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The struggle between the so-called superpowers and their respective allies during the second half of the 20th century

The Cold War was a state of geopolitical tension between the Soviet Union with its satellite states (the Eastern Bloc), and the United States with its allies (the Western Bloc) after World War II. A common historiography of the conflict begins with 1946, the year U.S. diplomat George F. Kennan's "Long Telegram" from Moscow cemented a U.S. foreign policy of containment of Soviet expansionism threatening strategically vital regions, and ending between the Revolutions of 1989 and the 1991 collapse of the USSR, which ended communism in Eastern Europe. The term "cold" is used because there was no large-scale fighting directly between the two sides, but they each supported major regional wars known as proxy wars.


The Death of Politics, by Karl Hess, Playboy, Mar 1969
Discusses libertarianism, contrasting it with both conservatism and modern liberalism, including specific policy differences
Men who call upon the end of state authority in every other area insist upon its being maintained to build a war machine with which to hold the Communists at bay. It is only lately that the imperatives of logic—and the emergence of antistatist forces in eastern Europe—have begun to make it more acceptable to ask whether the garrison state needed to maintain the Cold War might not be as bad as or worse than the putative threat ... Goldwater has not taken and may never take such a revisionist line—but, among Cold Warriors, his disposition to libertarian principles makes him more susceptible than most.
Enemy of the State, by Lew Rockwell, Mises Daily, 24 Nov 2006
Review of Raimondo's biography of Rothbard, An Enemy of the State, analyzing several of the conventional critiques of Rothbard that are countered in the book; includes quote of Rothbard to Robert Kephart about Rothbard's life choices
In 1952, ... Rothbard ... was very concerned ... The old isolationist, classical-liberal, anti-New Deal forces were being shoved aside in favor of a new breed of Cold Warriors agitating to use the state against Russia, our ally in war only a few years earlier. How could conservatives champion small government and also call for vastly expanded nuclear weapons and a US global empire? He kept asking the question but wasn't getting satisfactory answers ... Rothbard refused to join Buckley's call for "a totalitarian bureaucracy within our shores" to fight the Cold War, and for that, Buckley never forgave him.
Felix Morley: An Old-fashioned Republican, by Joseph R. Stromberg,, 7 Dec 1999
Biographical and bibliographical essay
Like Hoover and Taft, Morley feared communism. But these old right figures had never had any great illusions about our heroic Soviet ally and were, therefore, not thrown into interventionist hysteria when World War II ended in a civilizational train-wreck. They had expected it. Keeping their balance, they made out a critique of the emerging cold war ... In March 1947, when President Truman proposed that the United States take over the British role in Greece, Morley wrote that "[i]t is a reality attested by all history that if a republic assumes imperial functions it will not remain a republic."
Forgotten Lessons, by Richard Ebeling, Freedom Daily, Mar 1996
Review of Forgotten Lessons: Selected Essays of John T. Flynn (1995), edited by Gregory P. Pavlik
In the postwar period, John Flynn was a die-hard anticommunist. But he believed that America's Cold War strategy of big military spending and numerous military commitments around the world were mainly Keynesian-type pump-priming tools to keep government deficit spending going to maintain an inflationary prosperity. In a manuscript rejected by National Review in 1956, and now included in Forgotten Lessons, Flynn declared: "The gaudiest of these job-making boondoggles is militarism ..." This "racket," for political power and control, Flynn argued, was what most of America's cold war military spending was all about.
Frank Chodorov: A Libertarian's Libertarian, by Joseph R. Stromberg, 30 Nov 1999
Biographical essay on Frank Chodorov with emphasis on his foreign policy views, and his debates about the Cold War with William F. Buckley Jr. and William S. Schlamm in the pages of The Freeman
Chodorov had opposed US entry into World War II. Like many on the Old Right who had had no illusions that the great crusade would produce a better world, he saw little reason to enlist in the sequel, the cold war. In early 1947, Congress debated ... US aid to any government anywhere, that claimed to be menaced by our erstwhile heroic allies, the communists–and, specifically, the proposal to aid Greece and Turkey ... In the cold war, as in hot war, "the State acquires power ... and because of its insatiable lust for power [it] is incapable of giving up any of it. The State never abdicates."
Harry Elmer Barnes as Revisionist of the Cold War, by Murray N. Rothbard, Harry Elmer Barnes: Learned Crusader, 1968
Contrasts Court Intellectuals with revisionists and the narrow with the broad revisionists, and then discusses Harry Elmer Barnes' contributions as a broad revisionist of the Cold War
As to the origins of the Cold War, Barnes concluded that it was initiated by Truman and Churchill, largely for domestic political reasons, and since then has been used by each of the various governments to cement its rule over its subjects. At home, many classes became wedded to the Cold War: Democrats and Republicans, businessmen ..., intellectuals, and labor ... Yet, concluded Barnes, it is vital for the United States to "return to neutrality ... combined [with] every possible effort to limit warfare, and to encourage better international understanding ..."
It Usually Ends With Murray Rothbard: My Long and Winding Road to Libertarianism and Austrian Economics, by Joseph Salerno, 23 Jun 2005
