Bush the Fascist?
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By reeder - Last updated: Tuesday, August 26, 2003 - Save & Share - 8 Comments

Excuse the formatting. A left-leaning friend sent this to me… I’ll withhold my comments for a while and let you all have at it… Pardon the poor formatting – I’m tied up in a training class.


Editor’s Note | This story ran in the New York Times in 1944. Draw
>your own conclusions and compare Henry Wallace’s analysis to the
>situation we find ourselves in today.
> The Danger of American Fascism
> By Henry A. Wallace
> The New York Times
> From Henry A. Wallace, Democracy Reborn (New York, 1944), edited by
>Russell Lord, p. 259.
> Sunday 09 April 1944
> On returning from my trip to the West in February, I received a
>request from The New York Times to write a piece answering the following questions:
> What is a fascist?
> How many fascists have we?
> How dangerous are they?
> A fascist is one whose lust for money or power is combined with such
>an intensity of intolerance toward those of other races, parties,
>classes, religions, cultures, regions or nations as to make him
>ruthless in his use of deceit or violence to attain his ends. The
>supreme god of a fascist, to which his ends are directed, may be money
>or power; may be a race or a class; may be a military, clique or an
>economic group; or may be a culture, religion, or a political party.
> The perfect type of fascist throughout recent centuries has been the
>Prussian Junker, who developed such hatred for other races and such
>allegiance to a military clique as to make him willing at all times to
>engage in any degree of deceit and violence necessary to place his
>culture and race astride the world. In every big nation of the world
>are at least a few people who have the fascist temperament. Every
>Jew-baiter, every Catholic hater, is a fascist at heart. The hoodlums
>who have been desecrating churches, cathedrals and synagogues in some
>of our larger cities are ripe material for fascist leadership.
> The obvious types of American fascists are dealt with on the air and in
>the press. These demagogues and stooges are fronts for others. Dangerous as
>these people may be, they are not so significant as thousands of other
>people who have never been mentioned. The really dangerous American
>fascists
>are not those who are hooked up directly or indirectly with the Axis. The
>FBI has its finger on those. The dangerous American fascist is the man who
>wants to do in the United States in an American way what Hitler did in
>Germany in a Prussian way. The American fascist would prefer not to use
>violence. His method is to poison the channels of public information. With
>a
>fascist the problem is never how best to present the truth to the public
>but
>how best to use the news to deceive the public into giving the fascist and
>his group more money or more power.
> If we define an American fascist as one who in case of conflict puts
>money
>and power ahead of human beings, then there are undoubtedly several million
>fascists in the United States. There are probably several hundred thousand
>if we narrow the definition to include only those who in their search for
>money and power are ruthless and deceitful. Most American fascists are
>enthusiastically supporting the war effort. They are doing this even in
>those cases where they hope to have profitable connections with German
>chemical firms after the war ends. They are patriotic in time of war
>because
>it is to their interest to be so, but in time of peace they follow power
>and
>the dollar wherever they may lead.
> American fascism will not be really dangerous until there is a
>purposeful
>coalition among the cartelists, the deliberate poisoners of public
>information, and those who stand for the K.K.K. type of demagoguery.
> The European brand of fascism will probably present its most serious
>postwar threat to us via Latin America. The effect of the war has been to
>raise the cost of living in most Latin American countries much faster than
>the wages of labor. The fascists in most Latin American countries tell the
>people that the reason their wages will not buy as much in the way of goods
>is because of Yankee imperialism. The fascists in Latin America learn to
>speak and act like natives. Our chemical and other manufacturing concerns
>are all too often ready to let the Germans have Latin American markets,
>provided the American companies can work out an arrangement which will
>enable them to charge high prices to the consumer inside the United States.
>Following this war, technology will have reached such a point that it will
>be possible for Germans, using South America as a base, to cause us much
>more difficulty in World War III than they did in World War II. The
>military
>and landowning cliques in many South American countries will find it
>attractive financially to work with German fascist concerns as well as
>expedient from the standpoint of temporary power politics.
> Fascism is a worldwide disease. Its greatest threat to the United States
>will come after the war, either via Latin America or within the United
>States itself.
> Still another danger is represented by those who, paying lip service to
>democracy and the common welfare, in their insatiable greed for money and
>the power which money gives, do not hesitate surreptitiously to evade the
>laws designed to safeguard the public from monopolistic extortion. American
>fascists of this stamp were clandestinely aligned with their German
>counterparts before the war, and are even now preparing to resume where
>they
>left off, after “the present unpleasantness” ceases:
> The symptoms of fascist thinking are colored by environment and adapted
>to
>immediate circumstances. But always and everywhere they can be identified
>by
>their appeal to prejudice and by the desire to play upon the fears and
