We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Thursday, October 15, 2015

The Devil’s Chessboard: The Rise of America’s Secret Government

Click here to access the 40 minute interview conducted by Democracy Now! with author David Talbot about his recently published book and what he discovered about Allen Dulles, the long reigning CIA Director, who was involved in all kinds of nefarious activities including the Kennedy assassination. The blogger at Raging Bull-Shit introduces the must-view videos (with transcripts) of this very fascinating interview.  

I regard Allen Dulles as a key figure in the rise of the post-WWII shadow government controlled by a fascist oriented section of America's ruling capitalist class. The seeds for this shadow government were first planted in the 1930s after Franklin Roosevelt took office following the devastating economic crash of 1929. 

FDR had deep historical roots in the early history of the US: his Dutch ancestors settled in the New York area when it was known as New Amsterdam. He was a true member of America's capitalist aristocracy: he was born into wealth and privilege that had been obtained by his ancestors. Such people often exhibit more benign traits often described as "noblesse oblige", a French term borrowed from the reign of the French monarchy and aristocracy, which suggests that a rich and powerful person should be charitable and generous toward the poor. He expressed this attitude through the many programs he promoted, called the New Deal, in which the government employed people to work on public projects, and through social legislation like Social Security, labor laws favoring unions, etc. But he also imposed restrictions on banks and corporations to prevent them from creating another crash of the economy. Most of the capitalist class rabidly opposed spending money on the New Deal, hated unions, and they certainly didn't like restrictions on their activities

Thus you will learn from Talbot about the attempt to recruit Gen. Smedley Butler to lead a coup against Roosevelt. But Butler was no fan of Wall Street, and he reported them to members of Congress who, knowing who really employed them, held hearings on the event behind closed doors where this infamous attempted coup was quietly dealt with and covered up. (Read Jules Archer's excellent book entitled The Plot to Seize the White House.)

This was during a time of radical activity and a growing split between the outrageously rich amidst multitudes of poor, not only in the US, but in all capitalist countries. Many workers in these countries took their inspiration from the Soviet revolution in 1917 and noticed that no unemployment existed in the Soviet Union. The ruling classes in all the capitalist countries were terrified of this new radicalism that threatened their very existence, thus they turned increasingly to authoritarian methods known as fascism to control the threat posed by the vast numbers of disgruntled unemployed workers. 

Overt fascist parties sponsored by capitalists came to power in Germany and Italy, and became a potent force in the other so-called "democratic" countries like France and Britain. In the US they hid behind the label of isolationism and used this as an excuse to oppose any efforts to impede fascist powers in Europe. Some of these fascists showed up in the infamous Dies Committee in Congress. Because of the strong fascist influence among European capitalist classes, Nazi Germany easily overran European countries.