On the night of Nov. 6, 2012, after the networks declared victory and a second term for President Obama, Donald Trump tweeted, “We should have a revolution in this country!”.
While Trump was running for office, he said the election was rigged, he just didn't say by whom. Has Donald Trump finally achieved through an election, what a group of "Business Plot" conspirators attempted over 80 years ago?
Billionaires and major corporations have pretty much controlled government by sponsoring public office holders through donations, lobbying efforts, gifts, public speaking fee, book advances, the promise of corporate positions after office and other methods of influence. However, it seems billionaires are no longer content with simply influencing or directing the actions of others, they want the actual authority that comes from holding public office.
As this is being writen, Billionaire president elect, Donald Trump, has announce or is considering several billionares as part of his inner circle of advisors. His proposed cabinet would be comprised of more millionaires and billionaires than any other in U.S. history and could include:
- Rex Tillerson – Secretary of State: chairman and CEO of Exxon Mobil Corporation and reportedly has close ties to Russian President Putin.
- Andrew Puzder – Secretary of Labor: chief executive of Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr. and has proposed replacing fast food workers with robots. He is also a critic of raising the minimum wage.
- Harold Hamm – Energy Secretary: a 70-year-old billionaire who owns about 76% of Continental Resources, an oil and gas exploration company based in Oklahoma.
- Betsy Devos – Secretary of Education: a former Republican Party chairwoman in Michigan and chair of the pro-school-choice advocacy group American Federation for Children. DeVos is married to Dick DeVos and is the daughter-in-law of Richard DeVos, the founder of Amway with an estimated net worth of $5.1 billion and is known for her advocacy of school choice and voucher programs. She advocated the spread of charter schools in Michigan, most of which have test scores below the state average.
- Wilbur Ross – Secretary of Commerce: a billionaire investor, and former banker, known for restructuring failed companies in industries such as steel, coal, telecommunications, foreign investment and textiles. He specializes in leveraged buyouts and distressed businesses. An article from The Nation stated, "Mnuchin and Ross led companies that committed fraud to foreclose on millions of homeowners. Now they will be in charge of the entire US economy. What could go wrong?:
- Steven Mnuchin – Secretary of Treasury: a former investment banker and hedge fund investor. During the financial crisis, Mnuchin bought failed house lender IndyMac. He rebuild the bank as chairman and CEO in the subsequent years under the name OneWest Bank, and sold it in 2015 to CIT Group. During this period, the bank received criticism for "aggressive" foreclosures.
- Todd Ricketts – Deputy Secretary of Commerce: co-owner of the Chicago Cubs and the son of Ameritrade founder and billionaire Joe Ricketts.
- Linda McMahon – Administrator of Small Business Administration: the wife of billionaire WWE promoter, Vincent McMahon, whom she co-founded the WWE (former WWF).
- Dr. Ben Carson – Secretary of Housing and Urban Development: A retired neurosurgeon who was previously the Director of Pediatric Neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Maryland and presidential candidate.
- James Mattis – Defense Secretary:a retired United States Marine Corps general who last served as the 11th Commander of United States Central Command, the Unified Combatant Command responsible for American military operations in the Middle East, Northeast Africa and Central Asia.
- John F. Kelly – Homeland Security Secretary: a retired United States Marine Corps general and the former commander of United States Southern Command, the Unified Combatant Command responsible for American military operations in Central America, South America, and the Caribbean.
- Andrew Beal, John Paulson, Steven Roth, Stephen Schwarzman – Economic advisory committee
- Carl Icahn, Phil Ruffin, Steve Wynn, Sheldon and Miriam Adelson – inaugural committee
- Diane Hendricks – Economic advisory and inaugural committees.
"Is it not theoretically possible that a billionaire could be sitting, not in a garret, but in a penthouse, in Manhattan, London or Paris and dream the same dream as Lenin and Hitler?" … "And such a man might form an alliance or association with other like-minded men" … "These men would be superbly educated, command immense social prestige and be able to pool astonishing amounts of money to carry out their purposes." – Quoted from the 1971 book, "None Dare Call It Conspiracy" (chapter 2).
