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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-25-06 01:36 PM
Original message
FDR’s Warning of the Tyranny of Economic Royalists in the U.S.
Edited on Wed Oct-25-06 01:38 PM by Time for change
In June of 1936, with Fascism on the rise in Europe, the man who is generally regarded as the second greatest president in the history of the United States gave one of the greatest speeches ever given in this country. In that speech Franklin Delano Roosevelt warned his countrymen, not of external dangers, but of the internal dangers to our country from what he called “economic royalists”.

I came across this speech for the first time a few days ago, and I was astounded both by how pertinent it is to the grave challenges that we face today and how closely FDR’s “economic royalists” resemble today’s Republican Party, except that FDR did not speak of the moral bankruptcy of the subjects of his speech.

Though FDR emphasized our Constitution in his speech, his warning went well beyond the need for us to maintain the political freedoms guaranteed to us in our Constitution. The Great Depression, out of which FDR was still leading us almost four years into his Presidency, had demonstrated that economic freedom is essential as well, if American citizens are to have the right to the ‘pursuit of happiness’ claimed in our Declaration of Independence to be an unalienable right of all people.

Our Founding Fathers had either not anticipated that need when they wrote our Constitution, or else they had felt that our fledgling country was not yet ready for that concept. But as FDR pointed out in his speech, many things had changed since then. And his greatest legacies to our country were the recognition that people need a government that understands and acts upon the necessity for people to have economic freedom as well as political freedom, along with the enactment of the myriad of programs required by that recognition.

Here are some excerpts from FDR’s great and prophetic speech, as he accepted his second nomination for President of the United States at the Democratic National Convention of 1936:

… That very word freedom, in itself and of necessity, suggests freedom from some restraining power. In 1776 we sought freedom from the tyranny of a political autocracy-from the eighteenth century royalists who held special privileges from the crown. It was to perpetuate their privilege that they governed without the consent of the governed; that they denied the right of free assembly and free speech; that they restricted the worship of God; that they put the average man's property and the average man's life in pawn to the mercenaries of dynastic power; that they regimented the people.

And so it was to win freedom from the tyranny of political autocracy that the American Revolution was fought. That victory gave the business of governing into the hands of the average man, who won the right with his neighbors to make and order his own destiny through his own Government. Political tyranny was wiped out at Philadelphia on July 4, 1776.

Since that struggle, however, man's inventive genius released new forces in our land which reordered the lives of our people.. The age of machinery, of railroads; of steam and electricity; the telegraph and the radio; mass production, mass distribution-all of these combined to bring forward a new civilization and with it a new problem for those who sought to remain free.

For out of this modern civilization economic royalists carved new dynasties. New kingdoms were built upon concentration of control over material things. Through new uses of corporations, banks and securities, new machinery of industry and agriculture, of labor and capital-all undreamed of by the fathers-the whole structure of modern life was impressed into this royal service.

There was no place among this royalty for our many thousands of small business men and merchants who sought to make a worthy use of the American system of initiative and profit. They were no more free than the worker or the farmer. Even honest and progressive-minded men of wealth, aware of their obligation to their generation, could never know just where they fitted into this dynastic scheme of things.

It was natural and perhaps human that the privileged princes of these new economic dynasties, thirsting for power, reached out for control over Government itself. They created a new despotism and wrapped it in the robes of legal sanction. In its service new mercenaries sought to regiment the people, their labor, and their property. And as a result the average man once more confronts the problem that faced the Minute Man.

The hours men and women worked, the wages they received, the conditions of their labor-these had passed beyond the control of the people, and were imposed by this new industrial dictatorship. The savings of the average family, the capital of the small business man, the investments set aside for old age-other people's money-these were tools which the new economic royalty used to dig itself in.

Those who tilled the soil no longer reaped the rewards which were their right. The small measure of their gains was decreed by men in distant cities.

Throughout the Nation, opportunity was limited by monopoly. Individual initiative was crushed in the cogs of a great machine. The field open for free business was more and more restricted. Private enterprise, indeed, became too private. It became privileged enterprise, not free enterprise.

An old English judge once said: "Necessitous men are not free men." Liberty requires opportunity to make a living-a living decent according to the standard of the time, a living which gives man not only enough to live by, but something to live for.

