Tag Archives: phony democracy

U.S.A. Has Always Been a Phony ‘Democracy’: Ferdinand Lundberg’s “Sixty Families” (1937)

We are pleased to be able to offer our readers the long out-of-print and legendary expose of the oligarchical nature of the US capitalist ruling class: Ferdinand Lundberg’s “Sixty Families”, published during the Great Depression in 1937.

Lundberg’s very well-researched book revealed how few people actually control the political and economic life of the United States, in complete contradiction to the widespread belief – held principally by the poorly self-educated and therefore pathetically slavish U.S. working class – that the US is an egalitarian, democratic meritocracy, just as the “Founding Fathers” designed it to be.

Of course, the “Founding Fathers” of the USA never designed their government to be anything even remotely resembling a true democracy: they created a dictatorship of the bourgeoisie in which over 70% of the population was disenfranchised because they were either female, black, Native American or simply because they owned no – or not enough – property.

We obtained this copy of the book from the Internet Archive, where it is, as we write, being made available to the world for free.  If anyone wishes to object to our republishing it we suggest that they take up their complaint with the Archive.

We will be publishing each chapter of the book separately and not necessarily in chronological order.  We are reading it ourselves for the first time and will try to bring you the juiciest chapters first.

Enjoy!

[Update, 2 September 2016:  We apologise for the inconvenience – we should have uploaded the Index and the Reference Notes for the book earlier.  That oversight has been corrected. – IWPCHI]

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Lundberg – America’s Sixty Families (1937) – Title page, Acknowledgments, Foreword and Contents

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Lundberg – America’s Sixty Families (1937) – Chapter I – Golden Dynasties and Their Treasures

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Lundberg – America’s Sixty Families (1937) – Chapter II – The Sixty Families

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Lundberg – America’s Sixty Families (1937) – Chapter III – The Politics of Pecuniary Aggrandizement: 1896-1912

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Lundberg_America’s Sixty Families (1937) – Chapter XII – The ‘New Deal’ – And After

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Lundberg – America’s Sixty Families (1937) – Bibliography

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Lundberg – America’s Sixty Families (1937) – Reference Notes

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Lundberg – America’s Sixty Families (1937) – Index

 

 

 

The U.S. Police State was Alive and Active Today in Morton Grove, Illinois!

We were having a nice day today here in northern Illinois, where winter has “come in like a lion” and has no apparent intention of “going out” any time soon.  It was a bracingly cold morning in the thriving metropolis of Morton Grove, Illinois (pop.  23,270). It was partly cloudy, with a weak winter sun trying to break through the clouds; the outside air temperature was 16 degrees F (-9 C) with a lovely breeze cooling things down to a more character-building -1F (-18C).  We decided to stroll through the forest preserve to say hello to the deer herd that hangs out there; but first we went to… (play devil’s triad here) STARBUCK’S! for a cuppa coffee so we could stand the arctic zephyr outside.

We did find the deer, just inside the gate, where they wait for people to come and feed them (there is a small but determined contingent of “nature lovers” who misguidedly persist in feeding the wild deer  human food such as corn chips, Cheez-Doodles and rice, thereby increasing the size of the herd far beyond what the forest preserve can maintain & resulting in many deer vs. car/train encounters which the deer rarely win).  Tried to take a photo of them one-handed but only managed to spill some coffee and drop the camera into the 4″-deep snowpack on the bicycle trail.   This is what resulted:

IMG_20131212_095158

Disgustedly, we gave up on that, seeing that the spilled coffee froze on contact with our leather gloves into little brown globules, and not wanting our hands to freeze to the cellphone in a similar fashion.  The deer herd is there every day and it’ll be there tomorrow, too; waiting expectantly for some dingbat to come and give them some McDonald’s leftovers.  We’ll photograph them on a warmer day.

We continued on our aimless journey of discovery, with the semi-tame deer herd following us close behind.  They had mistaken the spilling coffee for dropping food and had descended on it and lapped it up, and were now following us to see what else we’d bestow upon them.  To their chagrin, we betstowed only imprecations to eat the natural food that exists in abundance throughout the forest preserve and telling them to avoid junk food – and the roads – at all cost. They were not outwardly pleased by this, so far as we could tell.

