By guest author, diogenes (bio below).
PART 3.5-3.8: OLIGARCH’S PROGRESS: TRAIL OF TEARS (this article)
The Great Depression in America, 1929-1941 [3.5]
After a climactic 12-month “perfect orgy of speculation in New York,” the investment credit bubble of the later 20s collapsed in late October 1929. By November 13 “some thirty billion dollars in capital values had vanished into thin air” (being composed of thin air in the first place). Hoover inherited his Treasury Secretary, financier Andrew Mellon, from Harding and Coolidge and faced an intransigent Congress that blocked relief legislation but did pass his Reconstruction Finance Corporation Act (January 1932). This turned out to be the most effective financial response actually enacted; it was expanded, not improved on, under Roosevelt. As Mellon’s eleven-year tenure attests, Wall Street controlled economic policy; its continuity after 1929 is demonstrated by the steady high rate of dividends American corporations kept paying through 1935 and beyond, while unemployment rose to 9% in 1930, 16% in 1931, 24% in 1932, 25% in 1933 … A substantial proportion of these dividends looked for investment opportunities abroad. Two billion dollars in gold left the country in 1931 in an investor flight from the dollar. When the new Congress convened in March 1933 in an activist mood it faced numerous progressive proposals — minimum wage, unemployment, disability and health insurance, old age pensions, public works projects. Senator Hugo Black of Alabama introduced a 30-hour work-week bill. As Governor Theodore Bilbo saw it, “Folks are getting restless. Communism is getting a foothold right here in Mississippi. Some people are about ready to lead a mob. In fact I’m getting a little pink myself.”
Upon inauguration Roosevelt expressed his sense of priorities by addressing the financial crisis first — well-timed to demand it, as in 2009 — with bank reorganization and securities legislation to reassure investors and stabilize their markets. Sullivan & Cromwell partner Arthur Dean was Wall Street’s inside man for the Securites Act of 1933, written by Felix Frankfurter and James Landis of Harvard Law School in consultation with Dean and Roosevelt aids Thomas Corcoran and Ben Cohen (Frankfurter’s Harvard protégé); revisions in the 1934 Securities Exchange Act accomodated objections from Sullivan & Cromwell partners and others on Wall Street. Relief programs came later, when the unraveling social fabric — starvation and brazen looting of grocery stores, strikes and riots, and the approaching 1934 congressional elections forced action, and then “Dr. Fix-the-Economy” treated symptoms, not causes, with treatments funded by borrowing, instead of public credit, so that marginal relief for the present misery of the many was a source of bond dividends rather than taxes for the wealthy.
Roosevelt’s record with progressive legislation is characterized by delay, diversion, dilution, substitution, and subterfuge. The Civilian Conservation Corps (1933), modeled on his state program while Governor, was run by the Army — the president understood drilling. The Tennessee Valley Authority public utilities bill (1933) was progressive leader George Norris’s proposal, held up for years; administration support tipped the balance. Old age and disability pension bills were sidetracked, along with Senator Black’s, to await administration proposals. Roosevelt’s economic plan came first: the National Recovery Act (NRA), Italian fascist in design, organized industrial and commercial cartels backed by government authority to stabilize prices in their own interest. In her memoir, Labor Secretary Frances Perkins records that Baruch’s friend Gen. Hugh Johnson, later the director of the NRA agency, gave her “a copy of The Corporate State by Rafaello Viglione, in which the neat Italian system of dictatorship for the benefit of the people was glowingly described.”
Emergency Relief Appropriations finally arrived in April, 1935 with a public works jobs bill creating the Works Project Administration, usually remembered for its arts programs, the least funded. The new Congress, the most progressive in 20 years and in an activist mood, passed it promptly. Seven weeks later the Supreme Court ruled the NRA unconstitutional; Mussolini’s reaction is not recorded. With the country angry, the presidential election impending, and progressives as diverse as Mayor Fiorello La Guardia and Senators Robert La Follette, Jr. and Huey Long pressing forward (Long already a presidential contender with a large constituency), Roosevelt signed Robert Wagner’s National Labor Relations Act — basic legislation 40 years overdue — on July 5 and the Social Security Act on August 14.
These five weeks in 1935 represent the single summit of Roosevelt’s progressive legislation, and the NRLA did not originate with the administration. The Social Security Act — a classic Wall Street trojan horse disguising a regressive poor tax on labor as a pension insurance investment scheme — needed to be passed, as Roosevelt told Perkins, to avert strong and rising popular support for the Townsend Plan, the far more generous and less onerous proposal of a retired Los Angeles doctor who, stung by the sight outside his window of three elderly women picking through garbage, inspired a nationwide grassroots movement that founded 4500 Townsend Clubs in a year to promote it. After winning the election, Roosevelt cut back relief, his objective obtained, instructing Harry Hopkins to “lay off the people on WPA.” After a White House meeting at which a number of governors argued against “the abrupt attempt to dump the relief problem in the laps of the states and municipalities,” Roosevelt told Wisconsin Governor Philip La Follette, as he writes in his memoirs, “‘Phil, there have always been poor people; there always will be. Be practical!’… I knew then what I had only feared before: Roosevelt had no more real interest in the common man than a Wall Street broker. He was playing the same kind of game as Big Business, only he sought, got, and intended to keep power, rather than money.”
The Depression in America hit rock bottom in 1938. Labor, cowed by Wilson’s repression, remained divided and abject under AFL tutelage through the 20s, submitting, a dismayed observer wrote in 1929, “to legal injustices and physical violence without effective protest. The anti-labor injunction flourishes in all parts of this country. There is terrorism and murder by sheriffs and company police especially in the coal and iron and the textile industries, and constant violation by officials and employers of the workers’ constitutional civil liberties.” An Australian labor writer visiting a year earlier reported: “The story of American trade unionism … has been a case of each trade for itself and keep the other fellow out… American industries are no longer striving to supply a demand; they are striving to maintain returns on the capital that is invested in machinery and buildings [and the watered stocks “capitalized” on their prospect of future profits]…. Time-payment plan [debt keeps] many workers tied to their jobs as surely as if they were indentured… The most striking thing about labor in America is, that it has become the slave of the paymaster.” By 1931 under stress of dire circumstances working people began to break free in wildcat actions and strikes led by independent local unions — uncoordinated sporadic outbreaks often opposed, for essentially the same reasons, by both the AFL and the Communist Party, each placing the authority and interests of its organizational hierarchy above the workers’. In 1938, with the legal sanction of the Wagner Act and empowered by sit-down-strike tactics and CIO activist strategies, workingmen began forcing concessions from industry when Roosevelt declined to support management violence with federal justice and troops as Cleveland and Wilson did. This struggle, along with the depression (unemployment was still 10%), was ongoing in December 1941.