For too many of us the political equality we once had won was meaningless in the face of economic inequality. A small group had concentrated into their own hands an almost complete control over other people's property, other people's money, other people's labor-other people's lives. For too many of us life was no longer free; liberty no longer real; men could no longer follow the pursuit of happiness.

Against economic tyranny such as this, the American citizen could appeal only to the organized power of Government. The collapse of 1929 showed up the despotism for what it was. The election of 1932 was the people's mandate to end it. Under that mandate it is being ended.

The royalists of the economic order have conceded that political freedom was the business of the Government, but they have maintained that economic slavery was nobody's business. They granted that the Government could protect the citizen in his right to vote, but they denied that the Government could do anything to protect the citizen in his right to work and his right to live.

Today we stand committed to the proposition that freedom is no half-and-half affair. If the average citizen is guaranteed equal opportunity in the polling place, he must have equal opportunity in the market place.

These economic royalists complain that we seek to overthrow the institutions of America. What they really complain of is that we seek to take away their power. Our allegiance to American institutions requires the overthrow of this kind of power. In vain they seek to hide behind the Flag and the Constitution. In their blindness they forget what the Flag and the Constitution stand for. Now, as always, they stand for democracy, not tyranny; for freedom, not subjection; and against a dictatorship by mob rule and the over-privileged alike.

The brave and clear platform adopted by this Convention, to which I heartily subscribe, sets forth that Government in a modern civilization has certain inescapable obligations to its citizens, among which are protection of the family and the home, the establishment of a democracy of opportunity, and aid to those overtaken by disaster.

But the resolute enemy within our gates is ever ready to beat down our words unless in greater courage we will fight for them….

We are poor indeed if this Nation cannot afford to lift from every recess of American life the dread fear of the unemployed that they are not needed in the world. We cannot afford to accumulate a deficit in the books of human fortitude….

Better the occasional faults of a Government that lives in a spirit of charity than the consistent omissions of a Government frozen in the ice of its own indifference….

Here in America we are waging a great and successful war (FDR is not talking here of WW II, which had not yet started, but rather the war against our own “Economic Royalists”, as he called them – the forerunners of today’s Republican Party). It is not alone a war against want and destitution and economic demoralization. It is more than that; it is a war for the survival of democracy. We are fighting to save a great and precious form of government for ourselves and for the world.

I accept the commission you have tendered me. I join with you. I am enlisted for the duration of the war.


Roosevelt did indeed enlist for the duration… of his life. He may not have foreseen, however, that his great success in combating the wealth and power of the economic royalists would create deep and lasting hatred towards him and his ilk; that this hatred would smolder in the breasts of the economic royalists and their descendents until, 35 years after FDR’s death they would create a President of the United States who would begin to turn back the tide of economic freedom that FDR had begun.

And by that time the economic royalists had more thoroughly recognized the mutually reinforcing nature of economic and political hegemony. They recognized, in fact, that in order to obtain the unlimited wealth that they hungered for they would have to attack both economic freedom and political freedom simultaneously. For the American people had become accustomed to the economic rights that FDR had worked so hard to give them, and they would not give them up easily.

So the economic royalists commenced an attack, while in the midst of dismantling FDR’s legacy, on our first amendment rights – first through control and intimidation of our independent news media; then by neutralizing laws designed to make our press accountable to the public; and finally by allowing the monopolization of our national news media into fewer and fewer hands until a small handful of the wealthiest men in our country controlled the great majority of news heard by the average American citizen. And when that degree of control was felt to be insufficient, another presidential creation of the economic royalists would denote “zones” in which Americans could exercise their first amendment rights away from the eyes and ears of the rest of the country, would produce his own propaganda disguised as news, and would threaten to jail reporters who strayed too far from the Republican Party line.

The effect of all this has been to shield our government with a thick wall of secrecy and to mislead the American people into believing that the replacement of FDR’s myriad of programs for the advancement of economic freedom for all Americans with programs specifically designed to restore the economic royalists to their former positions of wealth and power – and beyond – is really done in the name of democracy, freedom, patriotism and the welfare of the American people. In other words, they attempt to make us believe that up is down and down is up.

