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1939_05_27--5-73-Star Spangled Fascists

THE SETURDRY EVENING POST Founded AT11728 by Benj.Franklin Volume 211 5C. THE COPY PHIL.RDELPHLR, AMY 27, 1939 $2 .00 By Subscription (52 issues) Number 48 PICTURES. INC. In an atmosphere of medieval mysticism, G. W. Christians, at the table, signs up recruits. ME RICA'S Fascists lost their prospective man on horseback when Huey Long was assassi- nated. They have been scouring the woods for a new one ever since. At present, there are several promising prospects and plenty of receptive secondraters. But the horse is still riderless. That fact has undoubtedly delayed the Fascists, but it has not stopped them. On the contrary, one of the ominous distinctions of American Fascism is that, without benefit of a Mussolini, a Hitler or even an Oswald Mosley, it continues to prosper and spread. The source of the prosperity is something of a mystery. But of the spread there can be no doubt. The Leader, when or if he comes, is due to have something to lead. What he leads will be neither good to look at nor easy to handle. It will include some sincere citizens and, with them, as unlovely an assortment of aliens, bigots and malcontents as any that ever abused the privileges of a democracy. The only comparable collection is that of the Communists. That partly accounts for the rivalry between them. The passwords differ, but the area of operations is virtually the same. Both work on the lunatic fringe. Between them, they have organized it, groomed it and promised it the kingdom. In better-tempered times, that would hardly alarm anybody. Today, however, the lunatic fringe is no laughing matter. In too many places its capers have proved to be the stuff out of which history is made. How many organizations in the United States deserve to rate as Fascist it is impossible to say. The number has been put as high as 800, which is undoubtedly too high. Approximately 100 such organizations have had at least a once-over at the hands of the Dies Committee. The most authoritative study of the movement which has been made to date lists between 150 and 160 groups whose Fascist leanings appear to be fairly clear, and which, by virtue of printing and mailing literature with some regularity, have a more than fly-by-night character. American Masquerade BEYOND this, the statistical picture is hard to get at. There is no Fascist manual and no fountainhead of party information such as the Communists possess in their proletarian headquarters in New York City. Figures about specific organizations are kept under an ostensibly impressive shroud of secrecy. The testimony of Fascist-baiters is no more to be relied upon than that of Red-baiters. Moreover, the Fascists, like their Red rivals, operate behind a variety of fronts. Some of the individuals and organizations from which they receive aid and comfort are not, by any official listing, Fascist at all. In the fraternal lingo of Communism, they are "fellow travelers." Also like the Communists, Fascist organizations do not stay put. Old ones change their names as prudence or tactical opportunities dictate, and new ones are continually sprouting. Not content with a single organization, some of the leaders of the movement have several. I met one man who had six. But whatever the brand, the breed is the same. There is no important strain in this country of the older and milder Fascism of Mussolini. America's Fascists are the ideological offspring of Hitler and National Socialism. Some of them frankly acknowledge it. Many of them admit only to an affinity. Most of them deny that they aim for a Nazi state. But in all of them, regardless of how much or how little they concede, the Nazi family features are too plain to be missed. 5


1939_05_27--5-73-Star Spangled Fascists
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