The View From 1776

John T. Flynn: A True Liberal

From the 1920s until the late 1940s, John T. Flynn was a highly regarded and influential journalistic analyst of American political and economic affairs.

His descriptions of Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal and Mussolini’s fascist state corporatism, in important respects identical political revolutions, are paralleled by the gulf between President Obama’s campaign rhetoric and promises and his performance in office.

When liberal still meant support for personal freedom from arbitrary interference by the political state, John Flynn recognized that progressivism, now called liberalism, was more akin to fascism than to political liberty.

Wikipedia tells us:

Although Flynn graduated from Georgetown Law School, he chose a career in journalism. He started at the New Haven Register, but eventually moved to New York; there he was financial editor of the New York Globe. During the 1920s and 1930s, he wrote articles for such leading publications as The New Republic, Harper’s Magazine, and Collier’s Weekly. He became one of the best-known political commentators in the United States. Like Oswald Garrison Villard, another key figure in the Old Right, Flynn was a leftist with populist inclinations during this period. He supported Franklin D. Roosevelt for president but criticized the New Deal.


The following excerpts present a picture of conditions about which Flynn wrote regularly as they occurred.



Principles First
by John F. McManus
(The New American, January 31, 2000)

Old-school “liberal” John T. Flynn fought for limited government and noninterventionism against the rising tides of socialism and militarism.