tv Lectures in History Early Cold War U.S. Politics and Economics CSPAN May 9, 2020 8:00pm-9:11pm EDT
we would like to thank both of you for being with us today and help us prep for the ap u.s. history exam. gentlemen, thank you so much. guest: thank you, jesse. good luck, everyone, and have a good test. guest: yeah, thanks, jesse. you guys have got this. you can do this students. ,announcer 1: "american history tv" is on social media. follow us @c-spanhistory. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2020] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] announcer 2: on "lectures in history", sam lebovic teaches a class about the early cold war periods of the 1930's and 1950's -- ae said fascism and consensus formed in the u.s. around centrist political views to the point where the political parties were barely stick with civil. on the economic front he believed in mixed rule, meeting broad acceptance of government
involvement in the market. all right. the last couple of classes we have been talking about the red scare and the impact of the red scare in policing the edges of american politics. we will be looking at kind of the rest of the political landscape, beginning to look at what people refer to as the liberal consensus of the 1930's and 1950's and work through what is happening in terms of the main thoroughfare of american politics, possibilities and the way people are thinking about politics in america in the 1930's. have had different readings, all of which deal with the idea of political ideology and which share assumptions about the way ideas matter to politics. will be thinking about how they kind of framed those ideas and this is a transition class where we move from discussing the
geopolitics of the cold war and the red scare into sort of what else is happening in america in the 1940's and 1950's. shall we start with daniel bell, everybody's favorite reading from today? i assume there are very few questions about this one. yeah? >> so is he essentially saying ideology the political like him about -- not worth it anymore and the new kind of like focusing on economic issues and the government and taking that one country -- that could possibly be the best way to go? summary -- ce sam: that is a nice summary.
he said it has run their course for their out of steam and really politics is about management, the adjustment of other things within a kind of general consensus. you know, thinking about the argument little bit, it is an argument people have made at various times in history. he makes aad -- similar argument in the 1990's it is an argument that keeps coming back. the 50's is not a bad place to do it. this is written in 1960. this is bell. a was born daniel polonsky, child of jewish immigrants in new york. went to city college back when city college was free. people could spend a lot of times -- time sitting in the cafeterias are doing politics. your not talking about socialism and the spanish civil war like
they were. he constantly frames issues in these large sweeping historical frames. he said the big ideologies of the 19th century had run out of steam. what is ideology for him? remember the section where -- yes? >> [indiscernible] sam: social levers. great. what the hell does that mean? you don't know. that is exactly the point i have for you. it is an interesting question. >> i thought it was interesting -- social movements, have to simplify your ideas. can't be up in the clouds. it has to be real, can't even cross what they like -- and then he established the
truth, not just something that is an idea. it is reality. going into the action, getting people [indiscernible] philosophical and get them into reality to get people on board. sam: these are the concepts we need to flesh out what ideology is. it is turning ideas into action. the way you do it is in the three steps he pointed out. you have to simplify, make a claim about it being truthful to the world and then using that simple five idea, provide your framework to act in the world and make decisions about what to prioritize, what deals you can make, what compromises are allowed and what not. so this framework which he said has to appeal to emotion unit is not just just sitting in a room.
-- emotion. it is not just sitting in a room. of --ramework was an idea example of ideology. isms will help. communism, capitalism. fascism. environmentalism, socialism, feminism. if you run through all of those and think about where they are in the 1950's, most of them are not operative. communism and socialism are not popular in the american landscape. ashes of -- there were american fascists like the silver shirts. they had been discredited by the 1940's. where is feminism at in the 1950's? it is in a kind of lull. we will talk later, but people
talk about it in terms of a first wave in the early 20th century focused on voting rights and the second wave in the 1960's and 1970's. environmentalism isn't really on the scene. leather -- so there is really kind of a lull. what about religion? is that an ideology in bills terms? -- bell's terms? he is kind of slippery with that language. he has got an argument that in some ways ideology is secular and about action in the world. you take ideas and act on the basis of them whereas religion, what are you supposed to do with the ideas? are you supposed to change the world? what are you supposed to do with religious ideas? >> prepare for the inevitable.
>> who do you change? >> yourself. sam: it encourages adaptation of the self rather than changing the world in the vision of how it should be better. so he begins by saying the big 19th-century philosophies are what take the place of religion when religion goes away. and there is a kind of lingering version of religiosity which is like ideology because it is about changing the world. i don't think he can decide what to think about religion. the reason is the framework is very secular religion has gone away -- very secular. religion has gone away. he is confronted with a problem in the 1950's which is america is becoming more religious in the 1953 40% -- 1950's.