“It’s a beautiful day here in the ‘Land of the Free!'(TM) we said to ourselves as we merrily shufled our feet through the snow, admiring the little flock of birds that was flying through the tall grasses and searching for seeds by using their beaks to toss the snow side-to-side until they reached the bare ground.  “How can they stand to do that? ” we asked ourselves.  If we put our nose in the snow for 5 seconds, we’d have to go inside and thaw it out for 15 minutes before we could go out again.  Plus, if we had wings, we’d have flown south long ago, anyways!

We continued up to the river, where we looked both ways before taking the popular shortcut across the busy railroad bridge across which runs a couple dozen passenger and freight trains every day.  The river that passes under it (the north branch of the Chicago River) was already almost frozen over.  This is how it looked late last week:

IMG_20131209_101824

As we crossed the bridge, just as we got to the road to the train station, we suddenly heard a large flock of Canadian geese flying overhead – going north!  And of course, being socialists, this immediately brought to mind the importance of any group having not just the right leadership in order to achieve anything of importance, but that they must also possess the correct PROGRAMME of action as well!  Even in the natural world, this is the case, which proves once again how very correct the great pioneers of the socialist movement – Marx, Engels and Lenin – were in attempting to make this point crystal-clear to the working class.  In the case of this flock of geese, though it was clear that they had a good leader capable of organizing a large group of his or her fellow geese into following him wherever he would go (which is probably not easy to do as you would know if you ever tried to keep Canadian geese from shitting all over your lawn), he did not possess a good PROGRAMME of action for the flock he was leading, and instead of leading them South to warmer winter quarters he was unaccountably determined to stay here in northern Illinois where the unusually cold weather will probably kill quite a few of his followers for no good reason at all.  “Truly, there is a lesson in this for the working class!” we immediately realized.  “We must figure out a way to incorporate this important lesson from nature into our revolutionary propaganda at the earliest opportunity!”   (And so we have!  Hey. we’re almost as surprised as you are!)

We continued on our way to the train station, wiser for our absolutely incomprehensible decision to walk in the snow on a day like this.  At the train station, we met a friend who offered to drive us to our destination.  We happily accepted this kind offer.  And this provided us with yet another insight into the benefits of mutual cooperation as elucidated by the socialists over the selfish impulses espoused by the capitalist class!  What an amazing day!  We’re so glad that we decided to walk instead of taking the car!  Otherwise, how would we have…

[Add sound effect of phonograph needle scratching across an LP here]

What the hell is this??  There’s a big, yellow, diamond-shaped warning sign on the road that says: “CAUTION: POLICE TRAINING AREA” – or words to that effect – and then we see this:

IMG_20131212_101113“What the f… is this …?  “NIPAS”?  “Rescue Vehicle”!  The bullshit just never stops here in the US, does it?

A police state “rescue vehicle” full of heavily armed… “rescue-ers?” inside it!  And another one behind the building!  What the f…..?

We went by so fast that we didn’t have time to sweep the snow of our cellphone camera to take a photo, initially.  Our friend the driver decided immediately to pull a U-turn and… go back to take pictures!   We salute you, Noble Proletarian!

We stopped the car almost directly across from the “whatever the hell they ares” and took the first photo; then we heard a police car’s  klaxon blare a couple of times and realized that we had inadvertently stopped right in front of the “commander’s” car.  We pulled up a little and took another one:

IMG_20131212_101116Those aren’t stretchers those “police rescue personnel” are carrying!

Barely resisting the urge to shout revolutionary slogans at these reactionaries, we drove away, expecting to be incorporated into the “training session” at any minute (we weren’t).

So, what do we make of this?  There is no mention of any police training activity for today listed on the Village of Morton Grove’s  website or on the section of that site for their police department.  So what the hell is “NIPAS”, anyway? We’ve never heard of it before.  We were guessing that it was some kind of advanced paramilitary training school the cops had ginned up for themselves.  Well, thanks to the Internets, that mystery is now (partially) solved:

(WARNING: this link goes to a police website!) The Northern Illinois Police Alarm System, or NIPAS , it turns out, is yet another branch of the ever-growing police state of the United States, aka “The Land of the Free”(TM).  Not content to have “just” the local police, the county police, the forest preserve district police, the state police, the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security and the National Guard at their disposal, the extremely cautious, extremely tiny and apparently sleep-deprived capitalist class of northern Illinois has seen fit to create NIPAS.  See if this makes sense to you:

“Northern Illinois Police Alarm System

Sweet logo, huh?  Whose talented 6-year old won the contest to design a new logo for this anti-union, anti-immigrant, anti-democratic quasilegal paramilitary police agency?

