In order to understand how we got where we are today we must learn a little history.
Easier said than done if you are trying to earn a living (or find a job) to help pay the bills. Books are expensive, and time is tight. In the last 10 years of my work I was fortunate to have travelled the world extensively, living in a range of tents, cabins, trailers and cheap hotels, but always near a net connection and always with my Kindle. I read more than 200 books in those 2 decades and they changed my life and world view completely. I would like to share some of the information I learned and will try and do it in small bite sized pieces..
Since we started The Dangerous Globe in 2016 a fair bit of time was spent on social media too. I sense that many of us have become tied up by a media driven assault on our minds designed to keep us focused on a small area of world events while “Something Else” has been going on backstage.
The sheer weight of this assault confirms my suspicions. The recipe? Put into a blender equal parts of Trump, Brexit, Corbyn, Rigged Elections, Covid19, WEF Reset Button, Putin, Bannon, Skripal, Fake news, WHO, Comey, Novichok, Johnson, Megan Markle and Nigel Farage and
Voila”! You have the perfect cocktail served up minute by minute by the corporate media circus and specifically to: – “Do your Head In”.
This is a concerted attack on our minds, designed to confound and confuse us all, and keep us staring into our TV/Computer screens like rabbits staring into the oncoming headlights of a speeding truck.
There is a deadly disease out there far more dangerous than any Virus and one that has been around for more than a century. It is a disease that is eating away at democracy like the worst known cancer. Like a lot of diseases, this one thrives in the dark and feeds from secrecy, distraction, and duplicity. The treatment for it is a powerful light shone into those dark corners to allow knowledge and transparency to do its work.
This piece is part of a series of items that attempt to trace the disease back to its source
The Great War 1914-1918
All I was ever taught at school about WW1 was that it was started by the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand in Sarajevo and many millions died. It always seemed to me to be a very simplistic explanation of why 20,000,000 million people were killed and another 21,000,000 were wounded, but before the Internet came along, we had to rely on Books, TV and Hollywood, and thats only from an allies perspective.
Some of that literature will have cost their writers a lifetime of research, and to reading them all would cost us a lifetime too. If you have an hour to spare for some humour and a History lesson I recommend watching Robert Newman’s “History of Oil. He has a slightly different take on how WW1 was started, and its far more plausible than a single assassins bullet
This piece is not about World War 1 though, or the conscripted Soldiers who died in it, but it is about a cold calculated attack on our Democracy by the people who made the most money out of the war, and are trashing the memory of those that gave their lives fighting for that Democracy. Let me introduce to you a little known, but highly distinguished military leader of the time.
Major General Smedley Butler
A man who has recently become one of my heroes, his name is Major General Smedley Butler one of the Americas most decorated soldiers and a man who spoke his mind. He wrote a book called War is a Racket in 1935. Not a very big book, maybe 40 pages, but they are all important pages focusing on the wealth created during WW1, “The Great War” 1914 to 1918. (The book has been condensed to 12 pages in this PDF Free of charge)
A summary in his own words.
“War is a racket; it always has been. It is possibly the oldest, easily the most profitable, and surely the most vicious. International in scope, it is the only one in which profit is reckoned in dollars and loss is reckoned in human lives.
A racket is best described I believe as something that is not what it seems to the majority of the people. Only a small inside group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few and the expense of the very many. In the World War (1) a mere handful garnered the profits of the conflict. At least 21,000 new millionaires and billionaires were made in the United States during the World War. That many admitted their huge blood gains in their income tax returns. How many other war millionaires falsified their tax returns no one knows.”
Just to give a few examples of the industrialists, often heavily subsidized by public, who were able to generate incredible profits out of mass human suffering.
It seems the Industrialists were really bending over backwards to help out Uncle Sam in his hour of need – All very patriotic. All very lucrative.
The American liberty league.
A few years back I stumbled across an interesting Journal article published in 1950 from the American Historical Review, written by Frederick Rudolph. It seemed to me to be one of the earliest efforts of Big Business to really get organised to fight off the efforts of the Working man (who was busy trying to shake off the chains of Big Business and get a living wage). This was the cradle of the “Them vs Us” debate, still going on today, but way back then it was in the time of the New Deal plans of Mr Roosevelt following the disastrous Wall St crash of 1929.