40%. they are trying to work out what that is about. it is a difficult question. it has an impact on politics, notably in god we trust is added to the pledge of allegiance in 1954 and in 1955 it is added to the currency. it had not previously been in the currency but now it is a symbol of a new respect for the heart of american political culture. if you had to take a simple guess why there is more of religion, what would you think? right, to distinguish religious american liberalism from godless atheistic communism. there is a kind of flash -- clash going on. the problem with the argument is if you are someone who believes which i am very
secular, but if you believe in religion, you don't believe you come to a higher police -- for some believe in god because it is helping america prove a point. it is something very personal, working out why that evolves historically at different times is difficult. they have the idea the big ideology has gone away a little bit. what is left is kind of a consensus is managerial issues. what are those? talksn on 373, when he about the welfare state, the mixed economy and political pluralism. i want to spend most of today's class talking about economy. -- mixed economy. do you know this phrase? particularly?
to understand what he is talking about, you need to think about how people thought about economics in the 19th century. i know it is not your favorite part of this class. economics is interested in you if you are not interested in it. in the 19th century, how is the economy supposed to work? how many of you have done microeconomics? how does the class start in micro? what do you look at first? years ago. the chart that looks something like this? and demand. what is the supply demand chart measuring? >> how much, how many goods there are and the relationship between the two. >> it is where the demand and
supply work each other in relation to each other and will reduce the price and that will determine how things are disputed in an economy. this is roughly -- are distributive the end and economy. the idea is it is self-regulating, what adam smith calls the invisible hand of the market. demand and supply will meet each other. it should balance itself and become sustainable and optimize the economy generally for everybody. that is considered liberal economics. free economics. the only problem is they have repeated crashes and depressions in the late 19th and early 20th century. 1890's, 1929. a lot of economists who think of themselves as liberals begin to question the assumption of how the economy should work.
the most significant thing is john maynard keynes who in the beginsr period investigations. he focuses on macroeconomics, focusing on how the system should work. if you are taking this course in 1960's, you would not start with supply and demand , which is how microeconomics starts. you start with how the mechanism works in isolation for the macroeconomics starts with -- in isolation. granted -- up you need to set that before you can have capital. operating on the traditional theory. thatig interventions
opus isakes, his magnum saying what matters most is aggregate demand. how much demand overall there is, not any eventual deciding what price is on things but how much purchasing power there is in the economy overall. more easily understood with 1940's political cartoons. is an economy where there are very few wages being paid to workers. people who are selling products and taking profits, not paying many wages which means there is purchasing power is locked. people don't have money to buy products so there is a smaller market to sell to and it gets to produce less. the bottom image, more wages are being paid out pretty content
those into -- being paid out. there are more people to buy things which means you can put people into production and being kind -- the economy can speed up and grow. this is our representation with the same idea. you have got to spend to get things into operation. when people are spending, it will go back to the worker and become a virtual circle. questions about this? youkey challenge is how do make sure there is enough purchasing power in the economy? you need to regulate the market so workers are being paid efficient wages and there is not dis-equilibrium. and the government can actually act to stimulate demand when there is economic downturn. at the moment when there is less demand because people are getting forced out of work, the
government can spend to create jobs. this is the intervention of the new deal. you don't tell us the books, you act aggressively to spend to kick this process into motion again. this will become the orthodoxy of economics in the 1940's and 1950's so that by the 1960's, time magazine will put keynes on the cover. this was the consensus. make expense? -- does it sense? so bell was onto something. it is a mixed economy, not entirely state-run or free, but where the state intervenes. moneyes the state get its today? taxation.
this is the chart of the amount of americans paying federal income tax every year. the top line is a percentage of the workforce. the bottom line is a percentage of the population. there is a massive spike during what? world war ii. 26% filed income tax in 1940. 87% in 1946 and it stays after the war as a kind of norm. the other thing that will be surprising is the top article tax rates in the period. the top earners in the 1950's are paying $.90 on the dollar. that is a high tax rate to redistribute and take the wealth and put it into back -- back into general circulation. the 1980's is the reagan tax cuts.
