Stuart Chase

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Stuart Chase
StuartChase.png

Born March 8, 1888
Somersworth, New Hampshire
Died November 16, 1985
Redding, Connecticut
Spouse Margaret Hatfield,
Marian Tyler

Stuart Chase (March 8, 1888 - November 16, 1985) was a socialist economist and author who, according to the New York Times coined the phrase "New Deal" and was involved and supportive of the three most important Presidencies of 20th century Progressivism.[1] Chase's ideals were influenced by Henry George, Karl Marx, Thorstein Veblen,[2] Fabian Socialism, and the Technocracy movement.

Early life

Chase was born March 8, 1888, in Somersworth, New Hampshire.[3] He was the son of Harvey S. and Aaronette Rowe Chase. He was educated at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Harvard University, earning a B.S. degree in accountancy.[4] In 1914 he married Margaret Hatfield, who helped co-author the book A Honeymoon Experiment.[5]

Radicalism

While at university, Chase founded the Fabian Club of Chicago[6] and was the President of the local Ann Arbor chapter of the Intercollegiate Socialist Society.[7] By the time he was ready to join the Wilson administration, Chase had been actively involved for various causes with groups such as the Birth Control League of Massachusetts as well as the Single Tax League of Massachusetts.[5]

Career

Entry into the Bureaucracy

In 1917 he was appointed to investigate the meat packing industry at the Federal Trade Commission.[4] Toward the end of the Wilson Administration, Chase and other socialists came under attack during the first Red Scare, by Senator James Eli Watson in particular.[8][9][10]

Post-Wilson

In the early 20's he was treasurer for the League for Industrial Democracy.[11][12] He also developed an interest in Technocracy and joined the Technical Alliance.[13] Later, he joined the Regional Planning Association of America.[14]

In 1927, Chase along with a group of other trade unionists including Rexford Tugwell took a trip to the Soviet Union, where he conducted interviews with officials including Joseph Stalin.[15]

Franklin Delano Roosevelt

Chase was an advisor to Franklin D. Roosevelt during his presidency.[1] Chase first met Roosevelt in 1931 when he was still Governor of the state of New York, and shortly before the publication of Chase's 1931 book A New Deal.[16]

Speaking about Chase's work, Roosevelt said he was "teaching the American people more about economics than all the others combined."[16]

Lyndon B. Johnson

In the 60's, Chase was a supporter of the Great Society. Along with a group of intellectuals, he traveled to the Soviet Union to try to foster a better understanding between the Soviets and America.[1]

Ideology

Chase was an ardent supporter of central planning. Walter Lippmann tells us that Chase believed: "political democracy can remain if it confines itself to all but economic matters".[17]

Political System X

In his book The Road We Are Traveling, Chase discussed the transformation of 'Free Enterprise into X'. He responded to James Burnham's observation that we are seeing a Managerial Revolution(to which Chase agreed) and listed these 18 items which were all applicable to the United States:[18]

  1. A strong, centralized government.
  2. An executive arm growing at the expense of the legislative and judicial arms. In some countries, power is consolidated in a dictator, issuing decrees.
  3. The control of banking, credit and security exchanges by the government.
  4. The underwriting of employment by the government, either through armaments or public works.
  5. The underwriting of social security by the government - old-age pensions, mothers' pensions, unemployment insurance, and the like.
  6. The underwriting of food, housing, and medical care, by the government. The United States is already experimenting with providing these essentials. Other nations are far along the road.
  7. The use of deficit spending to finance these underwritings. The annually balanced budget has lost its old-time sanctity.
  8. The abandonment of gold in favor of managed currencies.
  9. The control of foreign trade by the government, with increasing emphasis on bilateral agreements and barter deals.
  10. The control of natural resources, with increasing emphasis on self-sufficiency.
  11. The control of energy sources - hydroelectric power, coal, petroleum, natural gas.
  12. The control of transportation - railway, highway, airway, waterway.
  13. The control of agricultural production.
  14. The control of labor organizations, often to the point of prohibiting strikes.
  15. The enlistment of young men and women in youth corps devoted to health, discipline,community service and ideologies consistent with those of the authorities. The CCC camps have just inaugurated military drill.
  16. Heavy taxation, with special emphasis on the estates and incomes of the rich.
  17. Not much "taking over" of property or industries in the old socialistic sense. The formula appears to be control without ownership. It is interesting to recall that the same formula is used by the management of great corporations in depriving stockholders of power.
  18. State control of communications and propaganda.

