Category Archives: World War Two

Savior of Capitalism

Roosevelt’s New Deal brought an array of acronyms for new government agencies to the attention of the American public:  NRA, WPA, CCC, TVA et al. The only one absent was capitalism’s SOS.

There is no doubting that many of the projects initiated by the New Deal were indeed beneficial to America’s infrastructure and were a success. It was said that the capitalists had acquired a social conscience. Roosevelt’s election was engineered by a group of individuals whose economic interests required urgent governmental aid. The Crash of 1929 was so devastating that it left the capitalists traumatized. Their profit system was shaken to its core. They looked desperately around for any solution to get the system functioning again. Roosevelt was selected to lead America out of economic chaos. Private capital could hardly finance the costs involved and thus the New Deal passed a wide range of new laws the country had ever seen. These included certain measures that resembled corporatism of fascist Italy, but they also included social-welfare legislation that enabled some critics to denounce the New Deal as a socialist plot. Others claimed for FDR the foundation of the welfare state, ignoring that it actually emerged in the 19th Century from Germany’s “Iron Chancellor”, Otto von Bismarck.

Today we have many liberals and progressives who wish to revive the idea of the New Deal, judging it to have been a success in the past, believing Roosevelt did end the Great Depression. That is simply not true.  His policies did not work and it is particularly apparent by a study of the rich treasure trove of contemporary sources available using the Marxist Internet Archive. Yet there still exists a strong sentiment who see in Sanders and Biden the spirit of Roosevelt. The New Deal legislation was neither radical nor particularly liberal. It was only an example of the fact that United States capitalism had finally reached the level of European capitalism which had supported social security schemes for decades.

It was the coming of war that revived production demand and restored profits to business. On the eve of war the United States was in a state of economic stagnation. Unemployment fell because American economy started to prepare for war. From 1933 into 1937, unemployment did fall, from 15 million to under eight. Then came the 1937 slump. Despite all those governmental projects the new depression could not be prevented. Suddenly, the unemployment figures rose to eleven million. It did drop a little in 1938.  It dropped but only to rise once more to 11.5 millions. And it remained around 11 million until war broke out in Europe. For most of 1940 it stayed above 10 million. It did not drop below that level until production had started for the United States’ own war production.

So how successful was the New Deal? Unemployment in America was 24.1 percent in 1932, the year when Roosevelt became President, and 25.2 percent in 1933. By 1937 it was down to 14.3 percent, though it rose again in 1938 to 19.1 percent. The New Deal was to be so much more than putting unemployed labor on relief or into work camps. It was to salvage capitalism and create a recovery. It failed. War turned America into the lucrative “arsenal of democracy.” With war looming, Roosevelt’s New Deal had a new purpose. In October of 1937, FDR announced, “Steer toward the coming war and make all preparations accordingly.”

The national income per capita in 1938 was only 76 percent of that in 1929 because there was another economic slump in 1937 which caused the industrial index to plunge.  The 1937 depression was halted and reversed, not by any normal upswing of the economic cycle, but by the speeding up of war preparations not only in America but throughout the world. It was not until the US entered the Second World War four years later that the slump finally came to an end.

At the end of 1935, the President announced that he was going to  drastically reduce the relief program in order “to restore business confidence.” In early 1936, he submitted a budget to Congress which called for cutting-in-half the total expenditures for relief. The drive to cut relief appropriations continued throughout 1936 and 1937. It was momentarily stopped by an economic down-swing in the late fall of 1937. A temporary rise in relief funds was voted in early 1938, but the slightest sign of recovery later in the year, led to further administration-sponsored relief cuts. Even before the effect of defense spending was felt in late 1939 and early 1940, the relief budget had been slashed from two-and-a-half billion dollars for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1938 to one-and-three-quarter- billion dollars for the year ending June 30, 1939.

The New Deal federal spending was largely limited to projects which did not compete with private enterprise. This meant building roads, schools, hospitals, etc. which after completion had to be maintained by the local governments. But the latter, with their limited means of taxation, found it increasingly difficult to maintain the completed projects turned over to them. They were already cutting back on their education, highway and welfare budgets. For example, in 1938 the WPA revealed that Philadelphia was refusing to accept projects which would put forty thousand men to work immediately. Other cities followed suit. Continuation of government spending on peacetime projects would have had to move increasingly into areas where it would compete with private industry. But this would come up against resistance from the capitalists. 

The Civil Conservation Corps (CCC) came into being to put the 18-to-25 year-old men into labor camps and in exchange for room, board, and some pocket money, they were put to work planting trees, building roads, tracks, and dams. Although the CCC form of relief was the most expensive, it was the only one that found general approval, for as its director, Robert Fechner, pointed out in 1938:  “The 2,300,000 youths trained in CCC camps since its inception in March 1933, were about 85 percent prepared for military life and could be turned into first-class fighting men at almost an instant’s notice.”

Relief there had been, but little more than to keep the population looked after at subsistence levels. Reform there had been, but the great problems of the country had hardly been touched. It was not the redistributive policies of the New Deal that had ended the slump of the 1930s.

Certainly, FDR did not plan for the European war to break out and America’s eventual entry, but it was those events that brought a halt to the capitalist depression which the New Deal policies had failed to end. And it was the consequent post-war economic boom of the re-construction of the destruction which helped to prolong the 1950’s period of economic prosperity. But once accomplished, eventually the series of capitalist recessions resumed.

At the core of Marx’s ideas is that capitalism is inflicted with inherent economic contradictions which mean recurring recessions. And regardless of whether the policies are Keynesian or Neo-liberalism, those are unavoidable. Temporary respite may be possible but in the end capitalism’s instability prevails. Socialists accept Marx and his understanding that economic periodic crises cannot be prevented, only perhaps, on some occasions, temporarily postponed or shortened or even exacerbated by some government interventions.

The Great Depression forced the American capitalists and their politicians to try out new ways to improve the profits of capital and reduce the costs as much as possible. The depression obliged the federal government to intercede to a greater extent than before with the nation’s business activities. It had to deny some capitalists in order to serve others. It had to pressure reluctant sections of industry into accepting the general plan so as to bring about an overall improvement of conditions. Roosevelt had to sacrifice the interests of some capitalists in order to satisfy the rest of capitalist society. To carry through such a course of action it was deemed necessary to appeal for mass support of the population to enforce the government’s will against stubborn opposition from some capitalists. Peaceful class relations would be the main prerequisite, a pacified workers’ movement. In order to get the workers and the unions behind it, Roosevelt flattered them with honeyed words. He appealed to their patriotism and for national unity. He offered palliatives to their problems.

For instance, the Farm Credit Administration allowed farmers loans at low interest to pay off their existing mortgages. Yet this Act had no benefits for the thirteen million people in tenant farm families or the three million in share-cropping families. The Act only helped the owners of land. In fact, it brought about a greater concentration of ownership and reduced many of the tenant farmers to mere wage-labourers.

We are not faulting FDR for following his class interests for we fully expect politicians of pro-capitalist political parties to represent their masters, even if they do couch it in conciliatory tones. FDR was attempting to save capitalism and divert workers from a socialist revolution. He managed to convince labor union leaders to soften their demands with his sophistry.

Learn from history. Don’t go repeating its mistakes because of the colored perspective of today’s bourgeois economists and the romantic nostalgia of politicians. The New Deal was no harbinger of a new social order. Victory in 1945 meant that the American capitalist class could now afford to end the concept of any New Deal. Corporations were bloated with war profits and were more powerful than ever before. Henry Wallace, Roosevelt’s earlier Vice-President, a New Dealer candidate, was resoundingly beaten in the post-war election.

The main illusion of the modern-day New Dealers is their misunderstanding that any capitalist party or pro-capitalist politicians, or any capitalist government, can operate on behalf of the working people. They are all, in their own way, servants of boss class regardless of how left-wing they may sound in their speeches.

As the Workers Socialist Party of the United States (now the World Socialist Party) explained at the time in 1934:

…The Socialist does not say that the trends of capitalism cannot be hastened or slowed down by legislative measures, but he does emphatically declare that such modifications are slight and that the general problems of the system can neither be overcome nor circumvented by such methods…One thing can certainly be said of future developments — that, whatever they may bring, the workers will continue to get the worst of the bargain until they cease to be deluded by the red herring of reform, by attempts to patch up capitalism, and until they unite for the only program that can solve their problems — the abolition of the whole rotten system itself and the establishment of Socialism.

• Images by 1930’s cartoonist, Carlo, from Marxist Internet Archive

The post Savior of Capitalism first appeared on Dissident Voice.

America’s “Good” Wars

Germany

On December 11, 1941, four days after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Germany declared war on the United States.

Even within the most avowed Leftist anti-war activist there exists a belief that the Second World War was fully justified in stopping Hitler’s Nazis. They claim it was a just war for freedom and to halt the Holocaust. The position of the World Socialist Party was that we considered it little different from any other war for capitalist interests and as such deserving our condemnation and opposition. Over the years ample evidence has been produced vindicating the stance taken by the WSPUS although not widely disseminated by the media or academia. In recent years America has been engaged in a number of unpopular military conflicts, Vietnam and Iraq being just two, and those wars are compared to America’s archetypal “just war,” World War II, in which Good Ol’ Uncle Sam supposedly went to war for no other reason than to fight dictatorship and injustice.

The reality was that for the United States the war in Europe and then its own entry provided the capitalist class with magnificent booty. It was not because Roosevelt’s New Deal that the Great Depression ended but by the literal blood sacrifice of workers. The usual manner of correcting economic slumps is through wide-spread unemployment that lowers wages, causes bankruptcies of the less competitive companies, and facilitates the take-over of devalued plant and equipment by larger corporations. This reorganization of capitalist production on the basis of cheaper labor and cheaper materials all around, allows the surviving, enlarged and more “efficient” capitalists to renew production at rates of profit, productivity and growth even greater than before the downward dive in the “business cycle.” Prior to the “war effort,” this process was underway but had not gotten the economy going again. However, the riches plundered in times of war—the take-over and re-organization of conquered nations’ entire material wealth, equipment, cheap labor, factories, and infrastructure—are vastly more profitable than is the process of domestic bankruptcies and economic rebuilding at home.

As FDR said, the model he followed had already been proven effective in Communist Russia, Fascist Italy, and Nazi Germany under those “command economies”. Throughout the 1930’s and prior to US entry into World War Two, American corporations largely increased production in Nazi Germany. Coca-Cola, GM, Ford, Standard Oil of NJ/Exxon, Du Pont, Union Carbide, Westinghouse, General Electric, Goodrich, Stinger, Eastman Kodak, IBM, ITT, and several other Capitalist enterprises expanded their operations in Germany, becoming extremely profitable thanks to the economic boom caused by Hitler’s rearmament program. Other US corporations invested hundreds of millions of dollars in fascist Italy. American law firms, investment companies, and banks were also actively and profitably involved in America’s investment expansion in fascist countries, among them the banks J. P. Morgan and Dillon, Read and Co., as well as the renowned Wall Street law firm Sullivan & Cromwell.

Coca-Cola’s German subsidiary, for example, increased its sales from 243,000 cases in 1934 to 4.5 million cases by 1939. This success had a lot to do with the fact that, as the Hitler-admiring and -imitating national manager Max Keith explained, the caffeinated soft drink revealed itself to be a functional alternative to beer as a refreshment for Germany’s workers, who were being driven ‘to work harder [and] faster.’ In Hitler’s Third Reich, where labour unions and working-class political parties had been banned, the workers “were little more than serfs forbidden not only to strike, but to change jobs,’ and their wages ‘were deliberately set quite low.” Hence the higher profits in general for all American capitalists in Germany. IBM’s hugely profitable German subsidiary supplied the Nazi’s with the new technology necessary to automate production as well as to identify and track Jews. When in 1939 war in Europe came it provided further new opportunities for the American capitalist class to profit through production and sale of armaments and military equipment for the warring nations. Programs FDR set up to finance the purchase of American weapons and ammunition by the cash-strapped British provided London with virtually unlimited credits. In fact, American workers paid off much of the resulting accumulated national debt by means of direct and indirect regressive taxes such as the ”Victory Tax.” Again, the Capitalists pulled in huge “publicly financed” profits, while low-income workers paid the price through reduction of their personal consumption (remember “Spam”), and reduction of their war-taxed real income.