And to prepare for the possibility that even the loss of our First amendment rights will not suffice to fool most of us, they have invented machines that count our votes in secret, hatched a thousand different plans to prevent us from voting, developed a campaign finance system that ensures that they play an obscenely disproportionate role in our elections, and have even installed justices on our Supreme Court who in a pinch will tell us that the American people have no Constitutional right to vote.

And to top it all off, their latest creation, selected by the U.S. Supreme Court in December 2000 to be President of the United States, has no regard for the Constitution of the United States whatsoever, and has acted accordingly to dismantle as much of our constitution as he can.

And that is where we stand now, with perhaps the most important mid-term election in the history of our country just a few days in front of us. It is essential that we now return control of Congress to the Party of FDR, in order to prevent further grave damage to our country (including another war), and so that we may turn the tide in our struggle against the economic royalists that FDR began almost three quarters of a century ago, starting with the restoration of our political and economic rights that are the hallmarks of a true democracy.
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Mojambo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-25-06 01:57 PM
Response to Original message
1. Best thing I've read on DU in over a year.
Kicked and Recommended.

And thank you.
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-25-06 04:33 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. Thank you very much Mojambo - It makes one nostalgic for the days
when a President could talk to people without the use of first amendment zones, teleprompters, or the assurance of an intimidated and compliant press.

And it makes one wonder why so many of today's Americans demand so little of their president, their government and their news media.
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Karenina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-26-06 05:47 AM
Response to Reply #3
19. TfC, YOU are a GEM!!!
K&R!!! :loveya:
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-26-06 07:33 AM
Response to Reply #19
20. Thank you so much Karenina
I came across the FDR speech, written in its entirety, in the main text, in Thom Hartmann's "Screwed -- The Undeclared War Against the Middle Class":
http://www.amazon.com/Screwed-Undeclared-Against-Middle...

It is an excellent book -- has really helped to clarify my thoughts on this. :hug:
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Greyhound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-25-06 02:46 PM
Response to Original message
2. Nice job. Recommendation #4. I liked this part...
An old English judge once said: "Necessitous men are not free men." Liberty requires opportunity to make a living-a living decent according to the standard of the time, a living which gives man not only enough to live by, but something to live for.

For too many of us the political equality we once had won was meaningless in the face of economic inequality. A small group had concentrated into their own hands an almost complete control over other people's property, other people's money, other people's labor-other people's lives. For too many of us life was no longer free; liberty no longer real; men could no longer follow the pursuit of happiness.


This sums up today's reality, again. Far too many of us have accepted the yoke of unreasonable debt to buy the illusion of safety in isolation. Far too many believe that this way is the only way possible because nobody is telling them there are better ways. Far too many don't participate in the system because they rightly believe no one speaks for them. And finally, far too many have lost their empathy for their brothers and sisters that struggle to survive in a system owned and run, by and for, those that rule over all of us.
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-25-06 08:01 PM
Response to Reply #2
11. Yes, all of that, and far too many of us don't know what's going on around us
Far too many Americans have grown up to believe what they read and hear in their national news media and from those whom they look to as authority figures, without question.

They have failed to notice the attacks on our First Amendment, how Republican presidents and other politicians have found ways to control what we see and hear.

Restoring a legal atmosphere for the operation of a free press has to be one of the first priorities once Dems get back into power. It will take courage though because they are bound to be mercilessly lambasted by our corporate media if they try.
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kineneb Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-25-06 04:55 PM
Response to Original message
4. thank you
My grandparents almost worshiped FDR. They spent one of the early years of the Depression living in a tent-house on my great-grandparent's property.


on this general topic...

I just read an article in Scientific American "Welfare States, Beyond Ideology". Turns out the high-tax, high-income Nordic countries (Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden) are outperforming the low-tax, high-income Anglo-Saxon countries (U.S., Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, U.K.). So much for the superiority of laissez-faire.
http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?chanID=sa006&articleID...
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-26-06 01:42 AM
Response to Reply #4
18. Yes, my parents were quite fond of him too
He was the first president that they both voted for, and they remained Dems all their life.

