Classics of Conservatism - part XIII - Garet Garrett - Salvos Against the New Deal
Click here for previous editions of Classics of Conservatism.
This month's Classic book recommendation has been featured on the sidebar since the early days of this blog. "Salvos Against the New Deal" is one of several books featuring compilations of the writings of Garet Garrett. [I first recomended one of Garrett's books in December of 2004.]
[Click here for my Garet Garrett blog.]
"Salvos Against the New Deal" features a compilation of Garrett's articles from the Saturday Evening Post from 1932 through 1940. This compilation was edited in 2002 by Bruce Ramsey, today's leading expert on Garet Garrett. As I wrote at the Garet Garrett blog:
Garrett was an early to mid 20th century conservative writer whose books and articles challenged the New Deal policies of Franklin Roosevelt. He also did much more than that. As a novelist, essayist and editor for the Saturday Evening Post, Garrett provided a remarkable advocacy of capitalism and freedom.
"Salvos" is important for many reasons, not the least of which is that the rediscovery of Garrett's works signals possibly the end of a long retreat, during which conservatives have refused to challenge the basic assumptions underlying the New Deal. Conservatives have tried to challenge leftist policies on the basis that they were not "practical" or that today's policies go beyond the original intentions of the New Deal creators (e.g. the Social Security debate).
But Garrett challenges the original New Deal policies themselves. He gives conservatives reasons to be proud of their conservatism, especially when it comes to domestic policy.
"Salvos" provides a clear picture of how our government came to be ruled by bureaucrats and how Congress surrendered its constitutional authority to these unelected rulers.
Almost as importantly, Garrett provides descriptions of some of the labor battles of the 1930's. We can see the roots of how unionization eventually brought down the American automobile industry and the steel industry. The fruits of these battles loom large over our lives today.
Garrett prophetically discusses the New Deal's exercise of pharoah-like powers in building the pyramids of our time.
Most importantly, Garrett describes what the government did to our money. No domestic policy can be rationally discussed without understanding what money is and how government manipulates and destroys its value. [And the best part is, the discussion is written in layman's terms and is quite gripping.]
Once I discovered Garrett's writings, I discovered that any attempt to discuss modern economics, government, spending, taxing, regulating, business, etc. is useless without the background that Garrett gives us.