America’s ruling class was divided with respect to the handling of foreign affairs. In the 1930s, the US military had no plans, and did not prepare plans, to fight a war against Nazi Germany. On the other hand, they did have plans for war against Great Britain, Canada, Mexico – and Japan. As late as the 1930s, the US military still had plans for war against Britain and an invasion of the Canadian Dominion, the latter including plans for the bombing of cities and the use of poison gas.

The owners and top managers of many American corporations – including Ford, General Motors, IBM, ITT, and Rockefeller’s Standard Oil of New Jersey, now known as Exxon – liked Hitler a lot; one of them – William Knudsen of General Motors – even glorified the German Führer as “the miracle of the 20th century.” The reason: in preparation for war, the Führer had been arming Germany to the teeth, and the numerous German branch plants of US corporations had profited handsomely from that country’s “armament boom” by producing trucks, tanks and planes in sites such as GM’s Opel factory in Rüsselsheim and Ford’s big plant in Cologne, the Ford-Werke; and the likes of Exxon and Texaco had been making plenty of money by supplying the fuel Hitler’s panzers would need to roll all the way to Warsaw in 1939, to Paris in 1940, and (almost) to Moscow in 1941. No wonder the managers and owners of these corporations helped to celebrate Germany’s victories against Poland and France at a big party in the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York on June 26, 1940!

America’s “captains of industry” like Henry Ford also appreciated the way Hitler repressed the German unions, outlawing the Communist and Social Democratic Parties, and imprisoning their members. Dachau, Germany’s first concentration camp, was set up in 1933 to cage political prisoners. The American right-wing  wished they could mete out the same kind of treatment to America’s own union leaders and “reds,” still numerous and influential in the 1930s and early 1940s.

American companies eagerly took advantage of Hitler’s dismemberment of workers organisations’ and cut labour costs drastically. In Nazi Germany, real wages indeed declined rapidly, while profits increased correspondingly, but there were no labour problems worth mentioning, for any attempt to organize a strike immediately triggered an armed response by the Gestapo, resulting in arrests and dismissals. The Ford-Werke, for example, reduced labour costs from fifteen percent of business volume in 1933 to only eleven per cent in 1938. GM’s Opel factory in Rüsselsheim near Mainz fared even better. Its share of the German automobile market grew from 35 per cent in 1933 to more than 50 per cent in 1935, and the GM subsidiary, which had lost money in the early 1930s, became extremely profitable thanks to the economic boom caused by Hitler’s rearmament program. The chairman of GM, Alfred P. Sloan, publicly justified doing business in Hitler’s Germany by pointing to the highly profitable nature of GM’s operations under the Third Reich. IBM’s German subsidiary, Dehomag, provided the Nazis with the punch-card machine — forerunner of the computer — required to automate production in the country, and in doing so IBM-Germany made plenty of money. In 1933, the year Hitler came to power, Dehomag made a profit of one million dollars, and during the early Hitler years the German branch plant paid IBM in the US some 4.5 million dollars in dividends. By 1938, still in “full Depression”, annual earnings were about 2.3 million ReichMarks, a 16 per cent return on net assets. In 1939 Dehomag’s profits increased spectacularly again to about four million RM. Texaco profited greatly from sales to Nazi Germany, and not surprisingly its chairman, Torkild Rieber, became yet another powerful American entrepreneur who admired Hitler. A member of the German secret service reported that he was “absolutely pro-German” and “a sincere admirer of the Führer.” Rieber also became a personal friend of Göring. Texaco helped the Nazis stockpile fuel. In addition, as the war in Europe got underway, large quantities of diesel fuel, lubricating oil, and other petroleum products were shipped to Germany not only by Texaco but also by Standard Oil, mostly via Spanish ports. (The German Navy, incidentally, was provided with fuel by the Texas oilman William Rhodes Davis.) In the 1930s Standard Oil had helped IG Farben develop synthetic fuel as an alternative to regular oil, of which Germany had to import every single drop.

The last thing those men wanted was for Roosevelt to involve the US in the war on the side of Germany’s enemies. They were “isolationists” (or “non-interventionists”) and so, in the summer of 1940, was the majority of the American public: a Gallup Poll, taken in September 1940, showed that 88 percent of Americans wanted to stay out of the war that was raging in Europe. Not surprisingly, then, there was no sign whatsoever that Roosevelt might want to restrict trade with Germany, let alone embark on an anti-Hitler crusade. In fact, during the presidential election campaign in the fall 1940, he solemnly promised that “[our] boys are not going to be sent into any foreign wars.”

That Hitler has crushed France and other democratic countries was of no concern to the US corporate types who did business with Hitler; in fact, they felt that Europe’s future belonged to fascism, especially Germany’s variety of fascism, Nazism, rather than to democracy. The chairman of General Motors, Alfred P. Sloan, declared at that time that it was a good thing that in Europe the democracies were giving way “to an alternative [i.e. fascist] system with strong, intelligent, and aggressive leaders who made the people work longer and harder and who had the instinct of gangsters – all of them good qualities”.

While many big corporations were engaged in profitable business with Nazi Germany, others happened to be making plenty of profit by doing business with Great Britain.  Britain was desperately in need of all sorts of equipment to continue its struggle against Nazi Germany, and needed to purchase much of it in the US, but was unable to make the cash payments required by America’s existing “Cash-and-Carry” legislation. However, Roosevelt made it possible for US corporations to take advantage of this enormous “window of opportunity” when, on March 11, 1941, he introduced his famous Lend-Lease program, providing Britain with virtually unlimited credit to purchase trucks, planes, and other martial hardware in the US. The Lend-Lease exports to Britain were to generate windfall profits, not only on account of the huge volume of business involved but also because these exports featured inflated prices and fraudulent practices such as double billing.

A segment of Corporate America thus began to sympathize with Great Britain. Some started to favour a US entry into the war on the side of the British; they became known as the “interventionists.” Of course, many, if not most, big American corporations made money through business with both Nazi Germany and Britain and, as the Roosevelt administration itself was henceforth preparing for possible war, multiplying military expenditures and ordering all sorts of equipment, they also started to make more and more money by supplying America’s own armed forces with all sorts of martial material.

But one thing that all the capitalists in the United States could agree on, regardless of where their sympathies and interests lay was this: the war in Europe was wonderful for business. They also agreed that the longer this war lasted, the better it would be for all of them. Corporate America neither wanted Hitler to lose this war nor to win it. With the exception of the most fervent pro-British interventionists, they further agreed that there was no pressing need for the US to become actively involved in this war, and certainly not to go to war against Germany. Most hoped that the war in Europe would drag on as long as possible, so that the big corporations could continue to profit from supplying equipment to the Germans, the British and to America herself. Henry Ford thus “expressed the hope that neither the Allies nor the Axis would win [the war],” and suggested that the United States should supply both sides with “the tools to keep on fighting until they both collapse.” Ford practised what he preached, and arranged for his factories in the US, in Britain, in Germany, and in occupied France to crank out equipment for all belligerents.The war may have been hell for most people, but for American capitalists such as Henry Ford it was heaven. Ford-France, for example — not a flourishing firm before the war — became very profitable after 1940 thanks to its unconditional collaboration with the Germans; in 1941 it registered earnings of 58 million francs. Ford’s subsidiary in France used its profits in 1941 to build a tank factory in Oran, Algeria; this plant allegedly provided Rommel’s Africa Corps with the hardware needed to advance all the way to El Alamein.

It cannot be denied that on account of Lend-Lease exports to Britain, relations between America and Germany were definitely deteriorating, and a series of incidents between German submarines and US Navy destroyers escorting freighters bound for Britain lead to a crisis that has become known as the “undeclared naval war.” But even that episode did not lead to active American involvement in the war in Europe. America was profiting handsomely from the status quo, and was simply not interested in a crusade against Nazi Germany. Although the Japanese  attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 wasn’t such a big surprise,  a few days later, on December 11, Hitler declared war on the United States and that was completely unexpected. Germany had nothing to do with the attack in Hawaii and had not even been aware of the Japanese plans, so FDR did not consider asking Congress to declare war on Nazi Germany at the same time as Japan. Why declare war on America? Thwarted in the Eastern Front Hitler anticipated that a German declaration of war on the American enemy of his Japanese friends, even though not required under the terms of the Tripartite Treaty, (under the terms of the Tripartite Treaty Japan, Germany, and Italy undertook to assist each other when one of the three contracting powers was attacked by another country, but not when one of them attacked another country) would induce Tokyo to reciprocate with a declaration of war on the Soviet enemy of Germany. Japan had already previously invaded the Soviet Union and been repulsed but the bulk of its army was stationed in northern China. Hitler wanted to draw the Russians into a two-front war. The Japanese, however, proved less accommodating to Hitler’s grand plans. The US did not voluntarily go to war against Germany, but were forced into that war because of Hitler’s own actions. Humanitarian considerations played no role whatsoever in the decision which led to America’s participation in World War II against Germany.

Japan

Ask most Americans why the United States got into World War II, and they will talk about Pearl Harbor. December 7, 1941. Ask why the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor and many Americans will struggle for an answer, perhaps suggesting that the Japanese people were aggressive militarists who wanted to take over the world. Ask if the United States provoked the Japanese, and they will probably say that the Americans did nothing: we were just minding our own business when those crazy Japanese, completely without justification, mounted a sneak attack, catching us totally by surprise at Pearl Harbour. Don’t bother to ask the typical American what U.S. economic warfare had to do with provoking the Japanese to mount their attack, because they simply won’t know.

In the 1930s the US, as one of the world’s leading industrial powers, was constantly looking out for sources of inexpensive raw materials such as rubber and oil, as well as for markets for its finished products. Already at the end of the nineteenth century, America had consistently pursued its interests in this respect by extending its economic and sometimes even direct political influence across oceans and continents. This aggressive, “imperialist” policy – pursued ruthlessly by presidents such as Theodore Roosevelt, a cousin of FDR – had led to American control over former Spanish colonies such as Puerto Rico, Cuba, and the Philippines, and also over the hitherto independent island nation of Hawaii.  America had thus also developed into a major power in the Pacific Ocean and in the Far East.

However, the US faced the competition there of an aggressive rival industrial power, one that was even more needy for oil and similar raw materials, and also for markets for its finished products. That competitor was Japan which sought to realize its own imperialist ambitions in China and in resource-rich Southeast Asia and, like the US, did not hesitate to use violence in the process, for example, waging ruthless war on China. Japan, as an expanding industrial nation, required access to raw materials and energy. In the Great Depression, as trade dried up and unemployment grew, an ultra-nationalist clique within the Japanese military sought to secure the markets and raw materials Japan so desperately wanted. For a time there were two competing strategies to capture oil: the Strike North route to acquire the USSR’s and the Strike South route to capture the Dutch East Indies, one being mainly land-based and army-dominated, the other mostly naval. 1938 saw the defeat of an attempted Japanese invasion of the USSR, (which brought General Zhukov to prominence). Therefore Japanese diplomacy became centred upon the views of the naval commanders.

What bothered the United States was not how the Japanese treated the Chinese or Koreans but that the Japanese intention was to turn that part of the world into what they called the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere; i.e., an exclusive economic zone with no room for the American to trade (albeit Japan was prepared to make major concessions, such as “sharing” China with the US.) America was to be squeezed out of the lucrative Far Eastern market. By the summer of 1941, Japan had further increased its zone of influence in the Far East; e.g., by occupying the rubber-rich French colony of Indochina and, desperate above all for oil, was obviously vying to occupy the oil-rich Dutch East Indies. The American capitalist class was virtually unanimous in favour of a war against Japan but public opinion was strongly against American involvement in any foreign war. Roosevelt’s solution was to provoke Japan into an overt act of war against the United States to rally behind the Stars and Stripes. FDR’s Secretary of War Henry Stimson’s noted: “The question was how we should maneuver them [the Japanese] into … firing the first shot without allowing too much danger to ourselves.”  In 1939 the United States terminated the 1911 commercial treaty with Japan. July 2, 1940, Roosevelt signed the Export Control Act, authorizing the President to license or prohibit the export of essential defense materials. Under this authority,  exports of aviation motor fuels and lubricants were restricted. The  Roosevelt administration froze all Japanese assets in the United States. In collaboration with the British and the Dutch, the US imposed severe economic sanctions on Japan, including an embargo on vital oil products and steel. Washington demanded Japan’s withdrawal from China. Roosevelt obligingly arranged for such a war, not because of Tokyo’s unprovoked aggression and horrible war crimes in China, but because American corporations wanted a share of the luscious big “pie” of Far Eastern resources and markets.

