When Military Men Stop Taking Orders

by | Jul 17, 2004

“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.” -bond trader, Gerald MacGuire speaking to a reporter in 1933

There’s another hot political film showing in select theatres right now. The Corporation righteously lays bare the practices and the aims of multi-national corporations. Like Fahrenheit 9/11 there are gems of information sprinkled throughout this film. One iota that really grabbed my attention was the mention of a plot by various Wall Street tygoons to overthrow the government early in FDR’s first term.

What prevented this hostile takeover? Wall Street picked the wrong general. After 33 years in the Marine Corps, Smedley Butler had seen enough. Butler said, “I spent most of my time being a high class muscle-man for Big Business, for Wall Street and for the Bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism.” Butler told Congress of the plans underway, yet they never publicized the nefarious affair, nor did they punish (or even question) the conspirators.

Major General Smedley Butler