The Blue Book
The Blue Book is the entire two-day presentation given by Robert Welch at the founding
meeting of The John Birch Society in Indianapolis, December 9, 1958. The background,
methods, and purposes of The John Birch Society are set forth.
Foreword To Fourth Printing
Foreword To Second Printing
Foreword to the 24th Printing
POSTSCRIPT - MARCH 15, 1961
POSTSCRIPT - DECEMBER 9, 1959
About the Author
THE COUNCIL of THE JOHN BIRCH SOCIETY
Foreword To Fourth Printing
February 22, 1961
The first few working chapters of The John Birch Society were formed in February,
1959, exactly two years ago. They have been a long two years.
During that period the whole world has moved, by what should be the measure of a
century, further into an era of darkness, slavery, and terror. Our own country has suffered
from as much turpitude and treason as would ordinarily require a generation to put
together. And those of us trying to build up the strength and effectiveness of The John
Birch Society, under the pressures that have prevailed, feel that we have lived through a
decade on the brink of a breaking point.
Naturally we have faced extensive and malicious attacks from both the open and the
disguised Left. Nothing more is required today to bring down on any man's head a torrent
of smears from the Liberal Establishment than: (a) to deny the beauties of the welfare
state; or (b), to seek to preserve the opportunities and responsibilities of the individual; or
(c), to suspect the venality of any of the Establishments painstakingly manufactured but
clay-footed gods, with their synthetic haloes. And we have done all three.
Also we have suffered from open opposition, "objective condemnation, " and undercover
punches by our allies of the Right. These too were to be expected — although we confess
to surprise at the quarters from which a few of the attacks have come. Unquestionably
some of the criticism has been due to sincere differences of opinion, as to ideology or as
to methods. But our growing in just two years to a size and strength that many of these
groups have been unable to attain in a decade, or in a lifetime, has produced inevitable
resentment. So we have been able unhesitatingly to ascribe most of the "confidential
reports" and whispering campaigns against us, on the part of other Conservatives, to
nothing more serious than the normal jealousies and petty hypocrisies of mankind.
We have taken them all in stride as well as we knew how. Certainly we have gone on
supporting, to the best of our ability, every individual and every group that we have
believed to be honestly opposing the collectivist advance, regardless of the obstacles that
individual or group might be deliberately putting in the way of our own organizational
efforts and our substantive activities. And we intend to continue to do so. Tackling one's
own backfield does not seem to us to be a sensible way to win a ball game — or a war.
For our enemy is the Communists, and we do not intend to lose sight of that fact for a
minute. We are fighting the Communists — nobody else. Being fully aware of the
imminence and horror of the danger we face from that source, we have no intention of
being distracted by the carping of our friends, or of those who should be our friends and
we hope will be our friends in time. For if we do there is entirely too much likelihood —
as we have already said elsewhere and many times — that in a few short years we shall all
be hanging from the same lamp posts, while Communist terror reigns around us.
Our greatest problem, however, has been neither the lies of the Left nor the
recriminations of the Right. It has been the difficulty of getting the ordinary patriotic
American citizen to sit up and take an honest look at what is really happening.
Contributing most to that difficulty are three factors which we have also identified and
discussed on many earlier occasions. First is the apathy of the American people, induced
by the incessant cackling of the Communist chorus: "There ain't nobody here but just us
Liberals. " Second is the vested interest in error, now held by so many millions of
Americans. They have accepted and believed so much Communist propaganda in the past
that they must now defend it as their own. Third is a circumstance which, unlike the other
two, has not been created by the Communists themselves. But it has long been depended
on by the Communists, and is still depended on by them, as one of the greatest forces
working in their favor. This is the fact that the fundamentally decent American mind
simply refuses to grasp the kind of enemy with which it now has to deal.
As you will see, The John Birch Society gets into this fight against the Communists
through incidental necessity. Visibly, we must halt and rout these organized forces of evil
— or help mightily to do so -before we can get on with our positive and constructive
program. And it is difficult to discuss the future improvement of the landscape and
gardens around a beautiful home while a vicious enemy is throwing incendiary bombs at
But it is our total program, with all of its dreams and ideals and aspirations, for which we
here seek your consideration, and ultimately your support. We are fully aware that this
presentation in print of the background, methods, and purposes of The John Birch Society
is not nearly so effective as when I can give it personally to a selected small group of
leaders, in a full two-day meeting — as I have now done some twenty-eight times since
the Society was founded. This Blue Book, however, will still serve to give any really
interested person a clear understanding of what we are trying to do and how and why, in
this huge undertaking for which we are now receiving so much help and encouragement.
Foreword To Second Printing
December 9, 1959
The John Birch Society was founded at a meeting in Indianapolis, on December 9, 1958.
Of the eleven men who had met me there on Monday morning, December 8, for the two-
day session, one had come from Oregon, one from Kansas, one from Missouri, two from
Wisconsin, one from Illinois, one from Indiana, one from Tennessee, one from Virginia,
and two from Massachusetts.
These were all influential and very busy men. But they were also patriotic and public-
spirited enough to have come to Indianapolis for the two full days, at my invitation,
without knowing the reason for the meeting. For there was simply no way I could explain
this reason in advance. With short breaks for coffee, for luncheons, and for brief
discussions in between sections of the presentation, it required the two whole days to set
forth the background, methods, and purposes of The John Birch Society. The pages that
follow are simply a transcript, practically verbatim, of that presentation.
Quite a few of the details of the international situation, as outlined during the first hour
and a half of that Monday, and hence as presented here, have changed — and grown far
more disturbing — since then. Many of the specific plans which were projected during
that Monday afternoon have already been put into operation. The Society so hopefully
described on Tuesday morning, and so vigorously discussed throughout that Tuesday
afternoon, has since taken solid form and begun to grow. As of this first anniversary date,
it already has working chapters in New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New
York, Virginia, South Carolina, Florida, Tennessee, Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin, Iowa,
Louisiana, Texas, California and Washington. It also has Home Chapter members in
about forty states.
There would be advantages, of course, in making the minor changes at some points in
this copy which would bring it strictly up to date. And obviously a repetition of the mere
amenities of the occasion are by no means necessary to this report. But some details of
the domestic and international picture, as caught by today's most careful pen, would again
be out of date before these pages ever come from the printer. There is no instant at which
the shutter may be snapped so that the print will remain true. And there may be some
sentimental value, for many of us, in recording the original presentation exactly as it was
given. So, with this much explanation, but without apology, we offer here the exact story
listened to so patiently by the eleven men who — with this writer — brought The John
Birch Society into existence.
Foreword to the 24th Printing
October 6, 1992
On March 12, 1983, Robert Welch accepted appointment as chairman emeritus of the
John Birch Society, thus stepping aside as the leader of the organization he launched in
December 1958. Then, after an incapacitating stroke felled him late in 1983, he passed
away on January 6,1985.
For many reasons, the key one of which, is that it can hardly be improved upon, it is our
intention to keep The Blue Book of The John Birch Society in print exactly as he wrote it
when it was first published early in 1959. We believe that countless future readers will
derive great profit from the wisdom and the warning It contains. And we are also certain
that many historians, philosophers, and students of matters political will want to study an
unabridged version of this Immensely important book.
The reader is asked to keep in mind that the thoughts contained here were assembled in
1958-more man a generation ago. The picture Robert Welch painted of the communist
penetration of America's institutions is sound history, and the degree of its soundness can
in part be measured by the tactic of smear chosen by those who attempted to keep the
American people from it. Had The Blue Book been a compilation of spurious history and
absurd conclusions, enemies of Robert Welch would have delighted in pointing to his
errors while encouraging everyone to read them. But they did not, and one can only
conclude that the absence of errors and their own self-interest dictated that they dare not.
The Blue Book's historical portions provide solid evidence pointing to the existence of a
conspiracy operating both in and out of government The plot Robert Welch described
involves a treachery to which many contemporary leaders remain committed. Then, as
now, the actions of numerous national and world leaders confirm their unyielding
determination to gain complete control over the planet.
Had Robert Welch written The Blue Book in 1969, ten years later than it first appeared,
he would have included his con victions about the existence of a conspiracy above
communism. He would also have made a pointed distinction between the term
"Communist" (which he earlier equated with AConspirator") and the conspirators who sit
above the communists in the hierarchy of the enormous plot. For, by the middle of the
1960s, he had gathered enough evidence about the many layers of this organized evil
force to state his conclusions about it publicly.
He believed that this conspiratorial force had, among its many destructive
accomplishments, suppressed evidence about the treasonous deeds of numerous
individuals in government and in practically all of America's institutions. These were
men and women whose determination to create a Sovietized world and whose detestation
of a free and independent United States had become obvious to those who took the time
to examine the record.
He showed, during a period when our nation was supposed to be the Soviet Union's chief
adversary, that numerous highly placed individuals-many of whom were not communists-
had transformed our nation into the Soviet Union's major supplier of equipment,
technology, and credits. Instead of combating communism, our nation was keeping it
alive, even assisting the communists in their drive to subvert and conquer more nations
and enslave more peoples.
Also, as he continued to outline with great clarity, many of those who labored within this
conspiratorial apparatus were working diligently to change America and drive her into
the grip of totalitarian socialism. They still are. Their tactics include bribing the people
with their own money, employing the use of force, deception and fear, and using every
other trick they can think of to acquire total government power over the lives and well-
being of the American people.
Totalitarian government was to be established in this nation, claimed Robert Welch, not
as a result of lightning quick leaps, but through a campaign of patient gradualism
designed to persuade a once-free people to vote themselves into tyranny and their nation
into an all-powerful world government. The goal of the conspirators has always called for
the eventual merger of all peoples and all nations into a diabolically conceived "new
Conspiratorial Continuity for More Than 200 Years
As early as 1964, Robert Welch began delivering his historical analysis of the Bavarian
Illuminati in a brilliant speech entitled AMore Stately Mansions." The reader might
wonder what relevance this 18th century conspiratorial body could possibly have to
America In the 1960s, or to this nation today. Robert Welch would answer, and
frequently did answer, "Plenty!" And he spent a great deal of energy explaining to anyone
who would listen exactly what that relevance was.
In 1966, he traced me trades left by conspirators over the past 200 years in his seminal
essay, The Truth In Time. He delivered the essay as a speech on numerous occasions, one
of which was captured on film and immediately reproduced and shown to audiences
throughout the nation. So important do we still consider this explanation of past and
current history that it will henceforth be published as an appendix to all editions of The
Blue Book beginning with this printing. We urge all who examine these pages to avail
themselves of the opportunity to read and study The Truth in Time.
In this remarkable assemblage of documented facts and well-reasoned conclusions,
Robert Welch explained what to many had remained unexplainable. He concluded that
"the Communist movement is only a tool of the total conspiracy." Yes, communism is a
monumental blot on the history of the human race, he maintained, but its rise to power
could not be understood without the realization that non-communists have-from
communism's very beginnings-financed, guided, and controlled it from above.
It was in The Truth in Time that the founder of the John Birch Society first adopted the
term "INSIDERS" to refer to those who hold places in "an inner core of conspiratorial
power." It was these individuals, claimed Robert Welch, who, just as the Illuminatists in
their day had used other groups and individuals, Awere using the Communists, the
anarchists, the socialists of various hues and kinds, and dozens of other groups, to
promote their purposes."
"Some of them may never have been Communists, while others were," said Robert
Welch. "To avoid as much dispute as possible, therefore, let's call this ruling clique
simply the INSIDERS." Like their predecessors for more than two centuries, the
INSIDERS who lead the master Conspiracy today are not necessarily communists; they
are megalomaniacal zealots whose goal remains the establishment for themselves of raw
power over the human race.
Opposing Totalitarianism In Any of Its Forms The John Birch Society has rightly been
characterized as an anti-Communist organization. But, as is made abundantly dear in the
Blue Book, the organization has always been equally opposed to totalitarian control in
any of its forms. Its economic form, known as socialism, has in fact always been the goal
of every communist and it was certainly the goal of those who created the Union of
Soviet Socialist Republics.
Over the years, Robert Welch made dear that a communist was a socialist who employs
terror and brutality to gain and maintain totalitarian control. A socialist, such as the
followers of the Fabian Society in the English-speaking world, can be expected to resort
to terror and brutality in order to maintain control. Socialists or communists, he
contended, were each deadly enemies of freedom and were each worthy of total
opposition. With the benefit of his wisdom, many were able to understand that, when
much of the communist world was restructured and given a new face under the leadership
of "former" communists-which is essentially what occurred in 1989-1990-there was little
or no reason for anyone who advocates freedom to raise the victory flag.
The John Birch Society maintains that the goal of today's INSIDERS remains the same:
world domination. Or, to use the term that has been popularized over recent years, the
goal of this self-perpetuating clique is a new world order. Two of the new world order's
main pillars have always been economic control (socialism) and political control (world
The more timeless portions of the Blue Book, also the more important for students of
political science and economics, are those where Robert Welch discusses the "cancer of
collectivism" (Section Two), and then details his ten Ageneral conclusions" about the
nature of government (Section Six).
Early in this remarkable treatise, he also listed ten destructive aims of those who would
radically alter the United States so as to make it "domestically a communized nation."
The chilling accuracy of those predictions (pages 25-26) led the surprised editor of a
West Coast daily newspaper to say of Robert Welch in 1971, "Whatever Else, Call Him
'Correct.' " As he proved on so many occasions, Robert Welch's knowledge of history and
his awareness of the destructive designs of those who were shaping national and world
events enabled him, as he frequently termed it, "to project the lines" and thereby issue
amazingly accurate predictions. It was never his intention, however, only to forecast the
moves of the Conspiracy. His never-ending goal was to create sufficient understanding
about its plans to keep its goals from being realized.
As was obvious then, and is still obvious today, the INSIDERS have never abandoned
their desire to make this land Adomes tically a communized nation." With only minor
alterations, that destructive goal is still being relentlessly pursued.
The Society Remains on Course
The detailed strategy and tactics employed by the Society to combat the Conspiracy
appear in Section Four. These have remained the guidelines under which the organization
has operated during the more than three decades it has been in existence.
During the past 30-plus years, the Society has published more than 100 books; issued
many hundreds of editions of its monthly Bulletin; produced scores of films, filmstrips
and videotapes; and successfully brought to tens of millions both the message of freedom
and the warning about freedom's internal enemies.
This all-important work continues. And the danger posed by the Conspiracy's drive for
totalitarian power has surely not decreased. As government here in America grows ever
more oppressive, and as the plan to compromise national sovereignty in favor of an
INSIDER-controlled world government moves ever closer to realization, all Americans
ought to realize that a sinister grip on their lives, their freedoms, their nation, and their
future is steadily being tightened.
All who read these pages are cordially invited to contact the Society for more information
about our current concerns, our enduring long-range goals, and our plans to reverse the
frightening trends surrounding all Americans. If you are among the many who worry
about the future for yourself or for those who will inherit the world being shaped for
them, you owe it to them as well as to yourself to examine our program.
Through the efforts of tens of thousands of dedicated "Birchers," and with the added help
of many thousands more who are waiting to join our ranks as soon as they learn the truth
about our efforts, the Society has every intention of carrying on the noble crusade begun
by our Founder. With education as our strategy and truth as our weapon, we mean to
break the Conspiracy's already powerful grip on mankind, and then to move on toward
the higher goal described in the slogan Robert Welch penned for the John Birch Society:
"Less government, more responsibility, and-with God's help- a better world."
- JOHN F. McManus President of The John Birch Society
Gentlemen: Let me welcome you to Indianapolis. All of you, I believe, are already aware
of my appreciation for your being here. I know the job it is to squeeze two whole days,
plus travel time, out of your crowded schedules. For that reason I am all the more grateful
to you for doing so. It was not a favor that was asked easily or is lightly appreciated. But
each of you also felt that you would not have been asked to give up everything else and
come to this meeting, and then to listen to my voice off and on for so much of the two
days, unless I had some very se rious matters to put before you and proposals to discuss.
Frankly, the matters are serious and the proposals far-reaching. So much so that just their
presentation makes me feel solemnly humble at the size of the task envisioned. For
increasingly, before tomorrow is over, I hope to have all of you feeling that you are
taking part, here and now, in the beginning of a movement of historical importance. But
long journeys start with easy steps, and our first step should be to identify our fellow
travelers (no pun intended). Many of you are known to each other, but some are not. So
let me, as informally as possible, introduce each one to the group. This was then done.
Now I think that just a word is in order, concerning the sheer physical arrangements and
prospects for the next two days. The possibility of just sitting in those chairs, listening to
my monotonous voice go on and on until tomorrow evening, would frighten anybody.
And while, with so much ground to cover, you are going to have to listen to me far more
than I wish were the case, tiring you out or putting you to sleep is what I least want to do.
So our hostess has arranged for coffee breaks in the mid-morning and in the mid-
afternoon. We shall recess at least an hour for luncheon, which will be set up for us at one
o'clock in the breakfast room. You will find that, while I shall be doing most of the
talking, and doing it pretty continuously, in the beginning, there will be shifts in the
subject matter and in our approaches to it which I hope will help some; and that
increasingly, as I get the background covered and the general purport of the meeting
begins to shape up, we'll interrupt my monologue for questions and open discussions.
Until, by tomorrow afternoon, I hope and believe I'll be doing less talking than anybody
else in the room. Even that schedule, even with the breaks, is, I know, a rather severe
prospect. But — nobody in this group was selected because he would be coming to the
meeting for personal pleasure, and I am sure nobody has done so. The ultimate reason
that brought each man here was a sense of patriotic duty, and deep concern for the future
of his family and his country. So we do not offer pleasure, but we shall try to keep the
carrying out of that duty, during these two days, from being any more painful than we can
help. II Now, if I may coin a new word, I think that the perfunctions are over, and we can
start getting down to the real business of the meeting. And the first business, it seems to
me, is to take a sharper and somewhat longer look at why we are here. Our im mediate
and most urgent anxiety, of course, is the threat of the Communist conspiracy. And well
it should be. For both internationally, and within the United States, the Communists are
much further advanced and more deeply entrenched than is real ized by even most of the
serious students of the danger among the anti-Communists. I personally have been
studying the problem increasingly for about nine years, and practically full time for the
past three years. And entirely without pride, but in simple thankfulness, let me point out
that a lifetime of business experience should have made it easier for me to see the falsity
of the economic theories on which Communism is supposedly based, more readily, than
might some scholar coming into that study from the academic cloisters; while a lifetime
of interest in things academic, especially world history, should have given me an
advantage over many business men, in more readily seeing the sophistries in dialectic
materialism. So I have felt, rightly or wrongly, that my grasp of Communist purposes,
and even of their methods, should have been more rapid than that of some of my patriotic
friends who have gradually become staunch anti-Communists. Yet almost every day I run
into some whole new area, where the Communists have been penetrating and working
quietly for years, until now they are in virtual control of everything that is done in that
slice or corner of our national life. One illustration came to light through the publication
of The Pentagon Case, by Col. Victor J. Fox, and through my getting to know its author,
a retired Navy officer whose real name is Bob Winston, fairly well since it was written.
The charges of treason within the Pentagon did not surprise me, nor enlighten me, at all.
To anybody who had watched the way the Administration moved heaven and earth to
keep McCarthy from getting at the Army Loyalty Board, or from getting at the protectors
within the Pentagon of the whole nest of traitors at Ft. Monmouth, it was clear that
treason — and a willingness to close one's eyes to treason, which is itself treasonous —
were widespread and rampant in our high army circles. But what the book did reveal, of
which I had had no knowledge before, was the huge and highly organized effort to wear
down the morale of both our officers and our men in uniform, through the contents of the
magazines which are made most readily available for them to read. I was recently in a
small audience where Bob Winston showed and went through the contents of some ten or
twelve magazines, all purchased in routine manner right in the Pentagon itself — and
available, of course, in our post exchanges all over the world. When you saw the pattern,
it was astounding. Through this medium the Communists have been doing and are doing
an incredible job of making service in our armed forces, especially if war should come,
appear as a nightmare of cheapness and horror, instead of as an opportunity to fight
honorably and victoriously for one's country. And it's no wonder that Ridgway and
several other officers of the highest rank, who have not gone opportunistically blind over
the situation, have been complaining about the extremely low morale in our armed forces
today against that of a few years ago. Other instances in every division or sub-division of
our society, where the Communist achievement and activity is utterly unsuspected by the
American people as a whole, could be compiled so that it would take hours just to list
them. We are not going to undertake any such survey here. BUT as background for our
further discussion I am going to ask for your patience while I make a much more general
review with you of how far the international conspiracy as a whole has now gone, and
where we stand today. This part of my presentation is actually a speech, under the title of
Look At The Score, which in recent months I have been making to many different
audiences. And I realize that for men as well informed as we have in this group, there
will be much repetition of what you already know, and comparatively little that you do
not know, in this survey. And yet, such a look at the score seems to me so important and
so necessary, as a point of departure for our whole two-day program, that I hope you will
all bear with me, and even give careful attention, while I cover the ground once more and
try to draw the present battle lines on the world's ideological and political map.
Permit us to ask the reader once again to keep in mind, through all the pages which
follow, that this presentation was prepared during October and November of 1958, and
delivered in early December, 1958. And while we have not had any occasion to change a
word of the copy, some of the references and statements are more readily understood if
the date when they were made is remembered.
Look At The Score
Throughout all history the bearer of bad news has been a most unpopular person. So I
certainly am not seeking any garlands of popularity at present. For I am now spending my
whole life spreading bad news, every day, everywhere I can.
But the man who is to me the most profound of all Americans, Ralph Waldo Emerson,
once said that every mind must make its choice between truth and repose. It could not
have both. Today you have left your choice somewhat in my hands. And I am not only
bringing you truth instead of comfort, but truth which may shatter a lot of the comfort
you already feel.
For the truth I bring you is simple, incontrovertible, and deadly. It is that, unless we can
reverse forces which now seem inexorable in their movement, you have only a few more
years before the country in which you live will become four separate provinces in a
world-wide Communist dominion ruled by police-state methods from the Kremlin. The
map for their division and administration is already drawn. We are living, in America
today, in such a fool's paradise as the people of China lived in twenty years ago, as the
people of Czechoslovakia lived in a dozen years ago, as the people of North Vietnam
lived in five years ago, and as the people of Iraq lived in only yesterday.
To illustrate and support this statement I am going to ask you to look for a little while
with me at some tedious and perhaps even painful history. For as George Santayana so
brilliantly pointed out, those who will learn nothing from history are condemned to repeat
The Cold War in which we are engaged is certainly no game. It is a fatal struggle for
freedom against slavery, for existence against destruction. But we can use the analogy of
a game nevertheless. And I want to show you, right on the clear record about which there
can be no reasonable argument, how far that game has progressed and what the score is
To do that, we must go back to 1917, when the contest started. In that year Lenin was
able, with Trotsky and only a few hundred followers, to take the Russian revolution out
of the hands of its earlier leaders, and to convert it into a Communist strike for power. In
1918 they established some degree of stability and recognition for their rule by the treaty
of Brest-Litovsk with Germany. And by 1922 they had extended their infiltration, terror,
and control enough to establish the Union of Soviet Socialist Re publics. They were able
to bring into this U.S.S.R., besides the greatly reduced Russia proper left them at the time
of the Brest-Litovsk Treaty, the further areas of Russian Armenia, Azerbaidzhan,
Georgia, Ukraine, and Byelorussia. And this combination was the base from which Lenin
and his successors set out, deliberately and determinedly, to conquer the world.
Lenin died in 1924. But before he died he had laid down for his followers the strategy for
this conquest. It was, we should readily admit, brilliant, farseeing, realistic, and
majestically simple. It has been paraphrased and summarized as follows, "First, we will
take Eastern Europe. Next, the masses of Asia. Then we shall encircle that last bastion of
capitalism, the United States of America. We shall not have to attack; it will fall like
overripe fruit into our hands. " To make doubly clear what he meant and how firmly he
meant it, with regard to taking Asia ahead of Western Europe, and then using Asia as a
stepping stone and base from which to conquer Western Europe and the rest of the world,
the strategy was also stated that, for the Communists, the road to Paris led through Peking
and Calcutta. Today you can easily see how that road to Paris is leading back from
Peking through Calcutta, Cairo, Damascus, Baghdad, and Algiers.
Now, gentlemen, there are many remarkable things about that three-step strategy. But the
most remarkable is that the Communists have never wavered from it one iota in the
thirty-five years since it was promulgated. Through famines which they deliberately
caused in order to collectivize agriculture, through whatever industrialization they have
achieved, through wars which they have cleverly and cold-bloodedly brought on and
prolonged for the help of such wars in their plans, through periods of peace and
prosperity elsewhere in the world, through power struggles within the Kremlin itself,
through apparent changes and reversals in the party line that make non-Communist heads
swim in confusion, through every upheaval and opportunity, the Communists have
always kept their eyes unwaveringly on this strategy and on plans to carry it out.
They have let nothing stand in their way, and nothing divert them. They have used the
philosophy of socialism as an ideological weapon, in this struggle, whenever they could
and for whatever it was worth. But it was only one of their many weapons. They have
also used bribery, lies, bluff, brutality, the countless tentacles of treason, murder on a
scale never before dreamed of in the world, and every possible means to advance them on
this road, without the slightest concern for any moral difference in those various means.
And above all, they have used patience. A patient gradualism has been the most
important key to the Communists' overwhelming success.
The first great break for the Communist conspiracy came in 1933, with our formal
recognition of Stalin's regime. At that time the Russian government was staying alive
financially from week to week by methods which, in the case of individuals, would be
called check-kiting. Our recognition tremendously increased their prestige and credit, at
home and with other nations. It saved them from financial collapse; and it enabled them
greatly to increase their nests of spies and propaganda agents in this country and
elsewhere in the world.
Their second break came with the beginning of World War II, which was largely brought
on through the world-wide diplomatic conniving of Stalin's agents, for the advantage of
making Russia a wartime ally of the Western nations, and for the sake of the chaos and
resulting opportunities the war would provide. And anybody who doubts that statement
hardly needs to study anything more than the incredible ramifications and
accomplishments of just the Sorge spy ring to discover its truth.
With the war once under way, Stalin was able, through the influence of his agents in
foreign countries — including our own — to keep the eyes and the anger of the civilized
world focused on the crimes of Hitler, while he himself was perpetrating conquest and
crime, continuously and success fully, that far outdid even Hitler's dreams. But in this
progress Stalin always kept his aim exactly on the goals set forth by Lenin. And the
tallies of his advance now begin to flash on the scoreboard thick and fast.
In August, 1939, as a result of his temporary compact with Hitler, Stalin seized all of
eastern Poland. During that same year and in 1940, through brutal conquest by force of
arms — which his agents in Western countries were able to get the Western nations
completely to ignore -- he took over the Karelian Isthmus of Finland, and swallowed up
all of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania.
It is true that most of these conquests were temporarily taken out of his hands by the
Germans, during the World War that immediately followed; but they reverted to him as
the Germans were driven back in 1944. And although the war had supposedly been
fought — in the beginning, anyway — over the territorial integrity of Poland and other
small nations, the Communist influence among the Western allies was so great that as
early as the Teheran Conference in 1943 it was made clear that, when the fighting was
over, Stalin was going to be allowed to keep everything he had stolen.
He was. And a new series of conquests started immediately. The formal flaunting to the
world of these conquests occurred as follows. In January, 1940, Stalin's henchmen
proclaimed their "People's Republic" in Albania. During the course of 1946 they
established themselves as the government of Hungary, with brutal execution of
Hungarian patriots who had resisted the Germans and now resisted the Russians. In July,
1946 Stalin's hatchet man, Tito, completed his crushing grasp of Yugoslavia by the public
shooting of Mihailovich. In November, 1946, Stalin's agents took over Romania and
Bulgaria. In January, 1947, the mock elections in Poland formally completed the two
years of incredibly cruel subjugation of that nation to Stalin's "Lublin Gang. " In
February, 1948, Stalin's lieutenants in Czechoslovakia pulled their coup d'etat and
formally placed that country behind the Iron Curtain. And in October, 1950, Stalin's
lackeys formalized their puppet state of East Germany.
By this time, of course, there were other takeovers going on in other parts of the world, as
we shall see. But we are dealing here only with Europe. And East Germany finished the
job there, as it had been planned by Lenin, twenty-six years before. The Communists now
had Eastern Europe entire , and the first step of their three-step program was complete.
Next was Asia. And there is one thing, among many, for which you have to give the
Communists credit. While they are working on a particular task, and no matter how
difficult it may be, they never cease looking ahead or preparing for the tasks that are to
follow. Although they were fully adjusted to the importance of taking Eastern Europe
first, nevertheless they began their infiltration and work in Asia, especially in China,
almost before the blood of the 1917 revolution had grown cold in the streets of Moscow.
Of course we cannot take time here to go into the ruses, plans, deceptions, betrayals, and
epic cruelties by which the Communists eventually were able to make their power
increasingly felt in Asia. It took them a long time. Not until they had the full help of our
government, completely misled by Com munist influence, both during World War II and
immediately after that war, were the Communists successful in Asia, on any sizable scale
or in any formal manifestations. But these successes then came thick and fast. Here is
V-J Day was August 15, 1945. Before even that month of August was over, Stalin's
troops occupied all of Sakhalin and the Kurile Islands -- thus pointing two guns
permanently at Japan — by our specific permission. In October, 1945, Stalin's henchmen
set up their "People's Republic" in Mongolia. In 1948, they set up their government in
North Korea. In October, 1948 Stalin's troops took over Manchuria. All of this time, with
Moscow's help to Mao Tse-tung exerted primarily through its influence over our
government, Mao and the Chinese Communists were crushing their opposition in more
and more of China. For while Mao's hordes had been given by Moscow all of the
tremendous stockpiles of Japanese arms in Manchuria, our government prevented Chiang
Kai-shek's troops from getting even ammunition for the guns they did have, by an
embargo declared by General George Marshall. Marshall even boasted that he had
disarmed thirty-nine of Chiang's divisions with a stroke of his pen — which he had. And
so, by 1950, Stalin's agents had completed their conquest of the whole mainland of
In May, 1951, Moscow's invaders seized Tibet. In the summer of 1953 Moscow's agents
imposed on us, in Korea, a truce so shameful, in both the procedures of the negotiations
as well as the substance of the truce, as to be incredible in the light of past American
history. One result was to strengthen the Kremlin's grasp and use of North Korea. In the
summer of 1954 Ho Chi Minh and Chou En-lai and other tools of the Kremlin took over
the better half of Indochina. That completes the coverage of all those parts of Asia which
are formal satellites today. How much further the blackout would have extended by now,
but for a change in the Kremlin's method of establishing its control, there is no way of
telling. But that brings us to another part of the story.
For by this time Stalin was dead, Malenkov and his associates or subordinates had made
clear that the Kremlin was in just as firm control of worldwide Communism as ever
Stalin had been; and the whole conspiratorial apparatus was rapidly marching forward
towards ultimate total victory. So rapidly, in fact, and so visibly, that a different kind of
problem now loomed ever larger before them. That was the problem of keeping the
remaining free world - and especially the American people — from becoming aware of
how fast and how surely the Communists were taking over the rest of the planet.
For this, and other highly advantageous reasons, the new regime in the Kremlin called a
halt to the establishment of formal satellites, and began to extend its power through so-
called "neutralist" countries. These neutralist nations pose as independent, but the
governments are, in one way or another, largely controlled by Moscow. The difference
between these dependencies, and true satellites such as Czechoslovakia or East Germany
— or Yugoslavia — is more one of form, for the sake of expediency, than it is one of
degree. For in either case the people may be bitterly opposed to Communism.
Friends sometimes ask me how on earth I can speak of Indonesia now being within the
Communist block, when eighty percent of the Indonesians are devout Moslems, who hate
Communism with every fiber of their being. But eighty percent of the people of Poland
are devout Catholics, who also hate Communism with every beat of their hearts. And
nobody will deny the Communist status of Poland. Of course the people in Indonesia hate
Communism, but so do those in East Germany. And those in Indonesia are being held in
line in support of Communist plans, and gradually brought under a Communist police
state rule, despite their futile and sometimes suicidal opposition, just as surely as were the
people of Poland or of Hungary before them.
Now I know that plenty of writers, commentators, and officials will tell you that Nehru is
not a Communist but a "dynamic neutralist, " and that Nasser is not a Communist but an
"Arab nationalist. " But the bellwethers of all such opinion molders are, by and large, the
same people who insisted twenty years ago that Mao Tse-tung was not a Communist but
an "agrarian reformer, " and five years ago that Achmed Sukarno was not a Communist
but was the George Washington of Indonesia. The widespread acceptance of any of these
views is, in my opinion, merely more proof of the success of Communist propaganda. For
if you will study the life and actions of each man, carefully and objectively, you will find
that the evidence in support of his being a tool of the Kremlin becomes quite
And those dependencies in Asia where the rulership already belongs de facto , in whole or
in large part, to Moscow, are Indonesia, Burma, India, Ceylon, Afghanistan, Syria,
probably South Vietnam , and now Iraq and Lebanon. Actually, the anti-Communist
position is crumbling rapidly, everywhere in Asia.l But let's consider just those countries
we have named. When these are added to the actual satellites — China, North Korea,
North Vietnam, and all of Russia in Asia — and if you will look at a map of Asia with all
of these countries properly shaded, I think you will agree with me in my estimate of the
Communists' progress. It is that they have already gone three-fourths of the way towards
the completion of the second step in their three-part program.