>vanities of different groups in order to gain power. It is no coincidence
>that the growth of modern tyrants has in every case been heralded by the
>growth of prejudice. It may be shocking to some people in this country to
>realize that, without meaning to do so, they hold views in common with
>Hitler when they preach discrimination against other religious, racial or
>economic groups. Likewise, many people whose patriotism is their proudest
>boast play Hitler’s game by retailing distrust of our Allies and by giving
>currency to snide suspicions without foundation in fact.
> The American fascists are most easily recognized by their deliberate
>perversion of truth and fact. Their newspapers and propaganda carefully
>cultivate every fissure of disunity, every crack in the common front
>against
>fascism. They use every opportunity to impugn democracy. They use
>isolationism as a slogan to conceal their own selfish imperialism. They
>cultivate hate and distrust of both Britain and Russia. They claim to be
>super-patriots, but they would destroy every liberty guaranteed by the
>Constitution. They demand free enterprise, but are the spokesmen for
>monopoly and vested interest. Their final objective toward which all their
>deceit is directed is to capture political power so that, using the power
>of
>the state and the power of the market simultaneously, they may keep the
>common man in eternal subjection.
> Several leaders of industry in this country who have gained a new vision
>of the meaning of opportunity through co-operation with government have
>warned the public openly that there are some selfish groups in industry who
>are willing to jeopardize the structure of American liberty to gain some
>temporary advantage. We all know the part that the cartels played in
>bringing Hitler to power, and the rule the giant German trusts have played
>in Nazi conquests. Monopolists who fear competition and who distrust
>democracy because it stands for equal opportunity would like to secure
>their
>position against small and energetic enterprise. In an effort to eliminate
>the possibility of any rival growing up, some monopolists would sacrifice
>democracy itself.
> It has been claimed at times that our modern age of technology
>facilitates
>dictatorship. What we must understand is that the industries, processes,
>and
>inventions created by modern science can be used either to subjugate or
>liberate. The choice is up to us. The myth of fascist efficiency has
>deluded
>many people. It was Mussolini’s vaunted claim that he “made the trains run
>on time.” In the end, however, he brought to the Italian people
>impoverishment and defeat. It was Hitler’s claim that he eliminated all
>unemployment in Germany. Neither is there unemployment in a prison camp.
> Democracy to crush fascism internally must demonstrate its capacity to
>”make the trains run on time.” It must develop the ability to keep people
>fully employed and at the same time balance the budget. It must put human
>beings first and dollars second. It must appeal to reason and decency and
>not to violence and deceit. We must not tolerate oppressive government or
>industrial oligarchy in the form of monopolies and cartels. As long as
>scientific research and inventive ingenuity outran our ability to devise
>social mechanisms to raise the living standards of the people, we may
>expect
>the liberal potential of the United States to increase. If this liberal
>potential is properly channeled, we may expect the area of freedom of the
>United States to increase. The problem is to spend up our rate of social
>invention in the service of the welfare of all the people.
> The worldwide, agelong struggle between fascism and democracy will not
>stop when the fighting ends in Germany and Japan. Democracy can win the
>peace only if it does two things:
> Speeds up the rate of political and economic inventions so that both
>production and, especially, distribution can match in their power and
>practical effect on the daily life of the common man the immense and
>growing
>volume of scientific research, mechanical invention and management
>technique. Vivifies with the greatest intensity the spiritual processes
>which are both the foundation and the very essence of democracy.
> The moral and spiritual aspects of both personal and international
>relationships have a practical bearing which so-called practical men deny.
>This dullness of vision regarding the importance of the general welfare to
>the individual is the measure of the failure of our schools and churches to
>teach the spiritual significance of genuine democracy. Until democracy in
>effective enthusiastic action fills the vacuum created by the power of
>modern inventions, we may expect the fascists to increase in power after
>the
>war both in the United States and in the world.
> Fascism in the postwar inevitably will push steadily for Anglo-Saxon
>imperialism and eventually for war with Russia. Already American fascists
>are talking and writing about this conflict and using it as an excuse for
>their internal hatreds and intolerances toward certain races, creeds and
>classes.
> It should also be evident that exhibitions of the native brand of
>fascism
>are not confined to any single section, class or religion. Happily, it can
>be said that as yet fascism has not captured a predominant place in the
>outlook of any American section, class or religion. It may be encountered
>in
>Wall Street, Main Street or Tobacco Road. Some even suspect that they can
>detect incipient traces of it along the Potomac. It is an infectious
>disease, and we must all be on our guard against intolerance, bigotry and
>the pretension of invidious distinction. But if we put our trust in the
>common sense of common men and “with malice toward none and charity for
>all”
>go forward on the great adventure of making political, economic and social
>democracy a practical reality, we shall not fail.

