Bertram Myron Gross


Bertram Myron Gross

Bertram Myron Gross (1912-1997) was an American social scientist, federal bureaucrat and professor of political science at Hunter College (CUNY). He is known from his book "Friendly Fascism" from 1980 and as primary author of the Humphrey-Hawkins Full Employment Act.

Biography

Bertram Gross was born in the United States in 1912. He played an important role in crafting policies and legislation that were cornerstones of the New Deal. From 1941 to 1945 he served on the staffs of a number of Senate committees. In that capacity he wrote the Roosevelt-Truman full employment bills of 1944 and 1945, legislation that articulated for the first time that full employment at a living wage should be a national priority. This legislation also created the President's Council of Economic Advisers, and from 1946 to 1952 Mr. Gross served as its first executive secretary, an administrative post.

In the 1950s he moved with his family to Israel where he served as an economic advisor in the Prime Minister's Office and as a Visiting Professor at the Hebrew University, where he established their program in Public Administration. [ [http://www.nndb.com/people/715/000140295/ David J. Gross ] ] He returned in the 1960s and joined the faculty of Syracuse University in the Maxwell School. In 1961-62 he was a Fellow at the Center for Advanced Studies in the Behavioral Sciences, Palo Alto, and in 1962-63 he was the Leatherbee Lecturer at the Harvard Business School.

In 1970 Bertram Gross was president of the Society for General Systems Research [http://www.isss.org/admin/pastpres.htm.] . In the 1980s he became Distinguished Professor of Political Science and Urban Affairs at Hunter College and the CUNY Graduate Center).

He was the father of physicist and Nobel prize winner David J. Gross. Since 1999, the campaign to abolish poverty/full employment Coalition presents the Annual Bertram Gross Award.

Work

Social accounting

In a magazine called "Transaction" in 1966 Gross charged, that the President's State of the Union message was a barely recognizable description of the U.S. The message relied too heavily on economic bookkeeping, too little on social accounting. To reflect the quality as well as the quantity of American life, Gross said, the President should deliver an annual "Social report" that deals in the round with the state of education, arts, crime and disease in the U.S.

Gross was summoned back to the White House. His ideas were incorporated into a speech President Lyndon B. Johnson gave in March 1966. LBJ instructed the Department of Health, Education and Welfare to develop a study of "social indicators" along the lines Gross had suggested. And Gross was hired as a HEW consultant. Rarely are sociological ideas so rapidly translated from print into action, but then Transaction is no ordinary sociological publication. [ [http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,836400,00.html Sociology in English] , in: "Time" magazine, Friday, September 16, 1966.]

Social combat

The Legislative Struggle from 1978 is a study of, what Gross called, the social combat. In this work Gross aim was to develop a theoretical structure, a systematic method of thinking about legislation. [ [http://www.greenwood.com/catalog/GRLS.aspx The Legislative Struggle — www.greenwood.com ] ]

Employment acts

Gross was the primary author of the Humphrey-Hawkins Full Employment Act, which was introduced in 1978 by Augustus Hawkins. Gross also authored the Roosevelt Full Employment Act. [cite web | title = Calendar of Events & Activities | work = Bertram Gross | publisher = Berkeley Daily Planet |date=2000-09-13 | url = http://www.berkeleydaily.org/article.cfm?archiveDate=09-13-00&storyID=1220 | accessdate = 2007-08-11 ]

"Friendly Fascism"

In the book "Friendly Fascism" in 1980, Gross argues the rise of a form of fascistic thought and social politics in late 20th century America. Gross states, that the power elite that comprises the corporate, governmental and military superstructure of the country is increasingly inclined to employ every element in their formidable arsenal of 'friendly persuasion' to win the hearts and minds of ordinary Americans, through what Gross refers to as friendly fascism. [ http://www.nogw.com/download/2006_cryptogon_blocked_from_mil.pdf.]

Friendly fascism portrays two conflicting trends in the United States and other countries of the so-called "free world."
* The first is a slow and powerful drift toward greater concentration of power and wealth in a repressive Big Business-Big Government partnership. This drift leads down the road toward a new and subtly manipulative form of corporatist serfdom.
* The other is a slower and less powerful tendency for individuals and groups to seek greater participation in decisions affecting themselves and others. This trend goes beyond mere reaction to authoritarianism.

The phrase "friendly fascism" helps distinguish this possible future from the patently vicious corporatism of classic fascism in the past of Germany, Italy and Japan. It also contrasts with the friendly present of the dependent fascisms propped up by the U.S. government in El Salvador, Haiti, Argentina, Chile, South Korea, the Philippines and elsewhere. [B.M. Gross, "Friendly Fascism: The New Face of Power in America", New York: M. Evans, 1980: introduction.]

Gross offers faint hope of averting neofascism. He does prescribe raising aspirations: setting forth clear lofty goals, broad enough to embrace a great majority. But expectations? He calls for realism--to reduce frustration and apathetic withdrawal. Gross asserts that help from insiders is both essential and available. [ [http://www.eclectica.org/v1n1/reviews/wharton_friendly.html Frienndly Fascism: A review] by Dale Wharton.]

Publications

Gross has written several books and articles. A selection: [ A full list can be found at http://www.getcited.org/mbrx/PT/2/MBR/10002757 ]
* 1954, "The hard money crusade", with Wilfred Lumer, Washington: Public Affairs Institute.
* 1963, "An annotated bibliography on national economic planning", Syracuse, N.Y.: Maxwell Graduate School of Citizenship and Public Affairs.
* 1964, "The managing of organizations: The administrative struggle New York: Free Press of Glencoe."
* 1966, "The state of the nation : social systems accounting", New York : Tavistock Publications, 1966, 166 p.
* 1967, (eds.) "Social goals and indicators for American society", Philadelphia: American Academy of Political and Social Science.
* 1967, "Action under planning: The guidance of economic development", New York: McGraw-Hill Book Co.
* 1968, "Organizations and their managing", New York: Free Press.
* 1968, " A great society?", New York: Basic Books.
* 1970, "Political intelligence for America's future", with Michael Springer, Philadelphia: None.
* 1978, "The Legislative Struggle: A Study in Social Combat", Conn.: Greenwood Press.
* 1980, "Friendly Fascism: The New Face of Power in America", New York: M. Evans.
* 1993, "Legislative strategy: Shaping public policy", with Edward V. Schneier, New York: St. Martin's Press.
* 1993, "Congress today", with Edward V. Schneier, New York: St. Martin's Press.
* 1993, "Human rights for the 2lst century, foundations for responsible hope: A U.S. post Soviet dialogue Armonk,", with Peter H. Juviler, V.A. Kartashkin & E.A. Lukasheva (eds.), New York: M.E. Sharpe.

References

External links

* [http://books.google.com/books?id=KLmyw-p7IwUC&dq=friendly+fascism Friendly Fascism: The New Face of Power in America] .
* [http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/Fascism/Friendly_Fascism_BGross.html Friendly Fascism] , excerpts from the book.
* [http://www.eclectica.org/v1n1/reviews/wharton_friendly.html Frienndly Fascism: A review] by Dale Wharton


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