The View From 1776
Tuesday, December 27, 2005
In American colleges and universities, truth is equated to a phantasmic view of the world, in which socialism is the ultimate revelation of truth and justice. Harvard’s coat of arms bears the motto “Veritas,” the Latin word for truth; Yale’s, “Lux et Veritas,” light and truth. Both institutions since the early 1900s have used the word truth in the same sense and to the same ends as the Soviets employed it in their propaganda journal “Pravda,” a Russian word meaning truth.
The following article is scheduled for publication in the forthcoming Republican Voices newsletter.
Socialism that is taught as multi-culturalism and political correctness in our colleges and universities today was planted and cultivated more than a century ago. The bitter fruit of this industry is our liberal Republicans and liberal Democrats, who find repugnant the ethos of 1776 upon which our nation was founded.
Liberal-Progressive anti-Americanism and opposition to national defense are explicit in the doctrine espoused openly from the late 1800s through the Vietnam era. Today’s liberal Democrats and liberal Republicans, seeking political advantage even at the expense of emboldening terrorists in Iraq and disheartening our troops, are simply reading from the socialist scripts of 1916-17, the 1930s, and the 1960s.
Even before the 1917 Russian Revolution, leading universities in the United States had begun a transition from the Christian roots of our nation into atheistic, secular materialism in their teaching of the so-called social sciences.
Nominally-Christian theological seminaries were in the vanguard of the movement toward socialism. Rochester Theological Seminary’s professor Walter Rauschenbusch, one of the best known socialist spokesmen of his era, was a founder of the Social Gospel movement late in the 19th century. Social Gospel was nothing more nor less than socialism masquerading as Christianity.
Social Gospel embraced the avowed aims of socialism, which sound similar to the results that flow from the Bible’s commandment to love one’s neighbor as he would wish to have his neighbor love him. The insurmountable problem is that socialism, and therefore Social Gospel, is atheistic and materialistic, i.e., the antithesis of Christianity and religious Judaism.
To believe that Social Gospel is true Christianity is to believe that the Soviet dictatorship of the proletariat was truly democratic.
In “Christianizing the Social Order” (1912), Professor Rauschenbusch wrote:
“The Socialists found the Church against them and thought God was against them, too. They have had to do God’s work without the sense of God’s presence to hearten them…..Whatever the sins of individual Socialists, and whatever the shortcomings of Socialist organizations, they are tools in the hands of the Almighty…....Socialism is one of the chief powers of the coming age…...God will raise up Socialism because the organized Church was too blind, or too slow, to realize God’s ends.”
Two other prominent seminaries, among many others, were active promoters of socialism. Their spokesmen also were nationally known figures: Dr. Harry F. Ward of Union Theological Seminary in New York and Dr. Bernard Iddings-Bell of St. Stephens College in Annandale, New York.
Dr. Ward wrote “The New Social Order,” to express sympathy for Socialism and to laud the Bolshevik revolutionary movement in Russia, which he regarded as a desirable replacement for the Russian Orthodox Christian Church. Dr. Ward also was chairman of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which actively defended the terrorist tactics of the radical IWW labor organization, whose members murdered more than a dozen employees and executives of industrial companies they sought to intimidate with demands for labor seizure of management control.
Dr. Iddings-Bell in “Right and Wrong After the War,” in this case World War I, advocated Sigmund Freud’s version of Marxian materialism, in which human life is controlled by hunger and the sex urge. From this theory of secular and materialistic human nature, he concluded that (1) private property should be abolished; (2) income earned from investments, savings accounts, and rental property is robbery; (3) the family as a social unit should be abandoned except as a temporary arrangement for purely sexual relations.
In his sermon delivered on May 23, 1920, at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, Dr. Iddings-Bell gave his support to revolutionary labor demands for abolishment of the wage system and control of industry by communistic labor unions.
He declared that the New Social Order had arrived and that people were obliged to accept it. Among other things, that meant that internationalism must replace American patriotism.
The American Federation of Teachers, in the May-June, 1918, issue of its house journal the “American Teacher,” carried an article expressing the revolutionary industrial theory that children should be taught to demand “industrial democracy,” of which it said, “...it is by the people who do the work that the hours of labor, the conditions of employment and the definition of property is to be made. It is by them the captains of industry are to be chosen, and chosen by the servants, not masters.”
The InterCollegiate Socialist Society was organized in New York in 1905. Its monthly magazine, the “Socialist Review” and volumes of socialistic pamphlets, were distributed to chapters in 87 colleges and universities, including, of course, Harvard and Yale. Its influence was even greater than this alone suggests, because its founders included prominent writers Upton Sinclair and Jack London, whose novels became part of the required canon of American literature in university curricula. Their socialistic views still today are being absorbed by callow students who assume that the writers’ status in the literary canon confers authority for their views.
According to the InterCollegiate Socialist Society’s year book, “...in 1915-1916 John Spargo, Rose Pastor Stokes and Harry W. Laidler spoke in 120 colleges before over 30,000 students and 12,000 others. They addressed some eighty economic and other classes and spoke before over a score of entire college bodies.”
