The real world of American society is one which it is very misleading to call simply a democracy. Of course, it is in a sense a democracy, but it is one in which there are enormous inequities in the distribution of power and force. For example, the entire commercial and industrial system is in principle excluded from the democratic process, including everything that goes on within it. The national security bureaucracy, which has recently been called (accurately) the second largest planned economy in the world, is of course in principle subject to democratic procedures but in fact is not. The mass media reflect the distribution of power: everyone who has twenty million dollars is free to open a newspaper, and one knows what this means. Since they reflect the actual distribution of power, not the ideal one, they actually reflect only a very narrow band in the spectrum of possible opinion. In fact the range of possible opinion that reaches any mass audience in the United States is extremely narrow compared to any advanced industrial society except for the Soviet Union and its satellites. It is certainly far narrower than Western Europe.
—  Noam Chomsky

@Regrann from @knowledge_1s_power - If you saw it in a movie, you’d think it was far-fetched. But it happened.

Most Americans have no idea how close they came to living under a Nazi-style dictatorship prior to World War II. But a group that can be fairly called the “who’s who” of 1930s corporate establishment tried to violently overthrow the U.S. government and President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

And they almost got away with it.

One of the members of the group was reported to be none other than Prescott Bush, the grandfather of George W. Bush and father of George H. W. Bush. Also involved were some of the best known names in the American capitalist establishment: the Dupont family, the Remington family, J.P. Morgan, Rockefeller Associates, Andrew Melon Associates, William Knudsen of General Motors, and wealthy banker Robert Clark were among the conspirators.

And while the attempted coup failed, that didn’t stop Prescott Bush from accumulating a fortune from his investments in businesses that helped finance the Hitler war machine. Bush was a director of one of those, the Union Banking Corporation, which was little more than a front for laundering millions of dollars of Nazi money.

The “bank” actually had its assets seized in 1942 under the Trading with the Enemy Act (UBC continued to do business with Hitler even after the U.S. entered the war). The assets were released in 1951, and Prescott Bush reportedly emerged with a $1.5 million windfall.

In fact, it’s not too much of a stretch to say that the Bush political dynasty would never have been launched – and would never have produced two presidents and two governors –without the profits from these pro-Nazi businesses.

The failure of the 1934 coup attempt led the elite to seek more and more covert ways of gaining control over the country and over public opinion. The McCarthy period notwithstanding, the assassination of John F. Kennedy was the first clear example that the approach had changed. The elite were just as concerned about getting rid of Kennedy as they were of deposing FDR. But this time they had to be more covert.
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