Sweet logo, huh? Whose talented 6-year-old won the contest to design a new logo for this anti-union, anti-immigrant, anti-democratic quasilegal paramilitary police agency?

“The Northern Illinois Police Alarm System (NIPAS) represents a joint venture of suburban municipal police departments in the Chicago metropolitan area. Fifteen police agencies created NIPAS in 1983 to ensure effective police mutual aid in times of natural disasters. From these humble beginnings, the system has grown to include law enforcement agencies of 93 cities, villages, and towns in five counties [our emphasis – IWPCHI].

A governing board consisting entirely of police chiefs directs NIPAS and approves its annual budget, [our emphasis – IWPCHI] which serves as the basis for all NIPAS expenditures. Member agencies pay a set annual fee to participate, thus providing both the staff and the finances needed to manage the system.”

Awesome!  It’s a super-police agency not under the control of any civilian elected officials at all!  Completely under the control of the police chiefs themselves!  And paid for from the police budget that the elected officials approve only with the express permission of the citizens, right?  Right?

Check out the cover story for this paramilitary police-state operation:

“BACKGROUND

“In 1982, severe flooding nearly devastated several small communities along the shores of Lake Michigan north of Chicago. Public safety resources, especially those of law enforcement agencies, became stretched to the limit. Although neighboring communities responded with assistance, police leaders realized they needed a better organized system with pre-planned deployment procedures. The following year, chiefs of fifteen police agencies in Illinois’ northern Cook and southern Lake counties established NIPAS through an intergovernmental mutual aid agreement. This legal document authorized neighboring agencies to work together in times of need. In 1988, bylaws formalized the original agreement.”

Oh, well, then it’s O.K., right?  It’s only for coordinating the response to natural disasters!  Read no further, and let our “public servants” carry out their important responsibilities!  “Carry on, police state!  We trust you!” NOT!

Here’s the next two paragraphs, which drop the pretence in the previous one:

“Activating the System

“Whether faced with a natural disaster [“or” – IWPCHI] the unexpected results of a special event, [our emphasis again – IWPCHI] a member agency may request assistance for any situation its command staff believes the agency cannot handle with its own resources. The requesting agency’s incident commander contacts the system’s dispatching center, Northwest Central Dispatch System, and identifies the level of response needed. There are ten levels, each one calling for an additional five officers to respond according to a pre-determined alarm plan. Thus, Level 1 requires five officers to respond; Level 10 requires fifty.

“The dispatch center quickly sends the appropriate number of fully equipped officers to a pre-selected mobilization point within the requesting agency’s jurisdiction. The incident commander also deploys a personnel officer, who records each officer’s arrival and assigns each one as required.”  This thing operates by itself, and is set into motion by one of its police-chief members.  No mayor or town council member needs to be bothered in order to get their prior approval.  The system operates as a 50-strong police detachment that takes orders only from its own internal commanders.  Like a death squad.  Ohh, now we’re reverting to communist scare-mongering again!  Like a bunch of lily-livered chicken-shit commie bastards!

Read some more, and you decide:

“Additional Resources

“NIPAS member agencies have the option of participating in two additional NIPAS programs… a special tactical squad [our emphasis – IWPCHI] know [sic – IWPCHI] as the Emergency Services Team and a special crowd control team known as the Mobile Field Force.” [Source: NIPAS website at: http://www.nipas.org/%5D

Ohhhh…. lol!  We knew it!  God Bless the “Land of the Free (TM)” and it’s gorgeously multifeathered police state!   O.K., we’re in; what the hell is the “Emergency Services Team”?  It was very kind of these young Hitlers to provide us with a link:

[WARNING: this link is to a police website!] “NIPAS Emergency Services Team

NIPAS_Emergency_Services_Team_215_1588-217_1708-218_1851-218_1882

est_badge_logo_subduedThe title of the image for this NIPAS logo is: “est_badge_logo_subdued.png”.  We’ll venture a guess that the original badge did not feature an 18th-century flintlock musket, but a firearm that, shall we say, was more representative of what is issued to these heroes – like a submachine gun.

