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NAZI GERMANY

FORD'S ROLE IN THE RISE OF NAZISM

THE AMERICAN AXIS Henry Ford, Charles Lindbergh, and the Rise of the Third Reich By Max Wallace St. Martin's.

CHRISTOPHER SIMPSON, WASHINGTON POST - Contrary to comfortable myths, Ford and Lindbergh were not "country club" anti-Semites who simply shared the prejudices of their time, Wallace writes in "The American Axis." They were the real thing. Indeed, based on the evidence Wallace has marshaled, it is fair to say that Ford's factories and Ford himself contributed significantly to Germany's war effort, and that Lindbergh rallied more support for Nazi Germany than any other individual in the English-speaking world. Neither "caused" the Holocaust, yet both share responsibility for its devastation. That each did so while waving an American flag and preaching patriotism should give us all pause.

Wallace's text provides an interesting counterpoint to this year's public relations hoopla surrounding the centenary of the Ford Motor Co. That celebration soft-pedals or remains silent about Henry Ford's use of Ford dealerships to circulate "The International Jew," a vicious bit of conspiratorial hate literature published in pamphlet form. Many experts agree that this publication prompted more damage to innocent people than Adolf Hitler's turgid "Mein Kampf." True, as Wallace reports, Ford eventually apologized, sort of, for his activities as America's most influential anti-Semite.

JUDITH SCHOOLMAN, NY DAILY NEWS - Ford said that it used slave labor from concentration camps at its factory in Nazi Germany, but didn't profit from it. The automaker released a report that concluded it did not "materially benefit" from the Ford-Werke factory in Cologne, Germany, which used labor from the Buchenwald concentration camp to build trucks and light armored vehicles. "The use of forced and slave labor in Germany, including at Ford-Werke, was wrong and cannot be justified," said John Rintamaki, Ford's chief of staff. The company didn't say how many camp inmates worked there. The automaker said it lost control of Ford-Werke in 1941, when the Nazi government seized the factory's assets. "The statements that we profited, that Ford U.S. profited from Ford Germany, are just not true," Rintamaki said.

TONY PATERSON & DAVID WASTELL, LONDON TELEGRAPH: Up to 100 American companies suspected of profiting from trade with Nazi Germany are being targeted by lawyers working for Holocaust survivors. A lawsuit was launched against the computer giant IBM. The action, however, threatens to jeopardize an existing £3.3 billion deal to compensate slave laborers from the Nazi era, according to warnings from Germany. The suit against IBM alleges that the company, through its German subsidiary, knowingly co-operated with the Third Reich during the 1930s and 1940s by supplying the regime with punch-card machines used to catalogue Jews sent to concentration camps. A Washington legal firm has compiled a list of a further 100 American corporations - identified by records culled from the FBI and the United States Treasury department - as having traded with the Nazi regime in 1941, just as America entered the Second World War. They include leading industrial and chemical companies and some of the top names in US banking, according to Michael Hausfeld, the leading attorney behind the IBM case. Mr. Hausfeld refuses to identify the firms involved until more research has been done. He said: "There has been huge interest as a result of the IBM case and a lot of people have offered their assistance." TELEGRAPH

AMERICAN BUSINESSES & THE NAZIS

SUNDAY TIMES: IBM, the American computer giant, faces detailed charges that it collaborated in Hitler's persecution of the Jews. More than half a century after the second world war, an American investigative writer, Edwin Black, says he has found extensive evidence that the Holocaust depended not on German efficiency but on American technology. Black writes that IBM punch card-sorters, a precursor of computers, were used to facilitate all aspects of Nazi persecution - from the identification of Jews in censuses in Germany and occupied Europe to the running of concentration camp slave labor. His book, IBM and the Holocaust, is serialized in The Sunday Times and published tomorrow in America and Britain . . . Black says Hitler's quest to destroy the Jews was "greatly enhanced and energized" by IBM and its creator and chairman, Thomas J Watson. Watson expressed admiration for Hitler and was awarded the Merit Cross of the German Eagle with Star by the Führer. The Nazis regarded him as a powerful friend, but his interest was profit, not ideology. He micromanaged Dehomag, the company's German subsidiary, writes Black. "IBM NY understood - from 1933 - it was doing business with the upper echelon of the Nazi party." SUNDAY TIMES


[From the United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America]

The major US auto makers (including Chrysler) established multinational operations as early as the 1920s and 1930s, locating plants in Germany, eastern Europe and Japan. It wasn't all strictly business. Henry Ford, a notorious anti-Semite, formed a kind of mutual admiration society with Adolf Hitler. The German dictator enthusiastically applauded American mass-production techniques. "I regard Henry Ford as my inspiration," declared Hitler, who kept a life-size portrait of the American industrialist next to his desk. In 1938, Ford accepted the highest medal that Nazi Germany could award a foreigner, the Grand Cross of the German Eagle.

