Friday, November 23, 2012

Hoover Warning of Collectivism 1929...

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
-vs- Tyranny

Herbert Hoover - 31st President of the United States

Herbert Hoover, perhaps one of America's least understood yet most maligned presidents of the early 20th century. While thinking about, or perhaps better said reflecting on our history I came across the following short article on President Hoover.

Arguments about whether or not Hoover was responsible for the Great Depression aside (he actually wasn't and much of The New Deal of FDR was merely an extension of policies Hoover had started) Hoover was correct when he warned of a collectivist government of business.

THE MORAL LIBERAL - Herbert Hoover was born AUGUST 10, 1874. The son of a Quaker blacksmith, he studied at Stanford and became a world renowned engineer.

Trapped in China when the Boxer Rebellion broke out in 1900, Herbert Hoover directed the building of barricades under heavy fire while his wife worked in the hospital. In World War I, at the request of the AmericanConsul, Hoover helped 120,000Americans stranded in Europe return home

He directed the feeding of Belgium after Kaiser Wilhelm II overran it and orchestrated feeding the Allied nations while avoiding rationing at home. After the war, Herbert Hoover arranged the feeding of millions starving in Central Europe and Russia.

He served as Secretary of Commerce for Presidents Harding and Coolidge. When the Mississippi River flooded in 1927,leaving 1.5 million people displaced from their homes, Herbert Hoover mobilized state and local authorities, militia, army engineers, the Coast Guard, and the American Red Cross, and set up health units which stamped out malaria, pellagra and typhoid, gaining him nation appreciation.

In 1929, Herbert Hoover became the 31st U.S. President. In his Inaugural, March 4, 1929, President Herbert Hoover entreated:

“Ill-considered remedies for our faults brings only penalties after them. But if we hold the faith of the men in our mighty past who created these ideals, we shall leave them heightened and strengthened for our children


Less than eight months later, the Stock Market crashed due to domestic and international conditions. Though implementing a volunteerism plan of aid through the States, political opposition tended to prolong recovery, thereby sabotaging his reelection.

Hoover warned in a speech at Madison Square Garden, NY, October 31, 1932, against his opponent’s collectivist “New Deal” plans of the government taking control of businesses:

“To enter upon a series of deep changes . . . would be to undermine and destroy our American system . . . No man who has not occupied my position in Washington can fully realize the constant battle which must be carried on against incompetence, corruption, tyranny of government expanded into business activities . . . Free speech does not live many hours after free industry and free commerce die.” Read More

President Hoover, like most of our national leaders was a deeply devout Christian whose values and principles were formed my his sincere belief in the Almighty. For those who are devout I encourage you to read the balance of the article. You will find many things that will ring true for you.

For those not unlike myself who abide deeply by our founding principles and the documents our Republic was founded on it is enough for us to know they are ethical and moral based on criteria other than religious faith. Ayn Rand's philosophy of Objectivism and her belief in laissez faire capitalism, individual rights, limited role of federal government, and her faith in the United States Constitution is one shining example of which I speak.

Perhaps President Hoover was prophetic. Fast forward to now as we hear our now President in his own words on August 8, 1995, 13 years before becoming our President.

Without the need to run for reelection the progressive tendencies are undoubtedly going to become stronger and want to push to the fore in the Presidents thinking. In as much as the nation is tired of gridlock and contentious government, maybe it is a good thing we still have "divided government" in the structural sense of it's current make up.

Much needs to be addressed as our nation deals with debt, deficits, the looming fiscal crises, and the myriad of other issues both domestic and internationally the leader(s) of the free world has to address. Lets hope the President and Congress does so with a clear eye to the Constitution, the benefits of capitalism, and with the understanding that individual and property rights are two of the hallmarks of of our Republic.


  1. You have a God. Ayn Rand.
    You have the same mental blinders on as believers of a God.
    What was the cause of the "great Depression" and since Hoover was president why does he escape fault for that depression, in your opinion?

    1. Okay, so you want to play this foolish infantile game again do you? Okay, fair (that BS subjective word again) enough then. In your opinion, which is rather flawed, Rand is my God. Point.

      Counterpoint. In my Opinion, which is rather reasoned, your God is Karl Marx.

      The floor is yours. When and if you overcome your infantile references and attacks I might answer the reasonable part of your question at a later time.

