Sunday, January 6, 2019

War Is A Racket By Major General Smedley Butler (This is just the rough text copy - use link below for clean copy or pdf file)

War Is A Racket By Major General Smedley Butler

Contents         Chapter 1: War Is A Racket                 Chapter 2: Who Makes The Profits?                 Chapter 3: Who Pays The Bills?                 Chapter 4: How To Smash This Racket!                 Chapter 5: To Hell With War!

Smedley Darlington Butler Born: West Chester, Pa., July 30, 1881 Educated: Haverford School Married: Ethel C. Peters, of Philadelphia, June 30, 1905 Awarded two congressional medals of honor: 1.  capture of Vera Cruz, Mexico, 1914 2.  capture of Ft. Riviere, Haiti, 1917 Distinguished service medal, 1919 Major General - United States Marine Corps Retired Oct. 1, 1931 On leave of absence to act as director of Dept. of Safety, Philadelphia, 1932 Lecturer -- 1930’s Republican Candidate for Senate, 1932 Died at Naval Hospital, Philadelphia, June 21, 1940 For more information about Major General Butler, contact the United States Marine Corps.

CHAPTER ONEWar Is A RacketWAR is a racket. It always has been. It is possibly the oldest, easily the most profitable, surely the most vicious. It is the only oneinternational in scope. It is the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and thelosses in lives. A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority ofthe people. Only a small "inside" group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefitof  the  very  few,  at  the  expense  of  the  very  many.  Out  of  war  a  few  people  make  hugefortunes.
In the World War [I] a mere handful garnered the profits of the conflict. At least 21,000 newmillionaires  and  billionaires  were  made  in  the  United  States  during  the  World  War.  Thatmany  admitted  their  huge  blood  gains  in  their  income  tax  returns.  How  many  other  warmillionaires falsified their tax returns no one knows. How  many  of  these  war  millionaires  shouldered  a  rifle?  How  many  of  them  dug  a  trench?How many of them knew what it meant to go hungry in a rat-infested dug-out?
How many ofthem  spent  sleepless,  frightened  nights,  ducking  shells  and  shrapnel  and  machine  gunbullets? How many of  them parried a bayonet thrust of  an enemy? How many of  them werewounded or killed in battle? Out of  war nations acquire additional territory, if  they are victorious. They just take it. Thisnewly  acquired  territory  promptly  is  exploited  by  the  few  --  the  selfsame  few  who  wrungdollars out of blood in the war. The general public shoulders the bill. And what is this bill? This   bill   renders   a   horrible   accounting.   Newly   placed   gravestones.   Mangled   bodies.Shattered  minds.  Broken  hearts  and  homes.  Economic  instability.  Depression  and  all  itsattendant miseries. Back-breaking taxation for generations and generations. For  a  great  many  years,  as  a  soldier,  I  had  a  suspicion  that  war  was  a  racket;  not  until  Iretired to civil life did I fully realize it. Now that I see the international war clouds gathering,as they are today, I must face it and speak out. Again they are choosing sides. France and Russia met and agreed to stand side by side. Italyand Austria hurried to make a similar agreement. Poland and Germany cast sheep’s eyes ateach  other,  forgetting  for  the  nonce  [one  unique  occasion],  their  dispute  over  the  PolishCorridor. The  assassination  of  King  Alexander  of  Jugoslavia  [Yugoslavia]  complicated  matters.Jugoslavia  and  Hungary,  long  bitter enemies, were almost  at each other’s throats. Italy wasready to jump in. But France was waiting. So was Czechoslovakia. All of  them are lookingahead to war. Not the people -- not those who fight and pay and die -- only those who fomentwars and remain safely at home to profit. There are 40,000,000  men under arms in the world today, and our statesmen and diplomatshave the temerity to say that war is not in the making. Hell’s bells! Are these 40,000,000 men being trained to be dancers? Not  in  Italy,  to  be  sure.  Premier  Mussolini  knows  what  they  are  being  trained  for.  He,  atleast,   is   frank   enough   to   speak   out.   Only   the   other   day,   Il   Duce   in   "InternationalConciliation," the publication of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, said: "And  above  all,  Fascism,  the  more  it  considers  and  observes  the  future  and  the  development  ofhumanity  quite  apart  from  political  considerations  of  the  moment,  believes  neither  in  thepossibility  nor  the  utility  of  perpetual  peace.  .  .  .  War  alone  brings  up  to  its  highest  tension  all
human energy and puts the stamp of nobility upon the people who have the courage to meet it." Undoubtedly Mussolini means exactly what he says. His well-trained army, his great fleet ofplanes, and even his navy are ready for war -- anxious for it, apparently. His recent stand atthe  side  of  Hungary  in  the  latter’s  dispute  with  Jugoslavia  showed  that.  And  the  hurriedmobilization of  his troops on the Austrian border after the assassination of  Dollfuss showedit too. There are others in Europe too whose sabre rattling presages war, sooner or later. Herr Hitler, with his rearming Germany and his constant demands for more and more arms,is  an  equal  if  not  greater  menace  to  peace.  