Japan was certainly not averse to attacking others and had been busy creating an Asian empire. And the United States and Japan were certainly not living in harmonious friendship. But what could bring the Japanese to launch an attack on America? Foreign Minister Teijiro Toyoda in a communication to Ambassador Kichisaburo Nomura on July 31: 

Commercial and economic relations between Japan and third countries, led by England and the United States, are gradually becoming so horribly strained that we cannot endure it much longer. Consequently, our Empire, to save its very life, must take measures to secure the raw materials of the South Seas.

PM Konoe set about arranging a meeting with Roosevelt in a last ditch attempt to restore trade relations and avoid war in the Pacific. While FDR initially welcomed Konoe’s planned visit, his inner circle, as they had for decades, viewed Japan as untrustworthy and vulnerable, and steadfastly opposed the idea of a Pacific summit. Hull, Hornbeck, Stimson and others shared the view of senior military officials that a successful summit could have disastrous consequences for America’s strategic position in Asia. A negotiated end to the war in China and the prompt withdrawal of Japanese forces would be the core of any agreement and this, military officials argued, America must avoid. In October 1941, Hayes Kroner, chief of the British Empire Section for the War Department General Staff, informed Army Chief of Staff George C. Marshall, as follows “At this stage in the execution of our national strategic plan, cessation of hostilities in China…would be highly detrimental to our interests.” By early November, Tojo and Togo overcame substantial cabinet opposition to continued negotiations and won approval for talks based on two proposal. In Proposal “A” Tokyo pledged to immediately withdraw forces from Indochina, remove troops from all of China except Hainan Islans and the far north and respect the Open Door. Japan also agreed to not automatically support Berlin in the event of a German-American war. Proposal “B” sought only a limited agreement in which Japan pledged to refrain from further offensive operations in return for normalized trade relations and a US promise not to take such actions as may hinder efforts for peace by both Japan and China.

When President Franklin Roosevelt visited Pearl Harbor on July 28, 1934, seven years before the Japanese attack, the Japanese military expressed apprehension. General Kunishiga Tanaka wrote in the Japan Advertiser, objecting to the build-up of the American fleet in Hawaii and the creation of additional bases in Alaska and the Aleutian Islands. “It makes us think a major disturbance is purposely being encouraged in the Pacific.” In March 1935, Roosevelt gave Pan Am Airways a permit to build runways on Wake Island, Midway Island, and Guam. Japanese military commanders announced that they were disturbed and viewed these runways as a threat. The U.S. Navy spent the next few years working up plans for war with Japan, the March 8, 1939, version of which described “an offensive war of long duration” that would destroy the military and disrupt the economic life of Japan.

As early as 1932 the United States had been talking with China about providing airplanes, pilots, and training for its war with Japan. In November 1940, Roosevelt loaned China one hundred million dollars for war with Japan, and after consulting with the British, U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Henry Morgenthau made plans to send the Chinese bombers with U.S. crews to use in bombing Tokyo and other Japanese cities. On December 21, 1940, two weeks shy of a year before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, China’s Minister of Finance T.V. Soong and Colonel Claire Chennault, a retired U.S. Army flier who was working for the Chinese and had been urging them to use American pilots to bomb Tokyo since at least 1937, met in Henry Morgenthau’s dining room to plan the firebombing of Japan. Morgenthau said he could get men released from duty in the U.S. Army Air Corps if the Chinese could pay them $1,000 per month. Soong agreed. On May 24, 1941, the New York Times reported on U.S. training of the Chinese air force, and the provision of “numerous fighting and bombing planes” to China by the United States. “Bombing of Japanese Cities is Expected” read the sub-headline. By July, the Joint Army-Navy Board had approved a plan called JB 355 to firebomb Japan. A front corporation would buy American planes to be flown by American volunteers trained. Roosevelt approved, and his China expert Lauchlin Currie, in the words of Nicholson Baker, “wired Madame Chaing Kai-Shek and Claire Chennault a letter that fairly begged for interception by Japanese spies.” Whether or not that was the entire point, this was the letter: “I am very happy to be able to report today the President directed that sixty-six bombers be made available to China this year with twenty-four to be delivered immediately. He also approved a Chinese pilot training program here. Details through normal channels. Warm regards.”

In the eyes of the Japanese press they were being corralled:  “First there was the creation of a superbase at Singapore, heavily reinforced by British and Empire troops. From this hub a great wheel was built up and linked with American bases to form a great ring sweeping in a great area southwards and westwards from the Philippines through Malaya and Burma…” 

On November 15th, Army Chief of Staff George Marshall briefed the media on something we do not remember as “the Marshall Plan.” In fact, we don’t remember it at all. “We are preparing an offensive war against Japan,” Marshall said.

The idea that it was a defensive war because an innocent imperial outpost in the middle of the Pacific was attacked out of the clear blue sky is a myth that deserves to be buried.

Conclusion

There is no such thing as an ideal foreign policy. In international politics there is no policy which will suit all times and all circumstances. There is none which can be carried out to give a guarantee of enduring peace. After every outbreak of war historians and journalists look back to this or that turning point, and say that if only a certain government had acted differently, with more foresight, the war would not have happened. This kind of reasoning rests on assumptions that are not justified. It assumes that a government is a free agent, able to follow any policy that the international situation may seem to call for. It ignores the forces behind the government which determine the government’s attitude and limit its freedom of action; the electorates that have to be considered, but more importantly commercial, industrial and financial groups whose demands on foreign policy are coloured by their trading and other interests, such as the so-called “isolationists” versus the “interventionists” in American relations. The view taken by the “wise-after-the-event” historians assumes, too, that if one government gave a certain lead in international affairs other governments would react in a simple practicable way, determined either by fear of opposing a strong group of super-powers or by mutual desire to maintain world peace. Another problem is also that political leaders all too often ignore their own intelligence reports when they don’t fit with their political goals. Those goals reflect ideological and electoral concerns such as the need to appear to be acting in strong and determined ways – to be more assertive protectors of “freedom” than their competitors in the opposition party. This works to make presidents and prime ministers prone to opportunism and short-sightedness.

Capitalism forces all governments to compete in the world market and to strive for aims which cannot be satisfied. The rivalry between Japan and the US was unavoidable. In order to solve the insoluble problems of its own industries and financial organisations every nation, great or small, is demanding something which the other nations cannot afford to yield. And the whole problem is complicated by the sectional interests within each country, each trying to influence foreign policy. Alongside all this is the fact that the propertied class in all countries fears “subversive” influences and leans towards other governments which look like firm bulwarks for the defence of property; hence the readiness of influential circles in Britain and America to make an accommodation with the Nazis.

Those who talk as if the only problem of the British government was to prevent the German capitalists from re-establishing German power, also forget that in the 1920s the problem appeared to be that of preventing the French capitalists from dominating Europe and the Mediterranean. The policy of helping to re-establish Germany was at that time supported by British and American business interests, whose markets were in Germany and by bankers who had loaned millions of pounds to Germany. For American capitalists the British Empire was also a perceived threat, not Germany (even in 1923 the Scottish radical John McLean anticipated an Anglo-American war, “The war with America is rapidly rushing upon us”.)

When the Stalin-Hitler Pact was signed the Socialist Party pointed out at the time  “it seems certain that now Russia and Germany are neighbours, both intent on dominating Eastern Europe and the Balkans, they will find each other dangerous friends, liable to turn into enemies at any moment.”  and by 1941 that view was proven. Germany’s growing need of war materials and, perhaps, the assumption that a war against “Godless Bolshevism” might appeal to right-wing circles in Britain as it most definitely did in the U.S.A. justified Barbarossa in Nazi eyes.

Two recent books about Second World War have been published. In Unpatriotic History of the Second World War James Heartfield rejects the view of World War II as a supposed struggle against evil dictatorships. Instead Heartfield amasses evidence to demonstrate that the real underlying concerns of the elites who directed the war on both sides related much more to their economic, strategic, and imperial interests. What had formerly been trading wars had by 1939-1945 turned into armed competition over the spoils of exploitation on a world scale. Churchill openly declared his admiration for Mussolini and that he was fighting to defend the British Empire. This was a war over markets and access to raw materials as the post-war settlement over spheres of influence made clear. The plight of German Jews was never an issue nor was Poland, demonstrated by the fact that Britain and France had ignored the simultaneous invasion by Russian troops of Poland’s eastern flank. Once the fighting was over, Stalin held 52 per cent of Polish territory, and Hitler 48 per cent. This was not a People’s War but a war against people.

This contrasts with A People’s History of the Second World War by Donny Gluckstein who argues that the Second World War was an inter-imperialist conflict to re-divide the world amongst imperialist powers, but that unlike ,the First World War, it was still “a war worth fighting” as a means ” to end the scourge of fascism and Nazism” thus  concluding that workers were right to die supporting it.

The lesson of all this is that, while the forces driving to international conflict and war remain, there are no means of making the world safe for peace. Pacts and alliances, Leagues of Nations, United Nations, International Courts and so on, may possibly control minor disputes and delay the major ones, but they have not succeeded and will not succeed in preventing war. World peace, like the abolition of property, is something only to be achieved through socialism.

Former US president Jimmy Carter referred to the US as “the most warlike nation in the history of the world,” a result of the US forcing other countries to “adopt our American principles.” Carter then said the US has been at peace for only 16 of its 242 years as a nation. Counting wars, military attacks and military occupations, there have actually only been five years of peace in US history—1976, the last year of the Gerald Ford administration and 1977-80, the entirety of Carter’s presidency. The US has also invaded or bombed dozens of countries and supported nearly every single right wing dictatorship in the world since the end of World War II. It has overthrown — or attempted to overthrow — dozens of foreign governments since 1949 and has actively sought to crush nearly every single people’s liberation movement over that same period. It has also meddled in scores of elections, in countries that are allies and adversaries alike.

When things are no longer produced for profit, but for the use of those who make them, then there will no longer be any necessity for a capitalist army. When millions of workers are set free from making munitions and provisions of warfare, then they will be able to turn their attention to building themselves better houses, producing more and better food for their families, and they will enjoy the leisure, the comfort, the culture and the education which are now the privileges of the exploiters. The continuous struggle for socialism is the World Socialist Party’s peace policy.

Many support the concept of a “good war” and the Second World War is often cited as a case in point. The United States fought that war against Nazi racial theories with a racially segregated army. It fought the war for freedom and democracy having passed Executive Order 9066 interning more than 100,000 Japanese-Americans without due process. Before the war the United States regularly turned away Jewish refugees to face certain death in Europe.

The World Socialist Party has a most clear and positive attitude to war. We are opposed to all wars, whether they be major and world-wide, or minor and localized. Our opposition to all war has been consistent from the time of our origin. Our opposition to war is an opposition distinct from all others. It is not an opposition based upon religious beliefs; and although we are opposed to war on social and humanitarian grounds, our opposition is not limited to a humanitarian approach — it goes much further. The socialist opposition to war results from our analysis and opposition to capitalism; the realization that this system is the cause of war; further, that the working class are living under a system that can never be made to operate in their interests; that war is inevitable under capitalism, and that the two go hand in hand and should be completely opposed by the workers at all times until they are both finally eliminated, one with the other.

The World Socialist Party’s answer is that we can uproot the cause of war by organizing to uproot the capitalist system. Workers have more than the necessary numbers to vote capitalism out and socialism in, as proposed by the World Socialist Party. This new social system, the working people alone can bring into being, thus forever putting an end to wars, and establishing the society of human solidarity based on freedom, peace and abundance.