Now, let's consider the rest of the world. And again we find that the Communists, while
working hard at the immediate task of getting control of the masses of Asia, and of
making Fortress Asia the stepping stone for conquering the rest of the world, have also
been looking ahead and doing everything possible — everything that was also
strategically wise — to make their final undertaking both easier and more certain of
It is interesting, for instance, and also frightening, to note how far the Communists have
already gone in their encirclement of Western Europe — although their movement back
across Asia, from Peking towards Paris, has only recently reached the Medi terranean.
Their treatment of northern Africa as geographically and ethnically an extension, for their
purposes, of the Asian mass and masses, is only a part of the story.
As you will see, again by marking up a map, this encirclement of Western Europe begins
with Russia itself and its immediate satellites on the north and east. Then, as you move
around the Asiatic side of the Mediterranean you have Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, Libya,
Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco, in all of which the Communists either already have control,
however disguised, or are rapidly acquiring control. Jumping across Spain and the British
Isles, to the northwest there is Iceland. Then, completing the circle, Norway, and now
Finland. And gentlemen, any idea that Norway is not, for all practical purposes, now in
Communist hands, or that Iceland and Finland are not completely so, is in my opinion as
unrealistic as the thought that Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana is a Democrat.
This doesn't mean that the Communists intend to have troops march in from this
periphery and take Western Europe by force. They don't have to. It does mean that the
pressures and threats they can exert on the chancelleries of Western Europe from this
encirclement; the aid they can give to their agents in the governments and national
activities of every kind in Western Europe; and the weakening of the remaining anti-
Communist strength in Western Europe through this encirclement without, added to
infiltration within — that this overall Communist progress has made the position of
Western Europe very precarious indeed. It certainly makes plausible the contention of
one of our best-informed writers for our magazine, himself a European, that the
Communists will be able to take Western Europe by tel ephone within the next two or
three more years if they consider it strategically wise to do so. 2
Coming to the Western Hemisphere, you now have Dr. Jagan, an avowed Communist,
ruling British Guiana. If any real anti-Communist were elected President of Panama, he
would undoubtedly be assassinated, as Ramon was some four years ago. Incidentally,
assassination of heads of state is now be coming quite a normal and regular part of the
technique of Communist advance in Latin America. Within the past few years there have
been assassinations of Ramon of Panama, President Somoza of Nicaragua, President
Castillo Armas of Guatemala - and before that of Colonel Aranda of Guatemala,
presidential candidate who had been murdered in Mexico to enable Arbenz Guzman to
The Communists are now in complete control of Bolivia and Venezuela. They expect to
have Guatemala back in the Communist camp in short order. And Romulo Betancourt of
Venezuela, who says he is not a Communist but has admitted he was a Marxist, and who
has spent his whole career in helping the Communists, seems to be taking the lead in
plots and plans to overthrow the very few remaining really anti-Communist governments
in Latin America.3 They are Cuba, Paraguay, Nicaragua, and the Dominican Republic.4
Right now he is giving powerful help -probably the most powerful, next to that of our
gov ernment — towards the overthrow of Batista in Cuba by the Communist, Fidel Castro,
and the establishment of a Communist beachhead ninety miles from our shores. And
gentlemen, if you have any slightest doubt that Castro is a Communist, don't. If he is
successful, time will clearly reveal that he is an agent of the Kremlin.
On the other side of the hemisphere we have Hawaii. And for the truth about the present
Communist control of the Hawaiian Islands, just ask any member, Republican or
Democrat, of the Senate Subcommittee which spent considerable time on the Islands,
investigating the situation, in the fall of 1956. Or ask any member of the leading families
there — the Cookes, Bishops, Judds, Castles, or others whom you may happen to know.
Five years ago these people were all for Hawaiian statehood. For the last two years many
of them have been vigorously opposing Hawaiian statehood, for the near future, by every
means at their disposal. For they have feared that Hawaii, as a state, would send two
Communists or pro-Communists, picked by Harry Bridges, to the United States Senate,
and that the whole state government would be Communist controlled. As any of the
leading citizens will tell you, and as the Senate Subcommittee stated in plain language,
the Communist stranglehold on the economic life of Hawaii is now so great that it
constitutes virtual political control as well.
When you then finally come to the extent of Communist infiltration and influence right
inside our own continental borders, the subject is entirely too large for us to do more than
indicate a few pointers. But, for a first danger sign, the unions which control our shipping
and many vital parts of our economy are Communist-ruled or Communist-dominated.
Just for one instance, seventy-five vital links in the most secret communications of our
government itself, including those of the Pentagon to Air Force bases in New York,
Maine, England, Canada, and Newfoundland, are all available to the members of one
union, the American Communications Association, which was kicked out of the CIO in
1950 as being too Communist even for that outfit. In May, 1957, the president of this
union and five other officials and members invoked the Fifth Amendment when
questioned about Communist Party membership. Yet the members of this union are still
in position to put their hands on any and all messages over these seventy-five links in our
government's own communications system.
Now the real significance of what I have just said lies in the fact that this door of betrayal
is known to be wide open, and nobody — in Congress, in the executive branch, in the
Pentagon itself — nobody even dares to try to close it. That is one indication of how
powerful the Communist influence has now become in almost all of our federal agencies.
A twenty-five-year career man in our State Department resigned three years ago, to tell
the American people in his book, Inside The State Department , of the treasonous
falsification of information concerning our foreign affairs which is going on there all of
the time. And the Communist influence over our mass media of communication — press,
radio, television — is so great that you probably never even heard of his book.
Friends sometimes say to me: "Look. Even in easy-going America there must still be a
few Arnold von Winkelrieds left; men who are willing to gather all of the enemy's spears
they can reach into their own bodies, so that their compatriots can break through the
hostile phalanx. If things are as bad in our government as you say they are, you'd think
there would be some patriot inside who would be willing to give up his career, sacrifice
everything if need be, and tell the American people the truth. "
The answer is, of course, that there are many men who do this, one after another. Arthur
Bliss Lane, one of our greatest, most experienced, and most honored diplomats, resigned
from the service in order to write I Saw Poland Betrayed. This was no secondhand story,
told by some hack journalist dealing in sensationalism. This was the factual recital by an
American ambassador, giving out of his own personal knowledge the names, dates,
places, and events of the deliberate and treasonous betrayal of Poland, by our
government, into Soviet hands. These were things he had seen with his own eyes, and
events in which he had been forced to acquiesce, while actually serving as our
ambassador to the very country being betrayed. His book, for which he gave up so much,
should have shocked the American people into a fury of resentment against the Acheson-
infested State Department and the whole Truman administration. But it didn't create even
a ripple. It sold a few thousand copies. Then no more were available. For reasons never
made entirely clear, the publishers declined to bring out a new edition. Most of the copies
which had gone to libraries were gradually removed by Communists or Communist
sympathizers and became "lost. " If you want an interesting exercise today, just see how
long it will take any of the best secondhand book dealers in America to find you a copy,
and at what cost.
Dr. Medford Evans was the Chief of Security Training for our whole Atomic Energy
Commission and all of its plants. It was by far the best job he had ever had. In due course
he discovered how blatant and widespread were the treasonous activities throughout the
whole operation. In another while he discovered how easily and successfully all efforts
on his part to improve security measures were ignored or circumvented by the traitors.
With a family to support, and no money, Dr. Evans gave up his job, in order to tell the
American people the truth in his book, The Secret War for the A-Bomb. He made clear
that, despite the A-bombs which the Soviets had been exploding for show-off purposes,
and to increase their prestige and diplomatic pres sures, they had not yet built one. Their
agents had simply walked off from our plants with the necessary separate parts, which
had then been assembled in Russia, and exploded whenever it best suited the Soviets'
Here again we had an able and respected American writing, at great cost to himself, of
things he knew from his own personal observation, contacts, and experience. The book
dealt with a matter of literally vital importance to the safety of our country. It told of
treason at work beyond any conception of the American people. It should have rocked the
nation from one end to the other. Instead, it sold twenty-six hundred copies ! There is no
clearer proof of the effectiveness of the blanket of obfuscation, with which Communist
influences have been able to keep the truth about their activities from being known.
But to go on with other pointers ! The best informed authorities say that there are at least
thirty huge Communist espionage rings operating in this country today against the only
two or three that have been only partly exposed. Not only has all really effective exposure
of these espionage rings and agents now been stopped, but scores of known Communist-
sympathizers have been restored, by Supreme Court rulings, to their former jobs within
our Federal Government. Communist sympathies and even actual Communist subversion
are daily made more respectable by the actions of our government, our great universities,
much of our press, and by the complacency of our people. And I could go on with
specific factual illustrations and instances of this spreading, deepening Communist
influence for hours — as I do in other speeches — if this were the occasion. It is not. So let
me come to the point, which is an appraisal of the Communists' progress towards the
completion of their third step. Before doing so, however, I should like to make clear in
my own defense that my credentials for the task are not based simply on my association
with other anti-Communists. It's true that I have been to Formosa, and talked with Chiang
Kai-shek and to practically every high official in the Chinese Nationalist Government —
with some of them at considerable length. I have been to West Germany, and talked with
Chancellor Adenauer. I have been in personal association or voluminous correspondence
with many if not most of the leading anti-Communists in this country and throughout the
world. And I have diligently studied the anti-Communist books and objective histories
which reveal piece meal the horrifying truth of the past two decades.
None of that, however, constitutes the best support of my right to express the opinion I
am going to give you. That right comes primarily from a study of the Communists' own
periodicals and current literature. I read The Daily Worker faithfully until they suspended
its publication. I now read their best known weekly in America, the National Guardian ,
far more regularly than I ever read the Saturday Evening Post . I subscribe to, and keep up
fairly well with, their monthlies, Political Affairs and the New World Review . I take
three or four Communist publications from other countries, and friends are constantly
sending me tearsheets and articles out of others, from all over the world. And it is in the
Communists' own publications that you not only read their lies, and find the full measure
of their malice and their nastiness. That is where you also learn what they consider
important, in all they have done in the past or expect to do in the future. They lay out the
line for their own people, confident of sufficient control over all mass media of
communication in America to ensure that that line reaches the American people —
including the great mass of newspaper readers — only in such parts, in such ways, and at
such times, as the Communist Party desires. And it is to this presentation by the
Communists themselves, especially in their periodicals, that the serious student of the
conspiracy goes to learn of their progress and their plans.
It is with the benefit of this realistic background, therefore, that I venture to offer the
following opinion. It is certainly an honest opinion, concurred in by all of the well
informed anti-Communists I know. It is that the Communists, through long and careful
and insidious preparation, have already gone at least one-fourth5 of the way towards the
accomplishment of their third and final step — which is taking over this country. And
with it, of course, the rest of the world.
The simple arithmetic of the situation, therefore, is as follows. Call each of the three steps
one, and their total three. The Communists have accomplished all of the first step (eastern
Europe), plus three-fourths of the second (the masses of Asia), plus one-fourth of the
third. One plus three-fourths plus one- fourth adds up to 2 out of that total of 3; and not to
believe that the Communists are already two-thirds of the way towards carrying out their
total program, or that they are not now moving at an accelerated pace and with increased
momentum to finish the job, is to close your eyes to the plain facts as surely as did the
good people of Czechoslovakia in 1948 — and with the same ultimately fatal results.
Now let's just look very briefly at a different kind of scoreboard measuring the same
Communist advance. At the last get-together of International Communism, before World
War II, the Communist Parties represented had a total membership figure of slightly more
than four million members. But in November, 1957, at the triumphant meeting in
Moscow to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the success of the Bolshevik Revolution,
seventy-five Communist Parties could be officially counted, with a total membership of
thirty-three million. This is approximately an eight hundred percent i ncrease in the
twenty years; and that is just about the rate of growth of Communist Power throughout
the world in that time, no matter how you look at it.
Or let's study quickly still one more and final scoreboard, perhaps the most revealing and
frightening of them all. Here it is.
Since August, 1945, the Communists have averaged taking over seven thousand newly
enslaved subjects every hour. And please remember that these people, whether in
Indonesia or Iraq or Korea, have the same love for their families, think of concentration
camps with the same despairing horror, and feel the same pain under torture, as do you
So let me repeat that. Seven thousand more human beings, just like you and me, have
been brought under the incredibly brutal rule of a Communist police state, every h r,
twenty-four hours of every day, 365 days of every year, for the past thirteen years. And
not only is that process not being interrupted in any way. Today the rate of conquest and
enslavement is actually increasing — as the eighty million people of Indonesia would
gladly testify. For the darkness of police -state rule is closing over them very fast.
Now please note, gentlemen, that the Communists have never made any of this immense
progress by the direct use of force. They have beguiled Chinese into fighting Chinese,
Koreans into fighting Koreans, Vietnamese into fighting the French and each other, the
Israelis, British, and French into fighting Egyptians, and the Algerians into fighting the
French. They have even maneuvered Americans into fighting Chinese Communists in
Korea, with the Americans' hands tied behind their backs. But not one Russian regiment
has ever taken part in any of this imperialistic advance, except in the suppression of
rebellion in already conquered territory, as in Hungary. The Communists have put over
these tremendous gains by bluff and bluster, lies and deception, murder, and -above all —
by treason within other governments; and by diplomatic pressures based on all of these
other means. And that lamp of experience certainly should guide us as to what they are
up to today.
There are three possible methods by which the Communists might take us over. One
would be, through a sufficient amount of infiltration and propaganda, to disguise
Communism as just another political party; and thus to get enough Communist agents
and sympathizers into positions of power in our government to enable them to seize
formal power by a peaceful coup d'etat, as they did in Czechoslovakia in February, 1948.
We do not anticipate that development.
The second method would be by fomenting internal civil war in this country, and aiding
the Communist side in that war with all necessary military might. This is, of course, the
method they used in China. But in the long struggle in China the Kremlin was
handicapped by the need for keeping its own intervention from being accurately
understood and appraised by other nations. By the time the Soviet rulers ever came to
apply this plan to our country, there obviously would be no compelling reason for them to
hold back in any way.
And it seems clear, from all of their past history, as well as from the nature of the beast,
that — despite their vaunted missiles and bombs -- the Soviets would not attempt military
conquest of so powerful and so extensive a country as the United States without availing
themselves of a sufficiently strong fifth column in our midst; a fifth column which could
provide the sabotage, the false leadership, and the sudden seizures of power and of means
of communication, needed to convert the struggle, from the very beginning, into a civil
war rather than clear-cut war with an external enemy. The horror and cruelty which
would be made possible by such planned confusion is something to contemplate. And, as
we said in the first issue of our magazine, AMERICAN OPINION, we can foresee a
possibility of the Kremlin taking this gamble in time.
In fact, it is clear that the Communists long ago made plans to have this method available,
in whole or in part, to whatever extent it might be useful. The trouble in our southern
states has been fomented almost entirely by the Communists for this purpose. It has been
their plan, gradually carried out over a long period with meticulous cunning, to stir up
such bitterness between whites and blacks in the South that small flames of civil disorder
would inevitably result. They could then fan and coalesce these little flames into one
great conflagration of civil war, in time, if the need arose. The whole slogan of "civil
rights, " as used to make trouble in the South today, is an exact parallel to the slogan of
"agrarian reform" which they used in China. And the Communists, who are pulling
innocent and idealistic Americans into promoting this agitation for them, have no more
real interest in the welfare of the Negroes and no more concern about the damage they
actually do to our colored population, than the Chinese Communists had with regard to
the welfare of the Chinese peasants.
But there is a third method which is far more in accordance with Lenin's long-range
strategy. It is one which they are clearly relying on most heavily. And this is taking us
over by a process so gradual and insidious that Soviet rule is slipped over so far on the
American people, before they ever realize it is happening, that they can no longer resist
the Communist conspiracy as free citizens, but can resist the Communist tyranny only by
themselves becoming conspirators against established government. The process in that
direction is going on right now, gradually but surely and with ever-increasing spread and
A part of that plan, of course, is to induce the gradual surrender of American sovereignty,
piece by piece and step by step, to various international organizations — of which the
United Nations is the outstanding but far from the only example — while the Communists
are simultaneously and equally gradually getting complete working control of such
organizations. Both sets of steps, which were short and insidious at first, are now being
steadily increased in both length and brazenness. Until one day we shall gradually realize
that we are already just a part of a world-wide government ruled by the Kremlin, with the
police-state features of that government rapidly closing in on ourselves.
But another part of that plan is the conversion of the United States into a socialist nation,
quite similar to Russia itself in its economy and political outlook, before police-state
enforcement is ever introduced. The best way to explain the aim here is simply to quote
the directive under which some of the very largest American foundations have been
secretly but visibly working for years. This directive is "so to change the economic and
political structure of the United States that it can be comfortably merged with Soviet
These foundations, influential as they are, nevertheless are comparatively just a very
small part of the tremendous forces at work in America today to accomplish this aim.
And these total forces, marvelously organized and brilliantly directed, use a hundred to a
thousand completely misguided Americans who are not Communists, for every actual
Communist who is pulling strings behind the scenes, to help them to put over their
innocent- and even "progressive" sounding plans.
For the West, gentlemen, is suffering under many delusions. One is that our enemy is an
ideology. It is not. Communism is not a political party, nor a military organization, nor an
ideological crusade, nor a rebirth of Russian imperialist ambition, though it comprises
and uses all of these parts and pretenses. Communism, in its unmistakable present reality,
is wholly a conspiracy, a gigantic conspiracy to enslave mankind; an increasingly
successful conspiracy, controlled by determined, cunning, and utterly ruthless gangsters,
willing to use any means to achieve its end.
One means, of course, is to make socialism sound appealing; and above all to make it
seem inevitable . This operation, of giving an appearance of spontaneity to a movement to
the left which is conspiratorially plotted and promoted, is so large that we could not
possibly outline it here. Let's merely look at one of the more spectacular means the
Communists designed for this promotion -- namely Sputnik -- and let you project the
whole wheel from that one spoke.
I can't tell you how large a part of their military budget the Russians put into a crash
program to get a Sputnik into the sky — after goodness knows how many failures — by
October, 1957. 1 cants tell you how Communist influences succeeded in arranging for
reports of the Gaither Committee and the Rockefeller Brothers Fund Study Group — both
made up mostly of entirely loyal Americans — to come out with such beautiful timing and
terrifying hints to reinforce the impact of Sputnik on the American con sciousness. But I
can tell you exactly what the Kremlin has expected to accomplish by all of this concerted
For years we have been taken steadily down the road to Communism by steps supposedly
designed, and presented to the American people, as ways of fighting Communism. The
whole foreign aid program is an excellent example. Our foreign aid has done some good,
of course. The Communists do not believe in using solid-black instrumentalities, but dark
gray ones. They are always willing to be hurt, or to take a loss, for the sake of an ultimate
net gain in any transaction. And American foreign aid, from the time it began as a
contribution of some seventy-two percent of UNRRA funds, until it has reached the
mammoth proportions of today, has been a tremendous help to the advance of
Communism. It was planned by the Communists for that purpose. This pouring of
American billions into foreign countries, to make things easier for the Communists and
their socialist allies or agents, is exactly what the Communists wanted the American
government to do. But they have not taken over so much of the world, so largely by
cunning, without that cunning being brilliant, and professional. The one surest way in
which foreign aid could be ballyhooed successfully, and made permanently acceptable to
the American taxpayer, was to present it as a means of opposing Communism.
Now we see exactly the same principle at work on the whole front of our domestic
economy. Although our danger remains almost entirely internal, from Communist
influences right in our midst and treason right in our government, the American people
are being persuaded that our danger is from the outside, is from Russian military
superiority.6 And under the excuse of preparing to match that military might, of
defending ourselves from this threat of outside force; in other words, under the guise of
fighting Communism, we are being stampeded into the biggest jump ever towards, and
perhaps the final jump right into, socialism and then the Communist camp.
Of course Sputnik did many things for the Soviets. It gave them, no matter how
undeserved, a whole new level of prestige in the scientific world. It put very valuable
ammunition into the hands of the world-wide Communist-sponsored groups, which in the
United States were called Committees For A Sane Nuclear Policy, and into the hands of
all of the Cyrus Eatons and Bertrand Russells and other 'let's surrender" boys. And it
indirectly enabled the pro-Communists in the chancelleries of Western Europe to increase
their pressures on Adenauer in many ways.
But we are talking at this point about the usefulness of Sputnik to the Communists and
their socialist allies, through its impact on the psychology of the American people with
regard to their domestic affairs. This, in my opinion, was the most important ultimate
effect of Sputnik, as planned by the Soviets, and as now gradually being realized by
them. Here are the Communists' aims for the United States — to be achieved, they hope,
through the leftward momentum of the attitude induced by Sputnik and all of its auxiliary
propaganda. (1) Greatly expanded government spending, for missiles, for so-called
defense generally, for foreign aid, for every conceivable means of getting rid of ever
larger sums of American money -as wastefully as possible. (2) Higher and then much
higher taxes. (3) An increasingly unbalanced budget, despite the higher taxes. When
these notes were first put together many months ago, I expected a deficit of ten billion
dollars at least, in the fiscal year of 1958 — 1959, despite all of the talk at that time about
a balanced budget. Today well informed people, even within our government, are talking
about a deficit of fifteen billion. (4) Wild inflation of our currency, leading rapidly
towards its ultimate repudiation. (5) Government controls of prices, wages, and materials,
supposedly to combat inflation. (6) Greatly increased socialistic controls over every
operation of our economy and every activity of our daily lives. This is to be
accompanied, naturally and automatically, by a correspondingly huge increase in the size
of our bureaucracy, and in both the cost and reach of our domestic government. (7) Far
more centralization of power in Washington, and the practical elimination of our state
lines. There is a many-faceted drive at work to have our state lines eventually mean no
more within the nation than our county lines do now within the states. (8) The steady
advance of Federal aid to and control over our educational system, leading to complete
federalization of our public education. (9) A constant hammering into the American
consciousness of the horror of "modern warfare, " the beauties and the absolute necessity
of "peace" — peace always on Communist terms, of course. And (10) the consequent
willingness of the American people to allow the steps of appeasement by our government
which amount to a piecemeal surrender of the rest of the free world and of the United
States itself to the Kremlin-ruled tyranny.
There is what Sputnik and all of its side decorations are really about. If the Communists
can succeed in making us domestically a communized nation, it will not be too difficult a
final move for them to pull us right into the world-wide Communist organization, ruled
by the Kremlin. And unless we can have enough of an awakening in this country, and
enough of a rebellion against the appeasement policies of our government outside and its
communizing policies inside America, the Communists are going to succeed in
accomplishing every one of these means to their final end, and that final goal as well.
In summary, gentlemen, we are losing, rapidly losing, a cold war in which our freedom,
our country, and our very existence are at stake. And while we don't seem to know we are
losing this war, you can be sure the Communists do. There is just one thing — only one
thing in the whole world — which the Communists fear today. It is that, despite their
tremendous influence in our government and over all of our means of mass
communication, the American people will wake up too soon to what has really been
happening, and what is now happening right under their very noses. The only thing which
can possibly stop the Communists is for the American people to learn the truth in time. It
is to contribute my small bit to such an awakening that I have given up most of my
business responsibilities and most of my income, in order through my magazine and
speeches to bring some inkling of the truth to as many people as I can reach. I do not
expect nor deserve any slightest applause or sympathy for this sacrifice. I mention it at all
for just one reason only — which is to show how deadly serious the situation appears to
You may think I am an alarmist. Frankly I am. For in my opinion, based on many years
of intensive study of the methods, the progress, and the menace of the Communist
conspiracy, there is ample reason for extreme alarm) and I hope to make you alarmists
too. It seems to me that all you need, to cause you to share my alarm, my fears, and my
determination, is simply to get a map of the world and Look At The Score! And the first
thing for you to do, as a newly awakened alarmist, is to become better in formed about
many things that we cannot cover here.
One matter on which most Americans need to become better informed is what being
subjugated by the Communists, or "arriving at an accommodation with Communism" as
they want it called, would really mean. For their cruelty and terrorism is almost beyond
imagination; and the domination of our press, television and radio by Communist
influences is now so great that you simply are not allowed to learn or be reminded of the
real nature of the beasts to whom we are losing.
General Mark Clark, for instance, officially reported from Korea: "We obtained solid
evidence that the Communists slaughtered 1 1,622 members of my U. N. Command while
they were defenseless prisoners of war. These men were tied to their fellow prisoners and
transported to previously selected sites. They were dumped al e into trenches dug for the
purpose and summarily shot. " About five thousand of those boys were from your home
towns and mine. But how many of you ever saw that report in your headlines, or
anywhere else ?
During the so-called Spanish Civil War, the London Times (which then as now certainly
was not slanted in favor of the anti-Communists) reported that in one twelve-months
period the Communists had murdered over four thousand priests in cold blood; and had
driven more than that many nuns out into the streets of various Spanish cities, inflicted
horrible obscenities on them, and then murdered the nuns. In some places the
Communists herded priests and their congregations into churches, set the churches on
fire, and burned the Christians and their buildings together. These and similar epic
cruelties of the period are facts documented beyond all question, but how many of you
have ever heard them.
The man right now, today, holding the highest theoretical honor and office in the Soviet
Union is Klimenti Voroshilov, Chairman of the Presidium and generally accorded the
exalted if non-existent title of "President" of the Soviet Union. When eleven thousand
Czarist officers, with their wives and children, surrendered the city of Kiev on the solemn
promise -a promise advanced to them by Voroshilov to induce this surrender — that they
would be allowed to disperse and go to their homes, Voroshilov had all of the men and
boys shot at once, and put the women and girls into brothels for his army. Far from ever
repenting of this supreme piece of barbarism, fifteen years later Voroshilov boasted of it
to American Ambassador William C. Bullitt, as one of the glorious highlights of his
career; and he explained that, with regard to using the women for his "army's health, "
instead of shooting them, it didn't really matter because they were all dead within three
The record of Nikita Khrushchev is infinitely worse. Mass murders totaling some twelve
million victims can be charged directly to his orders. Bulganin, Menshikov, and the
others are exactly the same. I could go on with specific and horrible illus trations, literally
for hours. Nor has there been any slightest change in Communist methods or terrorism.
Right now the Algerian Communist rebels, called the FLN, are perpetrating massive and
incredible cruelties on their fellow Moslems in Algeria, in order to terrorize those natives
into appearing to support this Communist-led guerrilla insurrection and making it look
like a civil war — exactly as the Chinese Communists were performing mass tortures on
the Chinese peasants for the same purpose a quarter of a century ago. Right now
Sukarno's Communist goons, known as the SOBSI, are murdering in cold blood the
Christianized natives of the Moluccan Islands just as ruthlessly as Stalin's troops
murdered native Spaniards in 1935. Right now a Communist named Fidel Castro is trying
to frighten off all opposition to himself in Cuba, by murders, burnings, and brutalities as
cruel as any that the Russian Communists imposed on eastern Poland in 1940 — or on
East Germany in 1945. And exactly the same thing is going on in many other parts of the
All of this vicious and purposeful savagery I have been trying so inadequately even to
indicate is not something happening on some other and far-off planet, or perpetrated by
the Assyrians twenty-five hundred years ago, or dreamed up as the imaginative nightmare
of an Edgar Allan Poe. These, gentlemen, are the very real acts and deliberate policies, of
the recent past and the very present, of people whom we treat as human beings, and with
whom we sit around conference tables and arrive at truce terms and concessions to
There are some seven hundred million non-Russian non-Communists now living daily
lives of virtual slavery behind the Iron Curtain, some forty million of them in the actual
slave labor camps of Russia and Red China, who only a dozen years ago, or much less,
enjoyed practically the same personal freedoms as do you and I today. These people now
say to each other, but above all to themselves: "If I had only known! If I had only
believed! There is no amount of work and sacrifice and suffering I would not have given,
if I had only realized the necessity, the danger, in time. Now it is too late, and any amount
of struggle and of sacrifice, even of life itself, is all in vain. "
The number of people subject to these cruelties is now increasing by tens of millions
every year, and we are directly in the path of the conqueror. Are we really so hopelessly
blind, so stupefied by "prosperity" on one side and insidious propaganda on the other,
that we cannot even see the wolves devouring the carcasses of our brothers or drawing
ever nearer to ourselves ? Are we going to let our country and our whole civilization go
under, and new "Dark Ages" of serfdom be ushered in, while we happily play at our little
games ? May God forbid; but may we speedily become more worthy that He should.
In fact I wish to end this grim argument today on quite a religious note. For whether you
believe it or not, we are far along in a gathering crisis that is going to make us all search
deeply into our beliefs, and into the values and loyalties that motivate our actions. This is
a world-wide battle, the first in history, between light and darkness; between freedom and
slavery; between the spirit of Christianity and the spirit of anti-Christ for the souls and
bodies of men. Let's win that battle by alertness, by determination, by courage, by an
energizing realization of the danger, if we can; but let's win it even with our lives, if the
time comes when we must. Let's even keep in mind, against that time, an inspiration
which we hope we shall not need. It comes from the end of a great and stirring hymn,
written to inspire men to fight against a far less extensive slavery of their fellow men.
In the beauty of the lilies Christ was born across the sea, With a glory in His bosom that
transfigures you and me: As He died to make men holy, let us die to make men free,
While God is marching on.
Footnotes For The Fourth Printing
1 . In the two and one-half years since this paragraph was written, the situation in Asia has
deteriorated immensely further. As wit ness what has happened and is now happening in
South Korea, Laos, Cambodia, Singapore, Turkey, and Saudi Arabia; and note also the
rapidly rising Communist influence in Japan and the Philippines.
2. In the same period Communist agents and influence have made tremendous gains in
many other parts of Africa besides the northern ledge above the Sahara.
3. At the time this edition is going to press, Romulo Betancourt is still sweating through
one of those periods (of such strategic im portance in the career of every ambitious
Communist who aspires to be the Kremlin's No. 1 Boy in his part of the world) of
pretending not to be a Communist. And of course our State Department and the whole
Liberal press are treating this pretense with great seriousness, and helping to get it
accepted by the American people. In Betancourt's case the claim is as completely and as
nauseatingly phony as were similar claims — at the suitable stages of their careers — for
Mao Tse-tung, Achmed Sukarno, and Fidel Castro. As the years ahead will make amply
clear, Romulo Betancourt, despite his present deceptive maneuvers and propaganda, has
been all of his adult life and still is one of the most trusted agents the Kremlin has ever
4. Since this paragraph was originally written Cuba has already fallen completely into
Communist hands. And the combined pres sures of Moscow, Washington, Fidel Castro,
and Romulo Betancourt, constantly increase to overthrow Trujillo and make another
Cuba of the Dominican Republic.
5. As of July 1, 1960, when the third annual scoreboard issue of American Opinion was
published, our experts placed the total Communist influence over our national activities
as now up to a minimum of forty percent of total control.
6. In spoken versions of this presentation we have many times interpolated here a
recurrent theme from American Opinion . It is that the Soviet threat of all-out war is one
hundred percent bluff and bluster. There are several important reasons why no marching
of our troops in Europe, no insult to Khrushchev, no hostile step we might take no matter
how drastic, could possibly provoke the Soviets into an all-out "hot war" between East
and West today. And one of these many reasons is worth looking at closely, and
remembering at all times.
For while everybody recognizes the intensive and continuous use by the Soviets of the
strategy of "divide and conquer, " entirely too few of even the serious students of the
conspiracy seem to be aware of its sequitur . But this next step becomes even more
important to them as they subjugate an ever larger percentage of the world's population. It
is the principle of "divide and keep conquered. " This principle is vital to their survival.
A very large part of the total effort of the Kremlin tyrants is spent in building up their
bluff of unassailable power — as in con stantly demonstrating and re-advertising to the
world how completely the United States Government is on the friendliest of terms with
them, or is afraid of them, or is really on their side. This is because they have only one
great fear as to physical or military danger. But it is something they live with all their
lives. And that is the fear of a simultaneous uprising of the subjugated peoples.
For if the East Germans should rise with the fervor they showed in 1953, and the Poles
and Hungarians with the bravery they proved in 1956, and the Chinese with the suicidal
determination so frequently demonstrated by millions of their compatriots ever since
1950, and the Indonesians with the courage of the "Colonels" in Sumatra only two or
three years ago, and the Russians themselves with the daring that was exemplified at
Vorkuta; if these and all of the other enslaved subjects of the Communist hierarchy
should revolt and begin to fight all at the same time, and even if they had in the beginning
only sticks and stones for weapons, the lords of the Kremlin could not last three months
against such an uprising - - and they know it! So they arrange to precipitate uprisings, one
by one and here and there, in accordance with their own time table, to entice each
separate underground opposition out into the open and destroy it.
But a clear-cut shooting war, between the Soviets and the United States would be an
automatic signal for simultaneous revolt. For war on any such scale simply could not be
kept from the knowledge of even the most isolated and oppressed people. And hundreds
of millions of desperate human slaves all over the world would immediately realize that it
was now or never . It would produce that very coordination of resistance which the
Kremlin seeks above all else to avoid.
From a military point of view the Soviets proceed against the United States on the
soundest of strategy. It calls for paralyzing their enemy and their enemy's will to resist,
by internal subversion, before ever striking a blow. Not until the Soviets have complete
victory already assured by such subversion and paralysis is there the slightest danger of
any military attack on the United States itself from the outside. If and when it does come
it will be merely part of a "mopping up" operation, to destroy potential resistance
movements within America by mass murder and limitless terror. To the hopeless slaves
of the Communist tyranny elsewhere in the world it will then be obvious that the Soviets
are merely suppressing revolt, or preventing future revolt, by their usual methods, in
another territory that has already been conquered.
