Facts and Fascism, by George Seldes

"Science," the Greek word for knowledge, when appended to the word "political," creates what seems like an oxymoron. For who could claim to know politics? More complicated than any game, most people who play it become addicts and die without understanding what they were addicted to. The rest of us suffer under their malpractice as our "leaders." A truer case of the blind leading the blind could not be found. Plumb the depths of confusion here.

Re: Facts and Fascism, by George Seldes

Postby admin » Wed Nov 27, 2013 12:27 am

PART II: NATIVE FASCIST FORCES

CHAPTER I: THE AMERICAN LEGION


THE American Legion is one of the largest and most powerful organizations in this country. The men who control it and have been in the saddle since its inception have made it one of the leading reactionary forces in America. The Legion is composed of a vast majority of men who are the victims of a plan financed by our ruling families. There is probably no greater example of mass misguidance in American history since World War I and the present Global War than the history of the million men of the Legion and its handful of misleaders.

An important movement is now under way to take the American Legion out of the control of the bankers, corporations, corporation lawyers, big business men and native Fascists who have controlled it ever since it was started. That it can be one of the greatest forces for progress or reaction depends on the rank and file membership, and what they do in the next year or two.

If any reader is unaware of the fact that the Legion was organized by special moneyed interests, and that it has been in fascist hands a large part of its existence, the fault is with the daily newspapers which have suppressed the facts. The facts are:

1. In order to keep American soldiers from getting what was promised them in the World War, namely, a "Land Fit for Heroes," and to check what was termed "radical" thought for a better world, certain officers, aided by a big fund raised by corporations, founded the Legion.

2. Almost all Legion commanders have been corporation men.

3. More than one Legion commander has come out for Fascism.

4. The Legion has been the greatest unofficial force attempting to smash the labor movement; it was the greatest strike-breaking force in America until recently.

5. The Legion announced its policy of 100% Americanism; it denounced all other Isms, but never in its entire history did it publish one word against Fascism.

6. Year after year, from its beginning, the Legion was listed as the No. 1 enemy of civil liberties in the annual report of the American Civil Liberties Union, which published documentary evidence to prove this charge.

7. The Legion was found to be an undemocratic force and its control by a handful of politicians and corporation lawyers was also found to be undemocratic.

8. When one liberal post of the Legion published a pamphlet favoring genuine democratic Americanism, the Legion moved to suppress it.

9. Only 1,000,000 of the 4,000,000 men entitled to belong have ever been members. Legion statistics show it to be composed of the wealthier elements, and few working men.

10. In 1943 while Commander Roane Waring, aided by the Hearst press, smeared labor, a movement was started among union men in the Legion for knocking out native fascist control.

Anyone who looks into the origin of the American Legion will find that it was organized by the agents of big business and profits for the purpose of destroying the great American idealism of the Army in France. We really believed in making the world safe for democracy. All of us who were in the Army of Occupation believed that Wilson would win through and that Lloyd George and the others would live up to the wartime promises, which were:

"A New World." -- Lloyd George (Note: Similar to Wallace's Century of the Common Man of today).

"A New Deal for Everybody." -- Lloyd George (Similar to F.D.R.'s New Deal a generation later).

"Industrial Democracy." Wilson (Most of Congress today is trying to smash the few gains labor has made, rather than enlarge industrial democracy).

"A Land Fit for Heroes." -- Promised by prime ministers, kings and presidents on the wining side.

"End of the Conflict Between Capital and Labor; Workingmen's Cooperation in Industry." -- Promised by Giolitti to the workmen of Italy and by Charles M. Schwab of Bethlehem Steel, spokesman for U.S. industry.

Professor William Gellermann, in his book The American Legion as Education, gives all the evidence which he and other researchers have gathered on the reasons the Legion was started by such men as Col. Bill Donovan, Theodore Roosevelt, Jr., Major (now Congressman) Ham Fish, and Captain Ogden Mills, the multi-millionaire who later became Secretary of the Treasury. This is his summary:

"The American Legion was in no sense a 'spontaneous expression ... of Americans who helped crush autocracy.' On the contrary, it is evident that it was intended to circumvent any spontaneous organization on the part of ex-servicemen. ... The morale of the American Army after the armistice was unsatisfactory. ... Those responsible for the initiation of the American Legion have been satisfied with the results. ... It not only met the threat of Bolshevism at the end of the World War but has been a satisfactory antidote to 'radicalism' throughout the entire postwar period and promises to be so for a number of years yet to come.

"It required a quarter of a million dollars to finance the American Legion during its organization period. This money was borrowed ... but it seemed expedient to make it appear that the money came exclusively from Legion members. No one has yet satisfactorily explained the letter on Swift & Co. stationery. ..."

"SWIFT AND COMPANY

"Chicago, December 26, 1919"

"(Addressed to numerous packing interests in Chicago).

"At a meeting held on December 23, 1919, presided over by Mr. Thomas E. Wilson, there were present representatives of the different stockyard interests and it was voted that they contribute $10,000 toward a campaign for funds for the American Legion.

"A national drive is being made for the Legion and the amount asked from Illinois is $100,000, Mr. James B. Forgan, chairman of the First National Bank being treasurer of the fund for Illinois.

"The Illinois enrollment in the Legion, in comparison with other states, is very much less than it should be. We are all interested in the Legion, the results it will obtain, and the ultimate effect in helping to offset radicalism.

"It is very important that we assist this worthy work, and at the meeting I was asked by the chairman to write to the different stockyard interests for their contribution.

"In prorating the amounts it was suggested that we use an arbitrary percentage as a basis and the amount you are asked to contribute is $100.00.

"Will you please make check for this amount payable to Mr. Thomas E. Wilson, chairman?

"Kindly send me a copy of your letter to Mr. Wilson.

"Very truly yours,

"Nathan B. Higbie."


Radicalism -- the idealistic desire of all our soldiers for a better world, a new deal, a land fit for heroes, a greater democracy -- was the enemy of the founders of the American Legion, just as today it is the enemy of the Dies Committee and just as it is the enemy of fascist forces the world over. They always pin the red flag on it, call it vile names, denounce it in the corrupt commercial newspapers, and organize all the forces of wealth and power against the desire of the majority of the people for higher wages, a better standard of living, a truer democracy.

Gellermann's book concludes: "The American Legion is a potential force in the direction of Fascism in the U.S. ... In the American Legion program of suppression [of free speech, labor rights, minorities, books, public assembly, strikes, etc., all detailed previously] we see Fascism in its incipient states. The American Legion is irritated by those movements in American society which seem to threaten the status quo."

THE LEGION'S FASCIST RECORD

One of the first commanders of the Legion was Alvin Owsley, of Texas, and the 36th Division. He was elected at the San Francisco convention which went on record by sending an invitation to Mussolini to make the principal address. Learning of the pro-fascist tendency of the Legion and its new commander, the N.E.A. Service (Cleveland syndicate operated by the Scripps-Howard press) had one of its star men, Edward Thierry, interview Commander Owsley. This copyright interview was released December 9, 1922, and was published throughout the country on that and the following days. Here is the main part:

"'If ever needed, the American Legion stands ready to protect our country's institutions and ideals as the Fascisti dealt with the destructionists who menaced Italy!'

"Colonel Alvin Owsley, commander of the American Legion, made this statement in an exclusive interview with N.E.A. service today.

"'By taking over the government?' he was asked.

"'Exactly that,' declared Owsley. 'The American Legion is fighting every element that threatens our democratic government -- Soviets, anarchists, I.W.W.'s, revolutionary socialists and every other "red".'

"'Should the day ever come when they menace the freedom of our representative government, the Legion would not hesitate to take things into its own hands -- to fight the "reds" as the Fascisti of Italy fought them.'

"The Legion commander said the world spread of revolutionary doctrine had to be taken seriously. He said patriotic Italians had been forced to take extreme measures which probably would never be necessary here. But he emphasized the significance of what the Fascisti had done.

"'Do not forget,' he said, 'that the Fascisti are to Italy what the American Legion is to the United States. And that Mussolini, the new premier, was the commander of the Legion -- the ex-service- men-of Italy. ... The Legion is not in politics. ... But there is plenty of politics in the Legion -- potential power, I mean.'"


In 1937 this writer was editor of a new magazine, Ken, owned by David Smart, owner of Esquire. Smart agreed to publish a series of articles on the Legion until he found out that one of its commanders, Franklin D'Olier, was also head of the Prudential Insurance Company, and would refuse him advertising if the truth were told. He suppressed the entire series of articles.

In order to document the charge of Fascism against Owsley and to give him a chance to retract his fascist views, if he had changed his mind during the course of fifteen years, Ken's editor wrote Owsley, who was then U.S. Minister to Ireland. The letter concluded: "I write to question you whether there has been any change in your opinion, or whether you wish to make any changes, before (N.E.A.) gives me permission to quote copyright article."

By the time he answered, the Honorable Alvin Owsley was U.S. Minister to Denmark. Here is his reply:

"(U.S. Seal)

"Legation of the United States of America

"Copenhagen, January 6, 1938,

"You have been good enough to refer to my comment, the contents of which is reported as an interview to the news service of the N.E.A. in 1922, during the time I was privileged to serve as National Commander of the American Legion.

"While not recalling independently the interview, no doubt I at the time reflected the real sentiment of the hopeful and confident legionnaire in the light of history then before us. We shall ever keep in mind the American Legion is pledged to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States of America, Hence any action taken by the Legion will be within the Constitution.

"Now only the newly elected National Commander is authorized to speak for the Legion.

"You recall that the instructions and regulations of the Diplomatic Service deny me the privilege of expressing an opinion in regard to the public affairs of any foreign government or discussing, outside the State Department, any issue of national or international significance.

"With cordial regards,

"Yours very truly,

"Alvin Mansfield Owsley

"American Minister."


Mr. Owsley has never repudiated his endorsement of Mussolini and Fascism.

On May 4, 1935, the New England Methodist Council met at Lowell, Mass., where a member of the American Legion, and a former state chaplain, introduced the following resolution:

"We warn our people against the approaching menace of Fascism ... sponsored quite noticeably by the American Legion, which attempts to disguise itself in the terms of patriotism." The resolution was adopted.

But, almost every year from 1922 on, when Mussolini was invited by the San Francisco convention, new invitations were sent to him, and many Legion delegations visited him and returned to America filled with praise of the Duce, Fascism, and trains running on time.

Again in 1930 the Boston Legion convention invited Mussolini to attend. Labor unions protested and forced a withdrawal.

In 1931, Ralph T. O'Neill, national commander, presented to the fascist ambassador de Martino resolutions passed by the National Executive Committee of the Legion in favor of Mussolini.

In 1935 Col. William E. Easterwood, national vice-commander of the Legion, invited Mussolini to the Chicago convention, made the Duce an honorary member of the American Legion, and pinned a button on him. (Since the Legion has no honorary members, this action was later declared unconstitutional.)

But the most important documentary evidence of all exists in the files of the first un-American Committee, the predecessor of the Dies Committee. This story was distorted or suppressed in 99% of the American press, and is therefore dismissed with a printed shrug in all official Legion publications. Here is a small part of the evidence:

In 1934 leading members of the Legion conspired with Wall Street brokers and other big business men to upset the government of the United States and establish a fascist regime. They asked Smedley Butler, noted former commander of the U.S. Marines, to head the American fascist march on Washington. Butler not only refused, he insisted on exposing the plot, and when newspapers refused to print the truth, he spent several years telling it from the lecture platform.

General Butler testified :

"Shortly after MacGuire [Gerald G. MacGuire, employee of the brokerage firm of Grayson M.P. Murphy, and one of the founders of the American Legion] first came to see me he arranged for Robert Sterling Clark, a New York broker, to come to my house. ... (MacGuire proposed Butler raise several hundred thousand Legionnaires to take over Washington). To be perfectly fair to Mr. MacGuire he didn't seem bloodthirsty. He suggested that 'We might go along with Roosevelt and do with him what Mussolini did with the King of Italy.'"


Butler thought this was treason. He arranged to have a friend, the newspaper reporter Paul Comly French, present at subsequent talks with MacGuire. French testified before the McCormack-Dickstein Committee:

"He (MacGuire) shoved a letter across his (Butler's) desk saying it was from Louis Johnson of West Virginia, former national commander of the American Legion. MacGuire said Johnson wrote he would be in 'to discuss what we have talked about.'

"'That's just what we are discussing now,' he told me.

"During our conversation he mentioned that Henry Stephens of North Carolina, another former national commander of the American Legion, was interested in the plan."


The Congressional Committee also heard testimony from James Van Zandt, commander of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, which completely supported that of General Butler and admitted knowledge of this plot. Butler concluded his own testimony by suggesting that the Committee question several persons on the subject of the plot to lead a Legion army to establish a fascist regime in Washington, and notably: Grayson M.P. Murphy, Governor Ely of Massachusetts, William Doyle, former department commander of the Legion in Massachusetts, and Commander Frank N. Belgrano of the Legion. Belgrano was called to Washington but secret pressure was exerted and he was never called to testify. Murphy was a director of Guaranty Trust, a Morgan bank; also director of Anaconda Copper, Goodyear, Bethlehem Steel. He was treasurer of the DuPont-financed Liberty League. He was decorated by Mussolini and made a Commander of the Crown of Italy. It was Murphy who raised a large part of the big money which started the Legion in Paris in 1919.

Clark, broker at 11 Wall Street, was also one of the Liberty League financiers. Butler testified that Clark said: "I have got $30,000,000 and I don't want to lose it. I am willing to spend half of the thirty millions to save the other half." In Butler's presence Clark phoned MacGuire to go ahead with a $45,000 fund to use at the American Legion convention to put through a resolution in favor of maintaining the gold standard. Such a resolution was passed.

When finally the McCormack-Dickstein Committee published its findings, it suppressed certain parts of General Butler's testimony, notably the phrase "and in about two weeks the Liberty League appeared," thus connecting the Liberty League with the Legion plot. Also suppressed: French's testimony that McGuire said he could get financing for a fascist putsch from John W. Davis, Morgan attorney, or Perkins of National City Bank; and that the guns would come from the Remington Arms; and that "one of the DuPonts is on the board of directors of the Liberty League and they own a controlling interest in Remington Arms Co."

Some of the most sensational parts of the testimony were suppressed. Most papers suppressed the whole story or threw it down by ridiculing it. Nor did the press later publish the Mc-Cormack-Dickstein report which stated that every charge Butler made and French corroborated had been proven true. The official report concludes:

"Evidence was obtained showing that certain persons had made an attempt to establish a fascist organization in this country. There is no question but that these attempts were discussed, were planned, and might have been placed in execution when and if the financial backers deemed it expedient."


All the principals in the case were American Legion officials and financial backers.

The evidence of actual Fascism in the Legion is endless. Its record of anti-labor activities is one of the most violent chapters in American history. No less than 50 illegal acts of violence were committed in 1920, according to the 1921 report of the American Civil Liberties Union. Farmers Non-Partisan League speakers were tarred and feathered, crusading editors were beaten up, a concert by Fritz Kreisler broken up and strike- breaking in uniform was a commonplace. Kidnapping is a major crime but in 1935 Nick Bins, a racketeer, and several of his fellow members of the Racine Legion committed this crime. A newspaper man, posing as a customer, got Nick Bins to agree to do another kidnapping. Bins said (before a hidden microphone) that he would not murder the victim, but break his legs. There would be no difficulty if he were caught, said Bins, because all Racine judges are "100% OK" and especially Judge Belden, "a brother Legionnaire." For references for kidnapping and slugging, Bins suggested phoning "Chief Lutter of Racine." A $10 bill was handed Bins. Despite all this evidence it was almost impossible to get the law to act but when Bins was finally jailed a group of Legionnaires kept him company in his cell and shouted they had "fixed" the case. A defense fund for Bins, "a fellow Legionnaire," was supported by the Chamber of Commerce. National headquarters of the Legion took no action except to expel Rahman-De Bella and John Philip Sousa posts for supporting a labor union at the very same time.

In 1937, however, the national commander, Harry Colmery, issued an order warning the Legion that in the future no strike-breaking was to be done in uniform. This was, of course, an admission that from 1919 to 1937 the Legion had been one of the main anti-labor strikebreaking forces in the nation. Vigilanteism was endorsed, and the Legionnaires were not told to be neutral in strikes, but to leave off their uniforms, buttons and caps when they became strikebreakers.

The American Legion hasn't changed its fascist spots since Pearl Harbor. Since it was organized by big business in 1919 it has become the leading agency of the members of the National Association of Manufacturers. It has repaid its organizers, subsidizers and owners by becoming the main anti-labor and strikebreaking agency in the country.

When Roane Waring, Memphis utility executive, was chosen national commander of the Legion in September, 1942, he pledged that body's full support to the President and fulsomely urged that capital and industry as well as labor and agriculture be conscripted. The Legion has long been on record for equality of sacrifice in winning a war, conscription of money as well as of human life. Less than two months later, Waring, at an informal luncheon given to New York publishers, accused the administration of introducing "regimentation" and "communism." The $25,0000 salary limitation, he declared to his picked and sympathetic audience, was communistic and would "stifle personal endeavor, private enterprise, free initiative, ambition and the right of a man to earn what he can." He apparently had no objections to wage stabilization for workers. The Justice Department's monopoly suit against the A.P. he described as "stifling freedom of speech, freedom of contract. ..." And of course he added to these stiflers the usual NAM refrain of private energy, private ability and private interest.

Since then Waring has been touring the country denouncing unions and threatening to shoot strikers, delivering a particularly anti-labor, anti-democratic diatribe to the soldiers at Fort Bragg. In words of NAM vintage he began by attacking those people concerned about the future of "Sandwich Island Hottentots or the Patagonians" and warned the soldiers that if they want to live in a better post-war world they must be prepared to return from this war and fight social reform. "The Legion has fought and will continue to fight these un-American tenets. When this war is over there will be more freak Isms, more Utopian crackpots, social politicians ... who will trot out schemes for bringing on the millennium. ... Your job will be to fight them to the last ditch. ..."

Post Commander Jack Carrier of Minneapolis has taken Waring to task for violating the Legion constitution, which forbids not only strikebreaking but oratorical anti-labor activities. Carrier wrote Waring:

"The daily press currently carries stories of speeches made by you ... saying that all strikers should be shot, etc. It seems to the writer that you have strayed a long way from the preamble of our constitution and the stand of the Legion as mandated at the Cleveland convention.

"In fact, your rantings smack a great deal of the diatribe currently being put out by Hitler, Goebbels, et al. Their move was to destroy the organized labor movement in Germany, and your mouthings bear a startling resemblance to their tactics.

"No one ... denies you the right to do or say anything you may desire as an individual, but I do challenge your right to make such statements while wearing the uniform of the American Legion. Take off your Legion cap and put on the uniform of the National Association of Manufacturers.

"If you are the man and citizen that the American Legion pictures you to be, you will resign as national commander of the American Legion and cease fomenting disunity, intolerance and class hatred."


In May, 1943, meeting in Indianapolis, the executive committee of the American Legion continued its anti- American, Big Business, pro-NAM, anti-labor program by taking the following steps:

1. Endorsing the anti-labor program of the new Ku Klux Klan movement which started in Texas and which calls itself the Christian American Association.

2. Approving the proposal to accept $20,000,000 from the corporations for an "Americanism program" which is nothing more than the "Free Enterprise" or "The American Way" program of the NAM (which incidentally caused the collapse of 1929, with 13,000,000 unemployed in 1933, and which fought the New Deal and opposes all new deals, square deals and the Century of the Common Man).

Suppressed generally in the newspapers -- but reported by Federated Press, which serves the liberal-labor press -- was the action of the Legion committee in joining the fascist Christian American Association campaign for laws to prohibit the closed or union shop in the United States.

The Legion has now organized a World War II committee whose purpose will be to get the 10,800,000 veterans of the present war against Fascism to join the organization whose most notable act in more than 30 years is an act of omission: failure and refusal to fight Fascism. It was this new committee which introduced a resolution at executive session which states that "the American way of life has always endeavored to see to it that every citizen" enjoyed "free and unimpaired opportunity to accept gainful employment." This itself is cockeyed because no such opportunity exists for long periods of time.

The resolution then charges that "certain laws, regulations and contracts ... may limit that opportunity" for the returned forces. This is aimed at the Wagner Act, the Magna Carta of labor, the most important success of the New Deal, which has curbed the profiteers, anti-labor employers and native Fascists (who were exposed by the La Follette Committee as employing tens of thousands of spies, thugs, and murderers, poison gas and Thompson machine guns, and spending millions annually in illegal ways to keep American labor underpaid, terrorized, and non-union).

The Legion resolution concludes that "we recommend to the national executive committee that they take such steps as are necessary" so that no veteran of this war "shall be forced to join any trade union or other organization in order to gain employment." This is the same program the K.K.K. Christian Americans introduced in Texas.

The National Association of Manufacturers, through its affiliate, the National Industrial Council, is spending $1,000,000 a year propagandizing America against labor, against unions, against the New Deal, against any social security plan, against the $25,000 or any other salary limitation, against the Wagner Act, against human progress.

It employs "secrecy and deception" according to the final report of the La Follette investigation -- also college professors, newspaper columnists, journalists, clergymen and other propagandists whose aim is to pervert American public opinion.

Now the NAM has sent two of its subsidizers, representatives of the Owens-Illinois Glass Company and the General Tire Company, to arrange a $20,000,000 Americanism campaign through which the NAM propaganda will be spread by the Legion.

In the La Follette Report of the 76th Congress, 1st Session, the Owens-Illinois Glass Co. is listed among the employers of spies, detectives and racketeers to prevent labor from organizing; also as a large contributor, along with the General Tire Co., to the NAM.

Since January, 1943, the Legion "Royal Family" -- as the ruling clique is called -- has been discussing the $20,000,000 fund in secret with Big Business. Hugh O'Connor revealed in the New York Times in May that if other corporations do not contribute their full share of the millions, W. E. Lewis, chairman of the Owens- Illinois Glass Co., promises that his $150,000,000 corporation will "absorb the cost."

The $20,000,000 offer was made to the Legion by R. H. Barnard, vice-president of Owens-Illinois. His firm, along with eight other glass manufacturers, was indicted as a monopoly and violator of the Sherman anti-trust law. He wants to preserve "the American Way of Life," as James F. O'Neill, chairman of the Legion executive committee, put it in announcing the offer. Lewis explained that all the backers of the fund are interested in the future of "Free Enterprise" and "American initiative." All of these impressive phrases were coined by the NAM, whose real and main purpose, according to Congressional investigations, is to fight labor.

LABOR SHOWS THE WAY TO SAVE THE LEGION

It is evident that the Legion will continue to be a reactionary force unless veterans with democratic American views join it and steer it away from its past native-fascist line.

Labor has been slow to take action. But now it is on the march, and it is the present move by labor which can provide the solution of the fascist ideology of the Legion.

A national convention of the American Legion consists of about 1,300 delegates. Of these 1,300, probably not 15 carry union cards, and yet there are tens of thousands of union men in the Legion. If they were in touch with each other, acting and speaking together in the interests of labor and against the reactionary top clique that has generally run the Legion, they could be a great democratizing and liberalizing influence. One post commander, an active union man, told the writer that if 2% of the organized workers of the country were in the Legion and thinking and acting in it like union men, they could control it.

Efforts to unify the trade union membership of the Legion have been made for years. In 1938 an advertisement in a Legion paper asked all labor posts to get in contact with the labor posts in Los Angeles. A few posts did, and a semi-organization was formed. President Green of the A. F. of L. urged the millions of workers who are veterans of the first World War to join the 31 labor posts of the Legion and form new posts for the purpose of fighting the pro-fascists and NAM agents in control of the Legion.

But it was not until June, 1942, that a real conference of trade union posts was held in Chicago. A permanent organization was effected by the 31 posts represented in this National Conference of Union Legionnaires. The conference made its position known in a series of resolutions advocating a Second Front in Europe; approving Vice-President Wallace's Century of the Common Man speech; urging the Legion paper to carry the speech (which it didn't) -- and condemning Westbrook Pegler and asking that his labor-baiting column be dropped from the army paper, Stars and Stripes.

One of the main objectives of the next conference of union Legionnaires will be to get the Legion to appoint a new standing committee, a National Labor Relations Committee. A resolution calling for the appointment of such a committee was passed by two national conventions, but the brass hats in control have ignored this mandate.

The most important fact about the present Legion activity is its move to enroll all it can of America's 10,800,000 men of our war against Fascism into the old Legion. Veterans are generally democratic; they never joined the Legion. They are workers, not corporation heads, and those in the Legion have never been permitted to hold office. The policy of liberal leaders and publications for years has been to attack the Legion. But labor leaders now favor another plan: every eligible veteran and every man now in uniform should join the Legion and throw out the reactionaries who have perverted its program.

_______________

Bibliography:

Congressional Committee report: "Nazi and Other Propaganda," February 15, 1935. 74th Congress, 1st session; House of Representatives, pp. 9, 10, etc.
The American Legion as Education, by Professor William Gellermann, Columbia University.
King Legion, by Marcus Duffield. Cape and Smith.
The Truth About the American Legion, by Arthur Warner, The Nation, vol. 113.
Senate, Report No. 6, 76th Congress, 1st Session, Violations of Free Speech and the Rights of Labor (La Follette Report), page 151.
admin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 30817
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am

Re: Facts and Fascism, by George Seldes

Postby admin » Wed Nov 27, 2013 12:29 am

CHAPTER II: FASCISM IN U.S. INDUSTRY: THE FORD EMPIRE

HENRY FORD's picture for years hung over Hitler's desk in the Brown House in Munich. The Nazis in their early days boasted that they had the moral and financial support of the richest man in America.

The great democratic ambassador William E. Dodd saw the relationship between the big business interests which financed Hitler and the big business interests which financed the Liberty League and other early fascist organizations in America. Dodd had protested the deal whereby the Standard Oil Company of America and I.G. Farben of Nazi Germany became members of the same cartel; Standard advanced millions to I.G.F. for the manufacture of high octane gasoline from coal, and both split the world into sales zones for certain products, one of which was synthetic rubber. (Standard Oil suppressed the use of this patent.) Dodd also knew of the relationship of Henry Ford to Hitlerism. On returning to the United States, after a stormy relationship with the President, Ambassador Dodd said in an interview:

"Fascism is on the march today in America. Millionaires are marching to the tune. It will come in this country unless a strong defense is set up by all liberal and progressive forces. ...

"A clique of U.S. industrialists is hell-bent to bring a fascist state to supplant our democratic government, and is working closely with the fascist regime in Germany and Italy. Aboard ship a prominent executive of one of America's largest financial corporations told me point-blank that if the progressive trend of the Roosevelt administration continued, he would be ready to take definite action to bring Fascism to America.

"Certain American industrialists had a great deal to do with bringing fascist regimes into being in both Germany and Italy. They extended aid to help Fascism occupy the seat of power, and they are helping to keep it there.

"Propagandists for fascist groups try to dismiss the 'fascist scare.' We should be aware of the symptoms. When industrialists ignore laws designed for social and economic progress, they will seek recourse to a fascist state when the institutions of our government compel them to comply with the provisions."


Dr. Dodd did not name Henry Ford as chief of those certain millionaire industrialists who were working for Fascism, but it was not only generally believed at the time, but the Left press declared openly that Dodd was aiming at Ford.

To many persons Ford has always been our No. 1 Fascist. (Newspapermen usually give that spot to William Randolph Hearst, and there is an unending argument as to which of the two has done more harm to the mind of America, but no one doubts that both have spread more fascist poison in this country than any other pair of prominent men.)

"The Kingdom of Henry Ford," wrote Michael Sayers, "is a fascist state within the United States. All the characteristics of Fascism -- Jew-baiting, corruption, gangsterism -- exist today wherever King Henry Ford reigns over American workers. But Fordism and Americanism cannot long continue to exist side by side. Already in more than half a dozen states the National Labor Relations Board has found the Ford Motor Company guilty of maintaining 'a regime of terror and violence directed against its employees.'"


At the hearings in Dallas, Texas, Trial Examiner Robert Denham, who learned of almost unbelievable violence and sadism paid for by Ford, said in his report (April, 1940): "No case within the history of this board is known to the undersigned in which an employer had deliberately called and carried into execution a program of brutal beatings, whippings and other manifestations of physical violence comparable to that shown by the uncontradicted and wholly credible evidence on which the findings are based." Between June and December, 1937, 30 to 50 persons had been beaten up in the streets of Dallas by thugs, racketeers, gunmen and murderers on the payroll of Henry Ford, men hired by Harry Bennett for his service department. "Shocking brutalities" had been reported from every part of America where Ford had a plant and where the unions tried to exercise their constitutional rights to organize the men.

In the case of Ford, as in the case of Hitler, it was violence and bloodshed for profits. It was again the universal pursuit of money.

Strangely enough, the La Follette Committee investigating the terroristic systems of American Big Business -- the use of spies, stoolpigeons, thugs, gangsters, racketeers, gunmen, and murderers and the employment of Thompson machine guns and poison gas -- fails to mention Ford. It goes into detail on Lieut. Gen. William E. Knudsen's, Alfred P. Sloan's and the DuPont brothers' General Motors, for example, but there is no mention of Ford although it is generally known that Ford's Mr. Bennett had one of the biggest spy and thug services in America.

The many volumes of La Follette reports on American industry's hatred of the American workingman and its efforts to keep him down tell these facts:

1. that American business employs a vast espionage system whose purpose is to fight labor;

2. that 200 agencies employ 40,000 to 50,000 spies in industry;

3. that $80,000,000 a year is spent by the big corporations in fighting labor, employing spies, buying gas and guns, hiring gangs;

4. that almost all the great corporations are in the spy racket, including Ford, General Motors, U.S. Steel, Bethlehem Steel, Consolidated Edison, Weir, Frick Coke, etc.

5. that 2,500 companies, comprising what Senator La Follette called "the Blue Book of American Industry," are part of the American Gestapo;

6. that the National Association of Manufacturers, U.S. chamber of Commerce, Merchants and Manufacturers Association, National Metal Trades Association, are the chief organizations engaged in native Fascism.

7. that the American press, which still gives its front page and its approving editorials to the smears, exaggerations and falsehoods of the Dies Committee and similar committees, and which employs reporters to attack labor, and especially those labor unions which are progressive and militant and put up a strong fight for the rights of labor, suppressed almost all the hearings and findings of the La Follette Committee, which constituted an exposure of Fascism in American industry.

Unfortunately, also, our book publishers (who do not live on automobile company advertising, but who are nevertheless afraid of the goodwill or evil notice of newspapers which do), are none too anxious to print books exposing our own brands of Fascism.

