Talk:Business Plot/Archive 1

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What happened to this old page?

What has happened to this page and the old talk page? I was having a discussion with someone about the previous contents of the site, which I had deleted as both npov and copyvio from this page, written by the late Steve Kangas. Then I leave for a few days, and come back to find the article and the talk page completely deleted, and a new article created by User:Cigor, whose only two edits today are on this page. There's no trace in the article and talk history of what was here before. What happened? --saturnight June 28, 2005 17:35 (UTC)

I was surprised as well. Actually, I believe that you were responsible for the deletion. Doesn’t pages with copyvio gets deleted after a week or so? If not, recent upgrade may have to do something with the deletion.
I just got registered today, so this is my first official article. Hopefully there will be more, even though English is not my native language. As for the article I tried to reword some of the text. I also added couple of details. In addition, anybody can verify the quotes from the links provided in the sources.--Cigor 28 June 2005 21:56 (UTC)
Hmm. Perhaps that was indeed what happened. In any case, as I said before the page was deleted (indirectly by me, apparently), the previous page, a straight copy-paste from the link I mentioned above, is still copyvio. I checked with other wikipedians on the Village pump assistance page, and the (c) notice in here is not enough, apparently. So I think the best thing to do is to start anew, using the information in the link and other pages, but without the npov. After all, it is a good article, it just doesn't belong on Wikipedia because of the obvious left-wing slant. I don't mind left-wing slant on a normal page (being a lefty myself), but it doesn't belong on the 'pedia, simple as that. So allegations about the "corporate controlled media" e.g. are out of the question. --saturnight June 30, 2005 09:44 (UTC)
What exactly bothers you? Are you saying that media is (was) not controlled by corporations? Or that putting “corporate controlled” before media is redundant?

This article is just reminder that group of people will take care of their interest which may not be benefiting the whole society. Especially when their position look threatened. Thankfully, right now democracy and capitalism have no real competition. Both communism and fascism are dead. --Cigor 30 June 2005 14:52 (UTC)

In the original version (the same as the one on Steve Kangas' website), I read this sentence: "Even more alarming, the elite-controlled media failed to pick up on the story, and even today the incident remains little known. The elite managed to spin the story as nothing more than the rumors and hearsay of Butler and French." "elite-controlled media" is a big no-no. But that's just one example, really. --saturnight June 30, 2005 15:08 (UTC)


sorry but considering that this has received zero attention in any history books or major media outlets I think a VFD might be warranted. it doesn't help that Butler was a leftist (of ultra-conspiratorial "they did it for the arms dealers!!" isolationist mindset) who gave speeches to the CPUSA. J. Parker Stone 7 July 2005 08:37 (UTC)

Hmmm... if elites don't control media, who does? Plebes? The "People?" The magical free market? The liberal media organs are in fact not-for-profit collectives of idealists striving for the truth? They aren't corporations run by profit-minded businessmen with vested interests in not conducting and supporting risky and expensive investigative journalism? Who controls the media according to right-wing spin? What about the fabled objective POV?

Additionally, the fact that Butler's views are considered "ultra-conspiratorial" should be viewed in the context that Butler himself was an INSIDER. Not some lone, outsider crank, but a General with a lot of combat experience who socialized in elite circles. While it is one thing for some factory worker to spout off on the military industrial complex, its another for a high-ranking chieftain within the complex to make the same statements.

YEEsh The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk • contribs) .

For comparison, and this only one example, look at how much media coverage the findings of the government investigation into CIA involvement in 1980s Latin-America drug production, trade & distribution in order to provide additional funding to the Contras and other paramilitaries got when released in late 1998. - LamontCranston 24 November 2005 01:29 (UTC)

Addendum: A second example, but again one of only many, would be the El Mozote massacre. This one is particularly telling in demonstrating the original Government & Media collusion to not just downplay it but to right it off totally as guerrilla propaganda – “"Mr. Bonner had been worth a division to the communists in Central America" - and demonstrating the resulting consequences for any journalist who says otherwise. - LamontCranston 24 November 2005 02:01 (UTC)

Great Edit

I think this article is in great shape right now, much clearer than the first version I had come across weeks ago.