It is, however, precisely because no earthly power could drag the Soviets into a real war
or an honest war with the United States today that they beat their breasts so much and
threaten war so loudly and so often. This writer believes that, just as a matter of sound
common sense and of permanent national policy, we should keep our powder dry -- and
keep plenty of it. But we should also remain constantly and acutely aware of the
incredible waste of billions of dollars, the socialization of our economy, the centralization
of government power, and all of the other Soviet-serving measures being so skillfully
promoted by Communist influences within our government, with this completely phony
threat of outside war as the excuse.
But Let's Look Deeper
Now if the danger from the Communist conspiracy were all we had to worry about, it
would be enough. But every thinking and informed man senses that, even as cunning, as
ruthless, and as determined as are the activists whom we call Communists with a capital
"C", the conspiracy could never have reached its present extensiveness, and the gangsters
at the head of it could never have reached their present power, unless there were
tremendous weaknesses in the whole body of our civilization — weaknesses to make the
advance of such a disease so rapid and its ravages so disastrous. And this feeling is easily
confirmed by observation. But to analyze and understand these weaknesses we have to go
deeply into both the political history and the philosophical history of the human race. By
your leave — or perhaps I should say without it — I am going to attempt that analysis. For
we definitely need this understanding also, as background to the suggestions of program
and of action which will eventually follow. I shall keep this exploration from being dry
and boring, to the best of my ability. And I shall keep it as short as I well can.
In my opinion, the first great basic weakness of the United States, and hence its
susceptibility to the disease of collectivism, is simply the age of the Western European
civilization. And I am not being cryptic, clever, nor facetious, as I hope soon to make
clear. Some of you will already have recognized, in fact, that I am drawing a corollary to
the conclusions usually connected with the name of Oswald Spengler. In actual fact there
were many other scholars who, during the first decades of this century, supplied what
were probably sounder studies and interpretations of the cyclic theory of cultures than did
Spengler. But the concept has become so associated with his name that we might as well
accept that identification. So let me put "Spengler's theory" in simple language, as
concisely as I can.
Oswald Spengler was a very learned but very conceited German who wrote a book, first
published in 1918, 1 believe, of which the title in the English translation was The Decline
Of The West . A lot of its direct effectiveness was spoiled by the almost nauseating
displays of erudition in which the book abounds. Chief Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes
once called it "a marvelous humbug of a book, " which description actually reveals more
about that eternal sophomore, Holmes, than it does about the ostentatious scholar,
And despite the way that Spengler overplayed his hand and overproved his point, a rather
strange thing has happened. The so-called liberal scholars of the world completely
demolished Spengler's arguments at once. And then they have kept right on returning to
the task, and demolishing Spengler's thesis finally and for good, every year or two for the
past forty years. For the convincing way in which Spengler's explanation fits the known
facts of human history just would not let his conclusion be downed and forgotten — any
more than the convincing way in which Darwin's general theory fitted the known facts of
animal life would let Darwin's theory be suppressed and ignored two generations earlier.
Until at last the international socialists, with the Fabians and Labor Party bosses in
England taking the lead, made one grand and lasting effort to have Spengler discredited
by being overshadowed. They took a meretricious hack named Arnold J. Toynbee, who
just by the intrinsic evidence of his own pages is one of the worst charlatans that ever
lived; they had Toynbee interpret and rewrite history in such fashion as specifically to
supplant Spengler's cyclic theory of cultures with Toynbee's half-baked nonsense; and
then they — the whole liberal establish ment, especially of England and America -- gave
Toynbee such favorable publicity and such a terrific build-up as no other historian, not
even the socialist H. G. Wells, has ever enjoyed before. The result has been that today at
least one thousand people are familiar with Toynbee's history, and have even read a few
pages of it, to each one who has read Spengler and knows what he tried to say.
Those who are familiar with the way in which Stalin won out in his contest with Trotsky,
in the years 1924 to 1929, will recognize the similarity of the technique used. Stalin, who
was in complete charge of all media of communication in Russia during those years,
never actually suppressed, nor even refused to allow to be published, any pamphlets by,
or favorable to, Trotsky. He merely held the press run and distribution of all such
pamphlets down to a few thousand, on the ground that the demand didn't justify any
more; while pamphlets by himself or others, condemning Trotsky, were printed and
distributed in huge quantities all over Russia. Incidentally, it is the same typically
Communist technique which was used by the Fund For The Republic, when they printed
and distributed thirty-five thousand copies of Erwin Griswold's straining pedantry in
defense of the Fifth Amendment pleaders; and then printed and distributed one thousand
copies of Dickerman Williams' answer to Griswold's nonsense, in order to show how fair-
minded they were.
But I am getting off the track. Which is that, due to all this huge buildup of Arnold
Toynbee as a philosopher-historian, almost any American or Englishman who happened
to take a notion, for some reason, to go digging into world history from a philosophical
viewpoint — or just from sheer curiosity — would certainly turn to Toynbee, would never
have heard of Spengler, and hence would have no chance to learn Spengler's ideas. And
all of this introduction to those ideas has not been wasted, I hope. For it does emphasize
this fact. Spengler's theory is absolutely fatal to the acceptance of socialism or any form
of collectivism as a forward step, or as a form of progress, in man's sociological
arrangements. For in Spengler's view collectivism is a disease of society, concomitant
with decay, and remarkably similar to cancer in the individual.
Basically, when you dig through the chaff and the dressing in Spengler enough to get at
his thought, he held that a societal development which we ordinarily classify as a
civilization is an organic culture, which goes through a life cycle just the same as any of
the individual organisms which we see whole and with which we are more familiar. It has
been many years since I have read Spengler, so I do not know how far I am wandering
from his own specific or exact thinking, in trying to present his central theme. There is
certainly more Welch than there is Spengler in what follows. But the easiest way to make
the theme clear is to illustrate the life of a civilization as a parallel to the life of an
You then find, that of the some twenty-one or twenty-two civilizations which we know
enough about to discuss intelligently, some were struck down while in middle age and
reasonable health, by an enemy, as was the Neo-Babylonian Civilization by Cyrus, for
instance; just the same as an individual man might be shot by an enemy, or run over by a
street car. Another, like the Carthaginian, never was able to attain its full normal growth
and strength, because of the overwhelming competition, for sus tenance and lebensraum,
of a too close, too powerful, and too greedy a rival, namely Rome — which must have
been the case for many a man, in the barbarian settings of our evolution. And another,
like the Assyrian, could almost be said to have died of a heart attack, it went to pieces so
suddenly and so completely in the middle stage of an apparently successful and healthy
existence. There were factors of weakness inside the body which caused it to drop almost
exactly like a man whose heart suddenly kicks up and then quits altogether twenty
The real point, however, is this. An individual human being may die of any number of
causes. But if he escapes the fortuitous diseases, does not meet with any fatal accident,
does not starve to death, does not have his heart give out, but lives in normal health to his
three score years and ten and then keeps on living — if he escapes or survives everything
else and keeps on doing so, he will eventually succumb to the degenerative disease of
cancer. For death must come, and cancer is merely death coming by stages, instead of all
at once. And exactly the same thing seems to be true of those organic aggregations of
human beings, which we called cultures or civilizations.
The individual cells in a human body die and are replaced by new ones constantly. Only
when and where cancer attacks a part of the body are the dead ones not replaced by new
cells which contribute their share of strength to the body as a whole. The individual
human beings in an organic culture die and are replaced constantly by new ones. But
even if the culture escapes enemy conquest and accidents of nature and starvation and all
the fortuitous diseases — such as the internal bleeding which almost destroyed Europe at
the time of the Reformation and the Thirty Years War — death will still come eventually,
and usually a lingering death, through the degenerative disease of collectivism. For
collectivism destroys the value to the organism of the individual cells — that is, the
individual human beings — without replacing them with new ones with new strength. The
Roman Empire of the West, for instance, started dying from the cancer of collectivism
from the time Diocletian imposed on it his New Deal. And while it was given the coup de
grace by the barbarians a hundred and seventy-five years later, it had already been so
weakened by this cancer that the city of Rome itself had been an easy prey to Alaric more
than sixty years before its final fall.
Now how really exact or how valid this parallel between the lives of human individuals
and the lives of their well integrated aggregations may be, I don't know. I certainly do not
have either the knowledge or the inclination to support whatever belief Spengler may
have had that there was actually a biological compulsion for a social organism to follow a
life cycle similar to that of the individual. But no such rigid crystallization of the thought
is at all necessary. For whether fatalistically determined by biological principles or not,
there is an analogy between the two which is inescapable. And even if it is nothing more
than a useful analogy, subject to all of the flaws and possible exceptions which may mar
any analogy, it leads automatically to conclusions which are devastating to socialist
theory. For it is perfectly evident, right in the cases of the very civilizations that we know
most about, that both the Greek and the Roman civilizations did perish of the cancer of
collectivism, and that the civilization of Western Europe is doing so today.
Now it is even possible to establish a fairly accurate time ratio for this analogy or
parallel. It runs about twenty to one. In other words a civilization fourteen hundred years
old would be at the physical stage in its life cycle, roughly, of a man of seventy. And with
that yardstick in mind we can now come at last to take the look at Western Europe which
I have been trying to make worth while; and after that the look at America which is the
real goal of all this preparation.
The civilization of Western Europe arose out of the ashes of the Roman Empire of the
West. If we try to establish any approximation to a birthdate, the analogy becomes
sloppy. For actually the parallel is much closer to that of an oak tree which has been
felled, but which still scatters acorns that sprout long afterwards. But if we still stick to
the analogy of a man nevertheless, we might consider that, after a long gestation period,
an entity which could eventually become Western European Civilization was born in the
time of Charlemagne. The boy had reached the strutting, stick-throwing stage at the time
of the Crusades; the stage of growing intellectual curiosity in the Renaissance; the stage
of youthful adventure in the ocean explorations of the fifteenth century; and then three
centuries, or the equivalent of fifteen years for a man, of the most solid accomplishments
of a hard-working, hard-thinking middle age.
None of these comparisons will quite hold water, and I don't know whether Spengler
could have postulated some that would or not. But after all shortcomings of the allegory
are recognized, the fact remains that Western Europe of the last half of the nineteenth
century was remarkably similar to a man of some sixty-five years of age who had led an
extremely busy life of great stresses and strains, but an extremely successful life,
nevertheless, of mental growth, physical accomplishments, and material acquisitions. The
old man had weathered every danger, had stood all the bludgeonings of fate, and had
come out, at that age, with a tremendous accumulation of knowledge, experience,
material possessions, and prestige among his neighbors — the other civilizations or
societal organizations of the rest of the planet.
In fact, in my amateurish opinion, the last half of the nineteenth century A. D., like the
first half of the sixth century B.C. before it, was the high-water mark up to its time of
human civilization, accomplishment, and hope for the future. And it was Western Europe
which made that last half of the nineteenth century the period of the highest level to
which man has yet climbed in his struggle to reach an enlightened and humane life.
But, as so often happens for the individual, by the time Western Europe had the
knowledge, the wealth, and the ability to get the most out of life, it was ready to die. The
truth is that, by a cycle which seems inevitable whether it is a biological reality or only an
analogy, Western Europe was worn out. And under those circumstances the degenerative
disease of collectivism, the cancer of social organizations, began its peripheral
Not only the early beginnings of the disease, but the certainty of its slowly increasing
ravages, and the eventual fatal effect of its ultimately advanced stages, were clearly
visible to the genius of Herbert Spencer as early as the middle of the century. And by the
time Bismarck, forming that alliance of the autocratic top of society with the greedy
masses at the bottom, which is so commonplace in history, began to crystallize the
nebulous theories of the Marxists and other modern socialists into the welfare legislation
of Germany of the 1880's; by that time the disease was starting to eat its way further into
the body in disastrous fashion. Its ravages continued, increased, and spread, until today
Western Europe is so sick and weakened from the collectivism in its body and veins that
it can never recover.
This doesn't mean that, in the normal course of events, Europe will soon become a
desolate waste, while the monuments of its former kings lie toppled and forgotten where
the lone and level sands stretch far away. Even when an individual is dying of cancer,
there are periods of apparent recovery or improvement, and even times when some
organs of the body seem as strong, healthy, and invulnerable to the disease as ever. Also,
I must emphasize again that there are many points -- such as the doubtful transmissibility
of cancer itself to individuals, through either contagion or environment -- at which there
are apparent flaws in the analogy which would take more time than we can spare here to
put in their proper light. And sticking to the historical parallels for the minute, rather than
the biological one, it is clear that even hundreds of years after the fall of the Assyrian,
Neo-Babylonian, and Persian civilizations in the Tigris-Euphrates stretches of Western
Asia, the subjects of the Sassanid dynasty and other lesser offsprings of those once great
civilizations led lives that were perhaps happy, and that certainly were important to
themselves. I am sure that, likewise, it will be a long time before the lizards run
undisturbed over the toppled ruins of the Arc de Triomphe, or London Bridge is allowed
to fall, unreconstructed, into the waters of the Thames.
But our analysis does mean that the entity which was Western Europe; the social
organism which was so closely knit and so well integrated despite its national boundaries,
languages, and jealousies; the Western Europe whose parts were so intertwined that
Napoleon of France could marry the daughter of the Emperor of Austria to help one of
his brothers to rule Spain and another brother to rule Holland; the Western Europe which
could spare the strength to spread its pioneers to colonize the uninhabited lands, and its
pukka sahibs to bring civilized rule to the settled natives, on all the continents of earth —
that Western Europe of the nineteenth century can never come back. It is either dying
before our eyes, or is already dead. For the vigor of its muscles and the strength of its
whole body have been sapped beyond recovery by the cancer of collectivism.
Now, lest I seem to be putting too much dependence in an analogy which is full of holes,
let me just very briefly make a more matter-of-fact approach towards the same
conclusion. For regard less of any organic cycle which may be involved, it is perfectly
visible and incontrovertible that the rugged pioneer settlers of a new land want as little
government as possible; that as the new society becomes more settled, as population
grows, as commerce and/ or industry increase, as the society grows older, more and more
government creeps in. And then, because demagogues find it to their personal advantage,
they use trickery, persuasion, and bribery of the people with their own money, to make
the rate of in crease in the quantity and reach of government far greater than the rate of
increase in either the population or the justifiable need for government. So that by the
time any society which has been so originated and fashioned has reached a thick
population, comparative wealth, and considerable age, enough government has already
been imposed on the people to constitute the beginnings of collectivism.
This happened to the people who settled the islands and founded the city states of Greece.
It happened to their descendants who settled the Italian peninsula and founded the Roman
Empire. It happened to their spiritual descendants who built the Western European
civilization. And it is certainly happening to their descendants who founded and have
built the American Republic .
With the next inevitable stage, after advanced collectivism has destroyed the vigor of any
such society — which is its break-up into feudal units and the accompanying serfdom —
we are not concerned here. But what we are concerned with is the time usually involved-
in these successive developments. It is this question of the speed of the movement around
the arc, from pioneer to serf, or of the various stages of the movement, to which this
whole present discussion has been leading. And purely for the sake of simplicity and
clarity, I hope you will let me go back to my analogy, even if you now regard it only as a
figure of speech.
For the whole point is that the Greek civilization was at least many centuries old — that is,
many centuries removed from its pioneer days — before Pericles started it on the road to
death, at the very height of its glory, through making the government increasingly
responsible for its citizens, instead of its citizens being responsible for, and watchdogs
over, their government. Rome was already over a thousand years from the days of
Romulus and Remus when Diocletian's reign signalized the advance of collectivism
beyond the point of any possible re covery. Western Europe was, by a most conservative
method of figuring its age, at least eleven to twelve hundred years old before the disease
of collectivism began to bring it to its deathbed. Or we even know enough today to go
back in the other direction, where we find that the first Babylonian civilization also was
at least a thousand years old before collectivism had become sufficiently prevalent for
Hammurabi to formalize it as the New Deal of his era.
Now — in view of all of that, take a look at what has happened to America. It's true that
the same thing has also happened to most of the other former British colonies, such as
Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, but that is not our concern here; and there was a
little more justification for it anyway, because they remained more closely tied to
England. But the United States was not only a new and completely independent country.
It was, by any measure of appraisal, the seat of a whole new civilization.
There are few parallels in history more striking than the way Italy was settled by Greek
pioneers, who simply took over from the aborigines already there, and developed the new
nation and new civilization of Rome, and the way America was settled by pioneers from
Western Europe who developed a new nation and a new civilization here. In its earlier
centuries America not only did not regard itself as a part of the European organism at all,
but became fiercely proud of its differences from Europe, and of its indigenously
vigorous customs, culture, and destiny of its own. The American civilization was every
bit as much of an entirely new and different civilization from the old and ancestral one of
Western Europe, as was Rome a new civilization distinct from Greece.
And this American civilization, at the turn of the present century, was only three hundred
years old. It had the strength and vigor and promise of a healthy young man in his late
teens. There was no reason on earth for any such organism to be attacked by, and start
succumbing to, the cancerous disease of collectivism at that stage of its young manhood,
with its whole lifespan of accomplishment before it. And any of the natural or fortuitous
attempts of the disease to get a foothold in the American social body — such as the virus
implanted by Edward Bellamy with his Looking Backward , or by Upton Sinclair with his
Jungle, or even the more pretentious concoctions of Thorstein Veblen — would have been
so easily repulsed by the strong and growing organism that none of them would have left
even a scar.
But we have the cancerous disease of collectivism firmly implanted now, nevertheless.
We have people feeling that nothing should be done by them, but everything for them, by
the government. Its disastrous ravages are quite far advanced. And we have it, basically,
because of too long and too close an as sociation with a parent that was dying of the
disease; that was old enough and weakened enough for the virus to be rampantly active
throughout this parent's whole environment.
When Woodrow Wilson, cajoled and guided even then by the collectivists of Europe,
took us into the first World War, while solemnly swearing that he would never do so, he
did much more than end America's great period of happy and wholesome in dependence
of Europe. He put his healthy young country in the same house, and for a while in the
same bed, with this parent who was already yielding to the collectivist cancer. We never
got out of that house again. We were once more put back even in the same bed by
Franklin D. Roosevelt, also while lying in his teeth about his intentions, and we have
never been able to get out of that bed since.
In the meantime, the closer our relationship with this parent civilization has become, and
the more exposed to the unhealthy air and the raging virus of the sick room we have been,
the sicker and more morbidly diseased has the patient become. Until now, there is a
tremendous question whether, even if we did not have the Communist conspirators
deliberately helping to spread the virus for their own purposes, we could recover from
just the natural demagogue-fed spread of that virus when it is already so far advanced.
With the Communists skillfully using and encouraging the disease as a means of
weakening us, the outlook leads ever more irresistibly to despondency and despair. And
we simply cannot overlook or underrate the prevalence of this disease in our vitals —
entirely aside from the way the Communists agitate the affected parts and make the
disease worse — in any sound thinking or constructive plans for the future of America.
But — if I thought all hope were gone I wouldn't be here, and neither would you. Let's
leave the Communist disease-carriers out of the picture for a minute. I knew a man who,
when he was around fifty, and still otherwise a very healthy fifty, was found by the
doctors to have cancer already far advanced in one side of his jaw. They took that side of
his jaw, and practically half his face, right away from him at once. And when I first got to
know him, at least ten years later, he had a very peculiar looking face, it is true; but
otherwise he was a grand example of both mental and physical health for a man of sixty-
five; and he was very happily teaching his lifetime subject as a professor at one of our
most famous universities. Probably all of you have known some what similar cases. And
it is certain that in those very rare cases where a healthy young man of twenty-five does,
in some way, contract cancer, a sufficiently accurate diagnosis and sufficiently drastic
surgery can restore him to health and enable him to go on and live out a normal, active,
successful and happy life. But it can't be done by half measures.
Now what I have been trying so long and so hard to say comes to this. We have got to
stop the Communists, for many reasons. One reason is to keep them from agitating our
cancerous tissues, reimplanting the virus, and working to spread it, so that we never have
any chance of recovery. And stopping the Communists is the most urgently important
task before us, which we are going to talk about plenty at this meeting. But even in
stopping them, or in our efforts to do so, we cannot forget for a minute the disease which
has enabled them to go so far, weaken us so much, and become so dangerous to us. Nor
can we forget for a minute the imperative need of excising and stopping the disease itself,
while we are stopping and after we have stopped the Communists, or we shall merely die
a somewhat slower and more lingering national death than if we let the Communists
destroy us in the first place.
Push the Communists back, get out of the bed of a Europe that is dying with this cancer
of collectivism, and breathe our own healthy air of opportunity, enterprise, and freedom;
then the cancer we already have, even though it is of considerable growth, can be cut out.
And despite the bad scars and the loss of some muscles, this young, strong, great new
nation, restored to vigor, courage, ambition, and self-confidence, can still go ahead to
fulfill its great destiny, end to become an even more glorious example for all the earth
than it ever was before. It should be centuries from now before the natural time comes for
the decline of America, and for the highest torch of civilization to be taken over by the
rising newer nations to the West. But we do have to achieve the sufficiently drastic
surgery; and that of course is a Herculean task. We shall return to a study of it when we
come to the more positive part of this program.
And Deeper Still
Now, gentlemen, in looking thoroughly and realistically at the danger to everything we
have inherited, spiritual as well as material, and at the cause of that danger, we come to
the second of the fundamental reasons for deep and basic anxiety. And putting that matter
bluntly at once, the reason is simply loss of faith. Not just loss of faith in God and all His
works but loss of faith in man and his works too, in his reasons for existence, in his
purposes, and in his hopes.
Now I know that there are still millions of devout Catholics, fundamentalist Protestants,
and faithful Jews in this country who still believe unquestioningly in the divine truths and
powers which their Bibles reveal to them, and whose conduct and relations with their
fellow men are guided strictly by the precepts of their religious faith — or who at least
feel that they have sinned whenever they have transgressed such precepts as understood
by their consciences. I have hundreds of good friends in those categories, including some
in this room.
Let all of us thank whatever God we severally worship that there is so large a remnant of
the really true believers still left. We honor them. We need their steadying adherence to
the rock of reverence, and their aspiration of unwavering obedience to ancient and divine
commandments. We desperately need their unshakable confidence in absolutes, in eternal
principles and truths, in a world of increasing relativity and transitoriness in all things.
We admire them. In fact, as will become more clear tomor row, the young man I admire
most of all of those America has produced was a fundamentalist Baptist missionary
named John Birch. My own obsession with this fight against the increasing forces of evil
in the world, which — as already explained — has caused me to give up business career
and income and any prospect of ever having any peace or leisure again during my
lifetime, is due in large part to my admiration for John Birch; to my feeling that I simply
had to pick up and carry, to the utmost of my ability and energy, the torch of a humane
righteousness which he was carrying so well and so faithfully when the Communists
struck him down.
The true fundamentalists in our midst, whether Catholics, Protestants or Jews, are the
moral salt of the earth — of an increasingly savorless earth where such salt is like a stream
of clear water in a desert. And nothing I say now, nor any of the plans I outline
tomorrow, is intended to question, weaken, or disturb any fundamentalist faith in the
slightest; or to discount one iota its tremendous worth as a core of strength for all that we
might hope to do.
But — we must not let our admiration for, dependence on, and feeling of spiritual kinship
with, the fundamentalists, blind us to the visible fact that their number grows smaller
every year. Among the people literate enough and ambitious enough to tee activists in
Europe and America; that is, among the leaders of all levels and in all segments of
society, from a factory foreman to the chairman of a political party, whose total influence
determines what gets done, what the masses think, and which way community, state, or
nation moves on the ideological parade ground; among this ten percent or thirty percent
of the population, or whatever the percentage may be, those who are honestly true
believers, in a faith which most of them still profess, is an ever smaller minority. It
becomes increasingly smaller with every senior class our colleges now turn out, with
every novel of the Peyton Place or By Love Possessed type which the hundreds of
thousands read, and with the impact of many of the television programs which millions of
What is far worse, fully one-third of the services in at least the Protestant churches of
America are helping that trend. For the ministers themselves are not true believers in the
Divine Names or the Divine History and Divine Teachings to which they give lip service,
as they go through their conventional motions on Sunday mornings. Some have merely
watered down the faith of our fathers, and of theirs, into an innocuous philosophy instead
of an evangelistic religion. Some have converted Christianity into a so-called "social
gospel, " that bypasses all questions of dogma with an indifference which is comfortable
to both themselves and their parishioners; and which "social gospel" becomes in fact
indistinguishable from advocacy of the welfare state by socialist politicians. And some
actually use their pulpits to preach outright Communism, often in very thin disguise if
any, while having the hypocrisy as atheists to thank God in public for their progressive
It may shock the Protestants among you to have all of these things said out loud, but you
know in your hearts that they are true. It is also true that while later, perhaps slower, and
not yet so far advanced in some of these cases, the same trend of worldly disillusionment
and loss of true faith is visible among Catholics, among Jews, among Moslems, among
Buddhists, and among the formerly devout believers of every great religion of the world.
We must not only know the truth, but face the truth, if it is to set us free or to keep us so.
And the fundamental truth of our times, gentlemen, as distinguished from the
fundamentalist truth, is just this. Except for the diminishing number of fundamentalists of
all religions, and the increasing but still comparatively small percentage of the human
race which has fervently accepted Communism as a religion, all faith has been replaced,
or is rapidly being replaced, by a pragmatic opportunism with hedonistic aims. And what
a fall that is for a race which can boast of once having listened to a St. Augustine, a St.
Francis of Assisi, a John Milton, or an Alfred Tennyson. The further and more specific
manifestation of that fundamental truth is that in Western Europe and America today we
are living in a spiritual vacuum , exactly as were the Romans after they had lost any real
faith in their pagan gods and before the rise of Christianity.
In the middle of the nineteenth century Lord Tennyson, with one of the greatest and most
rational minds, at the very apex of the enlightenment achieved by the Western European
Civilization, could still write with complete conviction:
"Our little systems have their day;
They have their day and cease to be:
They are but broken lights of Thee,
And Thou, O Lord, art more than they. "
Compare that with the acutely cynical flippancy of a current gem, which goes something
"A life force afflicted with doubt,
As to what its own being was about,
Said: "The truth I can't find,
But I'm creating a mind,
Which may be able to figure it out. "
And in that comparison you can see the magnitude of our loss, as to a base for our
morals, our purposes, and our aspirations.
For the next part of the truth we must face is that for the past several hundred years our
morality, in Europe and America, was tied to a belief in the rewards and punishments
delineated by Christian dogma; to the accepted commandments of a very real and very
majestic deity; and to the desire of the true believer to become worthy of the love of an
omniscient living God. The reality and earnestness of Christian faith was the foundation
of our ethics, and the substance of our consciences. When Voltaire said that if God did
not exist we should have to invent him, it was a very blasphemous remark but a very
penetrating one, as to the dependence at that time of morals, humanitarianism, and
purposes on what has since come to be called the anthropomorphic conception -that is, a
God in whose image man himself was created.
Now the trouble is that, in the minds of a vast majority of worshippers, their God had
become too close, too concretely defined, and all the details of heaven and hell and of
their God's creation and rule of the earth itself had become too vividly and too rigidly put
in place. This whole framework of belief could not withstand the sheer facts and
convincing rationalizations of the scientific revolution. When Herbert Spencer relegated
his own Divine Being to the infinitely remote and impersonal classification of a First
Cause, those increasing thousands of intelligent human beings who followed his
convincing analyses found that the celestial palace they had built in their minds began to
look empty, unnecessary, and perhaps ridiculous. And by the time Ernest Haeckel came
to write his Riddle Of The Universe, that palace and all the foundations of dogma and
doctrine which supported it were crumbling into tragic ruins.
For our fathers and their religious preceptors had become too specific and too finite in
their beliefs about the Infinite; too egocentric and almost patronizing in their adoption of
a Deity as Himself somehow created primarily to be a Father to man. When I went to
Sunday School in a country Baptist Church fifty years ago I was taught, with a huge chart
on the wall to reinforce the teaching and emphasize its accuracy, that the world was
created in 40C4 B.C. And I am sure that chart had been drawn, and those Sunday School
lessons written, by good Christians who devoutly believed their own teachings.
A religious faith had somehow come to rest its case in the minds of men on these and
similar minute and unjustified projections of its more important certainties. As increasing
knowledge of history and science made it more and more impossible for the intelligent
mind to accept the projections, the more general and deeper articles of faith began to lose
their hold as well. But these deeper articles of faith were, for most men, the straw with
which were built the bricks of their consciences. Without this straw the bricks either did
not get built at all, or were shoddy and insecure against the erosion of opportunism or the
onslaughts of temptation.
Through many centuries Christianity, despite all of its splits and schisms, supplied the
fabric of morality for the whole Western World -- through its threats of punishments,
promises of rewards, and the humanizing effect of its proffered love by and for a Divine
Father. But despite all the billions of words that have been written to the contrary, that
fabric is now pierced and torn and weakened beyond needed dependability. For a vast
majority of those who proclaim themselves Christians today, and attend church services,
do not really and literally believe in either the punish ments, the rewards, or even in the
physical and biological existence of a Divine Father with any interest in their personal
lives and actions. The momentum of a former belief, and the customs which grew out of
it, still have great value. But the fabric is worn too thin to have its old effectiveness.
Now please do not jump to any conclusions that I want to see Christianity denied,
discarded, or even further weakened, in the slightest. Exactly the opposite is true, as I
hope to make clear when we come back to this subject from the constructive side
tomorrow. But I am not in favor of trying to reimpose all or any of the strands of a
fundamentalist faith on those whose reason, whether right or wrong, has honestly told
them that we cannot know such positive things about the Unknowable. For that would be
like trying to tie the waves of the ocean together with ropes, or to confine them with
But I believe there is a broader and more encompassing faith to which we can all
subscribe, without any of us doing the slightest violation to the more specific doctrines of
his own creed or altars of his own devotion. And I believe it is an ennobling conception,
equally acceptable to the most fundamentalist Christian or the most rationalistic idealist,
because its whole purport is to strengthen and synthesize the ennobling characteristics of
each man and the ennobling impulses of his own personal religion. It is a conception
which the Baptist John Birch, the Catholic Hilaire Belloc, and the agnostic Thomas
Jefferson would alike have welcomed. And in the short time we can give to so mighty a
subject, in this particular program, I shall return to it tomorrow to the extent necessary for
its place in my immediate proposals. What I am trying to do now is merely to make a
realistic appraisal of our weaknesses, because without doing so we can only dissipate our
remaining strength in trying to build fortifications and temples on sinking mud or shifting
For not only is this loss of reinforcing faith in the cement of our morals a weakness in
itself of immense significance, but like all of our weaknesses it has been pounced upon
by the Communists, and used and made worse by them with great skill and determination
for their own purposes. When an individual American, or any other human being, sees
himself as no longer responsible to a Divine Being, but as merely a living accident, not
connected in any way with cosmological purpose, it becomes far easier for him to make
his decisions about his own life and actions entirely on the basis of his temporal comforts
and the earthly desires of his own personality. If he is the kind of man that wants
financial success for the ease, or leisure and travel, or the prestige which it supposedly
brings (and sometimes does), he is not going to buck Communist pressures in any way
that will endanger that success or handicap his progress. If he is imbued with ambition for
power, he is more readily incline- 1 to get on the Communist bandwagon, if that seems to
be the surest road to power (as it certainly does to a great many Americans today). The
Communists are able to use this lack of moral stamina among their enemies in a thousand
ways to make their own progress easier and the conquest of those enemies more rapid.
The most terrible result of this collapse of the rock of faith on which our morality was
built is the rise of the amoral man — of which the usual Communist himself is the most
illustrative example. For an amoral man, like Stalin, is infinitely worse, from the point of
view of a humanitarian civilization, than an immoral one like Hitler. An immoral man
may lie, steal, and murder; the worst of them even without any seeming limit or
hesitation. But it hurts his conscience. He is, at least potentially, susceptible to
humanitarian or moral considerations, to some extent, and if they are present cogently
enough to him. There is even the possibility always that he may sometime, or in some
ways, repent and make what amends he can for his crimes. An amoral man, however, has
simply wiped out his conscience, along with any reason for its existence He is not
immoral, even when performing cold-blooded mass murders, because to him there is no
such thing as either morality or immorality. There is only the pragmatic consideration of
the advantages or disad vantages to himself, for his own personal desires or plans, in any
action — whether it be the building of a monument or the murder of his wife. And these
amoral men, the products of a materialistic and sophomoric disillusionment, who have
not yet gone on in their thinking to deeper and more permanent truths, now stalk in our
midst in greater numbers than ever before in history. Such men, among the Communists,
and they are plentiful and highly placed, have no real dedication even to Communism.
They regard it merely as an expedient means to satisfy their personal ambitions more
nearly than would an other star to which they might hitch their wagons.
But on our own side of the fence, among the millions who either are, or pretend to be,
non-Communists, the amoral man, who has no slightest inner concern with right or
wrong, is one of the greatest causes of our constant retreat, and one of the greatest
dangers to our survival. And he doesn't wear any label. He usually lives up to the
appearance of excellent morals, because it is expedient for his purposes, and you will
usually find him in church on Sunday morning, maybe even a Catholic church. But as a
member of the United States Senate, running for the presidency, and smart enough to
know the strong Communist support behind-the-scenes which he will have to get in order
to have any chance of being nominated in 1960, such an amoral man can do a tremendous
amount of ball-carrying on behalf of the Communist aims here in the United States; and
he can do an almost equal amount of damage to anti-Communist morale in other parts of
the world, by his well-publicized speeches against Chiang Kai-shek or in favor of the
Algerian rebels. Or an amoral man, as the head of a great so-called Republic, may have
no slightest scruples or concern about its fate or the fate of other nations, in the face of
Communist conquest and of the cruel tyranny of their rule. And any similarity of
characters in this story to any living persons is not coincidental.