The Invasion of Wasington [3.6]
Like Wilson, once elected to a second term Roosevelt began to steer toward war, stepping up naval procurements to continue assembling the new fleet that would destroy Japanese naval offensive capacity in the Battles of Coral Sea and Midway (it was “on maneuvers” at sea six months earlier when the outdated decoys at Pearl Harbor sank). The war drive started three years before. Between one issue and the next in 1937-38 magazines reversed editorial positions under new management or owners. In America after the Great War the traditional foreign policy of neutrality was almost universally favored, a sentiment that increased as historians published the facts of the war. Merchants Of Death and Road To War sold and were read widely; magazines like Reader’s Digest featured articles by prominent historians. Neutrality acts passed, disarmament conferences convened and signed treaties, or were sabotaged by armaments interests exposed amid protests. Non-interventionist convictions were strong and everywhere.
In 1939 neutrality and non-intervention were rechristened “isolationism” (a loaded term coined for disparagement by British Intelligence) as America was subjected to a four-year propaganda blitz of xenophobia and war terror, emanating principally from Manhattan — with assistance from the New Yorker in the White House. In one of his “fireside chat” broadcasts over nationwide radio the president warned that the Germans planned to invade Dakar, from there take Brazil and then march north to capture St. Louis — a logistical absurdity delivered with straight-faced trust in the ignorance and gullibility of his listeners. A campaign of vilification slandered prominent anti-interventionists, respected articulate citizens, as bigots and fascists. Nonetheless, in the weeks before Pearl Harbor 90% of Americans still disapproved of military intervention overseas.
Once Britain and France declared war on Germany (September 3, 1939) the navy, under secret orders from Roosevelt, began harassing German Atlantic patrols in hopes of precipitating hostilies. In 1940 British Intelligence opened offices in Rockefeller Center, with administration collusion, and began covert operations supporting intervention and attacking its opponents. They also helped with arrangements at the Democratic Convention where Roosevelt’s team steamrollered him to a third term. Chicago’s Superintendant of Sewers on the microphone PA from the basement chanting “we want Roosevelt” for 53 minutes with supporters on the convention floor over nationwide radio enacted a “nomination by acclamation” without further discussion. “The delegates were far from enthusiastic about having traveled all the way to Chicago to be cast in the role of puppets.”
After Pearl Harbor Wall Street’s invasion of Washington began in earnest. Since the 1880s figures from the world of finance increasingly found places in top administrative positions in the departments of the Treasury, State, and the Navy. In 1917 corporate executives (“dollar-a-year men”) eagerly volunteered their services to assist government procurement of their companies’ products and services for the war effort — steel company president Samuel Prescott Bush among them, grandfather and great-grandfather of presidents, in charge of the Ordinance, Small Arms, and Ammunition Section. By 1929 in Washington as in London government administration was “closely identified … with the private interests representing export capital…. Interchange of personnel between government and big business is even more characteristic of the United States than of Britain.” But the military mobilization of 1942 occasioned a more widespread and permanent occupation. Roosevelt “loaded his administration with the representatives of Wall Street. They took over. Edward Stettinius, chairman of the board of US Steel and vice president of General Motors, became Secretary of State while Bernard Baruch, Nelson Rockefeller, Dean Acheson, Marriner S. Eccles and Lewis W. Douglas and … hundreds of other businessmen and their lawyers took over positions of control,” particularly in the administration of financial and foreign affairs. At Sullivan & Cromwell, “four partners and thirty-five associates — more than half the firm’s sixty-six lawyers — enlisted. They served honorably on all fronts, usually as officers and often for some branch of intelligence … places at the heart of the war.” In the South Pacific Samuel P. Bush’s grandson, George, Sr., did aerial reconnaissance photography for naval intelligence.
Once the war was over, as in 1919, the red hunt began at home. The CIO gave its Executive Committee command over the local unions and membership. Centralized control (on the best Morgan principles) brought their activism to heel and extirpated radicals and dissidents of every stripe (“commies,” every one). In the 1946 congressional elections Wall Street went hunting progressives. Afterward, a Senate committee investigated the Montana Democratic primary, which saw defeated the nomination of four-term Senator Burton Wheeler, Robert La Follette’s running-mate on the 1924 Progressive Party ticket. As Wheeler relates, the committee “found that substantial funds were funneled into the state for [his opponent] Erickson from well-heeled internationalists in New York and Hollywood…. Bernard Baruch told me that someone from the Murray group solicited an anti-Wheeler contribution from him, on the ground that I was anti-Semitic. Baruch said he told the emissary that this charge was false. This was the kind of campaign I was up against.” In Wisconsin another leading progressive, four-term Senator Robert La Follette, Jr., suffered the same fate in the Republican primary, defeated for the nomination by Joe McCarthy. Under La Follette’s chairmanship the Senate Civil Liberties Committee from 1936-1941 conducted hearings exhaustively investigating anti-labor industrial espionage, strike-breaking by private police and other forms of business coercion of workers. Gerald Nye of North Dakota, chair of the Senate Munitions Inquiry (1934-1937), was similarly defeated in 1944. Their targeting attests among other things the effectiveness of these committee hearings and investigations (even without legislative enactments) as public exposure of abuses, a classic progressive method from before the muckrakers.
Outspending his opponent five-to-one with support “from East Coast money including Prescott Bush” (father and grandfather of presidents) in a campaign of red-baiting and dirty-tricks, newcomer Richard Nixon defeated five-term California Representative Jerry Voorhis of Ventura, a leading younger congressional progressive and a prominent advocate for financial reform. His book Out Of Debt, Out Of Danger: Proposals For War Finance and Tomorrow’s Money (1943), made him a special target, as did his promise. He also antagonized Wall Street by investigating Sullivan & Cromwell’s business contacts with Nazi Germany. In 1939 Voorhis introduced a bill (H.R. 4931) proposing to buy out the private owners of the Federal Reserve with Treasury-issued money and liquidate the national debt by purchasing the Reserve’s holdings of Treasury bonds as they mature “in the same manner in which the banks bought the bonds originally — namely with newly created money.” Although “150 congressmen were pledged to vote for it,” it was referred to committee and left to die there when the term of the 76th Congress expired. In his student years Voorhis was influenced by the Social Gospel movement, which played a prominent role in progressive activism. His economic views take as essential “three basic Christian principles: human brotherhood, voluntary mutual aid among people, and the right use of the gifts of God.” Voorhis refers to the 1931 encyclical of Pope Pius XI on economics, Quadragesimo Anno (Forty Years After) and endorses its re-assertion of the view (basic Catholic theology) that justice properly subordinates economic to moral law.