Ford had a role in Nazi Germany's prewar military buildup. US Army Intelligence reported that the "real purpose" of the truck assembly plant opened in Berlin in 1938 was to produce "troop transport-type vehicles for the Wehrmacht (German military). A senior executive of General Motors also received a medal from Hitler, apparently for services rendered, and services to come. GM's involvement in Germany began in 1935 with the opening of a truck factory near Berlin. Within a few years trucks produced by that factory would be part of German Army convoys rumbling through Poland, France and the Soviet Union.

After the German occupation of Czechoslovakia in 1939, GM Chairman Alfred P. Sloan commented that the Nazis' behavior "should not be considered the business of the management of General Motors." The GM plant in Germany was highly profitable. "We have no right to shut down that plant," Sloan declared.

GM and Ford were vital components of the Nazi war effort. German Ford was the second largest producer of trucks for the Nazi military. GM's plants built thousands of bomber and jet fighter propulsion systems for the Luftwaffe - while at the same time profiting from production of aircraft engines for the US Army Air Corps.

"The outbreak of war in September 1939 resulted inevitably in the full conversion by GM and Ford of their Axis plants to the production of military aircraft and trucks," according to a 1974 report printed by the US Senate Judiciary Committee. "On the ground, GM and Ford subsidiaries built nearly 90 percent of the armored 'mule' 3-ton half-trucks and more than 70 percent of the Reich's medium and heavy-duty trucks. These vehicles, according to American intelligence reports, served as 'the backbone of the German Army transportation system.'"

"General Motors was far more important to the Nazi war machine than Switzerland," says researcher Bradford Snell. "Switzerland was just a repository of looted funds, while GM was an integral part of the German war effort. The Nazis could have invaded Poland and Russia without Switzerland. They could not have done so without GM." UE

PUTZI

Apropos of "Cheerleaders Take Flight" (September-October, page 86), there's something of a dark side that didn't get mentioned. Ernst "Putzi" Hanfstaengl '09, who was a member of Hitler's entourage, wrote that Hitler got the idea for having the crowds at his rallies chant "Sieg Heil" from Hanfstaengl's stories of how Harvard cheerleaders used to get football crowds excited. Sorry about that. -- Martin Needler '54 Monterey, Calif

TRIANGLE SHIRTWAIST FIRE

DOUGLAS MARTIN, NY TIMES: Rose Freedman, the last survivor of the Triangle Shirtwaist fire in which 146 of her co-workers perished in 1911, in her apartment in Beverly Hills, Calif., her daughter said. She was 107. Mrs. Freedman, who at the time of the Manhattan fire was two days shy of 18, escaped death in 1911 by following company executives to the roof to be rescued. She became a lifelong crusader for worker safety, telling and retelling the story that the Triangle workers died because the owners were not concerned with their welfare. The disastrous factory fire, in which girls and young women leapt from eighth- and ninth-story windows, their flaming skirts billowing in the wind, horrified the nation and led to some of the first city, state and federal laws dealing with workers' safety. It gave a powerful impetus to the fledgling labor movement, greatly strengthening the building of the International Ladies Garment Workers Union, which two years before the fire had led a three-month strike to focus attention on conditions in workplaces like the Triangle factory. NY TIMES

MORE ON THE FIRE

DRESDEN BOMBING

THE LITTLE EICHMANNS OF DRESDEN

ALTHOUGH THE WASHINGTON POST story doesn't use the phrase above in its story, it certainly implies it. But why were the ordinary citizens of Dresden responsible for their country's foreign policy but not the workers at the WTC? The simple answer is that the Dresden citizens weren't us.