France  only  recently  increased  the  term  ofmilitary service for its youth from a year to eighteen months. Yes, all over, nations are camping in their arms. The mad dogs of Europe are on the loose. Inthe Orient the maneuvering is more adroit. Back in 1904, when Russia and Japan fought, wekicked  out  our  old  friends  the  Russians  and  backed  Japan.  Then  our  very  generousinternational  bankers  were  financing  Japan.  Now  the  trend  is  to  poison  us  against  theJapanese.  What  does  the  "open  door"  policy  to  China  mean  to  us?  Our  trade  with  China  isabout $90,000,000  a year. Or the Philippine Islands? We have spent about $600,000,000 inthe  Philippines  in  thirty-five  years  and  we  (our  bankers  and  industrialists  and  speculators)have private investments there of less than $200,000,000. Then, to save that China trade of  about $90,000,000, or to protect these private investmentsof  less than $200,000,000 in the Philippines, we would be all stirred up to hate Japan and goto war -- a war that might well cost us tens of  billions of  dollars, hundreds of  thousands oflives  of  Americans,  and  many  more  hundreds  of  thousands  of  physically  maimed  andmentally unbalanced men. Of  course,  for  this  loss,  there  would  be  a  compensating  profit  --  fortunes  would  be  made.Millions  and  billions  of  dollars  would  be  piled  up.  By  a  few.  Munitions  makers.  Bankers.Ship builders. Manufacturers. Meat packers. Speculators. They would fare well. Yes, they are getting ready for another war. Why shouldn’t they? It pays high dividends. But what does it profit the men who are killed? What does it profit their mothers and sisters,their wives and their sweethearts? What does it profit their children? What does it profit anyone except the very few to whom war means huge profits? Yes, and what does it profit the nation? Take our own case. Until 1898 we didn’t own a bit of territory outside the mainland of NorthAmerica.  At  that  time  our  national  debt  was  a  little  more  than  $1,000,000,000.  Then  webecame  "internationally  minded."  We  forgot,  or  shunted  aside,  the  advice  of  the  Father  ofour country. We forgot George Washington’s warning about "entangling alliances." We wentto war. We acquired outside territory. At the end of  the World War period, as a direct resultof    our   fiddling   in   international   affairs,   our   national   debt   had   jumped   to   over$25,000,000,000.  Our  total  favorable  trade  balance  during  the  twenty-five-year  period  wasabout $24,000,000,000. Therefore, on a purely bookkeeping basis, we ran a little behind year
for year, and that foreign trade might well have been ours without the wars. It would have been far cheaper (not to say safer) for the average American who pays the billsto  stay  out  of  foreign entanglements. For a very few this racket, like  bootlegging and otherunderworld  rackets,  brings  fancy  profits,  but  the  cost  of  operations  is  always  transferred  tothe people -- who do not profit. CHAPTER TWOWho Makes The Profits?The  World  War,  rather  our  brief  participation  in  it,  has  cost  the  United  States  some$52,000,000,000. Figure it out. That means $400 to every American man, woman, and child.And  we  haven’t  paid  the  debt  yet.  We  are  paying  it,  our  children  will  pay  it,  and  ourchildren’s children probably still will be paying the cost of that war. The  normal  profits  of  a  business  concern  in  the  United  States  are  six,  eight,  ten,  andsometimes twelve percent. But war-time profits -- ah! that is another matter -- twenty, sixty,one  hundred,  three  hundred,  and  even  eighteen  hundred  per  cent  --  the  sky  is  the  limit.  Allthat traffic will bear. Uncle Sam has the money. Let’s get it. Of  course, it isn’t put that crudely in war time. It is dressed into speeches about patriotism,love of  country, and "we must all put our shoulders to the wheel," but the profits jump andleap and skyrocket -- and are safely pocketed. Let’s just take a few examples: Take  our  friends  the  du  Ponts,  the  powder  people  --  didn’t  one  of  them  testify  before  aSenate  committee  recently  that  their  powder  won  the  war?  Or  saved  the  world  fordemocracy? Or something? How did they do in the war? They were a patriotic corporation.Well,  the  average  earnings  of  the  du  Ponts  for  the  period  1910  to  1914  were  $6,000,000  ayear.  It  wasn’t  much,  but  the  du  Ponts  managed  to  get  along  on  it.  Now  let’s  look  at  theiraverage  yearly  profit  during  the  war  years,  1914  to  1918.  Fifty-eight  million  dollars  a  yearprofit  we  find!  Nearly ten times  that  of  normal times,  and the profits of  normal times  werepretty good. An increase in profits of more than 950 per cent. Take one of our little steel companies that patriotically shunted aside the making of rails andgirders  and  bridges  to  manufacture  war  materials.  Well,  their  1910-1914  yearly  earningsaveraged $6,000,000. Then came the war. And, like loyal citizens, Bethlehem Steel promptlyturned  to  munitions  making.  Did  their  profits  jump  --  or  did  they  let  Uncle  Sam  in  for  abargain? Well, their 1914-1918 average was $49,000,000 a year! Or,  let’s  take  United  States  Steel.  The  normal  earnings  during  the  five-year  period  prior  tothe  war  were  $105,000,000  a  year.  Not  bad.  Then  along  came  the  war  and  up  went  theprofits. The average yearly profit for the period 1914-1918 was $240,000,000. Not bad. There you have some of  the steel and powder earnings. Let’s look at something else. A littlecopper, perhaps. That always does well in war times.

