(en) America's Permanent Class War (Part 2)

Ewald (ewald@ctaz.com)
Thu, 20 Mar 1997 06:41:03 -0700

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America's Permanent Class War (Part 2)


Ace R. Hayes

The class war continued unresolved and undiminished into our 20th Century. Robert La Follette started the Progressive Republican League to "promote popular governing and progressive legislation." (1911) The Socialist Party moved smartly into the 20th Century with its platform of 1912 which is still as valid today as is the Populist Party platform of 1892.

"Socialist Party Platform," Indianapolis, Indiana, May 12, 1912

"...Under this system the industrial equipment of the nation has passed into the absolute control of a plutocracy which exacts an annual tribute of hundreds of millions of dollars from the producers. Unafraid of any organized resistance, it stretches out its greedy hands over the still undeveloped resources of the nation--the land, the mines, the forests, and the water powers of every State of the Union.

"In spite of the multiplication of labor-saving machines and improved methods in industry which cheapen the cost of production, the share of the producers grows ever less, and the prices of all the necessities of life steadily increase. The boasted prosperity of this nation is for the owning class alone. To the rest it means only greater hardship and misery. The high cost of living is felt in every home. Millions of wage-workers have seen the purchasing power of their wages decrease until life has become a desperate battle for mere existence.

"Multitudes of unemployed walk the streets of our cities or trudge from State to State awaiting the will of the masters to move the wheels of industry.

"The farmers in every state are plundered by the increasing prices exacted for tools and machinery and by extortionate rents, freight rates, and storage charges.

"Capitalist concentration is mercilessly crushing the class of small business men and driving its members into the ranks of propertyless wage-workers. The overwhelming majority of the people of America are being forced under a yoke of bondage by this soulless industrial despotism.

"It is this capitalist system that is responsible for the increasing burden of armaments, the poverty, slums, child labor, most of the insanity, crime and prostitution, and much of the disease that afflicts mankind.

"Under this system the working class is exposed to poisonous conditions, to frightful and needless perils to life and limb, is walled around with court decisions, injunctions, and unjust laws, and is preyed upon incessantly for the benefit of the controlling oligarchy of wealth. Under it also, the children of the working class are doomed to ignorance, drudging toil, and darkened lives.

"...[the] Republican and Democratic parties remain the faithful servants of the oppressors. ...

"Society is divided into warring groups and classes, based upon material interests. ...

"The capitalist class, though few in numbers, absolutely controls the government, legislative, executive, and judicial. This class owns the machinery of gathering and disseminating news through its organized press. It subsidizes seats of learning--the colleges and schools--and even religious and moral agencies. It has also the added prestige which established customs give to any order of society, right or wrong.

"...In the defeat or victory of the working class party in this new struggle for freedom lies the defeat or triumph of the common people of all economic groups, as well as the failure or triumph of popular government." (ibid, pp. 249-251)

Even Teddy Roosevelt got on the Populist band waggon in 1912 with the Bullmoose Party denouncing "the unholy alliance between corrupt business and corrupt politics." The next year (1913), the Pujo Report was released on "the Concentration of Control of Money and Credit." Here was irrefutable evidence of class war from the U.S. Congress, 3rd Session, House Report, No. 1593. Banking, transportation, producing, trading, and "public" utilities were effectively under the control of an interlocking directorate of plutocracy led by the Morgan Bank.

"The Concentration of Control of Money and Credit, Report of the Pujo Committee," 1913

"...First, as regards banking resources:...

"Second, as regards the greater transportation systems...

"Third, as regards the greater producing and trading corporations...

"Fourth, as regards the great public utility corporations...

"The members of the firm of J.P. Morgan & Co. held 72 directorships in 47 of the greater corporations: George F. Baker, chairman of the board, F.L. Hine, president, and George F. Baker Jr., and C.D. Norton, vice-presidents, of the First National Bank of New York, hold 46 directorships in 37 of the greater corporations; and James Stillman, chairman of the board, Frank A. Vanderlip, president, Samuel McRoberts, J.T. Talbert, W.A. Simonson, vice-presidents, of the National City Bank of New York, hold 32 directorships in 26 of the greater corporations; making in all for these members of the group 150 directorships in 110 of the greater corporations..." (ibid, pp. 258-262)

1915 had another bombshell report on class war from the U.S. Congress. The final report of the Commission on Industrial Relations was entitled "The Concentration of Wealth and Influence."

