Top Military Man Invokes the Occupy Movement in 1933

General Butler addressed the Bonus Army in Washington D.C. in 1933, as they “occupied” D.C. to demand compensation for their service to the country:

Smedley Butler from Louis Proyect on Vimeo.

General Butler invoked the 99% movement, telling the veterans:

We are divided, in America, into two classes: The Tories on one side, a class of citizens who were raised to believe that the whole of this country was created for their sole benefit, and on the other side, the other 99 per cent of us, the soldier class, the class from which all of you soldiers came. That class hasn’t any privileges except to die when the Tories tell them. Every war that we have ever had was gotten, up by that class. They do all the beating of the drums. Away the rest of us go. When we leave, you know what happens. We march down the street with all the Sears-Roebuck soldiers standing on the sidewalk, all the dollar-a-year men with spurs, all the patriots who call themselves patriots, square-legged women in uniforms making Liberty Loan speeches. They promise you. You go down the street and they ring all the church bells. Promise you the sun, the moon, the stars and the earth,–anything to save them. Off you go. Then the looting commences while you are doing the fighting. This last war made over 6,000 millionaires. Today those fellows won’t help pay the bill.

Indeed, veterans today support the 99% movement. They understand … just as General Butler understood.

As Butler wrote:

WAR is a racket. It always has been.

It is possibly the oldest, easily the most profitable, surely the most vicious. It is the only one international in scope. It is the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives.

A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of the people. Only a small “inside” group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few, at the expense of the very many. Out of war a few people make huge fortunes.

In the World War [i.e. WWI] a mere handful garnered the profits of the conflict. At least 21,000 new millionaires and billionaires were made in the United States during the World War. That many admitted their huge blood gains in their income tax returns. How many other war millionaires 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 of them spent sleepless, frightened nights, ducking shells and shrapnel and machine gun bullets? How many of them parried a bayonet thrust of an enemy? How many of them were wounded or killed in battle?

Out of war nations acquire additional territory, if they are victorious. They just take it. This newly acquired territory promptly is exploited by the few — the selfsame few who wrung dollars out of blood in the war. The general public shoulders the bill.

(Watch an actor read Butler’s dramatic speech.)

No wonder the 1% persecute pacifists: they threaten the world’s most profitable game.

No wonder – as Nazi leader Hermann Goering noted – the war profiteers are always trying to trick the people into supporting war:

Why of course the people don’t want war … But after all it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship … Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.

Category: Think Tank, Wages & Income, War/Defense

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4 Responses to “The Original 99% Movement”

  1. thetruthseeker says:

    If you are quoting Smedley Butler, then you better be supporting Ron Paul. All other candidates are cogs in the military-industrial complex, including Heir Obama. And no, I don’t think it is a stretch to call him that when his administration has presided over the assassination of American citizens without trial, whether involved in terrorism or not. Not to mentione passions the NDAA, or conducting an illegal “kinetic military action” in Libya. When it comes to foreign policy, Obama is Bush 2.0.

  2. blueskysabove says:

    Ha ha. Ron Paul maybe sincere in his believes. Though he is 85% the same or more with the other republican GOP/TP crazies.

    He advocates the gold standard. It does not work. It leads to less jobs. That is the problem.

    Occupy Wall Street should have this guy as the Poster. He is not only a war hero but he can show that the rich have been living high on the hog while the rest are told to make sacrifices.

    Am I against the Capitalism or free markets? Yes and No. Though when you pay one guy millions and another can’t even earn enough to pay for medical insurance. The system is rigged.

    The pension funds are managed by executives called fund managers. These same people vote more executives on the boards and then we get executives literally voting on executive pay.

    You wonder why failed deadbeat executives get on destroy corporations.
    Do you remember Hoover and Eastman Kodak?
    All the failure. We get huge sums of cash going to these failures and criminals.

    Its a scam.

  3. blueskysabove says:

    The other thing to remember for the most part. That executives are just employees and are not any more important then other employees.
    Though these people sell out secrets and steal and theft and commit all kinds of outrageous criminal offenses. THese include the asbestos diseasters and have a hand in oversight of one disaster after another.
    Yet they are not held accountable. Who pays? The corporation ? Who owns the corporation? the pension funds? Who pays?
    Look at this 5.2 Trillion in 401ks 2008, 2.6 trillion 2011. Who pays? 55 million americans with 401ks pay.
    These guys are not held accountable and get away with the criminality.


    BR: executives are just employees?
    So the teller is as culpable as the person who ordered the robo signing?

    Sorry, I dont buy it

  4. blueskysabove says:

    Can you handle the truth? Smedley butler , more footage.
    The only documentary where there is no back peddling by revisionist historians that are really fascists.
    The others I know off present it as that the charges were not so serious.
    The congress found it to be real and present danger.

    Occupy Wall Street. If you want to get the 1%. Watch these videos from the BBC. Take a risk and find the truth.