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Is Capitalism Doomed?

This was a question posed by the great Nationalist thinker Lawrence Dennis back in the 1930s. His was the most sophisticated critique of the New Deal (or Nude Eel as Ezra Pound called it) from the Right. Principled conservatives like Robert Taft admitted they didn’t understand the Depression. Taft offered only nostalgia like today’s libertarians.

Dennis began his critique with a closely argued attack on the policy of allowing investment bankers to determine the use and allocation of capital. (This was not effectively challenged by the New Deal). He felt this process was inevitably destructive of the public welfare.

With the New Deal floundering and Republicans offering no real alternative–sort of like Obama now–revolution seemed to be in the air. Dennis declared himself in favor of a middle-class revolution as opposed to the so-called proletarian revolution of the communists.

Lawrence Dennis expressed these technical objections to communism. He felt a communist revolution would involve a high degree of violence & disorder. And would mean the liquidation of many competent managers & experts. You needed to utilize the skills of present bosses to economize the human resources of society.

In his book, THE COMING AMERICAN FASCISM, Dennis pointed to Americans as the most organized, standardized, regimented and docile people in the world. (See Francis Parker Yockey’s similar critique in IMPERIUM). He said we had  perfected techniques in advertising (propaganda) and press & radio control which would make us the easiest country to indoctrinate with any set of ideas and to control for any physically possible ends. No country had been better prepared for political & social standardization.

Nor would any passion for freedom lead Americans to resist standardization. Dennis felt 90% had no grasp ‘whatever’ of the supposed ideological content of their system. Their response to words like ‘liberty’ and ‘representative government’ only conditioned reflexes like Pavlov’s dog. All they wanted was the symbol not the reality.

This meant, Dennis felt, that a dictatorship could be set up by a demagogue in the name of all the catchwords of the present system.

Lawrence Dennis bluntly favored abolishing states’ rights and the tripartite division of power. He wished a highly centralized government which would exercise the powers of a truly nation-state–Yockey termed it organic state.

Since a multiparty system would be utterly incompatible with the successful pursuit of any possible scheme of national interest, there would have to be a single national party. This party would probably have a militarized type of organization.

Banks and basic monopolies were to be nationalized. The rest of business would be placed under strict public regulation. But above all, Dennis insisted, a regime of discipline would be essential.

While Lawrence Dennis never expressed publicly any racist ideas, he warned that if minorities would persist in opposing the National Revolution, they would render fanaticism inevitable. He pointed out that the easiest way to unite & animate large numbers in political association for action would be to exploint dynamic forces of hatred & fear.

So, who would bring about this revolution? Most observers pointed to that quarter of the population actually or potentially more influential than the rest; businessmen, professional people et al. Really?

Dennis disputed this. Rather, he looked to the frustrated elite of the lower middle classes, sinking members of the middle class in danger of what the Marxists call being declassed. Here was where the revolutionary impulse was to come from.  And we’re back to this point today!

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About mauryk2

Vietnam veteran. Succeeded Jeff Sharlett as editor of VIETNAM GI, 1st anti-war paper put out by Nam vets. Edited RAP!, underground paper at Ft Benning. Until retirement from Postal Service, put out the POSTAL HARDHITTER, another underground newsletter. Presently, I'm a free lance writer.

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