The Occupation [3.7]
Congress assembled after the election, purged, and began a new reconstruction, establishing the security state, the permanent war economy and the cold war. On July 6 it passed the National Security Act of 1947, creating the Council, the Department of Defense, the new Department of the Air Force (with custody of the superweapon), the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the Central Intelligence Agency. An initial designer was Secretary of War (1945-1947) Robert Patterson, in private life a Wall Street lawyer. Another key figure in this reorganization of executive administration was James Forrestal, of the Wall Street powerhouse finance bank, Dillon, Read. Undersecretary of the Navy from mid 1940, organizing industrial production for the approaching war, he became Secretary in 1944 and the first Secretary of Defense on September 17, 1947. The next year saw elements of the State Department, the military, the aircraft industry, Congress and the press collaborate in a Berlin war scare to extort increased aircraft procurement appropriations from an unwilling Congress. The parts of the military industrial complex were locking into place.
Wall Street import-export finance and corporate commerce intent on markets abroad began its rise to dominance as the shaping force in American foreign policy during his grandfather Foster’s tenure as Secretary of State and achieved it during his Uncle Lansing’s. When Foster Dulles was invited by Eisenhower to Paris to interview for the position, it took direct control. In 1941 his brother Allen (by now a Sullivan and Cromwell partner also) helped organize the Office of Strategic Services, the predecessor of the CIA, and spent the second world war, like the first, working for intelligence in Switzerland. He rejoined the new Agency in 1950, in charge of covert operations, while Foster Dulles negotiated the final treaty with Japan as a special representative of Truman’s State Department. Allen was appointed Director of the Agency during Eisenhower’s first week in office.
The Dulles brothers presided over a transformation, comparable to Morganization’s and constructed upon its foundation, which usurped the federal administrative apparatus by centralizing the executive in the manner of a corporate reorganization. Foster Dulles did not invent the security state, the permanent war economy or the cold war but he and his brother administered its installation and first decade of operation. Before flying to Paris he asked his Sullivan & Cromwell partner Eustace Seligman for advice. “Seligman said that ‘massive retaliation’ was the modern strategy, using nuclear warheads to frighten enemies into peace and keep American boys from having to fight…. Ike was delighted with Dulles’s up-to-date and sensible policy of massive retaliation.” Dulles also adopted the domino theory and the containment of communism as policy innovations. He brought with him Wall Street’s international corporate activism, his fervent anti-communism, and a family tradition of foreign intervention.
During Eisenhower’s presidency Wall Street consolidated and expanded its domination at home and abroad. The Dulleses engineered a coup in Guatamala with the connivance of Nicaraguan dictator Anastasio Somoza (installed by the Marines in 1937), deposing a democratically elected government for the benefit of United Fruit. In Iran they ousted Prime Minister Mosaddegh, also democratically elected, who nationalized British Petroleum’s oil franchise, and returned Reza Shah Pahlavi to its throne and its oil industry to absentee ownership, with a sizeable share passing from British to American hands. Theodore Roosevelt’s grandson, CIA officer Kermit, Jr., played an important role in these events and later with the installation of Nasser in Egypt. In Washington, a Sullivan & Cromwell partner was drafted to “devise the Internal Revenue Code of 1954, which was the basis of American taxation for more than thirty years,” and Foster Dulles arranged to transfer to State Department jurisdiction an anti-trust suit against the seven sisters petroleum cartel and suppressed it “for reasons of national security” — beginning a long bi-partisan rollback and dismantling of anti-trust and New Deal securities legislation whose later achievements include the 1999 repeal under President Clinton of the Glass-Steagall Banking Act of 1933 and the 2005 abolition of the Utilities Holding Company Act of 1935 under President Bush the younger.
For his part, Allen Dulles kept the Cold War on track. “In 1960 the agency … told president Eisenhower that the Soviets would have five hundred ICBMs ready to strike by 1961…. But Moscow did not have five hundred nuclear missiles pointed at the United States at the time. It had four.” By the last two years of his presidency Eisenhower was having doubts. “Air Force colonel L. Fletcher Prouty suspected that the CIA had intentionally provoked the [1960 U-2 spy-plane shootdown] incident in order to ruin the peace conference” planned between Eisenhower & Khrushchev. The prospect of peace — or a mere diminishment of hostility — was a threat to the permanent war economy. “Losing patience,” the president “told Dulles that the CIA was badly organized and badly run…. He would leave the next president a ‘legacy of ashes.'” Eisenhower expressed his worry in his farewell address: “We must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.”
When Kennedy took office he found an ongoing project for an invasion of Cuba at the Bay of Pigs ticking on his doorstep. “To the Dulleses, intervention in Cuba was nothing new. [Grandfather] Foster had gotten President Woodrow Wilson to protect the interests of firm clients by sending 1,600 troops to Cuba in 1917.” Kennedy’s displeasure with Allen Dulles’s operations is better known than Eisenhower’s. (He fired him.) “Many extraordinary acts of Pentagon and CIA insubordination plagued the Kennedy presidency from the very beginning…. By 1963, Kennedy would come to the conclusion that ‘the hardliners in the Soviet Union and the United States feed on one another,'” pushing each other to mirroring aggressive stances and strategies. Krushchev reached the same conclusion about his hardliners, and history discloses that the full catalog of terrors and subversions with which American cold war anti-communists charged the Soviet Union were replicated in the Agency’s own book of dirty tricks. Allen Dulles understood this quite well: in the late 40s he planted false evidence to persuade the Soviets that their intelligence was deeply infiltrated by American spies, inducing the paranoid purges of the late 40s & early 50s that tore their intelligence system to pieces.
Between the two world wars the center of global finance began to shift from London to New York. For liberal audiences during the war Roosevelt winningly avowed as a war aim dismantling Britain’s colonial empire — to grant native peoples self-rule, as he phrased it. Other benefits, mentioned to fewer listeners, included removing british imperial customs union tariff barriers to yankee business and fragmenting british dominion over world trade and finance. This also entailed transfer of the rule of the waves, the “thalassocracy” (‘sea-power’) which Thucydides identifies as the sign and substance of international dominion and empire. (Both Presidents Roosevelt were former Assistant Secretaries of the Navy.) During the periods of each world war when Britain was at war and the United States was not (1914-17 & 1939-41), the Royal Navy assumed and exercised the right, as thalassarch, to stop, board, and search neutral vessels — evoking angry protests but ultimate compliance from American shipping. The navy was still a-building. Historically, the center of trade and finance and thalassocracy have coincided and shifted together. It dwelt in Constantinople from late antiquity — with a hiatus during the chaotic sixth and seventh centuries when Mediterranean trade collapsed — until 1204 when the Venetian fleet and the Fourth Crusade sacked the city and the center migrated to Venice and Genoa and then during the sixteenth century to Amsterdam with the influx of Atlantic trade from India and the Americas. In 1688 it crossed to England symbolically in the person of Dutch-born King William III of Orange; the Bank of England was founded in 1694. The balance of empire swung again and settled on New York in 1945.