The Business Plot
Similar sentiments, to Trump's revolution tweet, were expressed by a group of millionaires and billionaires after Franklin D. Roosevelt was elected president in 1932. A group of wealthy and powerful men conspired to take control of the United States government. The alleged conspirators controlled many of the country’s major corporations such as Chase Bank, Maxwell House, General Motors, Goodyear, Standard Oil, Dupont, Heinz, and also included other noted Americans, including Prescott Bush, grandfather of former U.S. president George W. Bush.
The Business Plot was an political conspiracy in 1933 in the United States. Retired Marine Corps Major General Smedley Butler, author of "War is a Racket", claimed that wealthy businessmen were plotting to create a fascist veterans' organization with Butler as its leader and use it in a coup d'état to overthrow President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
On February 15, 1933, there may have been an assassination attempt on Roosevelt's life. Anton Joseph "Tony" Cermak, the Mayor of Chicago, was shot while shaking hands with President-elect Franklin D. Roosevelt at Bayfront Park in Miami, Florida. Cermak died on March 6th, at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami. It is believed that President Elect Roosevelt may have been the intended target. Four others were also hit, including Mabel Gill, who died from her injuries. On month after the shoting, Giuseppe Zangara, the gunman, was executed by electric chair, on March 20, 1933.
In 1934, Butler testified before the United States House of Representatives Special Committee on Un-American Activities on these claims. Corporations had long been accustomed to wielding tremendous control over the government’s economic policies, including the use of U.S. forces to protect their foreign investments. Because of Butler’s military role in upholding U.S. business interests abroad, the plotters mistakenly thought they could recruit him to muster a “super-army” of veterans to use as pawns in their plan to subjugate or, if necessary, eliminate FDR.
Butler played along in order to determine who was behind the plot. He later testifying under oath before the MacCormack-Dickstein House Committee on un-American Activities. During that testimony, Butler named those who were directly involved in the plot which included some of America's wealthiest bankers, financiers, and corporate executives. .
The Committee began examining evidence on November 20, 1934. On November 24, the committee released a statement detailing the testimony it had heard about the plot and its preliminary findings.
During the Committee hearings, Butler testified that Gerald C. MacGuire attempted to recruit him to lead a coup, promising him an army of 500,000 men for a march on Washington, D.C., and financial backing. Butler testified that the pretext for the coup would be that the president's health was failing.
Separately, Veterans of Foreign Wars commander James E. Van Zandt stated to the press, "Less than two months" after General Butler warned him, "he had been approached by 'agents of Wall Street' to lead a Fascist dictatorship in the United States under the guise of a 'Veterans Organization'".
Despite Butler's support for Roosevelt in the election and his reputation as a strong critic of capitalism, Butler said the plotters felt his good reputation and popularity were vital in attracting support amongst the general public and saw him as easier to manipulate than others.
Given a successful coup, Butler said that the plan was for him to have held near-absolute power in the newly created position of "Secretary of General Affairs", while Roosevelt would have assumed a figurehead role.
Those implicated in the plot by Butler all denied any involvement. MacGuire was the only figure identified by Butler who testified before the committee. Others Butler accused were not called to appear to testify because the "committee has had no evidence before it that would in the slightest degree warrant calling before it such men … The committee will not take cognizance of names brought into testimony which constitute mere hearsay."
On the final day of the committee, January 29, 1935, John L. Spivak published the first of two articles, "Wall Street's Fascist Conspiracy" in the communist magazine New Masses, revealing portions of the Congressional committee testimony that had been redacted as hearsay. The first paragraph of the article states, "An organized conspiracy exists to seize the government by a fascist coup. The Congressional Committee appointed to investigate just such activities has not only failed to follow the trail of evidence to its fountain head—Wall Street—but has deliberately suppressed evidence pointing in that direction."