As to the more normal run of men, whose consciences have been weakened but not
abolished by their loss of faith, I tried to cover the various ways many of them are
converted into Communists, or are made to do Communist bidding, by many different
kinds of appeals, pressures, and proselytizing, in an article entitled Why People Become
Communists . There are reprints of it in the little packets for each of you that I brought
with me, and I hope that those who have not already read the article may be willing to do
so. For the answers given there, although put together by such an amateur as myself, have
been passed on by experts like J. B. Matthews as being authentic. And these reasons why
apparently sane and normal Americans join up with the Communists give a part of the
present picture which it is important for us to keep in mind in connection with all that we
plan and do. But we couldn't take time to go into that complex field here, even if I had
not already covered it to the best of my ability in the article which is available.
For the chief point of this whole present section of our discussion is a more general one.
It runs parallel to the main point in connection with the extent to which the cancer of
collectivism has weakened and endangered us. It is that, as important and absolutely vital
as our stopping the Communists has become, and as much as our loss of moral fiber is
now deliberately made more rapid and more damaging by the Communists for their
present and future purposes, even throwing the Communists completely out of the picture
would not stop the fatal deterioration in our sense of values which is now in process.
Besides the short-term job of eliminating the Communist danger — and Herculean as that
job may be, it has to be done in a short term or it can't be done at all — we have the
equally important longer-range job of ending this mass psychological flight towards
amorality; and of restoring convincing reasons for men once again to strive to live up to
moral and humanitarian ideals. Otherwise, there is no chance of saving our Christian-
style civilization from self-destruction; and it will merely go down to chaos, and the
ultimate serfdom of the weak under the strong, more lingeringly than if it is destroyed
and its once free members are enslaved by the Communists.
But whereas stopping the disease of collectivism is a matter of honest diagnosis and
drastic surgery, this equally gigantic problem is one of restoration rather than of removal.
We have to find something to live for, gentlemen, that is greater than ourselves, or we
surely fall back from the semi-civilized level of existence, which man has laboriously
achieved, into a moral jungle and its inevitably concomitant intellectual darkness. I tried
to put the picture of where we are heading in a sonnet to my good friend Alfred Noyes
about a year ago — and fortunately a few months before he died. Because it summarizes,
as concisely and as expressively as I know how, the outlook I have been trying to define,
I am asking your leave to read it at this point.
TO ALFRED NOYES
As after Rome, now once again the drapes
Of ignorance and bigotry and lust
May close upon the scene. Insentient dust
Will bury the forgotten stage. And apes
Who know not man, his glory and his dreams,
His wish to be more worthy of his God,
Will stalk the earth and wield the brutal rod,
And stamp upon each tiny light that gleams.
Amid the dull collective monotone
Of universal serfdom will be lost
The memory of song and singer. Prone
And helpless, soon, upon the rubbish tossed,
Will die the Muse. Let us rejoice to own
This one great poet more before the holocaust.
And it is not only the muse of poetry that will die of abuse and neglect, if man's loss of
faith in there being anything in the universe worth while except his appetites is permitted
to continue. But we do not have to let it continue. Before our very eyes lie all the
incentives man needs to set him back on the road of striving towards moral perfection,
true intellectual greatness, civilized relationships, and eternal hope for a still better and
greater future, which seemed to him to be such natural goals a hundred years ago.
Making those incentives understood, and giving contemporary man a renewed faith in
himself, in his destiny, and in a still greater God than was recognized and worshipped by
his ancestors, is a task for myriads of dedicated individuals over generations of time. We
can only contribute all we are able to its proper beginning. But without such a goal and
purpose all of our efforts simply to stop Communism, or to destroy an ephemeral
conspiracy of gangsters, are not only doomed to failure. Even if successful they would
but postpone the days of darkness for our children, for their children, and for a race of
men that once knew the light.
We shall return to the constructive side of this need and this undertaking in the morning.
An So, Let's Act
Now, gentlemen, let's start retracing our steps. We began by looking at the actual
scoreboard of the Communist advance; and by seeing clearly, I hope, how very far that
advance has already gone and how imminent and horrible is the danger of the physical
enslavement of the whole world, including ourselves. We then went on to the two basic —
and related -underlying problems and dangers which threaten us more slowly, but with
results which would be just as fatal.
We come now to the question of what is to be done about these problems. Because we
should take first things first, and the Communist threat certainly has priority as a danger
to be faced, we are going to discuss, probably for the rest of this afternoon, a proposed
action program against the Communist conspiracy. And so that you will not think I am
entirely crazy, let me point out my awareness of the fact that some parts of this program
would require resources and organization utterly beyond anything now available to us.
Raising such resources and building such organization is not only a necessary part of the
program itself, but certainly one of the most difficult. Do not think, on the one hand, that
I have some magic wand for bringing such resources and organization into existence; nor,
on the other, that the job has simply been ignored. We have to be realists in this war, or
we are wasting our time. And a realist does not run away from parts of a problem or close
his eyes to them because they are the most difficult parts.
So we'll come to that subject in due course, with the results of at least a lot of thought that
has been given to it. But we can't cover everything at once. I hope, therefore, that you
will be willing simply to put to one side, temporarily, this question of where resources
and organization would come from, while we consider strategy and tactics for the fight
Now the very first thing we must realize is that there is no easy formula possible, nor
brilliant scheme devisable, for beating the Communists. Communism is not like a poison
to which you simply find the antidote. Its present power and extensiveness has not been
created by some grand formula that swept the world, but by the sum total -- by
integration, in the mathematical sense -- of an almost infinite number of details done well
from the Communist point of view. There has been brilliant control and coordination, by
central authority, of the efforts of millions of men who have been brought, by one means
or another, to dedicate themselves, body and soul, to separate tiny pieces of the job.
As a result of this forty years of cumulative effort, the conspiracy is now incredibly well
organized. It is so well financed that it has billions of dollars annually just to spend on
propaganda. It has the benefit of decades of successful experience. It has one set goal, of
world rule by any means, to which every act and all of the lives of some forty million
Party members are now wholly subservient. And it is guided by men who had to have
supreme cunning and ruthlessness to have achieved their present positions within the
This octopus is so large that its tentacles now reach into all of the legislative halls, all of
the union labor meetings, a majority of the religious gatherings, and most of the schools
of the whole world . It has a central nervous system which can make its tentacles in the
labor unions of Bolivia, in the farmers co-operatives of Saskatchewan, in the caucuses of
the Social Democrats of West Germany, and in the class rooms of the Yale Law School,
all retract or reach forward simultaneously. It can make all of these creeping tentacles
turn either right or left, or a given percentage turn right while the others turn left, at the
same time, in accordance with the intentions of a central brain in Moscow or Ust'
Kamenogorsk. The human race has never before faced any such monster of power which
was determined to enslave it. There is certainly no reason for underrating its size, its
efficiency, its determination, its power, or its menace.
But — there is one basic consideration of tremendous importance which we must keep
always in mind. This is that Communism has been imposed, and must always be
imposed, from the top down, by trickery and terror; and that it must then be maintained
by terror. In other words, at least ninety-five percent of all the human beings, on both
sides of the Iron Curtain, do not want Communism. The job is not to unsell a majority
from something they want or think is good for them, but to enable a preponderant
majority to resist and refuse something they do not want. Truth, reality, human instinct,
and the overwhelming weight of human desire are on our side. We have these points in
our favor, against a conspiracy which must depend on falsehood, cunning, and terror,
utilized by less than five percent of the total population. To feel that we cannot win that
struggle is a form of pessimism to which I, for one, shall never yield.
In fact I know , from compulsions of human behavior which history makes clear, that the
human race will throw off this tyranny just as surely as the Greek world, led by Athens,
threw off a very similar tyranny imposed by fascist Sparta; or as the French people, in a
much more minute parallel, put an end to the reign of terror which was the climax of the
French Revolution. The question is when ? How far and how long will the Communist
conspiracy keep moving forward successfully, before it is over thrown and scattered to
the winds of history? How deeply and irrevocably will we have been infected and
ravaged by the disease of collectivism, in the poisoned air of which Communism thrives,
before the ghouls have been routed ? How much of the free world can still be saved from
the horror of the Communist seizures ? Or — and this is entirely likely, gentlemen — even
if the Conspirators reach a precarious moment when they seem to have the whole world
in their grip, how soon thereafter can the thin shell of terroristic power be blown to bits,
and how much of our civilization saved from damage beyond repair ?
These questions do not lead to defeatism. Nor do they lead to optimism, except of a long-
range, patient, and most resolute variety. But they do lead to a realization that this war
against the Communist tyranny not only must go on, but will go on, with us or without
us, until that tyranny is finally overthrown. The socialist ideology may eventually destroy
our whole civilization, through erosion and stagnation — though I think even that can and
will be prevented. But the criminal activists headed by the gangsters in the Kremlin will
not survive to survey the damage they have done. Of all the examples of the "big lie"
which the Communists have told to forward their purposes, the biggest is the lie by
Khrush chev that history is on their side. Exactly the opposite is true.
We have here a so-far highly successful attempt of cunning power-seeking murderers,
using a fraudulent ideology as a cover and excuse for their crimes, to impose a most
brutal form of slavery on the whole world. And this development is so contrary to the
recurrent trends of sociology, is such a rare exception to the halting but general
movement from savagery towards civilization, that only twice in all recorded history has
there been anything like it. One was the drive of the Lycurgean fascists, headed by
Sparta. The second is the drive of the Marxian Communists, headed by Soviet Russia.
Neither is anything more, when viewed in long perspective, than a dirty boil on the
surface of history. But a bad boil is not only extremely painful while it lasts. It can
become dangerous and damaging if not lanced in time. The question is how soon the
strength and the determination can be gathered to pierce this festering boil .
What I have chiefly intended the questions above and this brief introduction to lead to,
therefore, is the realization that we are not tossing a coin which either comes down "win"
or "lose"; that every effort we undertake, every battle we fight — even if we lose it — and
every sacrifice we make is cumulative. Every bit of dedication to the cause is worthwhile.
The most important consideration is to get the most possible effectiveness out of all
efforts, all sacrifice, and all dedication, so as to speed the day when the cumulative total
of anti-Communist resistance finally overcomes their always overextended framework of
Obviously the place for us to begin is in the United States, for two reasons. First, because
it must be our more earnest hope and goal to break out of this straightjacket, woven of
pretense, deception, audacity, and terror, before it completely encompasses ourselves.
And second because the American sup port of the international Communist conspiracy is
now the backbone of its strength, and has been for many years. If and when we can reach
the point of turning just the American government from actively helping the Communist
conspiracy everywhere in the world, we shall have won a most important battle in the war
For this purpose we need to do everything we can which will directly affect the actions
and decisions of the men in government; to enlighten and slow down those on the other
side. But the one ultimately sure way of achieving this reversal is to awaken enough local
leaders among an apathetic American people, before the continuous brainwashing by the
Left makes it impossible, to the point of generating public pressures that will force the
slowdown and reversal. The amount of work required to do that, in the face of the way
the cards have been so painstakingly stacked against us, is something to contemplate.
And yet there is nothing but work and more work, thinking and more thinking, dedication
and more dedication, which will do the job. So now let's look at the job itself. If I were
the "man on the white horse" on our side in this war, which is still political and
educational rather than military ; if I had sufficient resources available and sufficiently
accepted authority over one million ded icated supporters — out of at least five times that
many militant anti-Communists who are already enrolled in, or contributing to, hundreds
of ineffectual "freedom" groups -- so that I could coordinate the activities of those million
men and women with some degree of positiveness and efficiency approaching the
coordination by the Communists of their members and fellow travelers; if, though
recognized as the leader for the sake of positiveness of direction and coordination of
effort and resources, I still had the dedicated advice, council, help, organizing ability, and
executive know-how offered by the ablest men in America among the staunch anti-
Communists whom I could gather around me; if I had this kind of realistic force with
which to fight the Communists, here are some of the things I would do.
1. First we would establish reading rooms, somewhat similar to the Christian Science
reading rooms, but small and inexpensive, in just as many of the cities, towns, and
villages of this country as we could, just as rapidly as we could. They would be manned,
utilized, and promoted in every feasible way by volunteers who were local members of
our organization. The space would either be contributed, or would be obtained at a very
low rental. And there are men and women, including young men and young women, in
every community in America today, who are just looking for some way like this, within
their circumstances, to help our cause. Some of them do not really mean the question,
"What can I do ? ", but many of them mean it with all their hearts. And they are the very
ones we would have in our fold.
These reading rooms would serve as rental libraries also, but with very strict rules and
limitations on the taking out of books, so as to avoid too much loss through Communist
sabotage. They would be extremely selective instead of exhaustive as to the books
available. And in this connection let me point out that the January, 1959 issue of
American Opinion will be given over entirely to a listing, under the heading of Old Books
And New Reviews , of one hundred books, with just one or two review paragraphs about
each. Our introduction will state that for any good American who really wants to know
the true history of events and developments of the past two decades, these books alone or
even a majority of them will constitute a complete education in that field — which they
will. I can name for you today, out of people whom I had never heard of in 1952, convert
after convert to the anti-Communist crusade, and now among the most indefatigable
workers in that crusade, who were aroused and be came converts, after first reading May
God Forgive Us, by then determinedly obtaining and reading all or most of some fifty
books which I listed in the back of that one. So I know there is a need for such a
pamphlet as the January issue of American Opinion and that it can do some good.
But the reason I brought that matter up here is that those hundred books, so far as they are
available, will be the nucleus of the stock of these reading rooms. And, since Communist
pressures have caused the original publishers to allow so many of these valuable books of
true history to go out of print, after first small editions, I am delighted to be able to tell
you that a good friend of mine, Lyle Munson of The Bookmailer, already has the little
company founded and the physical arrangements made for bringing any and all of these
books, for which there is any reasonable demand, back into print in inexpensive editions.
He has, in fact, already put out Major Jordan's Diaries , which had been out of print and
almost impossible to obtain, in a two-dollar edition. He can and will do the same for
Arthur Bliss Lane's I Saw Poland Betrayed , for George Creel's Russia's Race For Asia ,
and many others if and when we or anybody else need them in any reasonable quantity.
We would have these hundred books or most of them, and others, in these reading rooms.
We would, of course, have all of the best anti-Communist periodicals there. And we
would see that plenty of proselytizing fervor was shown in getting people to read both the
books and the periodicals. There are countless enthusiasts in our cause today, deeply
patriotic and deeply disturbed but frustrated by not knowing what to do, who would
welcome such ammunition and direction.
How many books each of these reading rooms would have, especially which books, and
under what arrangements, would of course have to be tightly controlled from
2. Second, since getting the truth about both recent history and current events into as
many hands and heads as possible is so important, we would see that the circulation of
the conservative periodicals was expanded as rapidly as it could be done without too
Now this is not an effort to promote the magazine, American Opinion , except as such
concern is purely incidental and necessary to the whole presentation. We do think we
have an increasingly professional magazine, which will gradually appeal to a much larger
audience. In American Opinion we try to avoid eggheadism, and lay it out straight, as to
both news and opinions, so that he who runs may both read and understand. We believe it
can do an increasingly effective job for the anti-Communist cause, because of the
tremendous amount of work put into having its pages present a true picture of what is
happening, and because American Opinion is designed to reach and appeal to the
ordinary American instead of any special group.
But what we are talking about here is the importance of obtaining a much wider
readership for all of the worthwhile conservative publications, of which A merican
Opinion is only one. All of them should be in those reading rooms mentioned above. I
believe that in most cases the subscriptions could be handled by, and the money for the
purpose obtained by, the local volunteer groups running those reading rooms. But there
are many other fertile fields which should be sowed.
For instance, I think that National Review especially, because it is aimed so
professionally at the academic mind, should be in every college library in the United
States, and if possible in every fraternity house. I think that the Dan Smoot Report ,
because it is fairly short and is quite suitable to pick up for reading during fifteen minutes
of waiting time, should be in just as many physicians" and dentists' offices as possible.
And while the American Medical Association has now been "took, " to the extent that we
could not count on any direct help there, the American Association of Physicians and
Surgeons8 still under aggressively anti-socialist leadership, has fifteen thousand
members, most of whom are not only highly respected leaders in their profession, but are
also actively concerned as individuals in stopping the socialist advance. I believe that this
association's headquarters might furnish us the names of members who would faithfully
keep the Dan Smoot Report displayed in their waiting rooms, just as fast as we could find
the money for the subscriptions. I think that with the proper organizational follow-up we
might soon have a lot of these physicians and surgeons paying for subscriptions
themselves. And I think that a great deal could be done through this association and its
fifteen thousand members, once they found out we had strength and meant business.
For a further illustration, I think that both Human Events and American Opinion, which
complement each other very well, should be put in barbershops, from which we obtained
firm written promises to welcome these publications and keep them on the reading tables,
just as fast and extensively as we could find the money. Incidentally, Human Events not
only feels also that we complement each other well, but for this reason is willing to join
us in offering bulk subscriptions to the two periodicals together at a reduced price; and
American Opinion is, to the best of my knowledge, the first and only magazine with
which they have been willing to join in such a combination offer. We should have such
bulk combination subscriptions taken by business firms for their executives and some or
all of their salaried employees as widely as possible — and again as rapidly as possible.
With the metropolitan press and big circulation general periodicals not only largely
denied to us, but in many cases either consciously or blindly promoting the Communist
line, we need to use every feasible channel to get more of the truth over to more of the
American people. And expanding the reach of the publications I have mentioned is just
one of many ways of doing it. Also, there is another major and entirely different way of
expanding this reach which I have not even touched on here, because I feel we have
given enough time to this subject. 9
3. We would do everything we could to support, maintain, increase the number of
stations used, and widen the audiences of, such radio programs as those of Fulton Lewis,
Clarence Manion, and dozens of more localized broadcasters throughout the country.
This would take the form of encouraging sponsors by both patronage of their products
and letters of approval; of praising stations and networks for carrying such programs, to
offset the constant barrage of complaints and pressures they get from the Left Wing; of
getting together groups to hear such broadcasts and inviting to those groups the
uninformed or mildly interested who might be made active workers in the cause; by
helping to raise money when absolutely necessary to keep such programs on present
stations or get them on more; and in many other ways .
In Springfield, Massachusetts, there is a radio commentator named Hubert Kregeloh, who
also teaches at one of the local junior colleges — and also, incidentally, is one of the
associate editors of American Opinion . A few years ago he was probably the most
popular news commentator in Western Massachusetts on television as well as radio. He is
a solidly conservative strongly anti-Communist analyst of the news. The Left Wing
succeeded in running him off the TV screens for good, by organized and detailed
pressure on his sponsors of almost un believable rottenness. They then went to work to
get him off radio, by pressure on both his sponsors and the radio station, WSPR. It
worked to the point that he has not had a sponsor for three years, and the radio station
management has made it clear that they wish they could get rid of him. But three years
ago a group of patriotic citizens in the Springfield area organized what they call the
Committee For American Treatment Of The News. Without any tax exemption to help
them they have raised the money every year, to pay him the necessary minimum for his
services and to pay outright for his radio time -fifteen minutes every weekday. So Hubert
Kregeloh is not only still on WSPR, and not only has an excellent following, but I believe
the influence of his program and his following may have been a main factor in causing
that mealy-mouthed "modern Republican, " Congressman John Heselton, to decide not to
run again after several terms in Congress. Now what was done in Springfield can be done
by local groups in a great many other places in the United States, if they are given
examples of success elsewhere, encouragement, inspiration, and guidance. What is even
better is that in some of these cases, at least, we should be able to help to find commercial
sponsors for such broadcasters, and to make the sponsorship a paying proposition so that
they would not think of dropping the program. We would thus permit that same anti-
Communist money to be used for other purposes. To this end, direction and coordination
would be extremely important.
Of course we should also get commentators and programs favorable to our cause on
television, as soon as and to whatever extent we could. But despite the grandiose plans I
am outlining here, gentlemen, I am still trying to be as practical and realistic, with regard
to what I think is actually possible of achievement, as I can. I know the fantastic cost of
television programs. So let me point out that I do not think any early extensive use of
television by us would be either a wise utilization of resources against other possibilities,
nor even necessary. 10
For television is a quick and powerful medium. But its separate impacts are glancing
blows of little depth, compared, let us say, to that of a great book which can be read again
and again and which leaves an indelible impression and resolution in the mind. Also,
television is tuned to, and aimed at, the masses. Now up to this point anyway, the masses
of America, as distinguished from the opinion-molders, and despite all of the
brainwashing that has been attempted so far — the masses are still instinctively with us in
opposition to Communism.
How much longer this will be so, in the continued current course of events, it is hard to
say. But at the present time it is far more important for us to try to reverse the direction of
the molding of the opinions of men who read and think and study and are themselves
opinion-molders, and for us to try to make going along with the Communists less
opportunistically attractive to leaders of little conscience, than it is for us to beat our
brains out in too hurried and too ambitious a direct attack on a mass wall we cannot
We have to reach and rebuild this wall of mass opinion in time, of course, because it has
already been eroded by, and yielded too much to, the philosophy of collectivism and
welfarism. But it is still a bulwark on our side of the front, in the more immediate war
against the Communist conspiracy. And our best bet is simply to try to keep it from being
eroded further. Which leads us naturally into another step of this concerted program. It is
still a prosaic step, against one or two that are somewhat more dramatic, to be suggested
presently. But the Communists miss absolutely no bets or channels; and neither should
we miss any that are in our practicable reach. So:
4. We would institute the organized planning and control to make full and effectively
coordinated use of the powerful letter-writing weapon that lies so ready at hand.
The Communists boast that they can now land fifty thousand individually written letters
in Washington, on either side of any subject, within seventy-two hours. Actually that is
not too startling an accomplishment. We could make it look like peanuts, with the million
truly dedicated and controlled supporters who constitute the hypothesis — though merely
an hypothesis — of this part of this discussion. There should be a continuous
overwhelming flood of letters, not just to legislators or the executive departments in
Washington, but to newspaper editors, television and radio sponsors, educators, lecturers,
state legislators and politicians, foundation heads and everybody else whose opinions,
actions, and decisions count for anything in the ultimate total actions and decisions. Such
an outpouring of mail would give more courage to a lot of people who would prefer to be
more clearly on our side, and would at least slow down the brazen advance of some of
those on the other side. Let me give you an illustration.
A few months ago United Airlines started a movement, which could have had
tremendous psychological and propaganda value for the internationalist Left-wingers, by
putting the insignia of the United Nations on their planes, with the words "We believe"
under the insignia. And in this case a spontaneous letterwriting campaign, with the only
organization or inspiration of the campaign coming without any coordination whatsoever
from a few small right-wing groups and individuals, was able to force United Airlines to
back down completely and publicly admit that they had made a mistake. This in itself
would have been significant enough, but there was one angle to it, completely
unpublicized, which made the results more striking. This was that United Air lines
backed down, and took the UN insignia off their planes, despite the fact that Paul
Hoffman, Gardiner Cowles, and Eric Johnston are all members of United Airlines board
of directors. This shows what letterwriting can do, even against determined and
Also, there would be an advantage in continuous, organized letter-writing campaigns of
an entirely different nature. It would give the members of our local chapters and
volunteer groups just one more activity, one more thing to do, by which they knew they
were accomplishing something and being effective for the cause. For this very reason,
among others, the letter-writing of sub-groups should not be left to the haphazard or half-
hearted following by the members of hopeful pleas or suggestions. It should be definitely
planned, directed, and the amount and promptness of participation constantly checked
and evaluated by a central headquarters or director. The biggest of all organizational
mistakes is to set up a local group for some continuing purpose, exhort them to do a good
job, and then leave them alone to do it. It is the leadership that is most demanding, most
exacting of its followers, not the one which asks the least and is afraid to ask more, that
achieves really dedicated support. We are presupposing here an initial faith and
dedication which should be constantly strengthened by a man's straining efforts to live up
to what is expected of him and to live up to the promise he has made to himself. Letter-
writing, of a different order of planned continuity and volume than anything attempted
before -except on a somewhat more sporadic scale by the Communists themselves —
letter-writing of the kind that builds opinion exactly the way single grains of sand build a
whole barricade; this is only ' one, but a still important one, of the disciplined activities
by which we would keep a million men working every day, adding small increments of
strength to the anti-Communist side, for every bit of the time and energy they could
devote to the cause. 1 1
5. We would organize fronts — little fronts, big fronts, temporary fronts, permanent
fronts, all kinds of fronts. One of the greatest weaknesses and mistakes on the
conservative side has been that almost all of the organizations, real ones or just letterhead
outfits, have been put together for general purposes. The Communists have been far
smarter. They would never think of setting up publicly, for instance, a Committee To
It is too general. Yet we have several leagues against Communism, and others just as
vague in the fronts they present.
The most effective fronts, on either side, are ad hoc committees, aimed to accomplish, or
at least publicize, one particular purpose. The Communists have some long-range fronts,
large, permanent, adequately staffed, of which the Committee For Aid To Foreign Born is
probably the oldest, largest, and strongest. But they have or have had hundreds of such
fronts as the Committee For Clemency For The Rosenbergs, or the Committee To
Publicize The Report Of The Seven Ministers, which had no permanence, no staff, and
frequently no organization except on the letterhead. Some one or more Communists had
simply been assigned the job of getting the necessary names and putting on that particular
show — or of getting some gullible non-Communist to do so.
Now on our side probably the most effective of all the organizations has been the
Committee Of One Million, devoted specifically to the job of keeping Red China out of
the United Nations. It has helped a great deal in keeping Red China out so far. And, as is
true in the case of all good fronts, well run, its influence has spilled over helpfully in
many ways. We have some smaller fronts, such as ORFIT — an organization for repeal of
the income tax — which have probably accomplished more, in proportion to the money
and effort spent, than many of the larger organizations of conservatives. For it had and
has a specific named purpose.
But on our side we are surfeited with organizations which have the general purpose of
fighting Communism, or the general purpose of promoting free enterprise or of
preserving constitutional government. Some of them have done a lot of good. They will
never stop the Communists, however, and they are not examples of the use of the front
technique. Of course fronts alone aren't going to stop the Communists either. But enough
of them being constantly organized — for this purpose, that purpose, and every kind of
purpose — some fading out and new ones coming in all of the time, can bother the
Communists, can occasionally put them on the defensive, can bring more of the
uninformed and previously indifferent but patriotic Americans into the fight, and can help
our cause in many ways. Again, let me try to make my point clearer, and to make it more
easily, by suggesting a few examples.
A. C ommittee For Withdrawal Of Recognition . 12 This is one we would set up as soon as
possible; a permanent, adequately staffed, front, actively engaged in mobilizing,
publicizing, and guiding so as to make effective, all possible sentiment for with drawal of
diplomatic recognition from Russia and the satellite governments. This committee would
keep up a constant expounding and repetition about the reasons for withdrawal. And it
would be able to find enough supporters, both individuals and organizations, which the
press could not entirely ignore, to get at least some worthwhile free publicity from papers
which would prefer to ignore it.
B. An example of fronts at the other extreme, as to size and permanence, which we would
set up, might be a Committee To Protest The Firing Of Medford Evans . And gentlemen,
don't be afraid of long names for these fronts. Such names, showing ex actly what the
committee is for, help to bring onto the letterheads and into the roll of active supporters a
great many people who would take no interest whatsoever in an activity of a more
general nature and with a more vague description, even as ably directed a one as the
Campaign For The Forty-eight State s. Now the Communists and their allies and dupes
are always shouting about academic freedom. They have arranged several nationally
publicized tantrums in educational circles when college professors with Communist
records have been dismissed. But they have been quietly causing professors who oppose
the Communist line to be eased out of jobs wherever they can. They have made it hard
for such conservatives to get jobs. And they have used this pressure and threat
unhesitatingly to make anti-Communist professors, who are still on faculties, tone down
their anti-Communism or abandon the fight altogether.
Now Medford Evans is being fired — officially he has been told that his contract will not
be renewed next June — from Northwestern State College in Louisiana for no other
reason than his uncompromising stand against Communism. This can be shown
conclusively to the satisfaction of any reasonable man, even a college professor. (A bow
to Dr. Oliver. ) In fact, as of now the Leftists behind this deal, apparently making a
puppet out of the weak-kneed college president, seem to want it known that Dr. Evans is
losing his job because of his anti-Communism — again as a warning and threat to others
It is a long story, in which some of the left-wing forces at Harvard seem to be definitely
involved, and I'll not go into the details. But Medford Evans' scholarship is unquestioned.
He is an excellent and popular teacher, as shown by the enrollment in his classes. And he
is a fairly well-known writer for conservative publications. Also, he has friends, both
inside and outside of academic circles, all over the United States. The president of the
college has shown by both actions and words that he feels him self on very unsure and
awkward grounds, in carrying out orders or yielding to pressures which come from others
than himself. I believe that, if Medford were willing, and especially if we had the
letterwriting strength available as referred to above to support such a front, a Committee
To Protest The Firing Of Medford Evans could attract enough support to make quite a
cause celebre out of the affair, to make this small college and its smaller president look
sick, and to throw quite a scare into some others contemplating doing the same thing. A
few similar actions would slow down some of the brazen squeezing out of conservatives
from teaching jobs, and give new courage to those that remain. 13
The front business, like a lot of techniques the Communists use, can be made to cut both
ways. And we would not have to be worried about their greater numbers smothering us,
either. We are talking about a million men, by which of course I mean men, women, and
girls and boys of college age or old enough to be in the fight. And while nobody realizes
better than I do the tremendous work and strain and dedication on the part of increasing
numbers that will be required to recruit such an army, they are there just waiting to be
recruited if we can get the story to them. And I hope to convince you tomorrow that my
plans and thinking on this score are at least just as realistic as is any other conceivable
undertaking by which we might save ourselves from Communist enslavement. We
already know that the whole job is of Herculean proportions, but so must be our efforts.
So please let me proceed on my hypothesis for the time being.
And the Communists do not have a million men to work with in this country, even
including their fellow travelers and active dupes. For some non-Communist-sounding
united-front efforts, in which Communist participation is not easily recognizable, it is
estimated that they can muster just about one million useful workers. But for fronts with a
visible Communist slant, the reservoir they have to draw from is far less than that. It isn't
numbers we have to worry about in this connection, but the courage on the part of our
followers to stick their necks out and play rough -- the same as the Communists do all of
the time -- and that courage will come too with gathering strength.
With such fronts as A Petition To Impeach Earl Warren , (and I think we could get the
names of a hundred outstanding leaders from the South and many from the North on the
letterhead right now); a Committee To Investigate Communist Influences At Vassar
College (headed by Vassar graduates, of course); and Women Against Labor Union
Hoodlumism (which would pick up the individual stories of husbands injured, cars
wrecked, houses damaged, families terrified, in the strike at Kohler and others like it, tell
those stories from the women's point of view and show the suffering they caused wives
and mothers); with these and dozens of new fronts popping up to attack the Communists -
- or persons, institutions, and movements giving aid and comfort to the Com munists —
we can certainly keep this whole front operation from being so one-sided, as it has been.
We can stop letting the Communists have the whole effective use of this weapon
practically by default, and what's more, we can use the noise and turmoil to help to wake
up a lot of people to the fact that there is a deadly fight going on of which they had been
blissfully unaware. 14
C. A part of this same operation is the gathering of petitions; local petitions, national
petitions, dealing with political matters, economic matters, educational matters and
everything under the sun. This is something else for local workers to do which, in its
cumulative effect, is of considerable importance, and which would utilize the available
time and energy of such local workers in a way which not only would be worth while, but
which they could sense was worth while if the planning and use of these petitions were
thought out and carried through with sufficient care.
Right now, for instance, a Petition To The Air- line Pilots Association To Grow Up might
find a very responsive reception. I am sure it would with you gentlemen, with both major
airlines which serve Indianapolis now on strike.
As the preamble to this petition would point out, in the friendliest possible language in
which such a charge could be stated, here is a group of men all professionally trained, all
well paid, and all in responsible jobs of a level to make them admired by the public, who
by the union tactics of their Association are bringing themselves down, in the eyes of the
public, to the level of one of John L. Lewis' Mineworkers Locals. These men must have
the professional competence of, and considerably more knowledge than, the ship captains
of older days. They should have the same respect for themselves and retain and enjoy the
same respect from the public; not deliberately put themselves in the same category as
chauffeurs and truckdrivers, no matter how admirable, and how necessary to our
economy, chauffeurs and truckdrivers may be.
It is obvious that some strong leftwing influences have seen a good strategic opening, and
have crept into the Airline Pilots Association in considerable strength. And it is unlikely
that any such petition would cause them to be dislodged. Also, the petition would
undoubtedly be resented by most of the members, even those opposed to the strikes in
which they participate — or the strikes of other airline employees which they support.
But the petition, with perhaps a hundred thousand signatures, even while they resented it,
would make these members sit up and take stock of themselves, of their Association, and
of the way it is being run. It would start a lot of people to thinking about the proper place
of unionism in our lives, and about the important part our present commercial airline
pilots would play in any future war and the significance of leftwing influences so busily
at work in that area. It also well might, as a more direct result, force those leftwing
influences to be considerably more circumspect and cautious for quite a while .
Or let's take one more example from the opposite end of the drawer. The time will almost
certainly come when that postponed next summit conference will again be brought to the
fore. At such a conference in 1959 or 1960, when Eisenhower will have the noisy
backing, from a far more leftish Congress than we have ever had before, for even more
drastic appeasement of and surrenders to the Communists, the blow to any remaining
free-world morale might well be final and fatal. Just as soon as the wind of such a
forthcoming summit conference started to blow, we would launch the gathering of one of
the most gigantic petitions of all times. My present feeling is that we should pick up
Alfred Kohlberg's brilliant line and head this petition simply as fol lows: Please, Mr.
