[Ads-l] Saying: Fascism will come disguised as anti-fascism
adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Wed Mar 1 20:30:13 EST 2017
Great thanks to Dan and Stephen. The earliest match I've located is
still February 22, 1936. Here are some more instances. The first one
below ascribes the comment to Bruce Bliven.
H. L. Mencken expressed the same idea in a column dated November 6,
1938. I found the Mencken citation several days ago, but I now see a
note at newspapers.com saying: "clipped by pjreitan 6 days ago". So I
think Peter Reitan found it first.
[ref] 1937 June 22, The Evening Herald (The Daily Herald), Not All
Fascists Wear Funny Colored Shirts (Editorial), Section 2, Quote Page
2, Column 1, Provo, Utah. (Newspapers_com)[/ref]
Bruce Bliven, editor of the New Republic, sagely remarked not long ago
that if or when Fascism ever makes any headway in America, it will
probably be known as "Anti-Fascism."
Incomplete citation: [ref] circa 1937, The Advocate: America's Jewish
journal, Volumes 93-94, GB and HathiTrust Page 71. [This periodical
according to HathiTrust was called "The Reform Advocate" in 1922 and
based in Chicago, Illinois] (Google Books snippet view; Data may be
HathiTrust link: http://hdl.handle.net/2027/mdp.39015080183810
[Begin extracted text]
The late Huey Long once observed that if fascism came to America, it
would come disguised as an anti-fascist movement. The full import of
Long's insight has been realized in the last two weeks in the varied
treatment accorded the anti-fascist declarations of three men
prominent in public affairs. The men were Senator William E. Borah,
Bishop William T. Manning, and America's ambassador to Germany,
William E. Dodd.
[End extracted text]
[ref] 1938 October 11, The Owosso Argus-Press, Section: Editorial, If
Fascism Comes, Page 4, Column 1, Owosso, Michigan. (Google News
Huey Long once remarked that America probably would have Fascism some
day, but, he added, "when we get it we won't call it Fascism we'll
call it anti-Fascism." And Huey's wise-crack is much more worth
remembering than are the revelations of the Dies committee.
[ref] 1938 November 6, The Baltimore Sun, Of The People, By The People
by H. L. Mencken, Quote Page 8, Column 6, Baltimore, Maryland.
My own belief, more than once set afloat from this spot, is that it
will take us, soon or late, into the stormy waters of Fascism. To be
sure, that Fascism is not likely to be identical with the kinds on tap
in Germany, Italy and Russia; indeed, it is very apt to come in under
the name of anti-Fascism. And its first Duce, whether the Hon. Mr.
Roosevelt or another, will not call himself a dictator, but a scotcher
[ref] 1939 June, Harper's Magazine, Volume 179, Fascism for
America–Threat or Scarehead? by Lillian Symes, Start Page 35, Quote
Page 40, Column 1, Harper & Brothers, New York. (Verified on
If a fascist movement ever triumphs in America it will undoubtedly
triumph in the name of our most popular slogan—Democracy, and under
the leadership of some such "friend of the common people" as the late
Huey Long. (It was Huey who prophesied that Fascism would come to
America in the name of "anti-Fascism.") Whoever its angels and
whatever their purpose, it will speak the language of a populist Left.
[ref] 1941 June 2, The New Republic, Blacklist in Action by Willson
Whitman, Start Page 752, Quote Page 754, The New Republic,
Washington, D.C. (Verified on microfilm)[/ref]
It was Huey Long who warned the fascism in this country would come in
the guise of anti-fascism; and before Huey was cold in his grave his
Texas neighbor was attacking the wages-and-hours law on the ground
that it would "establish a fascist bureaucracy."
[ref] 1942 July 13, The New Republic, Enemies at Home, Start Page 55,
Quote Page 55, Column 1, The New Republic, Washington, D.C. (Verified
It was Long who said that when fascism came to the United States it
would come in the name of anti-fascism.
[ref] 1944 February 21, The New Republic, Section: Books in Review,
Who's Fascist Now? by Malcolm Cowley, (Book review of "As We Go
Marching" by John T. Flynn), Start Page 246, Quote Page 246, Column 2,
The New Republic, Washington, D.C. (Verified on microfilm)[/ref]
Huey Long had a somewhat similar idea. He is supposed to have said (it
was in 1933, when he was interviewed by Robert Cantwell), "Of course
we'll have fascism in this country-under the guise of anti-fascism."
The remark has been quoted and misquoted at least a hundred times and
always with implied praise for Huey Long's sagacity.
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