To conclude: Sentiment and emotion for a fine cause are laudable. But without a sound premise and defined goal, they can only end in failure and despair. The crying need of our time is not marches and demonstrations for limited and impossible to attain objectives, but determined, unrelenting action to awaken the working class to the imperative need for a socialist reconstruction of society, and to enlighten them on the principles and program for accomplishing that social change in a peaceful manner.

To quote scripture, Isaiah saw in prophetic vision a time when nations should war no more—when swords should be transformed into ploughshares and spears into pruning hooks. The fulfillment of the prophecy only awaits socialism and the solution of the economic problems we all face. All else is futile and hopeless.

Sources:1

  1. Mickey Z. June 6 Is D(isinformation) Day: The “Good War” Lie, June 3, 2013.

    The Socialist Party, Great Britain.  How can Hitlerism be destroyed? February 1940.

    Dr.  Jacques R. Pauwels.  “Fall 1941: Pearl Harbor and The Wars of Corporate America“, December 11, 2011; and “Profits über Alles! American Corporations and Hitler“, June 7, 2019.

    David Swanson. Pearl Harbour:  A Successful War Lie, December 7, 2010.

The post America's "Good" Wars first appeared on Dissident Voice.

Death From the Sky: Hiroshima and Normalised Atrocities

When US President Harry S. Truman made the decision to drop the atomic bomb on Hiroshima on August 6, 1945, followed by another on Nagasaki a few days later, he was not acting as an agent untethered from history.  In the wheels of his wearied mind lay the battered Marines who, despite being victorious, had received sanguinary lashings at Iwo Jima and Okinawa.

A fear grew, and US military sources speculated about, the slaughter that might follow an invasion of the Japanese homeland.  They also pondered the future role of the Soviets, and wondered whether there were other means by which Japan’s involvement in the war might be terminated before Moscow got its hands on the battered remains of North East Asia.

Much is made about the moral dilemma Truman faced.  He knew there was the nastiest of weapons at hand, born from the race to acquire it from Nazi Germany.  But on a certain level, it was merely another weapon, one to use, a choice sample in the cabinet of lethal means and measures.  By that stage of the war, killing civilians from the air, not to mention land, was banal and common place; enemy populations were to be experimented upon, burned, torched, gassed, shelled and eradicated in the program of total war.

By the time Truman made his decision, Japan had become a graveyard of strategic aerial bombing.  General Curtis E. LeMay of the US Air Force prided himself on incinerating the enemy, and was encouraged by various study commissions advocating the use of incendiary bombs against Japan’s flammable urban architecture.  He was realising the dreams of such figures as the pioneering US aviator and air power enthusiast Billy Mitchell, who fantasised in the 1920s about Japanese cities being “the greatest aerial targets the world has ever seen”. In 1941, US Army chief of staff George Marshall spread the word to journalists that the US would “set the paper cities of Japan on fire”.  Civilians would not be spared.

Towards the end of the war, daylight precision bombing had fallen out of favour; LeMay preferred the use of Boeing B-29 Superfortresses, heavily laden with firebombs, to do the work.  His pride of joy in conflagration was Tokyo.  During the six-hour raid over the night of March 9 and 10, 1945, the US Strategic Bombing Survey concluded that 87,793 had perished, with 40,918 injuries.

There was little novel in LeMay’s blunt approach.  Britain’s Air Force Marshal Arthur “Bomber” Harris fertilised the ground, and the air, for such an idea.  He made it his mission to not only kill Germans but kill German civilians with a cool determination. He did so with a workmanlike conviction so disturbing it chilled the blood of many Britons.  As he put it, “The cities of Germany, including their working populations, are literally the heart of Germany’s war potential.”  It was his intention to, he explained to personnel, “in addition to the horrors of fire … to bring masonry crashing down on top of the Boche, to kill the Boche and to terrify the Boche”.  The Teutonic enemy came, not so much in all shades, but one.  Saturation bombing, regarded after the Second World War as generally ineffective, a ghastly failure to bring the population to its knees, received its blessing in Bomber Command.

This entire process neutered the moral compass of its executioners.  Killing civilians had ceased to be a problem of war, one of those afterthoughts which served to sanction mass murder.  Britain’s chief of the air staff for a good deal of the war, Charles Portal, called it a “fallacy” that bombing Germany’s cities “was really intended to kill and frighten Germans and that we camouflaged this intention by the pretence that we would destroy industry.  Any such idea is completely false.  The loss of life, which amounted to some 600,000 killed, was purely incidental.”  When 600,000 becomes an incidental matter, we are well on the way to celebrating the charnel houses of indiscriminate war.

When the issue of saturation bombing creased the legal minds behind the Nuremberg and Tokyo war crimes trials, an admission had to be made: all sides of the Second World War had made the air a realm of convenience in the killing of humanity, uniformed or not.  To win was all that mattered.  While the Nuremberg Charter left it open to criminalise German aerial tactics, the International Military Tribunal hedged.  As chief of the Luftwaffe, Hermann Göring was singled out for air attacks on Poland and other states but the prosecutors refrained from pushing the point, likely reflecting the cold fact, as Matthew Lippmann puts it, “that both Germany and the Allies engaged in similar tactics.”

It is true that Germany and Japan gave a good pioneering go at indiscriminate aerial slaughter.  But the Allied powers, marshalling never before seen fleets of murderous bombers, perfected the bloody harvest.  The war had to be won, and, if needed, over the corpses of the hapless mother, defenceless child and frail grandparent.  As the historian Charles S. Maier notes with characteristic sharpness, a tacit consensus prevailed after the Second World War that the ledger of brutality was all stacked on one side.  German bombings during the Spanish Civil War, notably of Guernica; Warsaw, Rotterdam, London and Coventry during the world war that followed, were seen as “acts of wanton terror”. The Allied attacks on Italian, German and Japanese urban centres, in proportion and scale far more destructive, were seen as “legitimate military actions”.

Distinctions about civilian and non-civilian vanished in the atomic cloud.  Hiroshima’s tale is the apotheosis of eliminating distinctions in war.  It propagated such dangerous beliefs that nuclear wars might be won, sparing a handful of specialists and breeders in bunkers planning for the new post-apocalyptic dawn.  It normalised, even as it constituted a warning, the act of annihilation itself.

Prior to the twin incinerations of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the redoubtable nurse and writer Vera Brittain issued a warning that remains salient to those who wish to resort to waging death from the sky:  “If the nations cannot agree, when peace returns, to refrain from the use of the bombing aeroplane as they have refrained from using poison gas, then mankind itself deserves to perish from the epidemic of moral insanity which today afflicts our civilisation.”

Slavery of Fear

Photo by Nathan O’Nions

Flee, Flight or Freeze

In the natural world, there are two kinds of responses to imminent threats: either flee or fight. Most of the time, in order to maximize chances of survival, the decision has to be made by individuals or groups in less than a split second. On one hand, the option to flee is motivated by this immediate assessment. It has, of course, an important fear factor. On the other hand, the option to fight seems brave on the surface, but intense momentary fear perhaps had to be overcome by a massive adrenaline rush. Fear is a primal and powerful emotion that is essential for survival, but it can also be used as a tool to control people through mental, emotional and even physical paralysis.

Photo by The Malt

There is a third behavioral option when fear completely paralyzes the individual or a group: it is the freeze option, similar to the imaginary sense of the impossibility to act or react for someone going through a deep clinical depression. As a collective or a nation, this freeze or depressed state when facing danger is also possible. Eighty years ago, with the exception of General Charles de Gaulle and a few men who decided to flee to carry on the fight, France capitulated to the German enemy. France froze and became trapped in the ignominy of a collective depression that was the collaboration by the Vichy government.

Photo by Torbak Hopper

In human society, during the barbaric lunacy that has been called the art of war, many substances have been used in history to make soldiers less fearful before combat. Drinking alcohol is an obvious one in Europe; chewing coca leaves for South American native tribes; smoking or eating hashish in the Middle-East and Asia — this concentrated form of cannabis is the etymological origin of the word assassin; more recently, during World War II’s spectacular German Blietzkrieg 1940 attack on France, German troops were given the powerful methamphetamine Pervitin. Naturally, the notion of the fearless master-race Nazi soldiers was nothing but a mythology! The intrepid soldiers of the Reich and their beloved Furher, Adolf Hitler, had the fearlessness of crystal-meth addicts. Pervitin kept Nazi troops awake and fighting for days and nights, and increased their aggressive behavior.

Photo by Kyle Pearce

Of course, one cannot reduce the apparent fearless madness of the entire German nation during World War II to the massive consumption of Pervitin. What was probably the most sophisticated propaganda machine of the time had been put together by the Nazis; it had been brainwashing the minds of Germans, young and old, for almost a decade. Hitler and Co. spent about 10 years molding a sophisticated and cultured society into their ideological monstrosity with the mythology of the purity of blood, master race, and crucially the invention of Jews as evil, depraved and subhuman personified. If this was possible in an advanced society like Germany circa 1930, one must consider that such a gruesome turn of events is possible anywhere at any time, as madness can be a contagious disease.

Photo by Mark Rain

Fear of other cultures is a crucial component of racial hatred. Once a group of people like the Jews in Nazi Germany or the Africans during the slave trade to the Americas have been thoroughly dehumanized, it becomes easy, almost trivial, to torture and kill them. All propagandists are psychologists. Therefore they understand that their manipulation of fear gives birth to powerful dark impulses. A fear of abandonment as a child can later bring about morbid jealousy and various sociopathic behaviors. A fear of destitution drives the compulsion to greed. Collectively, fear can be a giant web of invisible chains that enslave a society in a psychological straight jacket. In this regard, September 11, 2001 and its aftermath was a turning point, and to some extent the Western world has been conditioned to live in fear ever since.

Photo by Hartwig HKD

The war of terror

Putting aside the inside-job narrative, what matters is how crises are used. The net benefit of 9/11 for some was to create a constant sense of uncertainty for the population, and cynically a jackpot for the military-industrial complex. It was the notion that the enemy could be lurking anywhere. The war on terror was, and still is, a conceptual war: an absurd Orwellian war without end because it is supposed to fight diffuse groups of people called terrorists whose only common ground is the use of fear as a weapon. Because fear breeds more fear, the 20-year conceptual war made people, almost worldwide, believe security was more important than personal liberty. The war on terror made people slaves of fear, and they were told it was for their own good.

Photo by Duncan C

Do not blame only Donald Trump for the current authoritarian police state in the US. The Department of Homeland Security was a fascist invention of George W. Bush, using 9/11 as a pretext, and it was maintained by Barack Obama, every time with the complicity of Congress. On one hand, the war on terror wrecked several countries: killed or displaced millions at a cost of several trillion dollars. Everyone knew it was not winnable. On the other hand, what worked for the US and its Western allies was the almost 20-year old war of terror that slowly victimized their own populations with the jackboot of a police-military apparatus constantly on their throats. When fear overcomes an entire society it can be beaten to submission. Where fear rules, servitude becomes acceptable.

Photo by Terence Faircloth

Strategy of fear and the COVID-19 pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has given an entirely new dimension to the slavery of fear initiated on 9/11. There have been almost two decades, which is one generation, of a war of terror on the collective psyche. There could not have been a better introduction to the global fear of a pandemic. A diffuse Muslim fundamentalist enemy who could be anywhere has morphed to an invisible virus that is everywhere. The quantum leap was easily made, because it is intrinsically the same mechanism. It went a lot further than 9/11, because governments managed to convince their populations to submit themselves to various level of lockdown. Imagine this! Almost all complied worldwide, with little resistance and absolutely no organized rebellion.

Photo by Hartwig HKD

Just like the post 9/11 world infringed on human rights and privacy with various invasive policies, the post COVID-19 world has adopted its own arbitrary rules. They have in common that they fuel a fear of everyone and everything and engender agoraphobia, obsessive-compulsive disorders, Stockholm syndrome, and depression. The panoply of mandatory social distancing measures and mask wearing decrees have made people hostile, fearful, and paranoid. Authorities worldwide have been on a joy killing mission. Populations have been successfully infantilized and traumatized by forbidding the most essential human behaviors: the joy to see a smile or the surprise of a flaring nostril; the smell of a ripe fruit at a market; the fortitude of what seems to be a time gone when you could dance with a stranger and perhaps steal a kiss.