A man named Ralph Rimar, who was in Harry Bennett's department for many years, and during the great strike which preceded the C.I.O. unionization, and who was second in command to Norval Marlette, chief of the so-called Intelligence Department of the Ford Empire, and therefore fourth man in the hierarchy from Ford himself, wrote a book which he called Heil Henry! -- The Confessions of a Ford Spy. No publisher would take it. I have read the entire manuscript and have obtained permission from Rimar's agents to quote from it.

The Ford Empire, Rimar shows, is ruled by a triumvirate for its owners, the Ford family. The triumvirs are: Harry Bennett, who bosses 130,000 men in peacetime, more in wartime; Charles Sorensen, an admirer of Hitler's, who bosses production; and W.I. Cameron, who directs public relations and who until recently spoke over the Ford Radio Hour. It was Cameron who published the notorious forgeries called "The Protocols of Zion" in Ford's anti-Semitic publication called the Dearborn Independent, and when Ford in 1927 recanted his anti-Semitism (at least officially) it was Cameron who continued his anti-Semitic activities through the Anglo-Saxon Federation of Detroit and Boston.

Thus we get a picture of Ford, Bennett, Sorensen and Cameron, each representing a different facet of a transplanted European Fascism.

Rimar is not an ordinary person. In his documents, which the present writer has examined, there are letters from Frank Murphy, governor of the Philippine Islands, governor of Michigan and a justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. One of them says:

"I recall very pleasantly the happy hours we spent together in philosophical discussion and exchange of views of man's endless quest for social and economic justice. I trust you are still interested. I am sure you would look upon my current effort (in the Philippines) to break down social inequalities in the Orient approvingly."


Here, then, are extracts from the amazing unpublished manuscript:

EXTRACTS FROM RIMAR'S CONFESSIONS

"Perhaps in telling my story [Rimar begins] I can undo some of the many wrongs I have helped to accomplish. ...

"It is not a pleasant story. ... It is a tale filled with violence and brutality, with human baseness and deceit, with greed, depravity and ruthlessness. It is a tale of the underworld, a tale describing the inner and furtive workings of the greatest individual industrial empire in the world, the Ford Motor Company.

"International fascist tieups, gangsterism within the plant as well as support of the Fifth Column without; connections between Ford Company officials and vice rings; relationships between Ford henchmen and city, state and government authorities; the use of criminals by the company, the protection of Nazis, the bribery of government witnesses; the torture, mutilation and murder of union men; the efforts to instigate race riots; the constant relentless plotting against tens of thousands of Ford workers."

[This is Rimar's introduction. The manuscript bears out these promises. All the fascist actions and horrors are described in the book.]

"For years I have been one of the key men in the Ford Gestapo. ... Within Ford's domain I soon found there was no liberty, no free speech, no human dignity ... the vast power of Ford extended into courts, schools, prisons, clubs, banks, even in to the national capital, enveloping us all in a black cloud of suppression and fear.

"To those who have never lived under dictatorship it is difficult to convey the sense of fear which is part of the Ford system."


The part of the chapter describing industrial espionage and counter-espionage, every man spying on another, every man suspecting his neighbors, is no different from the spy system in General Motors, Bethlehem Steel and other industrial empires, as described by the La Follette Civil Liberties reports. These corporations, however, never pretended they were paternal, or that they were operated by a humanitarian. They were out to make money at all costs and, until the government took a hand, every legal and illegal means was used. Ford, however, posed as a friend of labor. According to Rimar he was in truth a worse enemy than all other corporation heads. Rimar describes how hatred was encouraged between racial, national and color groups, how Protestants and Catholics were encouraged to hate each other, and to spy on each other and report to superiors; how foreign-born and children of foreign-born were encouraged to keep alive European national hatreds, how Negroes and whites were stirred to enmity, how even high officials were made suspicious of each other. "Between Cameron and Bennett, between Bennett and young Edsel Ford, between Hogan and Deenan, between John Koos and myself there was a constant strife," continues Rimar.

The Bennett system approximated Himmler's.

"Our Gestapo," writes Rimar, "covered Dearborn with a thick web of corruption, intimidation and intrigue. The spy net was all embracing. My own agents reported back to me conversations in grocery stores, meat markets and restaurants, gambling joints, beer gardens, social groups, boys' clubs and even churches. Women waiting in markets buying something might discuss their husbands' jobs and activities; if they did I soon heard what they said. ..."


Bennett, Marlette and Rimar collected all this evidence and acted on it. Men were fired and blacklisted. Rimar confesses: "Prior to 1937 and the rise of the C.I.O. ... I was responsible for the firing of close to 1,500 men. During the year 1940 alone I named over 1,000 union sympathizers and they were all fired." Every man who bought other than a Ford car was fired. Rimar used a Dodge so he could give the impression he was not a Ford employee. But spy evidence to get union sympathizers fired was only part of the anti-labor system. There was also a gangster outfit to break unions. "The service men were professional athletes, former policemen, gangsters, criminals and ex-convicts ... ready at a moment's notice to handle union organizers ... to break up union gatherings ... they were the Storm Troops of Ford." Rimar lists names of men guilty of second degree murder, rape, felonious assault, armed robbery and "indecent liberties." Bennett is a member of the Michigan State Parole Commission, and among the convicts paroled to the Ford Company was Kid McCoy, the wife-murderer, who taught the other members of the goon squads how to use the third degree, how to handle tear gas, pistols and machine-guns. Many persons, Rimar alleges, joined Bennett's Storm Troops in order to escape going to jail because, Rimar says, no law could reach them once they were in Bennett's care. Rimar thus blows up the myth that Henry Ford, great humanitarian, employed a number of convicts to give them a chance to earn an honest living when they went straight. He employed the worst criminals because Bennett needed gangsters to break unions.

In the 1932 Ford hunger march Bennett took motion pictures of the marchers, Rimar discloses. Every worker recognized on these films was fired.

Bennett, for reasons connected with Dearborn politics, ordered Rimar to get a sensational expose of prostitution and gambling in the district. There were 30 disorderly houses, a dozen major gambling joints run by two rival gangs in Dearborn. The most notorious was May Irwin's. Rimar writes that May Irwin told him she paid $800 a month to the police. Rimar turned in a sensational report on the vice situation, naming the police heads who got the money from prostitution and gambling. Rimar says Bennett then told him to shut up because the police heads were Bennett proteges.

Another scandal which he uncovered was the theft of $5,000,000 worth of Ford parts every year by a ring of 90 thieves, some within, some without the plant. Rimar found one man with $100,000 worth of stolen materials, but couldn't get a warrant for his arrest. Rimar writes:

"Relatives of every key man in the Ford plant were involved in this very ring. Whenever we caught these thieves we had to let them go."


In 1935 a ring of thieves was discovered at General Motors. The Detroit News admitted that the police department had given "fences" protection, and demanded an investigation. Among hose indicted was Rimar. He relates that he went to see Judge Scallins, who said it was a strange situation (that a man working against the thieves, but secretly, should be among those indicted) but said that Rimar's innocence would be established. Rimar then got orders from his superiors to say he was not working for Ford, but for Chief of Police Brooks. The attorney, supplied by the Ford Company, told Rimar not to go on the stand to testify. Lies were told in court, but Rimar's lawyer told him not to answer, and he refused to cross examine. The plan was to keep the Ford name out. So Rimar was found guilty. He became angry. He threatened to "blast the whole story in the papers." But Ford officials said, "Who do you think is going to print it?" All the newspapers were subservient to Ford, and Bennett and his service hoodlums boasted they had the press in hand. Rimar kept quiet. A few days later he was probationed as had been promised him by company officials, who also boasted they had the judiciary in hand.

The story of how Father Coughlin worked for Ford and against the labor unions in the Ford plant has been told from many angles. It is now an established fact. Rimar adds his own testimony. He tells how Father Coughlin got orders from Bennett to invite Homer Martin, head of the United Automobile Workers, to dine at the Shrine of the Little Flower. Coughlin began the conversation by deploring the spread of radical influences in the union, suggested that Martin "strike out on his own," become an independent labor union leader who "could do more for the working man than by taking orders from (John L.) Lewis and his red henchmen."

Coughlin suggested unionizing Ford. Martin said, "That's a tough nut to crack." Coughlin replied, "I wouldn't be too sure. I know Mr. Bennett personally ... a man with vision. ... I am sure he could be made to realize the advantages of a union with honest intentions and no red influences, a union with a fine and dependable leader like yourself organizing his plant."

Coughlin arranged a conference between Martin and Bennett. Bennett said he wanted a "reliable" union in the plant. Rimar continues:

"Bennett played his cards carefully. Early in 1938 Martin was already taking cash from him. ... Bennett simply suggested he be allowed to help out -- for the good of 'honest unionism.' The money advanced could be considered as a loan."


Homer Martin was flattered into betraying the union. Between Coughlin and Bennett the attempt was made to organize a Ford company union under Martin which would divide labor and prevent either the C.I.O. or A. F. of L. from coming in.

Henry Ford, who believes he is a benefactor of mankind, and who is considered now the worst anti-Semite, hate-spreader, and labor-baiter in America, employed men who employed other men who on orders from Ford Company officials committed all sorts of violence including murder. All to keep wages low, unions out of the plants, and more money going into the Ford Empire.

Rimar writes that Bennett employed a gangster by the name of Elder to beat up three union men for $250; he also describes the beating of Attorney W.A. Houston of Dallas. The labor lawyer was almost killed but not one Dallas newspaper reported the incident. "That," continues Rimar, "gives you some idea of the influence Ford exerts over the press in those cities where the company operates." The Dallas gangsters employed by the Ford Company are named and pictured. The Dallas gang murdered Archie Lewis, mistaking him for his twin brother, a labor union man.

When the great strike began, Rimar writes:

"Bennett was not caught completely napping ... (he) was quoted in headlines throughout the city's press that the strike was a 'gigantic communist plot threatening national defense.' All of us went to work on the strike as red, The Little Fellow (Bennett) had said, 'Discredit it and it will be easy to break. Smear it. Say it is communist-inspired.' We spread the word far and wide. We had excellent support from Detroit papers. They always back up Ford 100% and in this case they outdid themselves. We plugged the red theme on the radio as well. The Rev. Gerald L.K. Smith and Rev. Frank Norris were ready for the job. In their broadcast they said the Bolsheviks were trying to take over. Norris, the same preacher who was once tried in Texas for shooting a man, gave a long sermon in which he described the strike as a 'revolution.' The Detroit Times printed the sermon in full, frontpaging it."


Rimar tells the inside story of the strike. There was a raid on Detroit Communist headquarters where police picked up a map of the Ford plant. Rimar alleges that Norval Marlette, his superior, admitted this was the official map handed every tourist at Ford's plant. Nevertheless, "not only the newspapers in Detroit, but the press throughout the country as well, carried the stories of the raid on Communist headquarters, the 'discovery of the map.' ... We were getting clippings from every state. We knew they must be influencing public opinion. The strategy seemed to be working well." The map, of course, was linked to a charge of plots, revolution, dynamite.

"But the red scare was by no means our only tactic to break the strike. We used that to discredit it. We had other methods for demoralizing the workers." One way was to pass around Detroit newspapers which were shouting all over the front page that the men could never win the strike because "public opinion" -- which is something the newspapers boast they manufacture and control -- was against them. The press, which lives largely on Ford ads, said public opinion favored Ford. Ford men started the rumor that the governor would ask Roosevelt to send in the U.S. Army to break the strike. "The Detroit Times, Hearst paper, was the first to carry the headline: 'CAMP CUSTER SOLDIERS MAY GO TO FORD'S.' That headline appeared in six editions of the Detroit Times. Then newspapers throughout the country carried similar leads to their Ford stories.

"Naturally, we promoted a 'back to work' movement. ..." This is part of the Mohawk Valley strikebreaking formula, sponsored by the NAM.

"We did everything we could to provoke trouble at the plant, especially in the picket line. We knew that if there were enough disturbances, perhaps even a few riots, public sentiment against the strike would rise.

"Inside the plant we had our gang of strikebreakers. We saw to it that they were well provided with liquor. Almost all of them had weapons."


Rimar describes violence organized by Ford officials and started by strikebreakers while other officials issued "public demands" for troops to stop these same violences. Rimar tells how Bennett's men hired hundreds of Negroes and inflamed them against white workers. Rimar charged that Donald T. Marshall, Negro assistant to Harry Bennett and Homer Martin, is responsible for this spread of race hatred. Bennett men also distributed a circular saying "Henry Ford is the next man to Abe Lincoln in helping the colored race. ... Henry Ford has done more for our race than the union." At the same time Ford men were stirring up the freshly hired Negroes against the white men on strike.

Rimar also charges Ford service men with spreading anti-Semitism.

"We told the Negroes the Jews were leading the union. ... We tried to divide the men, not only White against Black, but also Jew against Gentile.

"Bennett was counting heavily on the tactic of pitting the Negroes against the Whites. We all knew that, if he thought it necessary, he was willing to provoke race riots. As a matter of fact he was already laying the groundwork for such riots. He knew that once the workers started killing one another, once they split into armies of Black and White, he would have the strike licked. But even here I felt that he was underestimating the strength of the union. The U.A.W. had already won over thousands of Ford Negro workers and they were marching in the picket line. ... Prominent Negroes in Detroit and throughout the country were issuing public statements giving their support to the strike.

"For years his (Bennett's) system had worked out. The Homer Martins had come across. He had believed that all union men could be bought in the same way. ...'I can buy them for a dime a dozen,' he would say; 'Hell, they've all got their price.' He felt the same way about the rank and file in the plant. 'I can pay half of them to kill the other half,' he used to tell us. ... After the men marched back to work (Bennett said) 'they think they've won but the fight's just beginning.'"


When Rimar wrote six articles, "I Was a Ford Spy," Bennett did everything to discredit his former associate. He arranged that the Detroit newspapers, notorious for their venality, feature the story of Rimar's framed arrest years earlier. The newspaper reporters knew that the reason Rimar had been found guilty and immediately pardoned was because a deal had been made between the Ford Co., the police, and the courts of justice, to have this happen so that the Ford name would not be dragged through the mud. But the newspaper proprietors chose to forget that fact. Rimar says the Detroit News, the Detroit Free Press and the Detroit Times all joined in Bennett's smear campaign, revived the old story, heaped new mud on him, tried to white wash the Ford Empire.

Rimar ends his book with this line:

"Fordism is American Fascism."

FORD'S PROFITS IN FASCISM

Like Hitler-Germany and Mussolini-Italy, Ford himself has been able to earn a profit on his Fascism. The swastika decoration which Hitler sent him was only a symbol of the aid he had given the Nazis. The Ford factory in Cologne, operated with the aid of the Nazi authorities, who kept the workmen in line -- on low wages -- also paid dividends. But the big money Ford made was by employing violence and terrorism (fascist tactics) to keep labor from organizing. When finally the C.I.O. swept the Ford empire it was estimated that Harry Bennett, known as Ford's personnel director but actually his lieutenant of private militia, had saved Ford no less than $140,000,000 in the three years they had defied the National Labor Board.

If the fascist dictators resort to lies, so does Ford. One of the great Ford lies actually created the myth that Ford paid higher wages than anyone in America. The United Autoworkers, in their 1940 campaign, opened the eyes of many Americans when they printed tables showing that Chrysler and Briggs (General Motors) paid higher wages in every category, from arc welder to water sander. Ford wages ranged from 75c to 95c an hour minimums, the rivals from 98c to $1.38 for the same work, and in many cases the Ford maximum wage was below the union minimum.

The first union contract which Ford was forced to sign brought an immediate gain of $30,000,000 a year to his 130,000 employees. Even with the family worth more than $2,000,000,000 -- the T.N.E.C. report listed its stock ownership alone at $624,975,000 -- a matter of thirty millions is something.

Ford has never been known for any charities, nor has he been known to contribute any considerable sum to anyone, but one of the few outfits which got something from Henry and Mrs. Ford is the Moral Rearmament Movement, better known as Buchmanism. Dr. Frank Buchman is a notorious Fascist, who had endorsed Hitler many years ago, and who made an excellent living getting money from big businessmen to preach a "philosophy" of appeasement to labor. Everyone was to cooperate, there were to be no strikes, the lion and lamb were to lie down together, and if the labor-lamb frequently was inside the belly of the capitalist lion, it could only result in more contributions to Buchmanism. Leading Buchmanites: Himmler, the chief murderer of Nazidom -- this is attested by Fritz Thyssen in his book I Paid Hitler; Rudolf Hess, the No. 3 Nazi who made the flight from Germany to the estate of the Duke of Hamilton -- another Buchmanite -- with Hitler's proposals for a patched up peace between Germany and Britain and a united war against Russia; David Dubinsky, a labor leader well known and liked by employers; Harry Chandler, the notorious reactionary publisher of the Los Angeles Times, most bitter anti-labor paper in the nation; Louis B. Mayer, the notorious movie producer who faked movies in order to smear Upton Sinclair in the California gubernatorial election; and assorted native and foreign Fascisti, all enemies of labor and the general welfare.

FORD AND EARLY HITLER MONEY

It was general knowledge in the early 1920's, when it was not treason to aid Hitler, that Henry Ford was one of his spiritual and economic backers. Ford was for Hitler because both were anti-Semites, whereas Fritz Thyssen, who later took over the financing of Naziism, was not an anti-Semite and was not attracted to Hitlerism until he realized that the crackpot could be made into a tool of Big Business.

The most credible evidence regarding Ford's financing of early Naziism was given in the treason trial of Herr Hitler himself. On November 8, 1923, Hitler had made the now famous Munich Beer Hall Putsch -- he rushed into the Buergerbrau cafe, leaped on a table, screamed, and when people began to laugh, fired three revolver shots into the ceiling and announced the Nazi revolution. On February 7, 1924, Herr Auer, vice-president of the Bavarian Diet, testified in the Hitler trial as follows:

"The Bavarian Diet has long had the information that the Hitler movement was partly financed by an American anti-Semitic chief, who is Henry Ford. Mr. Ford's interest in the Bavarian anti- Semitic movement began a year ago when one of Mr. Ford's agents, seeking to sell tractors, came in contact with Diedrich Eichart [Note: Eckart is correct in the notorious Pan-German. Shortly after, Herr Eichart asked Mr. Ford's agent for financial aid. The agent returned to America and immediately Mr. Ford's money began coming to Munich.

"Herr Hitler openly boasts of Mr. Ford's support and praises Mr. Ford as a great individualist and a great anti-Semite. A photograph of Mr. Ford hangs in Herr Hitler's quarters, which is the center of the monarchist movement."


Shortly after Herr Auer made this accusation, Mr. Ford's European agent, W.C. Anderson, resigned, and the Ford company experienced great difficulties in doing business in the German Republic.

There was nothing illegal about subsidizing Hitler -- that is, until Pearl Harbor, when such an action would be treason, punishable by death. From 1922 on it was frequently reported in the press and it was common knowledge that Ford was subsidizing Hitler, and Ford never denied it.

The Manchester Guardian, leading liberal newspaper of the world, reported that Hitler received "more than moral support" from two American millionaires. In his biography of Hitler, Konrad Heiden says:

"That Henry Ford, the famous automobile manufacturer, gave money to the National Socialists directly or indirectly has never been disputed."


The Berliner Tageblatt made an appeal to the American ambassador to investigate the report that Henry Ford was financing Hitler, the New York Times Berlin correspondent cabled (Times, December 20, 1922, p. 2, col. 3). The correspondent added that Hitler had money to spend -- and this was in the midst of the inflation when marks were becoming worthless. The Times continued:

"The wall beside his desk in Hitler's private office is decorated with a large picture of Henry Ford. In the antechamber there is a large table covered with books nearly all of which are a translation f a book written and published by Henry Ford. [These are anti Semitic books] In Nationalist circles in Berlin too, one often hears of Ford's name mentioned by people who would seem the very last in the world with whom an American respecting the Republican Constitution would seek any association.

"The New York Times correspondent is in a position to say that certain circles who make Hohenzollern propaganda their business addressed Henry Ford, whose name was given to them as being that of a man likely to respond favorably -- for financial aid. ... Mr. Ford has not invested in the monarchist propaganda. Indeed he has made that quite clear to those who long for Wilhelm's return. And this fact may be responsible for the pains Hitler takes at every occasion to state that he is not supporting a monarchist movement."


Early in 1923, seven months before the Beer Hall Putsch, Raymond Fendrick, an honest and reliable foreign correspondent (despite the fact he was employed by the Chicago Tribune Foreign News Service, an organization which included professional falsifiers such as Donald Day who is now in the Finnish army), had an interview with an almost unheard of man who had been referred to once or twice as "Otto" Hitler.

"We look on Heinrich Ford as the leader of the growing Fascisti movement in America," Adolf told the journalist; "we admire particularly the anti-Jewish policy which is the Bavarian Fascisti platform. We have just had his anti-Jewish articles translated and published. [It] is being circulated to millions throughout Germany."


If Ford were to deny that he ever sent money to Hitler it would not at all alter the charge that Ford's writings and anti-Semitic views were a great force in the Hitler movement in Germany.

In his book, I Knew Hitler, published here in 1938, the Nazi agent Kurt K.W. Luedecke tells of his first trip to America in 1924 for the purpose of obtaining funds from Henry Ford. He insists that he was sent on direct orders from Hitler. Luedecke got along well with Ford's editor. He writes:

"During my visit to America I found time for several talks with the editor of the Dearborn Independent. That publication has now embarked on an anti-Jewish campaign, with William J. Cameron writing most of its articles. ... Cameron, a capable journalist who successfully phrases Henry Ford's inarticulate racial uneasiness, was receptive when I went to see him. He appeared eager for outside assistance."


[For many years after Ford admitted that the Protocols of Zion and other material he published in his Dearborn Independent were forgeries, his editor, Cameron, continued to reprint them in Destiny, publication of his Anglo-Saxon Federation.]

The Ford Empire is the biggest industrial undertaking in America owned by one family. Edsel Ford was said to be a man with no political leanings and no social conscience. But both Mrs. and Mr. Henry Ford are true Fascists. It was Mrs. Ford who first came under the influence of anti-Semitic preachers and who was favorable to the Tsarist terrorist agent Boris Brasol, who brought the first forgeries known as "The Protocols of Zion" to America. Henry Ford, who at the libel suit against the Chicago Tribune proved himself a complete ignoramus on history, philosophy, economics, literature, and everything else except auto engines, has the typical hoodlum mind of the Fascist. Another is Pegler. Still another is Lindbergh. Both Ford and his wife endorsed Buchmanism, which is a highclass form of Fascism, subsidized by big businessmen for the purpose of propagandizing working men into subservience. Ford, however, proves himself the real Fascist in his employment of the Bennett system of violence (including murder) as a means of maintaining business interests. The Ford Empire is the Hitler Nazi empire on a small scale.

_______________

Bibliography:

Dodd interview: Federated Press, January 7, 1938.
The Tragedy at Henry Ford, by Jonathan Norton Leonard.
admin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 30817
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am

Re: Facts and Fascism, by George Seldes

Postby admin » Wed Nov 27, 2013 12:42 am

CHAPTER III: LINDBERGH: SPREADER OF HITLER'S LIES

"For the combating of 'racism' before it sinks its poison fangs deep into our body politic, the scientist has both a special motive and a special responsibility. ... Only he can give the people the truth. Only he can clean out the falsities which have been masquerading under the name of science in our colleges, our high schools and our public prints. Only he can show how groundless are the claims that one race, one nation, or one class has any God-given right to rule."
-- Henry A. Wallace.

"The deepest sin against the human mind is to believe things without evidence."
-- Thomas Huxley.


ONE OF THE truly important features of Fascism which neither the great psychologists nor the newspaper vulgarizers have mentioned is the hoodlum minds of so many of its leaders. It is of course natural for all the gangsters of both Germany and Italy to gravitate to a Duce or Fuehrer who proclaimed the greatness of lying and the moral virtues of street fighting, and it is just as natural for the mental criminals to join movements led by these types. In America, however, Fascism has been propagated by persons who may be brilliant, even geniuses in their own field, but political, economic and social hoodlums.

We have had Ford exposed as a mental hoodlum; Westbrook Pegler had been a good sports writer before he developed mental ulcers; and Charles A. Lindbergh, Jr. was an excellent mail pilot and had the good luck to land his plane in Paris and capture the emotions of the world although his feat was not nearly as perilous as that of Hawker and Alcock and Brown who flew the Atlantic before him.

One may even want Lindbergh the right to enjoy the title of genius for his flight, and sympathize with him on the raw deal the yellow press gave him on later occasions, notably his marriage and honeymoon, and the kidnapping of his baby, and the Hearst campaign which drove him out of the country for several years, but there can be no forgiveness for Lindbergh as a mental hoodlum who spread the three following Hitler lies in America:

1. The Nazi-Coughlin lie of the Jewish ownership or control of the American press.

2. The lie of Nazi air invincibility, and general military supremacy.

3. The Nazi lie of race, color and blood superiority.

The word "lie" in this case is used advisedly. Hoodlum minds cannot be excused. Ford and Pegler and Lindbergh have done America untold harm by spreading falsehood, and thereby confusing the American people at a time the one clear issue -- the democratic world against Fascism -- should have been stated.

No one, not even Machiavelli, has recognized the value of outright lying as a social, economic and political weapon, as deeply as Adolf Hitler. In the original 1935 German edition of Mein Kampf Hitler wrote a passage which begins:

"In der Groesse der Luege liegt immer ein gewisser Faktor des Geglaubtwerdens, da die breite Masse eines Volkes ..." etc. The reader will find it on page 252. [Here is the passage in translation:]

"The size of the lie is a definite factor in causing it to be believed, because the vast masses of a nation are in the depths of their hearts more easily deceived than they are consciously and intentionally bad.

"The primitive simplicity of their minds renders them more easily victims of a big lie than a small one, because they themselves often tell little lies but would be ashamed to tell big ones.

"Such a form of lying would never enter their heads. They would never credit others with the possibility of such great impudence as the complete reversal of facts. Even explanations would long leave them in doubt and hesitation, and any trifling reason would dispose them to accept a thing as true.

"Something therefore always remains and sticks from the most impudent lies, a fact which all bodies and individuals concerned in the art of lying in this world know only too well, and therefore they stop at nothing to achieve this end."


Hitler not only admits "the value of the big lie" but admits aiming Nazi propaganda at the lowest, or moron intelligence. He writes in Mein Kampf (the numbers are the pages in the 14th German edition):

"All propaganda must be so popular and on such an intellectual level that even the most stupid of those toward whom it is directed will understand it. Therefore the intellectual level of the propaganda must be the lower, the larger the number of people who are to be influenced by it." (197)

"Propaganda must not serve the truth, especially not insofar as it might bring out something favorable for the opponent." (260)

"Through clever and constant application of propaganda people can be made to see paradise as hell, and also the other way round, to consider the most wretched sort of life as paradise." (376)


1. THE LINDBERGH LIE ABOUT THE PRESS

Proof that Lindbergh lied regarding Jews and the press is given in Editor & Publisher, unofficial spokesman for the publishers of America, its statistical publications and handbooks. The weekly is reactionary, as venal as the newspapers it defends, but its statistics, facts and figures are authoritative. For many years Arthur Robb, liberal Catholic editor of Editor & Publisher, has been exposing Coughlin and other falsifiers so far as the press is concerned. According to Editor & Publisher, there are some 1,900 dailies, published by 1,700 men and corporations, of whom just 15 are Jews -- or less than 1%. No Jew directs the three national news services. So far as editorial policy is concerned, Mr. Robb says, the department stores and other advertisers do not control it. It is true that advertisers, department stores and others suppress news unfavorable to themselves, as for example, during the Gimbel strike in New York. But there is no evidence that department store owners, Jews, Catholics or Protestants, have ever used their pressure for religious or racial purposes. All they are after is money.

Following Lindbergh's Des Moines attack on the Jews, Mr. Robb wrote in Editor & Publisher:

"War hysteria has created the opportunity for the malicious and wicked crackpots who revel in race prejudice to get their faces out of the mud which is their natural habitat. Determined efforts have been noted to inflame the American people against the Jewish race and religion, charging that through the 'control' exercised by Jewish people over the press, the radio, and the films, the country is being drummed to war. As Editor & Publisher has demonstrated by citing the facts, it is absolutely false that there is any Jewish control of the daily newspapers. [Here statistics are given.] The case for control of news and editorials by Jews is a chimera. (October 11, 1940.)

"This page has often expressed detestation for intolerance and for propaganda against any race or religion in America. There is no 'Jewish question' of any importance except in the minds of the bigoted, the ignorant and those who use anti-religious agitation of all kinds as a cloak for even less creditable aims. We have stated, and proved, that there is no Jewish control of the American press. The facts on that are easily ascertainable by anyone who wants to know the truth; the repetition, after repeated disproof, of the lie about 'Jewish control of the news,' has come from many sources with many possible motives. Whatever their motives, and no matter how great their sincerity, their promotion of this falsehood tends toward one result -- the forwarding of Fascist-Nazi propaganda in a land where it can have no place." (June 15, 1940.)


The second quotation was occasioned by the exposure by the Birmingham News of a letter from the Deutsche Fichte-Bund, Hamburg, sent to many Americans in which the phrase "Jew-controlled American press" is used; also the distribution of a sheet signed "Francis P. Moran, director Christian Front," during the Yankee Division parade, Boston.

La Follette's Progressive pointed out (March 11, 1939) that an examination of the facts disproves Father Coughlin, then using the radio for anti-Semitism. "Father Coughlin," said the Progressive, "is too realistic to believe that statement [that Jews control the press] but he finds the attack useful in his plan of utilizing anti-Semitism to attain his ends."

Going down the list of cities, it is found that New York, the metropolis, with a larger Jewish population than any other city, has 2 out of 9 papers owned by Jews, the Times, which is Tory, and the Post, pro-New Deal. The biggest paper is the News with a circulation more than three times that of the Post and Times combined. The News was isolationist, has been pro-Japanese. Hearst's Mirror, with more than Times and Post circulation combined, has urged a Mussolini for America. Most embattled win-the-war newspaper is Reid's Herald Tribune.

"In Chicago," continues the Progressive, "there is not a single daily newspaper which is controlled by Jews. ... In St. Louis one ... out of three is owned by Jews. ... There is no Jewish newspaper owner in St. Paul or Minneapolis. Ditto for Kansas City. In Washington, the national capital, where if what Father Coughlin says is true, Jewry would attempt to dominate the newspapers, there is only one newspaper out of five which is owned by a Jew. This is the Washington Post, whose proprietor is the wealthy financier Eugene Meyer. But the circulation of the Post represents a small minority. ... The cities outlined above are typical of the general situation throughout the country."


In Lindbergh's Des Moines speech, his most anti-Semitic, he used the same phrase which the Columbia shortwave listening station had picked up in a Berlin Propaganda Ministry broadcast at the same time. The Berlin propaganda said: "There are too many Jews who control the North American radio and the North American press. ..." Lindbergh said that "the British, Jewish and Administration groups" are the only important interventionists in America, and that "the greatest danger to this country lies in the large Jewish ownership and influence in our motion pictures, our press, our radio, and our government." Are both statements true, or are they false?

