Art Preis Archive   |   Trotskyist Writers Index  |   ETOL Main Page

Art Preis

“Educating” Japan’s Crown Prince

(7 September 1946)

From The Militant, Vol. X No. 36, 7 September 1946, p. 4.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).

Suppose a foreign army does rule Japan? Suppose MacArthur did issue an edict last week forbidding Japanese workers to strike. Suppose U.S. occupation forces do keep Emperor Hirohito – a newly-renovated Emperor, of course – on his throne? That still doesn’t mean the Japanese people are to be deprived of the “blessings of democracy.”

U.S. imperialism naturally doesn’t want to feed “too much democracy” to the Japanese people all at once. They’re not used to such a rich diet, you see. So Wall Street’s State Department has found a way to nurture Japan with a bit of “democratic” broth without taxing the people’s digestive systems.

How It’s Done

It will all be done through that ideally “democratic” institution, the monarchy. First, the 12-year-old Crown Prince of Japan, Akihito, is to learn all about “American democracy” from an American tutor, hand-picked by the U.S. Department of State.

Then the gracious Son of the Son of the Sun will one day. as Emperor, spread the “democratic” sunshine over the miserable, hungry, exploited people of Japan.

Did any conquered people ever took forward to such delightful perspectives – “American democracy” dispensed by a “democratic” Emperor benevolently aided by American bayonets?

The honor of inculcating “democratic ideals” into the young Crown Prince has been bestowed by Washington on Mrs. Elizabeth Gray Vining, a Philadelphia writer of children’s books. She is reported “filled with zeal” for her assignment. She says she is going to teach Akihito all about “Washington and Jefferson and Longfellow” – all about “American thoughts and ideals.”

She didn’t say anything about republicanism – after all, scarcely a suitable subject for one who is being groomed for Emperor, even a “democratic” one.

Not Included

There are some phases of American “democracy” which we presume will not be covered in the future Emperor’s studies: Subjugation of racial minorities, like the Jim-Crowing and lynching of Negroes; government strikebreaking and anti-labor laws; discriminatory tax laws favoring the rich; etc. But, then, the Crown Prince represents the Japanese ruling class and he undoubtedly wil secure sufficient schooling in this type of “democratic” practice from traditional Japanese sources.

Educating the young Crown Prince in American “democratic ideals” has certain advantages not precisely related to democracy. These will be most greatly appreciated should the Japanese masses “abuse” democracy to the point of trying to kick out the present discredited Emperor. In that event, the U.S. State Department will have a nice new Emperor all ready for them – a Crown Prince just chock-full of American “democratic ideals.”

It goes without saying that he will also be a puppet of U.S. imperialism who will do its bidding in urging submission on the Japanese people. At any rate, he’ll do it “democratically.”

Preis Archive   |   Trotskyist Writers Index  |   ETOL Main Page

Last updated: 19 June 2021