Trey Stone is still on the warpath to condemn Smedley Butler, a highly-decorated Marine, as a commie and a kook in a classic Guilt-by-Association argument. He also completely fabricated an anti-semitic line out of sheer speculation on the Butler bio page. Keep an eye out for Mr. Stone and his crusade against General Butler.

James The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk • contribs) .

The leader of the A.L. did at least once say he would lead a fascist revolt if he felt the need to.

The leader of the A.L. did at least once say he would lead a fascist revolt if he felt the need to. The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk • contribs) .

i don't know what AL stands for except for American League in baseball. elaborateplz (American Liberty League?) J. Parker Stone 02:23, 14 July 2005 (UTC)

American Legion. What do you know? The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk • contribs) .

Bchan's changes

Hey Bchan I appreciate your changes -- this should not be presented as if it's definitive. But I think you went a little overboard with the "alleged" and "were held to" stuff. Once we've established that it's not established whether this is true or not we don't need to constantly repeat those terms. J. Parker Stone 02:48, 14 July 2005 (UTC)


A.L.=American Legion. The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk • contribs) .

and American baseball league. J. Parker Stone 21:47, 14 July 2005 (UTC)

Is there a problem here? The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk • contribs) .

i don't think so anon. J. Parker Stone 23:38, 14 July 2005 (UTC)

condecention isn't needed. The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk • contribs) .

The American Legion is a nice group now but in the beginning....

At its 1923 Convention, the American Legion endorsed Mussolini. With President Calvin Coolidge in the audience, Legion Commander-in-Chief Alvin Owsley praised Il Duce and added:

"The American Legion is fighting every element that threatens our democratic government--Soviets, anarchists, IWW, revolutionary socialists, and every other red.... Do not forget that the Fascisti are to Italy what the American Legion is to the U.S." The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk • contribs) .

that's great, please source this next time, and in any case it is irrelevant -- the article already mentions the Right's attraction to fascism and the Left's attraction to communism in the '30s. J. Parker Stone 05:55, 24 July 2005 (UTC)

Not sure who posted the above quotes but here are some sources. (Bingham, Alfred M. Insurgent America: Revolt of the Middle-Classes. New York: Harper & Brothers, 1935.)(Seldes, George. Facts and Fascism. New York: In Fact, 1943.)(Holhut, Randolph T. The George Seldes Reader. Barricade Books, 1994.) I beleive this is a more complete qoute.

"If ever needed the American Legion stands ready to protect our country's institutions and ideals as the Fascisti dealt with the destructionists who menaced Italy...The American Legion is fighting every element that threatens our democratic government-soviets, anarchists, I.W.W., revolutionary socialists and every other 'Red ... Do not forget that the Fascisti are to Italy what the American Legion is to the United States." --Fluxaviator 22:37, 13 August 2005 (UTC)

fact or theory

It seems to me that the wording on this page is a bit heavy on the use of words like "theory" and phrases like "historically conjectured conspiracy" in the beginning of the article. Than it seems that towards the end of the page many official US documents are sourced that prove this was, at least, a real plot. Whether it might have been implemented really is not the question here from an encyclopedic point of view. The plot is a fact and should, I think, be presented as such. The depth of the plot, who was involved and its feasibility can be called into question but not, i think, its existence. --Fluxaviator 21:57, 13 August 2005 (UTC)

One way to accomplish that would be to begin the article something like this:

The Business Plot or The Plot Against FDR was a plan to seize power from the President of United States in 1934, described by Major General Smedley D. Butler in Congressional testimony.(source the testimony) According to Butler’s testimony a group of wealthy American business elites hatched the plot to seize power from the elected President of United States, Franklin Roosevelt, in a coup d'etat. The plot was corroborated in Congressional testimony by Van Zandt, Douglas MacArthur, Colonel Theodore Roosevelt Jr., and the former Commander of the American Legion, Hanford MacNider.