The rest of America woke up, the morning after, to a consequence of victory unanticipated outside elite circles: a brand new foreign empire (not called so), acquired in passing, evidently by accident, with no advance notice, and with no public discussion or congressional decision beforehand — presented as a fait accompli, to be accepted without demur or question, along with the new role with which it endowed lucky America: the imperial obligation to rule the waves, supervise world trade and finance, and garrison the globe with hundreds of military bases. Their staffing would involve a peacetime prolongation of the draft that continued for a quarter century and nourish a vast armaments industry and a financial system capitalized to feed off it — a permanent war economy with the oligarchy of its vested interests installed, unelected and perennial, at the heart of government.
In June 1947, after the demobilization of over 10 million conscripts, there were still above 1.5 million Americans in the military with hundreds of thousands overseas. These troop levels, which continued well into the 50s, offer a stark index of the scale of the social transformation this militarization effected in a country whose army, ten years before, numbered under 200,000, none stationed abroad. Many were probably farm boys since, among other post-war transformations of American society, “the industrialization of farmlands began almost on the day after V-J day.” The democratic sanction of this transformative perpetual war for perpetual peace was represented by a congressional “bi-partisan foreign policy” which, with the passage of time, has become a simple matter of not asking pertinent questions. As a 2014 study by Martin Gilens (Princeton) & Benjamin I. Page (Northwestern) establishes, the wishes of American citizens today have absolutely no discernible effect upon Congressional legislation, which demonstrably responds, instead, entirely to the promptings of elite consolidated wealth. As its continuity for over a century demonstrates at every turn, deep policy is subject to the dictates of this oligarchy, headquarters Wall Street.
Moulding Opinion [3.8]
The response evoked from the metropolitan plutocracy by the heads-up resisitance of progressives and the necessities of putting its program over on the public has been a century of deception, subversion and usurpation, a piecemeal half-coordinated all-pervading campaign intent on replacing “an alert and knowledgeable citizenry” with one that is uninformed, misinformed, confused, deluded, distracted, misdirected, lulled, complacent, gullible, cowed, and, when need be, anxious and frightened or agitated, rallied or regimented to fight the latest in a perennial series of enemies. Such a citizenry is far more malleable than one that is “knowledgeable” and, if alert and active, misdirected and futile in its efforts.
The history of America’s corporate manufactured, profit-making, so-called “popular” culture has consisted in large measure and increasingly of elements of this campaign, which commenced, on the part of Wall Street, even before Morgan bought 25 newspapers to sell intervention in the First World War. By 1920, as Upton Sinclair pointed out, “American newspapers as a whole represent private interests and not public interests.” In his city, besides the “Republican” Times, Harrison Gray “Otis owned secretly another Los Angeles newspaper, the Herald and the Herald was an ‘independent’ newspaper, a ‘Democratic’ newspaper, a ‘closed-shop’ [union] newspaper.” Today, six corporations control 90% of the media in America.
Something similar occured in academic America. In the aftermath of the Panic of 1893, Brooks Adams wrote his brother Henry “what strikes me most is the tone of the universities which are more the instruments of capital than the press … Every man of liberal mind and popular instincts is weeded out.” Brooks knew this from personal experience. In his youth Harvard dismissed him as an instructor; his ideas were “dangerous” and his lectures too “stimulating” for his students. The rise of official history is a gauge of tyranny. Today our knowledge and views about progressive history come to us mediated by a century of deceptions and concealments, with open discussion of facts increasingly replaced by public indoctrination. Historian Lawrence Goodwyn writes, “the ultimate cultural victory being not merely to win an argument but to remove the subject from the agenda of future contention, the consolidation of values that so successfully submerged the ‘financial question’ beyond the purview of succeeding generations was self-sustaining and largely invisible.” In particular and above all, as a result “the ‘money question’ passed out of American politics … quite simply, [as] a product of cultural intimidation … Certain ideas about the economy, no matter how buttressed with evidence and interpretive skill, had become dangerous.” Perhaps the strongest endorsement of progressive analyses and policies is the warrant of their threat proclaimed by their suppression from public discussion and knowledge and their distortion and erasure in “popular” and academic histories.
The political and economic, social and cultural disruptions of the Second World War lasted longer and reached deeper than during the First. The states in particular were disrupted and rearranged by the uprooting and migrations of millions occasioned by the draft and war industries and were subjected, as we have seen, to increasing Wall Street manipulation of their electoral politics. Wall Street seized the war and the years immediately after as an opportunity and occasion to induce a mass amnesia or suppression of public memory and reorientation in whose aftermath its economic system and results came to be presented and understood as to be “taken for granted.” The ideological map of American political categories was redrawn. Starting in the later 1930s and more pervasively “during World War II,” Burton Wheeler writes, “the practice of pasting on political labels became ridiculous. To the ‘liberals,’ it didn’t matter how reactionary you were on domestic issues. If you were an ‘interventionist,’ that is, pro-war, you were automatically welcomed with open arms as a ‘liberal.'” Similarly, a conservative who was not an “interventionist” was a “fascist bigot.” Thus was the post-war “bi-partisan foreign policy” constituted, by demonizing, silencing, and erasing opposition.
After the war, Wall Street took particular care that the widely read “revisionist” historiography that exposed the facts of the First World War and strongly influenced most Americans’ advocacy of neutrality, disarmament, and non-intervention would not be repeated. Unlike the works of their First World War predecessors, which were published by major houses, well-reviewed and widely read, books that reported the facts of American foreign policy and intervention in the Second World War, including ones by eminent and highly respected historians such as Charles Beard and Charles Tansill, were published by non-commercial or “marginalized” publishers, excoriated in the press and consigned to popular oblivion.
The Rockefeller Foundation led a campaign to encourage correct ideas focused especially on American colleges and universities but including other cultural institutions, venues and activities, working in close cooperation with the CIA, whose “Mighty Wurlitzer” exerted a pervasive influence, often misleading, over the press and other sources of public information and discussion in foreign affairs, while the power of finance over their ownership and advertisers kept the press in line on economic issues and domestic policy. In the 1950s and since, “most of those who challenged the era’s mandatory spirit of American triumphalism soon found themselves intellectually isolated and professionally invisible…. Unpleasant realites about the U.S. imperium were considered out-of-bounds for scholarly or journalistic exploration…. The grants, literary prizes, journalism awards, and academic endowments went to those who saw America as the hope of the world, not to those who focused on its deep flaws.”
During this era and since, cultural institutions of all sorts, from schools to news media to entertainment, have modeled for Americans a view of ourselves as internationalists acting as global arbitrators in a proconsular role, judges and enforcers — a fitting one for citizens of an empire that garrisons the planet with hundreds of military bases to “defend our national security” thousands of miles distant from our shores, uninvaded since 1815. Throughout the first 160 years of our history few Americans viewed such an imperial role to be a good one for citizens of the United States or for our country. The persistent effort to disguise it with idealistic hypocrisy and euphemism over the past two generation suggests that this continues to be true for most of us.