Anaconda,  for  instance.  Average  yearly  earnings  during  the  pre-war  years  1910-1914  of$10,000,000. During the war years 1914-1918 profits leaped to $34,000,000 per year. Or Utah Copper. Average of $5,000,000 per year during the 1910-1914 period. Jumped to anaverage of $21,000,000 yearly profits for the war period. Let’s group these five, with three smaller companies. The total yearly average profits of  thepre-war period 1910-1914 were $137,480,000. Then along came the war. The average yearlyprofits for this group skyrocketed to $408,300,000. A little increase in profits of approximately 200 per cent. Does war pay? It paid them. But they aren’t the only ones. There are still others. Let’s takeleather. For  the  three-year  period before the war  the total profits of  Central Leather Company were$3,500,000.  That  was  approximately  $1,167,000  a  year.  Well,  in  1916  Central  Leatherreturned a profit of  $15,000,000, a small increase of  1,100 per cent. That’s all. The GeneralChemical  Company  averaged  a  profit  for  the  three  years  before  the  war  of  a  little  over$800,000  a year. Came the war, and the profits jumped to $12,000,000. a leap of  1,400 percent. International  Nickel  Company  --  and  you  can’t  have  a  war  without  nickel  --  showed  anincrease in profits from a mere average of $4,000,000 a year to $73,000,000 yearly. Not bad?An increase of more than 1,700 per cent. American  Sugar  Refining  Company  averaged  $2,000,000  a  year  for  the  three  years  beforethe war. In 1916 a profit of $6,000,000 was recorded. Listen  to  Senate  Document  No.  259.  The  Sixty-Fifth  Congress,  reporting  on  corporateearnings and government revenues. Considering the profits of  122 meat packers, 153 cottonmanufacturers, 299 garment makers, 49 steel plants, and 340 coal producers during the war.Profits  under  25  per  cent  were  exceptional.  For  instance  the  coal  companies  made  between100  per cent  and 7,856  per cent  on  their  capital stock during the war. The Chicago packersdoubled and tripled their earnings. And let us not forget the bankers who financed the great war. If anyone had the cream of theprofits it was the bankers. Being partnerships rather than incorporated organizations, they donot  have  to  report  to  stockholders.  And  their  profits  were  as  secret  as  they  were  immense.How  the  bankers  made  their  millions  and  their  billions  I  do  not  know,  because  those  littlesecrets never become public -- even before a Senate investigatory body. But  here’s  how  some  of  the  other  patriotic  industrialists  and  speculators  chiseled  their  wayinto war profits. Take  the  shoe  people.  They  like  war.  It  brings  business  with  abnormal  profits.  They  madehuge  profits  on  sales  abroad  to  our  allies.  Perhaps,  like  the  munitions  manufacturers  andarmament makers, they also sold to the enemy. For a dollar is a dollar whether it comes from
Germany or from France. But they did well by Uncle Sam too. For instance, they sold UncleSam 35,000,000 pairs of hobnailed service shoes. There were 4,000,000 soldiers. Eight pairs,and more, to a soldier. My regiment during the war had only one pair to a soldier. Some ofthese  shoes  probably  are  still  in  existence.  They  were  good  shoes.  But  when  the  war  wasover  Uncle  Sam  has  a  matter  of  25,000,000  pairs  left  over.  Bought  --  and  paid  for.  Profitsrecorded and pocketed. There  was  still  lots  of  leather  left.  So  the  leather  people  sold  your  Uncle  Sam  hundreds  ofthousands  of  McClellan  saddles  for  the  cavalry.  But  there  wasn’t  any  American  cavalryoverseas! Somebody had to get rid of  this leather, however. Somebody had to make a profitin it -- so we had a lot of McClellan saddles. And we probably have those yet. Also  somebody  had  a  lot  of  mosquito  netting.  They  sold  your  Uncle  Sam  20,000,000mosquito nets for the use of the soldiers overseas. I suppose the boys were expected to put itover  them  as  they  tried  to  sleep  in  muddy  trenches  --  one  hand  scratching  cooties  on  theirbacks  and  the  other  making  passes  at  scurrying  rats.  Well,  not  one  of  these  mosquito  netsever got to France! Anyhow,  these  thoughtful  manufacturers  wanted  to  make  sure  that  no  soldier  would  bewithout  his  mosquito  net,  so  40,000,000  additional  yards  of  mosquito  netting  were  sold  toUncle Sam. There  were  pretty  good  profits  in  mosquito  netting  in  those  days,  even  if  there  were  nomosquitoes  in  France.  