we talk a lot about the margin of tax rate. if you take history margins -- the chances of being in the top margin are not as high as i wish they were. we will focus on the details. the middle. if you look at the kind of 5000, 8000 dollars range, spikes as well in 1942, up from 8% to 40%. so the middle is being tacked -- taxed a lot more. so this is one indicator there is a mixed economy in the u.s. in the 1950's. the second is that in many ways we have had a long period of working-class education -- agitation, violent strikes through the 1930's. wave ofthere is another
strikes at the end of the war. 4 million workers. the militancy of the labor market looks like it will continue. my favorite example is the tugboat workers in new york city go on strike, which shut the city down because no fuel can get into new york. the city is stopped. this image of new york totally dependent on tugboat workers. by the 1950's and 1960's daniel bell will comment, but the working-class is happy. they have not gone on strike. people want to change things for intellectuals. it is not the working class anymore. law,se of changes to labor and that because of agreements that are made in the 1940's and 1950's, the working-class are for work.tter turns
the key example is called the treaty of detroit in 1950 which is an agreement between the united automobile workers and general motors which will apply across the auto sector. the deal is in exchange for guarantees to go on strike less frequently to recognize the need for production, the union will get cost of living adjustments so the wages will increase with inflation, pension plans and insurance. that is looked after. at that point labor militancy columns down. the worker -- militancy calms down. the workers have a bigger supply for everybody and we will need less conflict. the third example i will give you to show there is emerging consensus around this idea of mixed economy is the fact the political parties are really
confusing to people in the 1950's. this is a cartoon from 1957. what, how are you supposed to tell what the difference is between a republican and democrat, which this sounds like it comes from out of space -- outer space at this point. the parties are complicated. each party has an internal division within it. the democrats have a kind of northern wing, based on working-class votes and african-american votes. in the south the democratic party is the party of white supremacy. they don't work very well together. the republicans are divided between what is called liberal republican, progressive in the northeast and conservative in the south and west.
wayng doesn't happen in the you would think of it. there are coalitions forming. closer sign politics is together in this period than today, in 1952 the democrats and republicans go to eisenhower and r presidentialthei candidate. with the exception of bloomberg -- actually that person is pretty good for us. and then eisenhower continues a lot of new deal programs around government spending in the economy and gets some slack from k fromvatives -- fla conservatives. he says should any political abolish-- attempt to social security or labor, you will not hear of them party in our history. the new norm is a mixed economy.
we have to continue some of these programs. this is a famous american political science article written in 1950 that says the american political system is falling apart because the parties are not polarized enough. voters need to have a clear indication who they are voting for, which i guess because of what you wish for is the answer. any questions about this? doing all right? >> [indiscernible] money -- i mean during the war with all of these extra people working, a lot of that government money is being spent on ships and tanks and so forth. as soon as it was over, they had a [indiscernible] easier for government to intervene when they had all that money?
sam: the key question we have talked about his the fact the government should intervene. we have not setting what form. -- said in what form. there are lots of ways government can spend money to stimulate the economy. in the war, it was in wartime. one of the reasons keynesian economics is good during a war is you can't produce too much. planeskeep getting broken and you have to reproduce them. what that will look like in these times is more difficult. we will turn to that now, where is the money going? -- can turn to solicitor esinger'sher -- schl piece. there is a consensus forming in
american politics. because of the vital center. that is where we need to be not -- to be, not too left and not too right. he makes a hopeful argument i think. politics on a of left-right spectrum. he tells us where this comes from. where does the idea of calling aggressive left and conservative -- the french parliament during the revolution which is where the people were sitting here that gives us a left-right spectrum. this doesn't work anymore. how come? >> they argue it is more of a circle. you can't really define communism from fascism on a traditional left-right scale.
and it kind of works more to the center, non-communist left and non-fascist right. sam: if you keep going too far to the left, you and up taking away property -- you end up taking away property rights and individual liberties. to the right, you do the same thing. it forms a circle and you end up at the bottom. argument you should be familiar with. people have compared hitler and stalin, basically the same typology even though they understand themselves to be on the opposite ends of the spectrum. where do you need to be? stay in the center. if you move too far to the left or right, you create problems. when you read this, how many of you had heard of schlesinger
before? so those of you who have not, did you think he was conservative or liberal? or were you not sure? >> i am guessing liberal. sam: how come? >> because of the time period, if you were conservative, you would not be afraid to claim left and communist. given he is advocating for what is -- i don't think he was too far to either side but i also think liberal. sam: making a strong case for the center is the place to be. he fancies himself as a person of the liberal left, the non-communist left. he is looking at your, the non-communist social left. it is his idea about where we should be.
