So it was that a revolution took place within the form. Like the hagfish, the New Deal entered the old form and devoured its meaning from within. The revolutionaries were inside; the defenders were outside. A government that had been supported by the people and so controlled by the people became one that supported the people and so controlled them. Much of it is irreversible. That is true because habits of dependence are much easier to form than to break. Once the government, on ground of public policy, has assumed the responsibility to provide people with buying power when they are in want of it, or when they are unable to provide themselves with enough of it, according to a minimum proclaimed by government, it will never be the same again.
All of this is said by one who believes that people have an absolute right to any form of government they like, even to an American Welfare state, with status in place of freedom, if that is what they want. The first of all objections to the New Deal is neither political nor economic. It is moral.
Revolution by scientific technic is above morality. It makes no distinction between means that are legal and means that are illegal. There was a legal and honest way to bring about a revolution, even to tear up the Constitution, abolish it, or write a new one in its place. Its own words and promises meant as little to the New Deal as its oath to support the Constitution. In a letter to a member of the House Ways and Means Committee, urging a new law he wanted, the President said: "I hope your committee will not permit doubt as to Constitutionality, however reasonable, to block the suggested legislation." Its cruel and cynical suspicion of any motive but its own was a reflection of something it knew about itself. Its voice was the voice of righteousness; its methods therefore were more dishonest than the simple ways of corruption.
"When we see a lot of framed timbers, different portions of which we know have been gotten out at different times and places, and by different workmen . . . and when we see those timbers joined together, and see that they exactly make the frame of a house or a mill, all the tenons and mortises exactly fitting, and all the lengths and proportions of the different pieces exactly adapted to their respective places, and not a piece too many or too few . . . in such a case we find it impossible not to believe that... all understood one another from the beginning, and all worked upon a common plan or draft, drawn up before the first blow was struck."— Abraham Lincoln, deducing from objective evidence the blueprint of a political plot to save the institution of slavery.