In his classic study (1902) of the English experience of empire economist J.A. Hobson writes “Although the new Imperialism has been bad business for the nation it has been good business for certain classes and certain trades within the nation… What is the direct economic outcome of Imperilism? A great expenditure of public money upon ships, guns, military and naval equipment and stores, growing and productive of enormous profits when a war, or an alarm of war, occurs; new public loans and fluctuations in the house and foreign Bourses; … improvement of foreign investments … acquisition of markets … Imperialism is of little value to the manufacturer [except of armaments] and trader, fraught with grave peril for the citizen, [but] is a source of great gain to the investor…. Cui bono? The first and most obvious answer is, the investor.”
PART 3 (Second Half)
3.5: The Great Depression in America, 1929-1941
The Crash and Depression:
Frederick Allen, The Lords Of Creation (New York, Harper, 1935) p. 396-397 quoted on “thin air.”
DENNY p. 169-170 quoted on “perfect orgy of speculation.”
E.D. KENNEDY on dividends 1929-1935.
Cornelius Vanderbilt, Jr., Farewell To Fifth Avenue (New York, Simon & Schuster, 1935) p. 222-223 on 1931 gold exodus.
Page Smith, Redeeming The Time, A People’s History Of the 1920s and The New Deal (New York, McGraw-Hill, 1987) p. 447 quotes Gov. Bilbo.
Depression social conditions — three astute non-sectarian eyewitness accounts:
GELDES = Gilbert Seldes, The Years Of The Locust (America, 1929-1932), (Boston, Little, Brown, 1933).
Edmund Wilson, American Jitters (New York, Scribners, 1932).
Louis Adamic, My America 1928-1938 (New York, Harper, 1938).
John J. Spivak, “Bitter Unrest Sweeps The Nation,” The American Mercury (August 1934) vo. 32 no. 128 p. 385-393.
Paul Taylor, On The Ground In The Thirties (Salt Lake City, Peregrine Smith, 1983).
On FDR’s legislative history see
FLYNN 1948 = John Flynn, The Roosevelt Myth, (New York, Devin-Adair, 1948) and also
FLYNN 1940 = John Flynn, Country Squire In The White House (New York, Doubleday, Doran, 1940).
LISAGOR & LIPSIUS p. 114, 173ff. & 180-181 on the Securities acts.
PERKINS = Frances Perkins, The Roosevelt I Knew (New York, Viking, 1946) p. 206 quoted.
The New Deal:
Charles A. Beard & George H.E. Smith, The Old Deal and the New (New York, Macmillan, 1940).
STOLBERG & VINTON.
E.D. KENNEDY passim on dividends.
The Townsend Plan:
Francis E. Townsend, The Townsend Plan (Washington, D.C., 1935).
Dr. Francis Everett Townsend, New Horizons (An Autobiography) (Chicago, J.L. Stewart, 1943).
PERKINS p. 278-301 on Social Security Act; p. 294 reports FDR telling her Social Security required passage to avert the Townsend Plan.
Donald R. McCoy, Angry Voices: Left-of-Center Politics in the New Deal Era (Lawrence, University of Kansas, 1958) p. 135-140.
Lottie Tartell, “An Examination of the Major Influences on the Content and Timing of the Social Security Legislation, 1935,” in Franklin D. Roosevelt, ed. Herbert D. Rosenbaum & Elizabeth Bartelme (Westport, Connecticut, Greenwood, 1987).
Roosevelt and relief after the elections:
P. LA FOLLETTE quoted p. 246-247.
DENNY p. 45 quoted on labor’s submission.
Louis Adamic, Laughing In The Jungle (New York, Harper, 1932), a vivid and penetrating eyewitness view of workingclass America in the 20s.
Louis Adamic, Dynamite (New York, revised edition 1934; rpr. Peter Smith, Gloucester, 1960) — American labor history 1890-1930.
Hugh Grant Adam, An Australian Looks At America: Are Wages Really Higher (London, Allen & Unwin, 1928), p. 71 & 117-118 quoted.
On the AFL and Gompers, the CIO and the sit-down strike:
PETTIGREW p. 109 ff. is scathing.
KARP p. 50.
Ernest Sutherland Bates, “The A.F. of L.: Enemy of Labor,” The American Mercury (January 1935) vol. 39 no. 133 p. 52-62.
Ralph Chaplin, Wobbly: The Rough-and-Tumble Story of an American Radical (University of Chicago, 1948) passim; p. 14 on the AFL & Gompers.
BOYERS & MORAIS = Richard O. Boyer & Herbert M. Morais, Labor’s Untold Story (New York, 1955; 2nd ed. 1965) p. 131 ff. on Gompers & the AFL; p. 290 ff. on the CIO and the sit-down strike.
Local union strike action in 1931:
Mauritz A. Hallgren, Seeds Of Revolt (New York, Knopf, 1933) p. 166 reports a cannery workers strike in San Jose, California, August 5, 1931, with arrests and rioting. By 1935 this union survived efforts to suppress its activism by both the AFL and the Communist Party.
3.6: The Invasion of Wasington
Neutrality & Anti-intervention:
H.C. Englebrecht & F.C. Hanighen, Merchants Of Death, A Study of the International Armament Industry (New York, Dodd, Mead & Co., 1934).
Walter Millis, Road to War, America 1914-1917 (Boston, Houghton Mifflin, 1935).
Stephen & Joan Raushenbush, War Madness (Washington, D.C., National Home Library Foundation, 1937).
Common Sense Neutrality, ed. Paul Comly French (New York, Hastings House, 1939) esp. the contributions of Harry Elmer Barnes, Charles Beard, Sen. William Borah, Maj. Gen. Smedley Butler, Herbert Hoover, Sen. Robert La Follette, Jr., Norman Thomas, Sen. Athur Vandenberg, and Congressman Jerry Voorhis.
Bill Kauffman, America First! (Amherst, New York, Prometheus Books, 1995).
War scares etc.
P. LA FOLLETTE p. 264 writes: “Churchill himself is candid in his magnificent volumes on World War II. He states unequivocally that when Britain won the air battle against the Luftwaffe in September, 1940, she was free from any real danger of an invasion by the Germans. All the propaganda poured out on the American people that the United States was in effect ‘hiding behind the safety of the British fleet’ was false.” The idea of a successful German invasion of Britain was equally absurd, logistically, as the German High Command realized after a few weeks cursory consideration and as their records, seized after the war, conclusively prove.
Lawrence Dennis, “Propaganda for War: Model 1938,” The American Mercury (May, 1938) vol. 44 no. 173 p. 1-10.
Naval maneuvers & British Intelligence:
Patrick Abbazia, Mr. Roosevelt’s Navy: The Private War of the U.S. Atlantic Fleet 1939-1942 (Anapolis, Naval Institute Press, 1975).
H. Montgomery Hyde, The Quiet Canadian; the Secret Service Story of Sir William Stephenson (London, H. Hamilton, 1962) — avoid the edited American version, Room 3603; the story of t he British Intelligence Center in New York during World War II (New York, Farrar, Straus, 1963).
KINZER see p. 63-65 also on Stephenson’s Rockefeller Center offices.
