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Susan Green

Would-Be Fuehrers on Display:

U.S. Fascists Aim Blows at Labor

(19 April 1942)

From Labor Action, Vol. 6 No. 16, 19 April 1942, pp. 1 & 3.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’ Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).

In the last issue of Labor Action the reader saw how anti-Semitism is really a knife in labor’s back and how the approach to the war of the American Nazi-fascists is outright pro-Hitler boosting.

In this, the third article of our series on fascism in America, two more “strong” points of the vicious propaganda of these Hitler worshippers will be subjected to the test of working class interests.

There is no doubt at all that the fascist leaders in this country are openly and secretly schooling their followers for the same outburst of violence as characterized Hitler’s ascent to power. On a minor scale the destructive and murderous rampages of the Ku Klux Klan against innocent citizens is the model of the mob eruption the Nazi-fascists want.

In its milder forms, the appeal to violence can be found in such sentences as the following, profusely sprinkled throughout Nazi-fascist literature:

“The people of America will become Jew-conscious to a serious degree and much violence will result.”

This sounds like an “objective” statement. But coming from Kullgren, associate of Pelley and publisher of the fire-eating anti-Semitic Beacon Light, the meaning is very clear to his hysterical followers. To them it is a call for a pogrom against the Jews – which is what he intended it should be.

The suporters of America’s would-be fuehrers also get the full implication of such suggestive tracts as the following:

“There is grave danger of assassination [of President Roosevelt]. If the people fail to act I am satisfied that divinity will act ... I prefer to paint the picture to show you the forces in operation and to leave the responsibility with you. ... And you will reap as you have sown; and the sins of omission are as deadly as those of commission.”

Thus does the same Kullgren, in a very “religious” mood, suggest to his followers that it is up to them to assassinate President Roosevelt – or else God will strike him down, and maybe them too, for not saving the Almighty this nasty job.

Open Appeal to Violence

Every normal person knows that only those whose minds and souls are hopelessly twisted and warped would honor such vile stuff with anything but contempt and loathing. But this is just the point. The leaders of American fascism gather around themselves the lowest elements, infuse them with unreasoning fanaticism and train them to carry out the bloody work of the fascist movement.

The private instructions issued to the chosen fanatics is much more rabid than the open propaganda. Below is a sample from a confidential memorandum addressed only to entrusted Crusader White Shirts by their leader, George W. Christians, dated January 1, 1942. This and similar secret instructions were made public by an undercover man working in the Nazi-fascist movement of this country.

“When the MAD MOB gets in MOTION make sure that they dig all of the blood-sucking banksters out from under their piles of rock and steel. Line them up against a wall and SHOOT them. See that they run down all the Political Parasites. Don’t miss a single Politician, big or little. Just HANG them to the nearest tree or lamp-post.” (The emphasis is in the original)

This is a sample of the more dangerous Nazi-fascist propaganda. An effort is here made to appeal to workers. The pretense is made that the “mad mob” will be directed to shoot or hang the “blood-sucking banksters” and the “political parasites” – both most definitely enemies of the working class. But right here is the catch. LABOR CANNOT WIN ITS EMANCIPATION FROM ITS ECONOMIC AND POLITICAL OVERLORDS BY “MAD MOB” TACTICS. The would-be founders of fascism in this country are well aware of this fact.

The fate of the German workers must be a profound lesson to the workers here. Hitler directed his “mad mob” violence against the workers and against their organizations. This must never be forgotten. The big industrialists and bankers retired to the Riviera for the duration of the “disturbance,” confident that the Nazis were looking after their interests. Many of the political parasites got on the Nazi bandwagon. But the workers woke up to find that while the innocent Jews had been ruined, the exploiters were stronger than before. They beheld themselves without their unions, without their political parties, without their militant leadership – a new slavery.

No worker should for a moment allow himself to be confused by Nazi-fascist ruses. There is only one way in which the working class can free itself from their politicians – AND PREVENT THE RISE OF THE NAZIS TO POWER. Labor must strengthen its own economic and political organisations and inspire these organizations with the socialist purpose of ending capitalism and establishing a better social order.

This is what the Nazi-fascists fear. This is What they are hell-bent to prevent. That is why they spread their vicious appeals for assassination and violence, that is why they aim to create a revengeful but unorganized and unthinking rabble, that is why they are preparing a blood bath against advanced labor.

