On July 23, British national radio (BBC) broadcast The Whitehouse Coup, part of a series called Document (www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/history/document/document_20070723.shtml). This show investigated new information concerning an historic event mostly ignored and buried in the corporate-dominated media, government, and educational system here in the U.S.
In 1933, some of the richest American businessmen launched a plan to start a fascist coup against the U.S. government and President Franklin Roosevelt. Coup plotters included leaders of the American Legion, the American Liberty League (an organization formed specifically to aid the coup), and corporate executives from DuPont, U.S. Steel, General Motors, Standard Oil, Chase National Bank, and Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company. The BBC documentary also states that Prescott Bush (the current President’s granddad) was involved in the coup plot.
This coup plot is also known as the “Business Plot.” Prescott Bush and the other U.S. business leaders behind the plot admired Mussolini and Hitler. Like capitalists in Italy and Germany, these American business executives dreamed of using a private army, and later the official armed forces, as part of a fascist movement to smash the growing workers’ movement in the U.S.
The “Business Plot” was exposed by a well-known, retired Marine Corps officer, Smedley Butler. Butler was approached by representatives of the coup plot to become head of the American Legion and from there help mobilize half a million veterans into a fascist uprising against the Roosevelt administration.
Instead, Butler testified to the McCormack-Dickstein Committee of the U.S. Congress, giving specifics of the plot and naming names. As the Committee results became known, their investigations were cut short, no business executives were ever called to testify, and the corporate press, led by the New York Times, denounced the whole investigation. The final report of the committee was heavily censored. This censorship was exposed by John Spivak, a reporter for the New Masses magazine, and later detailed in his autobiography A Man in His Time.
It’s important for us, working people and youth, to see just how far corporations are prepared to go to protect their rotten profits. Why don’t more of us know about this “Business Plot” to impose fascism on U.S. society?
Thanks to Tom Potter for research help with this article.