President, Don't Go! It is just possible that we could get ten million signatures and stop
him from going no matter how strong had been the original intentions of his advisers .
And what a blow to the continued Communist parade of success that would be!
But the possible use of petitions is fairly obvious. Goodness knows the Communists have
proved their subtle value and effectiveness. We ought to outdo the Communists at least
two to one at that game, until we finally make petitions so overabundant and
commonplace that they cease, for a while at least, to be a useful technique for either them
or ourselves. So let's go on to another step.
6. Another thing we should do, and one badly needed, would be to start shocking the
American People — or an increasing percentage of the more literate and more intelligent
who have not yet been completely brainwashed — into a realization of what is happening;
into a dawning realization of how far and how completely Communists and Communist
influences have crept right into communities, institutions, and activities where the general
public does not have the slightest suspicion of such infiltration. The best way to do this is
by exposure, which is why the Communists just had to get rid of McCarthy, and went to
such extreme lengths to do so.
No committee we might set up, of course, would have the subpoena privileges or other
Congressional powers of McCarthy, which makes our job far more difficult. And it
would, for a while anyway, be vain to count on either of the remaining investigating
committees of the House or the Senate. Their files are already bulging with important
evidence about individual Communists which has not been used and is unlikely to be
used. The Communist political pressures have become so strong and so devastating, and
the Supreme Court's decisions have so hamstrung the actions of these committees, that
they hardly dare even LE through the motions of hearings of this kind any more.
But, admitting the difficulties, some really dramatic exposures would be worth a lot. And
it is b cause we must have a medium of publication, for a lot of things which the regular
press would at pre sent be unwilling to touch, that I have put so much work into
American Opinion , have seen the magazine as such a necessity, and cannot help coming
back to it just briefly here.
We could count on some help from the other reputable right- wing publications, of
course, because goodness knows we should be and would be helping them enough. But a
medium which is not subject to the editorial ideas or the financial and personal con
siderations of anybody else is a necessity. And getting its readership and reach large
enough for it to pack a noticeable wallop is also a necessity.
For an article exposing some public figure as a Communist, in a magazine reaching five
thousand subscribers, even though many of them were quite influential, could and
probably would be ignored by the Communists, and the effect of the article would be
smothered by this energetic looking-the-other-way. But if the same thing were in a
magazine reaching two hundred thousand subscribers, ignoring the charges would be out
of the question. So please allow me to make a circulation of one to two hundred thousand
for American Opinion a part of my hypothesis for the minute, and go on with this
question of administering some shocks to the public. Let's make what we are talking
about clearer by an illustration. There is the head of one of the great educational
institutions in the East (not Harvard, incidentally) whom at least some of us be lieve to be
a Communist. Even with a hundred thousand dollars to hire sleuths to keep him and his
present contacts under constant surveillance for a while, and to retrace every detail of his
past history, I doubt if we could prove it on him. But — with just five thousand dollars to
pay for the proper amount of careful research, which could be an entirely logical
expenditure and undertaking of the magazine, I believe we could get all the material
needed for quite a shock. Of course we would have to satisfy ourselves completely as to
whether our guess had been correct, from the preliminary research, before going ahead
with the project and spending that much money.
But if we are right, and with the research job done and the material assembled which I
think would be available, we would run in the magazine an article consisting entirely of
questions to this man, which would be devastating in their implications. The question
technique, when skillfully used in this way, is mean and dirty. But the Communists we
are after are meaner and dirtier, and too slippery for you to put your fingers on them in
the ordinary way — no matter how much they look and act like pros perous members of
the local Rotary Club.
Now such an article might still be pretty much ignored by the general press, no matter
how large our circulation. And of course we would be smeared by the liberals in every
way they could contrive. For next to a woman scorned, hell hath no fury like that of a
liberal about whom — or whose heroes -somebody has told the truth. But the smearing we
would have to expect in due course, anyway, no matter what we did. And the article, even
if by de rayed action, would have a powerful impact. A lot of the very people who joined
in the smears would begin to wonder. Some of them would go back and read the article a
second time. Others, never having read it, but hearing about it, would get a copy and do
so. The softening process of wonder and doubt at work on the resistant minds of these
liberals, and on the simply uninformed minds of some of the general public, would be
getting those minds in condition for the next shock and then the next one to penetrate
For what would make this particular initial and sample shock such a bombshell is, first,
the extreme importance of this man in other fields besides education; and second, that
almost nobody — except some of those on the same side with him, of course - suspects
the guy. It was only a very minor but a very strange incident that happened to turn my
surprised eyes, a few years ago, to watching what he said and did against this possibility.
But once you do just that, long enough, there is less and less room left for doubt about his
real purposes and accomplishments. Yet this man has on his board and administrative
committees some of the ablest and most patriotic of Americans. Even a suggestion that he
was a Communist, if that suggestion were backed up by enough details and facts to make
it obviously worthy of consideration by any fair-minded man, would come as an absolute
blockbuster, in a lot of circles besides the world of education.
Incidentally, as I indicated just now in passing, one of the hardest things for the ordinary
decent American to realize is that a secret Communist looks and acts just like anybody
else, only more so; or that anybody he, the ordinary decent American, happens to know
personally, could possibly be a Communist. Due to the fact that I was for two years
chairman of the Educational Advisory Committee of the NAM, and came in contact with
leading educators all over the United States, I have known the man under discussion for
years and he is — for all outward purposes — one of the nicest men you ever met. Most of
them are .
Now what I have in mind, naturally, is following up one such bombshell with others. We
might use this technique of complete articles in the form of questions, addressed to
important figures in various divisions of our national life, whom almost nobody now
suspects, in one issue of the magazine after another. We might call it our question series,
and get a lot of people looking for the question article each time. It should go without
saying that we would have to be sure enough of our own ground in each case to satisfy
the most exacting sense of fairness. But I believe the whole series could have the desired
effect of shocking a lot of people into a reluctant awareness of what goes on — even many
of those who would resent and smear the articles most severely at first. McCarthy had in
his camp, before he got through, a lot of the people who had smeared him most bitterly in
the beginning -- in eluding that newspaper in Syracuse.
As for the number of deserving and sufficiently important targets for the arrows of our
series, gentlemen, don't let that problem cause you a second thought. Highly placed secret
Communists, or at least workers for the Communist cause, is something with which we
are absolutely loaded. And while proving that any one of them is or ever has been an
actual Communist might be too difficult, or even impossible, proving that the same man
is a worker for the Communist cause is a matter of the painstaking accumulation of a
tremendous number of details, and then of selecting, merging, and compressing until you
have the proper amount of material that yields the greatest explosive power per page.
And there is another important reason for embarking on these exposures besides those
that might first occur to you. Let's creep up on it by analogy for a clearer view.
At the time of Pearl Harbor, and in the early years thereafter, it would have been
absolutely fatal to Franklin D. Roosevelt and George Catlett Marshall for the part they
had played in bringing on that catastrophe to have become known to the American
people. By coercion on the one hand and rewards on the other, Roosevelt contrived to
have perjury, postponements, decisions against the evidence, and every necessary means
used, before or in connection with one hearing after another, to keep the truth from
getting into the record. He refused to allow the courts martial demanded by General Short
and Admiral Kimmel, to which they were clearly entitled, and he wrecked other service
careers brutally and without hesitation, to keep the real facts covered up. For the real
facts not only constituted plain unadulterated treason on the part of both Marshall and
himself, but they would unquestionably have been so regarded at that t ime by a horrified
American public Exposure at t hat tim e might have brought Roose velt's impeachment,
despite the war, and would certainly have been disastrous to the reputations and future
careers of both Marshall and himself.
But now notice that less than ten years later, through publication of the books by
Morgenstern, Kimmel, Admiral Theobald, and others, the true facts concerning Pearl
Harbor were definitely established and made available for anybody who wanted to read
them. And by this time, so far had effective public opinion in America been gradually
eased towards the internationalist left, the Roosevelt-worshippers didn't challenge the
facts at all. They took the position, instead, of practically admitting the facts, and of
openly praising Roosevelt for having been so farsighted and such a courageous statesman
as to have used this means of getting a united America wholeheartedly into the war; a war
which was then prosecuted to such a glorious success, on behalf of the future happiness
of the world under Soviet socialist leadership, as to make the loss of lives and ships at
Pearl Harbor appear now as a picayune loss and a brilliant gambit.
Well, gentlemen, I can assure you that the Communists and pro-Communists in
Washington today, including those most highly placed, fully expect the same
whitewashing of their deeds by the history resulting from those deeds. Right under our
noses the Communists are gradually carrying out their plan of grand strategy, as already
described, which is so to change the economic and political structure of the United States
that it can be comfortably merged with Soviet Russia in a one-world socialist
In this patient process they never expect you to be able to find the line, or for there ever
even to be a line, on one side of which you can say clearly that the United States is an
independent nation, and on the other side of which you would know that the United
States was already just another Soviet People's Republic in the world-wide Communist
empire — with the police-state features already closing in on us. But somewhere we reach
the point — if the Communists are successful, as they now certainly expect to be — where
all newspapers, all magazines, all radio and television commentators, all lecturers, and all
historians will be constantly proclaiming the glories of this great one-world socialist
government which has now brought peace (meaning subjection and slavery) to all
Already, through their stooges like Milovan Djilas, who is supposed to be in disgrace in
Yugoslavia, and Boris Pasternak, who is supposed to be suffering bitter enmity of the
dictators in Russia, but whose books have thus been publicized — and, please note, helped
by the Left Wing — to become best sellers in America; already through such books,
which gullible Americans more readily swallow as true because of the supposed hatred of
the authors for their respective governments, tens of thousands of opinion-molding
Americans are more and more accepting, or finding less unbelievable, the thesis of these
books that Communism itself is all right -in fact is a glorious system — and that all that's
wrong with it is the character of the people now run ning the system.
Already, in hundreds of other ways, the Communists are rubbing out or making more and
more shadowy the lines of disagreement and the once sharp differences between our
ways and theirs. The movement is smooth, widespread, continuous, insidious, and
powerful. Already Communism and Communists — even with a record like
Oppenheimer's -- become more and more respectable in this country; and outspoken or
firmly uncompromising anti-Communists become more and more disparaged as fanatics.
And so, already, it becomes less and less reprehensible for an American to be working for
Communism, especially if he labors it international socialism, even though he commits
treason to the United States in doing so.
The top American secret Communists in this country, therefore, fully expect that by the
time it is ever possible for anybody to bring out the fact that they have been working as
secret Communists, instead of that action then being considered as hav ing been
reprehensible, they will be praised for having, in courageous, farsighted, and
statesmanlike manner, helped to speed progress and the wave of the future. Instead of
having committed treason to the United States, they will have been carrying out a deeper
and superior loyalty to an all-encompassing one-world ideal which included the United
States. They know that the moral judgments of the future belong to the victors; and they
are confident that the agreed-upon legend which becomes history will be written by
themselves and their supporters. They are well aware of the thought which Sir John
Harrington expressed: "For if it prosper, none dare call it treason! "
Increasingly as we near that stage, therefore, exposure of secret American Communists
will mean less and less. Again we see why destruction of McCarthy took precedence over
everything else on the Communists' American agenda. For he was exposing treason while
it was still treason, and when it really hurt their cause; whereas if they could only hold off
such exposures for a few more years, bringing out the same facts and exposing the same
men would not amount to anything serious anyway.
Which brings us back to the step we are supposed to be discussing, of our own exposure,
through publication, of present secret Communists, while it will still shock the American
people and can have some real effectiveness. It would at the present time. For the
important consideration would be to do these things, and bring out these facts, before the
Communists were ready for them. If we do not start beating them to the punch on a lot of
things we are gone anyway.
Of course we would have to be prepared from the beginning for a lot of smearing, as I
have already said; and possibly also, no matter how carefully our job was done, for a lot
of nuisance libel suits. And we must face the fact that our courts have by no means been
immune to Communist infiltration either. So that if the supposedly aggrieved parties
could get their cases into certain courts, the libel suits might easily prove to have more
than nuisance value. But it is to be remembered that libel suits also necessarily give
added publicity to the charges, which is one thing we would be seeking and which the
Left would be most anxious to avoid.
Also, admittedly, the step proposed here is drastic. But this is no cream-puff war we are
in, and the stakes involved are not those of a pillow fight. We have to face squarely up to
the solid truth — that unless we are willing to take drastic steps, a lot of them, and very
drastic indeed, we haven't a chance in the world of saving our lives, our country, or our
civilization. And we might as well start reconciling ourselves to having our children —
not just our grandchildren — live under the Kremlin's rule, as Mr. Khrushchev indirectly
7. The sequence of these steps means nothing except just the way I happen to be listing
them. But this one is closely connected in purport to the one above. To keep from
wearing you out completely, however, I'll cover it far more briefly.
There are now dozens of slimy characters at loose in our midst, whom I'll call to your
attention by describing one who is more or less typical. His usual name is Gordon Hall,
though he also uses and has used many aliases. He and his fellow toilers for the
Communist cause all follow the pattern more elaborately established by their more
spectacularly successful archetype, Avedis Boghis Derounian, otherwise known as John
Roy Carlson, author of the libelous book Undercove r which viciously smeared many
good American patriots and sold several hundred thousand copies.
In fact Gordon Hall worked for a few months for the same outfit that financed John Roy
Carlson into fame. This was the so-called Friends of Democracy , run by Rex Stout,
former editor of the Communist publication New Masses , and by the so-called "Rev
erend" L. M. Birkhead. Gordon Hall was employed by them for the same purpose as had
been Carlson: namely, to pose as a violent anti-Semitic, and pass out anti-Semitic
literature to outspoken patriots; then, wherever he could find one nibbling at his bait, to
follow it up, encourage the man's incipient anti-Semitism, or his susceptibility to the
virus; and eventually to work the victim into a position where, under the prodding of his
friend, Carlson or Hall, he said something or did something which could be exhibited as
evidence of his anti-Semitism. From then on he was sure to be smeared sooner or later,
by the outfit for whom Carlson or Hall were gathering this information, as fascist, anti-
Semitic, and generally a rotten character in every way.
Now it is true that any man who ever listened to these whisperings of hatred from Carlson
or Hall was foolish, or worse. But a dislike for other races or creeds is a kind of
unfortunate weakness to which human nature has a sad and too general vulnerability. It
has been used by the Communists with tremendous energy, skill, and determination in
America to stir up hatred and distrust among innocent people; between Gentiles and
Jews; of Protestants for Catholics and vice- versa; of white people for colored and of our
colored citizens for their white neighbors; and in a dozen lesser ways and opportunities.
It's a rotten game. But the man who falls for it is not half as rotten as the man who
promotes it. And most rotten of all is the agent provocateur, who stirs up this hatred
specifically for the purpose of being able to accuse others of having yielded to it.
Now this Gordon Hall I am supposed to be talking about — if I can keep from being
carried away by my subject — has plenty of other unsavory stretches in his record. But he
is very much at large, puts on a very respectable front, and is quietly but busily moving
around making speeches somewhere almost every night — to Church Clubs, P.T.A.
Groups, and similar small local audiences. And what he spews is subtle but deadly
poison, carefully flavored to appeal to each different group in each different locality. He
has recently been working New England, which is why I am using him for a sample.
He begins, of course, by announcing that he is vigorously opposed to Communism and
Communists, but --: We mustn't allow our fear of Communism, which has little practical
basis anyway, to cause us to listen to people who, in fighting Communism, will do more
damage to our ideals and our "democracy" and our wonderful American feeling of
"brotherhood" than would the Communists themselves. And he then proceeds to make
clear that these dangerous detestable people include practically everybody who has ever
opened his mouth against Communism.
In Western Massachusetts, for instance, we have several hundred subscribers to
American Opinion, due to the fact that Hubert Kregeloh, the radio commentator on
Station WSPR, of whom I told you earlier, is a regular contributor to our magazine and
frequently mentions it on his broadcasts. So, to a P.T.A. audience of some two hundred in
Springfield, Gordon Hall, after taking only a careful crack or two at Kregeloh himself —
because Kregeloh was likely to have friends in the audience — then went on "regretfully"
to make clear that his strongest real criticism of Kregeloh was that Kregeloh
unfortunately had now got himself tied up with and was working for a real "hate" group
in Boston, headed by Robert Welch. And he left no doubt that this Robert Welch in
Boston was promoting hatred for all minority groups, and especially for those who
believed in "democracy" and "brotherhood" and social progress; or that anybody who
read my magazine ought to be ashamed of having such hatred-promoting trash in his
Gordon Hall then came to Boston and made several speeches, in which he never
mentioned my name or let on that he had ever heard of me. For if he had even implied to
one of these audiences that I was anti-Semitic or anti-Catholic or anti-Negro or anything
else except Communists, or even in general terms that I was running a hate group, the
chances are somebody would have got up and called him a liar — as he well knew. But he
sawed plenty of wood just the same. And he is plenty smooth.
One result of one of Gordon Hall's appearances in Boston would have been amusing but
for its confirmation of the widespread impression he was creating so successfully. By the
time he got through with this particular audience of good church members he had them
believing exactly what I told you in my first paragraph about him above; namely, that the
real danger was not Communism, but the bigotry and intolerance of the anti-Communists.
I know, because a close friend of our family who heard him -and she is as fine a woman
and as patriotic an A merican as you will ever meet — took it on herself shortly thereafter
to give me something of a lecture on my attitude towards the Communists. She said this
attitude was perhaps too harsh, and probably unfair to some people who were merely
progressive. And her lecture was based, as she proudly informed me, on what she had
recently learned from a wonderful speaker, named Gordon Hall — who was himself
strongly anti-Communist, however, because he had said so several times in his speech.
Now, as I pointed out in the beginning of this section, there are many of these birds
racing around over the country, actually promoting Communism, by making the task of
the anti-Communist more difficult, every night. And we could silence them with
comparative ease. All it would take in Gordon Hall's case would be to send about three
people to his "lectures" (but a different three each night), have them sit apart and show no
connection with each other, and let each of them ask a question during his question-and-
"Mr. Hall. According to this printed record, you once spent several months passing out
anti-Semitic literature. Is that true ?"
As soon as he finishes squirming out of this one, another questioner arises.
"Mr. Hall. According to this announcement of your speech, obviously based on
information you yourself gave the program chairman, you worked for a while for the
XYZ Agency. But I have here a published statement I happened to run across, in which
Mr. X says that you never worked for the XYZ Agency at all or in any capacity. Is Mr. X
mistaken ? "
For a speaker like Gordon Hall, before the kind of audiences which employ him, it is
quite difficult to refuse to allow a question-and-answer period. Let the barrage indicated
above go on for a few nights, during that period, and Gordon Hall may still be finding
some other way to serve Communist purposes, but it will not be as a speaker, and
probably not half as effective in its results. Stopping the damage done by speakers like
Gordon Hall is not really too hard, if anybody cares. But there, as in so many other ways
and activities, we are simply letting the Communists win by default. 16
8. We would line up a large list of speakers ourselves, all over the country — and there are
plenty available — who would be willing to speak to these comparatively small audiences,
for small fees or no fees, not on Communism or anti-Communism in general, but on
specific subjects; who could make speeches which thus would be informative and well
received, but which could still carry a strong anti-Communist message. This, like
everything else we are talking about, is a matter of planning, supervision, and control.
Then we would go to work putting together the huge lists of church clubs, P.T.A. groups,
and others who use such speakers, and start making known to them who was available on
what subjects. Most of the speaker's bureaus and lecture agencies are not utilized by such
groups to any great extent, because neither side can afford it. Which leaves the doors
wide open for the Communists to send in their men or their friends. It's another game at
which we ought to beat them hands down. 17
9. Now this is certainly not intended to be a comprehensive list. If so, it would last for
days; Not only have we barely started on the measures that need to be taken, energetically
and promptly. When it comes to the number and variety of activities through which the
Communists are ceaselessly working, we have hardly scratched the surface by the
countermeasures suggested. But we have to be practical. And so, regretfully, I am going
to skip any discussion of other actions, classifiable and nonclassifiable, defensive and
offensive, which leap to mind, except for the two major categories of effort which
complete this series. And those two I'll merely outline or indicate, because anything
approaching proper coverage of either would take entirely too long.
Ninth and current in this listing, therefore, would be our undertakings on the international
front. For many reasons we would start extending our body into other countries, as soon
as there were energy and resources which could properly be spared for that purpose.
And please note that I said body, not organization. There is a huge difference, as I hope to
make clear in the morning. An organization is a collection of individuals or groups held
together more or less loosely and more or less temporarily by a common interest or
common objective. A body, in the sense I am using it because it is the closest I can find
to a word to express my concept, is an organic entity.
The Americans for Democratic Action is an organization. The Catholic Church is a body.
The Republican Party is an organization. The Communist Party is a body, which can
move and work and make itself effective as an entity. We shall return to this whole
thought and its importance in the morning. Let's leave it now that we would have our
body grow across national boundaries as soon as we properly could.
In the meantime other worthwhile goals would be the setting up, or helping to set up, one
by one and very carefully, governments-in-exile out of the most respected and solidly
anti-Communist refugees from the satellite nations. Or, if in some instances there were no
refugee leader available in this country, with sufficient prestige and acceptability among
his own people back home to justify his being made the head of a government in exile,
we could serve the same purpose in those cases by establishing "revolutionary
If these leaders could be given, or helped to obtain, the core of an organization — and
please note that, in connection with anything political, organization is the right word —
then those governments-in-exile or revolutionary committees could put new courage into
the hearts of millions behind the Iron Curtain. They are millions whose despair, largely
brought about by the actions of our government over the past several years, is today one
of the greatest assets of the Communist conspiracy. Such governments-in-exile would
also be rallying points for a far more energetic opposition to Communist maneuvers and
propaganda in this country, on the part of refugees who have become almost fatally
frightened and discouraged since 1953.18
10. Finally, and probably most important of all these courses of action, we would put our
weight into the political scales in this country just as fast and far as we could. For unless
we can eventually, and in time, reverse by political action the gradual surrender of the
United States to Communism, the ultimate alternative of reversal by military uprising is
fearful to contemplate.
Now there is one thing to which any intelligent patriotic American might as well make up
his mind at once. This is that the thorough and painstaking organization and work at the
precinct levels, which wins elections, is not going to be done and can't be done by the
Republican Party. It can be done in one state, under the personal leadership and
management of a Barry Goldwater for his own campaign. It might have been done in
California by Bill Knowland, if he could have got himself disconnected from his
"modern-Republican" duties as minority leader of the Senate in time, and if he had known
what he was up against. But it cannot be done nationally by the present Republican Party,
nor by anything that can come out of the present shattered Republican Party in the
foreseeable future. And it cannot be accomplished through the leadership, drive, and
loyalty-inspiring qualities of any candidate for the presidency, because there simply isn't
time between the conventions and the elections.
This doesn't mean that the Republican Party cannot win elections, including possibly the
next presidential election, please understand. It does mean that, especially if the
Republican Party then stands nationally for any Americanist principles whatsoever, it
cannot win unless it has strong help and backing from forces outside of the straight
political organization — such as the Democratic Party has on the other side in Walter
Reuther's Committee on Political Education.
In my opinion, not even the Democratic Party, which, for all of its bitter internal splits,
remains a far more disciplined and unified organization for campaign purposes than the
Republican Party, can carry out any such precinct activities precisely directed at a
national aim. There are too many local candidates and local issues for its precinct leaders
and their bosses to think about. Which is why the most effective work towards one
clearly defined national goal and policy is now being done by Reuther's COPE; and the
Democrats are winning elections because he picks so many of their candidates, and they
are the beneficiaries of his tremendous organizational reach and resources.
We are at a stage, gentlemen, where the only sure political victories are achieved by non-
political organization; by organization which has a surer, more positive, and more
permanent purpose than the immediate political goals that are only means to an end; by
organization which has a backbone, and cohesiveness, and strength, and definiteness of
direction, which are impossible for the old-style political party organization. It is to be
noted, and is extremely important, that the AFL-CIO under Walter Reuther's increasing
domination is gradually being converted from an organization to a body , in the senses I
have distinguished above.
We would have to move into this field, gentlemen, with a body of our own. What's more,
we would have to move ahead of Reuther in strength that can be applied to this purpose,
as rapidly as possible. Nobody knows, and there is no way of finding out, how many
millions of dollars Reuther spent in the last election, nor how many tens of thousands of
precinct workers he was able to put on the job. But with a million men and the resources
consistent with the dedication of those men which we are presupposing, we could move
in on the elections thereafter with both more man power and more resources than Reuther
will be able to marshal by that time. 19
Fantastic? Of course it's fantastic. But everything I am talking is fantastic. We are living
in fantastic times and a fantastic situation. The alternative to sufficiently fantastic
measures and ef forts is a fate of fantastic suffering for our children, and the equally
fantastic loss of a whole humane civilization that has cost countless sacrifices,
immeasurable labor, and an infinite number of noble dreams across centuries in the
building. We are in circumstances where it is realistic to be fantastic . I was careful to
bring into this group only men of sufficient intelligence and imagination to understand
that paradox. And tomorrow morning I hope to make the realism of this afternoon's
hypothesis and these proposals at least as believable as is the almost unbelievable present
power of the forces of evil arrayed against us.
May you have a good dinner, a little surcease from such serious thoughts, and a good
night's sleep in the meantime. 20
Footnotes For The Fourth Printing
7. We were not able to get this category of effort under way as early as we had hoped.
But we do now have several of these reading rooms already functioning, with others
being established in many areas. And we believe that after this slow start their number
and usefulness will rapidly increase.
8. The correct name of this excellent organization is Association of American Physicians
and Surgeons. Since the paragraph identified by this note was written I have had the
pleasure of speaking at an annual convention of the AAPS. There I learned that the
figures as to its total membership are never given out; and that the number I have quoted
is unauthorized and probably incorrect. I do not now remember just who gave me this
information, but I do apologize to both the AAPS and our readers for the error as to both
name and total membership. It is the only factual error, large or small, that anybody has
yet been able to point out, anywhere in the Blue Book. But even one mistake is too many.
9. We have not yet made as much progress in this category as we should have liked, but
we have made some and are now steadily making more. The recent rapid growth in
circulation and influence of our own magazine, American Opinion, is the most
encouraging development in this field of activity.
10. Of course where television programs "on our side" can be profitably supported by
commercial sponsorship, as in the case of Dan Smoot's broadcasts, they are immensely
helpful. What we are talking about in the indicated paragraphs are television programs
which would have to be supported by voluntary contributions. And it is still our opinion
that, as a general rule, such programs are too expensive against other beneficial uses of
the same money — as for instance, in the radio broadcasts of Dean Manion, or Billy
James Hargis, or Carl Mclntire, or several other great Americanists with a huge radio
11. Naturally, this was the easiest category of effort in which to get started. And our
members have done a tremendous job, in proportion to their numbers at any given time,
in some fifty letter writing campaigns to date. Our most visibly successful effort, al
though of relatively minor importance, was in making Newsweek Magazine back down
and admit they had been completely wrong in a distorted article which they had run on
the French Red Hand. Our most important impact has been in getting over six hundred
thousand postcards and letters into the mails, opposing the second Summit Conference.
(We believe our making obvious such extensive and articulate opposition to the proposed
surrender of American interests, which had visibly been planned for this Summit
Conference, had at least something to do with the abortion of the Conference that took
place in Paris). Our most complete failure to date was in our campaign to get the airlines
to put Human Events, or any truly Americanist periodical in the reading racks of their
planes. But we have merely lost one round in that fight, and there is another one coming
For a number of reasons which we believe to be sound, and al though we do sometimes
undertake a barrage of letters to Congressmen or to a wider grouping which may include
Congressmen, we devote only a quite small percentage of our letter-writing efforts to
communications to legislators. We feel that usually, with our present size and at this stage
of the fight, we can actually accomplish a great deal more by firing our letters as bullets
at other targets on the total front. And maybe even that figure of speech is not too good,
for about one-third of all our letters are laudatory of some leader or some action "on our
side. " They are designed to give courage, and a feeling of being appreciated, to those
who already are bearing the brunt of the battle against our collectivist enemies.
12. This is a committee which we still very much want to set up. as soon as we can spare
the time, energy, and resources to do so.
13. This front was an excellent idea. Some of our friends put a lot of work into
preparations to give it a great deal of impact. And we still do not know whether the chain
of circumstances which caused our work to be abortive was accidental or smoothly
planned by the enemy. But the story is too long to retell here.
14. Our members have been the moving spirits in forming a considerable number of
small "fronts, " some national but most of them local, which have been quite effective in
connection with specific objectives. Our one large national front to date, however, and by
far our most successful effort in this category, has been the Committee Against Summit
This Committee was originally organized for the purpose of getting petitions signed and
forwarded to the President, urging him not to go to the Summit Conference when it was
originally scheduled for July, 1959. The Society had just got its first few chapters formed
when the forthcoming conference was first announced in April, 1959. Nevertheless, we
took up the plan out lined a page or two beyond this footnote marker, got all of the
outside help we could, and went to work. By the end of July we had seventy thousand
petitions being circulated (or already turned in with signatures), each one designed for
twenty names. And we probably had about a million signatures available with which to
bombard the White House with Please, Mr. President , Don't Go ! At that point it was
announced that the Summit Conference had been postponed until November, after Mr.
Khrushchev and President Eisenhower would have exchanged visits to each other in their
respective countries. It was further announced that Mr. Khrushchev, visiting us first,
would arrive in the United States around the middle of September.
This seemed to us worse than the proposed Summit Conference itself. We immediately
enlarged the Committee, and went to work to prepare copy, obtain the approval of the
signatories, and raise the money for full-page advertisements in newspapers across the
country, protesting and trying to stop the Khrushchev visit. Both a copy of that
advertisement and a partial list of the papers in which it appeared are submitted in these
At that time we were still very small, and we had to work very fast. We believe that if, at
the beginning of the campaign, we had been our present size, or if we had only two more
weeks in which to build up the mushrooming protest, we would have been able to get the
invitation to Khrushchev withdrawn. The time pressure in our then quite small office was
terrific. At one point we had on hand what later proved to be about twenty thousand
dollars which we were unable to use for three full days, because nobody could get to the
job of processing the hundreds of small checks that were involved, so that they could be
deposited. (We later sent an accounting, certified by a nationally known firm of public
accountants, to every contributor for every dollar received).
We were not able to stop Khrushchev from coming. But both our contributors and we
ourselves felt that the effort had been very much worth while. For one thing, we brought
home to millions of Americans, in a manner and at a time to get their attention, the real
nature of this man Khrushchev and the significance of his visit. Our protest certainly had
a great deal to do with the fact that his tour of our country, instead of being the triumphal
procession which had been planned and expected, was so dismal a failure up until he
reached San Francisco as to have caused him to threaten in Los Angeles to call off the
whole thing and go home. (In his speech in Moscow, reporting on his trip immediately
after his return, he paid his respects to our Committee by saying that he had been in the
United States with mixed emotions because people had been putting large ad
vertisements in the newspapers objecting to his visit. ) And our protest certainly had
something to do with the fact that President Eisenhower called off his return visit, and the
Summit Conference itself was postponed again, this time until May.
Our next undertaking in this category, of equal size and im portance, is the recently
begun movement to impeach Chief Justice Earl Warren. While this movement has been
started as a direct activity of the Society, with other patriotic groups asked to support the
movement in all ways and to whatever extent they are willing, it will probably become a
national front movement in due course, with members of The John Birch Society simply
participating — to whatever extent they, as individuals, may wish — on exactly the same
term s as anybody else.
Also, here again, we have many purposes in mind. One, and most important, is actually to
get Earl Warren arraigned by the House of Representatives. And since to say this is
impossible is, in actuality, to say Communist influences are now already so powerful and
so entrenched that we have no chance of turning them back, such defeatism is no part of
the thinking or attitude of The John Birch Society. We merely recognize how big the job
is, go right ahead working on it, and expect other good citizens to keep falling in line
behind us. But at the same time we have expected the MOVEMENT TO IMPEACH
EARL WARREN to serve as an extremely effective medium through which to educate or
awaken huge numbers of our fellow citizens to the differences between a democracy and
a republic, to the unceasing efforts to break our republic down into that footstool of
tyrants known as a democracy, to the part this whole process plays in the plans of the
Communists, and to the unceasing help Chief Justice Warren has given the Communists
in those plans. And another purpose is to show Congress, in an impressive fashion,
something of the feeling that exists against the Court's unchecked seizure of power at the
expense of our legislative bodies.
15. For the first eighteen months after the Society was founded we were entirely too busy
to give any attention to American Opinion beyond what was needed to turn out a good
magazine every month. And although our total paid subscription list has now doubled
within the past six months, and our additional sale of special numbers and reprints has
increased even more, we are still a long way from having the medium required for the
kind of impact discussed in this chapter.
Nevertheless we have made a start in the direction indicated, in our articles devoted to
Cyrus Eaton, Harry Overstreet, and others. We haven't charged that any of these people
are Communists, but we have laid it out straight as to how much their actions have helped
the Communist cause. And we intend to continue turning our searchlight on similar hazy
characters and their even hazier activities.
16. We are still defaulting. And nothing shows more clearly how incredibly crowded we
have been during the past two years.
17. In some parts of the country our Coordinators and/or our members have made a lot of
progress in this category of effort. And our Home Office has also been able to help
materially in supplying speakers, tape recordings, film showings, and similar
presentations for audiences .of all kinds. We are a long way from having the organized
national service available as contemplated in this section. But we are making appreciable
progress toward it, and helping out all we can in the meantime.