Miss Dorothy Thompson (whose politics are no concern here but whose record as a journalist publishing facts is unequaled) has taken every line of Lindbergh's quoted above (which is also the content of the Nazi broadcast) and shown in her syndicated column that Lindbergh spoke falsehood and propaganda rather than facts.

"Among the more influential radio commentators," she writes, are "Raymond Gram Swing, H.V. Kaltenborn, Elmer Davis, Walter Winchell, William B. Shirer. Among journalists: Leland Stowe, H. R. Knickerbocker, Edmond C. Taylor, Edgar Ansell Mowrer, John Gunther, Vincent Sheean, John Whitaker, William Stoneman, Quentin Reynolds ... Hamilton Fish Armstrong. Among columnists: Walter Lippmann, Jay Franklin, Raymond Clapper, Samuel Grafton and myself, of these 30 names [including government officials] who would certainly be the first people to be suppressed if interventionism were being suppressed, exactly three are Jewish. The others are racially of Dutch, British, Irish and German extraction -- there are three of pure German extraction to two of Jewish."


Of the movies, the ownership "is in the hands of banks, and there are few Jewish banks in America. None of the big three is Jewish: Chase National, Guaranty Trust, National City."

Of the press :

"There is an amazingly small amount of Jewish ownership of newspapers. The big news services, A.P., U.P., I,N.S., are not Jewish. The largest chains are Scripps-Howard, and Hearst -- not Jewish. ... The most powerful interventionist newspapers in the country are the New York Herald Tribune, Chicago Daily News, Baltimore Sun, Louisville Courier-Journal, Denver Post, Atlanta Constitution, Kansas City Star, San Francisco Chronicle, Des Moines Register, Washington Post and New York Post. Only the last two are Jewish-owned. The most powerful interventionist weekly press is the Luce press. Not Jewish. The two monthly magazines with the strongest interventionist policy are the Ladies Home Journal and the Atlantic Monthly. Not Jewish."


Only a very small percentage of the advertisers is Jewish. It could be added that the richest and biggest papers in America, the New York Daily News and Chicago Tribune, were isolationist. It is true that bankers, advertisers, big money, control the press, causing suppression, distortion, anti-labor bias, venality and corruption. But no one except the Coughlinites and other anti-Semites has tried to propagate a falsehood that department store advertisers dictate the politics of papers. They merely look after their profits.

2. THE LIE OF NAZI INVINCIBILITY

From June 22, 1941, to Stalingrad, the newspaper headlines told the story of Hitler's attack on Russia. The historic fact has already been written and officially admitted by the Germans, that the foe was strong, stubborn, brave, knew no fear, and returned blow for blow. By October 24, 1941, the Germans had claimed 14,000 Russian airplanes destroyed and on that same day they reported Russian air attacks. Both sides admitted that the Germans were superior in numbers of men, guns, tanks and planes but the Germans never claimed that the Russian air force was inferior, the airplanes worthless, the fighting capacity of Russian aviators not worth mentioning, the personnel untrained, and the whole Russian air service a walkover for Germany.

Lindbergh had done just that.

Lindbergh was decorated by the Nazis. He stated he received the medal merely as a gesture. Those who years ago warned against Lindbergh said he received the decoration for services to the Nazis. The official citation which goes with Nazi medals (such as Henry Ford and other pro-Nazi Americans have received) shows it is for help to the Hitler regime. No one but Lindbergh himself can answer the question whether he got the medal for spreading the Hitler propaganda lie of the invincibility of the German air force and the uselessness of the Russian air force. The facts about his spreading this lie appeared in the daily press of Britain in 1938.

1. In the House of Commons, October 10, Ellen Wilkinson, Labor member, said:

"It is a very serious thing that when a very prominent American airman was being lunched by these people [Lady Astor and Clivedeners] and all sorts of official people invited to meet him, he assured them it was impossible for this country to do anything because Germany's air force was better than the Russian, British and French combined."


2. London Sunday Times, October 2:

"Colonel Lindbergh has recently returned from a visit to Russia and apparently he was not favorably impressed by the rate of progress there."


3. Lord Beaverbrook's Express, October 16:

"What is the mysterious, secretive, over-publicized Col. Lindbergh up to? Always when trouble has been bubbling, his black and orange airplane has flown him to the storm center. ... He paid another visit to Germany early this year and in between these visits he has busied himself spreading alarming stories here about Germany's air strength compared with ours.

"Germany's machines, he tells all ears that listen here, are better than ours. She has more of them. Her production is fivefold ours. And when these facts are firmly planted in the listener's mind, the Colonel will then, it is said, strongly advocate some sort of pact between Britain and Germany as the only way Britain can avoid disaster.

"He always insists firmly that he is anti-Nazi himself, but those who are favored with his views say that he never hesitates to voice his glowing admiration for Hitler and the German State.

"Early this year he was in Russia as an honored guest and he was given unusual facilities to see the Russian air force, Russia's flying men took him fully into their confidence.

"Then he returned to Britain and began to spread the story that the Russian air force was useless.

"When the crisis was developing, too, he took himself to France and spread the same story there. That story shook France and may have considerable influence on the vital decisions that France in common with Britain had to make."


4. The Week, October 13, declared that Lindbergh called on Lloyd George to persuade him that the Russian air service was useless. The Week reported that Lloyd George asked Lindbergh if he had talked with War Commissar Voroshilov, and that Lindbergh replied:

"No. Voroshilov? Who's Voroshilov, anyway?"

It was also reported that Lloyd George found Lindbergh personally "quite a charming fellow."

The Hitler decoration to Lindbergh, a "distinguished foreigner who has deserved well of the Reich," was presented October 19, about a week after Lindbergh's Russian hosts, eleven noted aviators, signed a statement accusing Lindbergh of "providing Chamberlain with arguments for handing over parts of Czechoslovakia to Adolf Hitler." The statement also accused Lindbergh of "calumnies and insolent attacks" and quoted Lindbergh as telling Lady Astor: "Germany possesses such a strong air force it is capable of defeating the combined air fleets of England, France, Russia and Czechoslovakia." This is called "a colossal lie. ..." Another unbridled lie followed. Lindbergh declared the Soviet air fleet is without leadership and is in a chaotic condition. ... Lindbergh plays the role of stupid liar, lackey and flatterer of German Fascists and their English aristocratic protectors. He had an order from English reactionary circles to prove the weakness of Soviet aviation and give Chamberlain an argument for capitulation at Munich in connection with Czechoslovakia.

"The bribed liar, Lindbergh, fulfilled the order of his masters. That explains everything."

Who was lying, Lindbergh or the Russians?

Here is what the Nazi official handbook of contemporary military science (Handbuch der Neuzeitlichen Wehrwissenschaften), issued in Berlin in May, 1939, said half a year after Lindbergh's propaganda trip to the British Clivedeners and Hitlerites, and before the attack on Russia gave final proof:

"In the past 16 years the Russians have built up a military air force which leads the world in numbers. ... The powerful Soviet aviation industry is based on some 50 factories producing planes and engines and another 50 spare parts. These factories furnish six to seven thousand planes annually and 7,000 engines.

"In a short time Russia has become an air power of the first order."


Major Al Williams of the Scripps-Howard newspaper chain endorsed Lindbergh. Major George Fielding Eliot said the opposite. Captain Bossoutrot, who had inspected Russian aviation as head of a delegation of the air commission, French Chamber of Deputies, said regarding Lindbergh's statement that: "I can only repeat that in 1936 the Soviet air force was the most powerful in the world, and since then even German technicians agree that its production has increased."

C. C. Grey, editor of Aeroplane (London), agreed with Lindbergh. Grey also came out for Hitler and Mussolini politically.

These are the facts in the case. In view of the written pages of history of the Global War, there can now be no question that Lindbergh carried the Nazi air invincibility lie to Britain. Of course, the fact that the inferior British air fleet in September, 1940, held its own against -- and some say it defeated -- the German air fleet, is further evidence that Lindbergh was just another agent of the Hitler theory of the colossal lie when he mingled with the Cliveden Set. The purpose, of course, was to help defeat the democracies, to help the triumph of world Fascism.

3. THE RACE, BLOOD AND COLOR LIE

Regarding the myth of superiority of blood, race or color, the ancient saying that "a lie can travel half way round the world while truth is putting on her shoes" also holds good. The men whose writings Hitler and Lindbergh have adopted are not scientists; they are Houston Chamberlain, a renegade Englishman who worked for the Kaiser in the first World War; the Count de Gobineau, a fiction writer; Madison Grant and Lothrop Stoddard, two American journalists whose writings are absolutely without scientific backing, German scientists since the coming of Hitler and Italian scientists of the past two years have on orders revised their views. But free scientists have denounced as lies, frauds and myths the entire output of the race, blood and color superiority propagandists.

Lindbergh's adaptation of the Hitler-Mussolini Nordic myth is expressed by him in his article, "Aviation, Geography, and Race" (Reader's Digest, November, 1939), in which he says:

"Aviation ... is a tool specially shaped for Western hands, a scientific art which others only copy in a mediocre fashion, another barrier between the teeming millions of Asia and the Grecian inheritance of Europe -- one of the priceless possessions which permit the White race to live at all in a pressing sea of Yellow, Black, and Brown. ...

"While we stand poised for battle, Oriental guns are turning westward, Asia presses towards us on the Russian border, all foreign races stir restlessly. It is time to turn from our quarrels and to build our white ramparts again. ...

"Our civilization depends on a united strength among ourselves; on a strength too great for foreign armies to challenge; on a Western wall of race and arms which can hold back either a Genghis Khan or the infiltration of inferior blood; on an English fleet, a German airforce, a French army, an American nation, standing together as guardians of our common heritage, sharing strength, dividing influence. ...

"We can have peace and security only so long as we band together to preserve that most priceless possession, our inheritance of European blood, only so long as we guard ourselves against attack by foreign armies and dilution by foreign races."


This is the stuff that Hitler's Rosenberg wrote and Hitler and Hess adapted in Mein Kampf. But scientists before and after this publication have united in showing up this nonsense and falsehood.

In August, 1934, the Congress of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences discussed racial theories and political action. Sir Grafton Elliot Smith, J. B. S. Haldane, Professor of Genetics in the University of London, and scientists from many parts of the world, united in showing scientifically that the Hitler theory, now propagated by Lindbergh, was a total falsehood. One of the most interesting statements was that of Professor Haldane from which the following is a quotation:

"Whatever innate differences in ability may exist between races, they are clearly of an overlapping type.

"If South African Negroes are ever afforded equal cultural opportunities with Whites, it may be found that a smaller proportion of them can reach a given standard, but it is already certain that some Negroes can reach higher cultural levels than most of the Whites.

"The doctrine of the equality of man, although clearly untrue as generally stated, has this much truth: that on a knowledge of their ancestry we cannot yet say one man will and another will not be capable of reaching a given cultural standard.

"The so-called races within Europe have a much more dubious status. In respect to physical characters, they overlap to a considerable extent. Any population may be 'racially homogeneous' in the sense that its genes have been thoroughly mixed by random mating, but there is no reason to believe such populations differ in any but a statistical sense -- the same genes being found throughout, though in different proportions.

"Within such a population a man of a given type -- for example, a 'Nordic' with a long head, blond hair and blue eyes, is no more likely to have a high proportion of Scandinavian ancestry than a relative not possessing those characters. Nor is it possible in the present state of our knowledge to determine the proportions of ancestry in a given population which belonged to various hypothetical races in the past."


The European race theory was studied by two noted scientists, Julian S. Huxley and A.C. Haddon. In reviewing their work (We Europeans), H.S. Jennings, professor at Johns Hopkins, states:

"The keystone of modern genetics is the gene. Genes are substances present in small amount which are precisely located in certain structures (chromosomes) of every cell in the body and are transmitted from parent to offspring. ...

"Apparently man developed in early times by alteration of some of his genes ... some three or four or five geographical varieties ... the white, black, yellow and brown varieties. ...

"Almost, or quite from the beginning of differentiation, these different varieties began to intermingle; to exchange genes; so that it is doubtful if any human group now represents any one of these varieties in 'pure' condition -- without admixture of genes from another. Whether the genes of these different primary varieties differ in their capabilities for mental and cultural development has never been demonstrated.

"In Europe ... they have exchanged genes to such an extent that it is doubtful whether there exist any 'pure' representatives of any of them. Every nation in Europe is an inextricable mixture of the genes of these secondary varieties. ... In Germany Nordics and Alpines are intermixed. ...

"These conditions apply to Jews as well as to existing nations. The Jews are shown both in history and by anthropological evidence to be a much mixed group, carrying genes from many diverse sources."


There is no evidence, the scientists find, that the chief European groups differ in cultural capabilities; "the nations of the present time are not racial units."

The eminent scientist, the late Professor Franz Boaz of Columbia, wrote that there is no Aryan people or race, there is only an Aryan language. ... It is fiction to speak of a German race. ... The East German is close to his Polish neighbor. There is no more a Semitic than there is an Aryan race, since both terms define linguistic groups, not human beings. ... In some cases the Tyrolese (Hitler folks) and the Armenoid (Jews) can hardly be distinguished with certainty.

The word "Aryan" dates from 1794 when Sir William Jones introduced the word "Arya" for people who spoke one of the Indo-European languages. Professor Max Mueller, German professor of Philosophy at Oxford, in 1853 promulgated the theory that Aryan languages must have originated with an Aryan race. Many Germans leaped upon this idea to boast of a superior Aryan German people. By 1888 Prof. Mueller, who was a scientist and therefore open-minded, confessed his error. He wrote:

"I have declared again and again that if I say Aryan I mean neither blood nor bones nor hair nor skull; I mean simply those who speak an Aryan language. ... To me an ethnologist who speaks of Aryan race, Aryan blood, Aryan eyes and hair, is as great a sinner as a linguist who speaks of a dolichocephalic dictionary or a brachycephalic grammar."


Professor Mueller protested for years, but nothing could stop the falsehood. Again it was proven that a lie can travel half way round the world while truth is putting on her shoes. It also proved that whereas the quest for knowledge and scientific truth produces great enlightenment, and this truth is placed in books and kept in libraries, it does not prevail against something like a Goebbels propaganda machine when a cog as famous as Lindbergh is placed in it. Readers will find every scientific book denies the Hitler-Lindbergh myth, and that its only supporters are crackpots, fiction-writers, and hired journalists.

If Lindbergh, as his friends claim, is not a pro-Nazi, it is very easy for him to say so and to prove it by action. The following open letter to Lindbergh is a fair challenge. A similar challenge was made to Wendell Willkie by this writer when Coughlin and other anti-Semites endorsed him and he immediately repudiated them and Social Justice, naming them by name. This one was written by L.M. Birkhead, national director, Friends of Democracy, Fidelity Building, Kansas City, Missouri; it is the concluding page of the pamphlet Is Lindbergh a Nazi?:

"Dear Mr. Lindbergh:

"On the basis of the evidence presented in this pamphlet we are forced to believe that you accept Hitler's 'New Order' as the future pattern of the world. Moreover, the evidence indicates that you are attempting to extend the 'New Order' to the U.S.

"If it is not true that you are working toward a Hitlerized world, you are the victim of the most gigantic coincidence in the history of the world, for in your speeches and writings you have repeated almost word for word the Nazi propaganda line.

"So great has been the coincidence, if it is coincidence, that you have fooled a majority of American Nazis. They look upon you as their 'leader.'

"If you are the victim of a coincidence, and if you wish to clear up the matter, once and for all, you must do these things:

"1. Return your Nazi decoration to Hitler.

"2. Repudiate Naziism as forthrightly as you have condemned Communism.

"3. Condemn Nazi aggression.

"4. Disavow the support of those American Nazis who have declared you to be their 'leader.'

"5. Insist that the America First Committee, under whose auspices you speak, dissociate itself from the pro-Nazi, anti-Semitic elements which make up a large part of its membership.

"6. Repudiate as Nazi propaganda all theories of racial or 'Aryan' supremacy.

"7. Declare anti-Semitism to be a Nazi propaganda trick, a device of power politics.

"8. Reaffirm your faith in democracy and declare your willingness to fight for its preservation.

"In order to counteract the effects of the extensive distribution of your speeches and writings by Nazi propagandists, and their repeated assertion that you are in agreement with them, you must see to it that your repudiation of Naziism is widely publicized. Otherwise your name will continue to be used to sell an un-American, anti-democratic ideology. No single American must be left in doubt concerning your choice between democracy and Naziism.

"If you do not see fit to speak, Mr. Lindbergh, your silence will testify that you are, indeed, a disciple of Hitlerism."


Lindbergh remained silent.

INTERNATIONAL BANKERS ARE FOR HITLER

Another colossal Hitlerian lie which Goebbels, Coughlin and other falsifiers of fact have spread for decades is the charge the international bankers are Jews. Curiously enough it was one of the leading America Firsters, Senator Nye, who proved conclusively who the international bankers were and what part they had in bringing America into the World War. Nye proved it was the House of Morgan which must take most of the blame.

Nye's partner in America First leadership, Senator Wheeler, in one of his pre-war speeches said: "Now we find these same international bankers ... with the Sassoons of the Orient and the Rothschilds and Warburgs of Europe in another theme song ... 'Our investments in India, Africa and Europe must be preserved.'"

Wheeler apologized. "I have repeatedly called attention to the Morgans and the Chase and other international bankers and particularly Tom Lamont ..." he said in his apology. Nevertheless the listing of Jewish names was heard throughout the nation, the apology appeared in a small Jewish newspaper.

Every intelligent person knows that bankers are bankers, that their object is to make money, and that "race, religion, blood," nationality, patriotism, etc., etc., have never interfered with international or national banking. The fact that J.P. Morgan had no Jewish partner and was an Episcopalian does not indicate an "Episcopalian plot" in the First World War to anyone but crackpots. And because there was money in it, Zacharoff, a Greek Catholic who was incidentally a director of the Chase National Bank, armed Turkey to fight Greece. (The love of money is the root of all evil. )

The Jewish bankers are no better and no worse than the Episcopalian bankers or the Catholic bankers or the Mohammedan bankers.

For a long time several Jewish bankers dealt with Hitler and the Nazis. They said anti-Semitism was all right because it was directed against the poor, the refugee, the Jewish workingmen, not the rich bankers. They showed no "race" or "blood" ties with the poor. To this day a Jewish banker works for Hitler. (Baron Max von Oppenheim, who said Hitler was fighting only Bolshevism, that nice people need not be afraid of him. Hitler has raised Baron Max to Honorary Aryan status. -- Time, June 16, 1941.) Banker Giuseppi Toeplitz of Milan collected funds which paid for Mussolini's blackshirt army and put the Duce in power. He too was a Jew.

For the sake of the factual record, here is a list of the leading American international bankers and the money they have out in international loans:

Image

J. P. Morgan & Company: $1,514,000,000
National City Bank: 892,000,000
Dillon, Read & Company: 872,000,000
Chase, Harris, Forbes: 643,900,000
Guaranty Trust: 509,000,000
Bancamerica-Blair: 471,500,000
Lee, Higginson: 322,000,000
Kuhn, Loeb & Company: 220,700,000
Speyer & Company: 207,000,000
Hallgarten & Company: 194,400,000
Brown Brothers, Harriman: 190,100,000
J. & W. Seligman: 118,900,000
White Weld & Company: 88,300,000
Bankers Trust: 78,500,000
First of Boston Corp: 55,400,000
Halsey Stuart & Company: 30,000,000
Miscellaneous: 1,212,900,000
A total of more than : $7,000,000,000

Any person able to read a book can obtain Poor's Register of Directors and other financial manuals which print the facts. Poor's, for example, lists some 80,000 persons as directors of American corporations of whom 3,825 or 4.8% are Jews. Of the 919 members of the Stock Exchange (according to Fortune's 1936 survey) 148 were Jews; of 420 listed directors of the New York Clearing House 30 were Jews. Kuhn Loeb is the only Jewish firm with any substantial international banking business, and had foreign loans outstanding March 1, 1935, amounting to 2.88% of the total compared to National City's 11.71% and Morgan's 19.87%.

It is a fact that J.P. Morgan financed Mussolini. One loan amounted to $100,000,000. On the other hand, the Jewish banker, Clarence Dillon of Dillon, Read, a firm including Catholics and Protestants, financed Thyssen, who in turn was the chief backer of Hitler. He also issued loans to Italian fascist cities.

Factual evidence shows that bankers, international or whatnot, are without exception on the side of money; they always invest to make profits, and they are without exception on the reactionary or fascist side, no matter what church, nation, "race" or "blood" they belong to. When Wheeler, Coughlin, Hitler, Goebbels and others make statements to the contrary such statements are propaganda, if not plain falsehood.

Curiously enough, no less an authority than Fritz Thyssen, the man who bought and paid for the Nazi Party, believes the rumor that Hitler is partly Jewish.

Every official trace of evidence concerning Hitler's ancestry has now disappeared. It has been destroyed by order, just as were Mussolini's police record in Italy and his record for forgery in Switzerland (as well as his political arrests). However, Thyssen writes: "According to the published records, Hitler's grandmother had an illegitimate son, and this son was to become the father of Germany's present leader." An inquiry by Chancellor Dollfuss of Austria "disclosed that the Feuhrer's grandmother became pregnant during her employment as a servant in a Viennese family ... none other than that of Baron Rothschild." Thyssen insists that Hitler learned of this document and that it was one of the reasons for the murder of Dollfuss. Thyssen believes the British secret service has a copy. The original, he says, Hitler got from Chancellor Schuschning and destroyed.

If Thyssen's rumors turn out to be fact, it would appear that the world's greatest anti-Semite, the greatest liar and the greatest propagandist of the "international bankers" myth, is himself a Rothschild.

_______________

Books on the Race Myth:

We Europeans, by Julian S. Huxley and A. C. Haddon.
Race, by Jacques Barzan.
Man's Most Dangerous Myth: The Fallacy of Race, by Professor M. F. Ashley Montagu (with a foreword by Aldous Huxley).
Race: Science and Politics, by Ruth Benedict.
General Anthropology, Franz Boas, editor.
The Mind of Primitive Man, by Franz Boas.
Race, Language and Culture, by Franz Boas.
Heredity and Politics, by Professor J. B.S. Haldane.
The Genetic Basis for Democracy, by Vice-President Wallace.
admin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 30817
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am

Re: Facts and Fascism, by George Seldes

Postby admin » Wed Nov 27, 2013 12:45 am

CHAPTER IV: THE READER'S DIGEST

IF IT IS true that five, six or seven persons read every copy of the popular magazines, then it is also true that the reactionary, anti-labor, and frequently fascist propaganda which the Reader's Digest passes off on an unsuspecting public influences no less than 50,000,000 persons. The Digest has 9,675,000 subscribers, 8,300,000 in America. It pretends to be an impartial reprint magazine, selecting the best items from all the others, but it is in fact a skillfully manipulated publication spreading the reactionary views of a powerful nobody named De Witt Wallace.

A man who has so much power in his hands -- the making of public opinion by reaching the majority of the people of this country who can read -- should realize his social responsibilities. De Witt Wallace is either a knave of a fool. Either he is so stupid that he does not know that he is spreading Fascism, or he is a Machiavellian knave who has devised a wonderful and sinister method, far superior to any known to Herr Goebbels.

Before presenting the evidence -- most of which is visible to any person who will go to the public library and study the issues of Reader's Digest beginning with 1933, the year Hitler took over -- I will permit Mr. Wallace himself to speak first. In reply to my indictment of himself and his publication as native-Fascist, he replied by saying my charges were "unadulterated lies." My three-part indictment was summarized as follows:

1. That De Witt Wallace, owner and publisher of the Reader's Digest, told his staff he does not want Hitler defeated.

2. That beginning with the November, 1942, Reader's Digest, a new editor has been appointed who as editor of the American Mercury was first to publish native fascist propaganda in the United States. (Foreign fascist propaganda, written by Mussolini, Ribbentrop, Goebbels, Goering, etc., was first introduced to America by William Randolph Hearst in his magazine Cosmopolitan, and his 20-odd newspapers.)

3. That Reader's Digest has consistently published reactionary, anti-labor and native fascist propaganda, sandwiched in with pleasant human interest stories which have built up the largest circulation in the world.

Here is Mr. Wallace's form letter, sent no doubt to thousands of his readers who protested. Please note that there is no rebuttal of the second and third part of the indictment, the documented parts. Mr. Wallace wrote:

"The statements attributed to me are unadulterated lies, as anyone knows who has ever talked to me. The magazine itself and the easily available record of its 25 senior and roving editors speak for themselves. The members of our staff feel that we should regard as laughable such complete drivel. -- DeWitt Wallace."


More than a hundred persons sent me their copies of this letter. To many of these persons I wrote suggesting they write Mr. Wallace this simple question: "Is Paul Palmer a senior editor? Is this the same Paul Palmer who printed Dennis and other fascist propaganda in the American Mercury? If Wallace replies No, he is a liar; if he replies Yes, he is a native Fascist."

Mr. Wallace did not reply.

The evidence against the Reader's Digest as a fascist publication hinges somewhat on the most famous declaration about American Fascism ever made. Its author was the man who at one time appeared to be the logical demagogue who might take over the country. I was very much impressed with him when I met him in the lobby of the Senate because he was so clearly the Mussolini (rather than the Hitler) type: smiling (rather than frowning), affable, silver-tongued (rather than strident), apparently well-read and considerably cultured (rather than hoodlum-minded like Hitler) and crookedly demagogic. Fascism, said Huey Long, will come to America on an anti-fascist platform. A study of Wallace's expressions and deeds indicates that behind all his patriotic flag-waving Americanism and his declarations against Fascism here is indeed a man in the Huey Long tradition.

The statements which Mr. Wallace called "unadulterated lies" were reports of his views made to me by several members of the editorial and business staff of Reader's Digest. At least four of Mr. Wallace's employees are aware of his Fascism, and one of them quoted Mr. Wallace as saying:

"We do not want Germany completely defeated. I think Germany should be beaten up a bit, and I prefer that the American army does it, so that Hitler will learn who is boss in this world.

"But I do not want Germany smashed. What will become of the continent of Europe if Hitler is killed and Fascism completely eradicated? The Russians will conquer all of Europe. Therefore our policy should be to whip Hitler to the point where he recognizes we are the biggest power in the world, and then keep Hitler in Europe to police the continent and maintain order.

"We also need a little Fascism in the United States to keep this country in order. We need a certain type of Fascism here to keep radicals out and radical systems and philosophies from making any headway, and even attempting to take over the government."


Shocking as this statement sounds in wartime, when we are fighting Hitler and Mussolini, and spending blood and treasure in vast amounts to preserve the anti-fascist or democratic way of life, it is a fact that just before Pearl Harbor this view was held by all the native Fascists who feared Hitler less than a victory of the people of all countries. William Randolph Hearst, Colonel McCormick, the appeasement Senators, the pro-Nazi Representatives led by Clare Hoffman and other anti-Semites, the large body of preachers led by Father Coughlin, Rev. Gerald L. K. Smith, Rev. Gerald Winrod, Rev. Bob Shuler and the like, and Lindbergh, were so anti-Russian that they preferred Hitler. Several expressed the hope that both nations would bleed themselves to death. And all these native Fascists, including De Witt Wallace, were following in the footsteps of the French 200 Families, the richest men of France, who in order to protect their money expressed themselves in the famous phrase: "Mieux Hitler que Blum." [Better the Nazis than a Socialist premier willing to coalesce with the far left]. Premier Leon Blum was the social-democrat-liberal-coward who ran the Popular Front the time of the beginning of the Fascist rebellion against the Republic of Spain. Although he knew that the Nazis were sending aviators by train through France and by air over France, he closed his eyes and remained neutral, rather than offend his own Fascists, who ruled the Banque de France, big industry, the press, and the Chamber of Deputies, and who preferred their money and their possessions above all else in the world -- even to sacrificing their land to the rule of Hitler. Blum, despite his cowardice and appeasement and betrayal, had made some feeble gestures to the labor unions and to the poor and humble, and every such gesture meant a slight gain in the standard of living of the working class, a necessary slight increase in taxation on the rich. They would not stand for it. They would not even stand for taxation for the purpose of building up an air fleet and for armaments to meet the menace of Hitlerism. "Better Hitler than Blum" became their motto and their program.

Image
With 9,000,000 circulation and 50,000,000 readers Reader's Digest is a powerful force. Its owner says he is not a Fascist but employs leading fascist editors and writers, prints falsehood against unions, and NAM propaganda. -- 17th Year of Publication, Readers Digest, May 1938, 25¢ a Copy, $3 a Year: "On Franco's Side in Spain -- A famous American editor reports finding peace and prosperity under the rebels' rule -- Condensed from The New York Times, Ellery Sedgwick, Editor of the Atlantic Monthly;" "Book Section -- The House That Hitler Built -- A condensation from the book by Stephen H. Roberts;" "September, 1938: What's Good in Germany? -- An Englishman compares Germany with his own country -- Condensed from The Spectator, London Conservative Weekly, Douglas Reed."

Americans, of course, were not faced with this choice. But we were aware of two very important facts, first of which was the fact that the American labor movement was coming of age, and that the 13,000,000, out of a labor force of 52,000,000 in normal peace times, who belonged to unions were intelligent enough to demand something more than a few cents on the hour, a few hours less in the week. Labor, more than any other class in American society, was grasping for something better, that something which Vice President Wallace -- no relation to the reactionary owner of Reader's Digest -- epitomized for us all in his "Century of the Common Man."

The other fact was best expressed by Mussolini in his famous "We or They" speech in which he predicted, a decade ago, that the "world was dividing itself between Fascism and Democracy, and that they would clash, and that Fascism would have to destroy Democracy to survive. America saw this conflict the day the Fascist International, the three signatories to the powerful Anti-Komintern Pact, the Axis powers, turned on Russia, after attacking and conquering many small nations and threatening to invade Britain.

In the face of these two facts all native reactionaries (and you can use this word if "native-Fascists" offends your sensitive ears) were united in attacking and undermining labor, and in upholding the fascist nations in their attempt to overthrow the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (better known as Russia). There were many in America, outside the Fifth Columnists who were indicted for treason and sedition, who changed the French "Mieux Hitler que Blum" to "Better Hitler than Russia."

De Witt Wallace denies that he never said he preferred Hitler. I have therefore printed his denial, although I can produce several members of Mr. Wallace's editorial and business staff who say otherwise. But Wallace's denial of this quotation is not enough because there is a volume of evidence that Mr. Wallace employs Fascists, prints fascist propaganda, has consistently attacked labor unions, has lied about one union and refused to print a retraction, has smeared labor, and has, generally speaking, followed the fascist rather than the anti-fascist line, and tried to indoctrinate 50,000,000 Americans who have read his propaganda against the general welfare of all the people, and especially against the Century of the Common Man. The evidence which follows has not been denied by Mr. Wallace.

