Woodrow Wilson "They know that there is a power somewhere ..."


Senior Member.
Either way though, Wilson is describing something sinister and subversive, and driving the point home about it. He might as well have called it "Bogeyman".
i think its more along the lines of "nepotism". i dont know if there is a word that means the same if it is just "like minded business associates" vs family.

add: ok might have found one "the old boy network".


Senior Member.
Sorry for the slow response. Got pretty busy. Mike, you have a point; I do agree with the others. Yet I stop at Wilson's use of the word "something". It could be a colorful, ominous charicaturization of a purely monopolistic force, but it certainly leaves open the door of speculation about that. If he did believe that someone was using all this manipulation as a means to an end, he kept his voice just under his breath about it, didn't he. It seems he wanted to say more but couldn't or wouldn't. That's the way it reads to me. When I look at our world, I see a force like that, over the course of known history. As to Wilson's specific period, I wish I knew more, had more specific examples. We have always been taught to see things in certain ways: giant wars as normal, lying politicians as de rigueur, big industry as exciting, money as essential... It is so consistent; examples of this must abound in any period. There is nothing so subtle and pervasive as that which is so big that no one will question it.

Please forgive me for not knowing more about the early twentieth. They don't teach it in schools much, but if you read certain material, you see that war resisters were quelled in that decade much the same way they are in our own lifetime. It was often worse for labor movements And the partnership between military endeavors and business today is not new. Is all this due to simply human nature? No. Humans tend to be more like sheep. These are the actions of wolves. If we take a step back and look at the world, we see the patterns. Looking for context? There's some context.

I do study, but so do all of you. Surely you must see my point.

Okay, I am going to stop with this line of inquiry. We are back to general impressions that you have formed. There is nothing intrinsically wrong with that except it is just speculation as you note.

I am not sure what you mean by "certain material." It is vague and doesn't really suit the purpose of an informed discussion.

I am not sure if the comparison of today's anti-war movement and the 20th century versions holds. You should read Robert Murray's work on the first Red Scare.

You can find a very good discussion of the military and business in the 19th and early twentieth century in ALLAN R. MILLETT & PETER MASLOWSKI, FOR THE COMMON DEFENSE: A MILITARY HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA (1984)


New Member
"New Freedom" is a collection of campaign speeches; Woodrow was a politician; who paid for his campaign ?
Hilair says oh-so-nasty things about wall street, should we take her words as proff of something ?

Woodrow also said:---
"What we propose, therefore, in this program of freedom, is a program of general advantage. Almost every monopoly that has resisted dissolution has resisted the real interests of its own stockholders. Monopoly always checks development, weighs down natural prosperity, pulls against natural advance.

"Take but such an everyday thing as a useful invention and the putting of it at the service of men. You know how prolific the American mind has been in invention ; how much civilization has been advanced by the steamboat, the cotton-gin, the sewing-machine, the reaping-machine, the typewriter, the electric light, the telephone, the phonograph. Do you know, have you had occasion to learn, that there is no hospitality for invention nowadays ? There is no encouragement for you to set your wits at work to improve the telephone, or the camera, or some piece of machinery, or some mechanical process ; you are not invited to find a shorter and cheaper way to make things or to perfect them, or to invent better things to take their place. There is too much money invested in old machinery ; too much money has been spent advertising the old camera ; the telephone plants, as they are, cost too much to permit their being superseded by something better. Wherever there is monopoly, not only is there no incentive to improve, but, improvement being costly in that it “scraps” old machinery and destroys the value of old products, there is a positive motive against improvement. The instinct of monopoly is against novelty, the tendency of monopoly is to keep in use the old thing, made in the old way ; its disposition is to “standardize” everything. Standardization may be all very well,—but suppose everything had been standardized thirty years ago,—we should still be writing by hand, by gas-light, we should be without the inestimable aid of the telephone (sometimes, I admit, it is a nuisance), without the automobile, without wireless telegraphy. Personally, I could have managed to plod along without the aeroplane, and I could have been happy even without moving-pictures.

"Of course, I am not saying that all invention has been stopped by the growth of trusts, but I think it is perfectly clear that invention in many fields has been discouraged, that inventors have been prevented from reaping the full fruits of their ingenuity and industry, and that mankind has been deprived of many comforts and conveniences, as well as of the opportunity of buying at lower prices.

"The damper put on the inventive genius of America by the trusts operates in half a dozen ways : The first thing discovered by the genius whose device extends into a field controlled by a trust is that he can’t get capital to make and market his invention. If you want money to build your plant and advertise your product and employ your agent and make a market for it, where are you going to get it ? The minute you apply for money or credit, this proposition is put to you by the banks : 'This invention will interfere with the established processes and the market control of certain great industries. We are already financing those industries, their securities are in our hands ; we will consult them.' "

also said:---
"What would our forests be worth without vigorous and intelligent men to make use of them ? Why should we conserve our natural resources, unless we can by the magic of industry transmute them into the wealth of the world ? What transmutes them into that wealth, if not the skill and the touch of the men who go daily to their toil and who constitute the great body of the American people ? What I am interested in is having the government of the United States more concerned about human rights than about property rights. Property is an instrument of humanity ; humanity isn’t an instrument of property. And yet when you see some men riding their great industries as if they were driving a car of juggernaut, not looking to see what multitudes prostrate themselves before the car and lose their lives in the crushing effect of their industry, you wonder how long men are going to be permitted to think more of their machinery than they think of their men. Did you never think of it,--men are cheap, and machinery is dear ; many a superintendent is dismissed for overdriving a delicate machine, who wouldn’t be dismissed for overdriving an overtaxed man. You can discard your man and replace him ; there are others ready to come into his place ; but you can’t without great cost discard your machine and put a new one in its place. You are less apt, therefore, to look upon your men as the essential vital foundation part of your whole business. It is time that property, as compared with humanity, should take second place, not first place. We must see to it that there is no overcrowding, that there is no bad sanitation, that there is no unnecessary spread of avoidable diseases, that the purity of food is safeguarded, that there is every precaution against accident, that women are not driven to impossible tasks, nor children permitted to spend their energy before it is fit to be spent. The hope and elasticity of the race must be preserved ; men must be preserved according to their individual needs, and not according to the programs of industry merely. What is the use of having industry, if we perish in producing it ? If we die in trying to feed ourselves, why should we eat ? If we die trying to get a foothold in the crowd, why not let the crowd trample us sooner and be done with it ? I tell you that there is beginning to beat in this nation a great pulse of irresistible sympathy which is going to transform the processes of government amongst us. The strength of America is proportioned only to the health, the energy, the hope, the elasticity, the buoyancy of the American people."