Kennedy’s UN Speech in 1961

In writing for my post on The Sword of Damocles, I noted that the first reference of the sword of Damocles was made by President Kennedy at a UN speech in 1961 in reference to nuclear weapons. However, I noticed that it is possible Kennedy is using extortion to push for the elimination of nuclear weapons.  Let’s look.

Speech before the United Nations (UN)

His purpose in the speech is two-fold. First, he wants to pay tribute to the deceased Secretary General of the UN, Dag Hammarskjold, and stop calls for the creation of a triumvirate leadership by the Soviet Union.  Since the inception of the United Nations, the United States, the Soviet Union, Great Britain, France and China hold permanent veto on the UN Security Council (UNSC).  Any one veto is enough to stop the proposals of the UNSC.  The Soviet Union was utilizing this with great effect to keep U.S.-led proposals on Berlin, nuclear testing and other issues from moving forward.  To further solidify their success in the UNSC, the Soviet Union had been pushing to reorganize the Secretariat to provide the Soviet Union a veto on the UN Secretariat by requiring unanimous consent amongst three equal leaders–the triumvirate.  This would keep any unfavored action from proceeding inside the UN.  Kennedy appeals to the body that this would stop the peace the UN has worked on creating and is thus his reference

But to give this organization three drivers-to permit each great power to decide its own case, would entrench the Cold War in the headquarters of peace.

Second, he desires to move forward on a nuclear testing ban, specifically one that would ban all nuclear testing, but is also taking the moral high-ground in proposing an all out atmospheric testing ban known as the Limited Test Ban Treaty.  This is one measure that the Soviet Union has been blocking within the UNSC.  To accomplish these goals, Kennedy is appealing to the UN through the fear of nuclear annihilation and ineffectiveness to resist the change proposed by the Soviet Union and to eliminate the weapons of war which hold the world in fear.  This extortion is not all bad because it demonstrates something the U.S. made clear during the early days of the Cold War—the moral high-ground of the United States.  Kennedy is using the moral capital of the U.S. in contrast to the Soviet Union to push forward and eliminate nuclear weapons.

Is this extortion?

As I have shown in previous posts extortion is using threats to get someone to do something that they would not normally do.  I don’t think that Kennedy’s speech qualifies here.  He is appealing to reason regarding the destructive power of nuclear weapons and wanting to build trust to prevent force instead of relying on mutual assured destruction.  Ironically this mutual assured destruction provided Kennedy great latitude during the Cuban Missile Crisis and the nuclear triad allowed flexible negotiations with the Soviet Union without sacrificing capability; something the Soviets could not say the same.

So, while Kennedy’s speech here is appealing to the horror of nuclear war and destruction to accomplish his goals of extending the moral capital of the U.S., he isn’t extorting the population or the UN because achieving a world free of nuclear weapons is something anyone would do.  However, today as then it still is not probable.

The Big Lie

The famous quote from Jospeh Goebbles is one probably known by everyone.

“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.

However, the rest of the quote tells the motivation for the Big Lie and is the most damaging part of the Big Lie—it provides power to the State and represses truth.

The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.”

For those that don’t know, Goebbles was the Minister for Propaganda for the Nazi’s in Germany from 1933 until 1945.

This is essentially true.  If you repeat the lie people think that what you are saying is the truth because time after time your lie is what they hear that they have no choice but to believe it.  The lie becomes the truth.  But who is telling the lie?  Goebbles isn’t talking about simple human to human contact (though I supposed it could work as well).  He is talking about the State telling a lie to the People of the State that the State represents.

However, Goebbles understands that the lie can only persist to truth if the Truth is not found out.  Thus, there is an incentive for the State to

use all of its powers to repress dissent

and maintain its power.  Goebbles understood that the lie could be of great importance to fortifying the power of the State if the State is seen as being benevolent with the lie and protecting its citizens.  This is how the Holocaust was carried out.  The great German state was saving its “proper” citizens from these “improper” citizens to keep the “proper” citizens from being corrupted or overrun or whatever.  In reality the State was using its power to repress the dissent that German soldiers were killing innocent men, women and children because they weren’t considered “acceptable” by the State.  Those that tried to bring truth to the lie shared the same fate.

Goebbles’ quote then sets up a causal logic chain that explains this.  The lie gives the State power as the State is using its power to repress dissent and the more and more dissent there is the more power the State will need to repress it.  This leads to Goebbles conclusion that

the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.

The truth must be repressed because it exposes the lie for what it is and once exposed the power the State wields will fail as well.

The Christian Response

We have a duty to share the truth.  We are commissioned by Jesus to “go into all the world and proclaim the Gospel.”  This involves making man aware of his fallen state and how we have all trespassed God’s commands.  We then need to let people know that there is an answer—Jesus—and all they need to do is trust in his finished work on the cross for forgiveness and nothing else.  Then they grow in holiness through prayer and study of the Word.  That is the truth of the world—all are sinners and all need Jesus.

However, this truth is being repressed by a Big Lie—the role of Christians and politics.  For decades now the Left has told Christians that we are not to impose our views on others through the state.  For example, we (Christians) cannot pray in public schools because it offends those who are not Christians.  Or, all religious symbols must be banned from public schools because it offends atheists.  However, as a Christian I am offended that my religion is being supplanted by non-religions.  My right to exists and my right to practice my faith is being trampled on when I have to accommodate those who do not believe.  Or, we have to be tolerant of others but not Christians by allowing Muslims to pray in school but not Christians.  Thus, these are just a few examples how Christians are being targeted and not just religion.  The truth is under attack by a Big Lie.

liberal extortion: an overview

So, in my previous post on the movement of college extortion, I started off by saying that liberals are the party of extortionists AND that extortion is a crime.  I won’t re-hash that here, but my thinking is that this is a good way to draw a dichotomy between the liberals and conservatives.

Liberals want power from the people and conservatives want to en-power the people.

Liberals Advancing Their Power

There are multiple topics where we see liberals extorting—i.e., using the threat of fear to get one to do that which they would not normally do—Americans to implement their agenda that give them power.  Ozone controversy in the 1980s.  Global warming of the 1990s and when that didn’t happen, now its climate change.  Affordable Care Act passage to read the bill.  Debt crises–we have to extend the debt or default and we’ll talk about the “solution” later.  These are plenty of examples we can learn from, but to understand how liberals extort the American public to gain power, lets look at Rahm Emmanuel’s favorite saying, “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste.”

This is the essence of liberal extortion.   Continue reading “liberal extortion: an overview”