The truth is, however, that throughout history and across the world, ordinary citizens go along with whatever their leaders tell them. If it is evil then that evil resides in all of us, not just in residents of a Nazi regime. Bear in mind that two thirds of Americans believe that a myth - creationism - should be taught along with science - evolution - in our schools and a third want the former taught instead of the latter. What if the myth had ended with a Hitler instead of a Jesus?

And what if the myth of Dresden is changing right before our eyes? Even the Guardian lumps together those who do not approve of the raid as revisionist historians and neo-Nazis. Just a few years ago it was more acceptable to question the Dresden bombing. As we have moved from Slaughterhouse Five to Bush II our myths have changed as well.

The most honest approach is probably to hold the big guys responsible and be gentle on ordinary citizens, whether in Manhattan or Dresden. It is hard to state the moral case for this; it is more like a quid pro quo: If NY stockbrokers don't want to take responsibility for 50 years of misbegotten American Mid East policy then the Dresden folk don't have to take the blame for Hitler.

It's not perfect, some might call it cynical; but at least it avoids the sort of pompous hypocrisy apparent when 60 years later a major American newspaper gives more attention to the moral deficiencies of the targets of a brutal bombing than to those who targeted them. And it offers the possibility of reconciliation and recovery that perpetual blame never will.

One critic, writing of a novel by a survivor of the Dresden bombing, put it well when he said that Kurt Vonnegut felt as if "he was perpetrator, observer and target all at the same time." With events such as the Dresden bombing, it's probably the sanest approach. - Sam Smith

CRAIG WHITLOCK, WASHINGTON POST - Several thousand neo-Nazis and skinheads marched through the heart of this meticulously restored city Sunday to protest its incendiary destruction by Allied forces 60 years ago, the biggest effort yet by fringe groups to portray Germans as equal victims of World War II. The demonstration was among the largest gatherings of Nazi sympathizers in Germany since the end of the war and overshadowed Dresden's official commemoration of the city's virtual annihilation by British and U.S. bombers on Feb. 13 and 14, 1945. . .

In Berlin, Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder issued a statement criticizing extremists for trying to minimize the Third Reich's responsibility for the war and for the Holocaust, during which an estimated 6 million Jews and several million others were killed. "Today we grieve for the victims of war and the Nazi reign of terror in Dresden, in Germany and in Europe," Schroeder said. "We will oppose in every way these attempts to reinterpret history. We will not allow cause and effect to be reversed.". . .

Historians and political analysts said that only a small fraction of Germans subscribe to the neo-Nazi notion that German wartime suffering was comparable to the atrocities committed by the Third Reich. But they said there remains a widespread belief, especially in Saxony and other parts of the former East Germany, that the people who died in the Dresden fire bombings were innocent victims and that the city had little or no role in supporting the German military machine or the Nazi government.

"There is a myth, the myth of the innocent Dresden," said Gerhard Besier, director of the Hannah Arendt Institute for Totalitarian Research, a political think tank in Dresden that studies extremist groups. "People don't realize that the Nazis had been very strong in Dresden and in Saxony. They insist that the population of Dresden was innocent and was murdered, and that this bombing didn't make any sense."

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A20867-2005Feb13.html

JON LAMB, GREEN LEFT, AUSTRALIA - Dresden was of no military significance in World War II and had few, if any, strategic targets of importance to the war effort. In the briefings before the mission, bomber crews were not given any specific details on bombing runs or targets. The whole city of at least 1.2 million people - including non-combatants, refugees, the wounded and prisoners of war - was the target.

G.C. Gifford, a Canadian navigator who flew in the raid (and later formed a veterans peace group) told Peace magazine in 1985: "The Dresden bombing was the only raid we went on where we didn't like what we were going to do before we started. The Squadron Commander had said, 'Well, we've got a juicy one tonight. It's full of refugees.' . . .

http://www.greenleft.org.au/back/2005/614/614p10.htm

1945: The American and British begin the bombing by 1,800 planes of Dresden, which kills some 40,000 - 135,000 persons. The uncertainty is caused by the number of bodies burned to ash. Some 650,000 incendiary bombs are dropped on a city with few defenses and many refugees. 27,000 homes and 7,000 public buildings are destroyed. One of the survivors is an American prisoner by the name of Kurt Vonnegut huddled in an underground meat locker who, one critic notes, would come to feel that "he was perpetrator, observer and target all at the same time." Lothat Metzger would later recall, "We saw terrible things: cremated adults shrunk to the size of small children, pieces of arms and legs, dead people, whole families burnt to death, burning people ran to and fro, burnt coaches filled with civilian refugees, dead rescuers and soldiers, many were calling and looking for their children and families, and fire everywhere, everywhere fire, and all the time the hot wind of the firestorm threw people back into the burning houses they were trying to escape from."