More than two hundred years ago, Haitian slaves managed to free themselves, and in the process they defeated the world’s three largest empires: respectively, the French, British, and Spanish. Have we all become such pathetic shadows of our former selves? Are we so weak and cowardly today that we cannot free ourselves from the billionaire class and the fear it is imposing on us?

Aldous Huxley’s Programme

There have been for some time, especially from libertarian quarters, accusations that the COVID-19 crisis has led to a state that has been called by some “medical martial law”. I believe the more accurate term and point of departure is “medical social engineering and management”. Martial law sounds more dramatic and seems simpler to understand. Yet we have to get beyond slogans and deal with long-term processes and policies if we are to find adequate responses today. Literary metaphors, like those found in Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World and George Orwell’s 1984 have been reduced to clichés. While their ideas may in part illustrate what today seems like prophecy, it is not enough just to imagine that there is — or might be — some underlying or even secret “plan”.

Much of this reporting creates the impression that some base of fundamental liberties (civil or human) is at risk here, only now. Sporadic attention is given to the relationships between pharmaceutical companies, the BMGF and governmental as well as international entities, e.g. WHO. This reporting is easily dismissed by a population that has been immunised to such reporting, pre-emptively since the introduction of such communication concepts as “fake news”. The developments in digital and especially internet-based mass communications have reinforced the belief that technology is independent and that science and what is called knowledge is not only independent but also inevitable in form and substance. We have internalised the beliefs in our own domination so that we cannot conceive it as domination at all. A sentimental reference to lost or endangered liberties is really a distraction from the problems at hand, even if such “liberties” may be part of the heritage we honestly want to save from destruction.

The long-term perspective is missing because it is difficult to render comprehensible. John Maynard Keynes was to have said, “in the long term we are all dead.” Yet by mimicking the news cycle, grasping for some novelty or titillation, and omitting the redundancies of historical context, writers and speakers with ambitions to overcome the propaganda barriers to political activism are unlikely to reach anyone but the converted.

In my February article Re-Orientation I tried to give the emerging crisis, nominally triggered by the viral incidents in Wuhan, China, some of the historical context which even alternative media in their addiction to the “fear mongering news cycle” are wont to report. The first point is that there is no true, undeniable “origin”. We have to start with a problem and then draw on numerous sources and observations – research — to define the problem by giving it a context into which the history flows. We create a history by the way we define the problem. The origin is, in fact, the beginning—the value we pursue in uncovering events and translating them into fields of action rather than frustration.

If we assume that the governments of the West, in particular that of the US, are what they claim to be, then all the concern about the USG response to the so-called pandemic remains focussed on whether and how it meets the needs of the people on whose behalf it claims to govern. In other words framed in the propaganda terms specified by the regime itself. If, however, we recognize that the governments of the West, in particular the US, but also those governments it helped to reorganise after the subsequent world wars in the 20th century (most of the Western peninsula and much of the Western hemisphere) are Business operations or extensions of corporate power, then the focus changes fundamentally — depending on whether one is on the side of Business or its target.

The USG as an extension of Business, especially its monopolist/ oligarchic forms, and has been firmly established as such since 1913 at the latest. It is also from about this time that the major oligarchs in Business set about organising first the US and then the rest of the world in ways amenable to system maintenance and control for Business. This strategic organisation pre-dates such post- WWII institutions like the IMF or UN and the quasi-conspiratorial committees so familiar now that they need not be mentioned here.

WWI was a milestone because it essentially created the current Anglo-American Empire through which Business rules to this day.

Without rehearsing all the actions and transformations along the way, it is useful to focus on some relevant policies or attitudes that became anchored in the West.

  1. The Bank of England became the model for international financial management and manipulation. After WWII it would become the model for all central banking. This was the significance of the so-called Aldrich Plan and the Federal Reserve Act.
  2. Military-led industrialization and economic organisation would prevail under so-called “scientific” management principles, promulgated by elite “business schools” where mathematical modelling would displace political contests. Alfred Marshall was one of the principal theorists for the creation of de-politicised “scientific” economics based on mathematics. Frederick Taylor and Henry Ford helped establish “scientific” industrial organisation.
  3. Mass media organisation would be integrated throughout state and commercial organizations — propaganda would be shared to promote Business. The formalisation of this practice derived from the work of the Creel Committee and was later theorised and intensified by Edward Bernays.
  4. Medicine would become the focus of all social engineering and management. Medicine would replace religion as the ideological vanguard of imperialism. This was the principal contribution of the Rockefeller tax dodges (General Education Board, Rockefeller University, Rockefeller Foundation et al.) under the management of Frederick T. Gates.

The problem we face here is that after a century of “scientific” management and medicine we are unable to reconstitute political contests. Even those people who claim to be trained in fields like economics are thoroughly dominated by the ideology of positivist science, which became the underlying religion of 20th century capitalism. Science in the West was adopted primarily as a weapon of anti-communism and against popular democratic movements.

We therefore have enormous almost insurmountable difficulties in challenging the State politically because there is only a scientific-technological framework (purified of any historical context). This framework asserts above all class neutrality — thus denying the political power struggle that is really the core of events. It is not an accident that one of today’s grand political managers, George Soros, named his espionage and political warfare operations after the concept popularised by Karl Popper, whose main ideological contribution was to insist that “real science” was only possible under capitalism in what he called the “Open Society”. What he actually meant was a translation of the US “Open Door” doctrine. The US regime’s “Open Door” is a euphemism for manifest destiny or Business domination through the Anglo-American Empire.

For several months now debate has focussed on the truth and accuracy or efficacy of the science and governmental actions supposedly derived from said science. This is best dramatized in the obsession on all sides with “body counts”. The factual basis of the pandemic is reduced to how many “pairs of ears” the COVID armed propaganda teams bring back from their raids. The constant repetition of the official pandemic narrative is illustrated by video footage of the same scenes every day, hours on end. If one watches at least TV reporting carefully one will notice that most of the video film shows practically empty wards, single patients at the most and lots of people in hazmat suits standing around machines. In footage from Brazil- a regime even more merciless toward its poor than the US—the images bear more resemblance to the Christo (1935-2020) public wrappings and happenings of the 1990s, promoting the sensationalism of the country’s archetypical telenovellas, rather than radical political action. Yet the repetition has its effect also by supplanting all other information. 30,000 deaths per day due to preventable starvation never got so much coverage as the deaths of an 88-year-old and 94-year-old this week, attributed to COVID.

There has been no serious challenge to the science, per se, or the claim that the government acts based on science rather than the interests of the people for whom it ostensibly governs (although it is clear that the “for whom” is Business and not real human beings).

Moreover the theology of economics has not been challenged either — as if this were a real science; e.g., something objective. Pronouncements from central banks and government ministries are presented as based on accurate measurement and analysis. A cursory review of the history reveals, however, that the definitions of such core concepts as “cost of living”, “unemployment”, “inflation”, “purchasing power” etc. are changed routinely to permit the Business regime to present data which is misleading at best. The benchmark figure, growth in GDP, bears little or no relation to the most important issue for real human beings, the capacity to generate enough income to sustain a decent living; i.e., home, food, clothing, education, healthcare, etc.

It is particularly telling that the same material misstatements in all manner of economic data are made by officials clothed with government or scientific authority are made now during the so-called pandemic.

For example, it is no secret that unemployment is undercounted—all the time. For real people unemployment means lack of a source of adequate income. However, the regime’s definition of unemployment is number of people who register under whatever narrowly specified conditions permit such registration. The informal sector is omitted as well as those who were previously self-employed but due to bankruptcy, illness or disability are no longer able to work. Then, of course, there are the deliberate deceptions like not counting people who have been assigned to “programs”, like training or part-time subsidised jobs of limited duration. Then, of course, there are people who are not counted because there is no one counting.

In the case of the pandemic, it must be said that the definition of “case” has also been changed from time to time to permit reporting in line with the prevailing political warfare agenda:

“A COVID-19 case includes confirmed and probable cases and deaths. This change was made to reflect an interim COVID-19 position statement issued by the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists on April 5, 2020. The position statement included a case definition and made COVID-19 a nationally notifiable disease.”

Thus “probable cases” include–

“A probable case or death is defined as:

The “epidemiological evidence” means that you have been in close proximity (less than 6 feet) with a person who is a confirmed case. Clinical evidence means only that you have COVID-like symptoms and those include colds, flu, allergies, and much more.

This is abetted by the quasi-official status given to people who are, in fact, agents of Business—but then again the entire government apparatus is an extension of Business. Official sounding entities like the “Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists” suggest higher authority without any indication of who the members of this body are and what interests they may actually represent, let alone who constituted them with the colour of authority in the first place. The creation of “authorities” was one of the major innovations of the 20th century PR industry.

Why should we trust statistics or statements about COVID from people and entities that habitually lie and distort data as a matter of public policy? If they cannot count the living accurately, why should we believe when they pretend to count the dead? This data cannot be adopted seriously. There must be a presumption that it is at best wilfully misstatement intended to support the interests and policies of the Business in “disease”, as well as any other Business interests that may be conveniently so achieved.

Just as DuPont has more or less controlled the US atomic weapons program since its inception, the pharmaceutical cartel has controlled the chemical and biological weapons programs jointly managed by the Pentagon and the CDC/ NIH establishment. To determine for whom someone like Dr Fauci works is easy enough when one checks his patent and investment portfolio. It requires no feats of magic or sorcery to recognise that virtually every mass campaign leading into the COVID “pandemic” has been organised and promoted by Business. Moreover these campaigns have been focussed since 2016 on the removal of the present POTUS, Donald Trump, at all costs! To put this in perspective, we should remember that the Inquisition and the Crusades were colossal undertakings mainly for the benefit of controlling the Papacy in the Middle Ages. The Papacy as the titular head of the largest multinational corporation of its day (and still one of the “big players” today) was to the barbarians of the Western peninsula what the POTUS is today for the barbarians of the Anglo-American Empire.

Since we have lost the capacity to engage in politics and pursue a human political-economy, we are forced to accede to a form of rule which at present will become “corporate medical social engineering” in a pure form unmediated by any of the rituals of political process. In fact, it is a religious form of control just like the Inquisition was in its heyday. It relies upon fear of disease, instead of mere sin. We are already witnessing the denunciatory culture, fanatical moralism, irrational fear, obsession with rituals, and all of those human practices that were supposedly banished by Enlightenment. Although it has been common sense for decades that viruses are vulnerable to the light of day and humans flourish in fresh air, Business—the universal Church of our era—is returning us all to our caves and huts, to the very conditions which led humanists to call that past era of Christendom—the DARK AGES.

That is a problem that needs to be taken seriously as a precondition for any critical attack on the kinds of actions and transactions that will — if continued — destroy the material basis for real human life and whatever civilisation we have been able to maintain despite Business and the Church.

Some Italian Thinkers are now resisting Lies about the Soviet Union and WW II

Lying about world history is one of the main weapons of the Western imperialists, through which they are managing to maintain their control of the world.

European and North American countries are inventing and spreading a twisted narrative about almost all essential historic events, be they colonialism, crusades, or genocides committed by the Western expansionism in all corners of the globe.

One of the vilest fabrications has been those which were unleashed against the young Soviet Union, a country that emerged from the ruins of the civil war fueled by the European, North American, and Japanese imperialist interests. Foreign armies and local violent gangs were destroying countless cities and villages, robbing, raping, and murdering local people. But determined acts to restore order and elevate the Soviet Union from its knees, dramatically improving lives of tens of millions, was termed in a derogatory way as “Stalinism”. The label of brutality was soon skillfully attached to it.

Next came the Great Patriotic War (for the Soviets), or what is also known as the Second World War.

The West miscalculated, hoping that Nazi Germany would easily destroy the Soviet Union, and with it, the most determined Communist revolution on earth.

But Germany had, obviously, much bigger goals. While brutalizing Soviet lands, it also began committing crimes against humanity all over Europe, doing precisely what it used to do in its African colonies, decades earlier, which was, basically, exterminating entire nations and races.

While the United States first hesitated to intervene (some of its most powerful individuals like Henry Ford were openly cooperating with the German Nazis), the European nations basically collapsed like the houses of cards.