HOOVER: the first 300 pages and more are pertinent.
Wayne S. Cole, Senator Gerald P. Nye and American Foreign Relations (Minneapolis, University of Minnesota Press, 1962) see p. 186-212 on the vilification of proponents of non-intervention with tactics he compares to “those used by McCarthyites.” The progressive chairman of the Senate Munitions Inquiry was a special target, along with John Flynn, a member of the Committee’s Advisory Council of experts, and its secretary and chief investigator, Stephen Raushenbush, son of Walter Rauschenbusch, a prominent leader of the Social Gospel movement in America.
David E. Koskoff, Joseph P. Kennedy, A Life and Times (Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, Prentice-Hall, 1974) see p. 294-334. Ambassador Kennedy, the president’s father, and his son John were both involved with non-interventionist America First. Joseph Kennedy’s advocacy of peace abbreviated his ambassadorship in London. Koskoff’s book is hostile be abounds in detail.
Pearl Harbor and before:
BEARD 1946 = Charles Beard, American Foreign Policy In The Making 1932-1940 (New Haven, Yale University Press, 1946).
BEARD 1948 = Charles Beard, President Roosevelt and the Coming of the War, 1941; a Study In Appearances and Realities (New Haven, Yale University Press, 1948).
TANSILL 1952 = Charles Tansill, Back Door To War: The Roosevelt Foreign Policy 1933-1941 (Regnery, Chicago, 1952).
SANBORN = Frederic Rockwell Sanborn, Design For War: a study of secret power politics, 1937-1941 (New York, Devin-Adair, 1951).
STINNETT = Stinnett, Robert B. Day of Deceit: The Truth About FDR and Pearl Harbor (New York, Free Press, 2000). A wartime radioman turned journalist, Stinnett was in the National Archives in Belmont, California, researching a campaign-year picture book on George Bush’s South Pacific navy career in aerial reconnaissance (below), and stumbled on unindexed duplicate copies of Pearl Harbor Japanese Navy radio intercept records (the originals apparently purged from Washington files during one of several congressional investigations) — conclusive documentary evidence of what happened at Pearl Harbor. A japanese translation appeared almost immediately.
Robert B. Stinnett, George Bush: His World War II Years (Washington, D.C., Brassey’s, 1992).
1940 Democratic Convention in Chicago
Burton K. Wheeler, “My Years with Roosevelt,” in As We Saw The Thirties, ed. Rita James Simon (Urbana, University of Illinois, 1967) p. 190-215; p. 213 quoted. His account of this event at the Chicago convention begins “As has been written elsewhere …” The story is well-attested by numerous witnesses.
James A. Farley, Jim Farley’s Story: The Roosevelt Years (New York, McGraw-Hill, 1948) see p. 259-288, esp. p. 280-282 on the Chicago convention.
FLYNN 1948 p. 208-222.
Wall Street invades Washington:
Brian Waddell, The War Against the New Deal: World War II and American Democracy (Northern Illinois University Press, DeKalb, 2001).
FLYNN 1944 = John T. Flynn, As We Go Marching (Garden City, New York, Doubleday, Doran, 1944).
U.S. War Industries Board, “Members of the War Industries Board Organization” (Washington, D.C., Government Printing Office, 1919) p. 39 on Samuel P. Bush.
DENNY p. 155 & 157 quoted on “private interests.”
BOYERS & MORAIS p. 332 quoted on Stettinius.
LISAGOR & LIPSIUS p. 145 quoted on Sullivan & Cromwell firm members’ service.
BOYERS & MORAIS p. 360 on the CIO n 1946.
WHEELER = Burton K. Wheeler, Yankee From The West, with Paul F. Healy (Garden City, New York, Doubleday, 1962) p. 404 quoted.
Allen Drury, A Senate Journal 1943-1945 (New York, McGraw-Hill, 1963): see p. 339-341 for another example of what Wheeler was up against.
Matthew Josephson, Infidel in the Temple (New York, Knopf, 1967) see p. 398-404 on the effectiveness of La Follette’s committee.
MARTIN = James J. Martin, American Liberalism and World Politics (New York, Devin-Adair, 1964). See chapter 15, “The Influence and Consequences of the Nye Committee Hearings on American Liberalism, 1934-1940,” p. 442-471.
Russ Baker, Family of Secrets: The Bush Dynasty (New York, Bloomsbury, 2009) p. 164 quoted on “east coast money.”
Jerry Voorhis, Confessions of a Congressman (Garden City, New York, Doubleday, 1947) passim; see p. 331-342 on his defeat; p. 165-167 on public credit; p. 181 on principles of sound banking.
Jerry Voorhis, The Strange Case of Richard Milhous Nixon (New York, Paul S. Eriksson, 1972) p. 3-15 on his election contest with Nixon.
VOORHIS 1943 = Jerry Voorhis, Out Of Debt, Out Of Danger: Proposals For War Finance and Tomorrow’s Money (New York, Devin-Adair, 1943) “explores the connection between banking and credit policies controlled or not controlled by the government during the course of American history.” Davis (below) p. viii.
Jerry Voorhis, The Christian in Politics (Haddam House, New York, 1951) p. 116-117 quoted. Voorhis cites the encyclical of Pius XI, Quadragesimo Anno (After Forty Years), ¶ 39-41 on the necessity of subjecting economic to moral law.
Pius XI, Quadragesimo Anno (May 15, 1931) in:
After Forty Years, in Two Basic Social Encyclicals: On The Condition Of Workers (Leo XIII) On Reconstructing Social Order, and Forty Years After (Pius XI), Latin Text with English Translation (Catholic University of America Press, Washington, D.C., Benziger Brothers, 1943); or in
Pius XI, After Forty Years (New York, Barry Vail, May 1931) — English only.
A Vatican website (w2.vatican.va/) has latin and english texts of Quadragesimo Anno and Rerum novarum.
Voorhis refers specifically to Forty Years After ¶ 39-41 but the entire encylical is pertinent to progressive economics, as is the encyclical from which it stems “forty years after,” Pope Leo XIII, Rerum novarum, which is concerned with the morality and ethics of work, of the employment and treatment of labor, and of business and business management and the welfare of society.
TALBOT p. 163 on Voorhis investigating Sullivan & Cromwell.
DAVIS = Earle Davis, Vision Fugitive: Ezra Pound and Economics (Lawrence, University of Kansas, 1968) p. viii, 194-199: see p. 197-198 on Voorhis’ defeat; p. 196-197 quoted “in the same manner” & “member at large;” p. 195 quoted on “150 congressmen.”