THE FIREBOMBING OF GERMANY: A WAR CRIME?

LUKE HARDING, GUARDIAN - Last week, one of Germany's most controversial historians, Jörg Friedrich, published a new photo book. Called Brandstätten, or Fire Sites, it contains some of the most grisly images from the war ever to be published. None of them have been seen before.

The victims are not Jewish, but German. The charred, mutilated bodies of women, children and babies are all civilians who perished during the allies' bombing campaign against Germany's cities.

In his book, Friedrich argues that the RAF's relentless campaign against Germany during the final months of the war served no military purpose. Instead, he says that Winston Churchill's decision to drop more bombs on a shattered Germany between January and May 1945, most of them on small German towns of little strategic value, was a war crime.

"The bombing left an entire generation traumatized. But it was never discussed. There are Germans whose first recollections are of being hidden by their mothers. They remember cellars and burning human remains," Friedrich told the Guardian in an interview in Berlin last week.

. . . Around 600,000 German civilians died during the allies' wartime raids on Germany, including 76,000 German children, Friedrich says. In July 1943, during a single night in Hamburg, 45,000 people perished in a vast firestorm. But in the immediate post-war period, the German victims of British bombing were scarcely mentioned, being overshadowed by the far greater evil of the Holocaust.

Friedrich believes that most Germans refused to discuss what had happened because they regarded the British destruction of their cities as a sort of retribution for the crimes of the Nazi era.

. . . The historian's previous book, Der Brand, or The Fire, published last year, created a storm of publicity in both Britain and Germany. In it, he came close to accusing Churchill of being a war criminal just weeks after a BBC poll had voted the wartime prime minister the greatest-ever Briton.

GEORGE ORWELL

[From a review by Matthew Price of "Orwell: Wintry Conscience of a Generation," By Jeffrey Meyers]

"It is the face of a man who is always fighting against something ... the face of a man who is generously angry--in other words, of a nineteenth century liberal, a free intelligence, a type hated with equal hatred by all the smelly little orthodoxies which are now contending for our souls." This is George Orwell writing in 1939 on Charles Dickens, but these words could just as well describe Orwell himself. Orwell may have felt hated by the smelly little orthodoxies of his time, but since his death his soul has been up for grabs. For the non-Communist left, Orwell has been the exemplar of small "s" socialist decency; for the right, a prophet against totalitarianism. What other writer could unite Christopher Hitchens and Norman Podhoretz under the same banner? But Orwell was sui generis, and his own fiercely guarded independence has meant that he can be read any number of ways - and appropriated for just about any cause. While those on the left ignore at their own peril his often cutting remarks about the orthodox left-wingers of his own time, right-wing critics like Podhoretz and Hilton Kramer do more damage to Orwell when they trot out fatuous exercises of the "if Orwell were alive today" variety when bashing the left. The reason Orwell was such an effective writer and thinker was that he wrote not in the service of dogmatic imperatives, but rather of his own hard-headed opinions, which often annoyed his nominal allies on the left. "A writer cannot be a loyal member of any political party," he once wrote. IN THESE TIMES

AMY LOWELL

1874 Amy Lowell is born in Brookline MA. She becomes a cigar-smoking, straight-talking poet who would tell dull audiences, "Well, clap or hiss, I don't care which, but for Christ's sake, do something!" When one of her brothers was president of Harvard, an auto mechanic called him, saying, "Some big, fat dame whose engine broke down wants to charge the bill to you - claims she's your sister. She's across the road, sittin' on a stone wall, smokin' a cigar." President Lowell replied, "That's my sister, all right." Of her other brother, a famous astronomer, she said, "Percival is a great man - but he is not a good man." . . .

