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Playlist: Fascism

Compiled By: Harold Nicol

Caption: PRX default Playlist image

Global Fascist movements

Big Oil, Mickey Mouse, and Fascism in Latin America: The Tango War

From WFHB | Part of the Interchange series | 59:01

US oil barons chose Nazism over Mexican sovereignty; anti-Semite Henry Ford fails in the Amazon; the US State Dept formalizes political kidnapping; Catholic bishops save Nazis via "ratlines" to Latin America.

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Let’s start with the fact that what we don’t know keeps on hurting us.

Mary Jo McConahay’s The Tango War fills an important gap in U.S. awareness of World War II history. Beginning in the thirties, both the Allied and Axis powers were well aware of the need to control not just the hearts and minds but also the resources of Latin America. The region’s oil, rubber, and industrial diamonds were necessary to feed the war machines of the so-called civilized nations. The fight was often dirty: residents were captured to exchange for U.S. prisoners of war and rival spy networks shadowed each other across the continent. At all times it was a Tango War, in which each side closely shadowed the other’s steps.

We’ll hear about the Mexican Revolution; about U.S. oil barons choosing Nazism over Mexican sovereignty; about Henry Ford’s anti-semitism and his hubris laid bare in the failure of his Fordlandia rubber plantation; about political kidnapping, or trade bait, by the U.S. State Department called “Quiet Passages; about Walt Disney and Orson Welles as proposed propagandists! And we’ll end with the fact that Catholic Bishops helped Nazis escape arrest because their response against Communism meant supporting Christian Fascists.

These are some of the undeniable complications that lock so many people into actions that make them agents of suffering at the behest of wealth and power as it seeks global resource domination. Business interests often trump all other considerations and are often claimed to stand outside of morality.

SEGMENT ONE
In our first segment we’ll discover how Big Oil contributed to the reaction against the Mexican Revolution and its historic Constitution as it worked to undermine Mexican sovereignty in order protect profits. This Revolution, one you likely have not heard of if you’ve been educated in the United States, has been characterized as one of the greatest upheavals of the 20th century, resulting in an important program of social reform.

SEGMENT TWO
In this segment Big Oil is outmaneuvered by Little Oil in the person of William Rhodes Davis, resulting in Mexico being forced to sell it’s primary national resource to the Germans…thanks to a little help from Fred Koch, John Birch Society co-founder and father of Charles and David Koch.

SEGMENT THREE
In this segment we’ll hear more about Brazil’s rubber resources through the story of Henry Ford’s failed rubber plantation Fordlandia…but he had high hopes; and we’ll find out how a law from 1798 was used to justify political kidnapping by the Roosevelt Administration during World War II.

SEGMENT FOUR
For our final segment we’ll talk about propaganda…and the Good Neighbor Program. Nelson Rockefeller’s Office of the Coordinator of Inter-American Affairs sent Goodwill Ambassadors like filmmakers Walt Disney and Orson Welles to Latin America to share the cultural “goodwill” of the US towards its Southern Neighbors. Can you guess which of these movie directors proved a disappointment to the Masters of War?

GUEST
Mary Jo McConahay is an award-winning reporter who covered the wars in Central America and economics in the Middle East. She has traveled in seventy countries and has been fascinated by the history of World War II since childhood, when she listened to the stories of her father, a veteran U.S. Navy officer. She covers Latin America as an independent journalist. Her previous books include Maya Roads: One Woman’s Journey Among the People of the Rainforest and Ricochet: Two Women War Reporters and a Friendship Under Fire.

MUSIC
The Rudolfo Biagi Orchestra
“Cielo” with singer Andres Falgas
“Cicatrices” with singer Andres Falgas
“Humillación” with singer Jorge Ortiz
“Te Odio” with singer Alberto Lago

Enric Madriguera and His Orchestra
“Aqualero do Brasil”

CREDITS
Producer & Host: Doug Storm
Executive Producer: Wes Martin

Just a Spoonful of America: Prescribing American Studies to Fight Fascism

From WFHB | Part of the Interchange series | 59:02

The idea that art, literature and music in particular, might work as a sort of “Marshall Plan of the Mind” is our topic tonight. At the end of World War II, Located in the heart of Europe, in a castle in Salzburg, Austria, we find a center of denazification and cultural projection hosting seminars on the then newly crowned American Renaissance writers–Emerson, Melville, Hawthorne, Thoreau, and Whitman. Could reading American Literature denazify Germany?

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The title of our show, “Just a Spoonful of America – Prescribing American Studies to Fight Fascism,” might be more than a little ironic given that fascism currently stands astride the planet once again.

Perhaps our music tonight would offer a better chance at a cure. It comes from James Booker’s album Let’s Make a Better World! Live in Leipzig, Germany. 