18. We have already been under considerable pressure to start chapters of the Society in
several foreign countries. We have authorized some people in some of those countries to
use our material simply as a guide, in setting up some similar but entirely separate local
organization. And we might, at some future date, absorb such organizations, if
satisfactory in every way, right into The John Birch Society. But so far the sparing of
time, energy, or resources, for international organizing efforts or even for a minimum of
supervision of such efforts by others, has been out of the question.
With regard to refugee groups in this country we have been able in some cases to be of
some help and encouragement. And we hope to do a great deal more, along the lines
projected in this section, as we acquire the necessary size and organization.
19. In the 1960 campaigns The John Birch Society, as an organization, took no part. Our
official job was to supply our members more information about, and a better
understanding of, both men and issues, to the best of our ability. Each member then
worked and voted entirely according to his own judgment and conscience.
Unofficially and as individuals our members were quite active in the campaigns. I
personally supported Goldwater for the Republican nomination. About two-thirds of our
Republican and Independent members did the same, while about one-third supported
Nixon. (We supplied a list of the Convention delegates, impartially of course, to them all.
) After the Republican Convention neither the Society nor I personally took any position
in the campaign. We merely pointed out in our bulletins, as objectively as we possibly
could, what seemed to us to be the significance and the probable effect of various
possible ways of voting in November — from simply staying home, all the way through
the protest combinations, to voting either straight ticket. Most of us were not happy about
the results, but there has been very little to make us happy, on the political scene in this
country, for twenty-seven years. That's one reason why there is a John Birch Society, and
why we hope to increase our impact tremendously on the political scene, through
education of others and dedication of ourselves, in 1962 and especially by 1964.
20. Near the beginning of this whole section we said: "Here are some of the things we
would do. " In actual practice, as the Society and its work grew, we have found any
number of specific jobs, and even whole categories of effort, not listed here, in which we
could immediately be of some help, and perhaps eventually a lot of help, to the
Americanist cause. It would take too much space to describe these efforts here, and at this
point we certainly do not like to put ourselves in the position of book salesmen for our
own wares. But for anybody who does have both enough money and enough interest
simultaneously. The White Book of The John Birch Society for 1960 is available for five
dollars. It is a bound compilation of all of our monthly bulletins issued during the year,
and hence will give any reader a comprehensive view of what we were trying to do, and
how, and why, during 1960.
Under Positive Leadership .
Yesterday morning we began with the scoreboard, showing the present level of
Communist advance. Then we looked at the two underlying trends, the progress of the
disease of collectivism and the loss of real faith, which in the long run could be more
fatal than the onslaught of the Communist conspiracy. In the afternoon we began another
look at the same things, with remedial action in mind rather than diagnosis. We outlined
some needed steps for facing up to the Communist threat.
This morning, in continuing that retracing of our footsteps, we come first to the cancer of
collectivism; to the question of how to stop its further ravages, and how to restore the
American body politic to good health, renewed strength, and as much promise for the
future as is possible in view of the damage already done. And that, gentlemen, brings me
to one of the basic purposes for which this meeting was called. It is one which I approach
with great humility, but with no misgivings as to its necessity.
For we simply are not going to be able to save our country from either the immediate
threat of Communism, or the long-range threat of socialism, by organizational leadership.
Our only possible chance is dynamic personal leadership. Let me begin with an
illustration of the difference which also supports the argument.
In 1952 I disagreed with Bob Taft on at least three of his ten most important political
principles. Especially with regard to federal housing and United States Government aid to
Israel I was diametrically opposed to policies he advocated. Yet I made twenty-five radio
speeches for Taft, in the primary campaign, on my own time and my own money. Nor
was this done at all on the let's-take-the-lesser-of-two-evils theory. I was wholeheartedly
and enthusiastically for Taft, for the nomination and the presidency, because I trusted him
and he was going generally in my direction. The fact that he didn't see two or three issues
out of ten the way I saw them didn't dampen the energy of my personal support for him in
But, if and when I am a member of any organization, political or otherwise, and there is
disagreement on the part of any sizable percentage of the membership as to three out of
ten of the organization's policies or planks, a splintering of the organization into two
groups is almost inevitable. In eastern Massachusetts there was quite a live and energetic
outfit of some seven hundred members, called The Friends of Senator McCarthy. I have
seen another organization called American Patriots splinter off from the original one, and
then resplinter into a larger and smaller group, while the remnant of the first organization
went to pieces. But if McCarthy were still alive, and if all the members of the
organization had to agree on was support of a personal leader, there would probably be a
thousand working members of that organization today - despite exactly the same basic
disagreements over various principles between them.
When Frank Lausche, running as a Democrat, was elected Governor of Ohio the last
time, there must have been hundreds of thousands of Ohio Democrats who voted for him
despite their vigorous disagreement with him over his support of Taft and of the Taft-
Hartley Act. But if the Democratic Party of Ohio, an organization, had tried to take a
position in support of the Taft-Hartley Act, it would have split the Party wide open and
have made it practically useless in the campaign. Personal leadership holds together a
following in the way that organizational leadership never can.
Now we are surfeited in this country today with organizations opposing Communism or
socialism. Leave out of consideration for the minute the extent to which they are
handicapped by being almost entirely defensive. For while Napoleon was quite correct
when he said that the purely defensive is doomed to defeat, that is another part of our
story which we are coming to later. The point here is that none of these organizations
alone, nor all of them together, nor all of them even if they were combined into one
organization without initial loss of total strength, has any possibility of stopping the
Most of them, frankly, do not have any possibility of even enough piecemeal
accomplishment in the total fight to justify the money and energy expended on them. For
usually there is no sufficiently inspired personal leadership of the organization itself to
obtain the greatest unanimity of purpose, efficiency, and enthusiasm which are necessary
in connection with the expenditure of resources. And of course the one central direction
and coordination of all of these groups, which is so vital to avoid waste, is entirely
lacking. What is more, even if all of the seven hundred known groups could be and were
combined into one organization, for the very-purpose of obtaining centralized
coordination, this central direction and coordination would still be lacking, or grossly
inefficient and insufficient, so long as the combine was run as an organization.
Only if the members of these groups declared allegiance to, came to feel an unshakable
loyalty for, and thus accepted direction from, a dynamic personal leader; only under these
conditions would there be any possibility of the members of these groups, and of all other
Americans who feel basically as they do, supplying what is needed. That is, the strength
and dedication which can turn back the Communists in front; and which, with the benefit
of the momentum thus gained, can turn back the socialists behind the Communists. At
present we are in the position of trying to defeat a disciplined well-armed expertly
commanded army with a collection of debating societies. And it can't be done. Before we
leave this point, let's use an illustration. And you pick it. You simply take in your own
mind some patriotic organization you know about or perhaps in which you participate.
Let's call it the XYZ Association. And no matter which one of the anti-Communist or
anti-socialist groups you select, the chances are that the good citizens who put it together
are friends of mine. They almost certainly are dedicated patriots who deserve our
gratitude, and our praise. And I not only wish for them and their organization all possible
success, bat will help in any way I can towards increasing their effectiveness.
But let's be realistic. Ask yourself honestly about whatever organization you have in
mind: Where is it going? Even if there were any clear consensus of opinion within the
organization itself as to where it wanted to go, how much continued drive and con certed
effort to that end do you think could be maintained. Who's going to die for XYZ
Association, or the Blank Committee? We are fast coming to a point, gentlemen, where
we've get to offer something that people are willing to die for. And only over long
periods of time, and then in rare instances, do you generate and maintain loyalty for an
organization that is even in the same league with loyalty for an individual.
"But, " -you may say, "look at the success, at the terrific influence that has been
exercised, by some of the organizations on the other side. Such as the ADA for instance -
- the Americans For Democratic Action. " But the ADA, whether a lot of its members
know it or not is the same as an arm of the Communist Party. Its weight can be thrown,
and is thrown, time after time, with never an exception, in support of Communist
objectives. It has the benefit of the direction of a nerve system of that body which runs all
the way to the top.
But what is the XYZ Association an arm of, or the Blank Committee? It's a lonesome boy
standing on the beach with a big broom, trying to brush back the waves that are about to
flood the whole shoreline of beautiful houses. There are other boys with brooms and
shovels and buckets all up and down the beach, doing the same thing. What is not only
needed, but is absolutely imperative, is for some hard-boiled, dictatorial, and dynamic
boss to come along and deliver himself approximately as follows:
"Hey, you guys, all of you, drop those pretty brooms. You fellows down there on the end,
start running for empty bags, and keep bringing more empty bags as fast as you can find
them; make 'em out of sheets and tablecloths if you have to, or, get 'em any other way.
Just get 'em! You fellows in those next two groups, start filling those bags with sand. You
men here, all of you, start lugging those bags of sand to put on this wall the Communists
have busted up so badly. And don't spare your backs. Build it high and build it quick,
even if it is only with sandbags for the present.
"You fellows, over there, all of you, get the heaviest clubs you can find, spread
yourselves out no more thinly than you have to along the whole length of this wall, and
don't hesitate to break the heads of any saboteurs you find monkeying with it. Don't even
hesitate to break the heads of those you find creeping towards the wall, if you are sure of
their evil intentions, just as a warning to the rest of the dirty gang. If everybody puts
everything he's got into the job without stopping to argue, we'll be able to save these
beautiful houses from this incoming flood. We '11 not have just ruins left, no longer
worth saving, when it recedes.
"But the minute we have the sandbags high enough, all of you fellows get to work at once
bringing rocks and cement, and rebuilding this whole wall both higher and solider than it
ever was before. Then, the next time a combination of tide, storm, and saboteurs comes
in, we'll be ready for them. And once all of this is done, you can again start enjoying
those beautiful homes you will have saved. "
Human nature being what it is, there is no question about how much more energetically,
determinedly, or confidently the men on the beach would work under such leadership;
nor about how many more men would immediately be attracted to rebuilding the wall,
and breaking the heads of the saboteurs, under such direction. But gentlemen, if you are
going to wait for those boys and men with the brooms to form an association for
rebuilding the wall, and for it then to be repaired and guarded under organizational and
committee control, you might as well start telling the Communists to stake out their
claims on the ruins of the former beautiful houses right now.
But that figure of speech has outlived its usefulness, so let's get down to plain language
again. Let's look briefly at the possibility, the advantages, and the disadvantages, of
finding this desperately needed leader in the political field. And the easiest way to do this
is to conduct the discussion around some individual from the very start.
Now the one man who comes nearest to measuring up to all the needs and qualifications,
whom we see on the political horizon at the present time, is Barry Goldwater. I know
Barry fairly well. He is a great American. As I foresaw a year ago how the Reutherite
Left would concentrate national strength and resources on the Arizona campaign, and
how important money from outside Arizona would be towards enabling Goldwater to
meet that attack adequately, I took it on myself to become a one-man finance committee
for him in Massachusetts. I raised around two thousand dollars in my state and sent it on
to him early in 1958.
Now two thousand dollars isn't much, but Massachusetts is a long way from Arizona, and
the so-called uppercrust of eastern Massachusetts are probably the most provincially and
smugly ignorant of what is really happening today of any similar group in the United
States. At any rate, through the efforts of a lot of other people in other states, who either
had or were given the same idea, Barry had enough money, and had it early enough, to
put on a bang-up, professional campaign; one that was successful — for a Republican in a
strongly Democratic state — against everything Walter Reuther could throw at him.
Barry Goldwater has political know-how and the painstaking genius to use that know-
how with regard to infinite details. He is a superb political organizer and inspires deep
and lasting loyalty. He is absolutely sound in his Americanism, has the political and
moral courage to stand b: his Americanist principles, and in my opinion can be trusted to
stand by them until hell freezes over. I'd love to see him President of the United States,
and maybe some day we shall.
But - does anybody in this room think there is any slightest chance of Barry Goldwater
supplying the dynamic-overall leadership needed to save this country for anybody to be
president of ? If so, I think he is still not fully aware of the nature and totality of the
forces at work. For Goldwater, by the very circumstances of his political success, present
prestige, and the expectations of his supporters, will inevitably think and move in terms
of political warfare. 21 Even if he personally should reach the point and the understanding
of wanting to consider political action as just a part, no matter how important, of much
broader overall action, how much chance do you think there is that his friends and
supporters would let him step out of the strictly political role in which he has been so
successful? How much chance is there that they would let him build and utilize forceful
leadership on all of the other fronts where we must fight the Communists? How many of
the steps which we discussed yesterday afternoon, and which I am sure must be taken if
we are to have any chance at all, do you think you could count on Barry Goldwater's
leadership to bring about, no matter how much he was beseeched, and no matter how
much he himself came to feel inclined, to do so?
Or let's go at it another way. Suppose you feel that the political factor in the equation is
so important that it overweighs all of the others. And that if we could get a man like
Barry Goldwater nominated and elected President -- or Bill Knowland or Bill Jenner or
any one of a dozen others for that matter — by 1960 or even maybe by 1964 — the power
of the presidency in the hands of such a man would be enough to save our country. Do
you think that by strictly political means and without the help of all of the other efforts on
all of the other fronts, there would be the slightest chance of bringing this about? That
with the present shattered condition of the Republican party, and the grip of the Leftists
inside both parties on various pieces of those parties, there is going to be any slightest
chance of getting a solid, courageous, uncompromising Americanist nominated by either
party — unless there are huge compelling forces at work outside of the parties which are
not affected by the ubiquitous opportunism inside the parties? If anybody in this room
believes, that with the slowing down of the rapidly rising Communist influence left to the
organizations in the field and with the restoring of Republicanism in the Republican
Party left to the politicians, there is the slightest chance of our having anything but a left-
wing president in 1961, then I would be greatly surprised. We've been counting on that
kind of salvation, and hence going steadily down the drain, for twenty years. 22
Or, more for the other illustrative points that will arise than for any hopes offered by the
prospect, let's look at Richard Nixon in this connection. He is an extremely smart man.
He is one of the ablest, shrewdest, most disingenuous, and slipperiest politicians that ever
showed up on the American scene. He can sit in Washington one night and convince
some of the most "-modern" Republicans that he is the best ball-carrier they have, and
spend four hours in the Waldorf Towers the next day convincing MacArthur and Herbert
Hoover that he is their man. He can use the tremendously overrated and over-publicized
but actually highly cautious part he played in the Alger Hiss exposure, to hang onto the
hopeful loyalty of the vigorous anti-Communists, at the very time when he is insinuating
himself into the good graces of the Left by quietly knifing McCarthy.
Nixon could pose as a conservative Republican congressman, and yet be one of the
original founders, in 1950, of Republican Advance. This was intended to be, not the
Republican opposition to, but the Republican teammate of, Americans For Democratic
Action; and it even had some interlocking left-wingers who were members of both
Nixon can claim still to be vigorously anti-Communist. Yet when he has a chance, as
Vice-president, to break the tie and cast the decisive vote for HR3, to reestablish some
chance of prosecution of subversives actually advocating violent overthrow of our
government, what happens? He moves heaven and earth to have Wallace Bennett found
and pressured into voting against HR3, defeating the measure, so that the Vice-President
will not have to vote.
What good would such a man be to us, even as President, unless outside forces and
accomplishments made it opportunistic and expedient for him to ride an anti-Communist
wave which those outside forces had created? As for being a leader, the sad truth, hard
for many hopeful and wishful conservative Republicans to realize, is that Richard Nixon,
a most engaging personality and clever politician, has never been a leader in connection
with any event or development, or at any stage in his career. He has been a rider of
waves, so far as public support was concerned, without caring whether the particular
wave at any given time was moving left or right; and a manipulator, of uncanny skill,
behind the scenes.
Nixon always brings to my mind the old gag that a wife is a person who helps you to get
over all the troubles you wouldn't have had if you had never married; or the somewhat
more elegant version that diplomats help us to solve our problems that never would have
arisen if there were no diplomats. But for the dirtiest deal in American political history,
participated in if not actually engineered by Richard Nixon in order to make himself
Vice-President (and to put Warren on the Supreme Court as part of that deal), Taft would
have been nominated at Chicago in 1952. It is almost certain that Taft would then have
been elected President by a far greater plurality than was Eisenhower, that a grand rout of
the Communists in our government and in our midst would have been started, that
McCarthy would be alive today, and that we wouldn't even be in this mess that we are
supposed to look to Nixon to lead us out of. And in appraising Richard Nixon s character,
nobody should overlook the vicious undercover knifing of Bill Knowland by Nixon's
men in California in the campaign just finished. And this is not surmise, gentlemen, but
definite fact, observed at first hand, b)r stalwart Republicans in California, some of whom
were personal friends of Nixon and at first just could not believe what they were seeing.
They came to believe it all right, for Nixon was determined to get rid of Knowland once
and for all, and at any cost, as a possible contender for control of the California
delegation and for the nomination in 1960. This, despite the fact that from the day Nixon
landed in Washington as a freshman Congressman, nobody had been nicer to him or
helped him in more ways than the well-loved Senator from his own state, Bill Knowland.
Now please do not project my remarks about Nixon beyond their intended purpose. He
may be the best bet we have for the Republican standard bearer in 1960, who has any
chance of getting the nomination. He would be far better than Nelson Rockefeller. For
while I think Nixon would ride any wave to the right or left that seemed likely to carry
him farthest, I don't think he would be committed to personally helping to make the wave
go left — as I think Nelson Rockefeller would be. I think Nixon could, become a very
patriotic anti-Communist if we could create circumstances in which it would be smart
politics to be one; whereas I think Nelson Rockefeller would fight for further movement
towards the internationalist left under any and all circumstances.
I think Nelson Rockefeller is definitely committed to trying to make the United States a
part of a one world socialist government, while I don't think Nixon is committed to
anything other than the career of Richard Nixon. In that, he is neither better nor worse
than most other politicians, merely smarter. I can foresee possibilities where every one of
us would work for him a- d vote for him in 1960, despite what I have said -- as if, for
instance, he were the Republican candidate against Walter Reuther or even Reuther's
stooge, Jack Kennedy, on the Democratic ticket. , For this reason I do not intend to put
those remarks about Nixon on any tape recording I might make from these notes. But I
have made them here in this really inner-circle group in order to emphasize the wisdom
of the old advice: "Put not your faith in politicians. " We shall have to use politicians,
support politicians, create politicians, and help the best ones we can find to get elected. I
am thoroughly convinced, however, that we cannot count on politicians, political
leadership, or even political action except as a part of something much deeper and
broader, to save us.
Now I didn't always feel that way. And I think that, up to the time the nomination was
stolen from Bob Taft in 1952, it was still possible to have saved our country, from the
immediate Communist danger, anyway, primarily by political action. And up until a few
months ago I was still giving some thought to starting some quiet but strong non-political
organizing for political purposes right in Massachusetts, with a view to either capturing
the Republican nomination for the Senate from Saltonstall in 1960 or running as an
Independent as circumstances then indicated. The further idea was to try to go to the
United States Senate, by supreme effort to that end, and there make such con tribution as
one outspoken Senator could towards stemming the tide. But my study of the whole
picture convinced me more and more that: (1) No one outspoken Senator, nor a dozen
outspoken Senators, and no amount of the ephemeral political support they might muster,
could possibly save our country unless there was, encompassing them and their efforts
and support, this far larger and broader movement to which I keep referring; (2) that there
was not going to be any such movement without the dynamic overall personal leadership
to which I have also been referring; and (3) that, with all of my own shortcomings, there
wasn't anybody else on the horizon willing to give their whole lives to the job, with the
determination and dedication I would put into it, if I didn't.
What really moved me to cross this Rubicon, however, the consideration which more
than any other gradually brought me the necessary measure of courage and determination
for so staggering an undertaking, was another result of many years of study, of not only
the present but the past. This is the conviction that even warding off Communist slavery
and reversing the socialist trend is only half the battle. We can never win even that half
unless both leadership and following have a positive dream which is more important as a
hope than the negative nightmare is as a fear; unless the promise of what we can build
supplies more motivation than the terror of what we must destroy; and unless this faith in
the future is based on a deeper faith in eternal truths.
The nature of these truths and the tenets of this faith, which I hope and believe every man
in this room can accept and approve, I shall come to later this morning. What I am trying
to do here, as an introduction to, and part of, our thinking about how to rid America of
the collectivist cancer, is simply this. I want to convince you, as I am convinced, that only
dynamic personal leadership offers any chance for us to save either our material or our
spiritual inheritance. I want to convince you, as I am convinced, that even under such
leadership we have no chance unless the specific battles are fought as part of a larger and
more lasting movement to restore once again an upward reach to the heart of man. And I
have wished to make clear, what you were bound to be assuming already, that with
whatever I have in me, of faith, dedication, and energy, I intend to offer that leadership to
all who are willing to help me.23
Footnotes For The Fifth Printing
21. The prophetic precision of this paragraph and of the following one, both written in
1958, was proved in 1960. We are sorry to say.
22. At this point we have, for the fifth printing of the Blue Book, omitted about three
pages. This has been done on the recommendation of the COUNCIL of the Society,
because the material in those pages was concerned with a political campaign which was
then still in the future, and the material has now lost its timeliness.
Our only regret about the omission grows out of the fact that in this discussion, prepared
in October, 1958 and delivered in December, 1958, we made clear our firm expectation at
that time that the rival candidates in 1960 would be Nixon and Kennedy. We think it is
worth noting how accurately we had already sized up the 1960 campaign two years in
advance, not for any slightest glory that might accrue for political prophecy (or good
guessing), but simply to indicate that we are not exactly babes in the wood in the world of
politics — as we fear some of our members sometimes fear for us.
As a consequence of this omission, and of our "closing up" the remaining copy, there are
no pages No. 125 and No. 126 in this edition of the Blue Book. It was simpler (and far
less expensive) to omit two pages here than to change the folios throughout all the rest of
the book. Please note, too, that Footnotes 21 and 23 are identical as for the fourth
printing, and only this Footnote 22 has been changed.
23. This plea for personal loyalty is always embarrassing for me to make before any
group — or in print or film or tape -- as it would be for any other man of conscience and
common sense. Yet it is as necessary and as important as had been foreseen when plans
for the Society were first being formed. For this personal loyalty is the cement that holds
The John Birch Society together, while other groups crumble around us. Without it The
John Birch Society would already have broken up on any one of a half dozen rocks in our
course, or already have been blown to pieces by torpedoes fired at us by the enemy. It is
the cohesive force that reaches across passing doubts and disagreements, welding
temporary doubters and enthusiasts alike into one permanent body of men and women
unshakably dedicated to the Society and its basic purposes.
PLEASE NOTE THAT, AS EXPLAINED FN FOOTNOTE 22 ABOVE, THERE ARE
NO PAGES 125 and 126 IN THIS EDITION.
To Restore Responsibility .
With that much explanation as background, let's see what basic principle we can establish
and what specific objective we can define, with regard to the particular battle against
collectivism, which would be sure to fit into and be encompassed by our general overall
permanent purpose — although that total spiritual aspiration is as yet only foreshadowed.
For thus making sharp and clear one part of our philosophy and program, where a
concrete area of action is involved, will itself help to build a better understanding of the
And it seems to me, gentlemen, that the whole essence of our purpose, and the guiding
principle for our action, covering not only our fight against collectivism but our fight for
our constructive replacement, can be summarized in the objective expressed by just five
words: Less government and more responsibility . The principle is simple enough for all
to understand. The direction signs leading to the goal expressed are clear enough for
nobody to misjudge them. An honest adherence to that principle and those directions,
against which to test either candidates or issues, will settle in the minds of our followers
and ourselves almost all questions which may arise, concerning either candidates or
issues, in the field of political effort. And yet it is broad enough, I believe, to be
comprehensive with regard to all that we really desire to attain through political action.
Less government and more responsibility. I mean less government of every kind, federal,
state, or municipal; and more true responsibility, not only on the part of individuals but
on the part of such reduced governmental units as are necessarily permitted to exist. But
of course I mean, primarily, less federal government, because that is where our greatest
danger lies; and more individual responsibility, because that is our greatest need.
And now I want to give you some of the arguments and the reasoning by which we must
try to inculcate this fundamental principle of less government and more responsibility
into the minds of our contemporaries and successors. For we must try to make it a
convincing political standard and an accepted goal on the part of not only our own
dedicated followers, who go all the way with our principles and our ideals, of which this
is only a segment. We must try to rally behind this concept thousands or possibly millions
of anxious citizens who show a vital interest in their politically determined future, but are
yet to be won to a dedication to ideals of more spiritual breadth.
So, again without your leave, I am going to utilize a few extracts from a talk I made a
couple of years ago at a convocation of students and faculty of Dickinson College. I do so
simply because, having put a lot of work into the preparation of that speech, I can cover
the present ground more succinctly and quickly by quoting from it than in any other way.
And this part is not long.
What we must start asking our fellow citizens everywhere to consider, as of
overwhelming importance to the future of themselves and their families, is this: On the
basis of all known past human experience, are there any general conclusions, with regard
to the organization of society, which can be set forth with confidence ? It seems to me
clear that there certainly are.
1. First, government is necessary — some degree of government — in any civilized
society. There are believers in the possibility and desirability of a governmentless
anarchy, as a practicable form of human association. But the number of these advocates is
comparatively very small, there is no evidence within human historical experience to
support their thesis, and there is considerable evidence indicating otherwise.
2. Second, while government is necessary, it is basically a non-productive expense, an
overhead cost supported by the productive economy. And like all overhead items, it
always has a tendency to expand faster than the productive base which supports it.
3. Third, government is frequently evil. And we do not mean by this that they
(governments) are merely dishonest. For all governments, with very rare exceptions
indeed, are thoroughly dishonest. We made the statement in print, about two years ago,
that there has never in the history of the world been a government (and this generalization
includes our present one) that maintained honesty in the handling of a "managed"
irredeemable currency. A few weeks later one of America's ablest and best-known
economists quoted that statement with full approval.
But what we are talking about here is something far worse than dishonesty. In December,
1956, Professor Sorokin of Harvard — after quoting Lord Acton that great men, in the
political arena, are almost always bad men — went on to reveal the results of his own
survey of the criminality of rulers. This survey of the monarchs of various countries and
the heads of various republics and democracies, in a selection large enough to constitute a
very fair sample, revealed that there was an average of one murderer to every four of
these rulers. "In other words, " said Professor Sorokin, "the rulers of the states are the
most criminal group in a respective population. With a limitation of their power their
criminality tends to decrease; but it still remains exceptionally high in all nations. "
An obvious reason for this is the greater temptation to criminality on the part of those
who control or influence the police power of a nation, of which they would otherwise
stand in more fear. Another is that ambitious men with criminal tendencies naturally
gravitate into government because of this very prospect of doing, or helping to do, the
policing over themselves. A third reason is that so many apologists can always be found,
for criminal acts of governments, on the grounds that such acts ultimately contribute to
the public good and that therefore the criminal means are justified by the righteous ends.
Kautilya wrote his Arthashastra in about 300 B. C. Machiavelli wrote his II Principe in
about 1500 A.D. And the arguments of both, that it is a virtue in a ruler to be
unscrupulous for the good of his state, are heard in every age.
4. Fourth, government is always and inevitably an enemy of individual freedom. It seems
rather strange that it was Woodrow Wilson, who more than any other one man started this
nation on its present road towards totalitarianism, who also said that the history of human
liberty is a history of the limitations of governmental power, not the increase of it. But
Wilson could have boasted, as did Charles II of England, that he said only wise things
even though he did only foolish ones. It is self-evident that government, by its very
nature, must be an enemy of freedom, edging always towards a restriction of the
individual's rights and responsibilities .
5. Whatever must be done by government will always cost more than if it could be done
by individuals or smaller groups. And the larger the government, the more
disproportionate will be the cost. Letting a government do anything, therefore, which
such individuals or smaller groups could properly do, is serious economic wastefulness. It
is also contrary to the philosophy of the proper function of government that is derived
from the whole body of past experiments.
6. Government, by its size, its momentum, and its authority, will not only perpetuate
errors of doctrine or of policy, longer than they would otherwise retain acceptance, but it
will multiply their effect on a geometric scale, as against the arithmetically cumulative
effect of those errors if confined to individuals or smaller groups. The errors of tens of
thousands of individuals, all thinking and probing in different directions and moved by
different impulses, tend to cancel themselves out or to be softened by the attrition of
doubt and disagreement. But let any one error become sanctified by government, and thus
crystallized as truth, and little short of a revolution can discredit it or cause it to be
An easy illustration of this principle is the witchcraft terror in the early days of the
colonial government of Massachusetts. If there had been no governmental power to give
phantasmagoria the semblance of reality by official decree, the common sense of a
majority of the citizens would have kept this manifestation of fanaticism from ever
having such widespread support and cruel results. But once government had
authoritatively said "This is truth, " then the hitherto doubting citizen was willing to join
others like himself in accepting it as truth. And we have at least a dozen idiocies, equally
repugnant to man's common sense and sound experience, being perpetuated by our
government in Washington today.
7. As any society becomes reasonably settled, and shakes down into a semi-permanent
pattern of economic and political life, and as some degree of leisure on the part of its
citizens becomes both possible and visible, the drive always begins to have government
become the management of the social enterprise rather than merely its agent for certain
clear purposes. Government is then increasingly allowed, invited, and even urged to do
planning for, and exercise control over, the total economy of the nation. Next, it is
pushed, and pushes itself, more and more into planning and control of the separate
activities of the citizens and groups of citizens that make up the economic life of the
nation. And in doing such planning and exercising such controls the government must
assume more and more of the responsibility for the success of the economy and the
welfare of its citizens.
Of course no government, short of being omniscient, can ever plan the specialized
division of labor and the beneficial interchange of the various products of human effort,
or can ever appraise the impact of changing circumstances and changing desires on the
infinite ramifications of interrelated human activity, one half as well as the planning,
appraisal, and resulting corrections will be accomplished by a completely free market if
given the opportunity. For the free market automatically weighs, measures, and integrates
into its decisions increments of need, of difficulty, and of motivation, that are too small,
too numerous, and too hidden for the planners ever to discover them. And the equations
to be dealt with are too infinite to be resolved by any human brain or committee of
human brains, even if all the variables and constants could be accurately set forth in such
A government trying to step in and improve the workings of a free market is exactly like
a man who takes a lighted lantern outdoors at noon of a bright June day to show you the
sun. But a government's answer to any criticism as to the inadequacy of the lantern is
always to bring more lanterns and then more lanterns — until eventually the smoke and
glare of the lanterns so seriously interfere with and shut off the light of the sun that
everybody actually has to work mainly by lanternlight.
It is interesting to note, too, that in any society the government, and its allies who want to
use the lanterns, always claim the justification that the society's economy is more
complex than those which have preceded it. They insist that therefore the lanterns of
planning and control are necessary and helpful now, no matter how futile and harmful
they have been shown to be in the past. Of course exactly the opposite is true. The more
complex the economic life of a nation becomes; the more nearly infinite the shades and
grades of impulse which determine the proper interchanges and relationships between its
components become; then the more impossible and ridiculous is any undertaking to plan
and control those relationships, and the more the automatic working of a completely free
market is needed.
8. As a government increases in power, and as a means of increasing its power, it always
has a tendency to squeeze out the middle class; to destroy or weaken the middle for the
benefit of the top and the bottom. Even where there is no conscious al liance for this
purpose, such as formed the basis for Bismarck's beginning of the socialization of
Germany or Franklin Roosevelt's beginning of the socialization of America, the forces to
that end are always at work — as they have been in England for fifty years. In the nations
that the gods would destroy they first make the middle class helpless, through insidious
but irresistible government pressures .
9. The form of government is not nearly so important as its quality. Justice and a lack of
arbitrariness, for instance, are two characteristics of a government that are most important
to the welfare and happiness of a people. They are as likely to be found — or more
accurately, as little likely to be found — under any one form of government as another.
Rampant interference with personal lives is the most obnoxious characteristic of any
government, and that is found just as readily under elected officials as under hereditary
monarchs. In fact, as the Greeks pointed out, as has been well known to careful students
of history ever since, and as the founding fathers of our own republic were well aware,
when an elected government succeeds in attracting and maintaining an overwhelming
majority behind it for any length of time, its mob instincts make it the most tyrannical of
all forms of social organization.
Incidentally, a tragic result of the emphasis placed by historians and statesmen on the
form of the American government has been the emulation by newly independent Asiatic
nations of the wrong thing in our American system. Admiring the tremendous success of
the United States, observing the unprecedented prosperity, freedom, and opportunities for
happiness or the part of the people, looking up to the United States as the example to be
followed, nation after nation in other parts of the world, but especially in Asia, has copied
the American government for itself. Its bedding political scientists have felt that this must
be the key to national success and greatness — as it clearly would have been if they had
copied the right thing, the very thing that made America great.
But what these new nations have taken for themselves are carbon copies of the American
government at the time their own governments were being established. In far too many
cases this has been since the New Deal had completely stultified the original virtues of
the American Government. The Philippines, for instance, in 1948, took over every form
of welfarism and every stifling regulation and suppression of private enterprise, and
substitute therefor, which Roosevelt's newdealers had been able to impose on us even
with a war to help them. The results were and still are pathetic, simply because they had
been led to believe that it was the form of the American government which counted. But
actually it had been the small amount of government in America throughout its centuries
of mushrooming productivity, not the form of that government, which had been the vital
factor of success. The Filipinos and others like them took over, instead, the excesses of
government which were already in a fair way to start the decline of America itself.24
10. Which brings us to the last, the most overlooked, and in my opinion the most
important, of these basic generalizations concerning government. Thomas Jefferson
expressed part of it in his famous dictum that that government is best which governs
least. But Jefferson was thinking of the extent of a government's power more than of the
extensiveness of the government itself. And our tenth point is that neither the form of
government nor its quality is as important as its quantity. A thoroughly foul government,
like that of Nero, which still did not reach its tentacles too far into the daily lives and
doings of its subjects, was far better for the Roman Empire in the long run than the
intentionally benevolent government of Diocletian or of Constantine, whose bureaucratic
agents were everywhere.