Posted in Politics • • Top Of Page

8 Responses to “Bush the Fascist?”

Comment from jank
Time August 26, 2003 at 12:09 pm

Democracy can win the peace only if it does two things:

Speeds up the rate of political and economic inventions so that both production and, especially, distribution can match in their power and practical effect on the daily life of the common man the immense and growing volume of scientific research, mechanical invention and management technique.

Vivifies with the greatest intensity the spiritual processes which are both the foundation and the very essence of democracy. The moral and spiritual aspects of both personal and international relationships have a practical bearing which so-called practical men deny. This dullness of vision regarding the importance of the general welfare to the individual is the measure of the failure of our schools and churches to teach the spiritual significance of genuine democracy.

The first sounds like Trickle-Down economics to me, and the second sounds like Judge Moore in Alabama could have written it.

Controversial stuff.

Comment from jank
Time August 26, 2003 at 12:25 pm

And a little biographical information on Mr. Wallace:

In 1948 Wallace became presidential candidate of the Progressive Party, a newly organized third party with a pro-Soviet platform attacking the Marshall Plan and calling for disarmament Although polling a popular vote of over a million, Wallace and the vice-presidential candidate, Senator Glen H. Taylor of Idaho, failed to carry any state. In 1950 Wallace left the party after it had repudiated his endorsement of the United States-United Nations police action in Korea. He subsequently published a statement, “Why I Was Wrong” (This Week, Sept. 7, 1952), explaining his shift from sympathy for the aims of the Soviet Union to a deep distrust of these aims. Wallace withdrew from politics and resumed his activity with the Pioneer Hi-Bred Corn Company, from his farm in New York State.

More: Wallace was one of the most controversial figures of the New Deal and Fair Deal periods. He urged adoption of the Agricultural Adjustment Act, a New Deal plan designed to solve the farm problem by government planning. Wallace was not renominated for the vice presidency in 1944 because many Democrats did not like his social idealism and internationalism. In 1946, President Truman asked Wallace to resign as secretary of commerce because of his outspoken criticism of the U.S. “get-tough” policy toward the Soviet Union.

And a Bio by Arthur Schlesinger Jr.: “In 1944 FDR sent him on a disastrous trip to East Asia. In the Soviet Union, the Russians fooled him by turning the slave labor camp at Magadan into a Potemkin village and in China, the columnist Joseph Alsop persuaded him to cable the president recommending that Gen. Joseph W. Stilwell be recalled. Wallace was really too naive for a hard world … Wallace, in a messianic mood, saw himself as the designated savior of the republic. Naively oblivious to the Communist role in his campaign, he roundly attacked the Marshall Plan, blamed Truman for Stalin’s takeover of Czechoslovakia and predicted that Truman’s “bipartisan reactionary war policy” would end with American soldiers “lying in their Arctic suits in the Russian snow.” The United States, Wallace said, was heading into fascism: “We recognize Hitlerite methods when we see them in our own land.” He became in effect a Soviet apologist … Eleanor Roosevelt herself led the repudiation of Wallace in column after column. “The American Communists,” she wrote, “will be the nucleus of Mr. Wallace’s third party. . . . Any use of my husband’s name in connection with that party is from my point of view entirely dishonest.” Only one prominent New Dealer, Rexford G. Tugwell, supported Wallace, and the Communist presence led him to drop out of the Wallace campaign before its end.”

Lastly a Link to the article in a more readable form.

Comment from K-PHO
Time August 26, 2003 at 3:30 pm

R2, I have to say this was too rambling to digest as a whole in the small amount of time I have to post, so I’ll just pick a few items that stood out and assume that this article should be compared with our current Iraqi quagmire. First:

“The myth of fascist efficiency has deluded many people. It was Mussolini’s vaunted claim that he ‘made the trains run on time.’ In the end, however, he brought to the Italian people impoverishment and defeat.”

Then:

“Democracy to crush fascism internally must demonstrate its capacity to ‘make the trains run on time.’ It must develop the ability to keep people fully employed and at the same time balance the budget. It must put human beings first and dollars second. It must appeal to reason and decency and not to violence and deceit. We must not tolerate oppressive government or industrial oligarchy in the form of monopolies and cartels.”

So we’ve all seen a number of stories about Iraqis who comment that although Saddam was a harsh bastard, he kept the peace and the utilities operating properly. We (the US) know that things can be better in this world, so We tell the Iraqis to endure the chaos, be patient and wait for their Utopian Democratic Society to form. Why? Because We put human beings first and dollars second (look at our healthcare system!), We appeal to reason and decency and not to violence and deceit (look at our wonderful music and movies!), and We don’t tolerate monopolies and cartels (look at our military industrial complex!). Hmmm.

Bottom line, I will always agree that we should not tolerate fascism, American or otherwise. This means we shouldn’t tolerate an administration that has bullied us into wars, encroached on our civil liberties, rewards industrial oligarchy and reverses environmental progress. Bush is a fascist. Nicely done, Reeder.

