|Winston Churchill (1871-1947)|
The essay is inspired by a 1917 visit to the battlefields of Europe during World War I.
Churchill's essay is an interesting bit of history in that it appeals to old ideals of the old Progressives of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. There are many comments that hold to all of the hallmarks and ideals of the movement, including an obsessive faith in science and psychology (line 200) and a belief that human nature is basically good but just needs to be re-educated (line 228).
He advocates a new political party based on the teachings of modern social science (line 290), a centralized economy in order to be more efficient (line 360) and he proposes that "incomes are to be taxed above the necessary cost of family maintenance (line 367) and the "progressive elimination of the private capitalist" (line 368).
Interestingly, he argues that the solution to all of society's ills comes from centralized economic power in the form of a democratically elected central government that will be led by people who have been properly educated with our newly-discovered scientifically-based methods that will get rid of the dangers of greedy human nature. (lines 395 & 462)
This essay would be a wonderful historical document companion to Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left, From Mussolini to the Politics of Meaning, a scathing look at these sorts of "Progressive" policies.
Reviewed on May 14, 2009.
I rate this essay 4 stars out of 5.