NEAL CASSIDY

Levi Asher writes, "The real genius behind the Beat movement in literature never published a book during his life. He appeared as a main character in many books, though, from 'Go' by John Clellon Holmes to 'On The Road' by Jack Kerouac to 'The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test' by Tom Wolfe. His free-flowing letter writing style inspired the young Kerouac to break his ties to the sentimental style he'd picked up from Thomas Wolfe and invent his notion of 'spontaneous prose.' Without Neal Cassady, the Beat Generation would never have happened . . . It was [in New York] that he met Kerouac and Ginsberg. Ginsberg immediately fell in love with him, and Cassady, who had a hustler's instinct to be whatever the person he's with wants him to be, began a sexual relationship with Ginsberg, balancing it with the numerous heterosexual relationships he enjoyed more. At the same time, he persuaded Kerouac to teach him how to write fiction . . . After a night of hard partying in Mexico in 1968, Cassady wandered onto a deserted railroad, intending to walk fifteen miles to the next town. He fell asleep on the way, wearing only a T-shirt and jeans. It was a cold rainy night, and Cassady was found beside the tracks the next morning. He was in a coma, and died in a hospital later that day. Kerouac would die a year later" . . . Shortly before his death, Cassady rapped with the Greatful Dead. Hank Harrison, in 'The Dead Book,' writes: "Neal went to Mexico shortly after this recording was made, and he never returned. It is significant that the audience, consisting mostly of young people from Haight Street, did not know who he was and were jeering him from the floor . . . The Grateful Dead are in the background making Prankster music and the totality is reminiscent of the acid tests." . . . CASSADY RAP RECORDING o LITERARY KICKS

 

CIVIL WAR

Forget the Alamo;
Remember Ft. Stevens

ONE OF THE PROBLEMS with living in a colony like Washington, DC, is that not only is democracy suppressed, but history as well. For example, one of the crucial - but little known - confrontations of the Civil War took place within the city itself. Were it not for Union reinforcements arriving in the nick of time, the whole history of the Civil War might have turned out differently.

In the summer of 1864, Confederate General Jubal Early pushed his way towards Maryland with 20,000 men. General Wallace, a Union recruit trainer in Baltimore, found himself faced with an invasion but was uncertain whether the target was Washington or Baltimore. Wallace chose Frederick, MD, to make his stand, with the help of troops sent by train from Baltimore. With only 6,000 troops to defend six miles of river, he found himself overwhelmed. On the afternoon of July 9, the Union force left some 1,800 casualties and retreated to Baltimore. The confederates lost 1,300 men.

Though his own force was battered, Early knew the immense coup that capturing Washington would be. Further he probably knew that Washington had only about 9,000 regular troops to guard the whole city, Grant having removed some 14,000 soldiers to help him battle Lee around Richmond and Petersburg. Early sent out sorties on July 11 toward Ft. Stevens, located at the north end of Washington. They found a battlement protected only by home guards, clerks, and recovering soldiers literally rousted from their hospital beds to help defend the city. a ragtag force of 2,300.

By light of the next day, however, Early found the fort manned by regular troops, reinforcements who had arrived from Virginia and who repulsed Early's sorties. By the end of the day, Early was in full retreat. There had been 874 casualties.

Among the spectators for the two days were Abraham Lincoln and his wife. One Ohio soldier would remember, "Lincoln got to the fort ahead of us. He was quiet and grave. He mounted the parapet so he could see better, and I saw him there in full view of the Johnnies, watching them and what went on inside. You can imagine what a target he made with tall form and stovepipe hat."

Lincoln became the only president ever to have come under direct fire and, according to legend, was told by a young soldier named Oliver Wendell Holmes [r] to "get down, you damn fool." Another story has a colonel telling Lincoln, "Please come down to a safe place. If you do not, it will be my duty to call a file of men and make you." Lincoln replied, "And you would be quite right, my boy. You are in command of this fort. I should be the last man to set an example of disobedience."

The Union force held and Early gave up his invasion of Maryland and DC and returned to the upper Potomac at a crossing known as White's Ford, which would later become the home-port of perhaps the world's only ferry whose bridge consisted of an overstuffed armchair on the same deck as the cars. It was called the "Jubal Early."

Early's admitted to his staff that "We didn't take Washington, but we scared Abe Lincoln like Hell."

