Sunday, March 05, 2006

"The American fascist would prefer not to use violence." - Henry Wallace (1944)

That's a quote from the book, America, Fascism, and God (2005). Here is a longer excerpt: (emp add)
In early 1944, the New York Times asked Vice President Henry Wallace to, as Wallace noted, "write a piece answering the following questions: What is a fascist? How many fascists have we? How dangerous are they?" Wallace’s answer to those questions was published in the Times on April 9, 1944, at the height of the war against the Axis powers of Germany and Japan. See how much you think his statements apply to our society today: "The really dangerous American fascist," Wallace wrote, ". . . is the man who wants to do in the United States in an American way what Hitler did in Germany in a Prussian way. The American fascist would prefer not to use violence. His method is to poison the channels of public information. With a fascist the problem is never how best to present the truth to the public but how best to use the news to deceive the public into giving the fascist and his group more money or more power."

In his strongest indictment of the tide of fascism he saw rising in America, Wallace added, "They claim to be super-patriots, but they would destroy every liberty guaranteed by the Constitution. They demand free enterprise, but are the spokesmen for monopoly and vested interest. Their final objective toward which all their deceit is directed is to capture political power so that, using the power of the state and the power of the market simultaneously, they may keep the common man in eternal subjection."
I can't vouch for the book as a whole (e.g. the author doesn't like the World Trade Organization), but it looks interesting.


America, Fascism and God. I'll vouch for it since I've read most all of it. A solid book especially for those who are in the center to the center/right who might think of themselves as morality voters and those who might still be persuaded, come election time, to continue to vote against their own best interests (by voting republican). Loehr is thinking and appealing to reason. Something lost in most modern discourse.

By Blogger Quinn, at 3/05/2006 8:04 PM  

...far easier it is to appeal to fear and anger. How can the thoughtful and reasonable counter that?

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3/05/2006 9:04 PM  

This is also an interesting take on the topic by journalist and blogger David Neiwert [downlowdable pdf]

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3/06/2006 6:54 AM  

Thankk God George Bush is protecting us from the fascists!

By Blogger brainhell, at 3/06/2006 11:29 AM  

Wallace was apparantly a very complex man, given to dabbling in mysticism and at one time very soft on Communism, something he later renounced.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3/07/2006 6:33 AM  

American Dreamer, A Life of Henry Wallace was one of the best books I have ever read -

Wallace was a very religious Christian, though not in an orthodox way. His family were abolitionists and ministers. He developed hybrid corn and made a fortune in business before entering politics. As a Christian, he believed that people should help each other. He did fall under the influence of a guru for a time, but later repudiated him. The department of Agriculture, which he headed under Roosevelt was the most innovative and effective. After the war, Wallace also felt that communism was overhyped as a threat to the US and he allowed some communists (like Paul Robeson) to work on his campaign, which tourned the Southern states on an anti-segregation platform, risking their lives. However he broke with them decisively fairly quickly over the question of the Korean war, which he wholeheartedly supported. Wallace's campaign was a success only in New York City. The Truman democrats crafted their identity through triangulation as being the NOT WALLACE party and they began a campaign lasting to this day of ruthlessly persecuting anyone associated with the former vice president. They claimed the mantle of pragmatism but were really motivated by pique, opportunism (and fear).

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3/08/2006 7:29 AM  

I am tired of planning and toiling
In the crowded hives of men
Heart-weary of building and spoiling
And spoiling and building again
And I long for the dear old river
Where I dreamed my youth away
For the dreamer lives forever,
But the toiler lives for a day.

The poem was called "The Dreamer." Wallace had heard it many years before from an old friend, Des Moines lawyer Addison Parker. In a spare moment Wallace wrote a note to Parker asking if he still remembered it. Parker sent back a letter with a copy of the poem, written by John Boyle O'Reilly, along with a letter recalling how he'd heard it. As a young man Parker had gone to hear William Jennings Bryan when the famed populist spoke in Des Moines in 1909. Bryan observed that he had been called a dreamer and quoted the poem in response. Parker continued:

"Bryan then went on to say something to the charge of being a dreamer like this:
'However, I am not willing to rest my defense on what might be termed poetic license, so I have turned to the Book to which I always turn to confound my enemies and confuse my critics -- The Bible, and I find there was more than three thousand years ago a man by the name of Joseph of whom his bretheren said, "Let us kill him for he is a dreamer of dreams.' But fortunately for them and their people they did not succeed in their murderous designs and seven years later they went down to Egypt and brought corn of the Dreamer to feed their starving people.'"

"Don't be disturbed if you are a voice crying in the wilderness," Parker told Wallace, "because you may recall that the first voice that cried in the wilderness is still echoing through the ages and until it is heeded there will be no peace, I fear, in this troubled world." --John C. Culver and John Hyde, American Dreamer: A Life of Henry Wallace, pp. 329-330

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3/08/2006 11:25 AM  

really enjoyed the post and agree with it -- also might check out the book -- nice recommendation for center/right read but i've been working "deep in the heart of texas" for the last 2 years -- not seeing any evidence of center/right or that the right even reads any books other than the bible -- probably don't read the Faux News scroll either

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3/09/2006 3:44 PM  

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