he was very involved in democratic politics his entire life, set up the americans for democratic action, one of the first super pac's. harvard historian. but he is making a case for the center is actually the right place for the liberal democrats to be. and where that is, if you go too far further to the left, you run the risk of communism and a slippery slope down the road to stepping on property rights. to the right you also have a problem. it is an interestingly conservative argument. its assumption is, it is one
say if you are here, you can go to the left or the right with experimentation. it is another thing to say actually the circle starts going like that the minute you move from the center. it is unclear how much wiggle room schlesinger thinks you have. it reminds you of the geopolitics we have been reading. he is vague about where it is. so that summative sense itself, but -- the conservative sense itself, we are at the top of the circle. any step you take is slippery. you can have more room to maneuver. the argument i want to make in the next part of the class is actually that the key form of the mixed economy, what is
centrist liberalism in the 1940's, is pretty conservative for you've got a consensus that the government should spend some money, should be involved in regulating the economy. schlesinger thinks this means we are in the realist left framework. this should remind you of sidney hook from last class. i don't know if you noticed, daniel bell's article was dedicated to sidney hook. these people are all talking to each other in the 1940's, 1950's. isant to argue that center defined by the cold war in two important ways. what is seen as the leftmost edge of liberalism that you can really go to without risking definedm, that edge is
by a couple of pieces of the cold war we have been talking about. the first is what we spent the last four classes talk about, which is what? scare.red prof. lebovic: we have just spent classes talking about the theany left associations in 1940's and 1950's runs the risk of having you accused of communism, with huge personal costs to your role in politics. this will shape the kind of possibilities for what policies lable and able to be put into place in the 1940's. truman's domestic program is referred to as the fair deal. just desperately trying to inherit fdr's handle. some of the things he proposes in his fair deal are full employment. the government will spend money
if people are unemployed to create work so everyone can have a job. what happens to that proposal? his legislation passes through the senate in 1946 and then it goes to the house. the house is more conservative. a substitute bill is posed written by the chamber of commerce that says no full employment. we should encourage maximum employment and no government spending, but we should do fact-finding to find out the best way to create maximum employment. what is the argument proposed by the house bill to get rid of the senate version? they argue it is "not greatly distanced from neo-marxian thinking, and is tainted by the tame school of thought dominant in the government." intervention is to close to communism.
the second example of a give you from the dennis the program is familiar to you today is truman proposes there should be government health care, single-payer. there's a massive lobbying campaign by the american medical association and private insurance firms, they spend $2.5 million on propaganda. the group in favor of single-payer spent about $60,000. woodley does not have the kind of money to advertise that. part of the advertising campaign against single-payer is built around the idea this is worryingly communist in implication. one of the pamphlets quotes lenin as saying socialized medicine is the keystone to the art of the socialized estate. lenin never said anything like that. but that is one of the ways government health care is proposed as being too radically communist for the u.s.
that's created a very unusual situation in the u.s. for an advanced industrial democracy in the second half of the 20th century, which is all health care had been private until the 1960's which has been very limited. and today, that is an ongoing problem. medical aid insurance is tied to employment in the u.s., in a way it is not tied necessarily in that way in other countries. sam? >> [indiscernible] of politics issue. prof. lebovic: yes. it lines with contemporary concerns. the debate in the 1940's is the same debate being had today, which is will the american people support single-payer health care or is too radical
and will get you tainted as a communist? iin the 1940's, that's what happened. the limits of what is proposalable are defined in part by these accusations of communism. on the other hand, the type of spending that is very justifiable is military and national defense spending. eisenhower is attacked in the 1950's by conservative republicans who are like why aren't we cutting taxes? eisenhower gives a national television address where he justifies what it is important to have a high tax rate, which is not like republican politics in our generation. part of his case, he says, is $.70 on the dollar you are being taxed is being spent for national security. we are not just doing this to make people's lives better, we are doing it to protect the nation and the public good. is massiveod
expansions of federal government spending if it can be justified as tied to national security in some front, not if it is tied to other social benefits. fulbright, the senator, looks into this in the late 1960's and he calculates between 1945 and 1967, the federal government spent something like $904 billion dollars on military related expenses and $94 billion dollars on all other functions. this money is tied directly to military expenditure. this actually takes on surprising form. what it means politically is if you want to get something funded by the federal government, your case is help to massively if you can tie it to defense spending. an accusation, that's because people wouldn't be as inquisitive about where the money went if they felt it's national security. they will not dig as much into
where the money is spent versus unemployment insurance -- prof. lebovic: there is a secrecy element to things like the defense budget, but there's a public side of this, too. that peoplelogic, will stand up in public and say we are willing to spend taxpayer dollars on national defense issues. we are not willing to spend taxpayer dollars on social benefits, because the market should determine those things. the market cannot provide public goods of the sort and national defense requirements. one of the big public spending projects in the 1950's is the highway act. expending the highway system. this is the era of the car, obviously. this is how it is defined in the pamphlet. the national system of interstate and defense highway. part of the logic for highway spending is it provides the mobility of logistics.
