Spitfire List Web site and blog of anti-fascist researcher and radio personality Dave Emory.
The tag 'IBM' is associated with 7 posts.

FTR #1075 Surveillance Valley, Part 1: Eugenics, Racism and High Tech

Beginning a critically important series on a vitally important book titled Surveillance Valley: The Secret Military History of the Internet, this program explores the genesis of high tech and data processing, an origin that is inextricably linked with eugenics, anti-immigrant doctrine and–as is characteristic of fascism, the fear of the ubiquitous, malevolent “other.”

Highlights of discussion and analysis include:

1.–The genesis of high tech was Herman Hollerith’s tabulating machine. ” . . . . A few years earlier, working for the U.S. Census Bureau, Hollerith had developed the world’s first functional mass-produced computer: the Hollerith tabulator. An electromechanical device about the size of large desk and dresser, it used punch cards and a clever arrangement of gears, sorters, electrical contacts, and dials to process data with blazing speed and accuracy. What had taken years by hand could be done in a matter of months. As one U.S. newspaper described it, ‘with [the device’s] aid some 15 young ladies can count accurately half a million of names in a day.’ . . .’
2.–Hollerith’s machine found its (arguably) greatest application with the compilation of the census and the application of the pseudo-science of eugenics to it: ” . . . . Grasping about for solutions, many settled on various strains of race science quackery. So-called social Darwinists relied on a twisted version of the theory of evolution to explain why the poor and marginalized should remain that way while the wealthy and successful deserved to rule unchallenged. Taking this notion a step further, adherents of eugenics fervently believed that naturally superior Anglo-Americans were on the verge of being wiped out due to the high birth rates of ‘degenerate’ and immigrant stock. To head off this threat, they advocated strict controls on reproduction — breeding humans for quality in the same way that farmers did cows and horses. . . .”
3.–Hollerith’s machine was seen as the perfect vehicle for realizing eugenic practice through refining the census: ” . . . . The census had been a racial instrument from its inception, beginning with the original constitutional clause that instructed census officials to count black slaves separately from whites and to assign them a value of only three-fifths of a person. With each decade, new ‘racial’ categories were invented and added to the mix: ‘free colored males and females’ and ‘mulatto’ were counted, including subdivisions like including ‘quadroon’ and ‘octoroon.’ Categories for Chinese, ‘Hindoo,’ and Japanese were added, as were ‘foreign’ and ‘native born’ designations for whites. The census slowly expanded to collect other demographic data, including literacy levels, unemployment statistics, and medical ailments, such as those who were ‘deaf, dumb, and blind’ and the ‘insane and idiotic.’ All of it was broken down by race. . . .The census needed to improve drastically. What it needed was a talented inventor, someone young and ambitious who would be able to come up with a method to automate tabulation and data analysis. Someone like Herman Hollerith. . . .”
4.–Hollerith’s technology–when applied to the census, anticipated the mass surveillance technology of the internet: ” . . . . Overnight, Hollerith’s tabulator technology had transformed census taking from a simple head count into something that looked very much like a crude form of mass surveillance. To the race-obsessed political class, it was a revolutionary development. They could finally put the nation’s ethnic makeup under the microscope. The data seemed to confirm the nativists’ worst fears: Poor, illiterate immigrants were swarming America’s cities, breeding like rabbits, and outstripping native Anglo-American birth rates. Immediately following the census, the states and the federal government passed a flurry of laws that heavily restricted immigration. . . .”
5.–As discussed in FTR #279, IBM’s Hollerith machines (acquired when Thomas J. Watson bought out Hollerith) were fundamental to the operations of the Third Reich: ” . . . . ‘Indeed, the Third Reich would open startling statistical venues for Hollerith machines never before instituted — perhaps never before even imagined,’ wrote Edwin Black in IBM and the Holocaust, his pioneering 2001 exposé of the forgotten business ties between IBM and Nazi Germany. ‘In Hitler’s Germany, the statistical and census community, overrun with doctrinaire Nazis, publicly boasted about the new demographic breakthroughs their equipment would achieve.’ . . . Demand for Hollerith tabulators was so robust that IBM was forced to open a new factory in Berlin to crank out all the new machines. At the facility’s christening ceremony, which was attended by a top U.S. IBM executive and the elite of the Nazi Party, the head of IBM’s German subsidiary gave a rousing speech about the important role that Hollerith tabulators played in Hitler’s drive to purify Germany and cleanse it of inferior racial stock. . . .”
6.–The Trump administration’s framing of questions for the 2020 census appear aimed at creating a “national registry”–a concept reminiscent of the Third Reich’s use of IBM’s Hollerith-collected data: ” . . . . Based on a close reading of internal Department of Commerce documents tied to the census citizen question proposal, it appears the Trump administration wants to use the census to construct a first-of-its-kind citizenship registry for the entire U.S. population — a decision that arguably exceeds the legal authority of the census. ‘It was deep in the documentation that was released,’ Robert Groves, a former Census Bureau director who headed the National Academies committee convened to investigate the 2020 census, told me by telephone. ‘No one picked up on it much. But the term ‘registry’ in our world means not a collection of data for statistical purposes but rather to know the identity of particular people in order to use that knowledge to affect their lives.’ Given the administration’s posture toward immigration, the fact that it wants to build a comprehensive citizenship database is highly concerning. To Groves, it clearly signals ‘a bright line being crossed.’ . . .”


