If, on March 3rd 1933, you fell asleep a Libertarian, whom for the past 20 years had been called a member of the Left who worked alongside
Progressives and Socialists in America then by the time you awoken on the morning of March 4th you would have been a “right-wing extremist”. How
can this be? One day you are a member of the Left and next day you are being called a “fascist” and a “conservative”.
What about when the people you for 20 years allied yourself with suddenly turned their back on you. The ones you mentored in university classes, you
wrote newspaper articles with, you protested with in the streets, they all suddenly look upon you with disdain. This is not some nightmare that
someone had or some fictional dystopian book, this was real, and it happened right here in the United States.
From the onset of World War I and the Orwellian policies implemented by the Wilson administration a close alliance of necessity was formed by all
those who seen the absolute terror being caused by the state. Libertarians, Anarchists, Socialists, Communists, and Progressives all came together.
The entire issue of Laissez-faire capitalism, socialism, and such division was abandoned temporarily as a more pressing issue was being raised.
Before their eyes these men and women witnessed this country morph from one of a bastion of liberty to one with a propaganda bureau, citizen spies,
arrest for protesting and speaking out against the state, federal segregation, the imposition of a powerful central bank, excessive taxation upon the
people, and the involvement of the United States in the Great War. These citizens witnessed arguably the policies of the first Fascist leader in world
history; Woodrow Wilson.
In 1920 Americans rose up against the entire history of the Wilson administration. They despised his foreign, domestic, and social policies which in
turn created an era of rebellion, radical politics, and the rise of individualism once again. The Left did not completely win however as they now
witnessed the government and big business get in bed with each other like never before along the continuation of national prohibition.
By the early 30s enemy number one for the left (Libertarians, Anarchists, Progressives, Socialists) was President Hoover. He began many of the
policies which would become known as the New Deal, albeit to a far lesser degree. Since he was a Republican and the Republicans were the party of big
business and prohibition the left set its sights on taking control of the Democratic Party again. Al Smith was the leading candidate for party
nomination in 1932. Smith was a staunch anti-prohibitionist, non-interventionist, leader of the efficiency movement, and a limited government type, so
obviously he appealed to the left.
He did not however win the party nomination. It instead went to 1920 Vice Presidential candidate Franklin Delano Roosevelt who proposed a ‘New
Deal’ for the American people. Basically it was taking Hoovers’ policies, making them more radical and intrusive, and then adding his class
warfare rhetoric into the mix. Seeing as how Hoover was so disliked at the time almost anyone could have defeated him in the election.
Seeing what Roosevelt was proposing angered Hoover because Roosevelt had taken the original bureaucratic programs supported by big business and pushed
them further than he had or would. Please understand at that time Hoover was big government and Roosevelt was trying to beat him at it, i.e. who could
out-statist the other.
Such New Deal programs as the NRA and AAA were basically just spin-offs of the Swope Plan, which was headed by General Electric CEO Gerald Swope and
supported by the other big businesses. Hoover already refused to go as far as the Swope Plan even calling it “fascism”, angering almost all the
big businessmen and the Chamber of Commerce, who then warned Hoover that they would throw their support behind Roosevelt. To prove how serious they
were with their words when Roosevelt did enact the NRA and AAA it was Swope, Harriman, and Baruch who were involved in drafting and even administering
the programs. So in effect, the New Deal was backed by the wealthiest businessmen in America.
Within only a few months of Roosevelt’s inauguration the Left collapsed. The Libertarians were appalled to realize that their old allies had now
became their staunchest enemies, joining with the Roosevelt clique of liberal intellectuals, big business, big labor, and the state. Men and women who
once fought against the state were now writing articles, doing seminars, and attacking their former allies and conservatives in defense of the
It did not end there however. Abandoning your old friends is bad enough but it became even worse. These newly empowered allies of the state then
turned against their old friends by viciously attacking them with such labels as ‘reactionaries’, ‘right-wing extremists’, and ‘fascists’.
How did these radicals of the left suddenly become right-wing and conservative? Did their positions suddenly shift? No. They still battled the state,
opposed war and monopolies.
Now allow me to quote for you a little from Murray Rothbard’s ‘The Betrayal of the American
“Thus, in December 1933, Nock wrote angrily to Canon Bernard Iddings Bell: “I see I am now rated as a Tory. So are you—ain’t it? What an
ignorant blatherskite FDR must be! We have been called many bad names, you and I, but that one takes the prize.” Nock’s biographer adds that
“Nock thought it odd that an announced radical, anarchist, individualist, single-taxer and apostle of Spencer should be called conservative.
(Betrayal, p. 50)
From this betrayal of their former friends and allies emerged a new coalition, one completely unthinkable until that time. Libertarians, Anarchists,
and the big business Conservatives all came together under a new coalition, one which was now outright opposed to the entire doctrine of New Deal
welfarism and statism.
Progressives, Socialists, and even Communists joined together with the Liberals to push through the New Deal. The new coalitions had been born. One
even the issue of World War II intervention could not tear apart.
Libertarians watched as the Conservative Republicans all fell over each other denouncing the Democrats New Deal. These were the same Republicans who
for the past 20 years been pushing new regulations, bureaucracies, tariffs, and prohibition, all issues which are opposed to that of liberty. Many of
the Conservative Democrats joined in the anti-New Deal crowd as well, forming the American Liberty League.
As we turn back to the core point of this piece, that of the Libertarians overnight going from Left to ‘Extreme-right’ without even moving, it
begs the question of what exactly happened to the new ‘left’ and ‘right’. Did the Old Right just disappear with the death of Robert Taft and
the rise of National Review Republicans or did the ‘Old Right’ re-emerge years later with the rise of the Vietnam War protests, Hippie movement,
and the Individualist politics that defined the era?
If we are to accept that many, perhaps most, of the ‘old right’ members joined the ‘new left’ then where did they go after the protests died?
Perhaps there is no real defining answer to that question other than saying that the ‘old left’ then ‘old right’ then ‘new left’ is just a
constant current in American politics that will spring up with their Individualist and Non-interventionist politics on any side of the political
We may have even seen them once again in 2009-2010 with the large scale Tea Party protests that swept the country and the arrival of a new breed of
Republican, a more Individualist, states’ rights, and non-interventionist wing of the Republican Party. Much like the Democratic Party of the late
60s and early 70s, this wing is now fighting for control over the party and is trying to reassert itself as a dominant force in American politics,
moving us in a more Individualist, liberty-loving, and isolationist direction.
With that could we then see the ‘new right’ take the torch of individual freedom and peace that the ‘new left’ held? Where would that put the
present day Liberals when Neoconservatives and Social conservatives are forced to battle for their political life in a Republican Party now becoming
overtaken by fiscal conservatism and isolationism? Will they go back home to the Democratic Party? And if so could we now expect a realignment of
With that all stated and the questions asked I do leave you to ponder what I have said and bid you a good day.
Not for Moderators: This was also posted to my blog so I was not copyrighting it from another author this is my authentic work. If there is any
problems please send me a u2u.
edit on 6/17/2011 by Misoir because: (no reason given)