I  suppose,  if  the  war  had  lasted  just  a  little  longer,  the  enterprisingmosquito netting manufacturers would have sold your Uncle Sam a couple of  consignmentsof mosquitoes to plant in France so that more mosquito netting would be in order. Airplane and engine manufacturers felt they, too, should get their just profits out of this war.Why  not?  Everybody  else  was  getting  theirs.  So  $1,000,000,000  --  count  them  if  you  livelong  enough  --  was  spent  by  Uncle  Sam  in  building  airplane  engines  that  never  left  theground!  Not  one  plane,  or  motor,  out  of  the  billion  dollars  worth  ordered,  ever  got  into  abattle  in  France.  Just  the  same  the  manufacturers  made  their  little  profit  of  30,  100,  orperhaps 300 per cent. Undershirts  for  soldiers  cost  14¢  [cents]  to  make  and  uncle  Sam  paid  30¢  to  40¢  each  forthem  --  a  nice  little  profit  for  the  undershirt  manufacturer.  And  the  stocking  manufacturerand the uniform manufacturers and the cap manufacturers and the steel helmet manufacturers-- all got theirs. Why, when the war was over some 4,000,000 sets of  equipment -- knapsacks and the thingsthat  go  to  fill  them  --  crammed  warehouses  on  this  side.  Now  they  are  being  scrappedbecause  the  regulations  have  changed  the  contents.  But  the  manufacturers  collected  theirwartime profits on them -- and they will do it all over again the next time. There were lots of brilliant ideas for profit making during the war. One  very  versatile  patriot  sold  Uncle  Sam  twelve  dozen  48-inch  wrenches.  Oh,  they  werevery  nice  wrenches.  The  only  trouble  was  that  there  was  only  one  nut  ever  made  that  was
large  enough  for  these  wrenches.  That  is  the  one  that  holds  the  turbines  at  Niagara  Falls.Well,  after  Uncle  Sam  had  bought  them  and  the  manufacturer  had  pocketed  the  profit,  thewrenches  were  put  on  freight  cars  and  shunted  all  around  the  United  States  in  an  effort  tofind a use for them. When the Armistice was signed it was indeed a sad blow to the wrenchmanufacturer. He was just about to make some nuts to fit the wrenches. Then he planned tosell these, too, to your Uncle Sam. Still  another  had  the  brilliant  idea  that  colonels  shouldn’t  ride  in  automobiles,  nor  shouldthey  even  ride  on  horseback.  One  has  probably  seen  a  picture  of  Andy  Jackson  riding  in  abuckboard.  Well,  some  6,000  buckboards  were  sold  to  Uncle  Sam  for  the  use  of  colonels!Not one of them was used. But the buckboard manufacturer got his war profit. The  shipbuilders  felt  they  should  come  in  on  some  of  it,  too.  They  built  a  lot  of  ships  thatmade a lot of  profit. More than $3,000,000,000 worth. Some of  the ships were all right. But$635,000,000 worth of  them were made of  wood and wouldn’t float! The seams opened up-- and they sank. We paid for them, though. And somebody pocketed the profits. It has been estimated by  statisticians and economists and researchers that the war cost yourUncle Sam $52,000,000,000. Of  this sum, $39,000,000,000 was expended in the actual waritself.   This   expenditure   yielded   $16,000,000,000   in   profits.   That   is   how   the   21,000billionaires and millionaires got that way. This $16,000,000,000 profits is not to be sneezedat. It is quite a tidy sum. And it went to a very few. The Senate (Nye) committee probe of the munitions industry and its wartime profits, despiteits sensational disclosures, hardly has scratched the surface. Even  so,  it  has  had  some  effect.  The  State  Department  has  been  studying  "for  some  time"methods  of  keeping  out  of  war.  The  War  Department  suddenly  decides  it  has  a  wonderfulplan   to   spring.   The   Administration   names   a   committee   --   with   the   War   and   NavyDepartments ably represented under the chairmanship of  a Wall Street speculator -- to limitprofits in war time. To what extent isn’t suggested. Hmmm. Possibly the profits of  300 and600  and  1,600  per  cent  of  those  who  turned  blood  into  gold  in  the  World  War  would  belimited to some smaller figure. Apparently, however, the plan does not call for any limitation of  losses -- that is, the lossesof  those  who  fight  the  war.  As  far  as  I  have  been  able  to  ascertain  there  is  nothing  in  thescheme to limit a soldier to the loss of but one eye, or one arm, or to limit his wounds to oneor two or three. Or to limit the loss of life. There is nothing in this scheme, apparently, that says not more than 12 per cent of a regimentshall be wounded in battle, or that not more than 7 per cent in a division shall be killed. Of course, the committee cannot be bothered with such trifling matters.
