February 24, 2012
We need to remember what we learned in the 1930s and ’40s! Born in 1928, I was there! At age 83, now a dozen years retired from working in Medical Physics (Radiation Therapy), I see the United States (we think with the best of intentions!) becoming the enemy of the whole world. (Glen Sandberg–Occupy Courts)
The German people were persuaded with mass-media propaganda that they were the MASTER RACE and they would conquer the world for everyone else’s benefit! Would-be aristocrats everywhere, including Britain, France, Norway, and the U.S. were glad to support them because they were all afraid of the RED MENACE, the people-power of the day.
“FASCISM should more appropriately be called CORPORATISM because it is a MERGER of State and Corporate Power.” ~ Benito Mussolini
“We must close union offices, confiscate their money and put their leaders in prison. We must reduce workers salaries and take away their right to strike.” ~Adolph Hitler, May 2, 1933
“When they came for the Jews, I did nothing, for I am not a Jew. When they came for the Socialists, I did nothing, for I am not a Socialist. When they came for the labor leaders, the homosexuals, the gypsies, I did nothing, for I am none of these, and when they came for me, I was alone, there was no one to stand up for me.” ~ Martin Niemoller, a Lutheran pastor from Nazi Germany.
“They (American Fascists) claim to be super-patriots, but they would destroy every liberty guaranteed by the Constitution. They demand free enterprise, but are the spokesmen for monopoly and vested interest. Their final objective toward which all their deceit is directed is to capture political power so that, using the power of the state and the power of the market simultaneously, they may keep the common man in eternal subjection.” ~ Franklin Delano Roosevelt
The anti-democratic nature of financial power is not news; our revolutionary founders revolted against the monopoly power of the British Crown Corporations.
“Sell not virtue to purchase wealth, nor liberty to purchase power.”
~ Benjamin Franklin – 1785
“Nothing could be more irrational than to give the people power, and to withhold from them information without which power is abused.”
~ James Madison
“Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must undergo the fatigue of supporting it.” ~ Thomas Paine
“What do we mean by the Revolution? The war? That was no part of the revolution; it was only an effect and consequence of it. The revolution was in the minds of the people, and this was effected from 1760 – 1775, in the course of fifteen years, before a drop of blood was shed at Lexington.” ~ John Adams, Letter to Thomas Jefferson, August 24, 1815
“I hope we shall… crush in its birth the aristocracy of our moneyed corporations, which dare already to challenge our government to a trial of strength and to bid defiance to the laws of our country.” ~ Thomas Jefferson, letter to George Logan November 12, 1816
” If the American people ever allow private banks to control issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and the corporations will grow up around them, will deprive the people of all property until their children wake up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered. The issuing power should be taken from the banks and restored to the people, to whom it properly belongs.” ~ Thomas Jefferson.
“I hold it, that a little rebellion, now and then, is a good thing, and as necessary in the political world as storms in the physical.” ~Thomas Jefferson
And the conflict between Investment-for-Profit and Power to the People has been with us throughout history.
“The money powers prey upon the nation in times of peace, and conspire against it in times of adversity. The banking powers are more despotic than a monarchy, more insolent than autocracy, more selfish than bureaucracy. They denounce as public enemies, all who question their methods or throw light upon their crimes.” ~ Abraham Lincoln
“I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country…corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until all wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the Republic is destroyed. I feel at this moment more anxiety for the safety of my country than ever before, even in the midst of war.” ~ Abraham Lincoln, letter to Col. William F. Elkins, Nov. 21, 1864
“We stand equally against government by a plutocracy and government by a mob. There is something to be said for government by a great aristocracy which has furnished leaders to the nation in peace and war for generations; even a democrat like myself must admit this. But there is absolutely nothing to be said for government by a plutocracy, for government by men very powerful in certain lines and gifted with “the money touch,” but with ideals which in their essence are merely those of so many glorified pawnbrokers.” ~Teddy Roosevelt, 1913
“Congress is not preparing to defend the people of the United States. It is planning to protect the capital of American speculators and investors…. Incidentally this preparation will benefit the manufacturers of munitions and war machines…. Strike against war, for without you no battles can be fought! Strike against manufacturing shrapnel and gas bombs and all other tools of murder! Strike against preparedness that means death and misery to millions of human beings! Be not dumb, obedient slaves in an army of destruction! Be heroes in an army of construction!” ~ Helen Keller at Carnegie Hall January 5, 1916
“The real truth of the matter is, as you and I know, that a financial element in the larger centers has owned the Government ever since the days of Andrew Jackson.” ~FDR, Letter to Col. Edward Mandell House, November 21, 1933
“Unhappy events abroad have retaught us two simple truths about the liberty of a democratic people. The first truth is that the liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerate the growth of private power to a point where it becomes stronger than their democratic State itself. That, in its essence, is fascism — ownership of government by an individual, by a group or by any other controlling private power. The second truth is that the liberty of a democracy is not safe if its business system does not provide employment and produce and distribute goods in such a way as to sustain an acceptable standard of living. Both lessons hit home. Among us today a concentration of private power without equal in history is growing.” ~Franklin Delano Roosevelt, 1937
This speech by FDR in 1936 shows how a strong, effective president dealt with these corporate fascist forces within. And he didn’t just talk about these things; he did them!
What’s different today is the overwhelming power of the commercial media. In the 1930s Motion Pictures and Radio were new and expensive; industrialists and financiers used them to put the NAZIs in power, to do their dirty work, and they didn’t know, or didn’t care, what they were getting. Today several generations have been immersed in the cultural ambiance of Television, run by professional propagandists whose job is to bend public opinion for the benefit of their owners and sponsors. They know what they can get away with – make it sound plausible, and attributed to a higher authority, and repeated, and people will believe their lies. So we get perpetual war in the name of democracy! And an unsustainable fossil fuel dependence, and a dead-end, depressed, low-wage economy while short-term corporate profits were never higher!
But there’s hope! With the economy of digital communication everyone has access to information, and the world has shrunk to milliseconds! We can make everyone our enemy, but war is obsolete. Insurgencies will go on forever thanks to our own revolutionary founders who showed that self-government is possible.
The world, and the American people, can wake up and see their way to a real Populist revival. And a cultural renaissance that does not depend on unsustainable consumption.
Glen Sandberg <firstname.lastname@example.org>