Thursday, March 1, 2012

Tyranny in the Brain Trust

I recently had a conversation with my local 912 project leader, in which I was introducing some names and concepts. One name that came up was Charles Merriam, who wrote in one of his books that "The individualistic ideas of the "natural right" school of political theory are discredited and repudiated". In my earlier blog posting about this, I forgot to mention why it was important to know who Merriam was, his role in government, so I'm tying up that loose end. Merriam was a member of FDR's "Brains Trust", with some people even referring to the group that Merriam was involved with as "The University of Chicago Brain Trust".

Merriam was also a major player in the 1937 "Brownlow Committee", also known as the "Committee on Administrative Management". A title like that makes me shudder, because I've read Philip Dru. I know exactly what progressives mean when they start talking about administration. One other thing, is that Merriam was influenced by Frank Johnson Goodnow. For anybody interested in truely defending themselves against progressivism, these are all names and ideas you need to know. Johnson was hailed by Woodrow Wilson as the only other person beside himself(Wilson) who truely understood administration as a separate discipline. It's no wonder that Merriam wrote what he did regarding the founding. In both of Merriam's books that are pre-1923, he references Goodnow's book Politics and Administration. See the above link for why that's important.

Another member of the Brain Trust who should be mentioned in this context is Stuart Chase, a Fabian Socialist. I have yet to post about Chase's writings, but it's on my very long to do list.

With many of the Brain Trust members' writings behind a wall of copyright, many of them I cannot search through and read, but I suspect that with people like this being among the people guiding our nation at that time, is likely a big reason why Raymond Moley broke from the New Deal and went on to write the things that he did.

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