That's a very good article. In my opinion, laissez-faire, or trickle down economics, or whatever you want to call it, is just a sham to keep the economic royalists in power. Ronald Reagan and his cohorts gave us the myth of the terrible "big government" to take peoples' eyes of the tyranny of the wealthy if they're allowed to do whatever they want. They kick and scream about taxing corporations or regulating them in the public interest, and yet those corporation receive government charters to stay in business, they use government infrastructure, and they even receive subsidies from government. Yet they try to make us believe that to put limits on their right to pollute our environment, etc. is tyranny, or Communism. They want all of the benefits but none of the responsibilities.
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starroute Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-25-06 04:56 PM
Response to Original message
5. It's apparently his 1936 acceptance speech
Given before the Democratic National Convention on June 27, 1936.

There's an mp3 for download at ftp://webstorage2.mcpa.virginia.edu/library/nara/fdr/au...

I'm going to grab it and have a listen.
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PeaceProgProsp Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-25-06 04:57 PM
Response to Original message
6. Roosevelt's argument about the economy and politics
Edited on Wed Oct-25-06 04:57 PM by PeaceProgProsp
was that America was not healthy unless the broad base of working Americans was strong, healthy and wealthy.

This argument applied as his template for everything from fighting fascists at home and abroad to saving America during the depression.
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-26-06 11:23 AM
Response to Reply #6
27. That's an excellent argument
Too bad it's not getting much play these days.
And just think, they've tried to replace FDR on the dime with the man who did the most (until Bush) to dismantle his legacy:

http://www.thenation.com/blogs/edcut?pid=1159
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JHB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-25-06 05:12 PM
Response to Original message
7. Actually, the economic royalists commenced their attack on FDR before...
Edited on Wed Oct-25-06 05:13 PM by JHB
...he even had a legacy. It's not just recently they've played "hardball". Fortunately, with FDR they blew it so badly it took them the next 40 years to try it again.

Thank heavens for Smedley Butler.

http://www.huppi.com/kangaroo/Coup.htm
--------------------------
THE BUSINESS PLOT TO OVERTHROW ROOSEVELT \
.......
What the businessmen proposed was dramatic: they wanted General Butler to deliver an ultimatum to Roosevelt. Roosevelt would pretend to become sick and incapacitated from his polio, and allow a newly created cabinet officer, a "Secretary of General Affairs," to run things in his stead. The secretary, of course, would be carrying out the orders of Wall Street. If Roosevelt refused, then General Butler would force him out with an army of 500,000 war veterans from the American Legion. But MacGuire assured Butler the cover story would work:
"You know the American people will swallow that. We have got the newspapers. We will start a campaign that the President's health is failing. Everyone can tell that by looking at him, and the dumb American people will fall for it in a second…"
The businessmen also promised that money was no object: Clark told Butler that he would spend half his $60 million fortune to save the other half.

And what type of government would replace Roosevelt's New Deal? MacGuire was perfectly candid to Paul French, a reporter friend of General Butler's:
"We need a fascist government in this country… to save the nation from the communists who want to tear it down and wreck all that we have built in America. The only men who have the patriotism to do it are the soldiers, and Smedley Butler is the ideal leader. He could organize a million men overnight."
Indeed, it turns out that MacGuire travelled to Italy to study Mussolini's fascist state, and came away mightily impressed. He wrote glowing reports back to his boss, Robert Clark, suggesting that they implement the same thing.
......
The plot fell apart when Butler went public. The general revealed the details of the coup before the McCormack-Dickstein Committee, which would later become the notorious House Un-American Activities Committee. (In the 50s, this committee would destroy the lives of hundreds of innocent Americans with its communist witch hunts.) The Committee heard the testimony of Butler and French, but failed to call in any of the coup plotters for questioning, other than MacGuire. In fact, the Committee whitewashed the public version of its final report, deleting the names of powerful businessmen whose reputations they sought to protect. The most likely reason for this response is that Wall Street had undue influence in Congress also. Even more alarming, the elite-controlled media failed to pick up on the story, and even today the incident remains little known. The elite managed to spin the story as nothing more than the rumors and hearsay of Butler and French, even though Butler was a Quaker of unimpeachable honesty and integrity. Butler, appalled by the cover-up, went on national radio to denounce it, but with little success.
----------------------
For more sources, Google Smadley Butler coup.
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3waygeek Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-25-06 06:16 PM
Response to Reply #7
9. I've read on other blogs
that one of the people behind this plot was none other than Dumbya's grandpappy Prescott Bush.
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Lyric Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-26-06 11:45 AM
Response to Reply #7
29. Any way we can get the MSM to give this some attention?
I had never heard of this attempted fascist coup, and I'm still in shock. More people need to hear Roosevelt's speech, and more people need to hear about Smadley Butler.