AMERICA'S FIRST FASCIST EDITOR

The evidence which Mr. Wallace dare not answer follows the charge that in the November, 1942, issue of his magazine he named Paul Palmer a senior editor. Paul Palmer is the first and foremost fascist editor in America. There is no getting around or explaining away of these facts.

Palmer introduced American Fascism in the American Mercury during his editorship. The publisher at that time and even now is Lawrence E. Spivak. Spivak was publisher of all the fascist propaganda which Palmer bought and remains publisher today with his new editor, Eugene Lyons, and the Spivak-Lyons American Mercury is the favorite place in which Wallace places some of his reactionary propaganda.

Palmer and Spivak appeared as editor and publisher of the American Mercury April, 1935. The amount paid is estimated at $25,000 to $40,000.

Previous to the Palmer-Spivak fascist regime there had been a liberal regime which permitted Lawrence Dennis to criticize the New Deal, but under Palmer's guidance Dennis, the leading native Fascist in America, came out in the December issue with "Portrait of American Fascism," which openly stamped the American Mercury as the foremost advocate of Fascism in this country. The Mercury also announced that Dennis was the author of The Coming American Fascism, which was about to be printed and which was recognized as a Mein Kampf for America.

March, 1936, Dennis wrote for Palmer and Spivak a review of Einer's Mussolini's Italy and Sawdust Caesar by the present writer. Dennis defended Fascism against all critics. Paul Palmer published this defense of Fascism.

Throughout the Palmer-Spivak regime the American Mercury published other Fascists also, but Dennis was the favorite. July, 1936, in The Highly Moral Causes of War Dennis repeated the propaganda for war which was put out by Mussolini; he also defended the Hoare-Laval betrayal of Ethiopia to Mussolini. February, 1937, in Liberalism Commit Suicide Dennis attacked any attempt to aid China against the aggressor Japan, or Loyalist Spain against the Fascist Axis-Germany, Italy and Portugal. Dennis defended fascist aggression in all countries. May, 1938, in Propaganda for War: Model 1938, Dennis not only pleaded for the cause of fascist aggression but asked American sympathy for it. January, 1939, in After the Peace of Munich: Is Hitler a Madman? Dennis exulted over Hitler's victory at Munich, heiled the rule of force in Europe and praised a coming world conquest by the Fascist Axis.

Early in 1942, when Dennis was applying for a commission in the U.S. Army, which most people believe is being trained to fight Italian Fascism and German Naziism, he was writing in his Weekly Foreign Letter that the U.S.A. would turn to a "brand of National Socialism (Naziism) of our own making, already emerging in its institutional pattern." Margolin and Conant exposed Dennis in PM of March 1 as having gone to Italy, in 1936 when an official car of the fascist foreign office was placed at his disposal because fascist officials called him "an important American Fascist." Dennis is revealed telling Italian friends that Nazi Fascism is better than Italian Fascism, that it is necessary to do away with democracy in the U.S. It is also revealed that in the files of the Dies Committee (which notoriously has failed to do anything about native Fascists and Nazis in America) there is a note from Dennis to the Nazi agent Friedrich Auhagen, now in jail, with a notation by Auhagen saying "Had lunch with L.D.; paid him $50 on account."

On March 5 Conant published in PM copies of correspondence between Dennis and other Fascists: letter from Dennis submitting articles to Auhagen; letter from Ralph Townsend, Japanese agent now in jail, approving Dennis' May, 1938, article in American Mercury; letter from General Van Horn Moseley, who wanted to lead a fascist march on Washington; letter from Amerika-Institut, Berlin, to Nazi propagandist Zapp, telling him to see Dennis; letter from George Deatherage. Thanks to this exposure, Dennis was refused a commission.

How Paul Palmer worked as an editor was revealed by the New Republic (December 22, 1937): "A few months ago the editors of the American Mercury approached Henry F. Pringle ... asked him to write an article about the New Republic and the Nation. ... He was promptly paid. ... (Later) he was told firmly that the American Mercury would not print his article. It was explained that what that magazine wanted was an article indicating that the liberal journals were tools of Moscow and constituted a great danger to the U.S. Mr. Pringle replied that he did not propose to stultify himself by writing things that he regarded as unfair and untrue. Thereupon the matter was dropped until Mr. Varney was persuaded to write the article." It appeared December, 1937. Harold Lord Varney was associate editor of another fascist magazine published by Dennis -- The Awakener.

June, 1937, the American Civil Liberties Union sued the American Mercury for $50,000 for a libelous article by Varney entitled Liberalism a la Moscow. The annual report of the Liberties Union said: "The American Mercury, now a spokesman for the fascist viewpoint, published in December an article ... by Harold Lord Varney, associate editor, formerly secretary of the Italian Historical Society, subsidized by Mussolini. Mr. Varney was personally decorated by the dictator. The article so libeled the Union that suit for $50,000 was brought. ... When the Union offered to submit to an impartial referee the examination of Mr. Varney's charges, provided the Mercury would publish his findings, the publisher (Lawrence E. Spivak, who is still publisher) refused." New Republic, approving the suit against the Mercury, said "individuals and organizations of progressive outlook who are working for justice and fundamental human rights are made the targets of loose and irresponsible charges."

And just to round out the history of Palmer, Spivak, the American Mercury, Dennis and Varney: June 1, 1935, the Guild Reporter, official organ of the American Newspaper Guild, denounced the "arrogant public statements the Mercury publisher and editor, Lawrence E. Spivak and Paul Palmer, have been issuing" in the strike of seven editorial employees for decent living wages. The New York Newspaper Guild at a general meeting voted not to read the Mercury until it had recognized the right of its employees to organize. Spivak fought his employees until 1937 when the Regional Labor Board found him guilty of violating the law. Spivak and Palmer yelled freedom of the press, announced they would not obey the law, would fight to the Supreme Court. The Nation (May 22) called the Mercury owners reactionary.

One of the contributors to Palmer's Mercury and the present Mercury is George E. Sokolsky, exposed by the La Follette committee as secretly in the pay of the NAM, the most powerful and the most fascist organization in America.

During the Spivak-Palmer regime the partners quarreled over only one subject, anti-Semitism. Being a Jew, Spivak spoke up against Palmer's bringing in anti-Semitism with his Fascism, but up to February, 1939, Spivak went along with Palmer, and helped introduce most of the fascist writers of the nation to an audience.

This is the history of the new senior editor of the Reader's Digest.

READER'S DIGEST FASCISM

Nothing as crude as the labor-baiting campaigns of the Scripps-Howard chain papers, as violent as the red- baiting in the Hearst chain papers, as defeatist as the McCormick-Patterson chain papers or as viciously anti-semitic as Coughlin's Social Justice and the vermin press of the 28 persons indicted for sedition, has ever appeared in the Reader's Digest, nevertheless labor-baiting, red-baiting, defeatism and anti-Semitism do appear in the world's biggest magazine. They appear because the owner has a fascist mind, and these are some of the main traits of Fascism.

Incidentally, Mr. Wallace, in addition to a fascist mind and a dictatorial editorial viewpoint, is also one of the "sweetest" men who ever lived. The girl employees think he is a "honey." At the drop of a sneeze he sends around a dozen American Beauty roses, and it is nothing for him to pay for an appendix operation or to hand $71,400 to the staff of 348 as a bonus on Christmas eve. But let an editor take issue with him on one of his pet fascist articles and Mr. Wallace will revenge himself with cruel subtlety: he won't fire the upper-bracket editor but he'll put him to work clipping snippets for filler.

On the other hand a journalist like the Rev. Dr. Stanley High may sometimes say to Mr. Wallace that his suggestion for a story is vicious, or "it stinks" or that he could not possibly do it; and then Mr. Wallace ups the price $500 and Stanley High does the article the reactionary way Mr. Wallace first suggested.

The Stanley High smear on consumers is one instance of the policy of reaction (which is Fascism) of the Reader's Digest. By consumers of course we mean the entire American people; and while it is the purpose of a democracy to aid the people, to aid all consumers, it is the purpose of a Big Business dictatorship (Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, Portugal, ManDerheim-Finland, etc.) to aid only the industrialists who subsidize the fascist party and the top party leaders at the expense of the entire nation. This is what Fascism in every nation was founded for.

We the people -- the consumer, labor, the majority -- never get a square deal in the newspapers or in the magazines which take advertising for two reasons: (1) the advertiser does not want us to know the facts and (2) the advertiser is part of the Big Business setup which is the enemy of labor and of the consumer, the majority. Enlightened America therefore has always prayed for newspapers and magazines which will not be prostituted by advertising and which will therefore be in a position to tell the truth. Most publications which refuse advertising are more honest than most publications which live by advertising, but in recent history two horrible exceptions to the rule almost ruined it. They are Social Justice, which spread more actual falsehood and more maliciousness than any publication in the country; and Reader's Digest, which was in the position to lead the Henry Wallace Crusade for the Century of the Common Man, but which preferred instead to lead the De Witt Wallace retreat into the economic and social barbarism of Fascism.

The Stanley High smear on consumers' organizations is a good example because it betrays the fact that the typical Fascist is a hypocrite as well as an enemy of the people.

Taking no advertising, Reader's Digest would have no fear of writing honestly about the cooperatives, the cooperative commonwealth of the future, liberal and radical minority parties or movements, fraudulent medicines, the corrupt press, the treason of Big Business in wartime. But whereas the newspaper publisher is afraid of the advertiser, the little man who started out with a pastepot and scissors 22 years ago is today scared to death of losing some of his accumulated millions. Mr. De Witt Wallace believes that he can take it with him.

And so even consumers' cooperatives and non-profitmaking public welfare organizations are smeared, and the leading brass-checker of upper-bracket journalism, Stanley High, does the smearing.

The smear, entitled Guinea Pigs, Left March, was planted by Wallace in the Forum magazine, October, 1939. According to a revelation later made by New Republic (January 1, 1940) the original order for High's smear came from the offices of Hearst's Good Housekeeping, which had been charged with fraud by the U.S. Government in the operation of its Seal of Approval and other enterprises in conjunction with the advertisers of patent medicines, Miracle Whip, which was later found to have killed four children, and other products. It is also a fact that Hearst's Good Housekeeping Club Service sent the Forum-Reader's Digest piece throughout the country with a foreword saying that the cooperatives and consumers' protection organizations were "radical elements ... bent on foisting their revolutionary views on an unsuspecting public." Here is an instance of Mr. Wallace, aided by the bootlicking writer High, doing a job for America's No. 1 Fascist, William Randolph Hearst. But this is not the first or last time the Digest followed the Hearst line.

As originally published in the Forum, non-profit-making cooperatives and public service organizations were attacked. Listed alike were Consumers Research and Consumers Union, both of which test products and issue reports. But when Mr. Wallace, who had ordered and planted the High article in the Forum, reprinted it in the Reader's Digest, he made one change; he censored out the name of Consumers Research.

Here is the explanation: Consumers Union was formed as a non-profitmaking organization by employees of Consumers Research after a strike against Consumers Research owners, including J. B. Matthews, who were making fine money and paying workers as little as $13.13 a week. Liberal publications and liberal-labor organizations denounced Matthews, and pledged their support to the new organization, Consumers Union. Matthews in revenge went over to the Dies Committee and became its chief smearer of labor-liberal organizations. Matthews cooperated with the maker of Listerine (Lund, once head of NAM); Hearst and Sokolsky joined in the Dies smear against cooperatives and consumers' organizations shortly afterwards. But so far as Wallace, High and the Reader's Digest were concerned, both consumers' organizations did the same work, and both had been smeared in the original Forum article, but because Matthews had already aligned himself with the fascist forces of the country, Wallace cut the name of his organization out of the Reader's Digest reprint of the smear. This is not only venal censorship, it is a high water mark of hypocrisy. (We still insist the Pulitzer journalism committee should issue hypocrisy prizes annually.)

Again, in the High article the author, who attacks everything benefiting the consumer as "subversive," also deplores the bulletin of the Idaho State Department of Education which says: "Advertising has assisted in bringing about a fake scale of value in our civilization." Hearst and other Fascists who live on the millions from advertising, and the Pacific Coast ad organizations, declared such statements subversive, but what explanation is there for a similar viewpoint in the only big publication in the world which takes no advertising? Obviously Wallace's interests and Hearst's interests are identical as are the interests of most millionaires.

DIGEST PUBLISHES NAZI AGENT

Being one of the richest publications in the world, and dominating American magazine journalism, Reader's Digest is in a position to choose whatever it likes. Its choice, therefore, is evidence of its policies. (None but a moron would deny that there is a policy behind the selections, and Mr. Wallace would not care to deny that there have been numerous, but discreet, quarrels in the editorial office when junior editors protested selections of reactionary or fascist articles.)

There are, of course, many entertaining articles and book condensations, and once in a while something which is literature and really honest, but too frequently there is the usual catering to the moron taste which prevails in every publication which has to satisfy many millions, and there is the obvious choice of the stuff of the native (and foreign) Fascisti.

Surely Mr. Wallace cannot deny he is a knave or a fool when he chooses the work of George E. Sokolsky frequently. Mr. Sokolsky was exposed by the La Follette Committee as being secretly in the pay of the National Association of Manufacturers. He was a paid anti-labor writer and lecturer. The NAM was accused officially of working in secrecy and deceit. The fact Mr. Sokolsky was appearing as a columnist at the time he was secretly in the pay of the worst native fascist outfit in America resulted in one of the greatest scandals in the history of American journalism -- a scandal so great that even Editor & Publisher, and its editor, Arthur Robb, could for once find no brasscheck excuse. But Sokolsky is still a labor-baiter and Mr. Wallace, having the choice of the whole world of columnists, chose Sokolsky for one and only one reason: because Sokolsky expresses Mr. Wallace's own bias and prejudice and reactionary mind.

In its March, 1941, issue Reader's Digest published a hoax by a Nazi agent.

Here is the evidence: In an order for the arrest of Richard Krebs published in all newspapers the evening of November 24, 1942, the Board of Immigration Appeal declared:

"His life has been so marked with violence, intrigue and treachery that it would be difficult, if not wholly unwarranted, to conclude that his present reliability and good character have been established. ... Within the past five years [i.e., from 1937, when he entered America, to date] the subject has been considered an agent of Nazi Germany."


The New York Mirror (for which same publisher this Nazi agent wrote many anti-Russian and generally red- baiting articles for big money) said November 25: "In effect, the decision means he perpetrated a huge literary hoax."

Thus ends the story of Jan Valtin (Richard Krebs) and his fabulous Out of the Night, the hoax which the Reader's Digest palmed off on its readers because it was willing to use a Nazi agent's frauds in order to smear Russia.

Mr. De Witt Wallace, in his introduction to his condensation of the so-called non-fictional book Out of the Night (published by Alliance Book Carp., distributed by Book-of-the-Month Club), said: "Out of the Night will be one of the most-discussed books of 1941. ... Carefully authenticated by the publishers."

Mr. Wallace, the publishers, and the Book-of-the-Month, for as little as the cost of a letter addressed to the Los Angeles police department, could have had all the evidence necessary to prove that Valtin-Krebs was a liar, an anti-Semite, a thief, and hoodlum, a Fascist and a Nazi. In New York and Connecticut, the novelist Wellington Roe had made an investigation of General Krivitsky and Jan Valtin and found that both were Fascists and frauds, and that "there is no doubt the State Department and the F.B.1. have been protecting Valtin, a criminal alien." But here is the evidence the Los Angeles police were giving out to the newspapers for the asking -- the evidence which Mr. Wallace could have had weeks before he reprinted Valtin, evidence already printed in the anti-fascist press:

"He [Richard Krebs, said the judge in the Los Angeles assault case] went into a clothing store and after purchasing certain articles got into a controversy with the proprietor. He thereupon pulled a revolver and threatened the proprietor and started to beat him over the head with the revolver. He then took the articles of purchase and left the store and was apprehended."


This same episode appears in Out of the Night as an order from the O.G.P.U. in Moscow to murder an enemy of the Soviets in America.

But this is not all. The reason Valtin-Krebs so brutally beat up the shopkeeper was because his name was Morris Goldstein and he was a Jew. Here is the evidence:

Assistant District Attorney Kenneth Thomas at the preliminary hearing, August 19, 1926: "Defendant (Valtin- Krebs) took the stand and testified that he struck the victim because 'The Jew made me mad.'" (Full court record: Los Angeles Superior Court, Case No. 28625.)

Also, in January, 1938, Valtin-Krebs was openly charged with still being a Nazi spy in America by Paa Torn (Stand Watch), the Scandinavian Seamen's Club paper.

It is true, however, that the Book-of-the-Month Club did get an approval from Assistant Secretary of State A. A. Berle, the so-called "liberal" in our State Department, to publish the book, but Berle is one of the many officials of our State Department frequently on the Fascist-appeasement side.

Said Kenneth Stewart, an editor of PM, in that paper (March 3, 1941, p. 15):

"It [Out of the Night] is being crammed down the public's throat whole -- no questions asked. ... The Book-of- the-Month Club's promotion and publicity, Life magazine, and the Reader's Digest seem more interested in discrediting our enemies than in being reasonably skeptical. [Note: enemies then meant Russia first, Germany second.] "I am convinced that at least some representatives of the U.S. Government have played active roles. Harry Scherman is not the kind of fellow to go out on a limb. Everybody agrees that he got his go-ahead from Adolf Berle in the State Department."

As for Mr. Scherman, he is the same Scherman who put over a National Association of Manufacturers anti- labor so-called anti-inflation piece, had it printed in Reader's Digest, then tried to get every member of the same Book-of-the-Month Club, which he controls, to spread his reactionary propaganda.

READER'S DIGEST LABOR BAITING

In America every native Fascist, from the DuPonts to Pegler and Kaltenborn to De Witt Wallace of Reader's Digest and Hearst, Howard, McCormick and Patterson and the rest of the defeatist, native-fascist press, does the next best thing to destroying labor: all these native Fascists fight labor with propaganda and falsehood. Ninety-two per cent of the American press, according to a poll taken by Federated Press, is anti-labor.

Any fair person can spot anti-labor bias in almost any issue of Reader's Digest. But here is a case where Wallace was called on his propaganda. It concerns the Federation of Architects, Engineers, Chemists and Technicians (F.A.E.C.T.), a C.I.O. union which together with 19 other C.I.O. unions was once smeared by Chairman Dies of the Un-American Committee -- this was before Vice-President Wallace declared that Dies was acting as if he is in the pay of the Nazi propaganda head, Goebbels.

Following the typical collections of falsehoods and half-truths which the pro-Dies newspapers frontpaged, the F.A.E.C.T. had inserted in the Congressional Record (April 30, 1941) a statement showing the Dies charges were falsehoods and that Dies, in violation of accepted rules, refused to permit persons and organizations slandered to appear before his committee. One of Martin Dies' many lies concerned the technical school where F.A.E.C.T. was teaching men to build ships. F.A.E.C.T. started this school when the Navy failed to listen to its plea for the future defense of the nation in a probable war. F.A.E.C.T. joined the C.I.O. in 1937 and its constitution declares no one shall be barred because of "race, color, creed, nationality, sex, religious or political belief." Naturally the poll-taxer and Negro-baiter Dies smeared the C.I.O. union as red.

This was no excuse, however, for Mr. Wallace of Reader's Digest to do the same. Nevertheless, in the July, 1941, issue there is a piece called "We Are Already Invaded" by Stanley High which is a more yellow, sensational and wild-eyed piece than Hearst ever printed, and smears the unions as Moscow agents who have already captured the country. Among the unions smeared is the F.A.E.C.T.

I have the entire correspondence between the Navy Yard Civil Service Association, F.A.E.C.T., and Reader's Digest. On August 26 Wallace was asked to take notice of errors in the High article. On September 3 a letter signed "The Editors" says they have read the statement in the Congressional Record "and feel it offers comforting assurance of the patriotic purposes of the F.A.E.C.T. ... We welcome your denial. ... Upon Mr. High's return your letter and the reprint from the Congressional Record will be referred to him."

On September 27 the Navy Yard Civil Service Association wrote "Your reply is far from satisfactory. Your article has done our organization incalculable harm." On the basis of the article 23 employees had been dismissed without a hearing by the U.S. Navy. Reader's Digest was informed it was libel, and asked to retract.

On December 8, having no reply, the association wrote again. On December 24 it repeated its request for a retraction of the libels, "which the first Reader's Digest letter indicated. On January 12, 1942 -- a month after Pearl Harbor -- Reader's Digest sent the following letter:

"Our failure to reply to your letters was due to the fact that after further investigation we found no basis for any affirmative action on our part in connection with the article which you criticized. Hence there seemed no point in protracting the discussion.

"There seems to us less point in so doing now. In the present emergency, with the American people forgetting bygone political and social dissensions, for spontaneous and unified action ... this struggle for national survival regardless of any political theories ... December 7th. ..."


Under American law it is legal to libel groups, minorities, "races," religions, Negroes, Jews, Catholics, political parties. It is doubtful if the union could have sued Reader's Digest for libel, no matter how big the falsehoods. But the code of ethics of all branches of publishing provides for a fair hearing. The union could not get it. Its final letter to Kenneth Payne, executive editor, said:

"This is the fifth [letter] ... Your last letter wraps up the American flag in the libel you committed against our organization. Today, more than ever, it is necessary that the truth be told and the facts which were misrepresented by Stanley High be given. Today more than in the recent past, the F.B.I. is watching all employees in defense industries, and by redbaiting and libeling us you have furnished an excuse for the F.B.I. to regard the entire membership of the ... Association ... with suspicion. I have presented you with the facts. The facts are that you did not tell the truth. The facts are that you harmed us. ... You have hurt individuals and the organization. I have asked you on four previous occasions to be decent about this and publish an honest retraction of a serious slander, if not a criminal libel against us, and you have stalled us for half a year, and now try a cheap flag-waving trick."


Mr. Wallace has not replied.

Another victim of Reader's Digest labor-smearing -- and falsehood, according to Senator Sheridan Downey of California -- is the Railroad Brotherhoods, a conservative association of many organizations totaling a million and a quarter men.

Mr. Wallace joined America's No. 1 Nazi, Hearst, and numerous other labor-baiters, notably Pegler and the Scripps-Howard press, in publishing an attack on what they term "featherbedding" in the railroad unions. This is a smear which is repeated many times in each generation, but is of particular use in wartime when the corporations, and notably the railroads, are attempting to destroy the unions and the Wagner Act, and all the gains labor has made. Mr. Wallace went to the aid of the corporations by reprinting the propaganda which appeared under the names of John Patric and Frank J. Taylor, two brasscheck polishers of Big Business, in Barron's, a commercial anti-labor publication. The Reader's Digest-Barron's smear was so raw that Downey protested in the Senate. He said:

"Lately, certain newspapers and magazines have been carrying derogatory and false articles concerning the number of hours being worked by railroad men. Someone is trying to popularize and propagandize the expression 'featherbedding' in an attempt to make the public believe that large numbers of railroad workers are working very short hours, and that due to arbitrary rules there has been a large waste of railroad workers. I desire to brand such statements and articles as wholly false.

"The Reader's Digest, in its last issue, has a most unfair and misleading article on that very subject. It is true that in the U.S. there are approximately 500 railroad engineers and firemen who have what we call a fast blue-chip run. The article in the Reader's Digest discussed that particular group of 500 men as though its members worked under conditions typical of those of hundreds of thousands of other railroad workers. ... In the State of California, to which the Reader's Digest refers ... there are probably only 30. ...To cite conditions surrounding less than 500 workers in an endeavor to make the American people believe it is typical of the railroad workers, cannot be condemned in too vigorous language. I do not intend to engage in a discussion of that particular group. What I am castigating are the propagandizing articles printed in magazines and broadcast over the nation to make the American people think that railroad workers at the present time are not working long hours a week." [At this point Senator Downey placed statistics into the Record.]

"Any magazine, any newspaper, any speaker who takes isolated statements and then attempts to prove from such statements the truth about the whole group is committing, in my opinion, a treasonable offense. Why do I say 'treasonable'? I say it in the broad meaning of the word, it is true, but I say it because when magazines and newspapers give out data wholly misleading and unfair to the railroad workers, it not only creates a false impression in the mind of the public as to such workers, but it causes bitterness and resentment among the railroad workers against the propagandizing instruments that issue the figures.

"Likewise, I might say, that the same thing is true of the figures with respect to absenteeism."


Senator Downey placed in the Record reports from London which show that investigation prove that only 2% of absenteeism is due to malicious intent. No less than 66-2/3% of absenteeism is due to sickness. Fatigue due to long hours of work is another factor. Labour Minister Bevin is quoted as saying "The majority of the absentees stay away occasionally because of exhaustion."

In its March, 1943, issue Reader's Digest committed another fascist sin: it reprinted a piece of propaganda from the propaganda clip sheets sent out by an outfit whose chairman had already been denounced as one of the worst Fascists in the United States.

Under this item Mr. Wallace wrote: "Condensed from a publication of the New York State Economic Council." This sounds just fine. It sounds as if it was an official agency of the state of New York, and that it was an economic council, whereas in truth it is nothing more or less than a pro-Big Money, anti-labor, pro- fascist outfit run by Merwin K. Hart. Every editor in America who is not a Fascist places the propaganda sheets of the N.Y.S.E.C. in the wastebasket, but it remained for Mr. Wallace, who will call you a liar if you label him a Fascist to reprint a piece of this propaganda and spread it before 50,000,000 persons.

Mr. Wallace reprints Mr. Hart. Mr. Hart is also one of the leading propagandists for Franco and Spanish Fascism; he was closely associated with the Rev. Charles E. Coughlin of Social Justice fame. Mr. Hart contributed to this publication -- which escaped a charge of sedition by folding up after Pearl Harbor. Hr. Hart was associated with one Allen Zoll, now in jail facing a criminal charge of common extortion and another charge of being actively pro-Nazi. Mr. Hart was the associate of John B. Trevor, John B. Snow and a dozen other Bundists, Fascists, and anti-Semites.

Fascists of a feather flock together. The Mr. Hart who runs the New York Economic Council is the same Mr. Hart who originated the school textbook witch hunt and who succeeded in banning Professor Rugg's works from several upper New York public schools before the NAM took up the matter, with Professor Robey doing the Goebbels act.

Sokolsky, paid agent of the NAM, wrote a defense of Hart and an excuse for his being a Franco-Fascist, in his New York Sun column (April 15, 1941), which Senator Nye obligingly placed in the Congressional Record (May 23, 1941, p. A2631). This piece smears the friends of Republican Spain, supports Franco, and also smears Congressman Joseph Clark Baldwin because Baldwin had declared that he had been informed "that certain sponsors of the N.Y.S.E.C. hold views on our American democracy completely at variance with mine. ... Those who attempt to divide our nation today ... those who place race or party prejudice above patriotism; those who refuse to recognize the vital importance of national unity ... are wittingly or unwittingly preparing the downfall of our nation, just as the same elements prepared the downfall of France. ..."

Mr. De Witt Wallace has seen fit to present to fifty million readers the propaganda of Hart's N.Y.S.E.C. Nevertheless, Mr. Justice Jackson of the Supreme Court included Hart and his organization in a denunciation of the leading enemies of American democracy; Justice Jackson also called them underminers of morale and economic exploiters. These are the native Fascists Mr. Justice Jackson named:

1. H. W. Prentis, Jr. (then) President National Association of Manufacturers, head of Armstrong Cork Co., friend of Fascist Franco.

2. Charles A. Lindbergh, Jr.

3. The Saturday Evening Post, published by Walter D. Fuller, one time president of the NAM, and still a director.

4. League for Constitutional Government. This is the outfit run by ex-Congressman Samuel Pettengill, now G.O.P. director, the Rev. Norman Vincent Peale, S.S. McClure the Fascist, Dr. Rumely, the former German agent, and Frank Gannett, the chain newspaper publisher.

5. Major General Van Horn Mosely, U.S. Army, retired, who wanted to lead a fascist march to take over the government.

6. Merwin K. Hart.

Said Mr. Justice Jackson:

"... Merwin K. Hart, president of the so-called New York State Economic Council, which is closely allied with the manufacturers' associations. Merwin Hart is well-known for pro-fascist leanings. In 1936 it was his proposal that every person who accepted any form of government help should be denied the right to vote. And now ... Mr. Hart says that 'it is time to brush aside this word "democracy" with its connotations.' That was the theme of his speech [at the Union League Club], that democracy is a danger to this country."


In an address at Columbia University December 17, 1940, on "The Threat of Fascism" Secretary of the Interior Harold L. Ickes denounced "native, fascist-minded Nazi sympathizers, profit-seeking business men, appeasers," etc. He named: Lawrence Dennis, the only overt American propagandist for Fascism; Lindbergh, Charles E. Coughlin and Merwin K. Hart.

In an address to the Protestant Digest Associates February 25, 1941, Mr. Ickes denounced five "Quislings" and named them as: Colonel Lindbergh, the Rev. Charles E. Coughlin, Major Alford I. Williams, Lawrence Dennis and Merwin K. Hart, adding that these are men "who would sacrifice democratic ideals and Christian civilization to alien economic and social predispositions. These men are supported by others who play upon the prejudices of the anti-Semite, the anti-Negro and the anti-sharecropper. These are the Quislings who, in pretended patriotism, would cravenly spike our guns and ground our planes in order that Hitlerism might more easily overcome us." (In August, 1942, Hart sued the Friends of Democracy for $1,000,000, saying it was a libel to call him a Quisling; this was a year and a half after this Quisling charge was published in the New York Times.)

And in March, 1943, the Non-Sectarian Anti-Nazi League published its Bulletin charging Hart with attending a secret meeting in Chicago with anti-Semites, native Fascists, America Firsters, etc. Named are Harry A. Jung, notorious peddler of anti-Semitic propaganda, aid to Mrs. Dilling and advisor on radicalism to Col. McCormick of the Chicago Tribune; Earl Southard, Illinois chairman of the America First Party, now being run by Gerald L. K. Smith.

Image
The foremost liar in America is Father Coughlin. His "Social Justice" was next only to Hearst in spreading Nazi propaganda. He repeated Goebbels' "World-Service" lies.

Mr. Hart frequently has denied that he is an anti-Semite. In his speeches -- he was one of the promoters of a Christian Front rally in honor of Franco, along with John Eoghan Kelly, who is now under indictment as a Fascist agent -- Hart did not use the word "Jew" but phony words such as "refugees," "international liberals," etc., and denounced those "blinded by fury at the persecution of minorities in Germany," whom he accused of being those who want "to drag us into their wars." Mr. Hart's Council has also published literature recommending that its members read Mrs. Dilling's material (now termed seditious) and buy literature put out by the notorious anti-Semite and labor-spy, Harry Jung. A preface to a pamphlet urging use of this propaganda material is signed by Hart.

