The Other Half of History Columns

American Capitalism: The Engine of Progress

“The world doesn’t suffer from an unequal distribution of wealth. It suffers from an unequal distribution of capitalism.” Rush Limbaugh

In 1776 Scottish economist Adam Smith published The Wealth of Nations, a ground-breaking book about the benefits of free markets. By coincidence, the United States was born on July 4 of that same year. The Founders of this nation were not economists, and they didn’t set out to build a nation on free market principles, but in their obsession with protecting the freedoms and political rights of individuals they built a free market society almost by accident.

Over the next couple hundred years the free enterprise system Smith advocated would vastly improve the quality of life for people all over the world, and American entrepreneurs would be responsible for most of the improvements.

Mainstream history books don’t say this, but life today would be almost as harsh as it was in 1776 if the United States, that one single nation, had not come into existence.

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Treacherous Ally: The Soviets in WWII

“If Hitler invaded hell I would make at least a favorable reference to the devil in the House of Commons.” Winston Churchill

During World War II the United States and England joined forces with the Soviet Union to fight National Socialist Germany. While the US and Britain were fighting the Germans, and subsidizing the Soviet government with billions of dollars worth of weapons and other supplies, Soviet leader Joseph Stalin was actively working against the interests of his allies.

All through the war years Stalin’s Communist government operated a network spies and subversives within the governments of England and the US. His agents stole the secrets of the atom bomb, undermined the pro-American forces of Chiang Kai-shek in China and Draja Mihailovich in Yugoslavia, interfered with communications between US President Franklin Roosevelt and English Prime Minister Winston Churchill, and generally tried to weaken Britain and the US in every way possible. But don’t expect to hear that in a typical US History class. Because most of America’s modern-day history professors and textbook writers lean very far to the left politically, they are reluctant to discuss the sins of the Soviet Union.

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Mao in History: Sympathy for the Devil

“After our armed enemies have been crushed, there will still be our unarmed enemies…” Mao Zedong

During the 1930’s and 40’s China was torn by a civil war between the forces of Communist leader Mao Zedong and Nationalist leader Chiang Kai-shek. After Japan attacked both China and the United States at the start of World War II, the US gave some financial and military support to the anti-Communist Chiang; but Soviet agents in the US government undermined Chiang’s interests in various ways. Four years after the defeat of Japan, Mao’s Communists took control of all of mainland China. Chiang and his supporters fled to Taiwan.

Mao’s victory in China was the worst imaginable disaster for the Chinese people. Over the next thirty years Mao’s Communist government killed between forty-five million and seventy-five million innocent Chinese civilians in implementing his “Great Leap Forward” and “Cultural Revolution” movements.1 Chiang, meanwhile, established an authoritarian government in Taiwan that gradually evolved, with US support, into a democracy. The people living under Chiang’s rule prospered financially, and enjoyed relatively high standards of living, even before the political reforms that made Taiwan a true democracy in the 1980’s.

The American Communists who undermined Chiang’s American support have the blood of millions of Chinese civilians on their hands, but don’t expect to hear that in a typical college history class. Most of America’s history professors and textbook writers, being the arch-leftists they are, downplay or completely ignore Mao’s crimes, while emphasizing and exaggerating Chiang’s shortcomings.

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Whitewashing Communism

A bourgeois, property-owning democracy tends to breed its own antibodies. These antibodies immunize it, in large degree, against the lunacies of its intellectuals and artists.” Irving Kristol

During the twentieth century Communist governments murdered roughly a hundred million of their own citizens, tortured and tormented millions more, and robbed hundreds of millions more of individuality, human dignity, and hope. Joseph Stalin alone ordered the deaths of some twenty to thirty million Soviet citizens, including six or seven million in the Ukraine in a single year. When not committing atrocities against their own people, Communists committed even worse atrocities against the people they captured or conquered during their wars of aggression. (In WWII Berlin, for example, soldiers of the advancing Soviet Army raped some ten thousand German women literally to death, according to hospital records.)

Within the United States a virtual army of Communist spies and sympathizers labored to promote the interests of mass murderers like Stalin and Mao. Soviet spies provided Stalin’s government with the secrets of the atom bomb. Soviet agents in the State department shaped American policy in ways that facilitated Communist conquest in places like Hungary and China. During WWII, Communists in the federal government’s Office of War Information even pressured Hollywood to make movies portraying the Soviet Union in a positive light.

But don’t expect to hear these things in a college history class. Most history professors are so committed to their left wing political beliefs that they downplay or ignore most of Communism’s crimes, and demonize anti-Communists in our own country.

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Judicial Activism in Context

“The very definition of a republic is ‘an empire of laws, and not of men.’” John Adams

Over the last few decades Americans have gotten used to the idea that Supreme Court Justices can and should create new “Constitutional” principles, as grounds for overturning laws that they, the justices, do not like. In an off-the-record conversation with Supreme Court clerks, Justice Thurgood Marshall once described this judicial philosophy quite candidly: “You do what you think is right, and let the law catch up.” (Justice Marshall had the good sense to abstain from statements like that in public.) A close look at American history will show that the kind of judicial activism Justice Marshall was talking about was not seen as either normal or proper when our nation was founded. But, ironically, the very scholars we trust to teach American history to the next generation of voters have been hiding the historical context of the issue.

Having judges create new government policies based on what they “think is right” violates in both letter and spirit the Separation of Powers principle that the Founding Fathers labored so hard to build into the US Constitution, and it was extremely rare until the late twentieth century; but don’t expect to hear that in a typical college history class.

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