Sunday, April 21, 2013

Richard Nixon: The Man Behind the Mask 2

I finished Gary Allen's 1971 book, Richard Nixon: The Man Behind the Mask.   Gary Allen was a member of the right-wing John Birch Society, and he critiqued Richard Nixon from a right-wing perspective.

In my latest reading, Allen referred to an example of President Nixon playing political hardball to keep a surtax on income in an alleged attempt to control inflation (perhaps because the tax would reduce consumer spending and thus demand): Nixon, according to Allen, "made the surtax vote a loyalty test and threatened conscience-stricken Congressmen with cuts in federal spending in their home districts" (page 363).  In addition, Allen criticized President Nixon's extravagant spending on his staff and his houses, in a time of inflation and recession.  And Allen speculated that the conspiratorial elite (i.e., the international bankers) were dangling before Nixon the possibility of becoming the President of the entire world.  Allen predicted that Nixon's inflationary policies would lead to severe unemployment, which would accompany dramatic unrest.  Nixon would then establish a socialistic dictatorship, in Allen's scenario, and that would be followed by a world government.

As I said in my last post, Allen resembles the left-wing Jerry Voorhis, who himself wrote an anti-Nixon book.  Voorhis' Nixon played political hardball.  Voorhis also depicts Nixon as extravagant (for himself, not the needy) and grandiose, as Nixon flies to foreign countries and acts like a king.  Voorhis is not as apocalyptic as Allen, for Voorhis does not seem to envision the Nixon Administration as bringing a total end to the republic; Voorhis expects for there to be another Presidential election!  Voorhis does, however, feel that Nixon is disregarding the Constitution, is concentrating more power into the hands of the Executive Branch, and is creating an atmosphere in which people are afraid to express public dissent.  

Granted, there are differences between Voorhis and Allen, even when they overlap.  Let's take the issue of taxes.  Voorhis depicts Nixon as wanting to shift the tax burden onto the middle-class through a Value-Added Tax, while lessening it for the rich.  Allen, similarly, criticizes Nixon's idea for a Value-Added Tax, and he notes that some of the rich elites are able to avoid taxes by placing their money in foundations.  And yet, Allen does not care for Nixon's plan to get rid of a 7 percent tax credit for capital investment, for corporations are the institutions that produce.

I'd like to talk some about Allen's views on an alleged conspiracy to create a one-world government.  According to Allen, a group of international bankers and the elite Council on Foreign Relations are seeking to create a one-world collectivist government, and Nixon himself is working towards that end.  How does Allen support this thesis?  Well, he does cite books, article, and documents!  He refers to a CFR paper that envisions a new international order, as well as the Reece Committee, which depicted the CFR as globalist.  He mentions support by financiers for the Bolshevik Revolution, and an ex-Communist in the U.S. who narrated that she had to consult American financiers for her orders; for Allen, the Insiders created the Communist threat to cause trouble in the world and thereby to scare people into accepting a one-world government, in which Communists would have a significant amount of power.  Allen quotes an article from the conservative (yet non-conspiracy theory-oriented) Human Events, which depicted wealthy bankers trying to torpedo the Presidential candidacy of Republican Robert Taft in 1952 by threatening to call in the loans of pro-Taft delegates; the article said that these financiers wanted to preserve their cozy relationship with the federal government that the New Deal brought about, and Eisenhower was more open to that than Taft was.  Overall, Allen contends that these wealthy conspirators like liberalism: he refers to Carroll Quigley's Tragedy and Hope, which says that financiers were subsidizing leftist causes; he contends that government bail-outs and controls encourage monopolies that can protect the wealthy from competition; and his argument also appears to be that the wealthy insiders can benefit from a socialist government that controls all property and makes the people into serfs, especially when the wealthy insiders are the ones behind that government.  Allen maintains that Nixon himself has supported world government and the lessening of U.S. sovereignty.  Nixon supported resolutions for world government back when he was a Congressman; as Vice-President Nixon fought the Bricker Amendment that protected American sovereignty from treaties; he has supported a world court; he has pushed for the UN Genocide Convention which (according to certain conservative critics) could drag Americans before a foreign or domestic court for offending a group of people; and he has expressed support for the Atlantic Union and the United World Federalists.