In May, 1943, John Eoghan Kelly was found guilty of being a Fascist agent. His associate, Merwin K. Hart, who was just as pro-Franco as Kelly, although not paid for it, as Kelly was, is the man whose economic fascist propaganda Mr. Wallace prints in Readers Digest.

In July, 1943, the columnist Charles Fisher of the Philadelphia Record established the fact that Mr. De Witt Wallace had been employing one George T. Eggleston to do some work for the Reader's Digest.

Eggleston had been editor of Scribner's Commentator and The Herald ("The National Newspaper for an Independent American Destiny"), two pro-Nazi fascist publications which closed up shop when they were under investigation by the F.B.I. after Pearl Harbor.

Eggleston had been with Lindbergh when he made his most vile pro-Nazi speech -- the race, blood and color oration at Des Moines; Eggleston had collaborated with Henry Ford in making a propaganda list of fascist sympathizers, and according to Editor Morris Watson (in his newsletter Release) the German Library of Information, Nazi propaganda agency in America, had also collaborated. Finally, Eggleston had as associate editor Ralph Townsend, who wrote pro-Japanese propaganda in both Scribner's Commentator and The Herald and who is at present in the penitentiary as a Japanese agent.

We now have Mr. DeWitt Wallace employing as senior editor Paul Palmer, the first fascist editor in America, the man who used the American Mercury for Lawrence Dennis's and other frankly fascist propaganda; publishing the pro-Franco article of Ellery Sedgwick, employing as editor one Max Eastman, a Trotsky propagandist and Russia-smearer; publishing the articles of numerous labor-baiters and labor-liars; employing as editors and writers every "liberal" and "radical" who sold out for money; publishing articles in favor of the Nazis ("What's Good in Germany"); publishing the falsehoods of Lindbergh and other "racists"; and finally, employing Mr. Eggleston, editor of the first fascist publication to disappear in the roar of the guns of Pearl Harbor and an associate of an American Japanese agent.

Mr. Wallace denies he is a Fascist.

_______________

Bibliography:

Mr. Justice Jackson (as Attorney General of the United States) exposed the leading Fascists at Boston City Club, October 16, 1940. The United Press and Associated Press suppressed all the names but one. The full text is in Law Society Journal, Boston, November, 1940.
admin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 30817
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am

Re: Facts and Fascism, by George Seldes

Postby admin » Wed Nov 27, 2013 12:53 am

CHAPTER V: NAM MOUTH ORGAN: FULTON LEWIS, JR.

NOT ALL the American type of reactionary propaganda (or fascist propaganda as Mussolini would have labeled it) is confined to the newspaper and magazine press, notably the big circulation publications such as the McCormick-Patterson and Hearst newspapers, and the Reader's Digest. Considerable native Fascism comes over the radio. This is easily explained. The national hookups are paid for by the biggest corporations, and with the exception of Ford, they are all subsidizers, backers, directors and members of the National Association of Manufacturers, and members of its propaganda subsidiary, known as the National Industrial Information Committee.

With only three or four exceptions all the big newspaper columnists and radio commentators who form American public opinion are reactionaries. Pegler, Kaltenborn, Paul Mallon, Sokolsky, Mark Sullivan, Boake Carter, Frank Kent, David Lawrence reach from three to eight million persons each. On the liberal side there are a few writers and speakers who do not have a tenth this vast audience.

Fulton Lewis, Jr., reaches between 2,500,000 and 3,000,000 persons daily over more than 150 stations of the Mutual Network. He is sponsored by nationally known manufacturers such as Old Gold cigarettes and in some towns by local merchants. Today Lewis is the chief spokesman for Reaction. He was formerly employed by the National Association of Manufacturers and right now he is echoing the propaganda line laid down at the secret meeting of the resolutions committee of the NAM.

Mr. Lewis is not now employed by the NAM. Mr. Lewis denies that he has any connection with the NAM. Mr. Lewis is working for some 60 corporations and if he wants to say it is purely a coincidence that the propaganda he is putting out today and that which the NAM is putting out are alike, his word should be taken at face value. We present herewith certain facts about Mr. Lewis, the DuPont campaign for "Free Enterprise" " originated less than a year ago, Mr. Lewis's former connection with the NAM, and Mr. Lewis's present "Free Enterprise" campaign which tallies with the Hearst-Howard-NAM and American fascist campaign of Free Enterprise.

Fulton Lewis, Jr., was in the pay of the NAM, broadcasting Big Business propaganda (up to June 19, 1942) at a time many of his colleagues, notably Kaltenborn and Pegler, were working the other end of the NAM street by smearing labor.

In defense of his position, Mr. Lewis wrote me on August 10, 1942:

"Your little publication has tremendous influence and a tremendous and loyal following. You have built up what I have tried to build up over the air -- a feeling among your readers that you are telling them the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth -- and I think you do that within the usual human qualifications of all of us. This letter is not written as a complaint nor as a request for any correction. It rather is written to show you what tremendous power you have. ... I have never heard of the subsidiary of the NAM (Industrial Information Committee)...."


My reply said in part:

"The only matter worth serious discussion is that line in your letter (re N.I.I.C. being part of NAM). Before I take up the matter ... I would like to ask you some questions:

"1. Do you know what Fascism is?

"2. Are you aware that there is Fascism in America?

"3. Do you know that Hitler's Naziism and Mussolini's Fascism are to a great extent the armed forces of the special big interests, such as the German cartels?

"4. Are you aware that Mussolini was subsidized by the Associazione fra Industriali Metallurgici Meccani and the Confederazione Generale dell'Industria ...which corresponds exactly to our U.S. Chamber of Commerce and our NAM?

"5. Are you aware, as Thyssen showed, that the Nazi equivalent of the NAM and N.I.I.C. taxed themselves so much per ton, so much per piece of goods manufactured, to subsidize Hitler and put him in power ..."

"6. Are you or are you not aware that Pew of Sunoco, E. T. Weir, Bell of Cyanamid ... Fuller, Lammot DuPont ... A. P. Sloan of General Motors ... all of them officers of the N.I.I.C., are the equivalent of the subsidizers of Fascism abroad, and subsidizers of the various fascist organizations exposed in the Lobby Investigation run by Senator (now Justice) Black?

"If you are not aware of these facts, then there is an excuse for your ever having been in the employ of the N.I.I.C.

"But it must be an excuse based on ignorance only. You know very well that when the La Follette Committee exposed the notorious George Sokolsky as being secretly in the pay of the NAM it was a first-rate scandal. It seems to me it was the most notorious scandal in the recent history of American journalism, and the fact the New York Herald Tribune and now the New York Sun publish the writings of this NAM hireling is still a greater scandal. The NAM was exposed three times in recent history. It actually resorted to corruption and bribery of Congressmen. It did about 90% of all the hiring in America of thugs, gunmen, racketeers, murderers and spies. Finally, it sought by a great corruption fund to change the thinking of American people by hiring professors and introducing text books in the public schools.

"I am sure that you know these facts about the NAM. I think therefore it is advisable for you to make a public statement saying that when you did the job for the N.I.I.C. you were not aware that it was formed by the NAM out of its more pro-fascist elements, and that its present plan is to invade the public schools with its anti-social propaganda."


Mr. Lewis replied again emphasizing that he had been in the employ of the NAM, not the N.I.I.C. "I have never been in the pay of the Industrial Information Committee of the NAM; in fact, I never heard of the damned thing until a former issue of your paper mentioned it in connection with me," he wrote. Of the NAM, he added: "-- I am totally dis-sympathetic and completely opposed to their labor policies. ... I fought them tooth and toenail ... on the 40-hour-week issue." And on August 31 Lewis said in a long letter that:

"1. I know very well what Fascism is, and I disapprove of it 100%.

"2. I am not aware that there is Fascism in America at this moment. ...

"3. I am, of course, well aware that Hitler's Naziism [was subsidized].

"4. I did not know specifically that Mussolini was subsidized by the particular organizations ... [Here Mr. Lewis declares that comparing these to the Chamber of Commerce and the NAM constitutes no proof].

"5. I am quite well aware that German industrialists own and control Naziism, Hitler, and whatever profits accrue from the war.

"6. I am not aware that Pew, Weir, Bell, Fuller, DuPont and A. P. Sloan are all officers of the N.I.I.C. ... not aware that they are the 'equivalent of the subsidizers of Fascism abroad' although your charge is very interesting. ... I was not aware that they were exposed as subsidizers of 'the various fascist organizations' by the Lobby investigation of Senator (now Justice) Black."


Mr. Lewis then declares that he never heard of the three Congressional investigations of the NAM, and he declares that if proof can be found the NAMzies employed 90% of all the thugs and murderers and spies -- ("that statement seems fantastic, extreme, and too much to swallow") -- he will be "glad to help publicize it the nation over."

The facts are: the La Follette Committee held public hearings and issued official reports showing that 90% or more of all the spies, thugs, murderers employed by Big Industry were employed by General Motors (controlled by DuPonts, bossed by Knudsen and Sloan) and other like members of the NAM. Of course Mr. Fulton Lewis, Jr., will not even breathe a word of these facts over the radio stations when he is paid by many of these same men and corporations.

But Mr. Lewis says he knows best what is "in my mind and heart," and that he reaches "many millions of people, the rank-and-file, middle-of-the-road people" and that "the greatest need of the labor movement is to have the support and confidence of those people, to have them told the truth, to have them de-bunked of anti-labor propaganda and lies and insinuations, and I have done that consistently and repeatedly."

Finally, Mr. Lewis, still not asking for any correction of any news items about him, suggests that the following reply be published. Here it is in full:

"I have never heard of the N.I.I.C. before you stated in your newsletter that I was employed by it. That statement was absolutely false, regardless of what the N.I.I.C. or anyone else in heaven or Earth says to the contrary. I not only had never heard of it, but o this day I have never met any of the individuals whom you list as officers of it. I know nothing about it and care less. I did a series of broadcasts for the NAM, once a week, from war production plants all over the nation for slightly more than a year. I defy you or anyone else to point to a single word, phrase, or innuendo in any broadcast that was remotely or by the slightest indirection anti-labor. On the contrary, a large part of every broadcast was devoted to showing the tremendous and constructive part that labor was playing in that particular plant. My assistant who went to the plants in advance and helped gather material for each broadcast was a fanatical pro-laborite. We had numerous union leaders on the program.

"My contract with the NAM specifically provided that I was to have absolute final discretion and power as to what was said in every broadcast, and I exercised that power on all occasions. I had no conferences, instructions, or hints about any NAM policies on labor or anything else either before or during my connection; in fact, all I know of NAM policies is what I have read in the newspapers.


Image
Here is the evidence the NAM and NIIC are one, and that Fulton Lewis, Jr., spread their propaganda over the radio. -- "Your DEFENSE REPORTER with FULTON LEWIS, Jr., Over the Mutual Network"

"I heartily disapprove of anti-labor propaganda, whether it be by the NAM or any other organization, and I strongly resent and challenge anyone to cite any statement that I have ever made that has been anti-labor. I have stated that I had no connection with the N.I.I.C., and even my connection with the NAM as here set forth was terminated June 13, 1942, and therefore, your statement printed in In Fact in the July and August issues that I was at that time connected with the N.I.I.C. was untrue, not only for the N.I.I.C. but for the NAM as well.

"(signed) Fulton Lewis, Jr."


Furthermore, Mr. Lewis suggests that he is not "the 1942 George Sokolsky" because he was not hired secretly by the NAM; every broadcast closed with this announcement: "This program is presented by the Mutual Network in cooperation with the NAM."

The main part of Mr. Lewis's statement is his denial he worked for the N.I.I.C.; he worked only for the NAM. This is a quibble, a straw man set up to demolish. It is of no importance whatever. All it does is show that Mr. Lewis in addition to not knowing what Fascism really is, not knowing that there is Fascism in America, and not knowing that the men who paid him are also the paymasters of every fascist organization, past, present and future -- the past being officially on Congressional records -- also did not know that as far back as 936 it was officially admitted to the La Follette Committee that the N.I.I.C. was a branch of the NAM. In fact, most propaganda work of the NAM is done by the N.I.I.C., and exactly the same men own, run, control and subsidize the two organizations.

One whole volume of the La Follette report is devoted to exposing the NAM -- it is Report No. 6, part 6: Part III, the NAM, published in 1939, giving testimony from 1938 on. On page 154 Mr. Lewis will find this statement about his paymasters:

"The NAM had opposed the principal legislative measures sponsored by the national administration during the congressional session of 1935. It had opposed the National Labor Relations Act [the Wagner Act, Magna Carta of Labor, which Mr. Lewis's NAM is still fighting] the Social Security Act, the Banking Act, the Utility Holding Company Act, and the President's tax program. In spite of the Association's opposition, all these measures became law. This was a great blow to the Association; but its officers remained undaunted and they redoubled their propaganda efforts. ...

(Page 155) "After the crushing defeat of the NAM's lobby during the 1935 congressional session, its officers decided to intensify its effort in local 'education.' ... The Association set up the National Industrial Information Committee under the chairmanship of E. T. Weir. ... The 1935 annual report of the Association referred to the organization of these committees: 'In furtherance of this better understanding of industry by the public the N.I.I.C. was organized. Under the chairmanship of Mr. E.T. Weir, committees have been formed in the 20 major industrial states to facilitate development of the NAM program for the dissemination of sound American doctrine to the public. ...'

"The N.I.I.C. appealed to leaders of industry for financial support of the public information program ... to 'sell' industry to the public. ... [In the letter of appeal for funds signed by W. B. Warner, editor of McCall's Magazine, he said the N.I.I.C. -- NAM propaganda campaign would 'save the whole of the industrial system.']

(Page 6) "The NAM has blanketed the country with a propaganda which in technique has relied upon indirection of meaning, and in presentation upon secrecy and deception."


Pages 8 and 9 of the Digest of Report, Committee on Education and Labor, 76th Congress, 1st Session, states:

"The activities of the NAM became so bold and sometimes indiscreet that a scandal occurred in 1913 when public charges were made that agents of the Association had given 'financial rewards' to Congressmen to promote its legislative program. ... Investigations disclosed that the Association had placed an employee of the House of Representatives on its payrolls in order to obtain information not available to the public; the Association's agents had contributed large sums of money to Congressional candidates in their campaigns for re-election and had opposed candidates friendly to labor -- [Note: this has been done in every election, will be done in 1944, etc.] -- the Association had carried on a disguised propaganda campaign through newspaper syndicates ... placing publicists on its payroll. ... Responsible officials of the NAM did not renounce any part of their activities revealed before the Senate and House Committees of 1913. On the contrary, they reasserted the necessity of pursuing the course they had followed previously in order to counteract the 'operations of organized labor.' ... After 1920 it became what it always had been, a candid open-shop drive which was the spearhead for the anti-union movement then sweeping the country. ... "While opposing union organization under the cover of 'patriotism and freedom,' the Association's representatives maintain their unyielding attitude on social legislation ... opposition to modification of the anti-trust laws to exempt labor unions from the application ... regulation of child labor ... establishment of collective bargaining ... many other legislative proposals designed to correct some of the basic dislocations which gave rise to social unrest."


In other words the NAM, for which Mr. Lewis admits doing a public relations job, is an outfit which is devoted to fighting the general welfare and social progress of America, so that the 270 corporations which subsidize the NAM may profit.

If Mr. Lewis will obtain mimeographed report No. 24, part 3, 76th Congress, 1st Session, he will find the names of the men and corporations who employed strikebreaking espionage, private police systems, guns and poison gas -- "the four chief instrumentalities of anti-unionism." Some sample names are: Republic Steel, U.S. Steel, Bethlehem, General Motors, National Steel of Weirton, Mr. Knudsen. Let him look up the NAM and N.I.I.C. list of officers and directors and find how many are named in the report.

If Mr. Lewis will obtain mimeographed report No. 24, La Follette Statement, he will learn:

"Those few but powerful employers who utilize such practices [spies, gas warfare, etc.] wield great influence throughout industry. ... The powerful minority of employers who utilize oppressive labor practices is well organized. ... Their influence is exerted through highly paid propagandists to conceal their own offenses and to raise a public clamor against collective bargaining and bona fide unions. ... In the name of industrial harmony they have incited the most dangerous forms of class conflicts. ... I do not exaggerate when I ay that these belligerent employers already exercise an influence in the affairs of employers' associations which is out of proportion to their numbers and their economic significance. Some 45 companies making the largest contributions to, or exerting great influence in the NAM, purchased over 55% of the tear gas and tear gas equipment sold to the industry. ... E.T. Weir, whose National Steel Corporation is another outstanding purchaser of industrial arms, has assumed leadership of the efforts of the NAM to disseminate propaganda on a lavish scale. ... Civil liberties are under attack. ... There are forces within the country which openly clamor for the destruction of civil liberties through the perversion of governmental power. These forces are encouraged by the existence of private tyrannies maintained by private armed forces and by private gestapos."


Will Mr. Fulton Lewis, Jr., broadcast the fact a mere 45 companies or less than 5% of the NAM bought 55% of the tear gas, and other official proofs that NAM members bought 90% of all guns and gas and hired 90% or more of all spies, murderers and racketeers in fighting labor? It'll be a big day over Mutual, C.B.S., N.B.C. and the Blue Network when Mr. Lewis, Jr. mentions DuPont, General Motors, Girdler, Weir and all the other American Fascists.

THE DOCUMENTARY EVIDENCE

The documentary evidence shows:

1. That the NAM and the N.I.I.C. are one and the same.

2. That the NAM was exposed as criminally Corrupt by one Congressional investigation, and more recently exposed by the La Follette investigation as at present working "in secrecy" and "in deceit."

3. That both the NAM and the N.I.I.C. claim Fulton Lewis, Jr., as their chief radio spokesman.

Exhibit A. First of all, here is the complete catalogue of propaganda materials which the NAM is using right now to corrupt the American people to its way of thinking. It is called "Bibliography of Economic and Social Study Material. Booklets, motion pictures, slide films, lantern slides, transcriptions and posters. Available through NAM. March, 1942." Millions of dollars are spent a year telling the American people to believe certain views which are the views of the multi-millionaires who own the NAM. This propaganda works for the dollar and cents profit of these men and corporations. It is directed against the general welfare of the American people. All this propaganda material is given out free.

Page 25 of this catalogue says:

"The audio-visual materials produced as a part of the National Industrial Information Program by the NAM and the National Industrial Council include sound and silent motion picture films, slide films, lantern slides, etc." [Note the names of the outfits. They now admit they are part of the same set-up.]


Page 36 states:

"The electrical transcriptions listed below were made during the actual broadcasts of the radio program, 'Your Defense Reporter,' featuring the prominent news commentator, Fulton Lewis, Jr. These programs, prepared in cooperation with the NAM and broadcast directly from war- production plants over stations affiliated with the Mutual Broadcasting System, present on-the- spot reports to the nation concerning the progress of Industry's military output. ... Transcriptions are lent one at a time and without charge."


There follows a list of eight broadcasts glorifying Big Business in iron and steel, jeep making, naval craft production, radio, drugs, textiles, torpedo boats and planes.

The purpose of the broadcasts was to answer the charges, made by Senator Truman, Assistant Attorney General Thurman Arnold, the Bone, Tolan, and other Congressional investigations which proved conclusively that the only traitor to the war effort was Big Business. It had refused to convert even 50% to war production before Pearl Harbor, and maintained business-as-usual for months thereafter. The Aluminum Trust, Standard Oil, the Auto industry (with the exception of a few small firms), General Electric, Standard Drugs and others having cartel contracts with Hitler's I.G. Farbenindustrie, and practically all the big corporations -- and main subsidizers of the NAM -- were proven guilty of sit-downs, sabotage, lack of patriotism and even treasonable delays. Of course, the newspapers suppressed as much of this great story as possible and ran great campaigns of whitewash for Alcoa and Esso simultaneously with great advertising campaigns by these very corporations, but somehow the truth did get about, and the NAM put on a new $1,000,000 propaganda campaign, and Lewis Jr. was one of its hired mouths.

Exhibit B. This is a folder called "Industry The Arsenal of Democracy. Defense on the Radio." On the inside page it announces

"from coast to coast, two major broadcasting systems in cooperation with the NAM regularly report on the progress of Industry's Defense output. You and millions of other radio listeners can learn the inside story (sic!) of what is being done, and what remains to be done, to make our country invulnerable. Through the blessings of uncensored radio broadcasting, we free Americans can follow the course of the greatest demonstration of industrial efficiency the world has ever known -- a performance that only free enterprise can give."


Page 3 pictures Graham McNamee, "over the Red Network of the N.B.C." Page 6 pictures "Your Defense Reporter with Fulton Lewis, Jr., over the Mutual."

In small type, page 2, is this notice: "This booklet is prepared and distributed without charge in the interests of National Defense by the NAM." Under the McNamee announcement appears: "Don't fail to see the thrilling film: 'Defense for America ... Produced by Paramount in cooperation with the NAM." Otherwise there is no indication that this is part of the NAM's million dollar propaganda campaign.

Exhibit C. In 1942 the National Industrial Information Committee sent every big business man of the country a package of its new propaganda and a request for funds. It states: "We agree that the winning of the war and the preservation of freedom require that the American people have a complete understanding of the job industry is doing to win the battle of production, of the basic characteristics of the private competitive enterprise system, and of the sincere motives of American management." Firms capitalized at $100,000 are told to send in $25; firms worth a million, $225, and all over six million are asked to send $1,000 to $25,000. More than $1,000,000 has been raised and spent to date.

On page 2 of the subscription sheet is "Your program for Public Understanding in a Nation at War," and under it are listed radio, movies, posters, car cards, newspapers, schools and colleges, churches, women's clubs and other activities, all of which have already been exposed by the La Follette Committee as a campaign to corrupt the minds of the American people. This is what the N.I.I.C. says:

"The relationship between American competitive enterprise and the people is exceedingly important today. ... The people must understand the magnitude of industry's task and its patriotism. They must know that freedom of enterprise is not only one of the basic principles that America is fighting to preserve...."


Note that it was the NAM-N.I.I.C. propaganda machine which originated the slogan "Free Enterprise" which all the stooges of Big Business repeat. First on the N.I.I.C.'s list of activities is:

"1. RADIO-Fulton Lewis, Jr., 'Production for Victory,' broadcast weekly on the Mutual network, currently reporting to the people on the progress of war production. Also spot news releases and frequently informal talks by business men."


Note that in appealing for the million dollar propaganda fund to put over the "free enterprise" line, at a time Congressional investigations were showing the corruption of the "free enterprise" corporations, the N.I.I.C. listed Fulton Lewis, Jr., first as its hired man, asked for money to sustain its radio program.

When the NAM resolutions committee met in New York, in September, 1942, to prepare its December convention program, only three members voted in favor of making the winning of the war the main subject for the convention, the majority decided to fight the New Deal, labor and social legislation and to plan a post-war program in which Freedom of Enterprise would be paramount. F.C. Crawford, president of Tapco, I. H. Rand, Jr., of Remington Rand and Lammot DuPont dominated the session.

Labor-management committees were denounced. The committee also favored the end of restrictions on Wall Street speculation, more taxes on labor and less on corporations and the rich, the end of the New Deal. Everyone declared Free Enterprise was the NAM program.

That indeed was the slogan of the December, 1942, convention or the NAM.

Mr. Fulton Lewis made it his policy June 2, 1943.

First he gave himself a terrific build-up June 1. He intimated that tomorrow he would make the most important broadcast of our time. He was about to tell millions of Americans the greatest truth of all. It was super- colossal.

Came tomorrow. Mr. Lewis again built himself up and spilled over. He denounced the New Deal for selling the people a "gold brick" when it launched the Four Freedoms idea.

He approved freedom of speech and freedom of religion, but "freedom from fear and the freedom from want, the last two to finish up this trick phrase, are just so much humbug." (Daily Commercial News, San Francisco, headlined the story: "Four Freedoms Called New Deal Humbug.")

The Four Freedoms, Mr. Lewis continued, are not the philosophy of the United States, do not mean America, are not what the boys are fighting for. No government can guarantee to supply them. "It is like selling gold bricks, and if any individual were to crack out with anything of this nature, he would be thrown into jail at once." Mr. Lewis praised the pioneers, adding:

"The smart boys in Washington have left out the most important freedom of all -- and that is Freedom No. 5 -- freedom of individual enterprise -- freedom of initiative; freedom to rise in the world. ...

"We have heard Vice President Wallace's ideas of a quart of milk on every doorstep and other Utopian schemes. Actually the things our boys are fighting for is to have a doorstep of their own and the right to have on that doorstep anything they can earn and put there. ...

"This is the greatest freedom of them all -- the freedom that is America -- the Freedom of Individual Enterprise."


As for freedom from want and freedom from fear, Mr. Lewis said they were "luxuries, if you can afford them." The usual sneer at "college economists," the usual hoodlum-minded anti cultural slurs against "do- gooders."

As for Freedom of Enterprise, the great blinding new idea, the Fifth Freedom for which he had worked up his broadcast, "without it there can be no tomorrow for America." It was the "real America, the most important, the most vital freedom of all."

June 11 Mr. Lewis said that in response to public clamor he was repeating his great oration, and "according to my philosophy" (which is nothing more than the propaganda dope of the NAM) he was going to tell about the foundation stone of America, the most important thing worth fighting for throughout the world (Free Enterprise, of course). "It was fear and want which made this country," said Mr. Lewis. A sneer at "government by college economists." Freedom from want and freedom from fear he called "vote getting" items. "No government can give the people freedom from want."

The facts are: the two countries where Freedom of Enterprise have reached the ultimate state are Germany and Italy. In these and other totalitarian Big Business countries the corporations have not only been allowed the complete free enterprise of trusts and monopolies but they have been allowed to swallow little business, enslave labor, and finally to take over the political government itself. In Germany and Italy, Japan and Spain -- as documented in this book -- the equivalents of the NAM and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Associated Farmers and Associated Industries own and control the government, the banks, the wealth of the land and the land itself. This is the real aim of Free Enterprise, and it is 100% at work in fascist countries only.

The second fact which Lewis denies is the possibility of abolishing want and fear due to want. Any system providing for full production -- preferably production for use and not for profits, but full production and no unemployment -- such as was advocated by the Bishops of the Church of England in their Malvern Declarations (the report smeared by the NAM's hired professors), provides the essential needs of humanity: food, clothing and shelter -- ample, even abundant, for every human being. It could be done overnight in the United States, which has natural resources; it is even possible throughout the world if the profits were taken from the few, and the wealth of the world given to the many. Mr. Lewis and the NAM both know this but neither dare mention it, and both are working against it. They prefer profits.

_______________

Bibliography:

One entire volume of the La Follette reports exposes the NAM: Committee on Education and Labor, 76th Congress, 1st Session; Report No.6, part 6; III The National Association of Manufacturers.
Digest of Report, Committee on Education and Labor, 76th Congress, 1st Session.
T.N.E.C. Monograph 26.
admin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 30817
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am

Re: Facts and Fascism, by George Seldes

Postby admin » Wed Nov 27, 2013 1:00 am

PART 3: OUR PRESS AS A FASCIST FORCE

CHAPTER 1: THE PRESS IN CHAINS


THERE are traitors among the owners, publishers and editors of the big American newspapers.

This charge was made before the American Society of Newspaper Editors on April 7, 1942, by Archibald McLeish, Librarian of Congress and then head of the Office of Facts and Figures, predecessor of the Office of War Information. It was broadcast at 1:30 P.M. over Station WOR and others.

Unfortunately, Mr. McLeish could not and therefore did not name any names, but all the editors present knew to whom he referred when he mentioned the publication of one of the secret military plans of the War Department.

Interesting also is the fact that although Mr. McLeish used the word "treason" twice in his address, the paragraphs containing it were suppressed by many newspapers, including the Olympian New York Times. Mr. McLeish had said that he knew of one publisher who actually told his staff that he intended to come ''as close to treason as I dare," and that the "defeatists and divisionists who strike from that ambiguous and doubtful shadow where freedom of expression darkens into treason" should be policed out of journalism by their fellow publishers themselves.

Another charge of treason was made by no less an authority than the head of the Department of Justice, Attorney General Biddle. At the time the question of censorship was uppermost, Mr. Biddle appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee and, speaking in favor of a military censorship, disclosed the fact that certain newspapers and magazines had committed acts "approaching" treason. "The most closely guarded military secrets of the government have come into the possession of newspapers and magazines and ultimately into the hands of agents of enemy governments." This story was of course suppressed in all newspapers, guilty and innocent, but Labor reported from Washington:

"Biddle was testifying on an administration measure making it unlawful for unauthorized persons to divulge the contents of any confidential government document. The measure is under heavy fire. The newspapers are attacking it as a blow at 'freedom of the press,' and liberals in and out of Congress are fearful it may invade the citizen's constitutional guarantees. ...

"Biddle ... cited many instances where vital information has 'leaked,' some to newspapers willing to pay the price. ... Maps of Midway Island and its naval installations, copies of army codes, communications between the Navy Department and commanders at sea, and photographs of army camps and airfields, Biddle asserted, had been made available to newspapers and enemy agents ... A newspaper whose identity was not disclosed was declared to have purchased secret aircraft data from employees of the Wright airplane plant at Paterson, N.J. A technical journal ... was declared to have printed 'detailed data' on planes under construction at the North American Aviation factory. This information, Biddle said, is now being studied by German experts in Berlin. ... Biddle (asked Senators) to keep in mind the main objective -- the protection of the government from unscrupulous newspapers and enemy intelligence agents."


Again, no names were mentioned.

Another indication of the worry over un-American acts on the part of big publishers was given by the New York Daily News Washington columnist, John O'Donnell, who wrote (March 30, 1942):

"Last night members of the Cabinet and Supreme Court were guests at the Willard of the Overseas Writers Association and heard some bloodthirsty appeals, with much talk of concentration camps and treason, from ex-reporters now turned starry-eyed crusaders at so much per month or per lecture.

"The American press which had opposed this nation's intervention into the war before the Pearl Harbor attack was hammered lustily, with the anvil chorus led by three former reporters of the Chicago Tribune. ...

"Roosevelt advisers ... applauded lustily such declarations as: 'The American Senate must be taught the facts of life. ... The important thing is to put an end (to criticism of the Roosevelt Administration) by whatever means may be necessary -- be as ruthless as the enemy .... Get him on his income tax or the Mann Act.... Hang him, shoot him or lock him up in a concentration camp.'"


Readers will note that O'Donnell put his own phrase in parentheses about "criticism of the Roosevelt Administration" whereas =the speakers talked about treason, sabotage of the war effort, etc., and not about criticism.

O'Donnell also failed to state (or his newspapers suppressed the fact) that the former Chicago Tribune correspondents named the Chicago Tribune and its owners, Col. McCormick and Capt. Patterson, as candidates for hanging, shooting or the concentration camp. Moreover, the attack was not made on papers which opposed intervention before Pearl Harbor but on those papers, which since Pearl Harbor have continued to publish news, editorials and cartoons which must please Hitler.