"The Concentration of Wealth and Influence: Final Report of the Commission on Industrial Relations," 1915

"...6. Almost without exception the employees of the large corporations are unorganized as a result of the active and aggressive 'nonunion' policy of the corporate management.

"Furthermore, the labor policy of the large corporations almost inevitably determines the labor policy of the entire industry.

"7. A careful and conservative study shows that the corporations controlled by six financial groups and affiliated interests employ 2,651,684 wage earners and have a grand total capitalization of $19,875,200,000. These six financial groups control 28 percent of the total number of wage earners engaged in the industries covered by the report of our investigation. The Morgan-First National Bank group alone controls corporations employing 785,499 wage earners. ...

"8. The lives of millions of wage earners are therefore subject to the dictation of a small number of men.

"9. These industrial dictators for the most part are totally ignorant of every aspect of the industries which they control except the finances, and are totally unconcerned with regard to the working and living conditions of the employees in those industries. Even if they were deeply concerned, the position of the employees would be merely that of the subjects of benevolent industrial despots.

"10. Except, perhaps, for improvements in safety and sanitation, the labor conditions of these corporation-controlled industries are subject to great criticism and are a menace to the welfare of the Nation.

"11. In order to prevent the organization of employees for the improvement of working conditions, elaborate systems of espionage are maintained by the large corporations which refuse to deal with labor unions, and the employees suspected of union affiliations are discharged.

"12. The domination by the men in whose hands the final control of a large part of American industry rests is not limited to their employees, but is being rapidly extended to control the education and 'social service' of the Nation.

"13. This control is being extended largely through the creation of enormous privately managed funds for indefinite purposes, hereinafter designated 'foundations,' by the endowment of colleges and universities, by the creation of funds for the pensioning of teachers, by contributions to private charities, as well as through controlling or influencing the public press. ...

"22. The entrance of the foundations into the field of industrial relations, through the creation of a special division by the Rockefeller Foundation, constitutes a menace to the national welfare to which the attention not only of Congress but of the entire country should be directed. Backed by the $100,000,000 of the Rockefeller Foundation, this movement has the power to influence the entire country in the determination of its most vital policy...

"26. Apart from these foundations there is developing a degree of control over the teachings of professors in our colleges and universities which constitutes a most serious menace. In June of this year two professors, known throughout their professions as men of great talent and high character, were dropped from the positions they had occupied and no valid reason for such action was made public. Both were witnesses before the commission, and made statements based upon their own experience which were given wide publicity. One was a professor of law in the State university, who had acted as counsel for the strikers in Colorado; the other a professor of economics, who had not only been active in fights in behalf of child-labor legislation and other progressive measures, but had recently published a work comparing the incomes paid for all classes of service.

"In the face of such an enormous problem one can only frankly confess inability to suggest measures which will protect the Nation from the grave dangers described. It is believed, however, that if Congress will enact the measures already recommended, providing for a heavy tax on large inheritances with a rigid limitation on the total amount of the bequest, for the reclamation by the Federal Government of all parts of the public domain (including mineral rights) which have been secured by fraud, and for a tax on non-productive land and natural resources, a great step in the right direction will have been taken." (ibid, pp. 287-289)

However, the building populist power to put people ahead of elite money manipulation suffered a huge set-back with World War I. The war for hypocrisy was a rousing success for plutocracy over democracy.

President Wilson's "Committee on Public Information," 1917

"...Theory aside, history reveals that America has waged effective propaganda once the enemy has been identified. For example, the superiority of the Anglo-American propaganda campaign in World War I was a result of Woodrow Wilson's creation of the Committee on Public Information in August of 1917. Its civilian chief was George Creel, but its other members were the secretaries of state, war, and navy-- an unusual mix of directors for what was to become the equivalent of a ministry of propaganda (see Mock and Larson, Words That Won the War, Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1939). That 'ministry'-- by recruiting editors, press agents, scholars, and journalists-- managed America's transition from an isolationist, anti-military, democracy to a militant war machine that sustained the AEF [American Expeditionary Forces, the military of the time] with a draft law, Liberty Bonds, and food rationing.

