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Fascism in America

Geo. Clarke

Hill-Billy Hitlerites

Red Baiting and Jew Baiting

(January 1934)

From The Militant, Vol. VII No. 3, 27 January 1934, p. 3.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’ Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).

(Ed. Note – This is the second of a series of articles devoted to a study and exposure of the budding Fascist movement known as the Silver Shirts of America.)

It was a popular impression before the Nazis hoisted themselves into the saddle of power that Adolph Hitler was a clown and his supporters a bunch of “nuts”. It was said that he had no program, that the storm-troops were riff-raff, bitter at the world and eager for blood and revenge. There was more than a grain of truth in this belief. Yet there was method in Hitler’s madness – and a terrible appeal. Witness the million-headed Fascist monster that rules Germany today.

The secret of Hitler’s success with his followers, in part, rested in his ability to invoke real or imaginary foes who were blamed for the grief and worries of society, to promise their heads to crazed, embittered people. Threat and condemnation – this is the Fascist credo. The positive program is a mystery or at best vague promises.

Pelley’s Silver Shirts are founded upon a striking emulation of their German prototypes. On one of the pages of their rag, Liberation, (this is a peculiar way of saying, slavery) all of the so-called panaceas “for saving America” are decried – taboo. These include the lightening of the farmers’ taxes, the abolition of the presidential electoral college, the repeal of prohibition, the elimination of usury, government ownership of public utilities and ... The abolition of the system of production for profit! No! These are only delusions, says the Liberation scribbler, “And those who do not think deeply are led into the pathways of delusive Socialism, if they belong to the ‘intelligentsia’, and into the clutches of anarchistic Communism if they belong to the so-called proletariat.”

Well, then, asks the sane worker, what is wrong with the system we live in?

The answer, recounted below, is quite worthy of the lowliest intellect in Mattawan:

“A foreign virus has been instilled into the body of the nation. Within the flesh of the citizenry crawls the viper of materialism ...

“It is no peculiar fact that the Jews and Jewishness are noted for materialism. Nor is it strange that this gigantic fact should resolve itself into national factors with the Jews at the root and at the bottom of every major corruption and debauchery of our Christian nation and Constitutional form of government!”

In Germany the Jews were accused of having sold the nation’s birthright to the Allies. In America the “Depression ... was the result of a vast JEWISH banker’s conspiracy.” How true to type! The ostensible cause, claimed by the German Hitlerites, for the sweeping ruin of the middle strata of the population was the treaty of Versailles perpetrated by the Jews, and the “foreign yoke” maintained by the Jews. In the United States, according to the Hilly-Billy Hitlerites, 1929 was the Jewish Deluge for the “Gentile” petty bourgeoisie, which is perpetuated by the “Washington Jewish Oligarchy.” This is the ancient scape-goat trotted out and spat upon in order to detract attention from the real burning issue – capitalism.

Bluntly stated, here is what the Jew-scalping “Chief” considers the Insidious plan of the “traducers (Jews) of this Christian form of government.”

The Jewish Plot à la Pelley

“We need more Hebrews in the United States to perfect our plans and strategies for the utter despotism of Protocolism over your detested free institutions. So whether you like it or not we are going to bring them in. We will distribute them far and wide over your American nation. We shall see that they are set up as shopkeepers in cities and towns all over the country, entering into competition with your Gentile shopkeepers who are on the verge of bankruptcy through what we have done to your economic and financial system already, plus our pet NRA scheme for making it costlier for you to do business at all. We will also use them, as they demonstrate individual smartness, to worm and weasel into all your fraternal and social organizations and keep bulldog watch over their activities, to see that nothing starts within them for checkmating our international racial program.”

The battle cry for the doomed middle class: Exterminate the Jews and there will be more jobs, professions and business for You!

Great pains are taken to prove that the government is dominated by Jews, that the Federal Reserve and the Treasury is under the thumb of the “Judan swarm”. Notice all the variety of Jews on the inside track in Washington:

“It has gotten to the point that Jews and husbands of Jews, semi-Jews and wives of Jews, Gentile fronts for Jews, statistical Jews, financial Jews, analytical Jews, budget Jews, brain-trust Jews, politics Jews, diplomatic Jews, immigration Jews, Congressional Jews, patronage Jews, mortgage Jews, assessor Jews, foreign conference Jews, war debt Jews, radio Jews, motion picture Jews, sugar Jews, clothing Jews, packing-industry Jews, railroad Jews, publicity Jews, Cuban Jews, League of Nations Jews, Colonel-House-brand of Jews, Barney-Baruch Gentile Jews, Washington editor Jews, government clerk Jews, are swarming all over the place ...”