Voorhis H.R. 4931 (1939):
Davis (above) p. 196 summarizes H.R. 4931: It “specifically proposed: (1) that the capital stock of the twelve Federal Reserve Banks be purchased by the government, thus making the central banks the property of the people; (2) that a new Federal Reserve Board be appointed, directly responsible to Congress; (3) that whatever amount of money was called for according to economic circumstances be paid into circulation through such programs as old-age pensions, wages on public works, loans to agriculture and industry (this would mean controlled issue of new debt-free money); (4) that money in circulation be kept at the level established in 1926 (this would stop Congress from wild expansion in printing money); (5) that banks be required to maintian dollar-for-dollar reserves behind demand deposits (this follows the direct proposals of Fisher); (6) that government controls over banking be simplified to guarantee compliance and safety of deposits.”
Elizabeth F. Brown, “Prior Proposals to Consolidate Federal Financial Regulators” (Volcker Alliance paper pdf at www.volckeralliance.org [n.d.]) p. 32 on H.R. 4931.
On the Social Gospel movement:
Josiah Strong, Our Country, Its Possible Future and Its Present Crisis (American Home Missionary Society, 1885)
W.T. Stead, If Christ Came To Chicago (Chicago, Laird & Lee, 1894)
RAUSCHENBUSCH = Walter Rauschenbusch, Christianity and Social Crisis (New York, Macmillan, 1907) p. 367-372: “The influence of the Christian ministry, if exercised in the spirit of Christian democracy, might be one of the most powerful solvents and the decisive influence for peace. The spiritual force of Christianity should be turned against the materialism and mammonism of our industrial and social order. If a man sacrifices his human dignity and self-respect to increase his income, or stunts his intellectual growth and his human affections to swell his bank account, he is to that extent serving mammon and denying God. Likewise if he uses up and injures the life of his fellow-men to make money for himself, he serves mammon and denies God. But our industrial order does both. It makes property the end, and man the means to produce it. Man is treated as a thing to produce more things. Men are hired as hands and not as men. They are paid only enough to maintain their working capacity and not enough to develop their manhood. When their working force is exhausted, they are flung aside without consideration of their human needs. Jesus asked, ‘Is not a man more than a sheep/’ Our industry says ‘No.’ It is careful of its live stock and machinery, and careless of its human working force…. Our industrial establishments are institutions for the creation of dividends, and not for the fostering of human life. In our public life the question of profit is put first…. Our scientific political economy has long been an oracle of the false god. It has taught us to approach economic questions from the point of view of goods and not of man.”
Walter Rauschenbusch, Christianizing the Social Order (New York, Macmillan, 1912).
Walter Rauschenbusch, The Social Principles of Jesus (New York, Association Press, 1916).
Walter Rauschenbusch, Theology for the Social Gospel (New York, Macmillan, 1917).
John Haynes Holmes, The Revolutionary Function of the Modern Church (New York, Putnam, 1912).
John Acacia, Clark Clifford: The Wise Man of Washington (Lexingon, University Press of Kentucky, 2009) p. 58-60 on development of the National Security Act.
Frank Kofsky, Harry S. Truman and the War Scare of 1948: a successful campaign to deceive the nation (New York, St. Martin’s Press, 1993).
WILLIAMS on Wall Street dominion over foreign policy. Surveying the backgrounds of Secretaries of State from 1900 to the present is revealing.
On the Dulleses:
KINZER passim. Pages 97-99 on Allen Dulles’s OSS service.
TALBOT passim. See p. 367 on Eisenhower losing patience
LISAGOR & LIPSIUS page 203 on Allen Dulles’s appointment as head; p. 200 quoted on Seligman’s advice; p. 165 on Foster Dulles negotiating the Japanese treaty.
MILLER p. 352 ff. on Kermit Roosevelt, Jr. in Iran and Egypt.
LISAGOR & LIPSIUS p. 204 quoted on Internal Revenue Code; p. 202-204 on seven sisters anti-trust suit.
Raymond L. Garthoff, “Estimating Soviet Military Intentions and Capabilities,” in Gerald K. Haines and Robert E. Leggett, eds., Watching the Bear: Essays on the CIAs Analysis of the Soviet Union, CIA Center for the Study of Intelligence, 2003 — cited by Weiner (below), on “agency” misestimation of Soviet nuclear capacity.
Tim Weiner, Legacy of Ashes: the History of the CIA (New York, Doubleday, 2007) quotes Eisenhower (“a legacy of ashes”) p. xvi & 166-167 with n. 584-585; and cites Garthoff p. 158 & n. 583. See also p. 160: In his shame for the U-2 incident and its implausible cover-up, “Eisenhower walked into the Oval Office on May 9  and said out loud: ‘I would like to resign.'” On his “impatience” see e.g. 107-108, 134-135, 154-167; and p. 157-167 on the U-2 shoot-down.
TALBOT p. 366 quoted on Gary Powers, citing Prouty (below).
L. Fletcher Prouty, The Secret Team: The CIA and Its Allies In Control of the United States and the World (Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, Prentice-Hall, 1973) p. 351-355 & 369-380.
President Dwight Eisenhower, Farewell Address (January 17, 1961).
On the Kennedy administration:
LISAGOR & LIPSIUS p. 214 quoted on Wilson & Cuba.
TALBOT p. 401 quoted on insubordination; p. 425 quoted on hardliners.
Sheldon M. Stern, Averting ‘The Final Failure’: John F. Kennedy and the Secret Missile Crisis Meetings (Stanford University Press, 2003) passim. Stern notes Kennedy’s and Krushchev’s common recognition of their hardliner’s mirroring behaviors. In an Appendix Stern catalogs numerous omissions and distortions in the first publication of the Cuban Missile Crisis tapes by Philip Zelikow with Ernest R. May, The Kennedy Tapes: Inside the White House During the Cuban Missile Crisis (Cambridge, Harvard University, 1997). Zelikow went on to direct both the Project For A New American Century (with its reference to the purportedly beneficial effects to be anticipated from a “new Pearl Harbor”) and the 9/11 Commission’s report, subsequently repudiated by many Commission members. A busy man, Zelikow also took time to write a review speciously dismissing Robert Stinnett’s book on the original Pearl Harbor, Day of Deceit (above), in Foreign Affairs (March/April 2000), as did Richard Bernstein in the New York Times (December 15, 1999) — perhaps the book’s most complimentary reviews, considering the sources.
Donald Gordon, Battling Wall Street: The Kennedy Presidency (New York, Sheridan Press, 1994). Key to understanding this aspect of Kennedy’s presidency.
Peter Dale Scott, Deep Politics and the Death of JFK (Berkeley, University of California, 1993). A seminal work.
James W. Douglass, JFK and the Unspeakable: Why He Died And Why It Matters (Maryknoll, New York, Orbis Books, 2008) passim. Definitive. See p. 270 etc. on Kennedy’s “back-channel” communications with Khrushchev.
TALBOT p. 170 ff. on Allen Dulles’s deception of Soviet intelligence in the late 40s.
The “day after V-J day”:
Wendell Berry, “A Long Ancestry,” Threepenny Review #145 (Spring 2016) p. 12-13 (p. 13 quoted).