Let's dramatize this fact — or opinion — by bringing it closer home. And your speaker
would like to have it understood that he does not condone dishonesty in the slightest
degree. Yet I had rather have for America, and I am convinced America would be better
off with, a government of three hundred thousand officials and agents, every single one
of them a thief, than a government of three million agents with every single one of them
an honest, honorable, public servant. For the first group would only steal from the
American economic and political system; the second group would be bound in time to
destroy it. The increasing quantity of government, in all nations, has constituted the
greatest tragedy of the Twentieth Century .
Let's spotlight just one particular result of this tragic development, which has occurred in
connection with man's age-old worry — war. That result is the frequency, the length, the
extensiveness, the horrible destructiveness, and the totality of impact on the population,
of the wars of the Twentieth Century.
In the physical sciences we are accustomed to using combined measurements, such as
foot-pounds, kilowatt-hours or man-days. Let's invent such a phrase for the measurement
of war, and call it the day-number-horror unit. In the use of that three way calculation we
multiply the days of suffering by the number of people who suffer, by the depth of the
suffering, to arrive at an appraisal. Then I believe you will find that pretty generally
throughout history — despite other factors causing occasional exceptions — and very
definitely throughout recent centuries, the day-number-horrors measure of any war has
been proportional to the contemporary extensiveness of government. In fact and
specifically, it has been directly proportional to the product of the quantities of
government in the nations involved at the time a war was fought.
Also, you will find that it is the huge quantity of government which, more than anything
else, makes these tremendously destructive wars not only possible, but unavoidable. One
illustration should make this statement too clear for argument. Do you want to fight the
Russian people ? Do you think the Russian people have the least desire to fight us ? Do
you think there would be the slightest chance of the American people and the Russian
people fighting each other, with millions to be killed on both sides and great parts of both
countries probably to be utterly destroyed, if there were only one-tenth as much
government in each country as now exists ? Stop and think about it for a minute.
It is not only that governments carry their peoples into horrible and utterly unnecessary
wars, but it takes a very huge quantity of government to carry its people into the
totalitarian struggle which war has now been made by this same quantity of government.
Reduce all the governments of all the nations of the world to one-third of their present
size -not one-third of their power, note, nor are we referring to their quality, but just to
one-third of their bureaucratic numbers, their extensiveness, their meddling in the lives of
their subjects — and you would immediately accomplish two things. You would reduce
the likelihood of war between hostile nations to at most one-ninth of its present
probability, and the destructiveness of any wars that did take place in the same
The greatest enemy of man is, and always has been, government. And the larger, the
more extensive that government, the greater the enemy.
Now clearly the United States which, throughout its early centuries, was the greatest
beneficiary from the scarcity of government that the world has ever known, should not
only return to the right course for its own further growth in prosperity, freedom, and
happiness, but should set an example again for the whole world. In fact, the word
americanist , with a small a, should be made, and become understood, as the very
antithesis of socialism, and communism with a little c. For the communist - using the
word now with a little c to denote a theoretician rather than a member of the conspiracy -
the communist believes that a collectivist society should swallow up all individuals, make
their lives and their energies completely subservient to the needs and the purposes of the
collectivist state; and that any means are permissible to achieve this end. The true
americanis t believes that the individual should retain the freedom to make his own
bargain with life, and the responsibility for the results of that bargain; and that means are
as important as ends in the civilized social order which he desires. The same two words,
with initial capitals, Communists and Americanists, should merely denote the aggressive
fighters for these two mutually exclusive philosophies.
But Americanism, as either a phrase or a force on the contemporary world scene, has
been eroded into something negative and defeatist. It has come to represent merely a
delaying action against the victorious march of its enemy, collectivism. The air is full of
clarion calls to Americans to organize, in order better to fight against socialism,
communism, or some vanguard of their forces.
Twice each day the mail brings to my desk pleas for me to contribute money, or effort, or
moral support, or all three, to some group which is battling to hold back some particular
advance of collectivist storm troops. Even those organizations or activities which bear a
positive label are motivated by negative thinking. An association for the Bricker
Amendment is, in reality, an association against the intervention of international socialist
forces in the control of our domestic lives.
Americanism has become primarily a denial of something else, rather than an assertion of
itself. And there are many of us who think that this should be true no longer. We think
that Americanism should again come to mean, and to be, a positive, forward-looking
philosophy; a design and example of social organization which boldly and confidently
offers leadership along the one hard but sure road to a better world.
It is not just in the United States, of course, that all the aggressiveness is on the side of
the socialist-communist allies. In the world-wide ideological struggle which divides
mankind today, we conservatives fight always on the defensive. The very name by which
we identify ourselves defines our objective. It is to conserve as much as we can, out of all
we have inherited that is worth while, from the encroachments and destructiveness of this
advancing collectivism. We build no more icons to freedom; we merely try to fend off the
Such has been the pattern during the whole first half of the twentieth century. From the
bright plateau of individual freedom and individual responsibility, which man had
precariously attained, there has been a steady falling back towards the dark valleys of
dependence and serfdom. But this ignominious retreat has been just as true of Americans,
the heirs of a strong new society, as of the tired residual legatees of an old and enfeebled
European civilization. During this long and forced retreat we have fought only a
rearguard and sometimes delaying action. We have never been rallied to counterattack, to
break through the enemy or rout him, and to climb again beyond our highest previous
gains. And in the unending skirmishes, to hold as much as possible of the ground
currently occupied, we have lost all sight of the higher tablelands of freedom which once
were our recognized goals. I for one, and many others like me, are no longer willing to
consider only when to retreat and how far. There is a braver and a wiser course.
If we heirs of all the ages are to find a turning point in this rapid and sometimes
stampeding descent, in which we are abandoning instead of improving our inheritance; if
the last half of the twentieth century is to see the curve that measures individual dignity
turn upward; if the men who really wish to be free and self-reliant are to begin climbing
back up the mountainside; then the goal must be known, and the purpose of aggressive
offense must replace defensive defeatism as the banner under which we march. It is fatal
to be merely against losing ground, for then there is no way to go but back. We have to
be for something; we must know what that something is; and we must believe it is worth
a fight to obtain. Reduced to its simplest and broadest terms, that something is less
government and more responsibility. For both less government and more responsibility
bring increasing opportunities for human happiness.
Due to the tremendous momentum given us by our hardworking, ambitious, and
individualistic forefathers, our nation is still by far the most dynamic in the world in its
productive processes, and in its influences on the whole world's standard of living. We
must again become equally dynamic in our spiritual influence; in our positive leadership
and example to provide a governmental environment in which individual man can make
the most of his life in whatever way he — and not his government - wishes to use it.
There are many stages of welfarism, socialism, and collectivism in general, but
communism is the ultimate state of them all, and they all lead inevitably in that direction.
In this final stage, communism, you have a society in which class distinctions are greater
than in any other, but where position in these classes is determined solely by demagogic
political skill and ruthless cunning. You have a society in which all those traits which
have helped to make man civilized, and which our multiple faiths have classified as
virtues, are now discarded as vices — while exactly their opposites are glorified. And you
have a society in which every fault of government that we have discussed above is held to
be a benefit and a desirable part of the framework of life.
But there is an exactly opposite direction. It leads towards a society in which brotherhood
and kindliness and tolerance and honesty and self-reliance and the integrity of the human
personality are considered virtues; a society which venerates those traits exactly because
they have helped the human animal to achieve some degree of humanitarian civilization,
and are the common denominators of all our great religions. This direction leads toward a
governmental environment for human life founded on the basis of long experience with
government; on experience which shows government to be a necessary evil, but a
continuous brake on all progress and the ultimate enemy of all freedom. It is the forward
direction, the upward direction -- and americanism, I hope, shall become its name.
There, gentlemen, is our argument, or that part of it which applies, as I think it should be
used in the political field primarily for political purposes. To make it heard by, and really
understood by, enough millions of Americans, is a colossal undertaking. But who says it
cannot be done ? For who has really tried ? We have all been fiddling around with half
way measures, with compromise measures, with delaying actions, instead of getting
down to fundamental principles, standing on them with firmness, and remembering that
future history is always determined by minorities who really know what they want. The
whole newdeal march toward state socialism has been carried through and advanced to its
present stage by a determined minority. We can bring about the necessary reversal of this
trend if we, as a mi nority for what is right, stand as firm, work as hard, and give to the
principles in which we believe the same dedication, as has the sophomoric minority of
so-called liberals which brought us to our present crisis.
The question is not really whether we can expunge this disease of collectivism, and make
America strong and healthy and a true example for all the world again, but whether we
think it is worth the Herculean effort, the sacrifice and dedication, that would be required.
I think it would, and I am hoping you think so too.
Footnotes For The Fourth Printing
24. In Manila, in 1949, 1 had to spend a whole day getting a certificate from some
government bureau, showing that I did not owe the Republic of the Philippines any
income taxes, before I would be allowed to board my plane for departure. When I got
back to the Manila Hotel I was mad, and went up to the Pan American Airlines Counter
to have somebody on whom to let off steam.
"It just doesn't make sense, " I said, to the very clean-cut, well-groomed, friendly — and
smart — young Filipino behind the counter. I have been in the Philippines only a few
days, strictly as a tourist, personally paying all of my own expenses. I haven't en gaged in
any business, and there is no way I could possibly owe the government of the Philippines
any income tax, if I had tried. The regulation is idiotic "
"Yes, sir, " he said, with a smile. "I thoroughly agree with you, sir. That's one regulation
of the United States Government which I don't think we should have copied last year
when we went into the government business for ourselves!" I have told this story
elsewhere in print, but it seemed worth retelling here. For not only was it the "perfect
squelch" of myself, at which I laughed delightedly then, and at which I still laugh every
time I think of it; but it contained a whole oak tree of truth compressed into the acorn of
one wisecrack. There were thousands of other regulations, tremendously more damaging
in the long run, which the Filipinos should have failed to copy from our example when
they "went into the government business for themselves. "
And Help to Build a Better World.
Gentlemen, this is the last of these formal divisions of my presentation. And I want to
begin it by reading to you the first three stanzas of O'Shaughnessy's great ode, The Music
We are the music-makers,
And we are the dreamers of dreams,
Wandering by lone sea-breakers,
And sitting by desolate streams;
World-losers and world-forsakers,
On whom the pale moon gleams:
Yet we are the movers and shakers
Of the world forever it seems.
With wonderful deathless ditties
We build up the world's great cities,
And out of a fabulous story
We fashion an empire's glory:
One man with a dream, at pleasure,
Shall go forth and conquer a crown;
And three with a new song's measure
Can trample an empire down.
We, in the ages lying
In the buried past of the earth,
Built Nineveh -with our sighing,
And Babel itself with our mirth;
And o'erthrew them with prophesying
To the old of the new world's worth;
For each age is a dream that is dying
Or one that is coming to birth."
Now the whole poem, including the many stanzas I did not read, seems to me an
impressive tribute to the power of imagination to design and direct the course of history.
But I really read that much of it simply to put in their proper setting just these two lines:
"For each age is a dream that is dying,
Or one that is coming to birth. "
For the last fifty years our age has been a dream that was dying. To this very group, at
this very moment, I am proposing that we turn our faces forward instead of backward,
begin to make even our defensive actions fit into a constructive design, and do our part to
usher in a new age that is coming to birth.
I don't expect the New York Times to begin announcing excitedly in January that
obviously the world started on a new era in Indianapolis in December, 1958. Of course it
is only the work we do afterwards, the work we persuade and inspire others to do, and the
long results and widening reach of both, that can make of this meeting anything but a
two-day seminar in philosophy and current affairs. But if every man here should leave
tonight feeling in his own mind that he had been at the beginning of a new chapter in
history, it would be true . It would be true no matter how long the historians might take to
find it out.
The basic reason why the old age is dying, as I tried to make clear yesterday, is that the
faith which was the core of its strength no longer commands the unquestioning loyalty of
enough of its devotees. For the dream of any nation or any people must depend on faith.
The foundation of our new dream must be faith, or it will never come to pass. Where is
this faith, and what is this faith, so true that neither our hearts nor our reasons can deny it,
so broad that it takes in without violation the faith of our fathers, and so deep that it can
inspire martyrdom at need. As to where, it is right in front of us; and as to what, it is
exactly what we in this room already and actually believe. To try to make this clear, in
the only convincing way I know, I'm going to do what no man likes to do. I'm going to
try to tell you what I really believe, in the areas that are considered parts of a man's
religion. For Emerson said it is the outlook of genius to feel that what is true of yourself
is also true of all mankind. Making no claim to genius, I'll still try to imitate one for this
Now first let me repeat here, for the devout Catholics and fundamentalist Protestants who
are among my best friends and strongest supporters, that it is no part of my purpose to
disturb their beliefs in the slightest -- or the beliefs of any man or woman who really does
have a religious faith instead of just the shell of one. What I am concerned about, what
we must all be vitally concerned about today, as the very essence of our problem, is
morality, integrity, and purpose.
That morality must be based on a bedrock of faith. For those who already have such a
bedrock of faith, and stand on it and abide by it, I can offer nothing, and I would certainly
take away nothing. But for those who are no longer sure exactly where they do stand, on
what rocks or how firmly, I want to try to show them that all of these bedrocks together
constitute a foundation with room and strength for us all. For unless we willingly anchor
our moral judgments to eternal truths, we become just chaff, blown all ways before the
winds of confusion. So let me, however reluctantly, point to the rocks of my own faith —
not for the devout and the fundamentalists who do not need it — but for others whom
possibly I may help.
The keystone to my own religious belief, I think, was best delineated by Tennyson in just
one great line:
"For I doubt not through the ages
one increasing purpose runs. "
Neither Tennyson nor any other sane man could doubt this fact, as we shall emphasize
presently. But first, let us ask, whose purpose? God's ? Or man's? But if man has had one
increasing purpose through the ages, from what source did it come, and who decided
what the direction of that purpose was to be ?
The fundamentalist Christian says immediately that a Divine Being created man, with
this purpose predetermined. And I agree. Nor do I wish to disturb his understanding of
how God created man. I personally think that, at the present level of our knowledge, we
must conceive of this Divine Being having done so by creating Milky Ways and
astronomical universes, with laws and purposes which caused planets like our Earth to
develop; and by creating evolutionary forces which both produced man and endowed him
with purpose greater than his individual self.
I think that if this Creator allows man to continue to grow, and his purpose to continue to
increase, our knowledge will reach a level in another few thousand years where even this
concept will seem far too detailed, against the broader and larger forces we can then
glimpse; that even this present concept will seem to have viewed the Creator as far too
close, too understandable, and too provincial a Power, against the remoteness, majesty,
and omnipotence then conceivable. Just as the details of man's crea tion, as our
forefathers understood the book of Genesis, seem to some of us now to have obscured a
concept of incredible grandeur by man's egocentric insistence on bringing God down
almost to his own size. _ — our fundamentalist ancestors believed that God created man,
and God is great. We must agree, completely. We merely feel today that God is infinitely
greater than those ancestors were yet allowed to see.
When we first start to study mathematics the childish mind finally grasps that such large
numbers as one thousand times one thousand do not make any dent on the measure of
infinity. But it is hard for the child to realize that neither does a billion to the billionth
power put him one whit nearer to the edges of infinity than before he started. And adult
man finds the same difficulty with his religious concepts.
It is hard for man to realize that the Infinite still remains infinite, untouched in Its
remoteness and unreduced in Its infinity by man's most ambitious approaches; or that all
of man's increasing knowledge leaves the Unknowable just as completely unknow able as
before. But I think that, being allowed now to grasp this truth, we should cease to quarrel
and disagree over how close we are to God. For we are using a term which, in a literal
context, or objectively, has no meaning. We can then each put the God we worship as
close to ourselves, subjectively , as our own faith and understanding dictate. And agreeing
that a Creator greater than ourselves has visibly endowed us with purpose, we can give
far more of our energy and dedication to serving that purpose better.
That there is a purpose in man beyond anything called for by his individual needs, and far
greater than his personal desires, can be denied only by the most depraved maniac or the
most ignorant fool. One of the best summarizations of the force and beauty and eternal
quality of that purpose is contained in William Herbert Carruth's Each In His Own
Tongue , which I should like to recall to your minds.
And gentlemen, lest some of you think there is anything blasphemous or even too secular
in my repeated reference to the poets in this discussion, let me point out to you that the
men who wrote many of the books of the Old Testament, and those who wrote most of
the books of the New Testament, were the poetic spirits of their respective ages. Theirs
were the minds on which their contemporaries and successors depended to interpret and
phrase man's most profound thoughts, most permanent beliefs, and deepest faith. Those
same interpretations and recordings and expressions of man's developing experiences,
beliefs, and faith do not come to us today as further books added to our Bible; but they
are being given to us, with greater and easier understanding than we might otherwise
achieve, by the same kind of reverent and poetic minds. So here is Carruth's justly
A fire-mist and a planet, -
A crystal and a cell, -
A jellyfish and a saurian,
And caves where the cave-men dwell
Then a sense of law and beauty,
And a face turned from the clod, -
Some call it Evolution,
And others call it God.
A haze on the far horizon,
The infinite, tender sky,
The ripe, rich tint of the cornfields,
And the wild geese sailing high, -
And all over upland and lowland
The charm of the goldenrod, -
Some of us call it Autumn,
And others call it God.
Like tides on a crescent sea-beach,
When the moon is new and thin,
Into our hearts high yearnings
Come welling and surging in,
Come from the mystic ocean,
Whose rim no foot has trod, -
Some of us call it Longing,
And others call it God.
A picket frozen on duty, -
A mother starved for her brood,
Socrates drinking the hemlock,
And Jesus on the rood;
And millions who, humble and nameless,
The straight, hard pathway plod, -
Some call it Consecration,
And others call it God.
Who can read that, realize the incontrovertible and wonderful truth of the story of man's
purpose at work which the poet tells, and fail to feel reverently bound to serve that same
purpose faithfully and well ?
This brings me to the second keystone, if any such contradictory figure of speech is
allowed, in my own personal belief. It is the answer to the question: What is that purpose
? And this too has been summarized by yet another poet, Harry Kemp, in just one
brilliant line: "Thou hast put an upward reach in the heart of man. " In fact it seems to me
that, to make us truly religious, we do not need to know anything more about God, man,
and man's relationship to God than is given by a reverent understanding of that line:
"Thou has put an upward reach in the heart of man. " And again it makes no difference to
me, and it is a subjective matter which should cause no disagreement between us, how
each one feels that this upward reach has been inculcated into the heart of man. But the
thoroughness with which it has been done is a majestic revelation.
For look with me first at the common denominators of all of our great religions. That man
shall not steal, which further means that man shall recognize and respect property rights,
is common to them all. So is the injunction that man shall not murder nor harm his fellow
man. So are the concepts of kindness, and charity, and restraint of appetites, and
industriousness, and respect for age and experience, and gratitude for favors received,
and an individual's responsibility for his trespasses, and the expectation of justice, and
faith in a happier future, and obeisance to the laws and morals and temporal government
of the time and age, and a reverence for a Power or Powers greater than man himself.
And of course a dozen others, both general and specific, that I have not named.
But, gentlemen, please note, these are also exactly the characteristics with which
evolutionary selection has gradually endowed man, to enable him to rise out of an animal
existence, haltingly but surely towards a more humane civilization and a promise of a
tremendously more wonderful future. In fact the very word "upward, " as we use it here,
can be taken to describe and define those traits which, found in some species and not
found in others, caused those favored species to outstrip their rivals, and to come upward
through the evolutionary competition, until one such species became civilized man. One
philosopher will tell you that the possession of these upward traits in some species was
purely an accident of nature; another that it was due to the plan of a Divine Being. To me
they are both saying the same thing.
Let's take one or two very simple illustrations. Today man finds a rose garden beautiful,
and the view of clear running water so pleasurable that he builds countless fountains to
make his landscapes charming. Originally , of course, the presence of flowers like the
rose meant fertile soil, the kind of sunny climate in which birds and bees and man all
thrived, and the absence of noxious jungle; while clear running water originally meant
that man had escaped from desert or jungle to an area to which he was far better adjusted
for sustaining life and making it more pleasant. But do these facts from man's biological
history make the rose or running water, or man's love for both, any less wonderful?
The same thing is true with regard to those gradually acquired characteristics of his own
animal nature and later human personality, which converted him from monkey to
primate, to barbarian, then to a man so far civilized that the male proposes deferentially
to the weaker female before he will even touch her, in satisfaction of the second strongest
impulse of his being. Does the fact that these characteristics, which together constitute
the "upward reach, " were acquired by man, or given to him, through the mechanics of
evolutionary competition -if they were — does this make them any less wonderful, or
reduce in the slightest our gratitude to a Creator who provided that upward reach? Why
do we have to feel that the best qualities of man were given to us full-blown by some
more direct magic ? Or how could any magic be greater than that so inadequately
described here ? More important than either question, what difference does it make, so far
as our clear duty to use and strengthen all impulses of the "upward reach" is concerned ?
Not only are we a part of some mighty purpose beyond our understanding, and not only
do we have a clear duty to be true to that purpose to the fullest extent that we are allowed
to grasp its workings and its direction; but all human experience shows that the total
happiness of any generation and of its posterity is directly tied to the respect of that
generation for the "upward reach" in man's nature. We have all the reason here that man
can ask, divine or human or pragmatic, for keeping our consciences attuned to the
emotions and impulses which increase man's "upward reach, " and for then obeying those
consciences — obeying by commission as well as omission — to the utmost of our
respective will powers and abilities.
Now let me assure you that, in my opinion, all of this brief adventure into theological
philosophy does have direct bearing on even the most practical problems we are here to
consider. And since I am hereby participating in the first confessional of my life, and
wearing my heart more openly on my sleeve than I have ever done before, let me go all
of the way and translate these basic motivations into the specific form in which their
impact hammers away with a comforting persistence on my particular conscience.
I first broke through the intellectually restricting bonds of the unusually narrow Southern
Baptist fundamentalism, in which I was raised, more than forty years ago. I loved
everything about it except the specific details of its dogma. As a result of its teachings I
saw myself as the inheritor of all the labor and sacrifice that had gone before me, by men
who had used this God-given "upward reach. " They had used it to provide the moral
codes, the humane traditions, the accumulation of knowledge, and the material comforts,
to make me so fortunate an heir of so many ages — to whatever extent I was equal to my
inheritance. I felt myself bound by a gentleman's code, which is just another way of
expressing continuing human brotherhood or loyalty, to live up to the standards and carry
on the ideals of men who had died hundreds and even thousands of years before I was
The substance of my conscience, as I believe it is really the substance of the conscience
of every man in this room, was gratitude and a corresponding sense of responsibility.
Gratitude, if you will let me paraphrase Henley's line without the slightest implication of
blasphemy — gratitude to whatever God there was, and gratitude to all of the noble men
of the past, for the life and the environment for that life which was given me; and
responsibility, to God and man, to be worthy, so far as I was able, of the human race at its
best. And gentlemen, what firmer foundation can we possibly need for the faith on which
to build our new age and with which to inaugurate the dream that is coming to birth?
Wherever we turn, in looking at whatever blessings we have for the present and hopes for
the future, we find a need for gratitude that makes the acceptance of responsibility a duty
and a source of inward happiness. Consider, for instance and for an instant, the blessing
of freedom. Kipling once wrote truly:
"All we know of freedom, all we need to know,
This our fathers won for us, long and long ago. "
Are we, as Lowell put it, going to be "traitors to our sires, " and lose that freedom for our
children and their children? Macaulay had Horatius say:
"And how can man die better
Than facing fearful odds
For the ashes of his fathers
And the temples of his gods?"
And so we ask ourselves in simple sincerity, as I did in the article, A Letter To
Khrushchev — if it becomes necessary, just how can man die better, especially if in doing
so he appreciably reduces the odds faced by his compatriots, in their fight against the
overwhelming forces of evil threatening us today ?
But our reason for gratitude and corresponding responsibility extends to every field and
corner of the civilization we now enjoy — perhaps for so short a time longer. It is
worthwhile remembering, now and then, men like Hugh Latimer. In 1555, when he and
his friend Ridley were being burned at the stake for heresy, and all he had to do to save
his life was to say the proper words of recantation, his veneration for spiritual freedom
and truth caused him to say instead: "Be of good comfort, Master Ridley, and play the
man. We shall this day light such a candle, by God's grace, in England, as I trust shall
never be put out. " There are thousands of men like him, to whose veneration for the
upward reach in - the heart of man we owe the very fact that we can sit in this room today
and discuss religious matters without fear.
But it is not even to the martyrs, perhaps, that we owe the most. There have been
missionaries and scholars, the Catholic monks of the Middle Ages, poets and
philosophers, builders and explorers, statesmen and scientists, throughout centuries re
ceding into the unknown past, who have toiled and dreamed and sacrificed and died that
you and I might have the comforts and freedoms and hopes that we enjoy now in so fair
and happy a land.
One of the worst and most sadly disturbing traits of many of our young people today is
that they take their inheritance for granted, and have no thought of its cost. This is a vital
part of the moral breakdown that is endangering our civilization. It shows how basic and
necessary a component of faith is man's feeling of continuity and gratitude. Let us, with a
faith for the future based on this very principle of gratitude to God and man, lived up to
by ourselves, and made a living and articulate faith for others by both example and
teaching — let us try to bring many of these young people, who are now at loose ends
because of their lack of any faith, back into the conscious current of man's increasing pur
pose. For a code of honor and an ennobling sense of responsibility are themselves gifts to
the human soul which have been won by its upward reach.
And so, gentlemen, I have tried to give you, freely and frankly, the substance of my own
religious beliefs. And without any claim to goodness, wisdom, or originality, I have tried,
in far too short a time for so huge a subject, to indicate to you the elements of a faith
which, I still hope and believe, is shared by all of you, no matter how differently you
might have explained or expressed it. It is a faith for which I have earnestly hoped that it
might encom pass the individual beliefs of most men of good will; that it might refill our
ancient founts of inspiration; and that it would become a basis and a beginning of
renewed dedication to a dream of man's future.
Through The John Birch Society
Now, how do we go about asking men, in the words of Santayana, to "trust the soul's
invincible surmise ? " How do we go about all of the immediately more urgent tasks and
undertakings which I have been foreshadowing — of which this moral and ethical base is
the bedrock, to be chiseled into a more recognizable foundation as we go along? We
come at long last to the question of ways and means and methods — to what our
bureaucratic friends would call implementation -- in connection with all of these plans
and aims and hopes.
In the earlier sections of this long and fragmented discourse I used the word
"organization" several times in connection with suggested future plans. It was a very
broad and inaccurate term, employed because no other was available to convey the
thought there being expressed without too much interruption of that thought. But the
"organization" of which I am thinking is of an entirely different nature from anything that
word might at first bring to your minds, just as the raising of resources is of a far more
drastic and more realistic nature than anything attempted in this fight before.
I am proposing, as the most immediately tangible outcome of this meeting, the formation
of The John Birch Society. And I ask you not to give undue thought, at present, to the
name. In the small packet for each of you there are copies of my little book, THE LIFE
OF JOHN BIRCH. I hope you will read it when you have the opportunity, if you have not
already done so — or even if you have.
You will find that John Birch, a young fundamentalist Baptist preacher from Macon,
Georgia, who did as much as any other one man, high or low, to win our war and the
Chinese war against the Japanese in China, was murdered by the Chinese Communists at
the first opportunity after the war because of the powerful resistance he would have been
able to inspire against them. You will find, and I believe agree, that John Birch possessed
in his own character _1 of those noble traits and ideals which we should like to see
become symbolized by The John Birch Society. And the kind of life, of peaceful
opportunity and responsibility, which John Birch wanted for his fellow Americans, and
for his Chinese friends, and for all men of good will, is exactly the kind of life we should
like to see possible everywhere. We could use other names than that of John Birch, of
course. But I think you will gradually see, as time and meditation do their work, that the
name is fitting, significant, and helpful, in many ways and for many reasons.
It is important that it should be, for I am not suggesting any ephemeral organization of
loose ties and uncertain loyalties. It is my fervent hope that The John Birch Society will
last for hundreds of years, and exert an increasing influence for the temporal good and the
spiritual ennoblement of mankind throughout those centuries. For I am staking my whole
aspiration to play my part, in forwarding man's one increasing purpose, on whatever can
be accomplished through The John Birch Society. I want no other title than that of its
Founder, and have no other ambition for anything resembling fame or historical
The John Birch Society is to be a monolithic body. A republican form of government or
of organization has many attractions and advantages, under certain favorable conditions.
But under less happy circumstances it lends itself too readily to infiltration, distortion and
disruption. And democracy, of course, in government or organization, as the Greeks and
Romans both found out, and as I believe every man in this room clearly recognizes —
democracy is merely a deceptive phrase, a weapon of demagoguery, and a perennial
For withstanding the stresses and strains of internal differences and external animosities,
throughout changing political climates over long periods of time; for the building of
morale and loyalty and a feeling of unified purpose and closely knit strength; for effective
functioning in periods of crisis and a permanence of high dedication throughout more
peaceful decades; for these and many other reasons The John Birch Society will operate
under completely authoritative control at all levels. The fear of tyrannical oppression of
individuals, and other arguments against the authoritative structure in the form of
governments, have little bearing on the case of a voluntary association, where the authori
tative power can be exercised and enforced only by persuasion. And what little validity
they do have is outweighed by the advantages of firm and positive direction of the
Society's energies. Especially for the near future, and for the fight against Communism
which is the first great task of the Society, it is imperative that all the strength we can
muster be subject to smoothly functioning direction from the top. As I have said before,
no collection of debating societies is ever going to stop the Communist conspiracy from
taking us over, and I have no in tention of adding another frustrated group to their
number. We mean business every step of the way. There are many reasons why, in the
fight immediately ahead, we cannot stop for parliamentary procedures or a lot of
arguments among ourselves. One is the increasing confusion, cleverly planned by the
Communists, as to what persons, books, activities and organizations really are anti-
Communist. In other words we are now being more and more divided and deceived, by
accepting within our walls more and more Trojan horses, large and small, made out of all
kinds of timbers, and with all kinds of enemy agents inside. Some of them have no more
harmful purpose than merely to drain off, into innocuous wastefulness, money and effort
which might otherwise find its way into really patriotic and anti- Communist activities.
Others are primarily designed to offer protective coloration to Communists who can thus
get themselves publicized as active in anti-Communist organizations. Others, like the
very pretentious AMERICAN FRIENDS OF VIETNAM, in my opinion form major parts
of a whole plan and drive for gradually turning some country over to the Communists,
while pretending to be leading the opposition. But most of them are intended, as much as
anything else, to add to and create the increasing confusion which makes even the most
patriotic American feel utterly frustrated in trying to figure out who is friend and who is
enemy — and hence more willing to give up the whole struggle.
Now there are ways of sizing up both individuals and organizations in this battle, which
come only with experience, a knowledge of the interlocking pieces and personalities, and
a feel for the way the Communists work. And while of course I can make mistakes too, I
know from the way my opinion of various characters, formed entirely independently, has
then proved to coincide with the opinion of J. B. Matthews, time after time when I have
had a chance to check with him, that I have a fairly sensitive and accurate nose in this
area. And of course I also have the benefit of J. B. 's files, almost incredible memory, and
judgment built out of long experience, to lean on whenever I wish. So we do not intend to
be frustrated by indecisions of this nature nor to let our members be. But the confusion
and the problem will get steadily worse; and the need for somebody who can simply say
'help this guy, or let him help you, but stay away from that one" is also going to increase.
Actually, we are going to cut through the red tape and parliamentary briar patches and
road blocks of confused purpose with direct authority at every turn. The men who join
The John Birch Society during the next few months or few years are going to be doing so
primarily because they believe in me and what I am doing and are willing to accept my
leadership anyway. And we are going to use that loyalty, like every other resource, to the
fullest possible advantage that we can. Whenever and wherever, either through
infiltration by the enemy or honest differences of opinion, that loyalty ceases to be
sufficient to keep some fragment in line, we are not going to be in the position of having
the Society's work weakened by raging debates. We are not going to have factions
developing on the two-sides-to- every-question theme. 26
Those members who cease to feel the necessary degree of loyalty can either resign or will
be put out before they build up any splintering following of their own inside the Society.
As I have said, we mean business every step of the way. We can allow for differences of
opinion. We shall need and welcome advice. And we expect to use the normal measure of
diplomacy always called for in dealing with human beings. But whenever differences of
opinion become translated into a lack of loyal support, we shall have short cuts for
eliminating both without going through any congress of so-called democratic processes.
Otherwise, Communist infiltrators could bog us down in interminable disagreements,
schisms , and feuds before we ever became seriously effective .27
The purpose of The John Birch Society, as officially stated, will be to promote less
government, more responsibility, and a better world. The purpose, as unofficially
described and discussed among ourselves will be exactly the same thing. Our short-range
purpose, our long-range purpose, and our lasting purpose, is to promote less government,
more responsibility, and a better world. That says it all. It is, I think, simple,
understandable, and all-inclusive as to the goals for which we should strive.