you can keep some of the nukes on the road so you can move them around from facility to facility. this is important to the national defense to have a strong infrastructure of transportation. the same thing happens with university and educational spending. not a lot of federal spending on high schools for a variety of reasons, one of which is tied to segregation which is what we will talk about in a couple of classes. it is not the type of thing people want to justify america spending money on. until the soviets looked like they are winning the space race. sputnik goes up. the american equivalent does not go very far. then, you get the national defense education act which starts putting a lot of money into science and education in the u.s. there's a debate that that is science grant funding. the creation of the national havece foundation to advances that will benefit the nation. that never really has very much
money. about2, its budget is $3.5 million a year. meanwhile, the office of naval research alone is spending $120 million a year, providing research money to universities to do weapons-related development. in all of these ways, the type of money you can spend is justified if it is tied to military or national defense purposes. factors gose two together to limit the range of possibilities in america in the 1940's and 1950's. on the one hand, if you propose anything that is too radical looking, you could be accused of being a communist. on the other hand, no one would question spending if you said you were doing it for national security. i want to give one example to suggest how these two things work in practice. this is leon, who i don't think any of you probably ever heard of. maybe with one exception. in new dealvolved
politics in the 1930's. he comes out of socialist politics new york in the 1930's. he drafts the wagoner act in 1935. he is very committed to increasing working-class wages to make for greater aggregate demand in the economy. very involved in consumer rights politics in the 1930's. again, focused on making sure people have enough money to spend so the economy can work. in the late 1930's and early 1940's, they spent four to five years being investigated for communism in hearings. what happens? they keep their jobs. she develops a series of stomach ulcers as a result of the stress. they keep their jobs, but they adjust their argument. they continue to believe the federal government has a big role in spending to make the economy work. but they stop making the case in
terms of consumer demand and working-class rights. he will become one of the key advisors on the council for economic advisers, in which he will continue to argue into the 1960's for big government spending. he will make the argument in terms of national security spending. he actually will be the economic fewultant to what we read a weeks ago. argues to win the cold war, we need a massive defense establishment. he keep the same commitments , which rooms away the connection -- but trims away its connection to communism every targeted towards national security interests. this makes sense? an argument which we talked about earlier, the end of ideology comes in part because the idea has run out of steam. the big ideas have gone away. you can make a case in some ways they have not just gone away,
but the history of mccarthyism and the red scare and the cold war confrontation shapes what it looks like in the u.s. it is focus much more around national security than social expenditure. yeah? he pulls away from -- this moneyd all on defense, some of it will go to the workers. just figuring out a different way to do it. prof. lebovic: that would be an argument. at some level -- i have read more books. you are trying to get into the psychology of an individual. you read some books about this is a cynical sellout, the best of bad times. what version of that goes into question. the move, the broader patent is what matters.