The Totalitarian Black-Jack in the Kid Glove

Every worker must ponder the fact that Hitler’s movement – perhaps the most brutal and retrogressive in all history – has nevertheless been graded by its founder with the name National SOCIALISM. Socialism, as every worker should know, is the next step in human progress. Why, then, of all the titles he could have chosen, did Hitler tack the “Socialist” label to his anti-socialist movement?

The answer is, of course, that he was trying to fool the working people. The ideal of socialism was deeply embedded in the minds and hearts of German workers. Not only in their politics, but in their Unions as well, they connected their everyday problems with the goal of the working class to establish socialism. Unfortunately, the German Workers – as were workers everywhere else – had been misled by the social democratic politicians and betrayed by the Stalinists.

Along came Hitler with his false use of the word “Socialist,” with his make-believe diatribes against the bankers, with his cynical promise of a “new order.” With these lures he fooled a small section of the youngest and least experienced of the German workers into support of a movement which brought them abject slavery and more misery.

This is exactly the trick used by the American brethren of Hitler. They know that the American worker has no use for the profit-grubbing capitalist who has not hesitated to have workers shot down on a picket line. These Nazi-fascists understand the natural loathing of the American worker for the octopus bankers whose international investments require armies, navies and wars.

A Trap for the Unwary

So Hitler’s apostles here hand out a line designed to trap the unwary worker. Their publications overflow with such phrases as “this monstrous civilization based on gold and greed” – this by the above-mentioned George W. Christians. Coughlin’s disreputable Social Justice shadow boxes with “the princes of privilege” and’ “the money changers in the temples.” These fascist fakers also pretend to champion “individual liberties.” They even have the nerve to make fake protests against “regimentation.”

But does any intelligent worker believe, for one moment, that Hitlerism can champion the workers cause against exploitation?

For instance, could Thomas J. Goodwin, Christian Front choice for Mayor in the last New York City election, have represented the workers? That Nazi-fascist, in the midst of the campaign, shamelessly declared: “There’s nothing wrong with fascism. Hitler has done a good job in Europe.” That is the very job the American fascists want repeated here.

Or could Coughlin do anything but harm the workers? This sleek rabble-rouser has only praise for Hitler’s “new order.” This “new order” that Coughlin is so crazy about has spread the domain of the:German “princes of privilege” over continental Europe and under this “new order” the “money changers in the temples” have acquired more peoples to exploit for profit.

Coughlin Wants to Cut Workers’ Wages

But Coughlin and Company reveal their dishonesty in still other ways. The workers today are struggling to maintain their wage scales at a level to meet the towering cost of living. Ah, but Social Justice has quite different plans for the workers. It believes that the completely inadequate pittance of $21 a month paid to the draftee should be the national wage norm for all workers. It sets up as a brilliant guiding star the German, Japanese and Russian method of dealing with the wage question. Here are its very words:

“... factory workers, office workers, field workers and political workers [must] knuckle down to the same comparative salary received by the Army and Navy workers. Japan learned that lesson. So did Germany. So did all the Axis powers. And so did Russia.”

Every worker will agree that reducing his wages to a coolie level of existence is a very queer way of fighting the “money changers in the temples” and the “princes of privilege”!

The totalitarian black-jack sticks out of the smooth kid glove of Nazi-fascist propaganda. Hitler’s American disciples, like their master, stand for everything and promise anything that may get them support. But a worker must never forget what they want support for. THEY WANT SUPPORT FOR A NAZI-FASCIST TOTALITARIAN SYSTEM IN THIS COUNTRY!

All of the fascists – the Coughlins, Pelleys, etc. – have one thing in common with all fascist movements in every country. They hate and would destroy the workers’ greatest bulwark: the organized labor movement. They may talk big, but when it comes to a showdown they always side with the moneychangers, profiteers and industrialists, against the working people.

In the last article of this series, two points will be covered. First, how the Nazi-fascist fuehrers are organizing for action. Second, a program of action for the working class and the just-getting-along people – Jews and Gentiles, black and white. Hitler’s cohorts in America can be stopped. They must be stopped.

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Last updated: 8 September 2014