The idea that art, literature and music in particular, might work as a sort of “Marshall Plan of the Mind” is our topic tonight. At the end of World War II, Located in the heart of Europe, in a castle in Salzburg, Austria, we find a center of denazification and cultural projection hosting seminars on the then newly crowned American Renaissance writers–Emerson, Melville, Hawthorne, Thoreau, and Whitman. Could reading American Literature denazify Germany?

And now, in the wake of the so-called American Century, with the resurgence of fascism in the US, Europe, and South America, we must interrogate the idea of a National Character. Is there actually a representative American identity and if there is, maybe it’s nowhere near as noble and just or democratic as has been conceived? Or is there now a need to de-Americanize the world?

We begin with a recent ending. In an essay for n+1 called “My Fellow Prisoners,” George Blaustein takes a critical look at one particular American character: The late Senator John McCain, a self-styled “Robert Jordan,” the hero of Hemingway’s For Whom the Bell Tolls.

GUEST

Our guest tonight, recorded via Skype from his office in Amsterdam, is George Blaustein, an assistant professor of American Studies at the University of Amsterdam and the author of Nightmare Envy & Other Stories: American Culture and European Reconstruction published by Oxford University Press. His essays and reviews have appeared in n+1and online at The New Yorker.

Blaustein’s book traces what can be called the propaganda program of creating a national identity…what it means to be American…by critiquing its classic example, Margaret Mead’s And Keep Your Powder Dry from 1942, written to support and promote the idea of the American as the good soldier in a just war. Blaustein also highlights the European adventures of F. O. Matthiessen, a gay, Christian, socialist, Americanist professor at Harvard, who also plays a part in shaping the notion of an American Civilization with his books American Renaissance and From the Heart of Europe. But Matthiessen’s own life (especially his politics) and his death are as instructive of the ambiguities in defining America, of being allowed to represent America.

RELATED

My Fellow Prisoners: On John McCain” by George Blaustein

MUSIC 

James Booker was a rhythm and blues keyboardist born in New Orleans, Louisiana. Booker combined rhythm and blues with jazz standards. Musician Dr. John described Booker as “the best black, gay, one-eyed junkie piano genius New Orleans has ever produced.”

Booker recorded a number of albums while touring Europe in 1977, one of which was Let’s Make A Better World!—It was not released until 1991 when it became the last record to be produced in the former East Germany by the record label Amiga, a state-owned music publisher at the time.

  1. “Let’s Make a Better World!”
  2. “One Hell of a Nerve”
  3. “Come On In This House”
  4. “Little Tune for Lefty”
  5. “Black Night is Falling”

CREDITS: Producer & Host, Doug Storm; Executive Producer, Wes Martin

Full Frontal Fascism

From Voices of Our World | 28:01

Christian Conservatives see their traditional values in danger of being erased by countless waves of immigrants, gays, and liberals, they have been pushing their own agenda of intolerance and closed-mindedness even harder.

Default-piece-image-2 Much has been made in the media of a culture war taking places in America today, and since Christian Conservatives see their ?traditional values? in danger of being erased by countless waves of immigrants, gays, and liberals, they have been pushing their own agenda of intolerance and closed-mindedness even harder. This is may be a war for mankind?s eternal souls, but their battle plan also extends to devoutly secular areas such as the media, the courtroom, the classroom, and the bedroom. In his new book American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America, Chris Hedges documents the complex and often quite modern methods used by the Religious Right to promote their extremist and racist ideology under the guise of populist and patriotic rhetoric. Michael Jones interviews author Chris Hedges on Voices of Our World.

Does Trump-ism equal Fascism?

From Lower Cape Communications | 29:24

Ira Wood interviews investigaive journalist Chip Berlet on the Donald Trump phenomenon

Ira_wood_300_cropped_head_shot_small Donald Trump’s run for the Republican nomination has proven that voters are furious. His rants clearly speak for middle class whites that feel non-whites are the recipients of all the privilege they have lost. But are his violent tirades (NYT on 2/23: ‘I’d Like to Punch Him in the Face’) encouraging his followers to beat up protestors reminiscent of Hitler’s rise to power in Weimar Germany? Is he calling for the creation of Storm Troopers, the kind Hitler used to purge his rallies? Chip Berlet is an investigative journalist specializing right-wing social and political movements and trends in the United States and our interview begins with this question: Is Donald Trump a fascist?

Insurrection, Protest, Terrorism, Sedition, Coup

From New Hampshire Public Radio | Part of the Civics 101 series | 09:05

Five terms defined.

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When it comes to discussing the events at the Capitol building on January 6, teachers have risen to the challenge. Meredith Baker, who teaches social studies in Virginia, suggested the first step should be defining five very charged terms. And that’s what we do today.