The Big Bitcoin Bet, Part 2: Big Money to Buy Bitcoin, and Other Bad Ideas

2014 could have been better for Bitcoin. After peaking near $1100 in December 2013, Bitcoin is currently under $250. 2014 was not a good year for Bitcoin.

But that doesn’t mean 2015 has to be the same. And if a slew of recent announcement involving some very big investors are any indication of what to expect, the mainstreaming Bitcoin is about to get a big boost. But that boost could come with a big price too. All those “microtransactions” of as little as 0.000000001 of one bitcoin (BTC) that much of the Bitcoin community hates so much is precisely what these deep pocketed interests are planning on promoting in a big way. And in order to make it all happen, they might have to become some of the biggest bitcoin miners around too. And that means the future of Bitcoin is increasing in the hands of ‘The Man’. Also, the microtransactions might be used to monetize how we access the web. And how the Internet of Things spies on us. It doesn’t actually sound very fun.


FTR #846 Interview (#9) with Peter Levenda about “The Hitler Legacy”

This ninth interview fills in the details concerning a mysterious cast of characters in Indonesia who were investigating the late president Sukarno’s Revolutionary Fund. That fund appears to have derived from large amounts of World War II wealth stolen by Japan and Germany. Dr. Sosro Husodo alleged in a book that a mysterious Nazi named Dr. Anton Poch was actually Hitler. That allegation has never been proved, however the stories of Poch, Husodo, Dr. Edison Damanik and an Indonesian arms dealer named Soeryo Goeritno are indicative of a massive, ongoing cover-up of the political and economic dynamics underlying their situations. Expanding the scope of the inquiry to the capital flows asssociated with the Third Reich, its postwar underground phase and institutions associated with and/or evolving from Nazism, the programs sets forth a number of considerations: the financing of the postwar German economic miracle by German corporations; the frustration of the de-Nazification of corporate Germany by the Third Reich’s prominent American economic backers; the enormous scale of the Nazi economic diaspora; the role of Klaus Barbie and his “Fiancees of Death” in ODESSA-related operations; Colonia Dignidad and its role in laundering ODESSA money.


Devastating Update to the Story of IBM and the Holocaust

IBM’s president and corporate leadership micro-managed the liquidation of European Jews in close partnership with the SS.


FTR #309 The Ties that Bind

Significant overlapping of political and economic powers within the milieu of international fascism.


FTR #294 Update on Corporate Germany

As the global energy industry is deregulated, energy corporations are crossing national boundaries.


FTR #279 Tabulate This! IBM and the Third Reich

IBM was central to the economic operations of Nazi Germany and occupied Europe.