This information would make for a terrific op-ed piece in the Times...
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Odin2005 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-26-06 02:22 PM
Response to Reply #29
32. The attempted coup is something you'll never see in history textbboks
Edited on Thu Oct-26-06 02:23 PM by Odin2005
The attempted coup will never be in history textbooks because the purpose of history textbooks is the promulgation of the "official" history created by the ruling class, what is often called the "Whig interpretation of history" by the Brits.
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JHB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-27-06 01:25 PM
Response to Reply #29
36. It's Smedley Butler, famous Marine
(I misspelled at the end there, and noticed it too late to change)
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glitch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-25-06 06:04 PM
Response to Original message
8. Thanks for this - there is mp3 audio of the speech on the speech link.
Edited on Wed Oct-25-06 06:08 PM by glitch
Very cool, k & r.

Edit: not just FDR speeches either, http://millercenter.virginia.edu/scripps/diglibrary/pre...
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-26-06 09:32 AM
Response to Reply #8
23. Very nice -- What a great resource
Thank you.
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tom_paine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-25-06 06:30 PM
Response to Original message
10. Both the words of FDR and Time for Change are powerful, truthful
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

As I read FDR's words I remember why I am a "Social Capitalist" of the FDR variety, and why I am proud to be so.

For while I believe in social and economic justice, as well as a social safety net, I will never believe that incentivization is a bad thing, nor any of the central institutions of capitalism if they are well-policed and regulated against fraud.
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-25-06 10:36 PM
Response to Reply #10
15. Thank you very much - I'm pretty sure that nobody has ever
used my name in the same sentence as FDR's before. :blush:

Anyhow, I agree with the rest of your thoughts on this. I worked briefly for a company that didn't believe in incentivization, and it drove me crazy. Not as much as having our country run by the Bush/Cheney crowd, but it was a very uncomfortable situation.

Of course, today's Republicans would have us all believe that anyone who agrees with any of FDR's economin ideas is a Communist, although they won't use his name when they talk about that.
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Jcrowley Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-25-06 08:42 PM
Response to Original message
12. FDR vs. The Banks
Part 1 of this article was printed in American Almanac, Vol. 8, No. 24, of July 4, 1994; part 2 in Vol. 8, No. 25, of July 11; and part 3 in Vol 8., No. 26, of July 18, 1994.

Part 1 explained why the British, and their Wall Street allies, the Morgans, hated President Franklin D. Roosevelt and how FDR battled to reduce their influence and power. Part 2 continued the story of FDR's fight and laid out Morgan's counterattack, featuring a 1934 plan for a fascist coup against the FDR White House, which the Morgans hoped would be led by the Marine hero, Maj. Gen. Smedley D. Butler. Part 3 began the story of explosive congressional hearings in which Butler exposed the Morgan plot.
That same day, Nov. 21, 1934, MacGuire entered the committee room with his lawyer, and the doors were closed once again. Once again, he denied all charges that he had approached General Butler with plans for a fascist coup, or that he had asked Butler to lead an army of ex-soliders on Washington, D.C. He was asked about reports that he had under his control substantial sums of money for these fascist organizing purposes. Now, instead of completely denying those reports, as he had the day before, he produced records from the Committee for a Sound Dollar and Sound Currency, showing that he had received $30,000 from the banker Robert Sterling Clark. Changing his story yet again, MacGuire claimed that he and his backers were only trying to interest Butler in that committee and its fight for the gold standard; they were prepared to let Butler ``make a little money'' if he would serve their cause. He admitted that Clark, his attorney A.G. Christmas, and Walter Frew of the Corn Exchange Bank, and other powerful financiers were all members of this committee. He claimed that Clark had ``no interest in any fascist organization.''

MacGuire did not know that the investigators for the McCormack-Dickstein committee already had in their possession letters from MacGuire to Clark and Christmas describing the former's search, at the latter's request, for an appropriate fascist organization, while on his all-expenses-paid junket to Europe.

