As We Go Marching
by John T. Flynn
During 1930s and 1940s, few Americans were as vocally opposed to President Franklin Roosevelt as John T. Flynn. Flynn’s opposition to FDR began with the President’s domestic policy, the New Deal, but bled over into his handling of foreign policy. Flynn became a central figure in the anti-interventionist movement before Pearl Harbor and, even after the United States entered World War II, Flynn continued to criticize the Roosevelt Administration for its heavy-handed intervention in the economy and its continued attempts to subvert constitutional government. As We Go Marching is the pinnacle of Flynn’s criticism. In it, Flynn sought to identify the development of the essential elements of Italian and German fascism – namely public debt, the government-planned economy, militarism and imperialism – and then turned his critical eye upon the U.S. to determine if any or all of those features were a part of American government. Flynn’s conclusion was that not only were these features evident in America, but their development was accelerated by the war. In war, he observed, the public’s resistance to government planning was subdued. As a result, FDR’s remaking of American government was moving the country continually closer to the very political ideals that the President claimed to be fighting. Flynn’s analysis is probably even less popular today than it was in 1944, but his insights are more important now than ever. They are also critical to fully understanding the political ramifications of “the Good War.”
Praise for As We Go Marching
“As We Go Marching has remained neglected and relatively unknown. Yet it was Flynn’s most informed and perceptive contribution to discussion about the nature of American society.” – Ronald Radosh, author of Prophets on the Right
What to Read Next
Conservative historian Paul Gottfried, an expert in the history of fascism, believes Flynn’s definition of that movement to be flawed and that the socialist tendencies of the Roosevelt administration were not necessarily following the same pattern of Italian and German fascism. With that said, Gottfried has stated that Flynn had good reason to make this connection at the time, given key New Dealers’ admiration of Mussolini. Furthermore, Flynn’s analysis shows that, at the time of the Second World War, the trajectory of the U.S. government was markedly similar to that of the governments it was fighting.