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Omnia pro aegroto

The Road to Serfdom

Through Tax-Exempt Foundations

by Hon. B. Carroll Reece of Tennessee
Member, House of Representatives

Remarks excerpted from the Congressional Record, April 10, 1956, pp. 6021- 6024, which were from a speech given at the meeting of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, Columbus, Ohio, April 6, 1956.

Reprinted July, 1998

Association of American Physicians and Surgeons
1601 North Tucson Blvd. Suite 9
Tucson, AZ 85716

In this era in which we live, the old-fashioned virtues grow increasingly unpopular....

Instead of being taught independence, energy, and enterprise, our youth today is taught to look for security.

The man who believes in individualism, freedom, and self-reliance is ridiculed as antediluvian.

We approach closer and closer to socialism.

Most of those who urge us in this direction suffer the illusion that we can stop at a sort of extended New Deal.

But their British counterparts know better.

They see, and rely upon, the paternal state as a necessary transition-a stage between free enterprise and socialism.

Being evolutionary Socialists, they wish to reach their goal through the democratic process, and this requires the paternal state as a preparation for the goal.

They are confident, once this intermediate goal has been reached, that full socialism will follow inevitably.

But these British collectivists suffer under their own illusion....They refer to their ideal society as one based on production for use and not for profit. This slogan, also dear to the hearts of so many of our own radical educators, is pure nonsense.

One who works for his own profit is likely to work hard. One who works for the use of others, without profit to himself, is likely not to work any harder than he must.

And so this state which the British Socialists and our liberals envision, in which production will be higher and cheaper, can come into being only under the compulsion of communism or some other form of Socialist dictatorship-if it can come, at all, under any Socialist state....

The American dream that is now occupying the attention of the foundation- financed intellectual cartel promotes the idea of government by an elite....

[M]embers of this self-appointed professional intellectual aristocracy dream of an America governed by social scientists, guided by their benign infallibility under a system which frees the people from the responsibilities of freedom.

[As]...Pendleton Herring, of the Social Science Research Council, ... wrote in 1947...:"One of the greatest needs in the social sciences is for the development of skilled practitioners who can use social data for the cure of social ills as doctors use scientific data to cure bodily ills"....

[Or as Horace M. Kallen, one of the members of the President's Commission on Higher Education, wrote in 1940 in a magazine article entitled "Can We Be Saved by Indoctrination?"]: "I find within the babble of plans and plots against the evils of our time one only which does not merely repeat the past; this is the proposal that the country's pedagogues shall undertake to establish themselves as the country's saviors....

"Having taken power, the teachers must use it to attain the `central purpose' of achieving the American dream. They must operate education as the instrument of social regeneration. This consists of inculcating right doctrine."

Change the word "American" to "Fabian" and you are pretty close to the truth....

There is no doubt that academicians had much to do with the suborning of public opinion through Marxism. In the long run, much public opinion is made in the universities; ideas generated there filter down through the teaching profession and the students into the general public.

As the egalitarianism of Marxism is attractive to many, socialism could have attracted many followers in America, anyway. But there is no doubt that it could not possibly have affected us so widely and so deeply as it has, had it not been heavily financed.

This financing was supplied by several of the great fortunes built up by American industrialists under our capitalistic system....

They would truly writhe in their graves if they could know that the foundations which they created have become the principal treasury of the radical movement in their country.

It is difficult for the public to comprehend that this could be possible. The boards of these foundations have always contained many men who could not possibly have lent themselves consciously to an undermining of the free enterprise system. Indeed they did not. They just knew not what they did....

It began to happen, when these trustees, against sage advice, no longer confined themselves to the direct support of educational institutions, or religion, medicine, public health and science....

But when these foundations launched themselves into what are called the social sciences they made themselves vulnerable to a form of seduction and subversion against which they could not defend themselves.

When they entered the areas of man's relation to man-as the social sciences are so attractively described, they opened the door to political propaganda....

Insofar as projects in the politically sensitive social sciences are concerned, therefore, the decisions of the great foundations have been chiefly the decisions of academic advisers.

And the sad fact is that these advisers have come overwhelmingly from those who have been politically slanted to the left-and many of them far to the left....

It has been one of the outstanding fallacies of this large and terrifically influential group that human relationship problems could be solved mechanically and mathematically by what they call factfinding.

