Archive for December 1st, 2011

Trotzky and Lenine

December 1, 2011

Image from Life magazine website

More Truth Than Poetry
By James J. Montague.

Trotzky and Lenine.

From Azov’s frozen border
To Poland’s boundary line,
They’re bringing law and order,
Are Trotzky and Lenine.
The high ideals that fill ’em,
No turbulence can stem,
If people kick they kill ’em,
And that’s the last of them.

Well may the people heed ’em,
When fervently they cry,
“You need the brand of freedom
That only we supply.
In still enclaved dominions
The luckless subject cowers
To other men’s opinions,
But you can cringe to ours!

“You buy the goods we sell you
Without a growl or kick:
You do just what we tell you
And do it mighty quick.
And while we reign resplendent
You sh???? your ??????  fates
That you are not dependent
On haughty potentates!”

Within all Russia’s border,
There soon would be once more
A state of law and order,
Excepting for the war.
And thus the propagation
Of freedom will be spread,
Till all the population
Is either free or dead.

Syracuse Herald (Syracuse, New York) Sep 25, 1920

First of December

December 1, 2011

ON DECEMBER 1ST, 1841, the celebrated Dr. George Birkbeck died in London.

He was a physician, the son of a Yorkshire banker, and the originator by his lectures to Glasgow workingmen of the system of instruction for the application of science to the practical arts. This was the germ from which Mechanics Institutions, technical schools, and manual training has been the ultimate growth.

Bangor Daily Whig and Courier (Bangor, Maine) Dec 1, 1892

Appleton Post Crescent (Appleton, Wisconsin) Dec 1, 1921

Mussolini’s Ghost and the Corporative State

December 1, 2011

Mussolini’s Ghost

One of the “anti-recession” measures talked of by liberal politicians during the recent session of Congress was creation of a gigantic federal bureau to oversee American industry.

Among other things the bureau would be empowered to move industrial plants into pockets of unemployment and thus provide work for the jobless. Rep. John W. Byrnes calls the idea 99.9 per cent socialism. he sees it as an opening wedge for further government control of private enterprise.

In the light of historical experience the idea of government control over a nation’s industrial resources is an interesting one, especially since it is apparently being offered now as a brave progressive step toward economic utopia.

The fact is that such a proposal is neither brave, new or very progressive. State control of the means of production is usually associated with communism — a theory advocated by the extreme left side of the political spectrum. The idea is Marxist in its conception, but it was a man named Benito Mussolini, hardly a liberal saint, who developed it into a working reality, all the while professing a vague belief in private enterprise.

A great show was made of utilizing all productive forces of the nation by combining politics with economics in Mussolini’s Italian “corporative state.”

He tried to produce a social paradise by organizing producers into nine syndicates — four for employers and four for employes, in agriculture, industry, credit and commerce, plus one for professional men and artists. These syndicates were responsible for wages, working conditions and industrial relations. They also exercised a measure of control over production.

The fascist constitution gave the syndicates power to “fix fair prices” on the basis of “reasonable profits.” They could adjust wages “to meet the normal requirements of life and assure a fair price to the consumer.” In short, the state had total power to regulate prices, profits and wages.

Economic life was further organized and controlled by the formation of 22 corporations or guilds, each to be concerned with all phases of production in one field — such as cereals, mining, internal communications, the tourist industry and so on. Mussolini, representing the state, was head of each corporation and of the national council of corporations. He appointed ministers of corporations who were nominal directors of the system.

Eventually the chamber of corporations, plus a collection of other party hacks, took the place of Italy’s parliament. As head of the ruling party and the corporations, Mussolini could legislate by degree and depend on the chamber for confirmation.

An enlightening sidelight to the “corporative state” was that once the government decided to regiment industry, it developed similar plans for labor. Unions too became appendages of the government. Stating that “public order must not be disturbed for any reason, at any cost.” Mussolini decreed a national labor charter. He saw it as a means of eliminating industrial conflict and bringing about a balanced economy.

With one or two exceptions, the terms of the fascist labor charter sound like the realization of a trade unionist’s dreams. It established uniform collective labor contracts and labor courts to resolve disputes. The 8-hour day became law of the land. Each labor syndicate was given jurisdiction over workers in one field of production.

But, in return for state protection, the government asked some concessions from labor. Into the charter went terms stating that each syndicate would be controlled by the government, and wages and conditions were to be regulated “as best suited to the needs of employes and type of job.” Since the economic paradise was at hand, there wouldn’t be any need to strike, so the right to strike became illegal.

What did the utopia bring? A contemporary writer reported that between 1923 and 1932 wages in Italy were reduced 40 to 50 per cent and the cost of living was reduced 5 per cent.

