Hawkes argues that Leon Keyserling even repudiated wealth redistribution, “pointing out that it was the policy of Communists, and persuaded the leaders of American labour to follow the ‘guns for butter’ strategy of full employment through huge defence spending, rather than social welfare programmes.” Actually, Keyserling took a position very similar to that of the social-democratic and anti-Communist civil rights leader Bayard Rustin, who argued in the 1960s that America could afford both guns and butter, and both defense spending and necessary social welfare policies and programs. His argument that Keyserling alone is the man who “convinced the leaders of the AFL-CIO to back the Vietnam War” is an insult to the very smart George Meany and his associates, who had the advice of men like Jay Lovestone and later Tom Kahn. They did not need Leon Keyserling to “convince” them to stand with a strong U.S. foreign policy in opposition to the Soviet Union.
Mr. Hawkes then writes that former leftist Wilbur Cohen, once a radical welfare expert, “become an advocate for workfare rather than cash assistance.” Shocking! Imagine someone concerned with the poor arguing that handouts from the government is not the answer to poverty. Clearly to Hawkes, such a person is a sellout. His arguments reveal much about his own views, which he transfers to those he is writing about.
He ends by bemoaning the fact that “the anti-communists could claim to have scored a convincing victory.” Thank God! At least the American people, unlike Mr. Hawkes, showed that they had common sense.