Fascist organizing in 1933 was apparently (no, obviously) a reaction to labor unrest and labor demands (hence the term "reactionary") and to libertarianism in general (which used to be called "liberalism" and was pro-business but also pro-labor and pro-freedom ... LIBERTY), emerging over the previous decades during the Rise of the Industrial Age and the desire for lots of cheap labor. The Industrial Workers of the World was the first big union effort in which workers fought for rights above slavery and for a decent standard of living.
(AFL, CIO and other labor groups became controlled adjuncts of govt via the corporate-compliant and corporate-run NLRB -- yes, corporate mgmt controlled the top level of the "tamed" labor movement -- most would consider such an arrangement to be a conflict of interest).
"The IWW, whose members were and are known commonly as Wobblies, advocated such radical ideas as an eight hour work day and a forty hour work week, fought and sometimes won bitter freedom of speech fights, ..."
The industry owners naturally fought back, individually and collectively, using the brute force of hired thugs and brute force of the police, state militia, and Feds, as well as legal maneuvers. In most cases the political power sided with the money, not the workers. In at least one case, Matewan, the sheriff Sid Hatfield who sided with miners was later killed by Baldwin-Phelps "detectives" hired by the feudalistic coal company to force miners to work for scrip. It is more than interesting that the Pinkerton detective firm BECAME the FBI, and a retired FBI agent later formed Wackenhut. Both were labor-busting detective agencies, and the FBI was just an extension of that, with law enforcement powers of the government. Of course, they didn't enforce the Constitution, they violated it.
Pro-Corporate Business propaganda costing billions of dollars tried to equate labor movements with anti-Americanism and later totalitarian Communism, in the public mind. Hear Alex Carey's talk at the bottom.
Note: At that time, labor was not a domesticated animal controlled by the National Labor Relations Board appointed by the President. It was independent, run by workers not by management. That made it "dangerous and seditious". I'm sure there emerged some IWW members who DID push for an outright Marxist government, but I think in the beginning it was mostly for Constitutional protection for workers against criminal violence by hired thugs and govt agents.
This was of course a global struggle, not just American, and it's what the Hitler Project and the Mussolini Project and Franco, etc. were created to fight against.
IWW fought to organize workers into worldwide labor solidarity. Naturally the aristocrats in Europe and the capitalist/aristocrats in America fought in the opposite direction, to splinter and/or neutralize radical labor and human rights groups, to deny freedom, and to organize the whole world in their interests. These globalists (global capitalists) count NAFTA as a watershed moment, as this and other new trade laws undermine and virtually eliminate popular governance.
Some old school conservatives say the march to centralized "socialistic" control goes back to 1913, the unconstitutional creation of the centralized cartel of private banks called the Federal Reserve System, and 1916 the creation of the Federal Income Tax, sold as a way to get even with the rich robber barons, but actually designed to tilt the playing field towards the richest robber barons. The anti-communist Palmer Raids rounded up tens of thousands of American citizens for having political views the govt didn't like. Conservatives who opposed Woodrow Wilson's war were charged under the Sedition Act. That's quite totalitarian too. But the fascism angle is not just despotism, it is for the systemic militarization of civilian society.
Reign of Terror in Defense of Freedom
Joseph Stromberg remembers the Woodrow Wilson precedent.
Buckley, Limbaugh, Trotsky, Bush
Jeffrey Tucker on conservatism.
Jane Fonda Wrote Your Last Article
I'm open to comments and criticism on this viewpoint, but I think it works in a nutshell, and there's much evidence and context to back it up.
Alex Carey: Taking the Risk out of Democracy,
Corporate Propaganda VS Freedom and Liberty