When the Upper Echelons of the Parasite Class™ Flex Their Power

(another history lesson)

Preface: Paul, a subscriber/regular commenter, recently mentioned Gen. Smedley Butler the other day and it inspired me to share an edited excerpt from my first book. 

During the early 1930s, Franklin Delano Roosevelt stated that he was “deeply impressed” with Benito Mussolini and referred to the Italian dictator as an “admirable Italian gentleman.”

Despite Roosevelt’s positive assessment of the strongman of Italian fascism, there is evidence that some home-grown U.S. fascists may have cautiously explored the option of an American coup around the same time.

In 1934, the DuPonts and the Morgans tried to hire former Marine Gen. Smedley Butler (Ret.) to stage an overthrow of the supposedly liberal Roosevelt administration. Later that year, Butler testified before a congressional committee convened to investigate this possible sedition.

After claiming that Wall Street brokers had offered him millions of dollars to set up a fascist army of half a million, Butler explained that Gerald MacGuire of Grayson Murphy and Company had told him that FDR would remain as a figurehead president. Businessmen and generals would run the country and everything would be legal.

Before passing judgment on the veracity of Butler’s claims, consider how the general himself summarized his career before a legionnaires convention in 1931:

I spent 33 years…being a high-class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street, and the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer for capitalism…I helped purify Nicaragua for the international banking house of Brown Brothers in 1909-1912. I helped make Mexico and especially Tampico safe for American oil interests in 1916. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for American sugar interests in 1916. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City [Bank] boys to collect revenue in. I helped in the rape of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefit of Wall Street.


The alleged coup plan fizzled when Butler told FDR about it, thus presenting the president with a new problem. Fearful of the financial fallout of arresting anyone named Morgan or DuPont, FDR chose instead to leak the news to the press.

“Not for the first time or last time in his career, Roosevelt was aware that there were powers greater than he in the United States,” says author Charles Higham.

Press reports led to the congressional investigation, which delved into the role played in the proposed takeover by General Douglas MacArthur. Thanks to the influence of big business, however, Congress found the task of rooting out fascism among U.S. financiers and corporate heads unnecessary.

“Butler begged the committee to summon the Du Ponts,” says Higham, “but the committee declined. Nor would it consent to call anyone from the house of Morgan.”

Thus, while the supposed arsenal of democracy was gearing up to do battle with totalitarianism, the very mechanism of its popular support was under strenuous attack from the economic elites in whose hands the power truly lies.

As a certain “admirable Italian gentleman” once declared, “Fascism is corporatism.”

Epilogue: Let’s stop pining for the mythical “good old days” or “greatest generation,” and instead focus on making sure our best days still lie ahead.

Mickey Z. is the creator of a podcast called Post-Woke. You can subscribe here. He is also the founder of Helping Homeless Women - NYC, offering direct relief to women on New York City streets. Spread the word. Read other articles by Mickey.