“Member agencies can deploy the Emergency Services Team for hostage/barricade incidents, high-risk warrant service, major crime scene searches, search and rescue missions, dignitary protection, and similar tactical incidents. The team follows the original principles of NIPAS… agencies pooling their resources to provide the best service possible for their communities, the retention of local control, and cost savings through the sharing of specialized equipment. Member agencies participate in the Emergency Services Team voluntarily. However, if they choose not to supply resources to the team, they may not request its services.”

Ho, ho, ho!  No pay, no play!  If you want to play with THESE toys, you have to be a full member and pay dues!  We wonder how many communities – if any – opted out of participation in this paramilitary wing of NIPAS?

“But wait: there’s more!”

“In 1989, the Emergency Services Team acquired a fully equipped mobile command post, and in 2001, the team acquired an armored rescue vehicle. In 2006, the Emergency Services Team purchased a new fully equipped mobile command post, and in 2010, the team acquired an equipment transport truck. A NIPAS member agency maintains each of these vehicles and equipment.

“Team members are selected through a careful screening process which includes physical agility, media, [our emphasis – IWPCHI] psychological, and interviews. The prospective member must pass a Basic Emergency Services Team course as well as Advanced Emergency Services Team course. Through this selection process, NIPAS is able to provide the best officers possible for emergency response.

“The team is structured in nine units for more efficient use during high risk situations. Each unit has a unique function, although most units are cross-trained to provide back-up in certain situations. Units include coordinator, assistant coordinators, entry, containment, marksmen, negotiations, tactical medical emergency services, canine, and support services.

“The team provides professional, efficient, and cost effective response to high risk situations for its member agencies.”  [Source: NIPAS website at http://www.nipas.org/est.html%5D

LOL! “Cost effective”?  What is this?- a non-cop-union special police force that works for straight-time only?  We doubt it. Here’s a description of a case in Schaumburg where this SWAT team was unleashed on a house full of dangerous terrorists uh, we mean a bunch of young people having a house party:  http://www.ci.schaumburg.il.us/Docs/Press/Pages/SchaumburgPoliceFilesChargesinBarricadeIncidentRequiringESTResponse.aspx

In this case we see how the Schaumburg Police, pissed off that the citizens at the house party – guilty only of wanting to enjoy themselves in a boisterous fashion in the long-accepted manner of  young adults all over the US – refused to kiss the cops’ asses and asserted their Constitutional right not to open their home to an illegal police search.  So, the cops invented the claim that these law-abiding citizens – who by now had probably quieted down quite a bit – were screaming to the cops that someone had been murdered at the party; this in order to justify calling in the NIPAS SWAT team.  Turns out there were no dead bodies and only one minor injury.  This is, in fact, what these SWAT teams are most often used for: to force entry into citizens’ homes when those citizens exercise their Constitutional right to not allow the cops into their homes without a search warrant.

“And if you order right now…!”

Well, as nauseous as all this has made us, we still have at least one more blast of staank to smell before we’re done opening up this rotten carcass of a police state operation, so let’s hand out the clothespins and dig in…. oh, god! The horror! The horror…   JACKPOT!

And YOU thought we were paranoid! Ha! This is a long way from the phony "Rescue Squad" bullshit, ain't it? And holy crap...  they've got a f***** helicopter!

And YOU thought we were paranoid! Ha! This is a long way from the phony “Rescue Squad” bullshit, ain’t it? And holy crap… they’ve got a f***** helicopter!

Or perhaps we should say: JackBOOT?

“NIPAS Mobile Field Force

LOL! We just KNEW there'd be a homoerotic edge in here somewhere!  Here it is!  Men in Tights!  "In days of old, when Knights were bold..."  And again, this badge is a redesign and is entitled: "mff_patch_subdued".  Woner what the original design loked like?  Maybe it had a helicopter on it!

LOL! We just KNEW there’d be a homoerotic edge in there somewhere! Here it is! Men in Tights! “In days of old, when Knights were bold…” And again, this badge is a redesign and is entitled: “mff_patch_subdued”. We wonder what the original design looked like… maybe it had a helicopter on it! Or a burning infidel tied to a stake or something!