Then, the unthinkable took place: indignant, injured but powerful, enormous the Soviet Union stood up, raised, literally from ashes. Kursk and Stalingrad fought as no cities ever fought before, and neither did Leningrad, withstanding 900 years of blockade. There, surrender was not an option: people preferred to eat glue and plywood, fighting hunger, as long as fascist boots were not allowed to step on the pavement of their stunningly beautiful city.

In Leningrad, almost all men were dead before the siege was lifted. Women went to the front, including my grandmother, and they, almost with bare hands repelled the mightiest army on earth.

They did it for their city. And for the entire world. They fought for humanity, as Russia did so many times in the past, and they won, at a tremendous cost of more than 25 million soldiers, civilians, men, women, and children.

Then, Soviet divisions rolled Eastwards, liberating Auschwitz, Prague, planting the red Soviet flag on top of Reichstag in Berlin.

The world was saved, liberated. By Soviet people and Soviet steel.

The end of a monstrous war! Entire Soviet cities in ruins. Villages burned to ashes.

But a new war, a Cold War, a true war against colonialism, for the liberation of Africa and Asia was already beginning! And the internationalist war against racism and slavery.

No such narrative could ever be allowed to circulate in the West, in its colonies and client states! Stalin, Soviet Union, anti-colonialist struggle – all had to be smeared, dragged through the dirt!

*****

That smearing campaign first against the Soviet Union and then against Russia was conducted all over Europe, and it gained tremendous proportions.

Mass media has been spreading lies, and so were schools and universities.

The foulest manipulations were those belittling decisive role of the USSR in the victory against Nazi Germany. But Western propaganda outlets also skillfully and harmfully re-wrote the entire history of the Soviet Union, portraying it in the most nihilist and depressing ways, totally omitting tremendous successes of the first Communist country, as well as its heroic role in the fight against the global Western colonialism and imperialism.

*****

Since the end of WWII, Italy has been in the center of the ideological battle, at least when it comes to Europe.

With its powerful Communist Party, almost all great Italian thinkers and artists were either members or at least closely affiliated with the Left. Partisans who used to fight fascism were clearly part of the Left.

Would it not be for the brutal interference in Italy’s domestic politics by the U.S. and U.K., the Italian Communist Party would have easily won the elections, democratically, right during the post-war period.

Relations between the Italian and Soviet/Russian people were always excellent: both nations inspired and influenced each other greatly, particularly when it comes to arts and ideology.

However, like in the rest of Europe, the mainstream media, the propaganda injected by the Anglo-Saxon polemicists and their local counterparts, had a huge impact and eventually damaged great ties and understanding between two nations.

Especially after destructions of the Soviet Union, Italian Left began experiencing a long period of profound crises and confusion.

Anti-Soviet and anti-Russian propaganda started finding fertile ground even in such historical bastions of the Italian Left like Bologna.

*****

With the arrival of the 5 Star Movement and the radical, traditional Left-wing fractions concealed inside it, the millions of Italian citizens began waking up from their ideological lethargy.

I witnessed it when speaking at the legendary Sapienza University in Rome, shoulder to shoulder with professor Luciano Vasapollo, a great thinker and former political prisoner.

I was impressed by young Italian filmmakers, returning to Rome from Donbas, arranging countless political happenings in support of Russia.

Rome was boiling. People forgotten by history were resurfacing, while the young generation was joining them. My friend Alessandro Bianchi and his increasingly powerful magazine, L’Antidiplomatico, were bravely standing by Venezuela and Cuba but also by Russia and China.

Still, Mr. Bianchi kept repeating:

These days, very few Italians understand what happened during WWII. It is a tragedy, real tragedy…

And then, recently, L’Antidiplomatico informed me that it will be publishing, in order to celebrate the April 25 and May 9 anniversaries, an essential book put together by the Soviet Information Bureau, by the academics, with notes and inside information by Joseph Stalin. It was fired right after the end of WWII: “Falsifiers of History. Historic Information.” (In Russian: “Fal’sifikatory istorii. Istoriceskaja spravka.”)

Now in Italian, the book will be called Contro la falsificazione della storia ieri e oggi (Fabrizio Poggi: Against the Falsification of History Yesterday and Today).

The powerful editorial work of Mr. Poggi is unveiling the truth and counter-attacking the Western Anti-Soviet propaganda.

Throughout this work, “The Anglo-American claims about the alleged Berlin-Moscow union against the ‘western democracies’ and a “secret pact between the USSR and Hitler to divide all of Eastern Europe” were clearly dismantled. The falsity of the rhetoric which is repeatedly used today in virtually all Western countries is exposed here, step by step.

Ale Bianchi, the publisher, explains:

The translation presented here is preceded by an introduction, edited by Poggi himself, which mentions the main issues of the period before the Second World War: Polish-German relations, the role of France and Great Britain and their relations with the USSR, Munich Conference, etc., all used by Western propagandists to advance the theory of “equal responsibility” of Nazi Germany and the USSR for the outbreak of the Second World War.

I asked Mr. Bianchi about the main purpose of launching the book in Italy, and he answered without hesitation:

To defeat the anti-Soviet propaganda and also propaganda related to the Second World War.

*****

In many ways, Fabrizio Poggi’s “Against the Falsification of History Yesterday and Today”, is not just a book. It is a movement, which will consist of discussions, lectures, interviews.

Top Italian intellectuals will, no doubt, participate. Many essential topics will be revisited. The truth will be revealed.

This could be a new chapter in cooperation between the Italian and Russian thinkers and progressive leaders in their common struggle for a better world!

• First published by NEO – New Eastern Outlook (a journal of the Russian Academy of Sciences)

For Victory Day: It’s Time to Think About Finally Winning WWII

75 years ago Germany surrendered to allied forces finally ending the ravages of the Second World War.

Today, as the world celebrates the 75th anniversary of this victory, why not think very seriously about finally winning that war once and for all?

If you’re confused by this statement, then you might want to sit down and take a deep breath before reading on. Within the next 12 minutes, you will likely discover a disturbing fact which may frighten you a little bit: The allies never actually won World War II…

Now please don’t get me wrong. I am eternally thankful for the immortal souls who gave their lives to put down the fascist machine during those bleak years… but the fact is that a certain something wasn’t resolved on the 9th of May, 1945 which has a lot to do with the slow re-emergence of a new form of fascism during the second half of the 20th century and the renewed danger of a global bankers’ dictatorship which the world faces again today.

It is my contention that it is only when we find the courage to really look at this problem with sober eyes that we will be able to truly honor our courageous forebears who devoted their lives to winning a peace for their children, grandchildren and humanity more broadly.

The Ugly Truth of WWII

I’ll stop beating around the Bush now and just say it: Adolph Hitler or Benito Mussolini were never “their own men”.

The machines they led were never fully under their sovereign control and the financing they used as fuel in their effort to dominate the world did not come from the Banks of Italy or Germany. The technologies they used in petrochemicals, rubber, and computing didn’t come from Germany or Italy, and the governing scientific ideology of eugenics that drove so many of the horrors of Germany’s racial purification practices never originated in the minds of German thinkers or from German institutions.

Were it not for a powerful network of financiers and industrialists of the 1920s-1940s with names such as Rockefeller, Warburg, Montague Norman, Osborn, Morgan, Harriman or Dulles, then it can safely be said that fascism would never have been possible as a “solution” to the economic woes of the post-WWI order. To prove this point, let us take the strange case of Prescott Bush as a useful entry point.

The patriarch of the same Bush dynasty that gave the world two disastrous American presidents (and nearly a third had Donald Trump not annihilated Jeb at the last minute in 2016) made a name for himself funding Nazism alongside his business partners Averell Harrimen and Averell’s younger brother E. Roland Harriman (the latter who was to recruit Prescott to Skull and Bones while both studying at Yale). Not only did Prescott, acting as director of Brown Brothers Harriman, provide valuable loans to keep the bankrupt Nazi party afloat during Hitler’s loss of support in 1932 when the German population voted into office the anti-Fascist General Kurt von Schleicher as Chancellor, but was even found guilty for “Trading with the enemy” as director of Union Banking Corporation in 1942!

That’s right! As demonstrated in the 1992 Unauthorized Biography of George Bush, eleven months after America entered WWII, the Federal Government naturally conducted an investigation of all Nazi banking operations in the USA and wondered why Prescott continued to direct a bank which was so deeply enmeshed with Fritz Thyssen’s Bank voor Handel en Scheepvart of the Netherlands. Thyssen, for those who are unaware, is the German industrial magnate famous for writing the book  I Paid Hitler.  The bank itself was tied to a German combine called Steel Works of the German Steel Trust which controlled 50.8% of Nazi Germany’s pig iron, 41.4% of its universal plate, 38.5% of its galvanized steel, 45.5% of its pipes and 35% of its explosives. Under Vesting Order 248, the U.S. federal government seized all of Prescott’s properties on October 22, 1942.

The U.S.-German Steel combine was only one small part of a broader operation as Rockefeller’s Standard Oil had created a new international cartel alongside IG Farben (the fourth largest company in the world) in 1929 under the Young Plan. Owen Young was a JP Morgan asset who headed General Electric and instituted a German debt repayment plan in 1928 that gave rise to the Bank of International Settlements (BIS) and consolidated an international cartel of industrialists and financiers on behalf of the City of London and Wall Street. The largest of these cartels saw Henry Ford’s German operations merging with IG Farben, Dupont industries, Britain’s Shell and Rockefeller’s Standard Oil. The 1928 cartel agreement also made it possible for Standard Oil to pass off all patents and technologies for the creation of synthetic gasoline from coal to IG Farben thus allowing Germany to rise from producing merely 300 000 tons of natural petroleum in 1934 to an incredible 6.5 million tons (85% of its total) during WWII! Had this patent/technology transfer not taken place, it is a fact that the modern mechanized warfare that characterized WWII could never have occurred.

Two years before the Young Plan began, JP Morgan had already given a $100 million loan to Mussolini’s newly established fascist regime in Italy with Democratic Party kingmaker Thomas Lamont playing the role of Prescott Bush in Wall Street’s Italian operation. It wasn’t only JP Morgan who loved Mussolini’s brand of corporate fascism, but Time Magazine’s Henry Luce unapologetically gushed over Il Duce putting Mussolini on the cover of Time eight times between 1923 and 1943 while relentlessly promoting fascism as the “economic miracle solution for America” (which he also did in his other two magazines Fortune and Life). Many desperate Americans, still traumatized from the long and painful depression begun in 1929, had increasingly embraced the poisonous idea that an American fascism would put food on the table and finally find help them find work.

A few words should be said of Brown Brothers Harriman.

Bush’s Nazi bank itself was the spawn of an earlier 1931 merger which took place between Montagu Norman’s family bank (Brown Brothers) and Harriman, Bush and Co. Montague Norman was the Governor of the Bank of England from 1920 to 1944, leader of the Anglo-German Fellowship Trust and controller of Germany’s Hjalmar Schacht (Reichsbank president from 1923-1930 and Minister of Economy from 1934-1937). Norman was also the primary controller of the Bank of International Settlements (BIS) from its creation in 1930 throughout the entirety of WWII.

The Central Bank of Central Banks

Although the BIS was established under the Young Plan and nominally steered by Schacht as a mechanism for debt repayments from WWI, the Swiss-based “Central Bank of Central Banks” was the key mechanism for international financiers to fund the Nazi machine. The fact that the BIS was under the total control of Montagu Norman was revealed by Dutch Central Banker Johan Beyen who said: “Norman’s prestige was overwhelming. As the apostle of central bank cooperation, he made the central banker into a kind of arch-priest of monetary religion. The BIS was, in fact, his creation.”

The founding members of the Board included the private central banks of Britain, France, Germany, Italy and Belgium as well as a coterie of 3 private American banks (JP Morgan, First National of Chicago, and First National of New York). The three American banks merged after the war and are today known as Citigroup and JP Morgan Chase.

In its founding constitution, the BIS, its directors and staff were given immunity from all sovereign national laws and not even authorities in Switzerland were permitted to enter its premises.

This story was conveyed powerfully in the 2013 book Tower of Basel: The Shadowy History of the Secret Bank that Runs the World.

