Spitfire List Web site and blog of anti-fascist researcher and radio personality Dave Emory.

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All Honorable Men

by James Stew­art Mar­tin
1950, Lit­tle, Brown 326 pages
Down­load Pt. 1 | Down­load Pt. 2

Amer­i­can-linked Ger­man cor­po­ra­tions were piv­otal in financ­ing the polit­i­cal ascen­sion of Adolph Hitler and the Nazis. In addi­tion, the car­tel agree­ments between cor­po­rate indus­tri­al giants on both sides of the Atlantic were instru­men­tal in giv­ing Ger­many access to vital strate­gic raw mate­ri­als and tech­nolo­gies, while restrict­ing that access for the Allies. Dur­ing World War II, the job of inter­dict­ing the Trans-Atlantic car­tel rela­tion­ships between Ger­man and Amer­i­can firms fell to the Eco­nom­ic War­fare Sec­tion of the Antitrust Divi­sion of the Depart­ment of Jus­tice. Head­ed by James Stew­art Mar­tin, this group was titled “The Bomb­ing Boys” because they helped to gen­er­ate tar­get selec­tion for the strate­gic aer­i­al bom­bard­ment of Ger­man indus­try. After the war, Mar­tin served as the point man in the unsuc­cess­ful attempt at dis­solv­ing the Trans-Atlantic finan­cial and indus­tri­al access and de-carteliz­ing Ger­many.

Martin’s All Hon­or­able Men doc­u­ments the man­ner in which pow­er­ful eco­nom­ic inter­ests in the Unit­ed States frus­trat­ed attempts at de-carteliza­tion, there­by ensur­ing the post­war per­pet­u­a­tion of glob­al­ized “busi­ness as usu­al” for both Ger­many and the Unit­ed States. As Mar­tin points out, these com­mer­cial inter­ests were able to suc­cess­ful­ly manip­u­late the net­works through which gov­ern­ment oper­ates, and direct it to their own nefar­i­ous ends. In addi­tion to lob­by­ing in Con­gress and wag­ing a vig­or­ous pub­lic rela­tions cam­paign against de-carteliza­tion, the Amer­i­can part­ners of the Ger­man car­tels suc­cess­ful­ly placed their own per­son­nel in posi­tions of respon­si­bil­i­ty for the post­war eco­nom­ic “recon­struc­tion” of Ger­many.

One of the most impor­tant aspects of Martin’s elo­quent book is his warn­ing for the future. Hav­ing wit­nessed first­hand how eas­i­ly the Amer­i­can busi­ness inter­ests were able to sub­vert the eco­nom­ic restruc­tur­ing of Ger­many, Mar­tin feared for the future of the Unit­ed States. Not­ing that eco­nom­ic con­cen­tra­tion in Ger­many had made it pos­si­ble for a small num­ber of pow­er­ful inter­ests to put Hitler in pow­er, Mar­tin not­ed the same pat­tern of eco­nom­ic con­cen­tra­tion becom­ing evi­dent in the Unit­ed States as of the late 1940’s. He offered a stark warn­ing for future gen­er­a­tions of Amer­i­cans.

“The ecopo­lit­i­cal mas­ters of Ger­many boost­ed Hitler and his pro­gram into the driver’s seat at a time when the tide in the polit­i­cal fight between the Nazis and the sup­port­ers of the Weimar Repub­lic was swing­ing against the Nazis. All of the men who mat­tered in bank­ing and indus­tri­al cir­cles could quick­ly agree on one pro­gram and throw their finan­cial weight behind it. Their sup­port won the elec­tion for the Nazis. We must assume that the same thing is not yet true in the Unit­ed States. We do have eco­nom­ic pow­er so con­cen­trat­ed that it would lie in the pow­er of not more than a hun­dred men—if they could agree among themselves—to throw the same kind of com­bined eco­nom­ic weight behind a sin­gle pro­gram. They have not agreed yet. . . . If the Unit­ed States should run into seri­ous eco­nom­ic dif­fi­cul­ties, how­ev­er, most of the con­di­tions for a re-enact­ment of the Ger­man dra­ma would already exist on the Amer­i­can stage. The slight dif­fer­ences with­in the camp of the fra­ter­ni­ty then may be the only real bar­ri­er to the kind of inte­gra­tion of the finan­cial and indus­tri­al com­mu­ni­ty behind a sin­gle repres­sive pro­gram, like that which the financiers and indus­tri­al­ists of Ger­many exe­cut­ed through Hitler. Are we safe in assum­ing that it would take a grave eco­nom­ic cri­sis to pre­cip­i­tate the dan­gers inher­ent in eco­nom­ic con­cen­tra­tion? The basic inte­gra­tion of the finan­cial and indus­tri­al groups in the Unit­ed States is evi­dent when we look at the increase of con­cen­tra­tion in the past few years. . . .”

(All Hon­or­able Men; James Stew­art Mar­tin; Copy­right 1950 [HC]; Lit­tle, Brown & Co.; p. 295.)

“ . . . The moral of this is not that Ger­many is an inevitable men­ace, but that there are forces in our own coun­try which can make Ger­many a men­ace. And, more impor­tant­ly, they could cre­ate a men­ace of their own here at home, not through a delib­er­ate plot to bring about a polit­i­cal cat­a­stro­phe but as a calm judg­ment of ‘busi­ness neces­si­ty.’ The men who would do this are not Nazis, but busi­ness­men; not crim­i­nals, but hon­or­able men. [This is the last para­graph of the book!—D.E.]”

(Ibid.; p. 300.)

Discussion

2 comments for “All Honorable Men

  1. Dave:

    This is the most painful, chok­ing­ly intense read-dis­cov­ery I have ever expe­ri­enced. For once I can get off the exter­mi­na­tion of the Jew­ish peo­ple and see the actu­al guil­lo­tine descend­ing on all our necks. The bank­ing trust and man­u­fac­tur­ing trust engi­neered “both” World Wars and is slob­ber­ing for anoth­er, using the Ukrain­ian Nazis a s a base.

    I am indeed sor­row­ful that this book is prac­ti­cal­ly unavail­able in an actu­al paper book. Its sup­pres­sion mere­ly con­firms its impor­tance. One can­not under­stand the true dimen­sions of the last glob­al con­flict with­out this book. Mar­t­in’s name and face belongs on postage stamp and his life should be a top­ic of study in all US schools. Thank you for keep­ing this book alive. (I am cur­rent­ly at page 96...it is scar­ing the hell out of me.)

    Posted by Stuart Chandler | April 8, 2015, 9:15 am
  2. @Stuart Chan­cler–

    Wait ’til you’ve fin­ished the book–one of the most impor­tant ever writ­ten, in my opin­ion.

    That is why it is on the web­site, along with the oth­er vol­umes pre­sent­ed here, includ­ing the Paul Man­ning text.

    Best,

    Dave

    Posted by Dave Emory | April 8, 2015, 5:38 pm

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