Thursday, July 5, 2007

What was Doc Savage being groomed to do?

It always seemed to me that Doc Savage's extensive training program from birth seemed like a very large investment just to create a superior adventurer. I think that Clark Senior had something more ambitious in mind. I have long suspected that Doc was being groomed for political office.

In "the Man of Bronze" Hubert Robertson was killed along with Clark Senior. I suspect that there were others also killed who had been part of the cabal who was in on the total project. They would have been wealthy and powerful men who had plans to advance Doc's political career. The Hidalgo gold would have paid for it all and they were all likely trustees of the foundation incorporated in Hidalgo to manage the funds. That was how Kulkulkan discovered their names and targeted them for assassination. The original plan would have been for Clark Junior to establish himself as a media figure and crime fighter and then to have him run for congress in the early 1930s. That would have been followed by election to the Senate and finally the White House in 1940 or 1944. He would have run on a progressive ticket that advocated advancing technology as the solution to the country's problems and greater international cooperation. The political program would also have emphasized self-discipline and rugged individualism for which Doc Savage was the poster boy. People everywhere would have been trying to emulate his two hour daily regimen, and education in the sciences would have become fashionable.

Beyond that, I think the Empire State Building was intended to be more than just a symbol of American prowess. It was intended to be the Capital of a new world Government centered in New York. This would anticipate the United Nations by almost 20 years. Riding on the wave of 1920s prosperity and internationalism coupled with the strong anti-war sentiment that WWI had caused, the time was ripe to move the League of Nations from stagnant Geneva to vibrant New York. And Doc would be it's first President Emeritus.

Doc would have been a combination of Jack Kennedy, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Albert Einstein, Thomas Edison, and J. Edgar Hoover. He would have had broad appeal to a progressive electorate looking for a new kind of world leader.

But nobody could have predicted the stock market crash and the Depression. My sources inform me that in mid 1928, one of the cabal backing Doc's political aspirations was murdered under mysterious circumstances and that Doc was instrumental in finding the culprit. It was this case that led to him and his men receiving their honorary Police Commissions. The murdered man was a powerful figure on Wall Street who was pushing for immediate reforms and warning of imminent disaster. Doc always suspected that his death was the result of a conspiracy by other financiers, but was never able to prove it. The death of this man before his reforms could have been enacted may have been what made Black Tuesday inevitable.

The Depression made technological solutions economically infeasible and turned the country away from self-reliance and capitalism and more towards central economic planning. The concurrent crop failures and the Dust Bowl made things even worse. Many intellectuals were actually tempted towards socialism and communism.

And the death of Clark Senior, Hubert Robertson and the other members of the cabal destroyed any hope of the political agenda being enacted. Doc Savage could never hope to break into politics without backers and political insiders, especially in the climate that prevailed in 1932. With the death of his high level political supporters, Doc became just another philanthropist and the platform on which he would have run would not have appealed to the electorate. His programs needed to ride a wave of prosperity and technological advancement along with good relations overseas. But the Depression started having negative economic impacts around the world which would lead among other things to the rise of Nazism in Germany, Imperialism in Japan, and Italian excursions into Ethiopia. All of this undermined the League of Nations and international diplomacy became impotent in the face of these multiple crises.

And who could have predicted the 4 term presidency of FDR? No president before him had had more than 2 terms. In many ways he was the anti-thesis of Doc Savage. He was a father figure, who inherited his fortune and was not a self-made man. He was also a cripple and a member of the liberal elite who was trying to push socialist-type agendas. He would never have been elected if it had not been for the Depression and once in office he never left.

But it should be noted that in the Super Saga The Green Bell, Doc implemented very similar programs to those of the New Deal to help a town in an economic slump. So Doc Savage supported the use of executive powers to help alleviate economic problems and was not averse to many of the New Deal programs. But for him, such programs were a stop-gap measure until the country could return to free enterprise.

Meanwhile Hitler and Tojo threw the rest of the world into political and military chaos, killing millions and essentially destroying Europe and the League of Nations. Furthermore, the political instability they created would give the totalitarian Communists in Russia and eventually China an opportunity to further their plans for world conquest. This trend would continue for the next 5 decades until the Communist Bloc literally imploded.

Ironically, Nazi Germany used technology and programs fostering sacrifice and self-reliance to reverse its economic slump, but not for solving social problems. Instead, it created the most advanced weapons of war of its day, and relied on the most primitive form of social engineering: the extermination of undesirables. From that time onwards, technology would be used primarily by governments to enhance military power and many advances would be labelled Top Secret and kept from use by the general public. After the Axis was defeated, the Cold War started and any hope of political reform for America or the world was dashed. While the US pioneered in the use of technology for non-military applications, even then a large proportion of GNP was directed towards Defense and any attempt at worldwide political reform was forestalled by the rivalry between the US and her allies opposing the Communist bloc.

One consequence of this was that the United Nations became a mere shadow of what it could have been. It was far more effective than the League of Nations had been, but it would never have the clout to create a democratic World Government.

Instead of becoming a political force in the world, Doc was relegated to being an adventurer and philanthropist. What should have been his time in the limelight became instead a missed opportunity. The world was not ready for a new political order based on technology and human self-discipline. It may be centuries before another such opportunity arises.

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