Remembering John F. Kennedy’s Vision for the Future that Should Have Been

By Matthew Ehret

“Man holds in his mortal hands the power to abolish all forms of human poverty and all forms of human life. And yet the same revolutionary beliefs for which our forebears fought are still at issue around the globe….”

President Kennedy, 1961 Inaugural Address

Where China and Russia are currently leading a new paradigm of cooperation and development, it is too easily forgotten that America itself had once embodied this anti-colonial spirit under the foreign policy vision of John F. Kennedy. Even though the young leader died in office before the full effect of his grand vision could take hold, it is worth revisiting his fight and stated intention for a post-colonial world governed by win-win cooperation. This exercise is especially important now that we are coming to the anniversary of the murder of John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963.

FDR’s Death and the Emergence of the New Rome

With FDR’s death, the USA began acting more and more like an empire abroad and a racist police state under McCarthyism within its own borders. During this time, those allies of FDR who were committed to Roosevelt’s anti colonial post war vision, rallied around former Vice President Henry Wallace’s 1948 Presidential bid with the Progressive Party of America. When this effort failed, an outright police state took over and those same fascists who had sponsored WWII took control of the reins of power.

These “economic royalists” enjoyed full control as puppet President Harry S. Truman giggled as he dropped bombs on a defeated Japan and happily supported America’s new role as the re-conquistador of nations who sought independence after WWII. While it can’t be argued that the politically naïve President Eisenhower had some redeeming qualities, for the most part, his 8 year administration was run by the Dulles brothers and Wall Street, and it was only on January 17, 1961 that he made any serious effort to speak openly about the military industrial complex that had grown like a cancer under his watch.

A New Hope Emerges in 1961

It was no secret who the outgoing President was warning. Three days after his address, a young John F. Kennedy was inaugurated 35th president of the United States to the great hope of many anti-fascists in America and abroad.

It is too often overlooked today, but JFK’s anti-colonial position was not a secret during his decade as a Senator and Congressman. Even though his family pedigree was stained with mafia and JP Morgan ties to his treacherous father “Papa Joe”, John Kennedy was made of sturdier stuff.

Touring Asia and the Middle East in the 1950s, a young Senator Kennedy expressed his sensitivity to the plight of the Arab world and problem of US imperialism when he said:

“Our intervention in behalf of England’s oil investments in Iran, directed more at the preservation of interests outside Iran than at Iran’s own development…. Our failure to deal effectively after three years with the terrible human tragedy of the more than 700,000 Arab refugees [Palestinians], these are things that have failed to sit well with Arab desires and make empty the promises of the Voice of America….”

Later, speaking in a 1960 speech regarding ending colonialism in Africa, JFK expressed his understanding of Africa’s demand for genuine independence saying: 

“Call it nationalism, call it anti-colonialism, Africa is going through a revolution…. Africans want a higher standard of living. Seventy-five percent of the population now lives by subsistence agriculture. They want an opportunity to manage and benefit directly from the resources in, on, and under their land…. The African peoples believe that the science, technology, and education available in the modern world can overcome their struggle for existence, that their poverty, squalor, ignorance, and disease can be conquered…. [The] balance of power is shifting … into the hands of the two-thirds of the world’s people who want to share what the one-third has already taken for granted….”

JFK Drains the Swamp

Wall Street’s Dulles Brothers who together ran the CIA and the State Department had made several major efforts to sabotage Kennedy’s “new frontiers” initiative that gripped the imaginations of young and old alike. Kennedy’s program was driven by large scale infrastructure at home and advanced scientific and technological progress in the Developing sector abroad. Attempting to break that trajectory, Allen Dulles had prepared the Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba months before Kennedy entered the scene which was a near disaster for the world. Just days before Kennedy’s inauguration, Allan Dulles ensured that a pro-Kennedy ally who had just recently gained power in the Congo named Patrice Lumumba was assassinated in cold blood knowing that JFK would be blamed, and every effort was made to back up the French fascists trying to stop the Algerian independence movement behind JFK’s back. Both the Cuban invasion and the assassination of Lumumba have been blamed on Kennedy to this day.