CHAPTER THREEWho Pays The Bills?Who provides the profits -- these nice little profits of 20, 100, 300, 1,500 and 1,800 per cent?We  all  pay  them  --  in  taxation.  We  paid  the  bankers  their  profits  when  we  bought  LibertyBonds at $100.00 and sold them back at $84 or $86 to the bankers. These bankers collected$100 plus. It was a simple manipulation. The bankers control the security marts. It was easyfor them to depress the price of these bonds. Then all of us -- the people -- got frightened andsold the bonds at $84 or $86. The bankers bought them. Then these same bankers stimulateda  boom  and  government  bonds  went  to  par  --  and  above.  Then  the  bankers  collected  theirprofits. But the soldier pays the biggest part of the bill. If  you  don’t  believe  this,  visit  the  American  cemeteries  on  the  battlefields  abroad.  Or  visitany of  the veteran’s hospitals in the United States. On a tour of  the country, in the midst ofwhich  I  am  at  the  time  of  this  writing,  I  have  visited  eighteen  government  hospitals  forveterans. In them are a total of about 50,000 destroyed men -- men who were the pick of thenation  eighteen  years  ago.  The  very  able  chief  surgeon  at  the  government  hospital;  atMilwaukee, where there are 3,800 of  the living dead, told me that mortality among veteransis three times as great as among those who stayed at home. Boys  with  a  normal  viewpoint  were  taken  out  of  the  fields  and  offices  and  factories  andclassrooms  and  put  into  the  ranks.  There  they  were  remolded;  they  were  made  over;  theywere made to "about face"; to regard murder as the order of the day. They were put shoulderto shoulder and, through mass psychology, they were entirely changed. We used them for acouple of years and trained them to think nothing at all of killing or of being killed. Then, suddenly, we discharged them and told them to make another "about face" ! This timethey  had  to  do  their  own  readjustment,  sans  [without]  mass  psychology,  sans  officers’  aidand  advice  and  sans  nation-wide  propaganda.  We  didn’t  need  them  any  more.  So  wescattered  them  about  without  any  "three-minute"  or  "Liberty  Loan"  speeches  or  parades.Many, too many, of  these fine young boys are eventually destroyed, mentally, because theycould not make that final "about face" alone. In the government hospital in Marion, Indiana, 1,800 of these boys are in pens! Five hundredof  them  in  a  barracks  with  steel  bars  and  wires  all  around  outside  the  buildings  and  on  theporches.  These  already  have  been  mentally  destroyed.  These  boys  don’t  even  look  likehuman  beings.  Oh,  the  looks  on  their  faces!  Physically,  they  are  in  good  shape;  mentally,they are gone. There are thousands and thousands of  these cases, and more and more are coming in all thetime. The tremendous excitement of  the war, the sudden cutting off  of  that excitement -- theyoung boys couldn’t stand it. That’s a part of  the bill. So much for the dead -- they have paid their part of  the war profits.So much for the mentally and physically wounded -- they are paying now their share of  the
war profits. But the others paid, too -- they paid with heartbreaks when they tore themselvesaway from their firesides and their families to don the uniform of  Uncle Sam -- on which aprofit  had  been  made.  They  paid  another  part  in  the  training  camps  where  they  wereregimented  and  drilled  while  others  took  their  jobs  and  their  places  in  the  lives  of  theircommunities. The paid for it in the trenches where they shot and were shot; where they werehungry for days at a time; where they slept in the mud and the cold and in the rain -- with themoans and shrieks of the dying for a horrible lullaby. But don’t forget -- the soldier paid part of the dollars and cents bill too. Up  to  and  including  the  Spanish-American  War,  we  had  a  prize  system,  and  soldiers  andsailors fought for  money. During the Civil War they were paid bonuses, in many instances,before  they  went  into  service.  The  government,  or  states,  paid  as  high  as  $1,200  for  anenlistment.  In  the  Spanish-American  War  they  gave  prize  money.  When  we  captured  anyvessels, the soldiers all got their share -- at least, they were supposed to. Then it was foundthat  we  could  reduce  the  cost  of  wars  by  taking  all  the  prize  money  and  keeping  it,  butconscripting  [drafting]  the  soldier  anyway.  Then  soldiers  couldn’t  bargain  for  their  labor,Everyone else could bargain, but the soldier couldn’t. Napoleon once said, "All men are enamored of decorations . . . they positively hunger for them." So by developing the Napoleonic system -- the medal business -- the government learned itcould get soldiers for less money, because the boys liked to be decorated. Until the Civil Warthere  were  no  medals.  Then  the  Congressional  Medal  of  Honor  was  handed  out.  It  madeenlistments   easier.   