Willis Carto, founder of the Liberty Lobby, had some pertinent comments to make when he penned an introduction to Noontide Press’s 1993 reprint of THE COMING AMERICAN FASCISM, the 1936 classic work by Lawrence Dennis. We present some excerpts below:
The truth is, Lawrence Dennis was too tough-minded, too logical, too honest and too advanced to meet with acclaim.
To understand the man, one must place him in a niche that even he perhaps did not recognize. That niche is populist–the native American middle way between the two systems he condemned, Marxism (communism and socialism) and capitalism. As the major–if not only–spokesman for populist economics and philosophy, he found himself alone, shunned and attacked by both sides.
Capitalists and the libertarian intellectuals then as now hated Dennis because the thunderbolts he hurled against capitalism offended and frightened him. Marxists hated him because he was strongly anti-communist and his thinking did not fit at all into their brittle ideology–and he was nationalist to boot, not internationalist. And today, now that capitalist propagandists have themselves been converted to free trade and internationalism, they have even more reason to keep Dennis thrust far down into the Memory Hole.
Capitalism/libertarianism teaches the truly extreme idea that that which is unprofitable is ipso facto intolerable; that all questions should be settled very simply: by the bottom line, the end of all argument. Dennis knew that such a policy is in the not-very long run inevitably self-destructive. A nation which permits a plutocracy to instill its philistine values into the social order is irretrievably doomed to die in corruption, anarchy and ultimate moral and physical squalor, not to mention tyranny.
The major credit to the Dennis ledger is his stubborn insistence on identifying the primary endemic problem of capitalism–the maldistribution of production, a glaring–if hidden–reality he called underconsumption (but what this writer would label overproduction.) This is the chronic failure or inability of capitalism to adjust the balance between production and consumption without war, cold war, socialism or the placebo of foreign aid.
It is the tragedy of the West that this is the dirty secret that capitalist apologists have desperately tried to conceal for the last hundred years. That they have succeeded has enabled the politicians and pressure groups to manufacture two otherwise stupid and needless world wars as well as innumerable small wars to dispose of surplus production, diminish unemployment and raise the bankers’ blessed debt.