Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Atlantic Charter's influence on post-war welfare state

Wes Riddle’s Horse Sense #098/512 "Aspects of the Republican “Dialectic”

This article is reprinted from "Digital Commons@ Liberty University"
(click here to read the entire piece)

There are a number of aspects unique to the American republican dialectic--the association or interaction of ideas, forces and arguments that conflict and compete in American politics. These run through American history and through every political party system. The aspects are ideological, which means they can be (and are) part philosophical, part practical, and part cultural...

...Since 1932, however, one might add to the list beneficence of the welfare state. While properly regarded as being outside the American republican dialectic as conceived, it now plays an important part. Indeed, a host of special interests now align with both parties, two sides against the middle-class, in order to redistribute wealth to favored causes and constituents. This aspect is not related to functions of government in the Constitution; rather, it stems from Franklin Roosevelt’s Atlantic Charter, an extra-constitutional agreement with Churchill made in 1941 that declared the right to “freedom from want.” ...To the extent that it might have implied Constitutional sanction, it would have to be through temporary depression-era and wartime emergency powers. But like the deficit spending that fuels it, the welfare state never wants for emergencies. It moves from one “war” to the next. If a Great Depression or world war is not present to justify extreme measures, a war on poverty or drugs does almost as nicely.

The Atlantic Charter shaped American foreign policy throughout the post war world until the fall of the Soviet Union, and continues to influence domestic policy in the UK, western Europe and the U.S. Here is a recording of Sir Winston Churchill reading the major provisions of the agreement signed on board H.M.S. Prince of Wales at Placentia Bay Naval Station, Newfoundland, in 1941.

Wesley Allen Riddle is a retired military officer with degrees and honors from West Point and Oxford. Widely published in the academic and opinion press, he serves as State Director of the Republican Freedom Coalition (RFC). This article is from his forthcoming book, Horse Sense for the New Millennium scheduled for release in September (iUniverse, Inc., 2011). Email: Wes@wesriddle.com

No comments:

Post a Comment