Follow the Soapbox
Mickey Z. -- World News Trust/SPN
Nov. 4, 2014

For eight years, during the 90s, I watched with a mixture of astonishment and contempt as Bill Clinton was regularly portrayed as a “liberal” by supporters while his opponents to the “right” went much further: viewing him as some kind of dangerous radical. 

Of course, the same useful delusion exists in full effect today with the Pope of Hope in the White House. In the case of JFK, his liberal (sic) status is often given as a reason why he was assassinated.

Then we have the granddaddy of all phony progressives: Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

Even as FDR was admitting to being “deeply impressed” with Benito Mussolini -- referring to the Italian ruler as that “admirable Italian gentleman” -- in the 1930s, the two-party deception nearly saw him overthrown.

The Butler (almost) Did It

Despite FDR’s positive assessment of the strongman of Italian fascism, there is evidence that some home-grown fascists may have cautiously explored the option of a U.S. coup during the early days of the New Deal. In 1934, the DuPonts and the Morgans tried to hire former Marine Gen. Smedley Butler (Ret.) to stage a fascist overthrow of the supposedly liberal Roosevelt administration. 

Later that year, Butler testified before a congressional committee convened to investigate this possible sedition. After claiming that Wall Street brokers had offered him millions of dollars to set up a fascist army of half a million, Butler explained that Gerald MacGuire of Grayson Murphy and Company had told him that FDR would remain as a figurehead president. Businessmen and generals would run the country and everything would be legal (sound familiar?).

Before passing judgment on the veracity of Butler’s claims, consider how the general himself summarized his career before a legionnaires convention in 1931:

I spent 33 years … being a high-class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer for capitalism … I helped purify Nicaragua for the international banking house of Brown Brothers in 1909-1912. I helped make Mexico and especially Tampico safe for American oil interests in 1916. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for American sugar interests in 1916. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City (Bank) boys to collect revenue in. I helped in the rape of a half a dozen Central American republics for the benefit of Wall Street. 

The alleged coup plan fizzled when Butler told FDR about it, thus presenting the president with a new problem. Fearful of the financial fallout of arresting anyone named Morgan or DuPont, FDR chose instead to leak the news to the press. “Not for the first time or last time in his career, (Roosevelt) was aware that there were powers greater than he in the United States,” says author Charles Higham.

Press reports led to the congressional investigation, which delved into the role played in the proposed takeover by General Douglas MacArthur. Thanks to the influence of big business, however, Congress found the task of rooting out fascism among U.S. financiers and corporate heads unnecessary.

“Butler begged the committee to summon the Du Ponts,” wrote Higham, “but the committee declined. Nor would it consent to call anyone from the house of Morgan.”

Thus, while the arsenal of alleged democracy was gearing up to do battle with totalitarianism, the very mechanism of its popular support was under strenuous attack from the economic elites who hold the power… and continue to do so.

While “everyday” citizens debate Obama’s socialism (sic), the poverty, the repression, the ecocide expands. As long as we choose to accept the two-party lie, the capitalist puppet masters will continue their reign of terror. 

To paraphrase a “certain admirable Italian gentlemen”: Fascism is corporatism.

NYC Event: Come see Mickey Z. in person on Wednesday, Nov. 5, as he hosts and moderates a screening of The Guardian Angel of Guatemala

Mickey Z. is the author of 12 books, most recently Occupy this Book: Mickey Z. on Activism. Until the laws are changed or the power runs out, he can be found on the Web here. Anyone wishing to support his activist efforts can do so by making a donation here.



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