In answer to many specific questions, MacGuire feigned a loss of memory: ``It's too far back ... I can't recall.''

Emerging from the hearing room, Rep. Dickstein told reporters, supposedly off the record after MacGuire's testimony, that the bond salesman was ``hanging himself'' by contradictions in his account of events, and by forced admissions when confronted with evidence developed by investigators.

http://american_almanac.tripod.com/morgan4.htm
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-26-06 10:55 AM
Response to Reply #12
26. That's very interesting
Unfortunately, I believe that they're much better organized today, and they also get a great assist from the corporate news media.
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Vidar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-25-06 09:06 PM
Response to Original message
13. Even truer now than when it was written. Recommended.
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AzDar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-25-06 09:21 PM
Response to Original message
14. Good Lord, that is startlingly apt today! Thanks for posting...
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-26-06 01:20 PM
Response to Reply #14
31. You're welcome -- That's exactly what I was thinking when I read his
speech. I was amazed at how similar his "war" was to what we're facing today.
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hootinholler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-25-06 11:19 PM
Response to Original message
16. That kinda boils it down to evolution or intelligent design...
Did the Royal elite plan this as s strategy or did it just evolve out of natural economic consequences?

-Hoot
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leftofthedial Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-25-06 11:26 PM
Response to Original message
17. "economic royalists"
we should use that term relentlessly

it describes the non-religiously-insane faction of the repukes perfectly
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-26-06 11:41 AM
Response to Reply #17
28. Yes, I think that would be good and honest strategy
And it would help if we could bring FDR back from the grave.
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FighttheFuture Donating Member (748 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-26-06 08:01 AM
Response to Original message
21. Too bad our timid DC Dems aren't brave enough to use his words, especially ...
Governments can err, Presidents do make mistakes, but the immortal Dante tells us that divine justice weighs the sins of the cold-blooded and the sins of the warm-hearted in different scales.

Better the occasional faults of a Government that lives in a spirit of charity than the consistent omissions of a Government frozen in the ice of its own indifference.


The "just say no" and "mandatory minimums" and other devices of non-forgiveness and no understanding or empathy from shallow people can never admit the errors in all of us, and in our government, supposedly by us. Rather than allow some error in "the spirit of charity" we instead become "frozen in indifference". For anyone who wants to apply this to repugs and many callous corporatist politicians who have "made mistakes", keep in mind which scale they are weighed on.... "the sins of the cold-blooded".
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-26-06 08:56 AM
Response to Reply #21
22. Yes, I wish that more of them would embrace his ideas enthusiastically
Unfortunately, we now have a corporate media that is waiting and ready to pounce on anyone who goes too far in that direction. So the Dems are between a rock and a hard place. But I believe that if they would stand up and take the risk more often they could sway a lot of opinions, and I believe that would even ben likely to benefit them politically.
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TygrBright Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-26-06 10:23 AM
Response to Original message
24. Spot on, TFC-- both the analysis and the presentation...
...the ultra-wealthy oligarchs are only doing what every organism spends its life doing: Trying to survive and enable their offspring to thrive. That is, to retain their wealth, their control, their perceptions of themselves as "the REAL power," and pass on to their dynasties a world where their children inherit such wealth and control as a "right."

To do so, they must subvert the thinking of just enough Americans to allow them to control the mechanisms of government, and that's what they've done. They're now in Stage Two of the process, using those mechanisms of government to achieve their goal of perpetuation. It may seem counter-intuitive, but their end is not the oppression of the lower orders, per se, and that's why they get so injured-sounding and self-righteous when these effects of their actions are pointed out to them. They don't really want to HARM anyone else, they just want what they perceive as "their rights"-- the right to continued control of the economic and political capital of this nation. That's all. Just fighting for their "rights," like every American.

And that tone of injured innocence, that perfectly sincere framing of their actions as "ensuring the freedom to be rich," etc., helps them further snooker those who are not in the elite group of oligarchs, who in turn want their freedom to be rich, and who can't see that only the elite will EVER be allowed in the club. Until we decouple this presentation from the reality of what their economic and political policies do to the middle class, large sections of the middle class will continue to trot along behind them like sheep, certain they're being led to the McMansion of their dreams, the vacation home in the Caribbean, the luxury SUV, and the kids in Hahvahd.