Also mentioned as a Hitlerite publisher who should be tried for treason or put in jail was Charles E. Coughlin. It was suggested that the income tax law under which Al Capone and M.L. Annenberg were retired from circulation could be invoked in an investigation of Coughlin's financing.

But despite the fact that some of their members had been accused of everything from treason to following the Axis propaganda line (Divide and Conquer) the American Newspaper Publishers Associations (the Lords of the Press) held their usual convention in 1942 and devoted the major part of their week to discussing more profits despite the war.

They got together on helping the Associated Press maintain that it is not a monopoly, because it is registered under the hunting and fishing law of New York as a cooperative -- it is, in truth, the only "cooperative" in the world which refuses to accept members, and therefore a fake as well as a hypocrite and a monopolist. The publishers also discussed the newsprint situation of Canada; they were eager to keep curtailment at 10%, but no one suggested that the manufacture of newsprint instead of aluminum by the Canadian pulp mills (many owned by Americans) had curtailed the metals needed by MacArthur at Bataan and Guadalcanal. They also held secret sessions, at which no reporters were allowed, when they discussed the work of their strikebreaking committee (called Standing Committee) and their union-busting committee (called Open Shop Committee). They also brought in the Global War in this way: they argued whether or not to ask money from Uncle Sam for publicizing the bonds the nation was selling to wage a victorious war.

The eyes and ears of America's great publishers were as usual on their pocketbooks. In a special A.N.P.A. issue their mouth organ, Editor & Publisher, reported the convention would: "... examine problems created by the war," which, it explained, were: rising costs of operation, decreased revenue ... shortage of supplies, and censorship ... most important A.N.P.A. convention to be held in the past two decades. ... Among the outstanding questions of 60 scheduled for Tuesday discussion are the following:

"What is going to happen to both local and national advertising during the war? What can a newspaper do to promote new sources of advertising in a period of war emergency?

"What are newspapers under 50,000 circulation doing to offset lineage losses. ...?

"'What is the general attitude of publishers toward advertising by the government?"


Treason? Freedom of the Press? Ethics? Corruption? The anti-labor bias of 75% or more of the press? Aid given to the Axis by the Chicago Tribune and New York Daily News and other reactionary papers? There was no mention of anything but business in any of the points Editor & Publisher listed except one: "Should headlines over war news 'slant' optimistically or pessimistically?"

During the convention the press devoted more columns to its discussion of whether or not to ask the government for war advertising money than to the war itself. The special convention number of Editor & Publisher carried eight big stories, of which six dealt with money and profits, one with the A.P. monopoly which makes it almost impossible for new papers to break into the present combine, and only one dealt with patriotism. Where was MacLeish's sensational charge that there is treason among America's leading newspaper publishers? Editor & Publisher did not suppress that story, the biggest story of the convention, one of the biggest stories since the Global War began. But it buried it on page 94, column 3.

The A.N.P.A. convention followed the American Society of Newspaper Editors Convention and was held simultaneously with the Associated Press convention and other editor-publisher meetings. Director of Office of Facts and Figures Archibald Macleish spoke to the A.N.P.A. as he had to the A.S.N.E., before whom he had made the charge that there is treason among a minority of American publishers.

Reporter Willard Wiener asked questions. William Allen White, Emporia Gazette, replied that "MacLeish made a good speech. But I wish he had named names -- Coughlin, McCormick, Patterson, Pelley, et al, ad lib." Houston Harte, Standard Times, said "Sure there are papers that are doing that [undermining public confidence]. ... What MacLeish said is true." Palmer Hoyt, Portland Oregonian, said: "What MacLeish said is true." A.W. Norton, Christian Science Monitor, was in favor of convicting certain papers of their wrongdoing. Senator Capper, Topeka Capital, said "I endorse what MacLeish said. We can well take notice of his suggestions"; Herbert Bayard Swope, once editor of America's leading liberal paper, the defunct New York World, said "MacLeish is right." John S. Knight, Detroit Free Press, Akron Beacon-Journal and Miami Herald, said "I don't think it ethical for one paper to attack another."

However, the persons who favored driving America's traitors out of America's journalism are with two exceptions small town editors, whereas the owners of the powerful city press refused to agree, or sneered, or threatened. Here is PM's poll:

Col. McCormick (Chicago Tribune): "MacLeish is a Communist. Russia goes on the other side -- MacLeish goes on the other side."

William Randolph Hearst, Jr. (New York Journal-American): "I didn't read MacLeish's speech fully enough to comment on it."

Roy Howard (Scripps-Howard chain): "I know of many daily newspaper publishers with whose editorial attitude toward the war I heartily disagree. I know of none whose loyalty I question."

Eleanor Patterson (Washington Times-Herald): "PM will get nothing from me. I'm going to sue you. You don't print the truth."

Frank E. Gannett (Gannett chain; sponsor of the native fascist strikebreaking organization called Committee to Uphold the Constitution): "I consider it most unfair for anyone to say that even a minority of our press are trying to undermine our Government."

J.H. Torbett, Gannett chain newspapers: "It was the type of speech to be expected from the director of the O.F.F."

L.W. Gracey, Geneva Daily Times: "Don't know the facts. I must have been lighting a cigaret while he was talking."

The foregoing also give a clue to the editorial mind of America -- both small town and metropolitan.

Nothing was done about the defeatists, the divisionists and the traitors in the ranks.

In fact, there was a suspicion current at the convention that this group -- the friends of Fascism and enemies of the welfare of the American people -- actually owned the majority of powerful newspapers of big circulation and could easily control the convention if a patriot were to propose action against a traitor.

The nearest the President has come to indicating a large part of our press as the main enemy of American democracy and the chief agent of foreign Fascism was his indictment in March, 1942, of what he termed the "Sixth Column" which was using the means of communication -- most powerful of which is the daily newspaper -- to spread dissension, disunity, fear and suspicion. Unfortunately the President is not in a position to name names, and unless this is done the job of fighting Fascism is hampered.

Image
The Press in Chains

The Sixth Column is working for Hitler. Hitler said: "Confusion, indecision, fear; these are my weapons." There are fifteen main lies which Hitler wants you to believe. You will find them listed in the booklet Divide and Conquer which the Office of War Information sent free until Congress cut Elmer Davis' appropriation. Those who have read it can recognize Hitler propaganda in such stories as these: that there will be no November election in America, that we have a dictatorship here, that Britain is not at war but using Russian and American troops to save her empire, that China may at any moment make peace with Japan and betray us, that Russia may at any moment make peace with Germany and betray the United Nations, and scores of other defeatist and divisionist statements.

The Sixth Column has another big job in America, and that is to spread American Fascism. The Sixth Column today, as in peacetime, is active in setting white against Negro, Christian against Jew, Protestant against Catholic, industrial worker against farm worker, American-born against foreign-born.

If the reader thinks of our chain newspaper owners, Hearst, Howard, Patterson and McCormick, as merely four of America's 15,000 publishers, he fails to see the danger to America from an anti-democratic, anti- American press. These four publishers put out one fourth of all the newspapers sold daily on our streets, they own forty of the 200 big city papers which make American public opinion, they run not only the three biggest newspaper chains in the country, but two of the three big news services which supply news to a majority of America's dailies, and because they have always been anti-labor, anti-liberal, and anti-democratic even when not openly following the Mussolini and Hitler lines, they constitute what I believe is the greatest force hostile to the general welfare of the common people of America.

These publishers are all native Fascists. Two of them stand accused of treason, all of them of following the fascist line. In order that there may be no question of the power and influence of this fascist group, and so that Americans throughout the country may know who spreads defeatism, divisionism and fascist propaganda in their cities, I have compiled the facts on these three newspaper chains. (See Appendix 5.)

Colonel McCormick, Capt. Patterson and Eleanor (Cissy) Patterson are the multi-millionaire enemies of the people today. E.W. ("Lusty") Scripps founded the Scripps-Howard empire but after his death Roy Howard forgot the liberalism of the founder, devoted himself to tax-dodging and amassing millions. Everyone knows who William Randolph Hearst is. Of this whose journalistic lot (Hearst, Howard, McCormick, Patterson) it may be said that there is not a spark of social conscience left in them, that it soured to Fascism in the one who was once a Socialist (Patterson) and that the five powerful persons well represent native Fascism. Although they own forty papers and great news agencies, they are all socially and economically illiterate; and all of them are socially irresponsible. They are animated by nothing above their pocketbooks. They are doing nothing to make America a better nation, nothing to advance the welfare of the American people, although they are powerful enough to create a public opinion which could bring about an almost ideal state.

In peace time they are the enemies of American democracy. In war time they are our Sixth Column. Hitler, Mussolini, Hirohito represent the enemies we have to fight with guns; Hearst, Howard, McCormick and Patterson represent the enemy within.
admin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 30817
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am

Re: Facts and Fascism, by George Seldes

Postby admin » Wed Nov 27, 2013 1:04 am

CHAPTER II: BERLIN-CHICAGO-NEW YORK AXIS

DESPITE the amazing Fortune poll which showed 26-1/2% of the American people doubting the honesty of our daily newspapers and despite the universal feeling that the press is subsidized and therefore betrays the reader, it is a fact that millions who could do something about this situation are not enough aware of the danger to take any action. All know how powerful the press is and many realize that inasmuch as it is the main force creating public opinion it is, ipso facto, the force which largely directs Congress, the making of laws, taxation, the standard of living, the style of our clothes and our thinking about waging war on Fascism. Nevertheless millions do little or nothing either to fight the harmful influence of a corrupt press or to establish an honest and therefore free press.

The majority of Americans are wage and salary workers. They number 52,000,000 in normal times. Nevertheless it is impossible to name half a dozen newspapers which are at least neutral and impartial in handling the news for these fifty-two millions, and even less which protect and defend them. A vote of labor editors has shown that 92% of them think the entire press is unfair to labor, and other opinion polls taken of labor leaders and writers and editors have declared some 98% of the big city press -- the opinion-forming press -- unfair. And yet labor reads the press which betrays it.

There are many reasons for this, too many and too long to be entered into here, but the point to emphasize is that the facts of the situation are no reason for despair and defeatism. On the contrary, there is such a fast and vast awakening that one is warranted in predicting great and good changes in the near future.

It is important that the labor unions of America are taking the leadership in exposing our commercial corrupt press and laying the foundation for a free press -- the first since colonial times, when any man with a hundred dollars and a pioneer spirit could become a publisher. Here are some bright labor straws in the foul American journalistic winds.

1. The 1942 convention of the C.I.O. in Boston went on record, first for winning the war (as contrasted with the 1942 convention of the National Association of Manufacturers which went all out for Free Enterprise and the 1942 convention of the American Newspaper Publishers Association which went all out for profits); it voted for a "Second Front Now," following the victory in North Africa, "to complete destruction of the Nazi forces on the European continent" ; it denounced the fascist appeasement forces still at large in America, and it named the vermin press which follows the "disruptive and appeaser line" as the McCormick-Patterson Chicago Tribune, New York Daily News, Washington Times-Herald and the nineteen Hearst newspapers. It accused the American press of anti-labor reporting, suppressing Vice-President Wallace's great declaration known as "The Century of the Common Man," suppressing important statements on labor by the President, and "slanting the news to fit the publishers' prejudice." The entire press and publicity committee's report on our venal and corrupt anti-labor press was adopted.

2. The national convention of the International Longshormen's & Warehousemen's Union at its June, 1943, convention in San Francisco went on record on the foremost and dominant subject: winning the war and the part this union can do to speed victory. The commercial press which attacks labor was generally denounced and the columnist Westbrook Pegler and newspaper owner William Randolph Hearst were both denounced as Fifth Columnists who were hindering rather than helping win the war. (May I be permitted to include the following resolution unanimously adopted by the convention: "In Fact, a weekly publication edited by George Seldes, is particularly effective in exposing the suppression and distortions of the appeaser and reactionary press. For this reason it is important that it be given the widest possible circulation.")

3. The American Newspaper Guild, which consists of more than 20,000 men and women who work for the press, the majority in the editorial department, at their 1943 national convention in Boston also made victory the order of the day and decided to watch those newspapers which are hindering rather than aiding in the war against Fascism. The Newspaper Guild resolution pledged it to "expose actions of the press which are disruptive of the war effort" and the Guild will "provide to the Guild Reporter and all other publications in which it can obtain space, material to publish and comment upon the activities of the free press during wartime."

There have always been two parties among the organized newspapermen of the country, one which believed it was wrong to criticize the press -- although fighting it for wage increases and other union rights was right; the other which had a larger outlook and followed in the footsteps of Heywood Broun in relentless criticism of the publishers, editors, owners and corrupters of the newspapers. The Boston convention heard members denounce their own Guild Reporter, official organ, for "slanting the news headlines, inaccuracies of statement, misquotations, injection of editorial opinion and redbaiting" and a resolution instructed the editor to further unity within the Guild, rather than continue his past practices.

The Guild action can make it one of the greatest forces in the nation in a fight for a free press. Its twenty thousand members can supply it with all the evidence in the world to expose the corruption of the newspapers, and a great campaign of exposure must result in at least a little reform, a little less hypocrisy, a little more decency, if not a big step towards fairness.

4. William Green, president of the A. F. of L., made this declaration (published in his American Federationist):

"Recently a bitter campaign of malicious propaganda to poison the public's mind against organized labor has been carried on by the subsidized press which is composed of reactionary daily newspapers controlled, through ownership and advertising, by exploiting profiteers and union-haters. Together with the bourbon politicians, idle rich and anti-labor columnists, they are the real parasites of our country. ... By peddling falsehoods about labor, the subsidized press is creating factionalism, disunity and class hatred. If Hitler were not so busy running away from a victorious Russian army he would take time to pin medals on the editors and columnists who are misleading the public.

"The reactionary editors of the newspapers are doing just what Hitler predicted he could accomplish here through his agents."


5. The most consistent fighters of the corrupt press among the powerful labor papers has been Labor, edited by Edward Keating, and representing the Railroad Brotherhoods.

The facts therefore are that organized labor, 13,000,000 persons, have through their leaders and their unions gone on record as aware that the American press is corrupt, their enemy and betrayer, and that something must be done about it.

How much of an enemy is the press? How deep in Fascism is our press? Let us look at one of the great newspaper chains mentioned in the last chapter, the powerful McCormick-Patterson chain, to see how one family betrays the welfare of many million people.

THE MCCORMICK-PATTERSON-BERLIN AXIS

Declaring war on the United States, Adolf Hitler screamed his hatred and his fascist reasons, arriving at this climax:

"A plan prepared by President Roosevelt has been revealed in the United States, according to which his intention was to attack Germany by 1943 with all the resources at the disposal of the United States.

"Thus our patience has come to the breaking point. ..."

One week earlier, three days before the outrageous Japanese attack at Pearl Harbor, the Chicago Tribune spread across its front page in the largest type it has ever used, the following story:

"F.D.R.'S WAR PLANS!
"GOAL IS 10 MILLION ARMED MEN;
HALF TO FIGHT IN A.E.F.
"PROPOSES LAND DRIVE BY JULY 1, 1943, TO SMASH NAZIS;
PRESIDENT TOLD OF EQUIPMENT SHORTAGE
"By CHESLY MANLY
"(Copyright 1941 by the Chicago Tribune.)

"Washington, D.C., Dec. 3 -- A confidential report prepared by the joint Army and Navy high command by direction of President Roosevelt calls for American Expeditionary Forces aggregating 5,000,000 men for a final land offensive against Germany and her satellites. It contemplates total armed forces of 10,045,658 men.

"One of the few existing copies of this astonishing document, which represents decisions and commitments affecting the destinies of peoples throughout the civilized world, became available to The Tribune today.

"It is a blueprint for total war on a scale unprecedented in at least two oceans and three continents, Europe, Africa, and Asia. ...

"July 1, 1943, is fixed as the date for the beginning of the final supreme effort by American land forces to defeat the mighty German army in Europe.

"In the meantime ... gradual encirclement of Germany by the establishment of military bases. ...

"The war prospectus is dated Sept. 11, 1941, and was prepared by the Army and Navy Joint Board, which is the supreme command of the United States, in response to a letter addressed to Secretary of War Stimson by President Roosevelt. ..."


This is the document to which Hitler referred when he declared war. The document was furnished to Herr Hitler and to 5,000,000 people in twelve midwestern states who read the million copies the Chicago Tribune prints daily, by Colonel McCormick.

Technically this was not an act of treason.

However, McCormick, being an army man, knows better than any layman that the publication of the secret war plans of any nation is right next to treason, if not treason itself.

Image
Three days before Pearl Harbor the Chicago Tribune published the confidential U.S. Army plan, but the owner escaped trial for treason. -- Chicago Daily Tribune, The World's Greatest Newspaper, 2 CENTS, PAY NO MORE, FINAL, December 4, 1942 -- F.D.R.'S WAR PLANS! -- GOAL IS 10 MILLION ARMED MEN; HALF TO FIGHT IN AEF -- Proposes Land Drive by July 1, 1943, to Smash Nazis; President Told of Equipment Shortage.

Colonel McCormick, however, was too interested in fighting the New Deal and working with fascist appeasers to care whether or not he betrayed his country. He published one of the many war plans which his country had made to protect itself. (McCormick knew only too well that every nation, ours included, has plans made years or months in advance for every sort of invasion of every country in the world; it would be criminal folly for a general staff not to have them; and that this plan which he betrayed was one of many prepared to deal with any future situation and not a plot to enter the war and attack Germany.) Said Secretary Stimson:

"What would you think of an American General Staff which in the present condition of the world did not investigate and study every conceivable type of emergency which may confront this country and every possible method of meeting the emergency?

"What do you think of the patriotism of a man or a newspaper that would take those confidential studies and make them public to the enemies of this country?

"While their publication doubtless will be a gratification to our potential enemies as a possible source of impairment and embarrassment to our national defense, the chief evil of their publication is the revelation that there should be among us any group of persons so lacking in appreciation of the danger that confronts the country and so wanting in loyalty and patriotism to their government, that they would be willing to publish such papers."


This, however, does not explain why the government failed to take any action whatever. Obviously someone had betrayed America. Obviously if someone had sold this document to a Nazi agent he would have been arrested for treason. But Colonel McCormick, who supplied Hitler and Hirohito with one of our war plans, went scot free.

Image
The American press was bribed with free cable and radio service by Mussolini. The Chicago Tribune asked for the bribe. Here is the documentary evidence.

In August, 1942, the Chicago Tribune, New York Daily News, and Washington Times-Herald -- the three McCormick family newspapers -- were on trial for betraying secrets to Japan in their reports of the Coral Sea battle. They were found not guilty. They had published a list of ships participating, they quoted as a source for their information some officials of the U.S. Navy, and they published the news under a Washington dateline.

In pleading not guilty to aiding the enemy the Tribune made the confession that it had faked at least parts of the story; the Washington dateline was false because the story was written in Chicago; the list of battleships which participated was just made up out of a book on ships; and the statement that the information came from U.S. Navy officials was just 100 per cent a lie.

Congressman Elmer Holland of Pennsylvania said to the House of Representatives that Joseph Medill Patterson (News) and Eleanor Patterson (Times-Herald) were "America's No. 1 and No. 2 exponents of the Nazi propaganda line ... doing their best to bring about a fascist victory." When Joe Patterson replied with an editorial headed "Congressman Holland: You Are a Liar," Holland made a list of all the defeatist fascist news items, editorials and cartoons in the McCormick-Patterson press and concluded: "Daily these publishers rub at the morale of the American people. Daily they sow suspicion. Daily they preach that we are in a hopeless struggle. Daily they wear at the moral fiber of the people, softening it, rotting it, preparing us for defeat."

A HUNDRED YEARS OF FALSEHOOD

In addition to following the Nazi line, the Chicago Tribune has a line of its own, and has followed it for almost a hundred years. It is the policy of using falsehood for its own editorial purposes -- and it started on this career three-quarters of a century before Hitler in Mein Kampf wrote his amazing paragraphs on the value of the colossal lie.
No matter which side the Tribune has been on, it has not hesitated to fake the news to favor its viewpoint. It has been on the side of general welfare -- but that was long ago. In 1858 it was for Lincoln. It fought slavery. In the Lincoln-Douglas debates it was so partisan to Lincoln that it garbled and distorted Douglas' speeches, and printed Lincoln's honestly. (Source: Edgar Lee Masters, Tale of Chicago, page 132.)

In 1864, after Joseph Medill had helped elect Lincoln, he headed a delegation protesting the draft. Lincoln was very angry with the Tribune owner. He said to him: "You, Medill, you are acting like a coward. You and your Tribune have had more influence than any paper in the Northwest in making this war. You can influence great masses, and yet you cry to be spared, at a moment when your cause is suffering." (Source: Ida M. Tarbell, Life of Abraham Lincoln, Vol. II, p. 149.)

And although Medill fought human slavery, he did his best to encourage wage slavery. He fought the labor movement, the eight-hour day, unions, and every attempt to better the life of the common man. When hard times came Joseph Medill published an editorial favoring the poisoning of the unemployed. That was his idea of solving the crisis of 1877.

From 1873 through the panic years unemployment increased, thousands of men began to roam the country, looking for work. The wealthy were scared. Chicago passed a Vagrant Law, making all unemployed subject to arrest. A reader asked the Chicago Tribune what to do with the barefooted and ragged who came begging for food. The reader called the unemployed tramps and also accused them of theft. The Tribune editor replied (July 12, 1877):

"The [Vagrant] Law, while an improvement on the old one, is not of much use for suburban districts, where officers are scarce and Justices or Peace hard to find. The simplest plan, probably, where one is not a member of the Humane Society, is to put a little strychnine or arsenic in the meat and other supplies furnished the tramps. This produces death within a comparatively short period of time, is a warning to other tramps to keep out of the neighborhood. ..."


The faking of news to harm labor, which began in the 1850's, is continued by McCormick to the present day. The Tribune has fought organizing labor, from the Knights of Labor to the A. F. of L. to the C.I.O.

The greatest proof in modern history that the press publishes tremendous lies for the purpose of smashing labor was the treatment of the Memorial Day massacre in Chicago in 1937. It is true that when the Paramount news reel -- which the St. Louis Post-Dispatch forced into the open after attempts at suppression -- showed that labor was entirely innocent, the police entirely to blame for the coldblooded murder of ten peaceful strikers, many newspapers did print this fact. But not the Chicago Tribune.

The Tribune stuck to its lies after the proof was given to the world. It stuck to its lies after the newspapermen who were present at the massacre testified before a Congressional investigating commission that the police were murderers, the strikers blameless. The Tribune ran an editorial saying the massacre was justified because property must be protected. Although the victims of the police were shot in the back, although the newsreel shows the police starting the shooting without reason, and murdering men who were doing nothing but watching, the Tribune editorial yelled "reds."

The Ku Klux Klan was in its second childhood in 1921. It had millions of members -- its peak was about 6,000,000 before its decline began three or four years later. The Chicago Tribune was one of the few big papers which openly favored the Klan. In 1921 George Bernard Shaw canceled a visit to America. He wrote:

"I have no intention of going to prison with Debs or taking my wife to Texas, where Ku Klux Klan mobs snatch white women from out of hotel verandas and tar and feather them."


The Chicago Tribune suppressed the name of the Ku Klux Klan. Its version reads just "mobs."

This was on April 19. On April 16 the Tribune had carried a full page ad (netting the owners thousands of dollars) signed by Imperial Wizard Simmons of the K.K.K. and saying:

"The Knights of the K.K.K. is a law-abiding, legally chartered, standard, fraternal order, designed to teach and inculcate the purest ideals of American citizenship, with malice towards none and justice to every citizen regardless of race, color or creed."


When readers protested that the ad was a lie, that the Klan attacked Catholics, Jews and Negroes, and was barred to them, the Tribune replied (Aug. 27) that the old K.K.K. had been created because of intolerable conditions and "danger of Negro domination," and although evils were committed in its name, it served an important end, while "contributing one of the romantic episodes of our history." The new K.K.K., continued the Tribune, was virtually the old. "All the great fraternal orders," it added, "which accomplish so much quiet good ... make use of this natural liking for mysterious rites and secret ties, and the new Klan will hardly be denied the right to adopt the same policy." At this time the K.K.K. had already been accused of murders, and much terrorism. "The head of the order repudiates them," concluded the Tribune.

On occasion the Chicago Times, the Madison Capital-Times and La Follette's Progressive have offered rewards of $1,000 and $5,000 to anyone who could prove that certain items in the Tribune were not lies. The rewards were not claimed, the Tribune did not sue for libel. On the other hand the Tribune, caught lying, did not attempt to explain or apologize.

The Times, Aug. 28, 1936, offered $5,000 "if the Tribune or any other newspaper can prove to the satisfaction of the American Society of Newspaper Editors and the A.N.P.A. that the Tribune dispatch from Donald Day datelined Riga, Latvia, August 8, with its heading, is true." The fake story said that "Moscow has ordered 'reds' in the United States to back Roosevelt against Landon." Four years later Col. McCormick, in a nationwide radio speech, again repeated the Donald Day story. (WOR, February 15, 1940, 10 P.M.)

On October 29, 1938, the Progressive offered $1,000 to anyone who could prove that Washington correspondent Chesly Manly's story headlined "New Deal Hit in Red Inquiry" was not false. In that story the Tribune said "'La Follette's so-called inquiry [into denial of civil liberties and rights of labor] was conceived by John L. Lewis, dictator of the C.I.O. and political ally of Mr. Roosevelt." The Tribune heading using the word "red" was a smear; the story, the Progressive said, was a lie, and it would donate $1,000 to the Tribune charity fund if it was proven not to be a lie. The Tribune did not reply.

It is not often that a President of the United States calls a paper or a news service a liar, but it has happened more frequently of late. President Roosevelt has denounced Hearst, Roy Howard's United Press and the Chicago Tribune for their lies used for political purposes against him and his party.

On August 26, 1941, the President at his press conference denounced several stories ''as examples of the vicious rumors, distortions of facts, or just plain dirty falsehoods." The cause of the outburst was a Chicago Tribune story signed Walter Trohan appearing in the Washington Times-Herald. This story was in line with the Tribune policy on Lend-Lease.

No American newspaper outside the Hearst and Howard chains has fought labor so viciously as the Tribune. Not satisfied with smearing the C.I.O., distorting the news, using headlines, editorials, bias, perversion against labor, the Tribune also resorted to falsehood. On November 27, 1938, the Tribune had the following sensational headline:

"C.I.O. STRANGLES SAN FRANCISCO, INDUSTRIES DIE"

This, one of the many sensational stories blaming everything on labor, appeared on the front page, continuing to page 4. The main "fact" revealed, after the usual buncombe and propaganda and wild false generalities, was that the situation created by the C.I.O. auto workers was so bad that the Chevrolet plant moved away to Los Angeles.

A.L. Kennedy, manager, industrial department, Oakland Chamber of Commerce, protested this Tribune lie. He wrote :

"In the first place, the Chevrolet automobile assembly plant is not located in San Francisco; it is located in Oakland. In the second place and most important, it did not move to Los Angeles; it is still here. Furthermore, it has never had to operate under strike conditions. ... In fairness to this community a retraction is in order."


After lying on pages 1 and 4, the Tribune printed exactly 2-1/4 inches of Kennedy's protest as a letter to the editor! (January 4, 1939.)

Another favorite subject on which not only the Tribune but many more respected papers lied frequently, is W.P.A. Every reactionary pro-fascist anti-labor paper, and notably Hearst fought civilian aid. The Tribune naturally was not content with posed pictures of workmen leaning on shovels. It came out with two weeks of falsehood of which the following is a typical heading:

"GRAFT, FRAUDS, THEFT;
"W.P.A. REEKS WITH CORRUPTION"


Howard O. Hunter, assistant W.P.A. administrator, invited nineteen Chicago newspapermen to his office and handed them a twenty-five-page statement proving all fourteen stories in the Tribune false. He said the Tribune engaged in "deliberate, vicious, and wholesale lying." The pictures showing lazy men were taken at a private sewer-digging job. One picture had been changed between editions because its background showed many men at work. The Tribune writer had been discharged from W. P. A. for drunkenness. But Hunter did not blame the reporter or Managing Editor Robert M. Lee. He called Publisher McCormick "vicious," and "irrational." Said Hunter:

"Every statement published by the Tribune was found to be false. Ordinarily we would not dignify such accusations made by the Chicago Tribune by going to the trouble of answering them, because any intelligent person in Chicago knows that such charges have been faked and trumped up by the Tribune for years.

"But when column after column is pawned off on the public as news, none of which has any foundation, when columns are used to falsely attack individual unemployed citizens and to misrepresent to the public the work they are doing, it is time that the public is acquainted with the truth surrounding the publication of these articles."


The Tribune, of course, printed not a word about the Hunter documentation, but its brasscheck polisher, the cartoonist Carey Orr, continued to draw pictures slandering W.P.A.

It is significant that in the newspaper profession everyone knows that the Chicago Tribune is the most unfair and least reliable paper in the country, and many trustworthy journalists have openly accused the Tribune of lying.

The Washington press corps is the elite of the profession. Most of its members are highly paid. Some of them have the same financial interests as their employers; some lead a double life, writing the propaganda to suit their owners but retaining a free and liberal mind. The latter are certainly not brasscheck polishers of the Pegler variety; they are not prostitutes. Proof of this was given when Leo Rosten took numerous polls in which these journalists told the truth.

Rosten asked America's leading press corps to vote for the "least fair and reliable" papers in the country, and here is the result in the order of their badnes :

1. The Hearst papers: New York Journal-American, Mirror; Albany Times-Union, Boston Record, American, Advertiser; Baltimore News-Post, American; Pittsburgh Sun-Telegraph, Chicago Herald- American, Milwaukee News-Sentinel, Detroit Times, San Francisco Examiner, Call-Bulletin; Oakland Post- Enquirer, Los Angeles Examiner, Herald-Express; San Antonio Light, Seattle Post-Intelligencer.

2. Chicago Tribune.

3. Los Angeles Times.

4. Scripps-Howard chain: New York World-Telegram, Cleveland Press, Pittsburgh Press, San Francisco News, Indianapolis Times, Columbus Citizen, Cincinnati Post, Kentucky Post, Knoxville News-Sentinel, Denver News, Birmingham Post, Memphis Press-Scimitar, Memphis Commercial Appeal, Washington News, Houston Press, Ft. Worth Press, Albuquerque Tribune, El Paso Herald-Post, Evansville Press.

It is to be noted that, of the three big and powerful chains, two are listed (first and fourth worst) and the third, the McCormick-Patterson chain, has its leading paper listed as the worst single paper in America.