the money goes through one route, not another. then, you justify that in various ways. how effective the trickle-down is goes into question. but, i'm sure there are multiple ways you can make your peace with that kind of move when what you are talking about is an ideological change that happens over 12 years. he gets older, his attitude to the world changes. he is like everybody else, reading news about what's happening in europe and getting concerned about communist aggression on his own. it is a complicated change. the shift is interesting. it's also the case that a lot of arguments about spending will say it does not matter where the money goes. it is important that you put it into the economy and it will then have consequences later. i am not an economist, but just acting simply logically, i think it matters where the money goes, too. if it is going to have downstream consequences no matter where it goes, what
metal matters less are the long-term consequences, but what are the short-term benefits? and putting it into defense spending. this was a problem in universities today. grant money goes to certain types of projects, not to others which produces certain kinds of social benefits. if you are just aching about the dollar, it is all going into the economy, but it goes into particular pockets that have an impact. make sense? >> the argument against military spending, that it's a dead-end. build doesat you nothing to grow the economy. it's great for defense, as opposed to building a house, building a car, or building machinery that can then be used to build more. that was the economists' argument against all this
military spending. ago, if all you are trying to do is put money into the economy, shoveling sand is as unproductive as military spending. leaving aside the defense protecting us, because you are not creating propped i productie goods. >> [indiscernible] they do attribute to companies that go on to produce. 1940's and 1950's. prof. lebovic: what we are talking about is a debate worth having about this trickle down affect and the slowing effects of where the money goes. working out with the aggregate benefit is for the society. one of the arguments, the space
race is a colossal waste of public money around prestige. yet, there are a lot of technological developments that have come out of that that have downstream benefits overall. the flipside of that is to say who reaps most of the benefits of those social improvements? in the first instance, it is the companies that can have the patents to deploy them in the commercial marketplace having been underwritten by public spending. some people talk about this as the socialization of risk, but not of profit. there's a complicated set of arguments that we could talk about more, probably the rest of the semester. there some thing about to move onto today. is there anything else -- any other questions about the big picture patents? seem moderately clear? eisenhower'son warning about the military-industrial complex. prof. lebovic: he ends by giving a warning about military-industrial complex, which he argues there is too
much spending going into military-industrial activity and it captures the public spending process. to me, what's most interesting to that is the first draft of the speech, it is called the military-industrial complex. he realizes what defense spending does is it compartmentalizes production so every district has one part of the plane that is being made. if this a congressperson thatted in voting up service to his constituents, and he realizes unless you break that, congress won't make real decisions in the public good, it will have too many incentives to do service to industry. i think he decides -- i am not sure why -- but he decides calling this a military industrial congressional speech would be too much i shot across the bow of his fellow congresspeople so he drops it. it is actually about the intersection between military-industrial power and congressional politics, and the
distorting effect that has on democracy. thinking about the senator from boeing, from washington state and so forth. people who are seen as advocates for particular interests. ok. so, the general argument we have been developing is bell says there is a move to the center. there is some evidence to that, that we talked about that feels kind of right. then, the question was where actually is the center? what is being called the center, is it more to the left, more to the right? i have argued that the cold war moves that center more along the conservative spectrum than we might have anticipated from the way someone like schlesinger understands. both ideological pressure and the way to justify defense spending. the one grand irony of american history -- not the only -- the
grand irony of today's class is the exact moment that we're talking about the emergence of a fairly conservative center that has purged the left from american politics under mccarthyism -- william buckley comes along and starts the national review. you read the kind of mission statement of "national review" for today's class. about i talk about in this? time was notin the really doing what it was supposed to do. understood -- prof. lebovic: from which perspective?
>> [indiscernible] prof. lebovic: he thinks there is too much of something, and not enough of something else. he wants the national review to fill the gap. alex? >> [indiscernible] prof. lebovic: small government, libertarian economics. report, whether it is one anend or the other. don't take the middle ground, because it is not taking anything. prof. lebovic: on page 196, he especially says the middle-of-the-road is repugnant. why are we all in the middle-of-the-road? we are all kind of belief too much and big government spending and he argues the media is part of the problem as well. there are no meaningful journals of libertarian conservative thought. there is no way for us to get our ideas out. it is interesting how much ef assizes in this piece small
legacies and education. the idea that through education, you spread your ideas and that gives you political power down the road. who was william buckley? >> he's described as the father the spiritual genesis that was the later reagan era. he had aovic: television show for a long time. we will watch a little bit of it later in the semester. he had people on to debate. he emerges in 1955 as the kind of godfather of an emerging conservative movement. he gives money to start this magazine, the national review, to be the central organ of conservative thinking. two books.