Out of this milieu in 1919 came New York City’s New School for Social Research, dedicated to teaching manifestations of socialism in all academic disciplines. Among its founders were historian Charles Beard, economists Thorstein Veblen and James Harvey Robinson, and philosopher John Dewey, all active and avowed socialists.
Meanwhile, in the prestigious Ivy League, Harvard set the trend in motion and went farther than most universities toward full embrace of socialism as revealed truth. Given the nature of Marxian materialism, economics was not surprisingly the discipline in which socialism was particularly prominent in the 1920s and 1930s. Harvard was, in fact, the launching pad for Keynesian economics in the United States.
John Maynard Keynes’s doctrines have filled many books. The relevant points can be stated as (1) the Depression was caused by people saving too much and not spending enough on consumption items to keep factory workers fully employed; (2) private business (capitalism) was unable in the modern world to sustain full employment at good wages; (3) therefore the government had to assume the role formerly occupied by private business and fund economic activity and research in order to restore full employment via running Federal deficits, the first such outside of war times; (4) government should raise taxes high enough to redistribute private wealth from the rich to the poor, via government transfer payments (the welfare state); (5) government departments should regulate all phases of economic activity, because academically trained administrators were smarter and better equipped to manage business than businessmen, who exploited workers for their own profit.
Harvard’s economics department has sheltered some prominent socialists and avowed communists. One of the more notorious was Harry Dexter White, a Rooseveltian New Dealer. Being a professor at Harvard opened the doors to major Federal appointments. White was closely involved in establishing the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, and was a friend of John Maynard Keynes, whose socialistic economics doctrines he taught at Harvard.
There was just one small fly in the ointment. After his death, the FBI in 1950 positively identified him via the Venona project as a Soviet spy operating under the code name ‘Jurist.’ This confirmed testimony of Elizabeth Bentley and Whittaker Chambers that White had been involved in the Communist party underground in the 1930s and had been an active Soviet spy during World War II.
Lauchlin Currie, another Harvard economics teacher of Keynesianism, was appointed from the Harvard faculty to staff position in the 1930s New Deal at the U.S. Treasury and the Federal Reserve Board. It was Currie who drafted the 1935 Banking Act which brought the Federal Reserve Board more directly under President Franklin Roosevelt’s control.
After World War II, Currie was also identified by Elizabeth Bently and Whittaker Chambers as a Soviet agent. Rather than face trial here, he sought refuge in Columbia, beyond U.S. repatriational jurisdiction.
Yet another of the thirteen Harvard faculty members who spied for the Soviets was Alger Hiss. While at the State Department, he delivered confidential information to his Soviet handlers, as Whittaker Chambers testified and KGB files verified after the end of the Cold war.
Other prominent, or notorious, socialists who taught at Harvard or graduated from that institution were Supreme Court Justice Felix Frankfurter, Walter Lippmann (who later saw the error of his ways), Roger N. Baldwin (founder of the ACLU), Stuart Chase (who coined the term New Deal and urged President Roosevelt to run rough-shod over the Constitution in order to abolish private property); Graham Wallas (British socialist leader who coined the term Great Society, later borrowed by President Lyndon Johnson); Bertrand Russell (a dean of world socialism); and Harold Laski (Harvard faculty member and close friend of socialist Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., later professor of economics at London School of Economics, which was dedicated to the teaching of socialism). John Reed, a Harvard graduate (1910) wrote for Max Eastman’s “The Masses” and, after the 1917 revolution, went to Soviet Russia, became a Bolshevik convert, wrote “Ten Days That Shook The World,” died in Russia, and was declared a hero of the Soviet Union.
In the decades between the two world wars, it was considered respectable for an educated, liberal person to be a socialistic adherent of the policies of British Prime Minister Ramsay MacDonald, a Fabian socialist, or a follower of John Maynard Keynes’s economic doctrines. These are the liberals who, like Nelson Rockefeller, are nominal Republicans or Democrats, but in fact are true-blue socialists. People of that persuasion in the inter-war decades abhorred a communist party leader like Earl Browder or Joseph Stalin, or National Socialist Fuhrer Adolph Hitler. Yet all of these people were reading from the same socialistic texts and pursuing the same ends, even if by somewhat different means.
During the Cold War, Harvard’s swing all the way to the socialist left was documented by The New York Times on May 16, 1960, when it reported that “1,359 Harvard faculty members and officers urged [President] Eisenhower, at the eve of the abortive Summit Conference, to agree to stop testing nuclear weapons even without inspection or control.” The Times article goes on to note that this was exactly the position advocated by the Kremlin in its worldwide propaganda campaign intended to disarm the United States.
By the end of World War II, “Lux et Veritas” (light and truth) had been effectively snuffed out at Yale, as William F. Buckley, Jr. documented in detail in his 1951 “God and Man at Yale.” Faculty, textbooks, and course materials had been thoroughly permeated by socialism.