In response to this treachery, JFK made the bold move of firing CIA director Allan Dulles, and two CIA directors on November 29, 1961 saying that he would soon “splinter the C.I.A. in a thousand pieces and scatter it to the winds.”

Recognizing the insanity of the zero sum Cold Warriors who could only look at the world through the perversity of a Hobbesian lens of “each against all”, JFK not only stood alone against the entire array of war-hungry Joint Chiefs calling for war with Russia during the infamous “13 day showdown” (and parodied by Kubrick’s brilliant Dr. Strangelove), but also took the advice of Generals MacArthur, and Charles de Gaulle who warned him to avoid all entrapments of a “land war in Vietnam”. On this point, JFK introduced NSAM 263 in October 1963 to begin a full withdrawal from Southeast Asia.

JFK’s June 10, 1963 speech What Kind of Peace Do We Seek? Showcased his resistance to the imperialists in America.

What was especially intolerable was that JFK began challenging the fixed rules of the zero sum Cold War game itself when he announced a new mission to put a man on the moon “within the decade”. This would have been tolerable if the effort was kept within a geopolitical ideology of “competition against the evil commies”. But JFK knew better and called for a US-Russia partnership to jointly develop advanced technologies together making the space program a project for human peace. This little known strategic vision, announced in a September 20, 1963 UN speech, shows how an arms race in space, which today threatens the earth, could have been avoided and the Cold War itself done away with decades before the Soviet Union collapsed:

JFK’s efforts to build bridges with Russia were of vital importance as they resulted in the passage of the test ban treaty on August 5, 1963, and hopes were awoken for an early end to the Cold War though the mutual development of the poorest parts of the world. This was “International New Deal” strategy which patriots like Henry Wallace and Paul Robeson had fought for from 1946-1959.

Across Africa, Asia and other former colonies, JFK had worked hard to build relationships with Pan African leaders Kwame Nkrumah, Patrice Lumumba, as well as Egypt’s Gamal Nasser, India’s Jawaharlal Nehru and South Vietnamese President Diem to provide American assistance for the construction of great infrastructure projects like the Akosombo Dam in Ghana, nuclear power in Egypt and Vietnam and steel industries in India. Today the Akosombo Dam stands with a plaque dedicated to the “martyred John F. Kennedy”. As historian Anton Chaitkin proves in his incredible 2013 opus “JFK vs the Empire”, this didn’t happen without a major fight with the JP Morgan controlled steel barons who artificially raised the price of steel in order to make these projects financially impossible.

JFK’s Immortal Power

The question of “who killed Kennedy” has been addressed with thorough detail by countless researchers over the years who have provided definitive proof that the the official narrative of a “lone gunman” is entirely impossible. Such researchers include New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison who published his findings in the 1991 book Trail of the Assassins, not to mention Robert Kennedy Jr. (the son of JFK’s brother who met a similar fate in 1968). Who killed Kennedy is not the purpose of this article, but rather WHY was Kennedy killed… which bears much more fruit.

The essential fact to hold in mind was that JFK was self-consciously unleashing the innate powers of creative reason as a governing principle of political economy. He believed in an anti-oligarchical view of humanity as made in the living image of God and said as much repeatedly. He believed that the human mind could conquer all challenges that both nature, vice and ignorance can throw at us. JFK didn’t see the world through a zero sum lens, nor did he believe in the Malthusian “limits to growth” paradigm which his killers promulgated after his death. In fact JFK argued against Malthusianism by name.

Today, JFK’s spirit is awakening in the leadership of powerful statesmen like China’s Xi Jinping and Russia’s Vladimir Putin who have created a new paradigm of cooperation, war avoidance, and infrastructure projects under the growing New Silk Road as well as ambitious space projects which are quickly bringing the Moon, Mars and other celestial bodies into the sphere of our economic activity.

It should also be noted that for all of his problems, President Trump has become the first American president since JFK to seriously challenge the military industrial complex, fire a leading FBI director, and push for friendship with Russia and China. Kennedy’s revenge can best be achieved if the American people do everything possible to support the fight for America’s participation in that new paradigm before an economic meltdown throws America into a new Dark Age.

This article is adapted from a report originally published on Strategic Culture

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