In seeking the first two of those broad objectives, less government and more
responsibility, we shall make all the use we can of educational action on the political
front. In always seeking more slowly, but with an inner unswerving resolution, to make
this a better world, we shall use all means and depend on all efforts that are consistent
with the faith which supplies our motivation.
In the political arena we shall try to make the word Americanism useful as a constructive
opposite of Communism, and attract to our support many americanists who may not be
members of our Society. But the words americanism and americanist are simply semantic
weapons, and have no direct connection with The John Birch Society.
Members of The John Birch Society, not only in the United States, but anywhere in the
world, not only can be good patriots in their respective countries, but necessarily will be.
For internationalism, as it is conceived and promoted today, is an attempt to impose more
government and a more centralized one-world government on all of us everywhere. For
that reason it is automatically contrary to everything we stand for, and one of the
movements we shall oppose with all the strength we can.
An honestly intended federation of nations, in some later years or decades, for the
legitimate purpose of increasing the freedom of individuals, goods, and cultures to cross
national boundaries, and hence for the very purpose of decreasing governmental
restrictions on individuals, is something we would support with all our hearts. But until-
the intended Communist Internationale now called the United Nations has been wiped out
or made over from the bottom up, our attitude towards so-called internationalism is made
clear and uncompromising by the stated purpose of the Society. As Richard Cobden said,
"peace will come to this earth when her peoples have as much as possible to do with each
other; their governments the least possible. " It is axiomatic that we shall strive to hasten
the world's approach to those conditions in every way we can.
* * *
*We come now to the question which I know has been in the forefront of the thoughts of
some of you for quite a while. What are the organizational mechanics of The John Birch
Society, and how do we go about building up its membership so that it is anything but
paper and conversation ?
The John Birch Society will function almost entirely through small local chapters, usually
of from ten to twenty dedicated patriots, although some chapters may occasionally, and
for a while, be larger. Each will have a Chapter Leader, appointed by headquarters, which
is in Belmont, Massachusetts; or appointed through officers of the Society, in the field,
who have themselves been duly appointed by headquarters. The dues are whatever the
member wants to make them, with a minimum of $24. 00 per year for men and $12. 00
per year for women. But we shall prefer to have these dues paid by each member of a
local chapter monthly, at $2. 00 per month for men and $1. 00 per month for women, to
his or her Chapter Leader. This is for many reasons, some of which are obvious; and it
will be the responsibility of each Chapter Leader to collect such dues regularly and
forward them to headquarters.
Because we shall have people who want to join The John Birch Society, however, in
parts of the country where we do not yet have any chance of establishing chapters, and
because for a while their number will increase, we also have a Home Chapter which they
can join. The differences are that we cannot afford to have dues paid to the Home
Chapter except annually in one lump sum of $24. 00 for more) for men and $12. 00 (or
more) for women, because otherwise we should dissipate too much of the dues money in
bookkeeping costs; and that our contact with Home Chapter members will be largely
through printed bulletins — even as to the work we ask them to do -rather than through
In the case of local chapters we shall expect the Chapter Leader to get all of his or her
members together at least once a month, and in many cases oftener, as well as on any
special occasions which may make such a meeting advisable. And we expect the Chapter
Leader to be in practically continuous contact with his or her members to whatever extent
may be necessary in order to pass on or receive information and to carry out various
concerted efforts as requested from headquarters. For handling the organizational
mechanics of the Society, and for helping to form new chapters, we shall have a paid staff
man, with the title of Coordinator, for each area of the proper size. Above these
Coordinators, in time, we shall have supervisors with the rank or title of Major
Coordinators; and we shall further build the organizational framework from the bottom
up, as made necessary by sufficient membership, in order to keep strict and careful
control on what every chapter is doing, and even every member of every chapter so far as
the effective work of The John Birch Society is concerned.
Let me point out here, too, that while such Coordinators and eventually Major
Coordinators will receive salaries and expenses according to their work and their
abilities, neither the chapter members nor even the Chapter Leaders who form the base of
our Society, and who cumulatively do most of the work that counts, nor I myself and
other top officers, will receive any pay whatsoever. It is only those in the middle who will
receive any remuneration, because there is where we simply must utilize paid staff for
We are out to get a million members truly dedicated to the things in which we believe.
This, we are well aware, will take time, and tremendous effort, and dedication on our
own part greater than that we ask of anybody else. But there are a million good patriots,
who are also men and women of good will and good character and humane conscience, in
America, who are just waiting to join The John Birch Society as fast as we can carry the
story to them. There are a million such men and women in America who would join The
John Birch Society tonight if they knew as much about it as you men in this room do
right now. And I think that a million members is all we would want, at least in the United
States. For we need disciplined pullers at the oars, and not passengers in the boat.
Now that last statement may put you in mind of the Communist principle of "the
dedicated few, " as enunciated by Lenin. And we are, in fact, willing to draw on all
successful human experience in organizational matters, so long as it does not involve any
sacrifice of morality in the means used to achieve an end. But the Communists have
asked their followers to devote to the cause "the whole of their lives. " We assuredly do
not. For if you were required to make everything else subordinate, and give to The John
Birch Society the whole of your lives, we might as well let the Communists take over in
the first place. That is exactly the kind of collectivism, of submerging the individual in
the whole, against which we are fighting. And while there will be some of us, an
increasing number, but still a small minority, who will actually be giving practically the
whole of our lives to this cause, we neither ask nor expect so much from the vast majority
of our members. Our very goal is to save an americanist system and a civilization in
which a person's individual purposes, needs, and desires, and those of his family, are
given first consideration.
But on the other hand, let me point out and emphasize that we are expecting far more
work and dedication, and far more sacrifice of other interests, on the part of those who do
become members of The John Birch Society, than you ever thought of giving to any other
organization which you joined or even considered joining. For unless we have the
cumulative weight and effect of such solid effort and sacrifice on the part of our
members, as a weapon to be wielded against the Communists, we are certainly not going
to be able to hold onto even the increasingly confused, dark, and immoral world we now
have, much less help to build a better one.
And of course, from this particular group, we are looking for real money as well as
earnest effort. We hope to have thirty thousand dedicated members by the end of 1959- It
will be a major accomplishment if we do. But it will certainly take all of the dues money
as a general rule, from those members, just for the organizational expense of recruiting
them, supervising their activities, and making them effective. For money with which to
work on most of the projects I outlined yesterday afternoon we have to look for larger
sums from other sources than dues.
For that purpose we want to raise a million dollars of such "outside" funds during the
year.28 It will not be easy, and even that amount is an awfully small drop in the bucket,
against what either the direct Communist propagandists or the Reutherite labor bosses are
spending against us. But I believe we can get it; and I believe we can make even that
much do wonders in adding new courage and new confidence to the anti-Communist
fight. There are bound to be some mistakes and some waste in something so much like a
crash program, but we shall do our utmost by clear thinking and careful planning to keep
those mistakes and that waste to an absolute minimum, and to make every dollar count.
I expect to be conducting, in person, one top-level two-day meeting like this per month.
We shall soon have tape recordings of this whole presentation, which our Coordinators
can play for small groups wherever they may be assembled for that purpose. We shall
encourage proselytizing at all levels, for new members of both our local chapters and our
Home Chapter. And we must gain both moral and financial support steadily, or we shall
not be in position to do the things that have to be done, as fast as we need to do them.
For, as I have said, we are not kidding, or just talking, and we do mean business every
step of the way.
As I see it, I am afraid you have just two alternatives. Either you, and tens of thousands
like you, come into The John Birch Society and, without giving it the whole of your lives,
still devote to its purposes the best and most you can offer, with money and head and
heart as well as hands; or in a very few years you will, by force, be devoting all to the
maintenance of a Communist slave state. So we are asking for a lot, and we want you to
know it, if and when you sign an application blank for membership in The John Birch
That brings us next to a consideration as to the very nature of our undertaking which
needs to be made clear. For all revolutions, as Metternich once pointed out, begin in the
best minds and work downward. While most religions begin at the bot torn, with the
masses, and gradually acquire both respectability and acceptance at the top. We are
neither, and both.
Far from founding a religion, we are merely urging Protestants, Catholics, Jews or
Moslems to be better Christians, better Jews, or better Moslems, in accordance with the
deepest and most hu manitarian promptings of their own religious beliefs. And we are
simply trying to draw a circle of faith in God's power and purpose, and of man's
relationship to both, which is broad and inclusive enough to take each man's specific faith
into that circle without violation. Yet the evangelical fervor, with which we expect our
members to fight the forces of evil and work for a better world, makes certain principles
with regard to religious groups apply to ourselves .
We are not beginning any revolution, nor even a counter-revolution, in any technical
sense; because, while we are opposing a conspiracy, we are not ourselves making use of
conspiratorial methods. Yet our determination to overthrow an entrenched tyranny is the
very stuff out of which revolutions are made.
The net result of these reflections is that we are not a copy of any movement of the past.
We are unique. We are ourselves. We are something new, as befits a moving force for a
new age. We believe in profiting by all human experience, but we shall make our own
amalgam of the organizational metals forged by that experience with the mercury of our
own purpose. Without donning sackcloth and ashes we shall try to inspire saintly men to
join our efforts to make this a better world; and without building barricades in the streets
we shall still try to rally rational men to our efforts to preserve the best of the world we
And now, gentlemen, I am nearing the end of the semi-formal part of this long
undertaking. I have tried to establish fundamental and permanent objectives, much
broader than the fight against the Communist conspiracy, because I am convinced that
these ultimate long-range objectives are more important than the defeat of the Communist
conspiracy. But also because I am utterly convinced that we cannot stop the Communists
unless our efforts are a part of such a broader and more constructive purpose.
Yet, it is the threat of the Communist conspiracy that brought us here. Stopping the
Communists, and destroying their conspiracy, or at least breaking its grip on our
government and shattering its power within the United States, not only must occupy the
front spot and most important spot in all of our thinking. It is the driving danger which
should determine our thinking about almost everything else, and most of our actions too,
for the foreseeable future. For unless we can win that battle, the war for a better world
will again be carried on through long and feudal Dark Ages, after we have been killed,
our children have been enslaved, and all that we value has been destroyed. That is not
rhetoric, and it is not exaggeration. It is a plain statement of the stark danger that is
rapidly closing in on us right now.
It is the imminence and horror of this danger which drives me to so desperate a course as
to offer myself as a personal leader in this fight, and to ask you to follow that leadership.
It is not because I want so frightening a responsibility. And it is certainly not because I
think that you gentlemen, as good friends of mine as most of you are, recognize any such
qualities of leadership in me as would make me a happy choice for the role. It's just that I
don't know where you, or all of us, are going to find anybody else to undertake the job.
And because I know in my own mind, beyond all doubt or question, that without dynamic
personal leadership around which the split and frustrated and confused forces on our side
can be rallied, rapidly and firmly, we do not have a chance of stopping the Communists
before they have taken over our country. It is not that you would choose me, or that I
would even choose me, against other possibilities. It is simply that, under the pressure of
time and the exigencies of our need, you have no other choice, and neither do I.
As to what is expected of you, in either effort or money, if you are thinking of half-way
measures we might as well quit now. But I might as well also reveal my fanaticism by
telling you that there is no force and no discouragement which could make me quit or
even put less of my life and energy into the struggle. If every man in this room should
decide, for whatever reason, that he wants no part of my proposals, I would simply go
back to small groups of plain citizens in Massachusetts, and myself start organizing local
chapters of The John Birch Society at the working levels. I would be greatly saddened,
because of my feeling that, without all of the most powerful help that can possibly be
mustered on our side, in short order and effectively, our chances would be so small. But
my determination would not even be affected. The last resort of my own mind has been
expressed by Louise Imogene Guiney:
To fear not sensible failure
Nor covet the game at all,
But fighting, fighting, fighting
Die, driven against the wall.
I repeat, however, that we do not have to die driven against any wall, nor do we have to
lose this struggle at all. As I have said elsewhere, there is enough strength, enough
money, enough intelligence, and enough patriotism in the vast business community of
America, to form the nucleus that will stop, and destroy, the Communist conspiracy — if
we can stir it to action in time. What I am proposing here is the mechanics, and the
leadership through men like yourselves, by which it can be stirred to action and that
action made effective.
In 1927 some of the Communists, after years of work and infiltration by Borodin, Galen,
Earl Browder, and other agents, thought they were ready to take over China. Taking
advantage of all the splits and confusion in the Kuomintang which they had caused, and
of Chiang Kai-shek's problems with his Northern Expedition for the unification of China,
the Communists caused a massacre of foreigners by troops he had left behind him, set up
their version of a central government in Hankow, and were ready to seize control.
Among other measures which Chiang took was to go to the merchants of Shanghai for
help. And remember, Chiang Kai-shek was, in their minds, associated with Canton and
the government in the South, with which they were not yet even in sympathy. But he was
able to convince the merchants of Shanghai of exactly what the Communists intended,
and that this was a matter of life and death against a ruthless enemy who stopped at
nothing. The merchants of Shanghai raised the equivalent of three million dollars of
American money, and turned it over to Chiang with no strings attached.
With that money, with the ability it gave him to feed his soldiers and send his civilian
agents into other provinces of China to explain his aims, and with other steps it enabled
him to take, Chiang was able to throw the Communists out of Hankow, send rats like
Borodin, Galen, and Browder scurrying back to their homelands, and save China from the
Communists for twenty more years. But for the overwhelming forces from the outside
which our government then helped to turn loose on him, Chiang would have been able to
keep China free from the Communists to this day. But he gained twenty years respite as it
Now gentlemen, just stop and think how much money three million American dollars was
to the merchants of one Chinese city in 1927. Then tell me that, if the American business
community or the American people had that kind of determination and were willing to
make that kind of sacrifice, to preserve their freedom and their inheritance, they couldn't
stop the Communists. It would be nonsense. A part of our job is not only to have that
kind of determination and make that kind of sacrifice ourselves, but to convince others of
the necessity of doing so.
As one man in this room said to me a few months ago, it is better to spend a quarter or
even half of all we own, and save our lives and the remainder of our possessions, than to
lose lives and total possessions by fighting with too little and too late. I not only agree. I
have acted on that principle in my small way. Not only has it seemed to me better to
spend the money I had saved, in waking up a few more of my fellow citizens to the
danger; but I am far more comfortable working sixteen hours a day, seven days per week,
on the same problem and without pay, than I would be in a concentration camp behind an
electrified barbed-wire fence. And while I am not actually suggesting quite so drastic a
level of work or sacrifice for anybody else at this time, I do want to repeat that we are not
going to be saved from concentration camps by those who plan to do the saving every
Saturday morning before lunch, or by financial backing of the same order to the anti-
Communist forces. And I also want to repeat, as we simply must convince more of our
complacent friends, that the result of our failure in this fight most positively will be
concentration camps, or worse, and soon.
Let me repeat just one thing that I said to you yesterday morning. There are in the
satellite countries today thousands of men, just like you and me, who only ten years ago
could regularly meet in such groups as I propose. Not only that, but they could go out
openly, with and before larger groups, to try to spread the alarm and to stop the
Communists from taking over their countries. These men now say to each other, but
largely to themselves: "If I had only known. If I had only recognized and be lieved the
danger, and the horror of Communist rule, in time. There is nothing I would not have
given, to save my freedom, my family, my country, if I had only recognized the urgency
and the desperate need. Now it is all too late, and any sacrifice, even of life itself, would
be entirely in vain. "
We do not have to be too late, and we do not have to lose the fight. Communism has its
weaknesses, and the Communist conspiracy has its vulnerable points. We have many
layers of strength not yet rotted by all of the infiltration and political sabotage to which
we have been subjected. Our danger is both immense and imminent; but it is not beyond
the possibility of being overcome by the resistance that is still available. All we must find
and build and use, to win, is sufficient understanding. Let's create that understanding and
build that resistance, with everything mortal men can put into the effort — while there still
Then, while we are destroying and after we have destroyed the Communist tyranny, let's
drive on towards our higher goals of more permanent accomplishment; towards an era of
less government and more responsibility, in which we can create a better world.
25. Our Liberal critics would have you believe that this statement, for an American, is
practically heresy. This is because these same Liberals have been working so long and so
hard to convert our republic into a democracy, and to make the American people believe
that it is supposed to be a democracy, Nothing could be further from the truth than that
insidiously planted premise. Our founding fathers knew a great deal about history and
government, and they had very nearly a clean slate on which to write the blueprint for our
own. They gave us a republic because they considered it the best of all forms of
government. They visibly spurned a democracy as probably the worst of all forms of
government. But our past history and our present danger indicate that they were right in
26. The folly of the two-sides-to-every-question argument is em phasized in a brief story
we have told elsewhere and often. The minister had preached a superb sermon. It had
moved his whole congregation to a determination to lead nobler and more righteous lives.
Then he said: "And that, of course, is the Lord's side. Now for the next half hour, and to
be fair, I'll present the devil's side. You can then take your choice. "
27. The whole theme of these several paragraphs, and the mono lithic structure of the
Society, have of course been seized on by the Liberals (and worse) as the basis of vicious
and persistent attacks against the Society and myself. Their criticism is about as slippery
and phony as everything else the Liberals turn out today under the label of argument.
Our members are told specifically and emphatically in our bul letins, about once every
three months, never to carry out any of our requests or to do anything for the Society that
is against their individual consciences or even contrary to their best judgment. If they find
themselves too constantly and continuously in disagreement with our activities, then
probably they do not belong in the Society and may wish to resign. But it is only a real
troublemaker that we put out of the Society ourselves.
So far, with many thousands of members and two years of experience, we have dropped
less than a dozen. (We have had a total of about one hundred resignations in the two
years). One of the two dropped directly by the Home Office was a lonesome widow who
did not have the slightest interest in, or idea of, what The John Birch Society was all
about. She simply wanted companionship and a place to go, and she constantly bogged
down her chapter meeting with her personal affairs. The other turned out not even to be a
member. But he had been going regularly to the meetings of one of our chapters, posing
as an important member of our Home Chapter, and turning the meetings more and more -
- before we knew about it — into sessions in advanced anti-Semitism. We simply asked
this man to stay away from our meetings, straightened out the chapter, and have had no
further trouble from that source.
We have refused to accept just one chapter since the Society was founded, and this was
because of the extreme racist views of some of its prospective members. How little we go
along with such views is shown by the fact that we have two all-Negro chapters, of which
we are very proud, and several chapters in northern states with good citizens of both
white and colored races who meet together. We are bitterly opposed to forced integration,
in schools or anywhere else , but on far sounder grounds than the "racial superiority"
arguments. It is because, according to the Constitution, the Federal Government has
absolutely nothing to do, legally, with public education; because every American, white
or black, should have the right to select his own associates for every enterprise and
occasion; and because all of the trouble over integration — which is doing inestimable
damage to both the black and white races — is Communist inspired, encouraged, and
implemented for Communist purposes. And while these remarks may appear to be of a
rambling nature, it seems well worth while to get them down on paper at this point to
avoid misunder standings in the future.
When we were viciously attacked in one of the Midwestern papers a few months ago, on
the basis of the monolithic structure of the Society, our members came to our support
with a veritable flood of letters to that paper, quoting passage after passage from the Blue
Book to show how unfounded were the charges advanced. Our members themselves are
fully aware, from actual experience as well as from study of our materials, that the
monolithic structure is purely for the sake of efficiency, effectiveness and steadfastness
of purpose within the Society itself — from which anybody can resign, with our good will
and good wishes, at the drop of a hat. Our members themselves soon find that there is
absolutely no reason to object to this protection of the Society internally against
infiltration, splintering, and inside fights.
And yet our critics frequently and vehemently charge that we are a fascist organization,
far more dangerous and tyrannical than the Communists themselves. We don't know how
they attempt to justify any such charges, but in any event we should like to call to their
attention one difference between the Communists and ourselves. You join the Communist
Party, and you are told what to do. You refuse to do it enough times, and you are shot in
some dark alley or pushed off a subway platform in front of a moving train. You join The
John Birch Society, and you are asked to do certain things, if you agree . You refuse to do
them enough times — and we give you your money back! Somehow it does seem to us
that there is a difference.
28. Of course as most of our members know, we did not get anywhere near either of these
goals by the end of 1959. Our growth in numbers , with the dedication we require, has
been far slower than we originally expected. Our growth in strength, especially in
proportion to our numbers, has been far above our most hopeful anticipations. Our
growth in resources has been in between the two extremes. And in all three categories, of
course, our growth has just begun.
POSTSCRIPT - MARCH 15, 1961
For The Fifth Printing. ..
This edition of the Blue Book differs from the fourth only in the minor particulars
discussed in Footnote 22. And by the addition of this postscript, as a substitute for the
postscript dated September 1, 1959 which has been carried in all previous editions.
It is perhaps in order for us to point out that we now have a staff of twenty-eight people
in the Home Office; about thirty Coordinators (or Major Coordinators) in the field, who
are fully paid as to salary and expenses; and about one hundred Coordinators (or Section
Leaders as they are called in some areas), who work on a volunteer basis as to all or a
part of their salary, or expenses, or both. Neither our organization, nor the membership
which it serves, is anywhere near the size we hoped to have by now, when the Society
was founded twenty-eight months ago. But starting absolutely from scratch, in the
building of a union of human beings and a unified force of human effort that are, in many
respects, different from all previous organizational patterns, we have made progress that
is still remarkable and encouraging. And we are very grateful for all of the help and
support which have made that progress possible.
At the present time we are under heavy fire from many sources. This was to have been
expected, and we believe it to have been inevitable, regardless of whatever excuses we
may have given the total Liberal Establishment for its attacks. The inevitability not only
derives from the simple fact of our growth, and the obvious potential danger to the
Communists from that growth, but also from the visibly increasing effectiveness of some
of our specific activities. Over the past few months, for instance, members of The John
Birch Society have been responsible for thousands of showings of the film of the San
Francisco student riots, called Operation Abolition. That film, put together by the House
Committee On Un-American Activities, is a deadly revelation of the Communists openly
at work, right here in America, with the same ruthless tactics through which they have
paralyzed their opposition in other countries they have taken over.
During the past few months members of The John Birch Society have also been
responsible for probably tens of thousands of showings of Communism On The Map .
This is a film strip depicting the steady geographical advance of Communism over the
earth during the past four decades, and especially during the last fifteen years. It was
created by an ardent member of The John Birch Society, drawing upon at least some of
our materials. And during the past two months the Communists have found that our
MOVEMENT TO IMPEACH EARL WARREN, begun in Jan uary, is by no means to be
laughed off as their Liberal allies and dupes at first expected, but is gathering strength
and significance every month. It is the combination of these impacts, plus the basic threat
from our very existence and our continued growth, which have caused somebody to push
the button unleashing all of these extensive and vicious campaigns against us, almost
simultaneously, in many different parts of the country.
Possibly to the amazement of the Communists, and perhaps of the whole Liberal
Establishment, our growth has continued right through all of these attacks and visibly will
continue. The John Birch Society has the indestructible strength and the gathering
momentum of an idea whose hour has come. But while this may disturb or even frighten
the Communists, it does not give us any corresponding satisfaction from an assurance of
inevitable victory. For we must be vitally concerned with the question of how soon the
Communist conspiracy can be destroyed. How long will it be -- how many more
hundreds of millions must be enslaved and how much of our civilization must be
destroyed — before we can emerge triumphant, and see our world again turning to a
restoration and improvement of our whole material, political, and spiritual inheritance ? It
is the time that will be required, the suffering that can be avoided, and the destruction that
can be prevented, which will measure the success of our great undertaking.
All we have really done so far is demonstrate rather convincingly that we have the
formula for ultimate success. And it is a very simple formula indeed, as must be the basic
plan of every movement that changes the course of history. We must grow into an army
of sufficient size, fighting with facts and truth as our weapons, until the enemy with all
his ruthless cunning, gigantic organization, limitless resources, and entrenched power,
still cannot withstand the total impact of our unified strength and dedicated labors. For
absolutely certain and early victory we need one hundred times the number of
Coordinators, the members, and the total organization we now have. It is not necessary to
change one iota the formula which has brought us this far, but simply to project its
operation and its results into a scale to match our needs. This achievement, especially if
within the time still left us before destruction and darkness would make a whole new start
necessary, will require colossal amounts of money and of labor. But both are cheaper
than blood, and far smaller sacrifices than freedom. We ask for your help — in realistic
proportion to the size of the job ahead.
POSTSCRIPT - DECEMBER 9, 1959
For The Second Printing ...
During the four years that AMERICAN OPINION has been published there has never
appeared a picture of, nor even a personal word about, myself. Nor has there been any
such word in any material issued by or for The John Birch Society. This is simply
because of my distaste for anything in the nature of personal publicity.
The pressure from Chapter Leaders, members, and prospective members of the Society,
however, has increased to the point of convincing me that the demand for more
information about the Founder of the Society is well justified, and even that it is unfair
for me not to give at least a skeletonized biography to those who are willing to follow my
leadership. Still reluctantly, therefore, but because these considerations must prevail, I am
inserting in this second printing of the Blue Book a copy of the page of biographical
notes which my secretary is currently sending to program chairmen of organizations
before which I am able to appear as a speaker.
Even though this sketch is, at some points, slightly on the flippant side — to avoid any
appearance of pomposity or stuffed-shirtism, which I detest — it is my hope that these few
paragraphs will seem adequate in substance and sufficiently dignified in treatment to
serve entirely satisfactorily the purpose for which they are offered.
About the Author
Born December 1, 1899, on a farm in Chowan County, North Carolina. Ancestry, full of
farmers and Baptist preachers, traceable to one Miles Welch who came to this country
from Wales in 1720. Educated at University of North Carolina (four years), United States
Naval Academy (two years), Harvard Law School (two years), and school of hard knocks
(about forty years). Came to Boston from North Carolina in 1919. Has lived in Belmont
for the past twenty years. Has one wife, two sons, a Golden Retriever dog, and fourteen
golf clubs-none of which he understands, but all of which he loves.
Has spent a great part of his life getting from where he was to where he wasn't, for
reasons which seemed worthwhile at the time. This includes two trips to England
specifically to study the effects of the Socialist government; one trip around the world;
and fairly extensive additional traveling in North America, South America, Europe, and
Author of THE ROAD TO SALESMANSHIP, published in 1941 by the Ronald Press
Company; of MAY GOD FORGIVE US, pub lished in 1952 by Henry Regnery
Company; and of THE LIFE OF JOHN BIRCH, published in 1954 by Henry Regnery
Company. Is editor and publisher of AMERICAN OPINION, a monthly magazine which
reviews current events and appraises contemporary leaders on the world-wide stage. Has
done much public speaking, and will climb on a soapbox to argue against the evils of
socialism whenever anybody will listen.
Has been in the candy manufacturing business all of his adult life. Was for many years
Vice President, in charge of sales and advertising, of one of the larger candy
manufacturing companies, with factories on both coasts, and of its subsidiary sales
corporations in various cities throughout the country. Is a director of one bank, and has
served as a director of several other business corporations.
Was a member of the board of directors of the National Association of Manufacturers for
seven years. Also served three years as a Regional Vice President of NAM, and two years
as chairman of its Educational Advisory Committee. Has been active in many other
business associations and committees, and in many community and educational activities
- including service on the Belmont School Committee.
As of January 1, 1957, Mr. Welch gave up most of his business responsibilities-and most
of his income-in order to devote practically all of his time and energy to the anti-
Communist cause. Believes that the only thing the Communists now fear is having the
truth become widely known, to the American people, about the methods and the progress
of the whole international Communist conspiracy. For his readers or his listeners, Mr.
Welch simply puts together clear but separate facts about the Communist advance, so that
their significance becomes more apparent. Through this method he is trying to wake up
as many of his fellow citizens as he can, to the horror and the imminence of the dangers
which they face.
THE COUNCIL of THE JOHN BIRCH SOCIETY
Each of the men listed below, who make up our COUNCIL, came into the Society solely
as an individual, representing in no way any other group or organization. But simply for
identification, we have given against each name the briefest line or two concerning other
connections, or past accomplishments.
Dr. N. E. Adamson, Jr. A Boston surgeon. Associate Medical Director of New England
Mutual Life Insurance Company. Fellow, American College of Surgeons. Youngest
member of the COUNCIL.
Mr. Thomas J. Anderson. Editor and publisher of numerous agricultural magazines.
Nationally known as a speaker and author of "Straight Talk" editorials.
Hon. T. Coleman Andrews. Former Commissioner of Internal Revenue of the United
States. Now Chairman of the Board of two large (and affiliated) insurance companies.
Mr. Frank Cullen Brophy. President, Libbey Fruit Packing Co., and other business
enterprises. Director, official, and board chairman of several Arizona banks. One of
original founders of COMMONWEAL magazine.
Mr. John T. Brown. Vice President of the Falk Corporation, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Former President, the J. I. Case Corporation. Many years on Board of Directors, National
Association of Manufacturers. Leading American exponent of orthodox economics.
Col. Laurence E. Bunker. Former Personal Aide to General Douglas MacArthur for 6 1/2
years-during the Japanese occupation, the Korean War, and MacArthur's early months in
this country after his return:
Mr. F. Gano Chance. President, A. B. Chance Company, Centralia, Missouri. Former
President of Missouri Chamber of Commerce and of Associated Industries o/Missouri.
Mr. S. J. Conner. President, Modern Sleep Products Company, Marshfield, Wisconsin.
Mr. Ralph E. Davis. President of General Plant Protection Corporation and affiliated
companies, Los Angeles.
Dr. S. M. Draskovich. Author of Tito, Moscow's Trojan Horse. Editor-in-chief of
SRPSKA BORBA (The Serbian Struggle), a weekly newspaper, published in Chicago,
with sizable circulation in thirty-six countries.
Rev. Francis E. Fenton. Pastor of the Blessed Sacrament Church, Bridgeport,
Connecticut. Father Fenton received his Master's degree in philosophy, and also his S. T.
L. degree in theology, from the Catholic University of America.
Mr. Wm. J. Grede. President of Grede Foundries, Inc. Milwaukee, Former President of
the National Association of Manufacturers and former head of the International YMCA.
Mr. A. G. Heinsohn, Jr. President, Cherokee Textile Mills, Sevierville, Tennessee.
Author of One Man's Fight For Freedom. A very successful manufacturer and a very
Mr. Fred C. Koch. President, Rock Island Oil and Refining Company, Wichita, Kansas.
Strong supporter of many patriotic movements, and especially of right-to-work
Mr. Robert D. Love. President, Love Box Company, Wichita, Kansas. Director of
National Association of Manufacturers. Past director of Kansas State Chamber of
Commerce. Past president of South Central Economic Development Council.
Dean Clarence Manion. Former Dean of Notre Dame Law School. In 1954 resigned from
important government appointment rather than stop crusading for the Bricker
Amendment. Founded the Manion Forum, which now reaches a huge nationwide radio
audience every week.
Mr. N. Floyd McGowin. President, W. T. Smith Lumber Company, Chapman, Alabama.
Active on many important boards of national organizations and enterprises.
Mr. W. B. McMillan. President of the Hussmann Refrigerator Company, St. Louis,
Missouri. An outstanding business leader. Was, next to your Founder, the first member of
The John Birch Society.
Mr. Robert H. Montgomery. Noted constitutional authority. Senior partner of law firm of
Powers, Hall, Montgomery and Weston of Boston, Massachusetts. Director and general
counsel to many philanthropic and industrial organizations. Author of Sacco-Vanzetti:
The Murder and the Myth, a history of the famous Massachusetts trial of two Italian
Dr. Revilo P. Oliver. Professor of Classical Languages and Literatures at the University
of Illinois. Recognized as one of the very top scholars in America in his field. One of the
ablest speakers on the Americanist side.
Mr. Louis Ruthenburg. Formerly President, then Chairman of the Board of Servel, Inc.,
Evansville, Indiana. Former President, Indiana State Chamber of Commerce. Now retired
except as an industrial consultant. Has received several honorary degrees and three
Freedom Foundation awards.
Mr. J. Nelson Shepherd. President, Midwest-Beach Company, Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
An outstanding citizen and strong supporter of many patriotic causes.
Mr. Robert W. Stoddard. President of Wyman-Gordon Company, Worcester,
Massachusetts. On board of directors of several of New England's largest businesses,
including First National Bank of Boston. Has just served two terms as President of
Associated Industries of Massachusetts. Active on the boards of many educational and
Lt. General Charles B. Stone, III, U.S.A. F. (Retired). Succeeded General Claire
Chennault as Commander of our 14th Airforce, in China, and is lifetime Honorary
Chairman of the 14th Airforce Association.
The basic function of the COUNCIL is threefold: ( 1 ) To show the stature and standing
of the leadership of the Society; (2 ) to give your Founder the benefit of the COUNCIL'S
advice and guidance, both in procedural or organizational matters, and in substantive
matters of policy; and (3) to select, with absolute and final authority, a Successor to
myself as head of The John Birch Society, if and when an accident, "suicide," or anything
sufficiently fatal is arranged for me by the Communists-or I simply die in bed of old age
and a cantankerous disposition. And we believe that both the growth and the
effectiveness of the Society will be greatly helped by the experience, ability, and resolute
purpose of so strong a governing body.-RW
"Actually we must choose between the civilization, the form of society, and the expression
of human life, as represented by John Birch, and their parallels as envisioned by Karl
Marx and his spiritual successors. There is no middle ground, at least for the foreseeable
future; not because no middle ground is philosophically possible, nor because intelligent
and humane beings could not prefer some middle around, but because the Communists
will not permit it. "
*"With his death and in his death the battle lines were drawn, in a struggle from which
either Communism or Christian-style civilization must emerge with one completely
triumphant and the other completely destroyed." The Life Of John Birch