After   the   Civil   War   no   new   medals   were   issued   until   theSpanish-American War. In  the  World  War,  we  used  propaganda  to  make  the  boys  accept  conscription.  They  weremade to feel ashamed if they didn’t join the army. So vicious was this war propaganda that even God was brought into it. With few exceptionsour clergymen joined in the clamor to kill, kill, kill. To kill the Germans. God is on our side .. . it is His will that the Germans be killed. And in Germany, the good pastors called upon the Germans to kill the allies . . . to please thesame God. That was a part of the general propaganda, built up to make people war consciousand murder conscious. Beautiful ideals were painted for our boys who were sent out to die. This was the "war to endall  wars."  This  was  the  "war  to  make  the  world  safe  for  democracy."  No  one  mentioned  tothem, as they marched away, that their going and their dying would mean huge war profits.No one told these American soldiers that they might be shot down by bullets made by theirown brothers here. No one told them that the ships on which they were going to cross mightbe torpedoed by submarines built with United States patents. They were just told it was to bea "glorious adventure."
Thus, having stuffed patriotism down their throats, it was decided to make them help pay forthe war, too. So, we gave them the large salary of $30 a month. All they had to do for this munificent sum was to leave their dear ones behind, give up theirjobs, lie in swampy trenches, eat canned willy (when they could get it) and kill and kill andkill . . . and be killed. But wait! Half  of  that  wage (just a little more than a riveter in a shipyard or  a laborer  in a munitionsfactory safe at home made in a day) was promptly taken from him to support his dependents,so that they would not become a charge upon his community. Then we made him pay whatamounted to accident insurance -- something the employer pays for in an enlightened state --and that cost him $6 a month. He had less than $9 a month left. Then, the most crowning insolence of  all -- he was virtually blackjacked into paying for hisown ammunition, clothing, and food by being made to buy Liberty Bonds. Most soldiers gotno money at all on pay days. We made them buy Liberty Bonds at $100 and then we bought them back -- when they cameback from the war and couldn’t find work -- at $84 and $86. And the soldiers bought about$2,000,000,000 worth of these bonds! Yes, the soldier pays the greater part of the bill. His family pays too. They pay it in the sameheart-break that  he does. As he suffers, they suffer. At  nights, as he lay in the trenches andwatched  shrapnel  burst  about  him,  they  lay  home in their  beds and tossed  sleeplessly -- hisfather, his mother, his wife, his sisters, his brothers, his sons, and his daughters. When he returned home minus an eye, or minus a leg or with his mind broken, they sufferedtoo  --  as  much  as  and  even  sometimes  more  than  he.  Yes,  and  they,  too,  contributed  theirdollars  to  the  profits  of  the  munitions  makers  and  bankers  and  shipbuilders  and  themanufacturers and the speculators made. They, too, bought Liberty Bonds and contributed tothe profit of the bankers after the Armistice in the hocus-pocus of manipulated Liberty Bondprices. And even now the families of  the wounded men and of  the mentally broken and those whonever were able to readjust themselves are still suffering and still paying. CHAPTER FOURHow To Smash This Racket!WELL, it’s a racket, all right. A  few  profit  --  and  the  many  pay.  But  there  is  a  way  to  stop  it.  You  can’t  end  it  bydisarmament conferences. You can’t eliminate it by peace parleys at Geneva. Well-meaning
but impractical groups can’t wipe it out by resolutions. It can be smashed effectively only bytaking the profit out of war. The  only  way  to  smash  this  racket  is  to  conscript  capital  and  industry  and  labor  before  thenations  manhood  can  be  conscripted.  One  month  before  the  Government  can  conscript  theyoung men of  the nation -- it must conscript capital and industry and labor. Let the officersand  the  directors  and  the  high-powered  executives  of  our  armament  factories  and  ourmunitions makers and our shipbuilders and our airplane builders and the manufacturers of allthe other things that provide profit in war time as well as the bankers and the speculators, beconscripted -- to get $30 a month, the same wage as the lads in the trenches get. Let  the  workers  in  these  plants  get  the  same  wages  --  all  the  workers,  all  presidents,  allexecutives,  all  directors,  all  managers,  all  bankers  --  yes,  and  all  generals  and  all  admiralsand all officers and all politicians and all government office holders -- everyone in the nationbe restricted to a total monthly income not to exceed that paid to the soldier in the trenches! Let all these kings and tycoons and masters of business and all those workers in industry andall  our  senators  and  governors  and  majors  pay  half  of  their  monthly  $30  wage  to  theirfamilies and pay war risk insurance and buy Liberty Bonds. Why shouldn’t they? They aren’t running any risk of being killed or of having their bodies mangled or their mindsshattered. They aren’t sleeping in muddy trenches. They aren’t hungry. The soldiers are! Give capital and industry and labor thirty days to think it over and you will find, by that time,there will be no war. That will smash the war racket -- that and nothing else. Maybe  I  am  a  little  too  optimistic.  