Responding to our own caption: We don’t imagine this gang of neo-fascist “knights” even allows “girls” into their treehouse at all.  And they’re showing off their usual police “intelligence” – and respect for the bourgeois revolution that created the United States by overthrowing the remnants of the feudal system of government imposed by England on the 13 colonies – by festooning their insignia with… a goddamned knight in shining armor! And this is the “scrubbed” version of the logo!  Did the original version portray a witch-burning, perhaps?

What a mess!  Now read their PUBLISHED raison d’etre:

“The NIPAS Mobile Field Force was created in the Spring of 1994 to maximized [sic – IWPCHI] the effectiveness of initial response efforts by police when a major civil disturbance occurs. Civil disturbances, union conflicts, public demonstrations, and other events involving large or disorderly crowds require skillful response by police agencies. [our emphasis – IWPCHI]

“Identical to the Emergency Services Team, the Mobile Field Force follows the original principles of NIPAS… agencies pooling their resources to provide the best service possible for their communities, the retention of local control, and cost savings through the sharing of specialized equipment. Member agencies participate in the Mobile Field Force voluntarily. However, if they choose not to supply resources to the team, they may not request its services.

“The social, economic, and political mood of our country, as well as other countries, raised the speculation that the 1990s and beyond may be trying times, and civil unrest could occur. To effectively deal with events such as labor-related conflicts, as well as social and political demonstrations, NIPAS adopted the Mobile Field Force concept. The Mobile Field Force program is designed to provide rapid, organized, and disciplined response to civil disorder, crowd control, or other tactical situations.

“The NIPAS Mobile Field Force provides its member agencies with a planned, organized, and rapid response to:

  • control unruly crowds (either hostile or passive);
  • seal off problem areas, regardless of size;
  • rescue citizens or officers from crowds;
  • clear an area of hostile individuals by use of proactive tactics; and
  • apprehend multiple offenders, if required.

“The team provides professional, efficient, and cost effective response for its member agencies.” [Source: NIPAS website http://www.nipas.org/mff.html%5D

Well, well, well!  Hasn’t this been a lovely morning in “The Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave!”(TM)?   We’ll keep trying to find information on this unpleasant cesspool of police Bonapartism here in Northern Illinois.   We already tried a search for “NIPAS” on Google only to find nothing but police websites and an occasional mention on some of the participating communities’ websites.  The Forest Park police website claims that “NIPAS was formed in 1994 when the World Cup Soccer came to the United States and Illinois especially. With the large crowds and unruly fans that go with world cup soccer games the local towns and villages got together and formulated the NIPAS organization to supplement manpower issues.” [Source: Forest Park Police website at: http://forestparkpolice.net/index-2-3-7.html%5D  They also say that the Mobile Field Force has another name: “The Riot Team” – that is used for defending the Ku Klux Klan’s alleged “right to free speech” when they dare to invade the Chicago region as well as  for dealing with – not at all coincidentally – “immigration issues.”

A professional photographer’s website boasts a series of shots of NIPAS’ “Emergency Services Team”‘s “Entry Team” attacking a citizen’s (hopefully abandoned) house here.

But we have not found a single news article from the bourgeois press analyzing the propriety of the idea of creating a paramilitary police force that is answerable only to its membership – which consists solely of police chiefs!  Isn’t that [un-] surprising?

We have discovered a .pdf from a briefing by a Warrenville, IL cop touting the benefits of joining NIPAS (Warrenville is a tiny town of 13,316 people – why they would ever need a SWAT team is only answerable by someone with a police state fetish).  Warrenville_IL_061013backupF4NIPASwebsite_201306071457327305

The long list of NIPAS member communities is presented below; as we find the NIPAS pages on the various communities’ websites we’ll activate the links:

NIPAS Agencies

As we uncover more info we’ll add it here or, if necessary, in new articles.  And if you, our dear readers, find anything, please send it along!

1) Northbrook, IL budget document showing $34,000.00 expenditure for NIPAS/NORTAF in FY 2012/13 – an increase from $26K spent in FY 2011/12 (page 16)
Northbrook_IL_Budget_2012_2013_09-24_A&FCommitteePacket

IWPCHI