Lengthy autobiographical essay recounting Prof. Salerno's progression from conservatism to anarcho-capitalism, from classical to Austrian economics, and meeting and getting to know Murray Rothbard
The entire political and academic establishment, from New Deal/Truman Democrats to Eisenhower Republicans, from moderate liberals to moderate conservatives, concurred in the necessity of waging a Cold War to contain the alleged Soviet conspiracy to take over the so-called "Free World" ... Rothbard ... argued that the Cold War was a ruse devised by the American ruling elite to justify the continuation and expansion of the massive, tax-consuming, welfare-warfare state built up during World War II at home and to rationalize postwar U.S. imperialist ambitions for assorted military interventions abroad.
The Mugging of Murtha, by Justin Raimondo, 17 Nov 2006
Comments on how the the U.S. congressional Democrats, after having gained control of both houses in the 2006 elections, chose Steny Hoyer instead of John Murtha as House majority leader
Back in the half-forgotten days of the Cold War era, Kremlinologists – remember them? – used to carefully monitor the subtleties of these joint appearances: where one official stood, and in relation to whom, supposedly revealed the hidden struggle for power among the inner leadership. Published photos in particular signaled the rise and fall of political fortunes: which is why the Soviets went to the extraordinary lengths of altering photographic evidence that gave comfort to their ideological enemies, literally airbrushing Leon Trotsky and other prominent heretics out of existence.
The Myth of War Prosperity, Part 2, by Anthony Gregory, Freedom Daily, Jan 2007
Main part of the review of Depression, War, and Cold War: Studies in Political Economy (2006) by Robert Higgs
The chapter "The Cold War Economy: Opportunity Costs, Ideology, and the Politics of Crisis" is a mini-treatise on the political economy of the Cold War, the uniqueness of which is generally ignored, despite its being a relatively recent, unprecedented development ... unlike what happened after other major wars, at the end of World War II a huge military apparatus remained. This unique character of the Cold War manifests itself in many ways ... Higgs uncovers a distinct reverse correlation between military spending, on the one hand, and private spending and nonmilitary government spending on the other ...
Obama Plays with Fire in Ukraine, by Sheldon Richman, 23 Apr 2014
Discusses Obama's decision to send troops to Poland and Baltic states in addition to sanctions on Russia over the 2014 Crimea crisis and the implications of having the continued existence and expansion of the NATO alliance
This expansion broke a promise that President George H.W. Bush made to former Soviet chief Mikhail Gorbachev, who was willing to live with NATO in Western Europe even with newly unified Germany as a member ... The New York Times reports that Obama "and his national security team are looking beyond the immediate conflict to forge a new long-term approach to Russia that applies an updated version of the Cold War strategy of containment." This is bad reporting because, as noted, the U.S. leadership never ended the Cold War and never saw containment as an obsolete strategy.
Standing armies, political mischief, by Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr., WorldNetDaily, 5 Oct 2000
Discusses a poll by the Wall Street Journal about a possible "October Surprise" that would bolster the presidential aspirations of Al Gore
These were the last days of the Cold War, when Republicans and conservatives could be counted on to applaud any military intervention ... From the early 1950s until the late 1980s, only ... Rothbard and his circle on the Right, and principled elements on the Left, carried on the Old Right tradition ... In the late 1980s, as the East Bloc crumbled, the libertarian Right ... began to work with dissidents within the old conservative movement who saw that the best "peace dividend" at the end of the Cold War would be a restoration of the freedoms that Americans had lost during the many decades ...
The War the Government Cannot Win, by Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr., 1 May 2007
Discusses how government cannnot win the war on terror because economic law is more powerful than the state; talk given at the Wisconsin Forum in Milwaukee
At the end of World War II, the government and its elites were quite desperate for a massive global cause to keeping spending high and the government in control. Communism was picked, and so our former allies in the war became our sworn enemies ... The Cold War originated with the idea that the US should do whatever was necessary to roll back the very Soviet client states that the US worked to establish at the end of World War II. Then the US pursued a series of wars in far-flung places that cost lives and liberty and did nothing to stop the spread of communism.
Why the U.S. Blew a Chance to Reconcile with Iran, by Sheldon Richman, 1 May 2014
Another story from Gareth Porter's Manufactured Crisis (2014): how the George H. W. Bush administration bungled the opportunity to improve the U.S. relationship with Iran
But Porter also provides ample evidence that the main reason for the about-face was fear at the CIA and Pentagon that their budgets and staffs would be slashed with the end of the Cold War. The "CIA had a very large institutional interest at stake in treating Iran as a new, high-priority threat to US interests...," Porter writes. "The CIA leadership had begun the search for substitutes for the Soviet threat as early as 1988." Would these government agencies really manufacture a threat merely to protect themselves from budget cutters in the wake of the Cold War? Anyone who knows anything about bureaucracies knows the answer ...
Related Topic: Iran

The introductory paragraph uses material from the Wikipedia article "Cold War" as of 25 Oct 2018, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.