Letter from Ft. Lyon

This is the first opportunity I have had of writing you since the great Indian massacre, and for a start, I will acknowledge I am ashamed to own I was in with my Co." ... It is no use for me to try to tell you how the fight was managed, only I think the officer in command should be hung and I know when the truth is known, it will cashier him. Bucks, women and children were scalped, fingers cut off to get the rings on them ... A Lt. Col. cut off ears of all he came across. A squaw ripped open and a child taken from her. Little children shot while begging for their lives and all the indignities shown their bodies that was ever heard of. Women shot while on their knees with their arms around soldiers a begging for their lives. Things Indians would be ashamed to do. To give some little idea, squaws were known to kill their own children and them themselves rather than to have them taken prisoners. I told the Col that I thought it murder to jump them friendly Indians. He says in reply: Damn any man or men who are in sympathy with them. ... Major, I am ashamed of this." -- Letter, recently discovered in an attic, written by Lt. Joe A. Cramer, Dec. 19, 1864, from the scene of the Sand Creek Indian massacre

What it was about

US NEWS & WORLD REPORT - In trying to honor the soldiers who died, Civil War battlefields have historically avoided referring to what the two armies were actually fighting about. As a result, say scholars and park service officials alike, the message of most Civil War parks is subtly pro-Confederate, alienating many people who should find the parks compelling. What's missing, they say, is a moral element, what Abraham Lincoln referred to as "the better angels of our nature." The Civil War was a fight over slavery. The South was for it, the North against it. Not talking about slavery, they say, erases right and wrong from history-not only in the parks but in the national memory itself.

Gettysburg is the fight's most prominent battlefield, traditionally described there as "the high-water mark of the Confederacy," with the spotlight on Robert E. Lee's audacious generalship and the bravery of the Confederate charges. Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, and its "new birth of freedom," are relegated to a small monument across the street from the visitor center. That part of the story was "almost ignored ... because it didn't agree with the older version of the battle" as a morally neutral conflict between two equally honorable foes, says Columbia University historian Eric Foner.

Visitors leave with the impression that Gettysburg was significant as a failed Confederate struggle, rather than as a Union victory and the site of the Gettysburg Address. "Not only does it perpetuate ignorance, it creates bias," says George Washington University history professor James Oliver Horton. "People who come with incomplete or incorrect ideas leave without having that bias challenged." The story is the same elsewhere; Foner says even Ken Burns's acclaimed documentary The Civil War, which is being rebroadcast this week for the first time since 1997, contributes by glossing over the conflict's messy aftermath.

But from Fort Sumter to Appomattox, parks that once confined their interpretation to military maneuvers and strategy are now beginning to talk about the causes and consequences of the war. "We're not being responsible public servants if we don't explain the history that underpins these battles," says park service Chief Historian Dwight Pitcaithley. "You can't possibly understand Gettysburg without understanding why these armies were at each other's throats."

Not everyone's ready to hear this version of the story. "This new interpretation is going to put the war in the context of slavery, and that's going to challenge a lot of people," says Princeton University historian James McPherson. "Some southerners will tell you that to put it in that context will reflect poorly on their ancestors. I would respond that like the Germans and the Japanese after World War II, they need to face up to the historical reality, if only to come to terms with the problems of their own society." In this fight over how we remember America's most divisive conflict, national parks may be the final battlegrounds.

INTERESTING, LONG ARTICLE

THE SOUTH AND STATES RIGHTS

NATHAN NEWMAN, BLACK RADICAL CONGRESS: The comments of Interior Secretary nominee Gale Norton talking about the "loss" of states rights due to the Civil War just once more highlights the lie that the Civil War was fought over states rights, rather than fought to preserve slavery. In fact, if anything, the Civil War was caused by southern states using their control of the Congress and the Supreme Court to use federal law against northern states which resisted slavery within their own territory. The primary example of this was the Fugitive Slave Law used by the federal government to force free states to return runaway slaves to their masters in the South. In fact, southerners took this law and assumed the right not only to go to court to force the return of slaves but would go into northern states and kidnap blacks, often not even slaves, while claiming that they had the right of "self-help" in recovering their "property." . . . It was the South that declared war on states rights in the north, using the Congress and the US Supreme Court to de facto extend slavery into northern states. BLACK RADICAL CONGRESS

THE PRIVATIZED CITY

[The current mantra of government privatization, efficiency, management skills, and so forth is not new. The reformers in the early part of the last century used similar rhetoric but then, as now, it were often on behalf of one group of citizens at the expense of others]