They have so often ignored or failed to take into account important and highly mutable factors such as love, patriotism, loyalties, motivations, and individual characteristics which are utterly incapable of measurement and quite beyond the application of a scientific approach....

Operating on a grand scale, they ponder mass symptoms and ignore individual diagnosis.

Armed with their punch cards and electronic brains they consider themselves far more competent to lead us into better pastures than the old-fashioned practitioners who permit themselves to be circumscribed by the known limitations of social science....

They have become messianic. And they have succeeded materially in their efforts, over the years, to influence our people.

Their approach has been what Professor Colegrove has called pathological. They are always looking at what may be wrong with us, not for the purpose of improving what we have that is good and making it better, but for the purpose of supplanting it with something else.

These are the extreme followers of the cultural lag theory which assumes that our technological progress requires a new set of ethical values governing man's relation to man, and they are the advisers best equipped to furnish them....

The same academicians to whom I refer, those who now so deeply influence the great foundations, have little respect for tradition and principle.

They are, almost all of them, followers of the theory of moral relativity, that there are no absolutes, whether religious, moral or civil.

What the facts disclose, is right.

They say: If the Rockefeller-financed Kinsey studies disclose that a large percentage of young girls have active sex-experience before marriage, we should change our laws and morals to permit this....[I]n the economic field, if research indicates that the Federal Government can do something more efficiently than can the States, the Federal Government should take it over, regardless of what our Constitution may say about the separation of legislative powers.

This discussion, this description, may give you the beginning of an idea of the type of mind of the intellectual whose opinions have directed the great foundations in the social sciences.

But they have not worked alone. There has come into being a new class of men, almost a guild-the professional administrators of foundations.

Selected largely under the advice of "liberal" intellectuals, they have come into practical operating control of these foundations.

These men, in turn, are overwhelmingly of a leftist political position. You would have to look hard to find a conservative among them.

All of them whom I have met are pleasant, personable, and attractive men who give the impression of complete sincerity (which is usually correct), and of complete objectivity (which is not)....

I believe it might be safe to say that, in fields such as economics, sociology, and other social-science areas in which political slant can have a deep effect, the major foundations, both directly and through the use of intermediary organizations, have supported leftist thinking and leftist- slanted research and publication in the United States with the proportion of 10 to 1, compared with the support of the conservative or traditional. The proportion may even be very substantially greater....

* * *

Carnegie's [Gunnar] Myrdal, [a Scandinavian socialist], reported in his An American Dilemma that our Constitution "is in many respects impractical and ill-suited for modern conditions" and that its adoption was "merely a plot against the common people."

He also stated that Americans have "a relatively low degree of respect for law and order."

And he bemoans the "anarchistic tendency in America's legal culture"....

Our form of government, of course, does not appeal to this European socialist, imported by the Carnegie Foundation to teach us better ways of living....

Another Carnegie-financed item is The Proper Study of Mankind, a book which was designed under the auspices of the Social Science Research Council, the major intermediary organization supported by the great foundations. This influential book, which sold 50,000 copies, was written by Stuart Chase, who has advocated collectivism by name.

Mr. Chase was the selected apologist for many of the theses which those who operate the foundation combine favor, theses which push research and academic opinion to the left.

Among them is the cultural-lag theory, to which I have referred, that we must change our ways of living and even our social concepts because of our advancing civilization.

It may sound reasonable, that theory, but it is actually a medium for questioning our moral standards and our fundamental governmental and social precepts-an ideal way for those who are collectivist minded to undermine our beliefs and faiths....

[T]he great aggregate of good [the Foundations] have done cannot excuse the evil for which they have been responsible....

I hope...that their trustees will come to understand that they must restore these foundations to the full respect [to] which careful management would entitle them, and to the very useful place in our society which foundations should occupy.

Such reform from within would entail jettisoning, once and for all, the political influences to which they have been subjected. It would demand a general housecleaning....

A foundation, by its very public character, must be wholly objective and wholly free from any political influence.

This is particularly true...when the political forces which seek to influence it are those which are seeking to propel us toward a state which they see as ideal but which must inevitably pitch us into [the] slavery of socialism.

Reprints available from:

Association of American Physicians and Surgeons
1601 N. Tucson Blvd. Suite 9, Tucson, AZ 85716
Pamphlet No. 1061, July, 1998