the first was about his time at yale, and attack on secular propaganda. conservatives have been upset about political correctness on campus for an awfully long time. this current round is the latest. that is the first book. his second book eco-rights with his friend from yale. bosel is the guy looking a bit stunned on the left. called "mccarthy and his enemies." it is a defense of joe mccarthy as a patriot that is being misunderstood by the american people. bosel, he looks kind of like a joker, he is an incredibly important figure himself. he would be speechwriter of barry goldwater and would be the conscious of the conservative is another figure establishing the ideological template for conservative republicans which will come back to the fore in the 1960's. what's happening in this piece
is basically the re-articulation of a libertarian philosophy. that theon 197 competitive price system is indispensable. it is a return to 19th-century ideas about the state needs to be out of the economy. in this regard, he's influenced anthis guy, frederick hayek, austrian economist who formed his ideas about the ideas of the pricing mechanism to be the center of economic activity. he was very upset by riots on the streets, people trying to imagine a more socialist politics. he then, in the 1930's, leaves vienna and goes to the london school of economics. the london school of economics really wants some victim economist to build their econ department because they are in the shadow of cambridge.
in terms of institutional politics, we need to do something different. we need to hire some kind of rival. they hire hayek who then publishes a book called the road to serfdom, which becomes a surprise bestseller in the united states. most university presses pass on that in first. they think it is popular, but then it gets private funding from the university press. a businessperson gives the university of chicago enough money to hire hayek for 10 years. he's being paid for on a private line. these institutional politics are interesting giving where we are. george mason, when it is rising as university in the 1970's and 1980's, realizes it cannot compete with a lot of the mainstream research universities that exist. it needs to find a market niche. it will begin hiring a variety of libertarian economists, including james buchanan. and building an economics
department around the ideas of hayek, including we have the hayek studies at george mason. this will position itself as an additional home for particular vision of the economy. what i want to just briefly do is give you an overview of how hayek's book work. cain's.you to compare to so, can you see, this is what cain's kind of looks like when you flip through. which is to say, it looks a little bit of what you would expect an economics textbook to look like. a lot of figures, a lot of numbers. fairly big, heavy. that's what people call the general theory. this is "the road to serfdom." right, you through,
will see there is almost no math. there is no math whatsoever. it is a work of political philosophy. i raise this as a point, not because there's anything wrong with political philosophy. but a lot of libertarian economists will argue that after the 1970's and 1980's, cain's economics does not work mathematically. the problem is the numbers are not right. it does not produce the best economy. if you do the math properly, you need a small government to have a really vibrant economic growth. that's not what hayek's argument is about. it is not about output or economic terms at all. it is about the political consequences of central government spending. the math in the 1930's and 1940's is in the bigger book, cain's. but, that's "the road to serfdom." even that is a little bit too much for 1940's americans.
it gets turned into a reader's digest version which is this much, which is how a lot of people actually read it. never fear, even your colleagues in the 1940's just wanted the overhead. they didn't want to read even a short book like this. they wanted the cartoon version, which was published in "look" magazine. i can show you what the argument of the book was in basically a dozen easy steps. this is how "the road to serfdom makes its case." first during the war, you want to do planning. everybody likes planning and they want to keep planning after the war. the planners say everything is going to be great once the plan is in place. it turns out they cannot agree with each other. they can't agree with each other and that makes people disagree with each other as well. for them, the planners have spoke up and everyone is arguing about how should we plan the economy? then, they have to sell people
on their plan with propaganda and a controlled press. then, the way you begin to get agreement is you get some big figure come along and make the case, this is all we should be doing. that speaker will convince everyone that they are the ones who should really run the economy. once you give that person power over the economy, that party will take over the country and they will need to justify themselves to identify someone to persecute. persecute. as they point out, in germany, the negative payment was anti-semitism. the experience of nazi germany front and center on their mind. nobody opposes the leader's plan. as a result, you get told what to do. you get told how much you are going to get paid. you get told what to think. you get told how to spend your recreation time. again, it is really interesting, but the worst possible thing you can imagine is a dictatorship. the second worst thing. the worst thing is you get shot.