LINCOLN STEFFINS, THE SHAME OF THE CITIES, 1904: Another ~ conceit of our egotism is that which deplores our politics and lauds our business . . . Now, the typical American citizen is the business man. The typical business man is a bad citizen; he is busy. If he is a "big business man " and very busy, he does not neglect, he is busy with politics, oh, very busy and very businesslike. I found him buying boodlers in St. Louis, defending grafters in Minneapolis, originating corruption in Pittsburgh, sharing with bosses in Philadelphia, deploring reform in Chicago, and beating good government with corruption funds in New York. He is a self-righteous fraud, this big business man. He is the chief source of corruption, and it were a boon if he would neglect politics. But he is not the business man that neglects politics; that worthy is the good citizen, the typical business man. He too is busy, he is the one who has no use and therefore no time for politics. When his neglect has permitted bad government to go so far that he can be stirred to action, he is unhappy, and he looks around for a cure that shal1 be quick, so that he may hurry back to the shop . . . His patent remedy is quack; it is business. "Give us a business man," he says ("like me," he means). "Let him introduce business methods into politics and government . . . [Yet] the business man has failed in politics as he has in citizenship . . . The commercial spirit is the spirit of profit, not patriotism; of credit, not honor; of individual gain, not national prosperity; of trade and dickering, not principle.

ALEXANDER CALLOW JR, THE CITY BOSS IN AMERICA: The structural reformers held that the proper role of government was to serve business. Men like Grover Cleveland of Buffalo, Seth Low, John Purroy Mitchel, and William F. Havemeyer of New York, and San Francisco's reform mayor, James D. Phelan, believe that government should serve not the interests of the "people," but the "right" people, respectable people - the middle and patrician classes - who would substitute business for political practices. Their rhetoric, persuasive to a business-oriented society, echoed with calls for efficiency, economy, responsibility, and clean government. Their strategy called for reform in structural terms: revising city charters, hacking budgets to the bone, drastically reducing municipal services. Like the genteel reformers before them they mounted crusades for the moral uplift of the "other half" and attacks upon the vices of the working class - drinking, gambling, and prostitution. Moral reform was aimed at changing the behavior of the lower and middle class, rather than, as Andy Logan has written, improving the morality of the financial and industrial trusts whose dividends made it possible for them to practice their civic philanthropy." The saloon was viewed with more moral indignation than the absence of good parks and schools. As M. R. Werner described the noisy reformer, Theodore Roosevelt, "He became a terror to pinochle players in the back rooms of saloons. The small joys began to disappear from daily life, and their place was taken by that abstract ghost, The Law, which could neither see, taste, nor touch." . . . Many reform movements contained the seeds of their own disintegration. The heart of the matter was their underlying philosophy, destructive in itself, because it was essentially anti-political. It was based on the proposition that good government could be achieved not only by taking the boss and his machine out of politics but also by taking politics itself out of politics. This could be done by replacing professional politicians with professional administrators; the neighborhood expert replaced by the efficiency expert; nonpartisanship prevailing over partisanship. The art of business, it was thought, and not the art of politics, was the secret of good, clean, honest government. This concept appealed enormously to those millions of Americans who felt that politics was bad and politicians were venal and nonpolitical experts were not only good but right. The hard fact is, however, that governing a city, especially the larger city, depends upon the management of conflict, which is a way of defining politics. To balance, satisfy, control, and lead the many disparate urban interest groups - ethnic, financial class - requires the skill of politics, not the precision of budget balancing.

GEORGE WASHINGTON PLUNKETT: I've been studyin' the political game for forty-five years, and I don't know it all yet. I'm learnin' something all the time. How, then, can you expect what they call "business men" to turn into politics all at once and make a success out of it? It is just as if I went up to Columbia University and started to teaching Greek.


THE ARMY AND DR. KING

STEPHEN THOMPKINS, MEMPHIS COMMERCIAL APPEAL, March 21, 1993: The intelligence branch of the United States Army spied on the family of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. for three generations. Top secret, often illegal, intrusions into the lives of black Americans began more than 75 years ago and often focused on black churches in the south and their ministers. The spying was born of a conviction by top Army intelligence officers that black Americans were ripe for subversion - first by agents of the German Kaiser, then by Communists, later by the Japanese and eventually by those opposed to the Vietnam War. At first, the Army used a reporting network of private citizens that included church members, black businessmen such as Memphis's Robert R. Church Jr., and black educators like the Hampton Institute's Roscoe C. Simmons. It later employed cadres of infiltrators, wiretaps and aerial photography by U2 spy planes.