"The Creel Committee engineered 'voluntary' censorship of all war news. It financed patriotic ads. It inflamed passion against the Kaiser by inspiring cartoons, sponsoring war exhibits at state fairs, producing pro-war buttons and window stickers, and generating rumors. It commissioned scholarly books, trained teachers, prepared fillers for school newspapers, made films and maintained a national cadre of 'Four Minute Men' who agitated civic clubs with oratory prepared by the committee." (Political Warfare and Psychological Operations: Rethinking the U.S. Approach, edited by Carnes Lord and Frank R. Barnett, 1989, from Afterword--"Twelve Steps to Reviving American PSYOP," by Frank R. Barnett, pp. 210-211)

But even this did not end the popular demand for justice. The Industrial Workers of the World burst on the American scene in 1919 with its proclamation in Chicago.

"Preamble of the Industrial Workers of the World," Chicago 1919

"...The working class and the employing class have nothing in common. There can be no peace so long as hunger and want are found among millions of working people and the few, who make up the employing class, have all the good things of life.

"Between these two classes a struggle must go on until the workers take possession of the earth and the machinery of production and abolish the wage system." (Documents of American History, 3rd ed., Vol. II, Edited by Henry Steele Commager, Columbia University; F.S. Crofts & Co., New York, 1943, pp. 337-338)

The 1924 La Follette campaign also established the issue of class war and populism as though World War I and the Creel Commission had never happened.

"The La Follette Platform of 1924"

"...The great issue before the American people today is the control of government and industry by private monopoly.

"For a generation the people have struggled patiently, in the face of repeated betrayals by successive administrations, to free themselves from this intolerable power which has been undermining representative government.

"Through control of government, monopoly has steadily extended its absolute dominion to every basic industry.

"In violation of law, monopoly has crushed competition, stifled private initiative and independent enterprise, and without fear of punishment now exacts extortionate profits upon every necessity of life consumed by the public.

"The equality of opportunity proclaimed by the Declaration of Independence and asserted by Jefferson and Lincoln as the heritage of every American citizen has been displaced by special privilege for the few, wrested from the government of the many.

"That tyrannical power which the American people denied to a king, they will no longer endure from the monopoly system. The people know they cannot yield to any group the control of the economic life of the nation and preserve their political liberties. They know monopoly has its representatives in the halls of Congress, on the Federal bench, and in the executive departments; that these servile agents barter away the nation's natural resources, nullify acts of Congress by judicial veto and administrative favor, invade the people's rights by unlawful searches and seizures, direct our foreign policy in the interests of predatory wealth, and make wars and conscript the sons of the common people to fight them. (ibid, pp. 374-375)

The "great depression" gave rise to FDR, the man who saved his fellow plutocrats from their insane hubris. Without FDR the fascist plutocrats would have had their heads on pikes around the public square. FDR talked out of the populist side of his mouth and acted out of the plutocratic side of his class interests. FDR was the greatest con artist of the century.

He said in his "Four Freedoms" speech, January 6, 1941:

"...There is nothing mysterious about the foundations of a healthy and strong democracy. The basic things expected by our people of their political and economic systems are simple. They are: Equality of opportunity for youth and for others; jobs for those who can work; security for those who need it; the ending of special privilege for the few; the preservation of civil liberties for all; the enjoyment of the fruits of scientific progress in a wider and constantly rising standard of living. ...

"In the future days, which we seek to make secure, we look forward to a world founded upon four essential human freedoms.

"The first is freedom of speech and expression--everywhere in the world.

"The second is freedom of every person to worship God in his own way-- everywhere in the world.

"The third is freedom from want--which, translated into world terms, means economic understandings which will secure to every every nation a healthy peace time life for its inhabitants--everywhere in the world.

"The fourth freedom is freedom from fear--which, translated into world terms, means a world-wide reduction of armaments to such a point and in such a thorough fashion that no nation will be in a position to commit an act of physical aggression against any neighbor--anywhere in the world." (ibid, pp. 631-634)

What a con job. FDR has been defamed as a commie pervert by the plutocrats he saved from populist annihilation. What a hoot! But this keeps the people confused to death.

World War II to 1995 is more of the same with a vengeance. Class War has never stopped--it is only more vicious and deadly with the new technology developed since World War II.

[To be continued]

(If you want a copy of this article as one document e-mail me at: ewald@ctaz.com) __________________________________________________________ Portland Free Press "Tell the Truth and Run" --George Seldes http://www.teleport.com/~pfp http://www.radio4all.org/pfp/

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