Capital  still  has  some  say.  So  capital  won’t  permit  thetaking of  the profit out of war until the people -- those who do the suffering and still pay theprice -- make up their minds that those they elect to office shall do their bidding, and not thatof the profiteers. Another  step  necessary  in  this  fight  to  smash  the  war  racket  is  the  limited  plebiscite  todetermine whether a war should be declared. A plebiscite not of  all the voters but merely ofthose who would be called upon to do the fighting and dying. There wouldn’t be very muchsense in having a 76-year-old president  of  a munitions factory or the flat-footed head of  aninternational banking firm or the cross-eyed manager of a uniform manufacturing plant -- allof  whom  see  visions  of  tremendous  profits  in  the  event  of  war  --  voting  on  whether  thenation should go to war or not. They never would be called upon to shoulder arms -- to sleepin a trench and to be shot. Only those who would be called upon to risk their lives for theircountry  should  have  the  privilege  of  voting  to  determine  whether  the  nation  should  go  towar. There is ample precedent for restricting the voting to those affected. Many of our states haverestrictions  on  those  permitted  to  vote.  In  most,  it  is  necessary  to  be  able  to  read  and  writebefore you may vote. In some, you must own property. It would be a simple matter each yearfor  the  men  coming  of  military age to register  in their  communities as they did in the draft
during  the  World  War  and  be  examined  physically.  Those  who  could  pass  and  who  wouldtherefore  be  called  upon  to  bear  arms  in  the  event  of  war  would  be  eligible  to  vote  in  alimited plebiscite. They should be the ones to have the power to decide -- and not a Congressfew  of  whose  members  are  within  the  age  limit  and  fewer  still  of  whom  are  in  physicalcondition to bear arms. Only those who must suffer should have the right to vote. A third step in this business of  smashing the war racket is to make certain that our militaryforces are truly forces for defense only. At  each  session  of  Congress  the  question  of  further  naval  appropriations  comes  up.  Theswivel-chair  admirals  of  Washington  (and  there  are  always  a  lot  of  them)  are  very  adroitlobbyists. And they are smart. They don’t shout that "We need a lot of  battleships to war onthis nation or that nation." Oh no. First of  all, they let it be known that America is menacedby  a  great  naval power. Almost any day, these admirals will tell you,  the great  fleet of  thissupposed enemy will strike suddenly and annihilate 125,000,000 people. Just like that. Thenthey begin to cry for a larger navy. For what? To fight the enemy? Oh my, no. Oh, no. Fordefense purposes only. Then, incidentally, they announce maneuvers in the Pacific. For defense. Uh, huh. The  Pacific  is  a  great  big  ocean.  We  have  a  tremendous  coastline  on  the  Pacific.  Will  themaneuvers be off  the coast, two or three hundred miles? Oh, no. The maneuvers will be twothousand, yes, perhaps even thirty-five hundred miles, off the coast. The Japanese, a proud people, of  course will be pleased beyond expression to see the unitedStates  fleet  so  close  to  Nippon’s  shores.  Even  as  pleased  as  would  be  the  residents  ofCalifornia were they to dimly discern through the morning mist, the Japanese fleet playing atwar games off Los Angeles. The  ships  of  our  navy,  it  can  be  seen,  should  be  specifically limited, by  law, to within 200miles  of  our  coastline.  Had  that  been  the  law  in 1898  the Maine would  never have gone toHavana Harbor. She never would have been blown up. There would have been no war withSpain with its attendant loss of  life. Two hundred miles is ample, in the opinion of  experts,for  defense  purposes.  Our  nation  cannot  start  an  offensive  war  if  its  ships  can’t  go  furtherthan 200 miles from the coastline. Planes might be permitted to go as far as 500 miles fromthe  coast  for  purposes  of  reconnaissance.  And  the  army  should  never  leave  the  territoriallimits of our nation. To summarize: Three steps must be taken to smash the war racket. 1.  We must take the profit out of war. 2.   We must permit the youth of  the land who would bear arms to decide whether or notthere should be war. 3.  We must limit our military forces to home defense purposes.
