The 1930s Business Plot Redux: This Time Success!

You may have heard about the rumblings that happened during the FDR New Deal era that came from the business oligarchs. They were not pleased with the notion of any federal relief to mitigate the ongoing depression misery in the United States during the 1930’s. Some things certainly never change. Anyway, the banker-friendly oligarch types were so displeased, in fact, they even plotted to mount a coup. To do this, they tried to enlist an individual who had something of a background in this sort of thing. The man they selected had been instrumental in maintaining US business interests across the Americas and even further abroad. He was one of the individuals that preserved the interests of terrifically evil companies like United Fruit. You’ve heard of blood diamonds…..well they served up blood bananas.

This individual they tried to enlist in the cause was one Smedley Butler, a man who showed that your given birth given name is not your destiny. He did not become a villain who tied damsels to train-tracks while twirling a greasy long mustache. No, he actually became something even worse, what he later in his life described in this manner: “I spent most of my life being a high-class muscle for Big Business, for Wall Street, and for the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer for capitalism.” Butler was the most decorated US Marine in US history, and something of a celebrity military hero in the US at the time.

The plotters were hoping to overthrow FDR and instill the popular Butler to the ultimate position of power. They were looking to place a celebrity figurehead type to serve as a palatable dictator. Again, some things never change as Trump seems to be the choice for something similar at this time. I’d definitely argue about his palatability, but some people like the taste of bile, I guess.

The plotters of the 30’s weren’t the most skilled at planning or vetting their guy, however. They assumed he’d go along with this scheme wholeheartedly, but instead he took mental notes of the plans and reported them to Congress. Butler was a complicated man, having done great evil in the world as a stoic soldier “doing his job”, but he was also raised a Quaker and perhaps some of that upbringing was simmering underneath. Butler went on to pen War is a Racket and clearly regretted his role in being the said muscle for US-backed business interests. It’s amazing that we are in a similar place today in 2024, but this time, the coup plotters have played the long game– they’ve properly vetted and pampered their Supreme Court tools, and in a manner you almost grudgingly admire, have implemented exactly what the clumsy plotters in the 1930’s hoped to achieve. As one of the benefactors of the lurch to the right, Elon Musk said (in regard to Bolivia, but the message holds) “We will coup whoever we want.”

As I mentioned, this has been a long game through the Federalist Society, making sure to train an army of “Christian” legal warriors, and groups like the Heritage Foundation that managed to inflict seeming progressive programs (not progressive to any self-respecting leftist, but to the average liberal) like the Affordable Care Act. They came at the citizens from all sides and they’ve been slowly working the angles with a patience and fortitude that the original business plot schemers never managed to pull off.

Many of us on the left saw this coming and voiced it loudly and we voiced it often. We would exclaim that crackdowns on protests were not okay, that they would come back to haunt all citizens. The typical liberal moaned about things like property damage.

We yelled that even if you don’t have the humanity to care about a genocide, you better realize that your cops have been trained in Israel and they will bring this home. To this we were called anti-Semites (even if Jewish).

We shrieked when the Democrats rigged the primary against Bernie Sanders (both times)–when Obama worked those phones getting everyone to drop out so they could hand the nomination to the chosen ridiculous (but completely safe for business ) candidate Biden. We said that there had to be some element of choice, but the Democrats became desensitized and accepting of having no true voice. Instead of becoming angry about that, they did cognitive gymnastics to fit their worldview into what was being done in their name politically. But those farther left were met again with admonitions that we were “idealists” instead of being met with clear eyed realism about what was truly occurring in the party and in our nation. We weren’t idealists….we simply didn’t have scales over our eyes.

The lack of choice and the statements that basically the high-level Democrats could install whoever they wanted to run for president were clear signs that there was no party actively trying to thwart the march to fascism. In fact, the upper echelon of the Democratic party was benefiting from the lurch to the right, actively enabling it by alienating the working class and continuing to foster practices that made life more and more difficult for their constituents.

All the while the plot went on in the background, the judiciary being loaded with zealots……we knew the path this was taking us down. Even a milquetoast presidency from Sanders would likely have kept us from the sheer hell that seems to be coming down from the current Supreme Court. We could have had demands to learn who paid off Kavanaugh’s house, demands for RBG to step down—we could have had Biden allowing testimony that backed up Anita Hill’s claims against Thomas. There were limiting steps possible all the way down this path to hell, and without hesitation, the Democratic leadership showed who they were by heading towards the heat and the red glow. But like the proverbial having someone piss on your leg and tell you it is rain, the Democratic leadership maintained the pretense that they were an active bulwark against the reactionary right.

Even with all of this, most in the Democratic party continued to believe there was a true representation of differing groups wanting to win, when in fact, it seems to be much more along the lines of professional wrestling. Sure, there are villains du jour and we can scream and yell for our favorite, but at the end of the day, the two wrestlers are paid by the same boss. There are comical idiots at showings of Beetlejuice giving handjobs on security cameras, but as this goes on and is talked about….the real power plunges forward, leading us to a more economically stratified feudal-style society. Since we already have such a clear resemblance to pro-wrestling, I only wish we could have seen someone break a chair over someone’s head during that last debate. Dana Bash, Biden, Trump, hell I don’t care. I would have just liked to see that. At least our bread (well we don’t really have affordable bread) ….okay, our circus could entertain us. Poor Lauren Bobert is trying her best at comedy relief, but no, we have Mesozoic era candidates, diligently representing the Age of Reptiles in the debate. There was no entertainment in seeing a sickly husk of a man dodder, and a huckster lie non-stop, using the word “Palestinian” as an insult. It was a disgusting display for humanity. A chair to the head would have been a definite improvement, even if someone did it to me so I could stop watching and blissfully zone out, maybe see stars and dream about monkeys and kittens playing together.

So this is where we stand at this point….we’ve had our reproductive rights stolen, soon to probably have workplace protections erased (like not being worked to death on an overheated planet) and we have a king above the law to rule over it. Do you believe us now liberals? Has it gotten real enough that you will listen?

I don’t know about you, but I think the Business Plot, 2024 edition, is complete and it has succeeded. We didn’t have a Smedley Butler this time to spill the beans before it occurred, but we did have a whole load of us leftists screaming about it along the way, through each pivotal moment. So now that the veil is lifted for even the most brainwashed…’s time to start listening to your friendly neighborhood leftist who saw this car crash on the horizon many, many years ago, before this nakedly transparent Presidential debate and the recent Supreme Court rulings. If there is to be any possibility of changing this cursed path, it will require we start working/revolting together and the smarmy Bill Maher liberal class either needs to get out of the way or start seeing reality as it is, not what they want it to be.

Kathleen Wallace writes out of the US Midwest. Her writing is collected on her Substack page.