Joseph Hansen

Secret Bulletin Proves Sixty Families
Await F.D.R. War Declaration

(September 1939)

Source: Socialist Appeal, Vol. III No. 73, 26 September 1939, pp. 1 & 3.
Transcription/HTML Markup: 2016 by Einde O’Callaghan.
Public Domain: Joseph Hansen Internet Archive 2016; This work is completely free. In any reproduction, we ask that you cite this Internet address and the publishing information above.

A most revealing picture of the state of mind of Big Business towards the war problem in the United States is contained in the special and confidential bulletin of the Tax Research Institute of America, Inc., a copy of which was obtained by the office of the Socialist Appeal.

What does Big Business think of the Roosevelt pro-war machine? What does Big Business think of its prospects in the coming war? What does Big Business think the Roosevelt government is going to do to Labor in the course of the War?

These and related questions will be dealt with in a series of articles on the Tax Research Institute’s confidential report, written by Joseph Hansen, beginning in this issue of the Appeal.

The articles will quote extensively from the thoroughgoing Institute bulletin. All emphasis in quotations from the bulletin are in the original unless otherwise indicated. – Ed.

Within a very short time the Roosevelt government will drop its “mantle of benevolent neutrality” and plunge the United States into the World War now raging in Europe.

This is the inside tip that the top leaders of Big Business have sent out to all members of the Tax Research Institute of America, Inc., a confidential bulletin service set up by Wall Street to supply the overlords of American industry with straight information on subjects of vital interest to the capitalist class.

Dated August 30, a few days before the second World War started, the latest bulletin calls on all members of Big Business to make immediate preparations for the ENTRY OF THE UNITED STATES into the conflict and then proceeds to analyze the exact steps the Roosevelt government will take in regimenting labor and in gearing American industry for war production.

“Unless a miracle brings about unexpected peace,” begins the bulletin, “the world will remain at war (Big Business understands very well that armed conflict is but an extension of the economic conflict! – J.H.) – a twentieth century type of war frequently bloodless, always undeclared, but resulting in the same periodic face-lifting of the world’s map as did the old-fashioned hostilities.”

The bulletin then continues this cold-blooded analysis of the real nature of the war with a point by point explanation of what the present war means to the capitalist class. Not a war “to save democracy from the madman Hitler,” not a war for any kind of ideal – just a merciless butchery for profit. And it hammers home to every member of the capitalist class that the entrance of the United States in the war is close at hand.’ 

Expect Only Short Interval

“(1) This ‘war of nerves’ results in the same political and economic alliances as does the battlefield. Real neutrality, in face of this conflict, becomes less possible the longer it continues. Which means if war breaks abroad, a shorter interval of time will elapse until the U.S. drops its mantle of benevolent neutrality and replaces it by actual participation.”

There in cold italicised print is the declaration of Big Business BEFORE WAR BROKE OUT IN EUROPE, that when it did break (regardless of who was labelled the “aggressor”) it would not be long until dough-boys from the farms and factories of America began crossing the Atlantic in the “old-fashioned” way to fight for the profits of Wall Street.

The second point announces the imminence of the then undeclared European hostilities and raises questions which will immediately confront the individual capitalist when the shedding of blood begins:

“(2) So long as the bloodless war rages, only the slightest unexpected spark may be required to set off the fuse. And once the fuse starts abroad, even with domestic neutrality, a host of business problems immediately arise:

“a. What happens to business even in part dependent upon foreign export?

“b. What happens to business using imported materials?

“c. What happens to security values on exchanges which are shaken by crises as well as by dumped, frightened funds?

“d. What business adjustments will, be made necessary by the Neutrality Act when it is for the first time widely applied?

“e. What happens to every-day prices when warring powers really begin feeding civilian and military needs with American merchandise?”

Even the most humble house-wife already knows the answer to that last question. On the day Hitler marched into Poland prices immediately began to skyrocket at the expense of the family pocketbook and to the high advantage of the vaults in Wall Street.

All Emphasis on War Preparation

Without pausing to answer the questions it has raised, apparently considering them self-evident, the analysis rushes to the main business at hand: What is the immediate perspective for which the capitalist class must prepare and organize itself?

“(3) Most important of all among the problems imposed by today’s headlines is the program for preparing American business and economic life for the possibility that America will be drawn in.”

The bulletin then emphasizes with a pithy slogan the point which must be driven into the mind of every individual belonging to the capitalist class:

“The Business Man Must Not Keep His Eyes Closed Until the U.S. Declares War.”

That is, don’t be deluded by any statements issued for propaganda purposes that the Roosevelt government wants or intends to remain neutral.

“Among the most unfortunate business misconceptions is that the executive can remain oblivious of the need to adjust his business to war until the United States is IN.”

Mobilization Already on Way

With the utmost clarity the analysis then underscores this warning to members of the capitalist class with a very concrete explanation of the “effect of today’s events” and the “ostrich-like error” of not understanding that war conditions are about to envelope American industry:

“(1) The Plan for the MOBILIZATION OF AMERICAN INDUSTRY has not only been completed by the War and Navy Departments for years, but several phases of this Plan are already in operation.”

Despite the delicacy in phrasing what could be more clear than that emphasized declaration: MOBILIZATION ... already in operation?

“(2) The recent appointment of the WAR RESOURCES BOARD is the most dramatic hint to business that the coordination of the nation’s economic resources is NOT merely academic study.”

In brief, before Hitler began bombing Poland, the top leaders of Big Business were notifying the capitalist class as a whole that its executive arm in Washington, D.C., was prepared and that now it was merely a question of time.

Cold Logic of Business

Next point in the explanation about the “unfortunate” and “ostrich-like” error of not realizing what is happening, is declared by the bulletin itself as “most important of all” that is, the juicy and delectable question of WAR ORDERS:

“(3) Command performance: Most important of all is the presence of Section 120 of the National Defense Act, under which the President in time of war or when war is imminent, and he is the one to decide when war is imminent, is empowered, through the head of any Government department, to place an order with any firm for any product or material that may be necessary.”

How different is this analysis presented by the leaders of the capitalist class to their membership from the propaganda they foist on the public through the daily press! None of the fevered war slogans here! None of the clarion calls to battle for God and Country! Just the hot inside tip: Roosevelt will soon plunge the United States into war, therefore PREPARE FOR PROFITS.

That is the message sent out confidentially by the Sixty Families – the Morgans, DuPonts, Mellons, Rockefellers, Girdlers – to the class they head.

(The second installment in this series of articles exposing the preparations among the capitalists for war will appear in the next issue of the Socialist Appeal.)


Last updated on: 13 February 2018