by: the Common Constitutionalist
Now that Barack has won reelection, I predict it will be full speed ahead for the food police and its leader Michelle Obama.
The regulations regarding food and beverages imposed by the likes of New York City Mayor Michael Doomberg are just the first volley of what will surely become national regulation.
Remember, there are no new ideas, just updated, refashioned collectivist schemes.
Could we see the reemergence of the “Blue Eagle” and the NRA? No, not that NRA. I’m speaking of the National Recovery Administration (NRA) put forth by Franklin Roosevelt in 1933.
In his June 16, 1933 “Statement on the National Industrial Recovery Act”, or NIRA, president Roosevelt described the spirit of the NRA: “On this idea, the first part of the NIRA proposes to our industry a great spontaneous cooperation to put millions of men back into regular jobs this summer.” He added, “but if all employees in each trade now band themselves faithfully in these modern guilds-without exception-and agree to act together and at once, none will be hurt and millions of workers, so long deprived of the right to earn their bread in the sweat of their labor, can raise their heads again. The challenge of this law is whether we can sink self interest and present a solid front against a common peril.”
What a lovely statement that is, filled with wonderful collectivist ideas and fascist ideology.
The NRA was symbolized by the Blue Eagle, the brainchild of a retired Army General, Hugh S Johnson, which was displayed in many store windows and on store packaging.
The Blue Eagle and NRA membership was said to be “Voluntary”, while those businesses that didn’t “volunteer”, as it were, often paid the price enduring boycotts and many did not survive.
Although the NRA was finally ruled unconstitutional in 1935, it was looked upon dreamily by progressives and, of course, intellectuals.
Historian, Clarence B Carson wrote:
At this moment in time from the early days of the New Deal, it is difficult to recapture, even in imagination, the heady enthusiasm among a goodly number of intellectuals for a government planned economy. So far as can now be told, they believed that a bright new day was dawning, that national planning would result in an organically integrated economy in which everyone would joyfully work for the common good, and that American society would be freed at last from those antagonisms arising, as general Hugh Johnson put it, from “the murderous doctrine of Savage and wolfish individualism, looking to dog eat dog and devil take the hindmost”.
The NIRA and NRA were, in fact, right out of the fascist playbook and would have fit smartly in both fascist Italy and Hitler’s Germany.
Any businessman who refused to display the blue Eagle was, not surprisingly, considered to be a suspect American, one who had to be dealt with. To deal with such dissidents, pro-New Deal groups organized well-publicized economic boycotts designed to pressure these unpatriotic dissidents into getting with the program.
The NIRA declared that US industries should combine into cartels, where they would set codes for prices, wages and working conditions with which all the companies in that industry were required to comply.
They unfortunately found out, it was not so easy to control compliance.
In his book, “The Roosevelt Myth”, author John T Flynn wrote:
“The NRA was discovering it could not enforce its rules. Black markets grew up. Only the most violent police methods could procure enforcement. In Sidney Hillman’s garment industry, the code authority employed enforcement police. They roamed through the garment district like storm troopers. They could enter a man’s factory, send him out, line up his employees, subject them to minute interrogation, and take over his books on the instant. Night work was forbidden. Flying squadrons of these private coat-and-suit police went to the district at night, battering down doors with axes looking for men who were committing the crime of sewing together a pair of pants at night. But without these harsh methods many code authorities said there could be no compliance because the public was not back of it.”
So, is this what we’re in for? It worked, or more aptly put, was imposed once before.
Today’s progressives and socialists are nothing if not patient. They have learned not to try what FDR did; take a big chunk all at once.
They will poke, prod; nudging where they can, mandate with Executive Order, where they dare.
But rest assured, those currently in power would like nothing more than to resurrect a program such as this.
With banners such as “no trans fats” and required calorie counts displayed on storefronts and packaging, lawsuits being brought against fast food restaurants for making our children fat, I wonder where it will end.
Programs such as the Blue Eagle would surely be an easier sell today, with a majority of at least younger adults buying into socialism. In the 1930s, most had a greater appreciation of capitalism.
This appears to be the natural progression of things. Just look at smoking. They’ve all but banned that nationally and I believe food is where they are headed next.
Watch for the Blue Eagle coming to a storefront near you.
Attribution: Jacob G. Hornberger