham worked for the CIA. • Another influential editor at National Review, Willmoore Kendall, also worked for the CIA. Before this, he had been a Trotskyite.
  20. 20. Buckley • William Buckley, Jr. was the son of a wealthy oilman. His father was a friend of Albert Jay Nock, and Buckley started out with libertarian sympathies. • Buckley was for a while a disciple of the libertarian Frank Chodorov. • Buckley attracted wide attention with his first book, God and Man at Yale (1951) This was an attack on professors at Yale who were anti-free market and anti-Christian.
  21. 21. Buckley and the Cold War • Buckley thought that while the Cold War was going on, libertarian programs would have to be suspended. • In 1952, he wrote in Commonweal: • …we have to accept Big Government for the duration – for neither an offensive nor defensive war can be waged given our present government skills, except through the instrument of a totalitarian bureaucracy within our shores…
  22. 22. Quotation Continued • And if they deem Soviet power a menace to our freedom (as I happen to), they will have to support large armies and air forces, atomic energy, central intelligence, war production boards, and the attendant of centralization of power in Washington – Even with Truman at the reins of it all.
  23. 23. Buckley and National Review • Buckley worked for the CIA for two years. His boss for part of this time was E. Howard Hunt, later famous as one of Nixon’s Watergate burglars. • Buckley set up National Review in 1955. • We don’t have positive proof the CIA was behind this, but we do know that the CIA subsidized magazines to help promote American foreign policy in the Cold war. The British magazine Encounter was an example.
  24. 24. Buckley and Foreign Policy • Buckley agreed with Burnham, the main foreign policy figure in the magazine, that the US should risk nuclear war in order to liberate the world from communism. • One theme in his work was that if one wished to avoid nuclear war because of the risk to human life, one was displaying an atheistic and materialistic attitude. One should willingly accept death if this were needed to wipe out communism.
  25. 25. Buckley and the Old Right • People who openly disagreed with this view of foreign policy would be purged. • There were some people who wrote for NR who were not bellicose, e.g., Russell Kirk, and Richard Weaver, but they didn’t write about foreign policy very much. • Buckley refused to publish an article by John T. Flynn critical of the Cold War.
  26. 26. Buckley and Rothbard • Rothbard wrote a number of articles and reviews for Buckley on economics. • Most of the contributors who wrote on economics supported the free market, although Burnham, Kendall, and Ernest van den Haag allowed a great deal of government intervention. • Chambers attacked Ayn Rand and Mises.
  27. 27. Buckley and Rothbard Continued • Rothbard helped Buckley on the research for Up From Liberalism. • They split over Khrushchev’s 1959 visit to the US. Buckley opposed it, viewing Khrushchev as a mass murderer, because he was involved in Stalin’s purges. • Rothbard welcomed the visit as a step toward peace.

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