Image
Hearst papers -- chief peddlers of Nazi propaganda. -- "Now is Turn of Other Nations to Meet Germany's 'Desire for Peace' -- Rosenberg:; "Italy Glories in Militarism, Says Duce; 'Pacifists the Worst Enemies of Peace'"; "Reich Training Youth to Build Up Air Force but Not for War -- Goering"

Of the ninety-three Washington correspondents who were in this poll, eighty-seven voted the Hearst papers the worst, seventy-one voted against the Chicago Tribune; next were Los Angeles Times with twenty-five votes and the Howard chain with thirteen. The Scripps-Howard papers had once been the leading liberals of the country, and it is true that Roy Howard still permits certain among them to remain so. Not all Howard papers are as filthy (under daily orders) as the papers of the Hearst chain.

Rosten also took a vote on what is the best newspaper in America. Ninety-nine Washington journalists took part and the Chicago Tribune received only one vote. In other words, it was last. But inasmuch as the Tribune has a large staff, and inasmuch as several Tribune writers participated in the vote, it is indeed heartening to note that the Tribune's own men have no illusions about it being a decent newspaper.

The situation was similar with votes affecting the Hearst news services. Although several Hearst men voted, the total which believed the agency was best, more liberal, or more reliable was less than the total of Hearst men participating.

The voting is significant. When the day comes for chains of free newspapers -- a press which will deal fairly with labor, a press which will not be afraid to fight Fascism at home as well as abroad -- they will be able to call upon the newspaper workers, the reporters and, in many instances, the noted columnists who work for the corrupt press but who are not corrupted by either the money they make or the company they have to keep. For every Benjamin De Casseres, Paul Mallon, Westbrook Pegler, Frederic Woltman, William Philip Simms, John O'Donnell, Chesly Manly, whose mouth is black with the polish off the shoes of Hearst and Howard and McCormick and Patterson (as Heywood Broun so often said), there are many better men who may be working for the same corrupters of our free press but who have not been polishing the fast disappearing brass check of the ancient profession.
admin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 30817
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am

Re: Facts and Fascism, by George Seldes

Postby admin » Wed Nov 27, 2013 1:29 am

CHAPTER III: POISON PEN PEGLER

IT IS the opinion of many persons and organizations that one of the most widely known and read newspaper columnists, Westbrook Pegler, is aiding the Axis rather than the United States in this war; it is a fact that the New York Newspaper Guild, the organization of thousands of Pegler's colleagues, so stated when it sent President Roosevelt a documentation of twelve instances out of Pegler's writings.

It is a fact that newspapers, columnists, radio orators and others who form public opinion have served the Axis propaganda. It is also true that too frequently those who know and who make these charges do not name names. They, therefore, emasculate their own words.

For example, here is the director of the U.S. Conciliation Service, Dr. John S. Steelman, who states:

"Careless recital of the dramatic side of strikes in the press and on the screen and over the radio has given too many people the impression that our war efforts are being held up in a serious way because of willful strife in a major part of American industry. This is a dangerous lie that serves the purpose of the Axis, but serves no good end among us." Dr. Steelman knows the culprits, but he is not in a position to name them. He is aware that Kaltenborn on the radio, Pegler in the newspapers, the entire Hearst and Howard press are those guilty of careless recitals about strikes.

On the other hand here is the statement issued by the conference directors of C.I.O. editors (Washington, April 11, 1942):

"Labor has been subjected to an infamous campaign of misrepresentation, for the purpose of cutting wages, destroying union organization, and in advancing the profits of special interest groups. Most of the daily press has joined in this campaign, together with such radio commentators as H.V. Kaltenborn and others of his type. This anti-labor propaganda campaign, if not directly inspired by Axis agents and American appeasers, at any rate plays their game by striking at national unity and undermining labor morale."

Again, the official organ of the National Maritime Union, The Pilot, states that "Pegler's sales talk has the made-in-Berlin label."

Again, the National Maritime Union, holding its 1943 convention and confirming its pledge to place the winning of the war above everything else, passed a resolution naming the leading fascist organization in the country and the twelve leading fascists, namely: The National Association of Manufacturers, Senators Nye, Wheeler and Tom Connally, the Texas polltaxer of anti-labor bill fame; Representatives Martin Dies, Hamilton Fish and Howard Smith, the notorious Virginia polltaxer of anti-labor bill fame; the great chain publishers, Hearst, Howard, Patterson and McCormick; and the clerical fascist leaders, Father Coughlin and the Rev. Gerald L.K. Smith, and the elements of the Christian Front and Ku Klux Klan which follow them.

No better list could be written. The most powerful force on it is the NAM; the most powerful individuals are the four publishers who in turn employ a hundred brasscheck columnists to spread their American fascist ideologies.

Image
The U.S. Treasury says Pegler is a liar; so does the labor press; but 8,000,000 Americans read his daily poison. -- "PEGLER LIES! -- OLD "POISON PEN" On the Loose Again!; Richmond Times-Dispatch, Roosevelt. Wallace and Pegler; PEGLER LIES; N.Y. Protests Pegler to FDR; ACA Brother, Now In Army Raps Pegler For Lies Against Seamen; AFL-CIO UNIONS SEEK REMOVAL OF PEGLER AS THREAT TO WAR EFFORT; PEGLER IS A LIAR!

The columnists have risen to great power. The editorial page of the newspapers has fallen into disrepute as the American people have realized more and more that it represents not honest opinion but the prostitute views of the paymasters of the editors and publishers -- advertisers, the special interests, the Big Money, the well-known ruling families of the nation. Somehow or other the view spread that there was a certain amount of independence and integrity among the newspaper columnists. This view, of course, is based on the fact that there is a percentage of honest columnists, perhaps a higher percentage than among editorial writers. One may not agree with Walter Lippmann, Dorothy Thompson, Johannes Steel, Samuel Grafton and two or three others, but there is no reason to challenge their bona fides, and a few outstanding names have given columnists in general a good reputation for reliability. The truth is that most columnists inhabit the same gilt-edged bordellos and counting rooms and country clubs as the newspaper owners, and are no better or worse in the history of harlotry.

The best columnist was Heywood Broun, and he was fired by the New York World, the most liberal paper in the country, at the time he defended Sacco and Vanzetti. Just before his death he was fired from the World Telegram by Roy Howard for no ther reason than that he was a liberal columnist, and Howard had swung far towards the true international reaction which in Italy Mussolini named Fascism. Secretary of the Interior Ickes, an old newspaperman himself, quotes Broun saying: "Three or four well-known syndicated columnists wield more influence than the average lawmaker in Washington," and, Ickes adds: "Of all the columnists, Sokolsky is probably the only one who is paid directly and openly by Big Business to act as its spokesman."

Mr. Ickes made a list of columnists, their circulation, and their salaries, and in return for the journalistic material I furnished him in his debate with Frank Gannett on the freedom (and integrity) of the press, I am helping myself to his table (from his book, America's House of Lords, page 96):

Image

Broun, Carter and Johnson have died since this list was made out. Pegler has gotten into 120 newspapers with 8,000,000 circulation and his salary from Howard, $25,000, is augmented by half of the proceeds of syndication rights, giving him a total of $65,000.

In this list the only great liberal was Broun. Miss Thompson and Mr. Lippmann are fair weather liberals, neither having the courage to break a lance or lose an eye in the war against American reaction although both are ardent fighters against Faraway Fascism. Pearson takes no part in politics -- Allen is in the army. Walter Winchell is the most syndicated of all columnists but Mr. Ickes chose to exclude him, not realizing perhaps that Winchell does devote a part of his gossip columns to political, social and other matters, which makes him a power in this country.

The list then shows: Carter, a notorious labor-baiter who was put off the air for years on the protest of unions and who, after promising to behave, still smears organized labor frequently; Clapper, who is probably too scared of his job with Roy Howard to be the liberal his friends say he was personally; Kent, a typical servant of the special interests; Lawrence, one of the worst of reactionaries; Paul Mallon, who has been denounced as a liar by Mr. Ickes (See Time, Apri1 24, 1939) and who is a typical Hearstling; Sokolsky, exposed by the La Follette Committee as a NAM agent; Mark Sullivan, another spokesman for Big Money; Lippmann and Miss Thompson and Westbrook Pegler.

It can fairly be said that the two columnists who have the most influence in the country are Lippmann and Pegler: Lippmann influences all men of intelligence, Pegler is the monitor of the morons. Lippmann has one of the best minds in America, Pegler is a mental hoodlum. He has absolutely no education, no culture, no literary quality, no intelligence, no knowledge of economics, no knowledge of most of the things he writes about outside sports and plain news sensations; he is, in short, a sort of glorified moron himself and, therefore, so successful in finding an audience of eight million who believe in not only his daily propaganda but in the numerous lies which he tells without any apparent knowledge that he is lying.

U.S. TREASURY EXPOSES A PEGLER LIE

The use of the colossal lie has been acclaimed by Hitler as a fascist method. Apparently the Peglerian mind, which was capable of advocating lynching years ago, must now employ a Nazi trick in the campaign against the welfare of the American people. Everything the Roosevelt administration has done has been attacked by Pegler for the simple reason (as Broun disclosed) that "he was bitten by an income tax return," and in January, 1943, Pegler engaged in falsehood in order to smear the government.

Exhibit A: In his papers of January 2 Pegler wrote a column beginning: "Mr. Morgenthau, the Secretary of the Treasury, is sensitive to aspersions on the ethics and fairness of his income tax reviewers, who are, as has been observed before, masters of a repertoire of sly and shady shyster tricks of interpretation, having the color if not the odor, of legality." This statement, like some 90 per cent of all Pegler statements, is not a matter of fact, nor a matter of opinion, but a matter of prejudice and bias, unfair enough to violate the code of ethics of journalism, under which all Pegler papers are supposed to operate.

The Pegler column then continues: "We have before us a plain case of larceny from millions of citizens of all income brackets committed by the Treasury, apparently with the knowledge and approval of Secretary Morgenthau and certainly on his responsibility."

If this statement is true, those accused of larceny should be in jail. If this statement is untrue, then the person who makes it is spreading a falsehood. However, since the statement is directed against a government official, the maker cannot apparently be sued for libel.

The Pegler statement continues: "In passing the 5 per cent victory tax, Congress said unmistakably that it was to be a tax on 1943 income. Yet, the Treasury Department, in violation of the will and intent of Congress, and of the law, has usurped the Congressional legislative power and decided that all pay checks ... delivered after midnight Thursday, shall be taxable at 5 per cent even though most or all of the money was earned before the first of the year.

"In simple words, the Treasury decided to steal this money from the people and to make the employers parties to the theft by compelling them to withhold the tax and turn it in.

"Theft is the only word for it. It is a bold and cynical defiance of law and morality. ..." Next paragraphs contain phrases : "amount ... stolen," "victims of larceny," "swipe the dough," and "not taxation but larceny."

Exhibit B: Pegler column, January 19, began: "Apparently more in sorrowful patience with a miserable sinner than in mighty anger, the Treasury Department sends me Press Service Bulletin No. 34-80, which purports to put me in error in accusing the department of plain larceny in its plan to collect the 5 per cent tax on individual income earned in 1942.

"Taking something that belongs to someone else ... is stealing, and in violation of a well known commandment, and as done by the Treasury Department of the U.S.A. is a bad example to the people who might reasonably decide to take up stealing as a regular line of work and get into serious trouble, in all in innocence. ... "

It is the general rule of departments of the U.S. Government to ignore misstatements and falsehood. However, this was a matter affecting millions of people, an urgent matter, and a correction was necessary. Therefore the Treasury had to expose Pegler as a liar. It sent the following letter to Pegler's syndicate:

"TREASURY DEPARTMENT

"Washington

January 26, 1943

"Mr. George V. Carlin, Manager,

"United Feature Syndicate, Inc.,

"220 East 42nd Street, New York.

"Dear Mr. Carlin:

"I have just read Westbrook Pegler's column in today's Washington Daily News, the second in which he has given circulation to serious misinformation with respect to the Victory Tax and has made grave charges against the Treasury Department.

"Whatever Mr. Pegler's motives may be, his repetition of erroneous assertions is likely to spread confusion in the minds of taxpayers and may seriously interfere with the collection of wartime taxes.

"Because the facts in this connection have been brought to Mr. Pegler's attention by telephone and letter following the publication of his first column on the subject in the News of Jan. 1, I am writing to demand, in behalf of the Treasury Department, that a copy of this letter be made available to all of your subscribers who receive the Pegler column.

"Mr. Pegler in both instances accuses the Treasury Department of 'theft' and 'larceny' because the withholding tax out of which the Victory tax will be paid was applied to some wages earned at the end of 1942 but paid early this year. He argued that withholding should have been applied only against wages earned in 1943.

"I feel warranted, therefore, in asking those newspapers which print this column to present their readers the simple facts which he has insisted on distorting.

"The second paragraph of today's column, discussing the authority under which the tax is collected, contains a complete misstatement of fact in the sentence, 'It does not say that this tax shall be collected on any income occurring before December 31.' On the contrary, the section of the statute covering the withholding sets forth very clearly, 'The provisions of this section shall take effect on January 1, 1943, and shall be applicable to all wages ... paid on or after such date.' The law makes the time of payment the test -- not the time during which the wage was earned.

"Any inspection of this portion of the Revenue Act, or any attempt to have checked its application with the Bureau of Internal Revenue, would have shown Mr. Pegler that the total amounts collected through the withholding tax will be completely credited against such individual's Victory Tax liability at the end of this year. As a result, there cannot possibly be any question of 'theft' from any taxpayer of a portion of income not intended to be covered by Congress.

"In spite of explanations, Mr. Pegler also has persisted in presenting as synonymous a tax and a method of tax collection. Twice in today's column he refers to the 'withholding or Victory tax.' The fact is that the Victory tax will be due on March 15, 1944, on all income other than capital gains and interest from tax-exempt securities, much of that income not now being subjected to the withholding provisions of the law.

"I hope that by the distribution of this letter you will be able to undo some of the harm that has undoubtedly been done by Mr. Pegler's persistent misrepresentation.

"(Signed) CHARLES SCHWARZ,

"Director of Public Relations,

"Treasury Department, Washington, D.C."


There is not a newspaperman in America who does not know that Pegler wilfully and persistently misrepresents. But no newspaper likes to have itself and its most cherished columnist called a liar in public, and the 120 newspapers which were asked by the U.S. Treasury to publish its condemnation of Pegler either suppressed the letter, killed parts of it, or buried parts of it in that graveyard of journalistic skullduggery and hypocrisy, the "Letters to the Editor" department.

In the document above the three paragraphs to which attention is especially called are those suppressed by the Los Angeles Times, the most notorious anti-labor paper in the country.

A few newspapers are deserving of some credit: the Treasury informs the present writer that it has received a few letters from editors saying that upon reading Pegler's columns on the Victory Tax they realized he was lying and they did not run the stuff those two days. But not one newspaper threw Pegler out because of his persistent misrepresentations.

So long as Pegler makes it his main business to attack labor, liberals, the New Deal, he remains the leading columnist of our press, whose editors are not morons or hoodlums but who are on the contrary very smart gentlemen who know how to use a panderer to that sort of mind.

PEGLER AS A FASCIST STOOGE

Pegler answers every description of a perfect fascist journalist. In 1933, when he went from sports to columning, the first piece he wrote was in favor of lynching. There followed a consultation with Roy Howard, and it was decided to hold the pro-lynching column up. However, it was run within the week, and the blame must be shared equally by the two hoodlum-minded journalists.

Incidentally, the lynching in question was of white men in San Jose, California. However, since then Pegler has come out against the Anti-Lynching Bill and he has repeatedly attacked the Negro people.

September 15, 1940, the Guild Reporter, official organ of newspapermen, reported that James P. Kirby, Cleveland Press unit, "has hurled the lie back at Westbrook Pegler ... giving documentary proof of his charges." Said Kirby: "To Mr. Pegler's denial that he defended lynching I quote from his column of December 13, 1933, in which he said: 'As one of the rabble, I will admit that I said fine, that is swell, when the papers came up that recent day telling of the lynching of two men who killed the young fellow in California, and I haven't changed my mind yet.'"

Pegler topped his pro-lynching column with a pro-murder column March 31, 1942. Referring to a dirty smear of Interior Secretary Ickes by a Bridgeport (Conn.) paper, Pegler wrote: "I don't blame Ickes for resenting the editorial but I do insist that he should have gone right up to Bridgeport, sought out the editor and shot him dead. Or he might have knocked his head off with a ball-bat. I say this seriously. ... Had Ickes killed the editor he would have performed a valuable service for the community in general and for the press in particular...."

Image
Poison Pen Pegler -- Pegler likes lynching, too. -- New York World-Telegram, New York, Wednesday, December 18, 1933 -- Fair Enough by WESTBROOK PEGLER: As one member of the rabble, I will admit that I said "Fine, that is swell," when the papers came up that recent day, telling of the lynching of the two men who killed the young fellow in California, and that I haven't changed my mind yet for all the storm of right-mindedness which has blown up since. I know how storms of right-mindedness are made.

For years Pegler has smeared Mr. Ickes in revenge for Mr. Ickes' statement that "Pegler is less discriminating than [Hugh] Johnson, and much more irresponsible." Mr. lckes had also said that Pegler "Jumps from false premises to falser conclusions." Also, that "Pegler ... is the Mrs. Dilling of columnists. When invective and vituperation fail him, he flatteringly imitates Colonel McCormick by calling the object of his diatribes a 'communist.' ... According to Pegler's code that man is a 'communist' whom he does not like personally or with whose political views he is not in accord. Luckily, few columnists are as unstable in their thinking."

However, Mr. Ickes did not take Pegler's advice to commit a common murder. But he did write to the Bridgeport publisher (instead of suing him for slander). Mr. Ickes' letter in full follows:

"Mr. Robert M. Sperry,

"Publisher, Bridgeport Life.

"A man whom I do not know has sent to me a tear sheet from your issue of Saturday, July 26, 1941. My correspondent speaks of your 'filthy mind and paper' and he also seems to think that you are a coward. Undoubtedly, he is right on all scores. The impression seems to be that the filth in this editorial surged up from the cesspool that passes with you for a mind. However, it doesn't much matter whether you actually wrote the thing or not; as a publisher you are responsible.

"I don't know you and I had never heard of you until this letter came. Now, although I still have never met you, I feel that I know you very well as a cowardly, skulking cur. I can see you in my mind's eye eating your own vomit with relish but enjoying even more the savor of the excrement in the pigsty in which you root for choice morsels. It is, undoubtedly, perfectly natural for you to think the putrid thoughts which you naturally express in the language of the gutter.

"Very truly yours,

"HAROLD ICKES"


The Sperry editorial which caused this reply from Ickes is unprintable.

Much more important, however, than Pegler's lie about the Victory Tax, or Pegler's endorsement of lynching, or even the reprint of Pegler anti-labor propaganda by notorious fascist organizations, such as the Associated Industries of Cleveland, is the Pegler line of war thinking which caused the New York Newspaper Guild to protest.

Between June, 1941, and December 7, 1942, Pegler expressed the hope that Germany and Russia would exterminate each other. It is true that when Pegler covered the Olympic Games in Germany in 1936 he wrote several columns against Hitler, but as between Germany and Russia, Pegler did not hide his preference for the former. However, America was not in the war when Pegler wrote he feared the liberal New Deal and the few gains labor had made under it more than he feared Hitler. But since December 7, Pegler has followed the line which Director of Facts and Figures MacLeish denounced before the publishers' convention as defeatism and divisionism. In attacking America's Allies, in attacking labor, in attacking the Negroes, Pegler has done what Hitler predicted would aid his propaganda in America.

The New York Newspaper Guild, which upholds the Broun tradition, on May 21, 1942, acting on information that Pegler was appearing in the official Army publication, Stars and Stripes, protested to the Commander-in- Chief, President Roosevelt. The Guild statement said:

"The Newspaper Guild of New York membership on May 13 urged discontinuance of publication of a column by Westbrook Pegler ... in Stars and Stripes. ...

"Calling the attention of President Roosevelt to a report that Pegler was among the contributors to this soldier paper, the Guild charged that this columnist had since December 7 cast doubt on the wisdom of a United Nations victory, and by his writings in domestic newspapers had served the cause of disunity. Copies of the resolutions were directed to Chief of Staff General George C. Marshall, Mr. Philip Murray and Mr. William Green."


The Guild resolution said in part:

"As citizens, as working newspapermen, and as trade unionists concerned with the ethics of our profession, with the patriotic duty to support the war effort, and conscious of the obligation of a union of newspapermen to keep up morale, the Newspaper Guild of New York's membership lodges this protest against continued publication of Mr. Pegler's articles intended for American soldiers facing Hitler across the English Channel.

"Mr. Pegler has actually raised a question as to whether a victory of the United Nations against the Fascist Axis would be worthwhile. ... Mr. Pegler by his written word since December 7 has given circulation to opinions, views and distortions of fact which would result in setting one group of people against other groups instead of knitting all the people more firmly together for the united war effort essential to the conduct of the war.

"In support of this appeal, and in justification of the assertions involving Mr. Pegler, the Guild appends sample exhibitions of his written words since December
7:
"December 8, 1941. Pegler ... warns: 'We all know that most of the arguments that American boys would not be sent to a foreign war were campaign trickery.'

"December 11. Pegler accuses the government of treachery; 'Dealing off the bottom of the deck, the national government betrayed every worker in the country in the decision of the packed arbitration board to grant Lewis the closed shop in the so-called captive mines. ... The whole transaction reeked of treachery.'

"December 17. Casts doubts on the aims of our Allies: 'Our people are not going to believe that our gallant Allies of Russia are fighting for the four freedoms. ...'

"January 6, 1942. Casts doubt on our own aims and discourages cooperation between capital and labor. 'The [automotive] industry is sure to be socialized now and God only knows who will get it when the war is over, but the odds are that it will never be turned back to the stockholders. ...'

"January 22. Unity ... disastrous: 'A unified or combined organization of the C.I.O. and the A. F. of L. under the present laws and under the leadership of any of the men now prominent in union politics would be disastrous to every American worker."

"January 29. Charges President is moving toward totalitarian state: 'The President is using the bosses of the A. F. of L. and C.I.O. for his own political purposes which plainly and irresistibly tend toward a totalitarian state. ...'

"February 18. He tends to tear down our support of an ally; 'They [the Russians] are the most practical patriots of all, fighting for Russia only, and it is inconceivable that they would prolong the war a single hour beyond some point at which they decided that a truce or peace would best serve the interests of Soviet Russia.'

"[March. Pegler on vacation.]

"April 4. He again attempts to divide our own people: 'The bitter fact is that the whole American people ... are never allowed to forget that they are being used to create a new internal force, governed by a few personalities who are contributing nothing to the war, which plans to inherit the government after the war is won.'

"May 1. Divisionist attempt: 'If our side wins the war, Russia will plan the peace of the European continent, and on the basis of all Russia's past performances we can confidently assume that in Germany it will be a peace not much different from that which Hitler has imposed on Poland. ...'

"May 5. Doubts own war efforts: 'The obliteration of Germany ... would be a drastic way of preserving civilization, but the only question is whether the real war aim of the U.S. justifies the only positive means of securing that aim.'

"May 13. Cynicism toward our own democratic institutions: 'The Senate is our Reichstag. ... The Senate is protecting a gigantic political racket. ... The Senate is a very arrogant organization, blown up with pomposity and indifferent to the will and interest of the people."


Ever since this protest was filed Mr. Pegler concentrated on baiting labor. In this way he continues to be of service to the divisionists.
admin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 30817
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am

Re: Facts and Fascism, by George Seldes

Postby admin » Wed Nov 27, 2013 1:33 am

CHAPTER IV: WALLACE'S SUPPRESSED SPEECH

"The press is the hired agent of a monied system, and set up for no other purpose than to tell lies, where its interests are involved. One can trust nobody and nothing." -- The Letters of Henry Adams, Vol. II, p. 99.


IF THE American press were at least frank about its being a commercial institution, as many of its leaders and owners, notably William Allen White, have admitted, then one of the main indictments against it would fall flat on the ground: the indictment of hypocrisy. When Mr. White said that journalism was once a profession, "a noble calling; now it is an 8 per cent investment and an industry," none of the hundreds of commercialized publishers would agree with him. If, however, the American Newspaper Publishers Association (the Lords of the Press) were to come out openly with a statement that it was in business for profits and that the code of ethics (adopted by the editors, not owners) in 1923 was a dead letter, since it has never been honored, the atmosphere would at least be cleared of the greatest piece of hypocrisy in the American panorama.

Of all the hypocrisies of American journalism the greatest is the claim of a free press, coupled with a barrage of editorials, news stories, cartoons and orations deriding the dictator countries for the manner in which their newspapers follow the orders, wishes, and whims of the ruling party. But it is a fact that about 95 per cent -- perhaps it is 98 per cent or even 99 per cent -- of the American press is also dictated to, and also follows the wishes of a superior power, which Henry Adams has named the "monied system."

The commercial press, in another of its brazen hypocritical proclamations, points with pride to the fact that it is free because it upholds a free system in which there are two political parties. But there is probably not one member of the A.N.P.A. who does not know that the Republican and Democratic parties both feed out of the same bag provided by the monied system, and that the same persons frequently subscribe funds to both major parties, and that where the list frequently differs the same interests are represented. They know this very well, and they also know very well that the press has never given honest news coverage to the formation, platform and campaign of any third party which was independent enough not to feed on the same money.

Furthermore, the A.N.P.A. knows that where there is a choice between the two parties, when one is more liberal than the other, when one gives the majority of the American people (labor) a new deal or a square deal or a better deal, the press turns against that party to the extent of 85 to 95 per cent. If one leaves out of the accounting certain rock bound papers, such as the rock ribbed southern Democrats and the granite ribbed Vermonters, then the tally for the various Roosevelt campaigns has shown that he was attacked, abused, unsupported by 85 to 95 per cent of the press, and that he was even suppressed in certain big papers including the Chicago Tribune. Moreover, all this was done without an official order from a fascist dictator. It was not quite 100 per cent; and so we might say that although we have no press dictator as in fascist countries, the American press is already about 85 to 95 per cent totalitarian on certain issues.

In my opinion this is a fair estimate. There are various polls and reliable estimates and weekly and monthly surveys on the editorial viewpoints of the American press. They show divided opinion on many things. But when the issue is the general welfare of the many against the increased profits of the few, when it is liberty and democracy versus special privilege, the American press is so unanimously on the side of the latter that it can be said that without being dictated to by a fascist dictator it follows the line of native American Fascism.

There is no doubt but that the most important fascist force in the nation is the National Association of Manufacturers, since this organization of the 9,000 biggest businesses is in the control of only 207 powerful men who use it for anti-social purposes. In the year 1935 the La Follette Committee's report said, "the NAM had opposed the principal legislative measures sponsored by the national administration ... National Labor Relations Act [the Wagner Act, the Magna Carta of labor, which the NAM is still trying to have repealed or emasculated], Social Security Act, the Banking Act, the Utility Holding Company Act. ..." This fact alone does not show the fascist ideology of the NAM, but it does show that this most powerful lobby in Washington worked against every piece of legislation aiding and protecting the people of the country, and worked for special privilege and profits.

Any test of the alignment on these same measures will show that the press was more than 50 per cent for the program of the NAM, in some cases 98 per cent. Between 1935 and 1939, when the Global War broke out, the New York Times ran an average of 12 editorials a year in favor of the NAM policy of repealing or amending and hamstringing the Wagner Act, and more venal papers were even worse. Of course, no one wrote or phoned Sulzberger of the Times, McCormick of the Chicago Tribune, Mr. Hearst and Mr. Howard and the other imposing reactionaries and gave them instructions to attack the Wagner Act, or the Social Security Act or, indeed, any piece of legislation of the Roosevelt administration which disinterested persons favored and which favored the general welfare. Neither an American Mussolini nor the publicity department of the NAM took any action, and yet the great newspaper chains which enslave the American mind all rattled with the uniform sound which Mussolini once described as so pleasing to his journalistic-dictatorial ears.

Let us consider some examples of the behavior of the American press in handling and suppressing big news stories. They will show that it is not necessary to have a fascist dictator in our Country to get totalitarianism -- or at least 85 to 95 per cent of it -- in the press. Here are a few instances.

It would be the greatest crime in the history of civilization to ask our men to give their arms and their legs, their eyes, their health and their lives for a cause that did not justify it. There is today a cause which justifies the risk and the sacrifice: it is the cause of destroying Fascism, which is the enemy of the good life. Vice President Henry Wallace realized this, and in the great days of confusion of May, 1942, he delivered his now famous speech on The Century of the Common Man.

Mr. Wallace said that this was a war between a free world and a slave world. This war is part of the "march of freedom of the past 150 years." This war is "a people's revolution" taking up where the "American Revolution of 1775, the French Revolution of 1792, the Latin American revolutions of the Bolivarian era, the German Revolution of 1848 and the Russian Revolution of 1917" left off.

"Everywhere the common people are on the march," proclaimed Mr. Wallace.

The Vice President is also aware of the profits in Fascism for the few. He said: "The demagogue is the curse of the modern world, and of all the demagogues the worst are those financed by well-meaning wealthy men who sincerely believe that their wealth is likely to be safer if they can hire men with political 'it' to change the sign posts and lure the people back into slavery of the most degraded kind."

Mr. Wallace also advocated the Four Freedoms, the last two being Freedom from Fear and Freedom from Want. These are of course the economic freedoms, and since they imply a better world for the many they have scared the living pocketbooks out of the few.

The most important fact of all about the Wallace speech is that it was the big declaration of the war program of the nation, and as such was entitled to most of the front page of every honest newspaper from coast to coast.

Actually it was about 95 per cent suppressed and distorted. A dozen liberal newspapers ran the speech in full, some a week or two late when public pressure demanded it. In the nation's capital the speech was so badly reported that an industrial Concern (Latex Corp.) paid to have it inserted as an ad. (We have said much about the evils of advertising; this is a rare instance of its social value.) In the metropolis where the speech was heard over the radio, only one paper, PM, ran the text. Only PM headlined the great statement on the war -- the war between a slave world and a free world; the war as a continuation of the American and other revolutions for the rights of all people. This is how the metropolitan press handled the story:

Howard's World-Telegram; one-third column; "Wallace Sees Possibility of Raid on Alaska."

Hearst's Mirror; one-half column; "Axis May Soon Hit at Alaska, Says Wallace."

Hearst's Journal-American; one-quarter column; "Attack on Alaska Seen by Wallace."

Patterson's News; two-thirds of a column; "Wallace Sees Alaska Target of Jap Attack."

These are four papers owned by men who favored appeasing Japan and who published Nazi and Italian fascist propaganda in their papers ever since 1922; they are three of the four publishers (the other is McCormick of the Chicago Tribune) named as suspects following the MacLeish speech before the publishers' New York convention in which he charged treason and near-treason in the press.