The article mentioned concerns an organisation set up in 1934 called The American Liberty League. It seems that two gentlemen were involved in an exchange of letters which kicked off the whole idea for the League. Meet John J Raskob , retired chairman of the US Democratic Party and at that time an active VP, (vice president) of the DuPont organisation, and the second was Mr RRM Carpenter a retired du Pont vice president. DuPont gets a mention in the table above.
In one of poor Mr Carpenters letters he states, “Five negroes on my place in South California refused to work this spring saying they had easy jobs with the government” he then went on in another letter complaining that, “A cook on my houseboat at Fort Myers quit because the government was paying him a dollar an hour as a painter”. Which indicates to me that the man was getting paid way less than a dollar an hour cooking meals for the nice Mr Carpenter.
In this roundabout way Mr Carpenter was asking Mr Raskob, who had the ear of President Roosevelt it seems, to ask him, “where he thought the country was going” in the light of these two terrible losses he had suffered at the hands of his fickle workforce. Mr Carpenter, like all self-centered and greedy men, had convinced himself that such incidents went completely against the Great American promise of liberty and the right to happiness (As long as you were a rich white man)
It seems Mr Raskob didn’t really want to get involved in lobbying Roosevelt like this so he suggested to Mr Carpenter that he was better placed to try and get the DuPont and General Motors Corporation to join with other leading industrial figures, to organise and to “Protect society from the sufferings which it must endure if we allow communistic elements to lead the people to believe that all businessmen are crooks” (Tight Fisted crooks at that). Raskob went on to suggest there was a need for an organisation for “educating” the people and encouraging them to work and to get rich, (but not too rich.)
In August of 1934 the American Liberty League was born and dedicated to “Teach the necessity of respect for rights of people and property …and to preserve the ownership and lawful use of property when so acquired”.
Is it just me or does it seem that the rights of people takes a back seat to Property ownership here?
This coat in which the Liberty League dressed itself to get its message across was in fact made of respectable sounding generalities, a collar of self-delusion, cuffs made from intense sincerity, all sewn together on a finely woven coat of pure, (and highly embarrassing) hypocrisy.
When Franklin D Roosevelt heard of the Leagues formation he wryly commented that the League, “Sounded like a new religious group wholly organised to uphold just 2 out of 10 commandments”.
The hypocrisy was clearly outlined when you consider that Mr. Carpenters concerns over the loss of his California farmhands and his Florida houseboat chef were not exactly the kind of anxiety’s which American society was experiencing during the Great Depression. (Poverty and Hunger does do that to a society)
For most Americans it seemed altogether more important to look after the after the ill fed, the ill-clothed and the ill-housed rather than worry about poor Mr carpenter’s staffing problems. Franklin D Roosevelt’s continued success at Election time established beyond doubt where the American citizens sympathies lay.
It looked like the time for “The Common Man” had arrived for a while and the very American value of humanitarianism was not about to be stopped by the rigid devotion to a past way of living for the rich and powerful.
On the Businessman’s side one Liberty League spokesmen went on record as saying that “the Great Depression acted as a Health Tonic to rid the economic system of its harmful poisons”.
This went down like a lead balloon with the public and the apparent disregard for humanity signalled the eventual undoing of the League.
The rot continued when highly publicised claims that the League “would soon grow to 4 million members” rang hollow when the real membership was stalled at 150,000, regardless of the money thrown at it from above.
The League offered only to protect property owners from the Government and the People of America, whereas the New Deal afforded promise to the common man, the elderly and the economically underprivileged. The New Deal was re-elected by “The Common Man” in 1936 and by 1940 the American Liberty League sank beneath the waves into obscurity.
It seems the elites had forgotten that while America was indeed founded upon the ideas of Liberty, they were also based on Brotherhood and Equality. It was never written in the constitution that only the Rich got the Liberty.
It might well have been the end of Liberty League, but it was far from the end of the War on Democracy. That was only just starting, and the demise of the League had shown the warmongers the ideal way NOT to go about it.
That is a story for another piece.