(source for names that corroborated the story: Archer, Jules. The Plot to Seize the White House. New York: Hawthorne Books, 1973.)

--Fluxaviator 01:20, 14 August 2005 (UTC)

fact? what fact?

I respectfully disagree. Mere verbal "corroboration" (from whatever source) must be weighed against other historical data before a determination of fact can be made. Corroboration itself is not necessarily valid historical evidence; witnesses can be mistaken, their remarks taken out of context, or they may lie. Add to that the single-source nature of the evidence presented so far to support the existence of the Plot (i.e. the Archer book) and the case for the factual existence of the "business plot" is pretty thin.

A coup d'etat is more than just talk. To effect the downfall of a government as big as the one in Washington requires a military operation of great size and detailed planning -- the sort of size and planning that leave a paper trail or other substantial evidence for historians to analyze. To my mind, while the evidence suggests that some number of wealthy persons disliked FDR's New Deal enough to perhaps flirt with the idea of some sort of extraconstitutional coup, it has yet to be demonstrated evidentially that an actual coup was plotted by them. Did the Business Plot conspirators raise an army -- an actual, physical fighting force? If so, where did this force muster, what did they eat, and who paid them? Did the plotters stockpile arms and ammuniation to be used against the government? If so, where was the stockpile and what materiel was accumulated? Were concrete plans drawn up for the seizure of railroad switching yards, telephone exchanges, military bases, etc.? I have seen no evidence here of any such plans.

Lacking hard evidence of a planned coup, I find it difficult to accept as fact that the Business Plot existed as a serious conspiracy to overthrow the government. The lack of support for the idea on the part of mainstream historians (e.g. Manchester) is further incentive for me to maintain that the Business Plot is conjectural at best. The preceding unsigned comment was added by Bchan (talk • contribs) .

Fist off please leave your signature so that I and others know whom they are talking to.
The article is NOT about the extent of the plot. The article IS about the fact that a plot was described and confirmed by these individuals in specific congressional testimony. This article should NOT be framed in so as to definitively say it happened and it also should NOT be framed to say the plot is “conjecture”. We must look at the evidence and the evidence we have is the testimony given.
Therefore the article should be built around that testimony. Meaning it should use the phrases “described by Butler” and “As stated in congressional testimony” and so on. In this way the article will not be taking a position on the plots existence, it will only be taking the position that these specific people said the plot existed. Is this making sense?
I would also strongly request that all reference to the opinions of others not involved in sources testimony or sourced material be removed from the article.
For instance the phase “Proponents of the theory” does not belong in the main body of the article. We can make two subdivisions (placed after the introduction and other personate information) one from the proponent’s position and one for opponent’s position, and that is the only place this type of language should appear.
So far I have not touched the actual article on this page but I will soon if someone else does not make it more NPOV. --Fluxaviator 07:03, 16 August 2005 (UTC)
i haven't heard of many historians who've given this plot much weight, and as it was not proven it should not be presented as such. J. Parker Stone 07:10, 18 August 2005 (UTC)

Denials are missing. Where are the indictments?

It's not clear from the article who admitted to being part of the conspiracy, who denied being part of it, who died before they were named, or died without comment.

Since this would have been a crime, why wasn't it prosecuted as one? patsw 01:04, 2 October 2005 (UTC)

Straight Dope article

As of today, November 18, 2005, an article about this exists on The Straight Dope web page. It covers it pretty well, and it even mentions Wikipedia. According to the author, the most likely explanation is that this conspiracy did not go beyond a handfull of people and was never a serious threat, which is why we don't hear much about it anymore. --Cswrye 15:05, 18 November 2005 (UTC)

I LOVE straight dope. I will add it to the article, next time you are welcome to do this youself...thanks for info. Travb 02:19, 19 November 2005 (UTC)