Hosannas are sung for Hitler’s persecution of Jews and Communists; epithets are heaped on those who protest the savage deeds in Berlin ... This story is drummed on the ears of the ignorant, bigoted Silver Shirt, – whose brain action must become paralyzed after reading several copies of Liberation – until he thinks that his salvation on heaven and earth, materialistically and spiritually, rests with Pelley’s anti-Semitism.

* * * *

“The issue is sharp – how much longer are we going to permit Baruchism (Barnard M. Baruch, the agent of Russian Communism in America according to the feverish brain of the “Chief”) to direct the foreign policy of these Christian and Gentile United States of America? Must we wait for the Red Flag to fly over the White House, and hundreds of our people to be shot down by the American-Jewish Chekka in the streets of Cleveland, Detroit, and Chicago, before we will awaken and arise to a man, smash Jewish Communism in this land of Patrick Henry as Mussolini smashed it in Italy, as Hitler smashed it in Germany?”

As on the European continent, and wherever Fascism has reared its ugly head, it likewise reveals its raison d’etre – anti-working class, destroy the revolutionary and labor movement to perpetuate the existence of the cadaver, capitalism. It is highly significant that in all the fuming and raging about Jewish bankers, moneylenders, the writer has not found a single word in the dozens of Silver Shirt magazines he has labored through, aimed at the industrialists, the factory owners, the exploiters, the slave-drivers in the mine and the mill. Naturally, the banker (for whom we nave no sympathy whatsoever, and who will be eliminated not by Pelley but by the Communist movement), and especially the Jewish banker is a good mark for the chief. He is thereby committed to nothing definite. He can wriggle out any time his masters clamp down, whining “I mean the Jewish bankers, not a good Gentile firm like J.P. Morgan but his competitors Kuhn, Loeb and Co.”

The Choicest Invective

Next to the Jews the choicest invective is saved for Soviet Russia, – murderers, cut-throats, thieves, rapists, and various combinations of these and other bouquets ... Russian Communism, says Pelley, finances American Communism through the Armtorg and Barney Baruch, die-hard conservative banker, was and is the liaison officer through whom Communism is infiltrated into the United States. The “Chief” gets purple in the face shouting against the Recognition agreement with Russia which he claims in his delerium has tortured and murdered over 1,670,000 persons. “The Chief” does not think that Communism in this country is or would be so much of a menace to civilization (read: capitalism) except that it is directly aided by Roosevelt’s closest advisors; and many is the impression given in the official organ than Roosevelt himself might be a good-standing member of the Politbureau of the Russian Communist Party ...

Pelley is 100% anti-Soviet. So much so that he denounces his fellow jingo, William Randolph Hearst, for raising a hue and cry about the Japanese Yellow Peril. The Silver Shirt declares that Japan has been fighting the battle of civilization – against Sovietism – when she plundered Northern China and bombarded Shanghai. A plan is recounted whereby

“A ring of steel was to be drawn about Jewish-Soviet Russia, and that ring was to be tightened until the Murder-bund under Stalin was to be strangled from existence. On the East was Japan, on the West was Poland, Germany, and Czechoslovakia – which latter nation meant, of course, France.

“Japan was to commence the fight for the preservation of constitutional civilization and the continued reign of orderly governments in Manchuria. Hitler was to be lifted into power on the West, and out of this ‘lifting’ was to grow a formidable antagonism to Communism throughout Continental Europe. Certain equally significant and vital roles, all delineated at the time were to be played by England and Italy.” (Liberation, December, 9, 1933)

Pelley has all he can do in trying to conceal his chagrin because the brigands assault on the Worker’s Fatherland has not yet commenced. And how he rages against the Recognition because it might help Soviet Russia ...

Let us conclude on the same note we began this installment. The universal features of Fascism apply even to these United States. The middle class is duped, drugged and deceived but like all addicts it does not realize the damage until morning after ...

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Last updated: 9 February 2016