Later life and death

Chase never gave up his love for planning other people's lives. In 1956, he joined the planning commission of the town in which he lived, Redding.[1] He was a member of the planning commission for nearly 40 years until his death on November 16, 1985.

Quotes

  • "Traditional nationalism cannot survive the fissioning of the atom. One world or none".[19]
  • Gobbledygook is the practice of "using two or three or ten words in the place of one, or using a five-syllable word where a single syllable would suffice."[20]

Works

  • A Honeymoon Experiment, (1916)
  • The Challenge of Waste (1922)
  • Your Money's Worth: A study in the waste of the consumer's dollar, (1928)
  • Soviet Russia in the Second Decade – A Joint Survey by the Technical Staff of the First American Trade Union Delegation, (1928)
  • The Tragedy of Waste, (1929)
  • Men and Machines, (1929)
  • Prosperity Fact or Myth, (1929)
  • The story of Toad Lane: Being an account of the twenty-eight weavers of Rochdale and how they founded the cooperative system that went round the world, (1930)
  • Mexico - A Study of Two Americas, (1931)
  • The Nemesis of American Business, (1931)
  • A New Deal, (1932)
  • Out of the Depression - and After: A Prophecy, (1932)
  • Technocracy: An Interpretation, (1933)
  • The Promise of Power, (1933)
  • Move the Goods, (1934)
  • The Economy of Abundance, (1934)
  • Rich Land, Poor Land, (1936)
  • The Tyranny of Words, (1938)
  • The New Western Front, (1939)
  • A Primer of Economics, (1941)
  • A Generation of Industrial Peace: Thirty years of labor relations at Standard Oil Company, (1941)
  • The Road We Are Traveling: 1914–1942, (1942)
  • Goals for America: a budget of our needs and resources, (1942)
  • Where's the money coming from?, (1943)
  • Democracy Under Pressure; Special Interests VS The Public Welfare, (1945)
  • Tomorrow's trade: problems of our foreign commerce, (1945)
  • For this we fought, (1946)
  • The Proper Study of Mankind, (1948)
  • Roads to Agreement: Successful methods in the science of human relations, (1951)
  • The Proper Study of Mankind, (1956)
  • Guides to Straight Thinking, With 13 Common Fallacies, (1956)
  • American Credos, (1962)
  • Danger - Men Talking! a Background Book on Semantics and Communication, (1969)

See also

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 STUART CHASE, 97; COINED PHRASE 'A NEW DEAL'. New York Times (1985). “He was one of the last surviving members of the small group of advisers who helped President Roosevelt shape the New Deal.”
  2. The Ideas of Stuart Chase on Waste and Inefficiency
  3. Encyclopedia of New Hampshire
  4. 4.0 4.1 Who's who in the Nation's Capital. Consolidated Publishing Company (1921).
  5. 5.0 5.1 Consumers' Cooperation: Organ of the Consumers' Cooperative Movement in the U.S.A., Volume 3 (1917).
  6. The Intercollegiate Socialist, Volume 7 (1918).
  7. The Intercollegiate Socialist, Volume 6 (1917).
  8. The Cancer on our Breast (1918).
  9. "Reds" Sent to Probe Packers (1919).
  10. Bolsheviks in Office, says Senator Watson, Marin Journal, Volume 56, Number 46, 13 November 1919
  11. The challenge of waste. Stuart Chase (1922).
  12. Counter Attack on Reaction Organized - Research Group to Aid Labor - Wants Production for Use Not Profit. Machinists' Monthly (1922).
  13. Tech Engineering News, Volumes 25-26 (1943).
  14. Communication as Culture, Revised Edition: Essays on Media and Society
  15. Stewart Chase, FDR adviser coined term 'New Deal'
  16. 16.0 16.1 Stuart Chase, Brief life of a public thinker: 1888-1985
  17. (2009) The Road to Serfdom: Text and Documents--The Definitive Edition. University of Chicago Press, 124. 
  18. (1942) The Road We Are Traveling 1914-1942. New York: The Twentieth Century Fund, 95–96. 
  19. (1971) Saturday Review, Volume 54, Issues 36-44. Saturday Review Associates, 124. ,in Letters to the Editor
  20. Gobbledygook: The art of inflating to abstraction

External links