A Word on Eugenics

Nazi support in the build up to, and during, WWII didn’t end with finance and industrial might, but extended to the governing scientific ideology of the third Reich: Eugenics (aka: the science of Social Darwinism as developed by Thomas Huxley’s X Club associate Herbert Spencer and Darwin’s cousin Sir Francis Galton decades earlier). In 1932, New York hosted the Third Eugenics Conference co-sponsored by William Draper Jr (JP Morgan banker, head of General Motors and leading figure of Dillon Read and co) and the Harriman family. This conference brought together leading eugenicists from around the world who came to study America’s successful application of eugenics laws which had begun in 1907 under the enthusiastic patronage of Theodore Roosevelt. Hiding behind the respectable veneer of “science” these high priests of science discussed the new age of “directed evolution of man” which would soon be made possible under a global scientific dictatorship.

Speaking at the conference, leading British Fascist Fairfield Osborn said that eugenics:

aids and encourages the survival and multiplication of the fittest; indirectly, it would check and discourage the multiplication of the unfitted. As to the latter, in the United States alone, it is widely recognized that there are millions of people who are acting as dragnets or sheet anchors on the progress of the ship of state…While some highly competent people are unemployed, the mass of unemployment is among the less competent, who are first selected for suspension, while the few highly competent people are retained because they are still indispensable. In nature, these less-fitted individuals would gradually disappear, but in civilization, we are keeping them in the community in the hopes that in brighter days, they may all find employment. This is only another instance of humane civilization going directly against the order of nature and encouraging the survival of the un-fittest.

The dark days of the great depression were good years for bigotry and ignorance as eugenics laws were applied to two Canadian provinces, and widely spread across Europe and America with 30 U.S. states applying eugenics laws to sterilize the unfit. Eugenics’ successful growth was due in large measure to the fierce financial support of the Rockefeller Foundation and the science magazine Nature which had been created in 1865 by T.H. Huxley’s X Club. The Rockefeller Foundation went on to fund German eugenics and most specifically the rising star of human improvement, Joseph Mengele.

The Nazi Frankenstein Monster is Aborted

Describing his January 29, 1935 meeting with Hitler, Round Table controller Lord Lothian quoted the Fuhrer’s vision for Aryan co-direction of the New World Order saying:

Germany, England, France, Italy, America and Scandinavia … should arrive at some agreement whereby they would prevent their nationals from assisting in the industrializing of countries such as China, and India. It is suicidal to promote the establishment in the agricultural countries of Asia of manufacturing industries.

While it is obvious that much more can be said on the topic, the Fascist machine didn’t fully behave the way the Dr. Frankensteins in London wished, as Hitler began to realize that his powerful military machine gave Germany the power to lead the New World Order rather than play second fiddle as mere enforcers on behalf of their Anglo masters in Britain. While many London and Wall Street oligarchs were willing to adapt to this new reality, a decision was made to abort the plan, and try to fight another day.

To do this a scandal was concocted to justify the abdication of pro-Nazi King Edward VIII in 1936 and an appeasing Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain was replaced with Winston Churchill in 1940. While Sir Winston was a life long racist, eugenicist and even Mussolini-admirer, he was first and foremost a devout British Imperialist and as such would fight tooth and nail to save the prestige of the Empire if it were threatened. Which he did.

The Fascists vs Franklin Roosevelt

Within America itself, the pro-fascist Wall Street establishment had been loosing a war that began the day anti-fascist President Franklin Roosevelt was elected in 1932. Not only had their attempted February 1933 assassination failed, their 1934 coup d’etat plans were also thwarted by a patriotic General named Smedley Darlington Butler. To make matters worse, their efforts to keep America out of the war in the hopes of co-leading the New World Order alongside Germany, France and Italy was also falling apart. As I outlined in my recent article “How to Crush a Bankers’ Dictatorship“, between 1933-1939, FDR had imposed sweeping reforms on the banking sector, thwarted a major attempt to create a global Bankers’ dictatorship under the Bank of International Settlements, and mobilized a broad recovery under the New Deal.

By 1941, Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor polarized the American psyche so deeply that resisting America’s entry into WWII as Wall Street’s American Liberty League had been doing up until then, became political suicide. Wall Street’s corporatist organizations were called out by FDR during a powerful 1938 speech as the president reminded the Congress of the true nature of fascism:

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… Among us today a concentration of private power without equal in history is growing. This concentration is seriously impairing the economic effectiveness of private enterprise as a way of providing employment for labor and capital and as a way of assuring a more equitable distribution of income and earnings among the people of the nation as a whole.

While America’s entry into WWII proved a decisive factor in the destruction of the fascist machine, the dream shared by Franklin Roosevelt, Henry Wallace and many of FDR’s closest allies across America, Canada, Europe, China and Russia for a world governed by large-scale development, and win-win cooperation did not come to pass.

Even though FDR’s ally Harry Dexter White led in the fight to shut down the Bank of International Settlements during the July 1944 Bretton Woods conference, the passage of White’s resolutions to dissolve BIS and audit its books were never put into action. While White, who was to become the first head of the IMF, defended FDR’s program to create a new anti-imperial system of finance, Fabian Society leader, and devout eugenicist John Maynard Keynes defended the Bank and pushed instead to redefine the post-war system around a one world currency called the Bancor, controlled by the Bank of England and BIS.

The Fascist Resurgence in the Post-War World

By the end of 1945, the Truman Doctrine and Anglo-American “special relationship” replaced FDR’s anti-colonial vision, while an anti-communist witch hunt turned America into a fascist police state under FBI surveillance. Everyone friendly to Russia was targeted for destruction and the first to feel that targeting were FDR’s close allies Henry Wallace and Harry Dexter White whose 1948 death while campaigning for Wallace’s presidential bid put an end to anti-colonialists running the IMF.

In the decades after WWII, those same financiers who brought the world fascism went straight back to work infiltrating FDR’s Bretton Woods Institutions such as the IMF and World Bank, turning them from tools of development, into tools of enslavement. This process was fully exposed in the 2004 book Confessions of an Economic Hit Man by John Perkins.

The European banking houses representing the old nobility of the empire continued through this reconquering of the west without punishment. By 1971, the man whom Perkins exposed as the chief economic hit man George Schultz, orchestrated the removal of the U.S. dollar from the Gold-reserve, fixed exchange rate system director of the Office of Management of Budget and in the same year, the Rothschild Inter-Alpha Group of banks was created to usher in a new age of globalization. This 1971 floating of the dollar ushered in a new paradigm of consumerism, post-industrialism, and de-regulation which transformed the once productive western nations into speculative “post-truth” basket cases convinced that casino principles, bubbles and windmills were substitutes for agro-industrial economic practices.

So here we are in 2020 celebrating victory over fascism.

The children and grandchildren of those heroes of 1945 now find themselves attached to the biggest financial collapse in history with $1.5 quadrillion of fictitious capital ripe to explode under a new global hyperinflation akin to that which destroyed Weimar in 1923, but this time global. The Bank of International Settlements that should have been dissolved in 1945 today controls the Financial Stability Board and thus regulates the world derivatives trade which has become the weapon of mass destruction that has been triggered to unleash more chaos upon the world than Hitler could have ever dreamed.

The saving grace today is that the anti-fascist spirit of Franklin Roosevelt is alive in the form of modern anti-imperialists Vladimir Putin, Xi Jinping and a growing array of nations united under the umbrella of the New Deal of the 21st Century which has come to be called the “Belt and Road Initiative”.

Had Prescott’s grandson Jeb (or Prescott’s spiritual grand daughter Hillary) found themselves in the position of President of the USA at this moment, it is unlikely that I would be writing this now, as I’m fairly certain WWIII would have already been launched. However, with President Trump having successfully survived nearly four years of Deep State subversion, and having called repeatedly for a positive alliance with Russia and China, a chance still exists to take the types of emergency actions needed at this moment of existential crisis to do what FDR had always intended, and win World War II.

Who Answers When a National Crisis Comes Calling?

I define a “national crisis” as a calamitous event that imperils the overall well-being of the nation’s citizenry. For America, I suppose there could be several answers depending on the crisis: The President, the National Guard, the military, the Department of Homeland Security. In this article I am going to focus on some instances where the President’s answer was not the right one, and end with a President giving the right answer.

Take the case of FDR, for instance, and his answering the nation’s call with his New Deal policies and programs after the First Great Depression. The popular belief and the opinion of some scholarly economists is that the New Deal rescued America. Not so at all, writes Jim Powell, in his 2003 book, FDR’s Folly, How Roosevelt and His New Deal Prolonged the Great Depression. Mr. Powell is a Senior Fellow at the Cato Institute, a libertarian “think tank.” What helped relieve the depressed economy was America’s involvement in WWII, a war that FDR contrived to arrange U.S. involvement by deliberately provoking Japan with embargoes and other hostile actions.

Abraham Lincoln did not answer the call over the Civil War, probably the most disastrous crisis ever within America’s boundaries. Indeed, he was a racist who started the war to preserve the Union so that it would be imperialistically strong enough to exploit the nation’s resources.

Woodrow Wilson did not answer the call during the Spanish flu pandemic that infected 500 million people around the world and that killed an estimated 50 to 100 million people. He downplayed the pandemic and forced America’s soldiers to continue fighting his unnecessary war.

George W. Bush answered the call when hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans in 2005, but his answer was not on behalf of the devastated residents. He sent in the bungling Department of Homeland Security, the fast growing bureaucratic and incompetent Federal agency, and, to add insult to injury, let the public-school system be privatized and ripped off along with leaving thousands of teachers suddenly without jobs. The hurricane washed away many homes in vulnerable areas, leaving thousands of suddenly homeless and impoverished citizens sequestered in the Superdome that quickly became a cesspool.

And did George W. Bush answer the call during America’s Second Great Depression of 2008? It was caused solely by the avarice and wrongdoing of the financial industry that plummeted millions of Americans into financial distress, His answer was hugely discriminatory. He played favorites. So, his sole priority was to bail out the financial industry and he ignored the plight of Mr. and Ms. America. Well, after all, he did descend from banksters.

Let’s now consider an exception, one in which the U.S. president actually did answer the call on behalf of Mr. and Ms. America, Donald J. Trump. Consider what he has done for the American people in response to the current pandemic crisis. His response is in stark contrast to his predecessors. I received a check from the U.S. Treasury entitled, “Economic Income Payment.” I never got anything from President George W. Bush, nor did any other ordinary Americans. They mostly got economic misery of personal indebtedness and burdened with holding down two jobs.

As for his handling of the pandemic crisis, despite much criticism and many jokes about it, he certainly is less irresponsible and incompetent than the overly funded, bureaucratic World Health Organization that fumbled the call. And his much maligned and derided comments about injecting disinfectants was off the cuff and followed the comments made by a Mr. Bryan, acting undersecretary for science and technology at the swamp, Department of Homeland Security, who told about tests purportedly showing that sunlight and disinfectants like bleach can kill the novel coronavirus on surfaces.” Perhaps most ire and derision ought to be directed at Bryan.

Obviously, Trump haters are going to hate my choice of Trump as a rare exemplar. One already has by telling me this:

You’ve got to be kidding, Gary. What has Trump done about the Covid-19 pandemic? First of all, he ignored warnings that it was coming by several months. As he has done throughout his presidency, he has lied and is unwilling to admit his mistakes.

He gives out false information and bogus cures that have led to the deaths of people that believe he knows what he is talking about. He has encouraged defying of governors who are trying to protect their constituents.

He has fired top scientists with knowledge about the coronavirus. He has been wrong every step of the way, claiming the virus would be over soon and that Democrats were making it up to discredit him. He has failed to supply test kits and other useful medical supplies.

I can go on and on, but why bother? It is obvious that Trump is way over his head with this crisis and has been wrong every step of the way. All this is obvious, Gary. What happened to your critical thinking skills?

End of scurrilous quote. And here was my rebuttal:

It’s good to hear from you, my friend, despite your rather insulting question at the end about my critical thinking skills. But rather than be offended, I will simply respond relying on my critical thinking skills, which are as sharp as ever even at my advanced age.

