Books, Articles and Videos on Labor, Progressive Political Topics
and the Suppression of Poor and Working Americans

© 1996 Acacia Press, Incorporated
Updated 2/1/97, comments appreciated,

Under Construction

Since the beginning of the 20th century America's business leadership has understood they faced serious threats from popular movements that might challenge, what Gabriel Kolko termed in his book The Triumph of Conservatism, their 'essentially totalitarian' domination of American society. Early 20th century industrialists also faced challenges because their large industrial combinations were not competitive in a free market. They needed the protection of federal government regulation to guarantee profitability and expanded Federal police powers to control their opponents. The 'Progressive Era' programs for social reform provided the smokescreen needed to further consolidate the control of American society by business interests, while promoting the myth of 'Progressivism'.

The books The Corporate Ideal in the Liberal State 1900-1918 by James Weinstein and Aliens and Dissenters by William Preston describe the carrot and stick approaches used by America's ruling business elite to control popular movements. Weinstein shows how businessmen were "able to harness to their own ends the desire of intellectuals and middle class reformers" "by granting them status and influence as spokesmen for their constituents on the condition... that they defend the framework of the existing social order." While working to create a tame 'Liberal' reform movement, Preston shows businessmen also worked with the Federal officials to develop the tools needed to enlist the Federal government as an agent for the repression of their authentic opponents. The destruction of the anarchistic labor activist organization known as the Wobblies was the proving ground for the use of Federal power to crush domestic dissent.

It is also important to note that Freemasonry was a dominant cultural institution and powerful network of influence for America's 'Progressive' ruling elite. As the historian and secret society advocate Robert Weir pointed out in his University of Massachusetts doctoral thesis, "The Masons... counted more than six million members by 1901... Freemasonry tended to attract members of economic elite, especially merchants, retailers, and investors". The Masonic historian Allen E. Roberts has documented that 'Progressive Era' presidents, Theodore Roosevelt and William Howard Taft, were Masons in his book Freemasonry in American History. Freemasonry provided the elitist and self-serving ideology needed by many 'Liberal/Progressive' leaders to rationalize their unethical and sometimes illegal actions. Masonic ideology, which describes non-members as 'profane', continues to represent an important cultural component of American corporate totalitarianism.

America's ruling business elite have successfully used Red Scare purges, political manipulation down to the local level and assassinations of people like Martin Luther King and Malcolm X to firmly entrench a 'Liberal' establishment which advocates modest reforms while continuing to aggressively work to defend the framework of the existing social order. Defending the existing social order has required the 'Liberal' leadership to marginalize any individuals and subvert or redirect any programs or ideas which might promote cohesive action by the general public, against the objectives of America's ruling business elite. When 'Liberal' leadership subversion fails other agencies can step in to eliminate any perceived threats. The success of this stealth agenda has rendered America's 'Left' largely dysfunctional and paved the way for the massive consolidation of wealth and power achieved by America's ruling business elite during the last 20 years. America's business elite continues to use their 'Liberal' establishment and organizations like Freemasonry to promote the 'Progressive' myth while enforcing a totalitarian program of repressive social control.

Here's some of the material used to build this argument:

The Triumph of Conservatism: A Reinterpretation of American History, 1900-1916, by Gabriel Kolko (partial text) describes how "It is business control over politics (and by 'business' I mean the major economic interests) rather than political regulation of the economy that is the significant phenomenon of the Progressive Era." It also discusses the inability of large industrial combinations to compete in an unregulated free market.

The Corporate Ideal in the Liberal State 1900-1918, by James Weinstein (partial text) describes the creation of corporate 'liberalism' in the early 20th century which required reformers to "defend the framework of the existing social order", meaning business domination of American society. Weinstein's sympathetic treatment of corporate 'liberals' probably reflects his position in the modern 'liberal' establishment.

Aliens & Dissenter: Federal Suppression of Radical, 1903-1933, by William Preston, Jr. (partial text) describes the erosion of civil-liberties and the growth the American security establishment: "When John Foster Dulles popularized the expression "massive retaliation," he imagined the future exterminatory response of the United States to any Soviet threat. Yet he aptly characterized the punitive program against domestic dissent, a gigantic preemptive first strike almost limitless in its reach. That mindset expressed the logic of the campaign against the Wobblies and the very thinking that engineered the Palmer raids, but it was now vastly extended and institutionalized to ludicrous extremes of overkill."