What do I think about all this?  There may be a grain of truth to what Allen is saying, and yet I think that reality is more complex than that.  While I acknowledge that elites have influence over politics and government, I doubt that those elites can be characterized as leftist, per se.  Granted, some of them may enjoy a cozy relationship with government, and they may deal with Communists or leftists when they feel that it might benefit them, but I doubt that they are committed to left-wing socialism.  When a socialist such as Salvador Allende nationalizes American businesses in Chile, I doubt that they're for socialism then!  When antitrust laws threaten their monopolies, they may support a more laissez-faire governmental approach at that time!  If the CFR is so soft on Communism, then why did certain CFR members within the U.S. Government support and possibly even back coups against left-wing regimes?  Moreover, Allen contends that the Insiders are for war: the Insiders wanted the U.S. to enter World War I and World War II, and they dislike isolationism.  And yet, Allen is all for a hawkish approach towards the Vietnam War!  Why couldn't one posit that the anti-war left was opposing the goals of the Insiders in its support for U.S. withdrawal from Vietnam?  And why, according to Allen, are there conservative heroes who are supporting globalism?  Allen says that Nixon supported the Atlantic Union.  Well, according to Allen on page 304, so did Barry Goldwater!  My impression is that Allen is not particularly a fan of Goldwater, for he depicts Goldwater as someone who did not have the heart to be President; yet, Allen does appear to present Goldwater as someone the Establishment did not want as Chief Executive.  Was Goldwater a supporter of a one-world government?  Or maybe endorsing the Atlantic Union does not mean that one is part of some globalist conspiracy to create a one-world collectivist regime, and Allen is jumping to conclusions!

I should note three articles.  One is wikipedia's article on Carroll Quigley, whom a number of conspiracy theorists love to quote and cite.  Someday, I will read and blog through Quigley's book, Tragedy and Hope.  But, for now, I'd like to note wikipedia's quotation of Quigley, who said in this article that Allen misunderstood him (and the article also contains Allen's response).  According to Quigley, the Round Table Group, which was linked to international bankers, was working to "establish what I call a three-power world: England and the U.S., Hitler's Germany and Soviet Russia" (Quigley's words).  That differs from a one-world government.  Quigley also said: "[Gary Allen's] None Dare Call It Conspiracy insists that international bankers were a single bloc, were all powerful and remain so today.  I, on the contrary, stated in my book that they were much divided, often fought among themselves, had great influence but not control of political life and were sharply reduced in power about 1931-1940, when they became less influential than monopolized industry."  Another article I'd like to mention is this one by Will Banyan.  My impression (and I'm open to correction on this) is that Banyan believes that there are powerful interests that want to create a new world order, but he doubts that Nixon was closely allied to them, and he highlights nuance in Nixon's record regarding world government.  It's worth the read, for anyone who's interested.

The wikipedia article on Gary Allen calls him a "sociopolitical researcher".  I'm not sure what that entails, but, believe it or not, I can see that.  Allen is a shrewd political analyst, who knows about political strategy and has ideas about what makes voters tick.  How does that jive with his conspiracist tendencies?  Don't conspiracists treat political figures as mere puppets of a monolithic power-structure, which is orchestrating events according to a plan?  At times, Allen seems to want to distance himself from that characterization of conspiracism, and he acknowledges that political figures are acting according to their own ambitions and agenda.  At other times, however, Allen appears to present political events as things that do not happen accidentally, but rather are caused.  Personally, I wouldn't be surprised if the rich and powerful have vast influence.  Actually, I'd be surprised if they did notBut do I believe that they have a monolithic political agenda and are orchestrating all events in American politics?  Not really.

No comments:

Search This Blog

Loading...