CHAPTER FIVETo Hell With War!I  am  not  a  fool  as  to  believe  that  war  is  a thing of  the past. I know the people do  not wantwar, but there is no use in saying we cannot be pushed into another war. Looking back, Woodrow Wilson was re-elected president in 1916 on a platform that he had"kept  us  out  of  war"  and  on  the  implied  promise  that  he  would  "keep  us  out  of  war."  Yet,five months later he asked Congress to declare war on Germany. In  that  five-month  interval  the  people  had  not  been  asked  whether  they  had  changed  theirminds. The 4,000,000 young men who put on uniforms and marched or sailed away were notasked whether they wanted to go forth to suffer and die. Then what caused our government to change its mind so suddenly? Money. An allied commission, it may be recalled, came over shortly before the war declaration andcalled  on  the  President.  The  President  summoned  a  group  of  advisers.  The  head  of  thecommission spoke. Stripped of its diplomatic language, this is what he told the President andhis group: "There  is no  use  kidding ourselves any longer. The cause of  the allies is lost. We now owe you(American    bankers,    American    munitions    makers,    American    manufacturers,    Americanspeculators, American exporters) five or six billion dollars. If  we  lose  (and  without  the  help  of  the  United  States  we  must  lose)  we,  England,  France  andItaly, cannot pay back this money . . . and Germany won’t. So . . . " Had  secrecy  been  outlawed  as  far  as  war  negotiations  were  concerned,  and  had  the  pressbeen  invited  to  be  present  at  that  conference,  or  had  radio  been  available  to  broadcast  theproceedings, America never would have entered the World War. But this conference, like allwar discussions, was shrouded in utmost secrecy. When our boys were sent off  to war theywere told it was a "war to make the world safe for democracy" and a "war to end all wars." Well,  eighteen  years  after,  the  world  has  less  of  democracy  than  it  had then. Besides, whatbusiness  is  it  of  ours  whether  Russia  or  Germany  or  England  or  France  or  Italy  or  Austrialive  under  democracies  or  monarchies?  Whether  they  are  Fascists  or  Communists?  Ourproblem is to preserve our own democracy. And  very  little,  if  anything,  has  been  accomplished  to  assure  us  that  the  World  War  wasreally the war to end all wars. Yes, we have had disarmament conferences and limitations of  arms conferences. They don’tmean  a  thing.  One  has  just  failed;  the  results  of  another  have  been  nullified.  We  send  our professional  soldiers  and  our   sailors  and  our   politicians  and  our  diplomats  to  theseconferences. And what happens?
The professional soldiers and sailors don’t want to disarm. No admiral wants to be without aship. No general wants to be without a command. Both mean men without jobs. They are notfor  disarmament.  They  cannot  be  for  limitations  of  arms.  And  at  all  these  conferences,lurking in the background but all-powerful, just the same, are the sinister agents of those whoprofit  by  war.  They  see  to  it  that  these  conferences  do  not  disarm  or  seriously  limitarmaments. The chief aim of any power at any of these conferences has not been to achieve disarmamentto prevent war but rather to get more armament for itself and less for any potential foe. There is only one way to disarm with any semblance of  practicability. That is for all nationsto  get  together  and  scrap  every  ship,  every  gun,  every  rifle,  every  tank,  every  war  plane.Even this, if it were possible, would not be enough. The next war, according to experts, will be fought not with battleships, not by artillery, notwith rifles and not with machine guns. It will be fought with deadly chemicals and gases. Secretly each nation is studying and perfecting newer and ghastlier means of annihilating itsfoes  wholesale.  Yes,  ships  will  continue  to  be  built,  for  the  shipbuilders  must  make  theirprofits.  And  guns  still  will  be  manufactured  and  powder  and  rifles  will  be  made,  for  themunitions  makers  must  make  their  huge  profits.  And  the  soldiers,  of  course,  must  wearuniforms, for the manufacturer must make their war profits too. But victory or defeat will be determined by the skill and ingenuity of our scientists. If  we  put  them  to  work  making  poison  gas  and  more  and  more  fiendish  mechanical  andexplosive  instruments  of  destruction,  they  will  have  no  time  for  the  constructive  job  ofbuilding  greater  prosperity  for  all  peoples.  By  putting  them  to  this  useful  job,  we  can  allmake more money out of peace than we can out of war -- even the munitions makers. So...I say, TO HELL WITH WAR!