The migration of the center of finance, trade and sea-power:
Brooks Adams identified this world-historical phenomenon, traced its career and discerned its transition to America two generations in advance of its accomplishment:
Brooks Adams, The Law Of Civilization And Decay (New York, Macmillan, 1896).
Brooks Adams, America’s Economic Supremacy (New York, Macmillan, 1900).
Brooks Adams, The New Empire (New York, Macmillan, 1902).
Giles & Page study:
Martin Gilens & Benjamin I. Page, “Testing Theories of American Politics: Elites, Interest Groups, and Average Citizens,” Perspectives On Politics (Vol. 12, no. 3, ) September 2014, 564-581.
3.8: Moulding Opinion
SINCLAIR passim; p. 42 & 252-253 quoted.
Ashley Lutz, “These 6 Corporations Control 90% of the Media in America,” Business Insider (June 14, 2012) www.businessinsider.com.
ANDERSON: Brooks Adams to Henry Adams, October 15, 1896, quoted p. 123. See p. 117 on his dismissal from his Harvard lectureship.
ADAMS 1919 = Brooks Adams, “Collective Thinking In America,” Yale Review (April 1919) NS vol. 8 p. 623-640; see p. 634-639 on the sway of capital in the universities.
GOODWYN quoted p. 550-551 (“The ultimate cultural victory …”) and p. 516 (“The ‘money question’…).”
WHEELER p. 389 quoted. This tactic of categorical smears was probably adopted from the Communist proponents of the “Popular Front” of the 30s and to this day is characteristic of the treatment of non-interventionists in post-war popular and academic histories.
The post-war re-organization of history and ideas:
Harry Elmer Barnes, The Struggle Against The Historical Blackout (Cooperstown, New York?, H.E. Barnes, seventh revised and enlarged edition, 1951).
Perpetual War For Perpetual Peace: A Critical Examination of the Foreign Policy of Franklin Delano Roosevelt and its Aftermath, ed. Harry Elmer Barnes (Caldwell, Idaho, Caxton Printers, 1953).
Harry Elmer Barnes, Selected Revisionist Pamphlets (New York, Arno, 1972).
REGNERY = Henry Regnery, Memoirs Of A Dissident Publisher (New York, Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1979): Chapter 5, “Revisionism–World War II,” p. 58-102, discusses the New Deal campaign to write an official history based at Harvard & revisionist publications and the reception by the mainstream press & academic journals of George Morgenstern, Pearl Harbor: The Story of the Secret War (below), which presents basically the same account, though lacking the detail provided in the conclusive documentary evidence discovered by STINNET.
Rockefeller and other initiativess:
Besides the works of H.E. Barnes cited above, see:
REGNERY p. 78-79 cites a Saturday Evening Post editorial by Charles Beard (October 4, 1947) on a Rockefeller Foundation effort at suppession of “revisionist” (sic) discussion of WWII by means of a $138,000 grant to the Council On Foreign Relations “to support the preparation of a clear and competent history of World War II from 1939 to the peace settlements, a project that was to be entrusted to Professor William Langer of Harvard.”
In at least two cases an attempt to censor the historical record occured: two classic progressive works much concerned with Rockefeller operations in the nineteenth century were reissued in the 1960s in drastically expurgated versions, while the original versions have became notably difficult to find in American libraries: see LLOYD and TARBELL.
Eric Bennett, Workshops of Empire: Stegner, Engle, and American Creative Writing During the Cold War (Iowa City, University of Iowa Press, 2015).
Frances Stonor Saunders, The Cultural Cold War: The CIA and the World of Arts and Letters (New York, New Press, 2000).
Hugh Wilford, The Mighty Wurlitzer: How The CIA Played America (Cambridge, Harvard University Press, 2008).
TALBOT 331-332 quoted (“most of those who challenged …”).
Second World War “revisionist” publishing history:
Charles Beard, America’s best known and most widely respected historian in 1940, was cast adrift by his publisher of 20 years, Macmillan. His works on Roosevelt’s foreign policy and intervention (BEARD 1946 & BEARD 1948) were published by Yale University Press and widely attacked by reviewers. Beard himself was vilified by “the profession” and dismissed from its canons. Charles Tansill, eminent historian, published his book on the First World War (TANSILL 1938) with Little, Brown; TANSILL 1952 was published by Regnery, as was
H.E. Kimmel, Admiral Kimmel’s Story (New York, Regnery 1955). Admiral Kimmel, Commander-in-chief of the U.S. Pacific Fleet at the time of the attack on Pearl Harbor, was scapegoated for the attack. See STINNETT.
FLYNN 1940 and FLYNN 1944 were issued by Doubleday, Doran; FLYNN 1948 was published by Devin-Adair, as were SANBORN, MARTIN, VOORHIS 1943 (Out Of Debt, Out Of Danger: Proposals For War Finance and Tomorrow’s Money) and also
War and the Poet: An Anthology of Poetry Expressing Man’s Attitudes to War from Ancient Times to the Present, ed. Richard Eberhart & Seldon Rodman (New York, Devin-Adair, 1945; rpr. Greenwood Press, Westport, Connecticut, 1974);
George Morgenstern, Pearl Harbor: The Story of the Secret War (New York, Devin-Adair, 1947);
Adm. R.A. Theobald, The Final Secret of Pearl Harbor (New York, Devin-Adair, 1954);
Hamilton Fish, Tragic Deception: FDR and America’s Involvement in World War II (Old Greenwich, Connecticut., Devin-Adair, 1983);
In the remapped post-war political landscape both Regnery and Devin-Adair are sometimes described and dismissed as “right wing.” Both published books discussing Soviet Communist infiltration of American government — which unquestionably occured, for all that it became also a pretext for witch-hunts directed at numerous non-communist and non-marxist dissidents not aligned with Wall Street views; probably the least reputable was
Joseph McCarthy, McCarthyism: The Fight For America (New York, Devin-Adair, 1952; rpr. Salem, New Hampshire, Arno, 1988).
Attacks based on ‘guilt by association’ with the same publisher aside, clearly these publishers, unlike the mainstream, were willing to issue unflattering but factual accounts of this history when others were not.
J.A. Hobson, Imperialism: A Study (University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, 1965 rpr. of ed. of 1938): See esp. Chapter IV “Economic Parasites of Imperialism” (p. 46-63) & Chapter VI “The Economic Taproot of Imperialism” (p. 71-93); p. 46, 48 & 55 are quoted.
Diogenes is an over-educated American landless peasant. His great-grandfather, a co-operative orchardist, helped California progressives overturn Southern Pacific’s corporate political machine in 1910. He thinks this advance needs to be re-established and greatly extended, nationally, not reversed. He regards progressive successes in many states during this era as a recommendation for their non-partisan grassroots methods of public education and legislative action and for their targeting of the legal enablements of financial predation, and he considers it crucial to extract lessons for the present from their history of defeats and failures as well as of successes, and to understand the methods by which they were thwarted, the better to succeed in the future.