Image from the CusterMen website

The “corporative state” was hardly a success and Mussolini, its founder, ended up a bullet-riddled corpse, shot by his own people.

The lesson taught by the “corporative state” experiment should be borne in mind again today when politicians of another stripe seek to protect capitalism from itself.

Appleton Post Crescent (Appleton, Wisconsin) Sep 12, 1958

20 Years of Utopia – BOOMSKI!

December 1, 2011

Image from the Defender de Madrid website

TWO CELEBRATIONS AT MADRID

The Red government of Spain celebrated the 20th anniversary of Russia’s Communist revolution and with it the first anniversary of the defense of Madrid.

The Reds in Spain do not see the utter inconsistency of the two anniversaries.

When the Spanish Reds have honors to confer upon Spaniards they limit them generally to General Jose Miaja, chief of Madrid’s defenders, hailed as  national hero in that his military genius and high spirit in the direction of his troops made their dogged and so far successful defense possible.

But there is the inconsistency.

For the Reds almost always, like certain denizens of the jungle, devour their favorites.

He who is carried on the shoulders of Communists today should not be surprised to be blindfolded tomorrow and shot in the back.

During the other rampages of Communism upon this earth the leaders one week were almost invariably guillotined the next week. Under modern communism, such are the improvements of the age, a leader may last some years before he is disgraced and shot.

But, no matter. General Miaja had his great day last Sunday. and Communism never yet looked to the future.

Appleton Post Crescent (Appleton, Wisconsin) Nov 09, 1937

“NO FAIR”

The burly Soviet Bear pushes up one of its purple and swollen eyelids to remark, above the rattle of gunfire as it shoots more of its former leaders, that Italy’s adherence to an anti-Communist pact is “not friendly toward the Soviets.”

It is wrongful for any nation to wish communism ill. It is proper, however, for the Reds to spend the millions sweated out of the Russian serfs to destroy other nations and their respective forms of government by fomenting discord and revolt.

American newspaper correspondents write from Moscow that Comintern, devoted to the spread of communism by violence, has abandoned its old offices because insufficient for its enlarged force and that those actively associated in the Russian mind with the spreading of propaganda in foreign lands are specially placed in seats of honor at the great parades staged to attract and entertain the people.

It is true, as claimed by most democratic enemies of Fascism, that the Russian Menace is largely a myth in that no people have ever undertaken it on any really extensive or serious scale except as their mental functions have been distorted by misery, disease or ignorance.

But the fact remains that this menace has been nevertheless the most powerful factor in keeping the people quiet and steady until the Fascists could yoke them.

The circle of madness has funny quirks and sketchy twists but it invariably completes itself.

The Communists set out to kill others and created conditions that, in the end, will consume themselves.

The principle involved has been recognized from of old. In the ancient vernacular it was written, “Those who live by the sword shall perish by the sword.”

Appleton Post Crescent (Appleton, Wisconsin) Nov 11, 1937

Image from the Masters of Photography website

THE TEMPERAMENTAL ARTIST GETS A CHILL

Diego Rivera, the Mexican artist, cannot be cited as an authority upon serene government since he has been very much of a Mexican jumping bean in respect to any stable opinion of the sort of government he really wanted.

But today Senor Rivera is no longer carrying a red flag. And he wants the world to know what he has discovered about Stalin and the Communists. Perhaps he has poured too much chili into his concoction but that is expected of most Mexicans and Rivera in particular.

Offering an interview to an American press this painter of murals declared that Moscow has selected Mexico as “a base of operations” in its restless war to bring Latin America under its sway. And to prove his assertion he declared that his own country is now alive with Russian agents, pockets stuffed as usual with the gold filched from Russian toilers, buying and bribing their way in true conformity to the principles of the Black Utopia.

And Senor Rivera, who so recently was embracing communism with wild affection, now finds that the Russian worker is worse off than the Mexican and that Communism is even more wretched than any other sort of totalitarianism. He points to the fact that Mussolini sacrificed a relatively few people and jailed no more than 30,000, that Hitler’s quota in jail has passed a million, and then he turns to the real sink of iniquity and quotes Pravda to show that Communism has to its discredit 1,863,000 political executions of which 150,000 were Red army officers and that today there are nearly six million in prisons, concentration camps and isolation areas so they cannot get their fingers upon the Red leaders who brought them this heaven and placed upon their shoulders these wings and in their hearts these pious thoughts of strangling some one. And then Rivera concludes that, by comparison, “Mussolini is a philanthropist.”

It is good to see the sinners crawl along the sawdust trail. But it cannot be expected that those who were originally so easygoing as to have faith in

Moscow will not embrace the next grisly nostrum, even one covered only by a shroud.

Appleton Post Crescent (Appleton, Wisconsin) Nov 4, 1939