Rabid Trump haters are so blinded emotionally they cannot see or refuse to see the positive side of the man. Here are three positives as I appreciate them. 1. He has killed far fewer people on foreign lands than any of his predecessors. 2 His immigration policy is absolutely the correct one, because, as I have written about, immigration was instituted for two malevolent reasons, to get cheap labor and to keep the nation divided culturally. 3. He shredded NAFTA that was choking our friends south of the border.

End of quote. And end of article with this closing remark: Thank you, Dissident Voice, for allowing me to be so dissident here!

The Surreal Days of the Plague?

Are we living surreal days? Hunkered down within four walls. Suspicious of every package at our door. Cleaning and cleaning some more. Gross monopolies mediating all our communication. And constant worry that the elders in our lives will die of COVID19.

Are these surreal days? The popular usage of the word has devolved to mean strange. What’s strange about these days? The silence punctuated by bird song in city centers? Or the clean air? Or walking in auto-free boulevards and ignoring stoplights—now flashing ornaments, not sentinels to obey. These delights are strange only to those who are unable to imagine another way to live.

A more sophisticated synonym for surreal is unreal or fantastic—references to dreams, or nightmares And here we approach the word’s origin with Surrealism, the movement of artists and writers who formed a movement in France in the 1920s. Dreams, or rather, nightmares did preoccupy the surrealists, who as youth during the First World War experienced days that were horrific. Hardly strange. These were days of nationalism infecting the leaders of Europe. Unfortunately, the spores of their hate took their toll on nine million soldiers, mainly youth, slaughtered fighting an insane trench war over a few hundred yards of real estate.

Towards the end of the war, another infection took the lives of soldiers who had managed to dodge the bullets and bombs—a viral infection. In Europe, it was called the Spanish Flu, as a xenophobic slur. Spain during this period was poor—the peasant backwater of Europe. Guatemala, to Americans today. The flu’s origins are contested. America, where it is called the 1918 flu pandemic, was more likely a candidate than Spain. American troops, carrying the virus from boot camps, landed at Spanish ports, on their way to battle, and may have introduced it to Europe.

The fear that the virus would interfere with the Allies rush to end the war, now that American reinforcements arrived, motivated a cover-up of the flu’s high mortality rates. As a consequence, millions of non-combatants also died with the gruesome generals opportunistic decision to win a decisive victory over the Axis Powers. The self-assured and privileged priorities of the bourgeois gerontocracy filled the cemeteries.

As the banking capital of Europe, Switzerland was neutral during the war and many hundreds of political refugees and dissident artists flocked to its cities. The political rebels, often considered traitors by their respective countries, weren’t deported or imprisoned by the Swiss since they were harmless in exile and easy to surveil by the large contingent of spies that frequented the same haunts as their prey.

The young draft dodging artists and poets were so inconsequential that no one spied on them. Free to express themselves, their anarchical frenzy of poetic outrages became known as Dada and influenced Europe, and beyond, with an historic legacy at least on a par with the political habitués of their cafés and cabarets.

When the war ended, the artistic rebellion decamped to various capitals of Europe. The most notorious scene was in Paris. Along with an influx of the disaffected from Switzerland, French youth, as combatants and medical personnel during the war, participated in scandalizing the leeches of a cultural apparatus that was subservient to the malodorous status quo. All cultural terrain was their playground: from obscure cafés to ornate, gold-leafed concert halls, from private parties to international conferences, the old order, that reeked with the stench of a corpse, was ridiculed with passion.

At the turn of 20th century, steel and speed promised a future of progress. The senseless slaughter of millions in the muddy battlefields dashed the confidence of youth that the future promised anything other than capitalist terror. But the bourgeoisie, impervious to the catastrophe that decimated the working class, retained a semblance of their old, pre-war exhilaration sublimated as consumerism, a leisurely pastime to allay their boredom. And for the degenerate remnants of the old cultural enterprise, the writers and poets, they persisted in composing panegyrics to Progress, Capitalism, and High Culture, as if the hollowness of their efforts could be ignored so long as they devoted themselves to elaborating a form that had long ago proved rotten. The entire assemblage of patrons and artists consisted of a performance of roles that had no substance but artifice.

For the rebellious youth, they had at first no recourse but to satisfy their outrage by systemic ridicule and provocation of the cultural cadaver of the establishment. The abominations were in plain sight: the mechanistic rationality of the 19th century sciences still imposed its stupidities, the exploitation of human and natural resources by the captains of industry continued apace, and the priests were still secure on the altars. Only a tsunami of critical theory and practice would sweep this rubbish from history.

And the deluge came: science underwent a total transformation with the enigma of quantum physics and string theory, psychoanalysis cracked open skulls, the workers fought the depravity of the work ethic, literature finally severed its bonds with predictable fiction, music smashed the system of tonal hierarchies, and Benjamin Peret spit at a priest. Never before in history did so many columns of the temple of culture collapse.

Predictably, given the lapse of time and the seductions of the market, the engineers of repression rebuilt them. And, to be certain that rebellion would be smothered, they constructed temple annexes for electronic mass media, starting with radio broadcasts and culminating today with the i-Watch, the fashionable shackle of consumerism.

Today a seismic event has fractured the edifice of commercial and political conformity and may foreshadow its total destruction, if we rise against it. If we take advantage of the suspension of quotidian control before it returns under the watchful gaze of authority repositioned ostensibly for our benefit. Previous rebellions, though all brutally crushed, were never successfully erased from the historical record. They can be the starting point for a contemporary upheaval. The agenda of revolution never needs to be rethought. From the beginning, it has been posted for all to see at least since the German peasant’s rebellion in 1524. Five hundred years of smoldering ashes! Recurring flareups throughout the centuries perfected the demands for freedom. Notably next year we will be celebrating 150th anniversary of the Paris Commune of 1871—the program and practice of which was a thorough refinement of the agenda of revolt, and could be revived today with little change.

Let’s be clear about this. Down with jobs that waste our lives! Down with those who impose their will upon us! Down with a way of life that elevates Value above Humanity!

In Prague, a Disgraceful Act: They Desecrated and Removed the Statue of Marshal Konev!

Soon there might be silence. The liberation of Prague, as well as the liberation of Auschwitz and/or Warsaw by the Red Army, will be forgotten. At least in Europe, even in Eastern Europe, where it took place.

This is where it is all leading to. Perhaps, one day, East European governments will issue new orders to desecrate cemeteries and mass graves, all those resting places of the Soviet soldiers who, some 75 years ago, gave their ultimate sacrifice. These graves once embraced hundreds of thousands of Soviet kids and young men, who against all odds and with unimaginable courage pushed the Nazi hordes away from the devastated Soviet cities and villages, through the burned fields and forests, first towards Warsaw and Prague, Budapest and Sofia, and then, finally, all the way to the center of Berlin.

Around 25 million Soviet people lost their lives, fighting the crown jewel of Western expansionism and barbarity – Nazi Germany. The enormous young socialist country rose, and almost single-handedly rescued the world; assured the survival of our human race.

One of its greatest military leaders, in fact, a military genius and true hero, Marshal Ivan Konev, commanded the 1st Ukrainian Front, the one which liberated both the Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland, and later Prague.

*****

In order to please its NATO masters, as well as those in Washington, Prague’s petty politician unceremoniously removed the statue of its liberator, insulting it during the process with repulsive COVID-19 mockery.

RT reported on April 3rd, 2020:

A monument to Soviet Marshal Ivan Konev, who commanded the forces that liberated Prague from the Nazis in 1945, has been removed and mocked for ‘not having a mask’ by one local official, in what Russia has condemned as an insult…

Famous Czech black humor? No, this is not Soldier Svejk. It is dark sarcasm, inexcusable, full of collaboration zeal. In the West, there is an era of insulting everything Soviet and Russian. And some Czechs, as well as Poles, are desperately trying to be accepted as members of the elite club of the countries which has been, for centuries, plundering the world.

The RT report continued:

He didn’t have a mask on. Those rules apply to everybody. You can only be outside if your mouth and nose are covered,“ district mayor Ondrej Kolar joked on Facebook, prompting a multitude of angry responses.

Some commenters suggested that Kolar had “his brain affected by the coronavirus” and reminded him that he would have never been born, much less a mayor, had Konev’s troops not liberated the city from the Nazis. The monument actually predates Kolar, who was born in 1984, by four years.

*****

Not everything is lost. Czechia is a complex nation. It may be full of neo-liberals, as well as collaborators with Washington, but unlike Poland, it is also known for its critical and extremely well-educated population.

Its Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia consistently finishes third in the country’s elections. Czechs never joined the Euro zone, maintaining its stable currency – crown (koruna). Throughout the war in Syria, Czechia was the only EU country that maintained its embassy in Damascus, open and active. It is also a well-known fact that several key Czech politicians are insisting on maintaining good relations with Moscow, despite Czechia being a member of both NATO and the European Union.

A friend of mine, a fellow Czech philosopher and performer, Milan Kohout, agreed to send a comment for this report:

Taking down the monument of Soviet Marshal Ivan Konev who commanded the forces that liberated Prague from the Nazis in 1945 is the final culmination of the brainwashing process of the young generations of the Czech citizens, who were born years and decades after the liberation of Prague.

I guess I am already old enough to see how even during my life the governing systems which are presently in power, can completely twist the historic facts and literally piss on the graves of so many young Soviet soldiers who died to liberate Czechoslovakia from the brutal occupation by the German Nazis.

Recently, I lived again for several years in Prague, and personally witnessed that process; the power grab by the right-wing. This process is now celebrating victory by erasing the memory of the suffering of their own grandfathers and grandmothers. But I hope it will just be an illusionary victory, a short-lived one, shallow – so typical for neoliberalism.

After Tweeting the link to the RT report, and after expressing my outrage, I receive several replies from Czechia, almost all of them reconciliatory. One of them summarized the general mood:

Please do not think that what happened reflects the mood of ghe entire Czechia, Andre. One thing is the Euro-dictatorship and U.S. “protectorate”, the second thing is the Prague 6 district and its mayor who is a member of an absolutely insignificant political party. The third thing is the rest of the country, which votes quite differently, and would never allow such idiots to lead the nation.

“Konev will return”, wrote others.

*****

The political situation in Czechia is complex. Ondrej Kolar made a huge blunder. Trying to play into the hands of the anti-Russian and anti-Soviet forces at home and abroad, he actually managed to repulse and outrage his fellow citizens. He stirred discussions about propaganda, even about the position of his country on the world stage.

Many Czechs do not like the global dictatorship of Washington. Many are disgusted by the European Union. Removing the statue of Marshal Konev brings many questions into the spotlight; some of them ugly, some extremely dreadful.

One of them is: who is behind such insulting and twisted events?

It goes without saying that the tremendous propaganda attacks against Russia and the Soviet Union do not originate from Prague. They come from Washington, London, Berlin and Paris. And their goal is to reverse and pervert history, and to equate the Soviet Union (the country which defeated and destroyed Nazism and colonialism in its original form), with Nazi Germany.

Of course, it is only Western imperialism and colonialism that can be, logically, compared with Nazism.

Now that the second stage of colonialism has returned, brutalizing all corners of the world, the West is desperate to discredit its most determined enemy.

This writer and New Eastern Outlook will, in the near future, examine this angle, determinedly and in detail, as it is essential to the survival of our planet.

The removal of the statue of Marshal Konev is an extremely significant act of intellectual vandalism. It is also an insult, to the millions of Soviet people who lost their lives, liberating the world from tremendous evil.

Russians are accustomed to the insults. For centuries they have faced attacks, injustice, and smears: for being straightforward, for being different, and for standing by its allies, for defending those who lost all hope.

The things that Russians cannot stand and forgive are outright lies, as well as when people spit on the graves of their heroes. Heroes who fought for a better world are revered there. The country is built on their legacy, as it is built on the legacy of great thinkers, poets and musicians.

Intuitively, those Czechs that are now expressing outrage with their own politicians, are aware of it. For centuries, Czech intellectuals looked up to Russia; a big Slavic brother.

The detachment, even hostility, between the two nations is something unnatural; something that may — and should — end soon. The lies and silence should end immediately.

May this one more hostile act serve as a catalyst of change. May resistance to it trigger a new chapter of improved relationships between the two Slavic countries.

• Originally published by NEO – New Eastern Outlook – a journal of the Russian Academy of Sciences