Thanks for putting one more chip on the edifice of deception and destruction!

appreciatively,
Bright
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-26-06 10:33 AM
Response to Reply #24
25. Thank you Bright -- That is probably a useful way to look at it to some
extent. I'm sure that, as you say, at least some of them do sincerely believe that they are morally entitled to have everything they seek, even though that may mean trampling down masses of other people -- and some of them may not even recognize that. And we need to keep that in mind when confronting them.

But I also think that you're willing to give them more credit for sincerity than I am. I think that our power elite today is just overfilling with hypocrisy. And I also think that many of them DO want to trample down other people -- Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld being three of them. And that is why, for example, they are so insistent on systematically torturing our prisoners, despite the fact that there is so much evidence that it doesn't work. I do believe that Bush and Cheney are sadists, and corrupt to their very core. I don't see how they could possibly believe the lies that they routinely spout out.
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EVDebs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-26-06 12:10 PM
Response to Original message
30. FDR, the embodiment of Freemasonry. Lived "Greatest Commandment"
Edited on Thu Oct-26-06 12:15 PM by EVDebs
and never took his eye off the prize; btw, I'll betch he memorized I Corinthians 13 during his Masonic career, too (wink, wink, nod, nod) and that to the glory of TGAOTU (The Great Architect Of The Universe). His other great presidential compatriot, George Washington has good company in heaven.

The real deal my friends in Freemasonry is self-evident. FDR was the real deal. You don't get away with a masquerade in that organization, and the truth always 'outs'. There are some masqueraders in the brotherhood, and apparently in high office even today, but in the eternal scheme of things -- call it karma if you will-- they will be revealed.
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november3rd Donating Member (653 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-26-06 02:49 PM
Response to Original message
33. Epiphany
Edited on Thu Oct-26-06 02:52 PM by november3rd
The words and the logic of this speech have nearly disappeared entirely from our contemporary political discourse and our current thinking.

Most of us secretly aspired to "economic royalty." I guess once the New Deal was legislated, everybody thought the fight was over and went out to pasture.

Now we find ourselves pitted against the same enemy, newly entrenched in our government, reaching farther and more aggressively than ever for the reins of economic and political domination.

New kingdoms were built upon concentration of control over material things. Through new uses of corporations, banks and securities, new machinery of industry and agriculture, of labor and capital-all undreamed of by the fathers-the whole structure of modern life was impressed into this royal service.

Send out the minutemen. Spread the word. "The Bushists are coming! The Bushists are coming! To arms! To arms!"
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-26-06 09:21 PM
Response to Reply #33
34. "The words and logic of this speech have nearly disappeared..."
Yes, they have, because thanks to our corporate media anyone who talks like FDR today is labeled a Communist by them, and mercilessly attacked. But it needs to be done
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whirlygigspin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-26-06 10:08 PM
Response to Reply #34
35. The Plot To Overthrow FDR
from the History channel,
'The Plot To Overthrow FDR'
You can watch the documentary film online here:

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article13844.h...
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Greyhound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-27-06 02:38 PM
Response to Original message
37. Good topic and issues.
:kick:
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nealmhughes Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-27-06 03:39 PM
Response to Original message
38. A great speech and essay. Who could make it today as a Democrat and not be
accused of being "anti-realist" or else "mad loner" or a "Moonbat"?

Kucinich, oh, he would be accused, but laugh at the accusation!

Hard to believe that he saw thru the sham as clearly as does Gore Vidal, and Vidal was still not shaving when FDR said that, but I'll bet his grandpa took him to the convention...

We are so far removed from the Jeffersonian idea of "liberty" and "independence" that we tend to consider the entire concept "quaint." But in reality, we are living in economic thralldom to the megacorps to one degree or another, people with seemingly unlimited resources for planting their candidates into the legislatures, the courts and the executive. Even the independent businessman is bound to continually struggle against the wrath of the ChinaMarts. ADM and other gigantic combinations set the food commodities' prices, so the farmer is also at their will.

In short, corporations are not people, and exist only through legislative suffrance.
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