On February 15, 1935, the House Committee on Un-American Activities submitted its final report to the House of Representatives which reported that a two-month investigation had convinced it that General Butler's story of a Fascist march on Washington was alarmingly true. However, no one was prosecuted.
Tax Exempt Foundations
Foundations provide a valuable function in society. They can also be used to influence government policy and spending. Foundations often use their funds to create leverage, which can be positive or negative depending on how the leverage is applied.
The classic example of positive leverage is Andrew Carnegie's creation of a national public library system in the United States and Canada. Carnegie understood that, even though he had amassed great wealth, it was not enough to support two national library systems.
In St. Louis for example, Carnegie offered to donate one million dollars to fund the public library ($500,000 for the Central Headquarters and $500,000 for branch locations). As a condition of receiving the money (the leverage), the city had to agree to continue stocking, staffing and running the library in perpetuity.
Carnegie's one million dollars investment in St. Louis has leveraged hundreds of millions of additional dollars and the St. Louis Public Library has an annual budget of over 22 million dollars. Carnegie was able to control the use of vast sums of other money and have it used how he wanted simply by offering smaller amounts with conditions thereby exponentially multiplying the effectiveness of his wealth.
Using Leverage to Control Behavior
There is evidence that some U.S. tax-exempt foundations, wanted to pull the United States into war. As mentioned in "War is a Racket", war creates enormous profits. In 1850, the US was home to 19 millionaires. The Civil War had created hundreds of additional millionaires and by the end of the 1890's the number of millionaires in the US were more than 4,000.
The Select Committee to Investigate Tax-Exempt Foundations and Comparable Organizations was an investigative committee of the United States House of Representatives between 1952 and 1954.
The Committee wanted to investigate the "educational and philanthropic foundations and other comparable organizations which are exempt from federal taxes to determine whether they were using their resources for un-American activities and subversive activities or for purposes not in the interest or tradition of the United States.
Norman Dodd, a former banker and financial advisor, served as chief investigator for U.S. Congressman B. Carroll Reece Special Committee on Tax Exempt Foundations and published the Dodd Report in 1954. In a video recorded shortly before his death, Norman Dodd, alleged one of his investigators discovered the Carnegie foundation was interested in bringing the United States into a war and wanted to take control of education.
During the review of the Carnegie Foundation's trustee's meeting minutes from 1908, an investigator discovered the following questions within the records:
- Is there any means known more effective than war assuming you wish to alter the life of an entire people? They concluded that there was not more effect means than war.
- In 1909, the minutes revealed that the trustees posed the question, "how do we involve the United States in a war?". Their conclusion, "we must control the State Department".
- The next question was "how do we do that", the answer, "we must take over the diplomatic machinary of this country". They then adopted that as an objective. Of course, within a few years the United States entered the first World War. Once the U.S. was involved in the World War, the minutes indicated a telegraph was sent to President Woodrow Woodson cautioning him to ensure the war does end too quickly.
- After the World War, the minutes indicate the trustees were concerned citizens would revert back to their pre-war way of life and thinking. They concluded that they must control educaion in the United States. The Carnegie Trustees realized their goal is too large for them to acomplish alone, so they approached the Rockerfeller Foundation. The Foundations decided the key to success was to alter history being taught in schools.
The foundations approached the most prominent historians of their day and request them to alter the way history is presented, but the historians declined the request. The foundations then decide to create their own experts. Their strategy included approaching promising young students to build their own group of historians.
The Carnegie and Rockefeller Foundations then approached the Guggenheim Foundation and asked if we find promising young Ph.D. candidates, will you provide them fellowships on our recommendation? The answer was yes. The trustees were then able to offer to fund the student's education including sending them abroad to study and providing a stipend. In return, once the young historians received their Ph.D., they would create text books that reflect history the way the foundations wanted.
How independant are members of congress or the president? Each election cycle requires ever increasing amounts of money. The reality is our representatives in goverment are bought and paid for before they ever set foot in office because they are beholden to the money interest that helped get them elected and if they hope to get re-elected, they need access to the same sources of revenue to fund their campaignes.