As the civil rights movement merged with anti-war protests in the late 1960s, some Army units began supplying sniper rifles and other weapons of war to civilian police departments. Army Intelligence began planning for what some officers believed would soon be armed rebellion. By March 1968, King was preparing to lead a march in Memphis in support of striking sanitation workers and another march a few weeks later that would swamp Washington with people demanding less attention to Vietnam and more resources for America's poor. By then the Army's intelligence system was keenly focused on King and desperately searching for a way to stop him. On April 4, 1968, King was killed by a sniper's bullet at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis . . . This newspaper's investigation uncovered no hard evidence that Army Intelligence played any role in King's assassination, although Army agents were in Memphis the day he was killed. But the review of thousands of government documents and interviews with people involved in the spying revealed that by early 1968 Army Intelligence regarded King as a major threat to national security.

FBI SPIED ON CORETTA KING'S WIDOW, AFRAID CIVIL RIGHTS AND PEACE MOVEMENTS WOULD JOIN

AP - Federal agents spied on the widow of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. for several years after his assassination in 1968, according to newly released documents that reveal the FBI worried about her following in the footsteps of the slain civil rights icon. In memos that reveal Coretta Scott King being closely followed by the government, the FBI noted concern that she might attempt "to tie the anti-Vietnam movement to the civil rights movement.". . . Also included in the documents: The FBI suggested that Ralph Abernathy, a close aide to Martin Luther King, be made aware of death threats against his life for the benefit of "the disruptive effect of confusing and worrying him."

http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2007-08-31-king-fbi_N.htm?csp=34

KING ASSASINATION

[From testimony of Carthel Weeden, former Chief of Fire Station Number Two in Memphis, given in court, November 29, 1999]

Q. On April 4th, 1968, the day of the assassination, were you on duty?
A. Yes, sir.

Q. And on April 4, 1968, were you approached by two Army officers?
A. That's what they indicated, they were two Army officers.

Q. And what did they ask you to do?
A. They wanted a look-out vantage for the Lorraine Hotel...

Q. You put these Army officers on the roof of the number two fire station on the 4th of April, 1968? . . . Did you go up there on the roof with them?
A. I did.

Q. And were they carrying anything?
A. They had some briefcases or some items with them, yes.

Q. Did you come to learn what was in those briefcases?
A. No, sir.

Q. Did they tell you what was in the briefcases?
A. They said they wanted a vantage point for doing some photo -- photograph --

Q. Photographic work.
A. Right, right.

Q. Did they at the time show you any military identification?
A. Well, I'm sure they did or I wouldn't have carried them up there but I - you know, we had a lot of people coming in and out at that time, you know...

Q. Mr. Weeden, has any law enforcement officers ever asked you about that day and what you did?
A. No, sir.

Q. Nobody has ever spoken to you?
A. No, sir...

Q. Did any member of the House Select Committee on Assassinations, any investigator for the House Select Committee ever speak to you about this incident?
A. Not at all.

Q. Any researchers or book writers ever speak to you about this incident?
A. No, sir.

Q. My, my. Thank you very much

THE DRUG WAR

UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE FARMERS' BULLETIN #663 REVISED EDITION WASHINGTON, DC JUNE 5, 1915: The drug cannabis or Indian hemp (Cannabis sativa), consists of the dried flowering tops of the female plants. It grows well over a considerable portion of the United States, but the production of the active principle of this plant is believed to be favored by a warm climate. For drug purposes, therefore, this crop appears to be adapted to the Southern rather than to the Northern States . . . Two or three pounds of seed per acre should give a good stand. About half the seeds will produce male plants, which must be removed before their flowers mature; otherwise, the female plants will set seed, thereby diminishing their value as a drug . . . Ordinary stable or barnyard manure plowed in deeply is better for use as a fertilizer than commercial preparations and may be safely applied at the rate of 20 tons per acre . . . Returns from experimental areas indicate that yields of 400 to 500 pounds of dried tops per acre may be expected under good conditions. Although some American-grown cannabis is found in the crude-drug trade, a definite market for this product is not yet established. Those who contemplate the commercial production of this crop should therefore carefully investigate market possibilities before making any extensive plantings. THE LEVELLERS

 

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