Lauchlin Currie of the US Treasury Department, the Federal Reserve, the White House -- and the Kremlin
This past week's syndicated column (posted a little late):
The most amazing aspects of the accelerating American submission to the state are: 1) how matter-of-fact we are in contemplating massive government interventions, such as President Barack Obama's latest stimulus "jobs" plan, and 2) how virtually no one notices the blatant Marxist overtones. When someone does, a la "Joe the Plumber" at the end of the 2008 campaign season, he or she is mocked off the stage.
President Obama demonstrated how this is done in January 2010 when, during an unusual White House meeting with congressional Republicans about his pending health-care legislation – another massive government
intervention into the private sector – he declared: "If you were to listen to the debate, and, frankly, how some of you went after this bill, you'd think this thing was some Bolshevik plot."
I remember cringing when a smattering of applause arose from the GOP ranks, as though some Republicans actually believed the president had delivered a punch line revealing the absurdity of considering "Obamacare" a government apparatus for seizing control of the lives of citizens – which it is. And that's no joke.
I wish any Republican had replied: "Not necessarily a 'plot,' sir, but a program that is indeed 'Bolshevik' in conception, design and purpose nonetheless. Government control of private sector activity, as the American people well know (or should), is aptly described as 'Bolshevik' – or Marxist, socialist, collectivist, statist and, for that matter, fascist, too. Indeed, nationalized health care was one of the first programs enacted by the Bolsheviks after they seized power in 1917."
But, no. Among the many deep psychological factors repressing such a factually devastating response is pure historical ignorance. This isn't entirely our fault. That is, the truth about Bolshevism and closely related creeds barely makes it into our curricula – another Bolshevik plot, if you ask me. Indeed, the shocking intelligence history of communist plotters who secretly sabotaged our government barely dents our understanding of history even now, some 20 years after secret archives in Moscow and Washington opened, somewhat, to disgorge incontrovertible proof of pro-Soviet agents operating in the highest reaches of power.
But if nationalized health care is a demonstrably Bolshevik program, "stimulus spending" is what you might call a genuine Bolshevik plot. Why? One of the Kremlin's greatest agents you probably never heard of played a leading role in introducing stimulus spending as a macroeconomic policy for the first time in U.S. history during the Franklin D. Roosevelt years.
The agent's name was Lauchlin Currie, and, as M. Stanton Evans writes in his indispensable 2007 book "Blacklisted by History," he ranks "among the most influential Soviet agents ever in the U.S. government, if only by virtue of his portfolio in the White House dealing with affairs of China." Currie, an administrative assistant to FDR, was instrumental in the U.S.-government-wide communist plot to turn China red.
But that's not all he did. Currie pops up in nine KGB cables translated by American cryptographers in what is known as the Venona Project, which became public in 1995. From these and other archival sources we have learned that Currie passed secret documents and shared sensitive political intelligence with Soviet spymasters. Equally as damaging, Currie used his stature as a senior Roosevelt aide to shut down investigations into the activities of other American traitors operating inside government.
While I haven't seen mention of Currie's economic activities in KGB documents, how does stimulus spending sound now on discovering that this bona fide Soviet agent was its leading proponent? In "Roosevelt, the Great Depression and the Economics of Recovery" (University of Virginia Press, 2005), Elliot Rosen, professor emeritus of history at Rutgers, writes: "The initial rationale for public expenditure as a stimulus to the economy was provided by Currie, who won a wide and influential audience in the Roosevelt administration." As assistant research director for the Federal Reserve, his position before moving to the White House, "Currie provided an economic rationale" for deficit spending. "Wartime aside," Rosen writes, "no precedent existed for budget unbalance." Not surprisingly, another Currie project was to push for the "abandonment of the concept of annual budget balance."
So that's where balanced budgets went, and stimulus spending came from. Think of it: One agent of communist influence in high places, and the U.S. economy was revolutionized.
If only Americans could learn to recognize a Bolshevik plot when they see one.