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The New International, April 1936


The Press


From New International, Vol. 3 No. 2, April 1936, p. 64.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for ETOL.


A Nest of Rattlesnakes

[Under the above heading, Editor Charles Angoff writes in The American Spectator (April 1936) in a refreshingly different tone from that employed by most of the radical intellectuals at the present time:]

The united front movement has many excellent things about it, but some of its ideology leaves us in doubt, especially that part which differentiates between good democracies and bad Fascist states. Liberals, progressives, and radicals are asked to “cooperate” with all democracies and to shun all Fascist governments. We agree that Fascists should be shunned, but we see little reason for falling headlong in love with any and all democracies simply because they happen to be democracies.

Good democracies, it seems to us, are often as bad as bad Fascist states. It was the good democracies that plunged the world into the World War and that have been the curse of Europe ever since. Viscount Grey and Raymond Poincaré, champions of democracy, were as much enemies of society in their day as Mussolini and Hitler are now. True enough, they wore evening clothes instead of black and brown shirts, but they played the same dirty game. Their successors have been no better. They have been worse. It was the governments of the Lavals, Herriots, MacDonalds, and Baldwins who were the first to come to the aid of Mussolini and Hitler. It is English and French gold that has kept these two gangsters going, and that gold, to come nearer home, was in large part supplied by New York banks, most of whose directors are such vociferous defenders of democracy at dinners of the American Liberty League.

Without the aid of French gold and the French Army, the Fascist regimes of Poland, Rumania, Bulgaria, and Yugoslavia could not last a day. Hitler and Mussolini are dangerous to the peace of the world, but the major European democracies are no less dangerous. They are just as greedy for conquest. They are just as nefarious in their diplomacy. And they are arming at least as heavily. France, in fact, is more heavily armed than Germany, and we have a feeling that if all the facts were known we would find that our own armaments could stack up very well beside those of France.

“Cooperating” with such democracies thus becomes a mockery. They robbed all of Africa. They are trying to steal most of Asia. They are making inroads into South America. They started the World War and then inflicted the Versailles Treaty upon the world. They have worked hand in glove with Hitler and Mussolini. How on earth can you “cooperate” with such a nest of rattlesnakes?

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