May 19, 1934 - Article - The Balance Sheet of Capitalism, by Garet Garrett
Nevertheless, there is here a startling departure. It begins with saying that democracy and capitalism shall be reformed together. The argument is circular. To arrive at the free and abundant life to which every individual is entitled, it will be necessary to reform democracy. But to reform democracy it will be necessary first for a government, acting in the name of the people, to overthrow the rule of individualism in the economic sphere, to lay a controlling hand upon all the means of production and to say how the nation's wealth and income shall be divided. It follows simply that in order for the government to seize and exercise this power of economic and social control, thereby to reform democracy for the full and abundant individual life, it will be necessary for the individual to surrender the economic liberties he has enjoyed and may have abused under what hitherto ne mistook to be a democratic form of government. Not for his own sake as a specific individual but for the sake of every individual, he must submit his individualism to a planned economy.
But now they read a little book entitled America Must Choose, written by Henry A. Wallace. He is the Secretary of Agriculture; he is also the head of the AAA that began with administering American agriculture by consent of farmers and now talks of going from consent to compulsion.
But what America must choose, according to Mr. Wallace, is not whether it will presently return to the kind of economic liberty it knew or sink its individualism in a planned economy under Government discipline. He takes that to be already settled. The old economic liberty is gone. "Much as we all dislike them," he says, "the new types of social control that we have now in operation are here to stay and to grow."...... with the Government in "complete control of all the agencies of public opinion" - that is to say, the newspapers, magazines and radio - in order by propaganda and regimented thinking to stretch the national will. (pg. 6)
Any way of thinking that exalts the absolute powers of government with intent to sink individual freedom, even in the name of the people, is a betrayal of democracy. Yet, since the ideas and memories of democracy are still popular, this implication is nowhere bald. It may conceal itself. Or it may be concealed in the procedure whereby it appears that democracy overcomes itself as an act of its own free will. Thus, Mussolini, himself naming the candidates, moves a popular election and the people elect a Chamber of Deputies that is pledged beforehand to abolish itself, thereby bringing parliamentary government to an end in that country. A democracy already dead may yet conduct its own funeral. (pg. 7)
Comments: The economic system of capitalism was something that slowly developed over time that took the place of serfdom. The problem was not the economic system, but human greed - greed for money and power. Garrett could not foresee that the New Deal was planning on perverting the income tax to include the object of human labor. Free labor was the foundation of economic liberty for working people, and it was about to be sacrificed on the altar of the New Deal. Secretary Wallace was correct about Government getting "complete control of all the agencies of public opinion." Ask yourself these questions: Did you know that, before reading this book, that the income tax was never intended to tax your labor when it started? Did you know that, before reading this book, whoever has the power to direct and receive the fruits of your labor has enslaved you? Do you not think that there are people in power, as well as people in the media and the press, who know these facts but chose to hide them from the people? In fact, do they not tell the people that they are free? Responding to their mental conditioning since childhood, do not most people claim that they are free?