  2. Interesting that you refuse to answer my question, which was an open "softball" for you. You obviously have no clue what led to the "Great Depression" or what part Hoover played. Figured.
    Anyone who professes their "hero" has all the answers thinks under the same "God" delusion. Be offended and dodge the question, just as deluded followers of an invisible God in the sky always respond. The response is always in anger (as your response here) when a delusion is questioned.

  3. To answer your remark (not sure why I should since you refused to answer my simple question) I worship at no person. I don't make silly mistakes like that. When have you ever heard me talk of Marx? I certainly am not so childish as to think one person has all the answers, as you daily write about your hero Rand. Try again without the irrational anger.

  4. No response, figures.

    1. I do not run by the dictates of your time, nor your apparent impatience. I simply had something to do.

      I crafted a rather lengthy response to your three replies, however when I hit the publish button it seems I had lost internet connectivity.

      So, as it is 4:20 PM, and I am on the way to meet my wife for dinner you will simply have to wait until I have more time.

      I'll give you a quick reply to your remark however, I worship no one, either mystical or real, except perhaps my wife whom I adore. Further, I find much of Rand worth understanding and writing about, from time to time. As to irrationality, well, you are certainly entitled to your view, as am I.

      Gotta Run...

  5. That's a great Hoover speech, Les. Unfortunately, it rings a little hollow. I mean, yes, the dude eventually came to his sense after leaving office but, while he was in office, he was every bit as much of a progressive (there's actually a great biography on Hoover entitled, "Hoover, The Forgotten Progressive) and Keynesian as many of his successors were. I cite the profligate spending (one public works project after another), the wage and price controls (yes, they were voluntary but a lot of businesses complied), the protectionism, and, of course, the 152% tax increase. No, the man didn't cause the Depression but I submit to you that he might have made it worse.

    1. Will, Hoover was a progressive republican in his era. That being said he looks like a fiscal conservative when compared to the modern republican. And in 1933,01931'0and 1932 it provided fertile ground for the democrats and FDR.

      The point I was trying to make really was that Hoover did not deserve the blame for bringing on the Great Depression. The forces that created the conditions were already in place and the outcome was inevitable, it is likely nothing would have prevented the crash.

      Market forces left alone will sooner rather than later make an appropriate adjustment and the market self corrects and returns to a bull market scenario. At least that is the classic explanation and example I believe free market economists make, although admitedly in a quick summary form.

      Yes it is entirely possible the historically factual examples you cite may have deepened the depression. If that is so, and I believe it may be, then FDR, continuing the Hoover policies and expanding on them further deepened and prolonged the depression.

      Even given all that it is my contention that Hoover did not cause the reat Depression and therefore cannot be blamed for it having occurred. The seeds of depression were planted and ready to sprout even before he took office. A modern parallel (although not exactly the same) is the "worse recession since the great depression" which begin under the GWB administration and the measures put in place by GWB, and continued and expanded under the BHO administration. One can argue, and certainly it has been so done, that Obama's policies have prolonged recovery.

      And now to the impatient/patient Anonymous --- I hope the preceding has answered part of your question. As to the cause, not having identified the proper balance between free market principles and the need for regulation that ensures ethical business practices. Of course the need for a rational tax code and plays into the picture as we;ll. But we'll leave that for another day. Okay?

      Oh, and by the way Anonymous, feel free to visit again, or not. Whichever you choose. At any rate I hope I answered your inquiry to your satisfaction.

    2. Link to interesting info on Hoover...

    3. The way that I see it, Les, Bush is to Obama what Hoover was to FDR; 4 more or less big government Presidents who woefully mismanaged the economy (though, yes, I do agree with you that Hoover was an honest person - clearly the most honest of them).

  6. "The forces that created the conditions were already in place"
    Like what Obama found his situation after Bush left him his mess

    1. I belive I addressed that in my remarks. But yes Obama was handed a mess in part created by Bush. As well as the Fannie May and Freddie Mac mess situation that Barney Frank and the democrats were largely responsible for.

      And like FDR Obama has taken actions future economists may argue might have prolonged the deep recession. Time will tell. Things are often clearer given time and space.

    2. He was handed a mess, but instead of choosing to fix it, he chose to make it worse in most aspects, such as the debt and unemployment.


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