Comment from K-PHO
Time August 26, 2003 at 3:30 pm

R2, I have to say this was too rambling to digest as a whole in the small amount of time I have to post, so I’ll just pick a few items that stood out and assume that this article should be compared with our current Iraqi quagmire. First:

“The myth of fascist efficiency has deluded many people. It was Mussolini’s vaunted claim that he ‘made the trains run on time.’ In the end, however, he brought to the Italian people impoverishment and defeat.”

Then:

“Democracy to crush fascism internally must demonstrate its capacity to ‘make the trains run on time.’ It must develop the ability to keep people fully employed and at the same time balance the budget. It must put human beings first and dollars second. It must appeal to reason and decency and not to violence and deceit. We must not tolerate oppressive government or industrial oligarchy in the form of monopolies and cartels.”

So we’ve all seen a number of stories about Iraqis who comment that although Saddam was a harsh bastard, he kept the peace and the utilities operating properly. We (the US) know that things can be better in this world, so We tell the Iraqis to endure the chaos, be patient and wait for their Utopian Democratic Society to form. Why? Because We put human beings first and dollars second (look at our healthcare system!), We appeal to reason and decency and not to violence and deceit (look at our wonderful music and movies!), and We don’t tolerate monopolies and cartels (look at our military industrial complex!). Hmmm.

Bottom line, I will always agree that we should not tolerate fascism, American or otherwise. This means we shouldn’t tolerate an administration that has bullied us into wars, encroached on our civil liberties, rewarded industrial oligarchy and reversed environmental progress. Bush is a fascist. Nicely done, Reeder.

Comment from Rick
Time August 26, 2003 at 8:34 pm

Oh, Kevin – you’ve been in Maine too long! No one bullied you into war. The duly elected president of the United States executed the duties of his office as he saw fit.

This was a rambling article, and there are a number of particulars that I could take issue with – but I was mainly interested in seeing if anyone was ready to jump on the bandwagon of the person who originally emailed the article… stating that Bush is indeed, a Fascist. Nicely done, K-Pho. :-)

Are we glad that the USA stopped Nazism in Europe? Are we glad that the USA stopped Japanese imperialism (we won’t talk about our own today… :-)? Are we glad the USA contained and then elminated communism? We will be glad that the USA stopped Islamic extremism some day. I fully believe that sticking with Afganistan and Iraq and bringing them to their God-given position of self-determination will pay enormous divedends in the entire region – both for those living there, as well as Americans who enjoy sub $1.50/gallon gas.

Bush is not a fascist, he is a liberator. Time will tell.

Comment from KellyMc
Time August 26, 2003 at 9:46 pm

Can we add a troll score card to the front page? It would be really helpful to see who’s winning this BPB game thingie.

Comment from Jank
Time August 26, 2003 at 10:23 pm

I got a second-hand e-mail from an academy type who was a classmate of one of the reservists I drill with (Went USMC instead of USN). He’s in Iraq, outside of the Baghdad area to the north, and says that the locals really have welcomed the US troops with open arms. Even if Pres. Bush didn’t go into Iraq for ‘the right reasons’, it was ultimately the right thing to do for the Iraqi people.

Let’s face it, but as many flaws as our system has, there’s nothing else even close. K-Pho mentioned health care, which always cracks me up. The folks countries with nationalized health care hate it. Costs go through the roof once someone besides the consumer is paying them, and the rate of increase increases the further the costs are removed from the individual. It’s basic Adam Smith. The British and Canadian systems are falling apart, and guess what – it’s not the rich who don’t get treated. We may have a percentage of the population uninsured, but there are pretty strict laws in place that make sure that people get lifesaving care. Further, take a quick look at where drugs, etc, are developed – quick hint, it ain’t a country w/socalized medicine.

Comment from K-PHO
Time August 27, 2003 at 8:39 am

I guess my post was so nice, it posted twice.

Be careful about comparisons of stopping the well-armed threat of the 1930’s-1940’s Axis Powers and the pathetically-armed threat of Saddam. We are already seeing that issue unravel here and in the U.K. Oh, and you better tell China that communism no longer exists. They seem to think it’s viable and their leaders make Saddam look like Mr. Rogers. I just can’t believe we will eventually create goodwill somehow by this whole mess.

I mention health care not to promote socialized medicine or a national health care system, but to spotlight the fact that our system needs reform. I’d say the costs are through the fucking roof in the US, where the consumer is paying for them already with a VERY LARGE percentage of our population uninsured. How many stories do you have to hear about astronomically expensive prescription drugs, priced to pay for advertising and marketing and to cover the commissions paid to pharmacy benefit managers? Don’t make me go on. Please.

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