Here are some historical examples of thought that America's corporate totalitarians and their 'Liberals' establishment had to suppress:

The General Strike for Industrial Freedom was published by the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW or Wobblies) and presents one militant pro-worker ideology.

Our Dishonest Constitution, by Allan L. Benson (partial text) opens with the chapter entitled By The Rich For The Rich which bursts the myths surrounding the American Constitution and the Founding Fathers. A later chapter Divide and Govern describes how the American Constitution was designed to protect the interests of a wealthy minority and obstruct the will of the people.

Labor and the Marketplace for Ideas: WCFL and the battle for Labor Radio Broadcasting 1927-1934 by Robert W. McChesney (partial text) notes "In 1990 a major study of the treatment of labor issues in the U.S. mass media concluded that the amount of coverage was minuscule, particularly in comparison to the coverage of business, and that what little coverage there was tended to be unsympathetic and inaccurate... During the embryonic stage of radio broadcasting in the United States, between 1920 and 1935, before the network-dominated, advertising-supported system became entrenched, elements of organized labor endeavored to establish a national, non-profit, listener-supported, labor broadcasting network to provide a 'working-class perspective' on public affairs and counteract what was regarded as the 'antiunion' bias of the commercial broadcasters... the executive council of the American Federation of Labor (AFL)... was indifferent if not hostile to this campaign for autonomous labor broadcasting."

Here are some modern examples of the suppression of activism by America's corporate totalitarians and their 'Liberal' establishment:

CIA and the Labour Movement, by Fred Hirch and Richard Fletcher (partial text) documents the partnership of "the AFL-CIO, the US Government and the biggest transnational corporations" to violate "the aspirations of working people" in Latin America. The AFL-CIO bureaucrats "are completely within the control of the world's biggest corporations and the intelligence apparatus of the government which represents those corporations."

Hard-Pressed in the Heartland: The Hormel Strike and the Future of the Labor Movement by Peter Rachleff (partial text) describes the betrayal of the Hormel/P-9 strikers by their AFL-CIO international in the 1980's and the dubious role of the 'liberals' in the Communist Party (CP).

It Could Have Been Won (partial text) is a video which documents the recent betrayal of the Staley strikers by their AFL-CIO international and the broken promises of the "New Voice" AFL-CIO leadership, John Sweeney and Richard Trumpka. Sweeny and Trumpka used the Staley Strikers to get elected and then walked away from the fight. It also suggests the AFL-CIO and UPIU international's newsletters were used to spin the Staley Strike story against the strikers.

Report on Labor Party Convention and Proposals by Paul Zarembka documents the creation of the "Labor Party", a new 'liberal' organization. Paul Zarembka's report raised clear concerns over the undemocratic control being exercised by union leadership. Tony Mazzochi later stripped Paul Zarembka of his LP office in a process, which was clearly unlawful by the rules of the Labor Party. These actions are consistent with the long tradition of anti-activism, undemocratic process and free-speech suppression by union leadership.

Pile Drivers Local 34 of The United Brotherhood Of Carpenters & Joiners Of America was an independent progressive union local in San Francisco, until their AFL-CIO international leadership decided, against the democratic will of their membership to fold them into a larger less activist organization. Here is the advertisement, which ran in the Monday, August 4, 1997 in the nationwide edition of the New York Times, asking John Sweeney to speak out against this undemocratic act. Sweeney was silent and a court order forced the local to merge.

Local 304A of the UFCW International Union tried to challenge their AFL-CIO international union leadership and found out how bureaucrats crush rank-and-file activism, "An imposed trusteeship is your way of trying to crush political opposition just before an international Union Convention. You are trying to silence criticism of corruption, sell-out bargaining and an International Union leadership serving itself first and the members last."

Here is a lengthy article comparing labor repression in Mexico to the United States:

Masks of Democracy: Labor Suppression in Mexico and the United States

To do evil a human being must first of all believe that what he is doing is good... Ideology - that is what gives devil doing its long-sought justification and gives the evil doer the necessary steadfastness and determination. That is the social theory which helps to make his acts seem good instead of bad in his own eyes, so that he won't hear reproaches and curses, but will receive praise and honors.

Alexander Solzhenitsyn

Last updated 7/4/97