the second worst thing is they break your golf clubs and you do calisthenics. that is the road to serfdom. 18 steps from you want to intervene in the economy, to shooting dissidents. hayek hates the cartoon. he's like a put a lot of caveats in this. this is just simple. it captures a key part of the argument. political,ere are philosophical reasons not to do government planning or government intervention because the risks of a growing government state are too great, not the economy, but the civil liberties and freedom. hayek understands himself to be a liberal. he will call himself a liberal his entire life. this is one of the origins of the confusion i am sure you had around the term liberal. is a liberal someone on the left? is a liberal a neoliberal who is on the right? in australia, the conservative
party is called the liberal party because they were the liberals in the late 19th century which is how hayek understands himself, a defender of an old liberal tradition that has gone out of fashion in the era of cain. earlier in the class, we defined an ideology. what was it? three steps. >> to simplify your philosophy, your ideas. establish a claim to the truth. and demand action. get people moving toward something. prof. lebovic: this is an ideology under those terms. it simplifies a complicated issue around how much intervention a government could have been an economy. it makes a claim to truth, which is look what happened in europe, right? then, it says as a result, you need to resist the encroachment of government authority into the economy and protect the market
as free. seed for this will be planted in the 1950's with people like buckley and hayek making the case for the ideas. it will be transmitted into the republican party in the 1960's with the election of goldwater, and eventually with the reagan revolution. so, one of the stories to come out of the kind of cold war consensus period is that americans refer to the 1940's and 1950's as a liberal consensus, as a long new deal. as the kind of centrists, liberal ideas of big government dominated. but actually, the cold war shapes very deeply where that consensus is. it is not that far to the left, particularly when you compare the country to the kind of welfare states and government interventions that occurred in other european states around the same time. partisancally, the
conflict that emerges out of the 1960's has set the template today as well, which is you have figures like buckley arguing that we need to reject that fairly conservative centrism in favor of true conservativism. they will be true audio logs of the right, which is not a critique that buckley would be offended by. that is how he understands himself. on the other hand, the liberals will be making a case much more similar to schlesinger, which is the place we need to be is in the center. if we go too far to the left, we are communists. i think that sets the template for both major political parties from the 1960's to the present. we will see how the democratic primaries go today. that is a debate the democrats are still having. do you go to the center or if you go to the left? the republicans have not been having that debate for a while. they've had an argument about a vision of the conservative
philosophy of government that stems from hayek and buckley. the american political spectrum is kind of skewed, even though we think of the center as some thing that was defined in the 1950's. make sense? any questions before we wrap up? >> you mentioned something about ayn rand being the high philosopher of the conservative libertarian movement? one of the things that is interesting about rand -- not that interesting -- but one of the things that is interesting is the relationship with her and buckley on the issue of religion. rand is a secularist, really dislikes religiosity. hisley talks about weds libertarianism. i think a lot of paul ryan and these figures really like rand.
i think that represents the kind of conservative emphasis in america in the late 20 century less well than the figure of buckley. that fusion of conservative, religious family values with free-market economics that defines the kind of political agenda of the republican party. whereas, rand is idiosyncratic and her vision of the world. she is not a coalition builder. one of the things about buckley is his identifying political coalition. which is what's left and you're also thinks he is doing. paragraph- there's a where he says thank god we got rid of the left of the democratic party. that is proof we are really good centrists now. ideologicalfferent veil on both sides of the party. last thing before we wrap up. there's an interesting passage iat the end of bell where he
talks about there are still these kinds of unfulfilled emotions, the kind of anxiety of modern life that people want to work out how to change the world and don't know how. i want you to bear that in mind as we shift in the second half of the course to thinking about domestic politics. what we will not do is move within the kind of politics of the liberal consensus and look at issues of housing, welfare spending, education, segregation, sexual politics. and the debates there are about how those problems can be resolved and how the world of the 1950's makes people seek meaning and transformation that alienates them in certain ways. writing in 1960 there is this ongoing problem of alienation, the lack of fulfillment. the parameters there, when we move from the realm of smaller politics, political parties,
political philosophy into the world of personal politics and personal experience will also be reflected in our discussions in the second half. sound good? all right, i look forward to those conversations in a couple of weeks. have a good spring break. >> you can watch lectures in history every weekend on american history tv. we take you inside college classrooms to learn about topics ranging from the american revolution to 9/11. that is saturday at 8 p.m. and midnight eastern on c-span3. sunday at 3 p.m. eastern, a study session for the advanced placement u.s. history exam. jason stacy and matthew ellington, co-authors of fabric of a nation: a brief history with skills and sources for the ap course, explain how this
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that's c-span.org/history. next on history bookshelf, pulitzer prize winning author ron chernow recalls the life and leadership of union general and 18th president ulysses s. grant at the 18th annual national book festival in washington, d.c. mr. chernow is author of the biography "grant", which was voted one of the 10 best books of 2017. we recorded the program in september, 2018. >> welcome, everybody. i'm head of government relations and public policy at wells fargo and i am very pleased to be with you today. we are pleased to serve for the eighth year as a charter sponsor of the boost