Fenwick Archive  |  Trotskyist Writers  |  ETOL Home Page

James M. Fenwick

Off Limits

(12 August 1946)

From Labor Action, Vol. 10 No. 32, 12 August 1946, p. 4.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for the ETOL.

General Omar N. Bradley, known far and wide by his public relations office, his relatives and his Ralph Ingersoll, editor of PM, as “the soldier’s general,” last Memorial Day chose to enlighten a world in which only a few, alas, can be generals and so many of us, not smart like General Bradley, must be content to remain the eternal enlisted man.

“By this time,” he said, “we should have learned that no one is richer by war. All are poorer including the victors.”

Such a statement, half insolence and half idiocy, enlisted men have long since learned to expect from army officers, and General Bradley may even believe it himself. But no one else is thereby obligated to believe it, especially since the breaking of the Garsson case.

“All are poorer, including the victors.” That is a lie. Only the working class is poorer because of the war. For the capitalist class the war years were golden ones. The career even of Murray Garsson, who is, it should be remembered, actually a nobody among the real rulers of this country – the capitalists – proves it.

Up from Slavery

Beginning only with a non-existent firm’s letterhead and an unshakable faith in the corruptibility of congressmen, Garsson quickly ran this into a chain of firms which handled $78,000,000 in war contracts. Garsson, a former associate of the gangster Dutch Schultz, did not invest a cent of his own money. The government financed everything.

Associated with Garsson in his patriotic enterprise were such typical characters as Benjamin F. Fields, an ex-convict. With such persons involved, it is not surprising that the business was conducted on a moral level considerably lower than those noble ideals for which the war was supposedly fought.

Andrew J. May, chairman, no less, of the House Military Affairs Committee, accepted bribes from the Garsson firm for “favors” he was able to extend it.

Albert W. Jacobson, a legal adviser in the Chemical Warfare Service, who handled contract approving, was paid $20,000 a year by the Garsson company.

Expensive Christmas gifts were given to assorted generals and other officers in the Chemical Warfare Service who were in a position to aid the profit-making activities of the Garssons.

May intervened personally with General Eisenhower when Garsson’s son, a captain in the Chemical Warfare Service, was court-martialed.

The Real Situation

In short, the Garssons and their political and military friends, like the capitalist class as a whole, of which they are a small part, emerged from the war richer than ever before.

They should have, for World War II was their war. It was fought primarily to contest the world trade market menaced by the expansion of German and Japanese capitalism.

“All are poorer ...”? No, only the working class of all countries is poorer. For it was they who were killed and mutilated in the war, it was they who worked long hours in the shops, it is they who now are confronted with inflation, poverty, destruction of their homeland, and the prospect of an atomic war.

The Garssons, their capitalist betters, and their soldiers like you, General Bradley, emerged from the war quite satisfied.

You will pardon us if we don’t believe you.

Fenwick Archive   |   Trotskyist Writers Index   |   ETOL Main Page

Last updated: 4 July 2019