The anti-fascist press did little better. The Post ran one-third of a column, mostly on Alaska; the Times ran four-fifths of a column, with Alaska in the head and lead; the Herald Tribune ran one and one-half columns with an Alaska lead but mentioned the free world theme; the Brooklyn Eagle ran one-half column on Alaska.

An apologist for the press is Raymond Clapper, Howard columnist, who while praising Wallace suggested that the speech "was lost in the shuffle of the news desks of the country, like Lincoln's Gettysburg Address. ... Every newspaper office and press association desk muffs a play now and then. Instead of there having been a plot to suppress this most significant address, I suspect that most newspapermen who handled it are kicking themselves for having missed the story. I go into this because there are people who can't see anything around newspaper offices but dark suppression plots. They mistake a muffed play for sinister intent."

This is nonsense, if not worse. The Vice-President's office sent out "hold-for-release" copies days earlier. If Clapper were not always a paid apologist for Roy Howard and his venal papers his present apology might sound better.

The suppression of the speech (and publication of the Alaska paragraph cannot support a claim the story was reported) was followed immediately by a series of apologies by the brasscheck writers of the Clapper type, and from June, 1942, to date by a series of attacks on Wallace and his ideas which reached a high point in the National Association of Manufacturers' convention of December, 1942. The attack still continues. It must be noted that the very newspapers which suppressed the news are the leaders in attacking the views.

It can be said factually that the vast majority of our newspapers have sought to poison the public mind against the Wallace declarations. In doing so they have also degraded our war aims. All our native fascist, near-fascist, anti-labor and reactionary columnists, headed by Westbrook Pegler, joined all the corrupt editorial writers and radio speakers who until this day continue the NAM propaganda campaign against the Century of the Common Man. Here are some samples of the attack:

WESTBROOK PEGLER (a fair sample of the illiterate writings of a hoodlum mentality):

"This nonsense about the war aims of the United States is beginning to get out of control, so, before we become a lot of confirmed political hopheads walking around in a dream of international and interracial fellowship and love, it should be stated with such force as to snap us out of our daze that the fighters and people of the United States are at war for the sole purpose of defending this country from a combination of enemies who touched off the fight by a treacherous attack under cover of protestations of friendship."


PAUL MALLON (Hearst service): used his May 26 column to sneer at Wallace.

"HEPTISAX" (Rodney Gilbert) in his New York Herald Tribune column said Wallace's speech suggested "asinine world improvement"; he called it "this perambulating Iowa pipe dream." The peace of the Common man, Heptisax said, was propaganda. Finally the writer for the $50,000,000 paper showed his disgust for both ideas of education and milk for the common people.


FRANK R. KENT (Baltimore Sun) wrote:

"The strenuous effort to make Vice President Wallace into a superman has been pushed just a little too far. ... The overpraise brought the inevitable reaction. Some of his associates in the Senate have begun to laugh. ...The radicals also went into hysterics about it [the Wallace speech]. ... The whole thing has become ridiculous. ... "


New Orleans Item (editorial) said it favored education and milk for all but declared this is visionary and impossible.

"Who," it asked, "would pay the bills for educating, feeding and making democrats of all these mixed and myriad breeds ... if we conformed to the Wallace dream?"


New York Daily News (editorial) decided that Wallace was "vague," that his idea was "a lovely thing to talk about and to dream about," but "we can assure the talkers and the dreamers, however, that when and if they try to bring these dreams into cold, solid reality after the war, they will fan up a fight in this country which will make the recent isolationist-interventionist fight look like a mere warm-up."

Chicago Tribune suppressed the Wallace speech, ignored it editorially, but referred to Wallace once as "mystic -- engaged in dreams."

Arizona Daily Star, Tucson:

Wallace's Suppressed Speech

"Will such a plan embracing racial equality and removal of our tariff and immigration barriers work out? Will the people of America support a people's revolution? But even more than that Mr. Wallace and his followers will probably find out that such a plan will lead to a 'people's revolution' all right, but not the kind he has in mind."


LYNN LANDRUM, The Dallas News' own Pegler:

"You supposed you were really fighting to keep things the way they are in the United States instead of proposing any bloody crusade to ram freedom down the throats of the rest of the world."


San Diego Union-Tribune: "Wallace's speech sounds wonderful but, insofar as its being practical is concerned, it is so much oratorical flapdoodle."

"DING" (J.N. Darling, cartoonist; New York Herald Tribune, Des Moines Register) drew a vicious cartoon making fun of Wallace. So many readers protested that Darling had to write a letter of apology (Register, July 1). Darling spends most of his time doing anti-labor cartoons.

HARRY M. BEARDSLEY, Chicago Daily News, wrote a three-column attack on the Wallace speech (June 5.)

THOMAS F. WO0DLOCK, clerico-fascist columnist, and RAYMOND MOLEY, New Deal renegade, both wrote their columns in the Wall Street Journal in opposition to Wallace, Welles, Milo Perkins and others who have expressed idealism for the coming peace, rather than hope for big business triumphs. Editorially the Wall Street Journal said (June 6) that whereas it approved the Atlantic Charter, it opposed "additional promises so far reaching as to be either meaningless or dangerous." These included "demanding higher social and economic standards." Then Wall Street's speaker came across with a brand new idea: "There are not four but five freedoms for which the war must be fought. The fifth is the freedom of any people to reject the first four." (In other words, freedom not to have freedom, which equals Fascism.)
admin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 30817
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am

Re: Facts and Fascism, by George Seldes

Postby admin » Wed Nov 27, 2013 1:35 am

CHAPTER V: THE PRESS AND WAR PROFITEERS

No PRESS and propaganda department of a fascist regime could be more successful than is the American self- styled free press in doing the double job of attacking labor while suppressing the news of the real traitors and saboteurs of the great Global War production effort.

The profit system, Free Enterprise, are the great golden calves and sacred bulls of the American press. It is now certain that the editorials it published after the Munitions Committee disclosed corruption for profit in the World War and the support it gave Mr. Bernard M. Baruch who published his program entitled "Take the Profits Out of War" were also items for the dossier of journalistic hypocrisy. Even if all the lies and biased reports against labor in this war were fair and true they would not have a fraction of the importance that the treason has which was committed by certain corporations and industries before and after Pearl Harbor -- treason for profits protected by the press. Yet the history of our wartime journalism shows clearly two trends: one of slander, libel and daily attack on labor; the other defense and whitewash of the elements which have committed treason for money: the war profit makers.

The documentary evidence of this treason can be found in the reports made either to government departments and agencies or by Congressional committees. Notable are the reports of Thurman Arnold, assistant attorney general, the Tolan Committee, the Bone patents investigation, the several and most important Truman Committee reports. Together they indict General Motors, the DuPonts, Chrysler, Ford, Aluminum Corporation, the Mellons, Standard Oil and in short the elite of big business of what may be termed industrial treason. In fact it was Senator Truman who said "This is treason" when testimony before him showed that the synthetic rubber cartel agreements between Standard Oil and I.G. Farben had prevented the manufacture of rubber in our country.

Only two important newspapers headlined the treason charge. The January, 1942, report of the Special Senate Committee Investigating National Defense named names, notably Bethlehem Steel and Aluminum Corporation, but in Chicago the Tribune and the Hearst Herald-American suppressed them. The report was official and could not be ignored. Nevertheless the most important paper in the country, the New York Times, suppressed the names of General Motors, Chrysler, Ford, Alcoa, Bethlehem Steel, these being among its advertisers.

The Tolan House Committee report, also suppressed or played down or buried, said:

"The testimony before the committee was almost universal that production to date has been a failure, measured against the available facilities and the visible needs for military purposes.

"The largest and most efficient manufacturing facilities are not being used in the armament effort. At the same time, the system of contract awards in effect excludes from production the facilities of tens of thousands of small producers. As a result, the mass production of critical military materials is awaiting, to a considerable extent, the completion of new plants. Thus, when speed in production is vital to the nation, the potentially greatest arsenals stand unused and their unemployed workers are waiting for new plants to open. The battles of today cannot be waged with deliveries from the plants of tomorrow."


Assistant Attorney General Thurman Arnold's report to Congress said in part:

"Looking back over 10 months of defense effort we can now see how much it has been hampered by the attitude of powerful private groups dominating basic industries who have feared to expand their production because expansion would endanger their future control of industry. These groups have been afraid to develop new production themselves. They have been afraid to let others come into the field."


The worst criminal of all was the auto industry. It simply had insisted on pleasure cars as usual; it had promised conversion of some plants but even after Pearl Harbor it was found that 80% of the industry was still manufacturing civilian cars. In mid-January, 1942, I asked leaders of the industry and leading members of Congress: "Can the present management of the automobile industry be relied on to convert the industry to a full war effort? Do you think the government should take over? What limit would you set before demanding that the government step in?" Among the replies, all favoring government operation, was the following from George Addes, international secretary-treasurer of United Automobile Workers and member of the seven- man board set up under Knudsen's Office of Production Management to "advise" on conversion of auto plants:

"From the attitude conveyed in the recent conferences held in Washington between labor, industry and government, industry cannot be relied upon to convert its facilities to full war effort unless government or the President of the United States issues an executive order to that effect.

"On that matter of government taking over industries, it is my thought that government should harness or conscript industry as it has harnessed or conscripted labor, if management refuses to have its facilities converted and under way within the next thirty or sixty days. It is quite evident that labor has sacrificed far more than industry and will no doubt continue to make those sacrifices for the duration."


The fact remains that the auto industry, the oil industry, the aluminum industry, the steel industry; and many great corporations sabotaged America before and after Pearl Harbor, and that crime continued up to the moment of writing. Here are some of the highlights of what profiteering, also known as Free Enterprise, did to undermine the war against Fascism:

SCANDAL IN AVIATION

Before Pearl Harbor the biggest scandal was in aviation. The government in 1940 had awarded $85,000,000 for 4,000 planes, but Secretary Stimson said only thirty-three planes had been produced by Aug. 9, 1940. Knudsen, to the contrary, said that 45% of the Army and 75% of the Navy plane funds had been awarded. What was the truth? The truth was there were no planes. The "awards" had been made, but the aviation firms, many dominated by Knudsen's General Motors, refused to take the contracts. There were awards, but no planes. "Only a thin verbal partition separated him [Knudsen] from falsehood," concluded I.F. Stone in his book, Business As Usual.

Why were almost no planes built in 1940? Because Big Business staged the greatest financial sit-down in American history and the newspapers, busy shouting against labor, suppressed all mention of it. For six months, from May to October, 1940, there was a sit-down of money and industry, aviation being used as a "front" by Big Business to break the President's plan (even at the cost of national safety) and get special tax privileges on defense contracts. "Unlike the strike of labor," says Stone, "the sit-down strike of capital in the summer of 1940 had the support of the nation's great newspapers, of the War and Navy Departments, and of the new Defense Commission." The notorious merchants of death, the DuPonts, are a major factor in aviation; DuPonts control General Motors; General Motors' Knudsen refused to break the aviation sit-down, but fooled the American people with a tricky statement about "awards" for planes.

Curiously enough, in World War I the industry which came closest to committing treason was the auto industry. Auto companies actually refused in the last half of 1918 to cut production to 25% of 1917. Bernard Baruch's war industries board threatened to seize their coal and iron but the war ended before the showdown.

According to Stone, Knudsen's General Motors in this war has again sabotaged defense. In 1940 its defense production was only 3-1/2%; in the first quarter of 1941 only 8%. Why the failure? Because producing defense goods -- and General Motors had then the second largest order in America, next to Bethlehem -- meant building new plants, and General Motors preferred instead to hog the orders and produce civilian autos. At the same time it put a full page ad in the papers saying it would not produce new models in 1943. But it went ahead with new models for 1942.

Curtiss-Wright and Hitler. At the moment of writing Senator Truman's latest report against the Curtiss-Wright company is a national sensation. But among the little known facts is the Munitions Investigation report showing that Curtiss-Wright is the actual originator of the Stuka bombing idea and that when Hitler came into power Curtiss Wright joined the DuPonts, Pratt & Whitney, and others in secretly arming Naziism for world conquest. The evidence includes a letter sent in January, 1934, by the president of Curtiss Wright to his salesmen in foreign lands. It says:

"We have been nosing around in the bureau in Washington and find that they hold as most strictly confidential their divebombing tactics, and procedure, and they frown upon our even mentioning dive-bombing in connection with the Hawks, or any other airplanes to any foreign powers.

"It is also unwise and unethical at this time, and probably for some time to come, for us to indicate that we know anything about the technique and tactics of dive-bombing.

"It may be all right ... to put on a dive-bombing show, to show the strength of the airplanes -- but to refer in contracts to dive-bombing or endeavor to teach dive-bombing is what I am cautioning against doing."


This was an open order to the salesmen of Curtiss Wright planes to put on shows of dive-bombing and let foreign nations, including Hitler-Germany, learn the secrets which were being guarded by the Navy Department, which had invented the technique before Hitler came into power. The Curtiss Wright Company committed the equivalent of an act of treason in order to sell its airplanes abroad. It helped make Hitler.

"It is apparent," reads the Senate report, "that American aviation companies did their part to assist Germany's air armament. It seems apparent also that there was not an adequate check on the foreign shipments by ... the War and Navy Departments."


The first six months in 1933 the sales figures took a tremendous jump to $1,445,000. Pratt & Whitney was exposed as one of the largest smugglers of planes to Hitler. The Nye report then states that by May, 1934, a year after Hitler took over, he had bought parts for making 2,500 modern bombing and fighting planes chiefly from Pratt & Whitney, Curtiss Wright and Douglas Aircraft. He also got planes from Vickers and from Armstrong-Sidley, in England, and was already rated "superior in the air to France, Russia, England or any other European power."

Anaconda. One of the worst cases in American history of a corporation "defrauding the government and endangering the lives of American soldiers," was exposed in Attorney General Biddle's indictment of Anaconda Wire & Cable Co., whose Marion, Indiana, branch had sold the United States $6,000,000 worth of telephone wire and cable for war purposes, and had previously sold the Russian government wire which was 50% defective and which no doubt resulted in the death of many soldiers.

One newspaper (the Milwaukee Journal) suggested that the death penalty for corporation heads responsible for sabotaging the war should be instituted. The newspapers, generally speaking, did their best to bury the Anaconda scandal. It broke about New Year's Day, and it is the custom of the newspapers -- one of their most corrupt customs -- to hold up Big Business for good-will advertisements for a special supplement (known in the trade as a racketeering job) to celebrate the passing of a commercial year. There were no indignant editorials in the big New York papers -- the Times, the Herald Tribune, the Hearst Journal-American -- but their annual business supplements each had a full page advertisement signed by Anaconda of Montana and listing all affiliates, including Anaconda Wire & Cable, Andes Copper, Chile Copper, Greene Cananea, American Brass and International Smelting & Refining Co. The ad contained this phrase: "The Army-Navy 'E' pennant for excellence in production flies over eight plants." And wooden crosses surmount the graves of soldiers murdered by Anaconda for profit.

The press, of course, is equaled by the radio in venality. December 21, 1942, the date of the Anaconda scandal, several non-sponsored news broadcasts had the Anaconda indictment as the biggest news of the day. Not so Lowell Thomas. His broadcast (for the Pews of Sunoco) had no mention of the copper firm. Both Sunoco and Anaconda are members and subsidizers of the NAM, and Mr. Thomas had done jobs of work both for the NAM and for General Motors, the DuPont controlled auto firm which is one of the main pillars of NAM Free Enterprise.

TREASON IN RUBBER

It was March 26, 1942, that Senator Truman applied the word "treason" to the Standard Oil, after listening to Mr. Arnold's testimony. Immediately afterward Standard Oil began a nationwide advertising and propaganda campaign, asking every editorial writer, publisher, columnist, radio commentator and other makers of public opinion to whitewash it. Many who received money did so.

An excellent example of usual newspaper and magazine venality was shown in the indecent rush of our leading paper, the New York Times, and leading newsweekly, Time, to defend Standard Oil from the treason charge.

Time, April 6, said Standard Oil had been smeared, said its treason "turned out to be strictly of the dinner-table variety," poked fun at Thurman Arnold's "horrific" charges, and tried to answer everyone of them. This was on page 16. On page 89 Time carried a $5,000 Standard Oil ad.

The New York Times, April 2, main editorial whitewashed Standard Oil. Reading it one can conclude either that the entire press which does not take advertising lied, or that the New York Times and Time, which live on the money which Standard Oil and other corporations give to them, are lying today.

The day after the Times whitewash Assistant Secretary of State A.A. Berle testified Standard Oil refused to stop fueling Nazi and Fascist airplanes in Brazil until the United States put enemy plane companies on a blacklist.

Standard Oil's Farish never denied he shipped oil to a Japanese navy which made possible the attack on Pearl Harbor and Japan's ability to resist the Anglo-American Navies today. He excused himself by saying that Standard Oil was "an international concern."

Standard Oil supplied Franco during the Spanish Fascist uprising. Standard Oil supplied Franco-Spain after 1939, National Maritime Union men giving testimony that oil went to Germany and Italy, for use against France and Britain.

Technically, Standard Oil was not committing treason then because the United States was not at war. This will be interesting news to the men on Bataan and the men in the United States Navy.

U.S. Cartridge Co. The facts about U.S. Cartridge were unearthed by the St. Louis Star-Times, one of the few brave crusading papers left in our country. (The Associated Press did not pick this story up and send it to its 1,200 subscribers, as it did the Akran Beacon-Journal Guadalcanal lie.)

Julius Klein and Ralph O'Leary, of the Star-Times, submitted their findings to the Office of Censorship, Washington, which made no objection to publication. The story is copyright. It says in part:

"Evidence indicating that thousands of defective cartridges manufactured at the St. Louis Ordnance Plant passed through plant inspection as good ammunition and might, unless stopped short of the war fronts, imperil the lives of United States fighters, has been obtained by the Star-Times through an independent investigation. ...

"The Star-Times has learned that picked agents of the F.B.I. for weeks have been making a sweeping investigation into complaints they too have received that defective shells are being passed through company inspection at the ammunition works.

"This plant, one of the largest small-arms ammunition factories in the world, is operated for the government by the U.S. Cartridge Co., subsidiary of the Western Cartridge Company of East Alton, Illinois. ...

"Evidence in possession of the Star-Times includes sworn statements by members of the U.S. Cartridge Co.'s inspection staff in the ordnance plant charging various types of imperfections in the cartridges produced there. The plant manufactures .50-caliber cartridges for machine guns and .30-caliber shells for rifles and machine guns. ... The charges of faulty ammunition in each instance involve company inspection and production and are not made against government inspection.

"Five company employees have given affidavits to the Star-Times charging manufacture of defective ammunition. ..."


It is not necessary here to explain the defects and the methods by which cartridges liable to explode within the rifle were passed. What is important is this: that the Department of Justice has taken up the case after an attempt to whitewash the corporation was made, according to a broadcast by Drew Pearson. Important also is this fact: no less than twelve persons, working men and women in the plant and inspectors who risked losing their jobs and livelihood, voluntarily came to the Star-Times office and signed sworn affidavits.

This is one of the thousands of proofs that the working men and women of our country place true patriotism above everything else, whereas many of our biggest corporations have been proven by United States investigations to place profits above patriotism.

U.S. Steel, Bethlehem Steel, etc. The main element needed for war is steel. A book could be written giving the documentary evidence of the sabotage of our war by our steel corporations. In case the reader does not have access to non-commercial newspapers, here are a few headlines indicating the nature of the story:

"SABOTAGE OF WAR PROGRAM CHARGED TO STEEL MAGNATES
"More Interested in Keeping Monopoly Than With Beating Axis, Senator O'Mahoney Declares"
-- Labor, July 7, 1942.

"TRUMAN ACCUSES STEEL COMPANIES OF 'SABOTAGE'
"Senator Black Charges That Big Corporations Hamstring Production"
-- PM, June 6, 1942.

"STEEL SHORTAGE SCANDAL INDICATED AS COMPANIES FIGHT EXPANSION"
-- Federated Press, October 17, 1941.

"BLAME FOR STEEL SHORTAGE PLACED ON TRUST DOORSTEP"
-- Labor, June 30, 1942.

"BIG STEEL CONCERNS REFUSE TO FILL UNCLE SAM'S ORDERS"
-- Labor, April 28, 1942.

Under the above heading the report is:

"It has become clear as the noonday sun that the vicious attack which has been made on the nation's workers in recent weeks was actually a red herring designed to divert attention from treasonable sabotage of the nation's war program by Big Business, which is being exposed by Congressional committees and defense agencies.

"Proof of that statement may reasonably be drawn from sensational and unbelievably shocking disclosures of a cold-blooded betrayal of national welfare by men whose only flag is the dollar sign. ... One of the most shameful chapters in our history.

"1. The Carnegie-Illinois Steel Corporation, subsidiary of U.S. Steel, and the Jones & Laughlin Steel Company were charged by the War Production Board with having refused to fill government armament orders while diverting iron and steel to favorite civilian customers for non-essential purposes. The result is that shipbuilding and other war construction have been held up.

"2. The President directed the Navy to take over three plants of the Brewster Aero Company, accused of sabotaging the aviation program. ...

"3. The United States faces a shortage of critical war materials because many outstanding industrial concerns have contracts with German monopolists restricting production here. ..."


General Electric. Senator Bone's Patents Investigation Committee heard testimony April 16, 1942, that until Pearl Harbor the General Electric Co. observed an agreement with the Krupp Co. of Essen, Germany, under which the Nazi trust was permitted to limit American use of a vital element in arms production. The man who admitted this was Dr. Zay Jeffries, head of W.P.B. metallurgy committee, chairman of General Electric's subsidiary, Carboloy Co. The vital element is known as Pantena, or carboloy, or cemented tungsten carbide, which is almost as hard as diamonds and used for machine tools.

Aluminum Corporation (Mellon-Davis-Duke families)."If America loses the war it can thank the Aluminum Corporation of America." -- Secretary of Interior Ickes, June 26, 1941. By its cartel agreement with I.G. Farben, controlled by Hitler, Alcoa sabotaged the aluminum program of the U.S. air force. The Truman Committee heard testimony that Alcoa's representative, A.H. Bunker, $1-a-year head of the aluminum section of O.P.M., prevented work on our $600,000,000 aluminum expansion program. Congressman Pierce of Oregon said in May, 1941: "To date, 137 days or 37-1/2% of a year's production has been wasted in the effort to protect Alcoa's monopolistic position. ... This delay, translated into planes, means 10,000 fighters or 1,665 bombers."

This, of course, is the answer to the boys on Guadalcanal and in Tunisia, and not absenteeism, the 48-hour week, or wage increases to meet the cost of living.

AUTOMOBILE INDUSTRY

The big three of the auto industry, General Motors, Chrysler and Ford, refused to convert to war production, refused to extend plants, refused to give up civilian production, insisted on government cash and business as usual, thus delaying war production of tanks, guns and planes, while labor offered excellent war plans.

The pro-auto magazine, United States News, which carries big ads and boosts corporations, nevertheless admitted: "Today, 20% of U.S. effort is devoted to defense, 80% to meeting civilian demands. ... Next year: armaments ... will average 30% ... leaving 70% for civilian demands." -- Dec. 12, 1941.

United Automobile Workers Union President Thomas testified before the Tolan Committee that "of 1,577 machine tools in thirty-four Detroit plants, 337 are idle ... not working more than 35% of capacity"; he urged coordination of unused equipment "... producing arms to frustrate Nazi designs for world domination." This was forty-seven days before Pearl Harbor. Autoworkers Secretary Addes on December 22 reported 64% machine tool idleness, "a crime against civilization and democracy in this critical hour." Very naturally Charles Coughlin's Social Justice, following the Nazi line, demanded that "the metropolitan dailies which have profited most from the automobile advertising dollar should campaign against the curtailment of production of American motor cars." (July 28, 1941.) Any shortage of guns and tanks is due to General Motors, Ford and Chrysler delay, not the autoworkers.

Ford. Delay in constructing Willow Run was due to management (and mismanagement), not labor. One of the major scandals was old man Henry Ford's decision to keep adequate workers' housing away from Willow Run -- he plans to tear down the place when the emergency is over and return the land to his dearly beloved squirrels. The newspaper announcements, that the assembly line for bombers at Willow Run was in full operation and planes were being turned out so many per day, were all fakes. It was not until mid-1943 that the Willow Run works began operating efficiently.

Tank Failure. Mismanagement was blamed by the C.I.O. United Autoworkers for the failure, up to May, 1943, of the General Motors Tank Arsenal at Los Angeles to produce any finished tanks, although many men worked at their jobs. The union was forced to file a brief against General Motors with the War Production Board; it disclosed, incidentally, that when Lieut.-Gen. Knudsen (former head of General Motors) made an official inspection of the Tank Arsenal, General Motors officials put on a fake show -- the old Potemkin village trick. They had the men install and remove the same tank treads fifty-seven times, likewise the motors, giving Knudsen the impression that fifty-seven tanks were being produced, instead of one.

On April 21 "Time Views the News" (WQXR, New York), admitted the fact, known in Army circles, that one of our major failures was the much-advertised tank known as the M-7. Production had been stopped, the news commentator announced, but he did not name the company making the M-7.

It was General Motors.

General Motors ads saying that the M-7 was a wonderful tank and was chasing the Japanese and the Italians and the Germans to perdition were still running in the newspapers when the War Department ordered them abandoned as being no good whatever.

As for the Army and Navy "E" pennants, the fact is that many of them are part of a racket, as Space & Time, advertising newsletter, first disclosed. Big advertising men in Washington arrange to award the Army and Navy pennants to war manufacturers who place advertisements in the right newspapers via the right advertising agents.

The Buick local of the C.I.O. believes the "E" pennant should be given for 100% cooperation between management and labor. General Motors, however, refused to recognize the Labor-Management Committee at the Buick plant, refused to permit the union a voice in deciding the merits of suggestions which labor supplies for increasing production, refused to comply with the W.L.B. order for maintenance of membership, refused to obey the law and pay women the same rates as men for the same work and, finally, refused to utilize fully for winning the war the machinery and manpower labor offered. Local 599 of the United Automobile Workers, Flint, Michigan, therefore refused to participate in the "E" pennant award ceremonies; they called them a fraud.

Image
THE LIES!, THE DENIAL! HERE'S HOW THEY PLAY UP THE TRUTH! -- AKRON BEACON JOURNAL, Thursday, January 21, 1943: Ship 'Strike" Ires Guadalcanal Fighters; NEW YORK JOURNAL AMERICAN, Friday, January 22, 1943: Union Crew on Holiday; Ill Marines Unload Ships; ORDER PROBE OF CIO SCANDAL IN GUADALCANAL; Probe Seamen's 'Strike' in Pacific; Marines Unload in CIO 'Holiday'; HOUSE INQUIRY BEGUN INTO CIO PACIFIC SCANDAL; LABOR CODDLING BLAMES FOR CIO SHIP SCANDAL; Denies Sailors Shirked: WASHINGTON, Jan. 29 (INS). -- The Navy Department made public a report of Admiral Halsey, in which the commander of U.S. forces in the South Pacific asserted merchant seamen have never failed to discharge cargo from vessels at Guadalcanal.

One of the great lies of this war and part of the newspaper campaign to smear labor -- while defending the corporations which produced defective war materials and robbed the nation. The Guadalcanal story was a fake; it originated in the Akron Beacon-Journal, was spread throughout the country by the Hearst press, and others.


TREASON IN THE SHIPS

When the history of what America did to rid the world of Fascism is written, one of the truly great pages will be that devoted to the maritime unions.

At the date of this writing they have given 4,500 lives to carrying the munitions of war across the Atlantic and Pacific to our own men, to Britain, China and Russia. They have suffered many wounded, and their list of torpedoed survivors is 12,000.

In proportion to the small number of men in this service the casualty list of the unions is many times as high as that in any service, not excepting aviation, tanks, or submarines.

On the other hand the shipowners and in several instances the ship construction companies and the ship lessees have committed crimes of profiteering tantamount to treason in wartime.

"An orgy of profiteering that staggers imagination" is how the I.L.W.U. Dispatcher reports the official revelations of war profiteering by the shipowners, made before the Congressional Merchant Marine subcommittee. James V. Hayes, general counsel, gave proof to the subcommitee that profits from a single trip of some vessels involved were enough to pay the entire book value of the ships many times over.

Eighty-one privately owned merchant ships made ninety trips to the Red Sea receiving charter hire of $21,364,880, it was testified. Profit was many times the cost price of these eighty-one ships. The American Export Line sent six ships on six trips. Profit was announced at $1,572,144; cost of ships was $232,350.

Two American Foreign Steamship Corp. ships worth $895,974 made a profit of $481,128 on two trips. Two American President Line, Ltd., ships worth $307,828 made $814,242 profit on three trips. Ten Luckenback ships valued at $1,426,857 made $8,879,729 on twelve trips. And so on.

Another report showed $26,874,176 profit on ninety trips. American Merchant Marine Institute lawyer J.J. Burns protested that the figures did not include overhead and depreciation of about $2,500,000 but that wouldn't change profiteering figures much.

Every labor union leader in America except John L. Lewis has plans to speed up victory. President Murray of the C.I.O., President Harry Bridges of the International Longshoremen's and Warehousemen's Union, President Joe Curran of the Maritime Union have presented the government complete detailed plans for helping victory. Says Bridges:

"If this war is to be won before millions of American and allied lives are wasted there has to be an integrated plan for shipping and a single, authoritative agency to administer it. The proper cargo has to be on the dock and properly sorted when a ship arrives. The required manpower has to be on hand and at the right place. The required number of seamen have to be ready to sail. The ship has to be dispatched to a port that can accommodate discharge of its cargo without delay. Provision has to be made for the skilled manpower to unload it at the foreign port. These things and a thousand others that need to be dovetailed require blueprinting of the highest order.

"Blueprinting isn't being done. Ships carry sand ballast to Africa and bring ballast back. Ships shop for low-fee piers. Ships wait at piers while somebody digs through red tape to find the heavy cargo that goes in first. Ships wait while prying agencies investigate seamen. Ships wait while longshore labor is being wasted at other piers.

"And ships carry booze and bananas, birdseed and artificial flowers while munitions pile up in warehouses. This space isn't long enough to begin a list of the delays and waste.

In peace time the shipowners have an incentive for meeting schedules. It is the way they hold their business. Today they have no incentive. The government guarantees them a profit and they suffer no penalty for failing to deliver the goods on time. Naturally, they favor their old customers and that is how toothpicks and wine get crowded into shipping space so vitally needed for war supplies.

"The big failure of the War Shipping Administration to date has been its lack of a centralized plan. It hasn't called in labor or permitted labor to participate in its policies. In fact, it has no policy to speak of.

"The time has come for a plan to make the whole shipping industry operate as one integrated unit, regardless of the sacrifice it may demand of labor and the owners."
admin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 30817
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am

Next

Return to Political Science

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests