The year was 1906, and President Teddy Roosevelt had read enough enough exposés about the corruption that was rife in government, and so on April 14 he gave a speech titled "The Man with the Muck-Rake."
His inspiration for his title came from John Bunyan's 1678 novel called 'Pilgrim's Progress'. That story is about a man raking muck, but who is so engrossed in his work that he can't see that not everyone and everything is corrupt. So Teddy Roosevelt interpreted this to mean that "the men with the muck rakes are often indispensable to the well being of society; but only if they know when to stop raking the muck."
In plain language that means that if investigative journalism leads to your door, then the investigation should stop immediately, or, "don't do as I do, do as I say." It has been written of Teddy Roosevelt that he was not a 'Trust-Buster', but a Trust Regulator. In other words, Rockefeller's empire which had been founded in Ohio, and with the help of Ida Tarbell smashed into pieces, was then regrouped structurally under a variety of names. They were registered in a variety of states, so that people who were then seen pulling various strings of business under different names, all continued on their individual merry ways to their appointed various banks which held the various assets of what had been previously identified as a single entity.
This was the game called Big Oil which powered motors fitted in vehicles that delivered fuel to generating plants for the combines which controlled the generation of electricity and all of the many things that electricity can power, including the manufacture of petroleum powered motors. Once this racket began, it became impossible to stop it. It was not the products that were at fault but the people who engaged in boodling, because they not only passed the laws to control oil production, but they also had control of taxpayer money that was paid out in the form of government contracts. That money all passed through the boodling hands of bureaucrats.
Big business, which is what Trusts are, needs big money to be successful, and big money comes from big bank accounts, and one of the largest bank accounts is owned by the United States Treasury. You gain access to it via government contracts, and you gain contracts via politicians, and you gain access to politicians by kick-backs from your business ventures: "You scratch my back, and I'll scratch yours."
In the days when Teddy Roosevelt carried his big stick and bossed people around, muckrakers descended upon State after State in search of "boodlers". They are the people engaged in graft who corrupt political life in order to achieve personal gain. The muckrakers of the past were investigative journalists who began publishing stories at State level, because at a local State level it was common knowledge that a lot of hands were delving into a lot of State coffers holding a lot of the taxpayers' money, and at State level, a lot of people knew who the boodlers were.
On the surface, Teddy Roosevelt championed capitalist ideology until he discovered that without some form of restraint, gigantic monopolistic Trusts emerged with a primary goal of stifling competition. The free marketplace disappeared. It was no free enterprise.
Investigative journalists discovered that the men controlling the State governments were often bought and paid for by known commercial vested interests, and to maintain office, these guys rigged elections. So people on the lower receiving end of boodling, the taxpayers and employees of the big Trusts began to demand that control of the Trusts be transferred to governmental entitles.
In other words, incompetent bureaucratic bosses who had no idea about how to run a business, became the incompetent managers of the boodling process. The governments just cut out the middle man when schemes of nationalization were touted. Graft was simplified.
In the years that followed on from Teddy Roosevelt, the United States economic system imploded due to corruption, and then another Roosevelt, named Franklin Delano became President of the United States. At first he fell in love with the new approach of an Italian leader named Benito Mussolini who he thought, had taken the best of capitalism and married it to socialism.
Mussolini's form of government adopted the symbol of the fasces, and unfortunately the U.S. has also incorporated this symbolism which had been previously adopted by the French, but its origin belongs to the Roman Empire. However, in 1933, FDR borrowed the then in vogue Mussolini version, to pattern his own 'New Deal' form of government within a government.
FDR's New Deal was an entire system of government identified by its own flag; code of conduct, and presided over by Major Hugh S. Johnson. It was aided by a salute previously introduced by Francis Bellamy when addressing the Stars and Stripes and pledging Allegiance. But when the Nazis adopted a similar version of that salute, it was dropped in 1942 for a hand over heart gesture, and that was only after the USA entered World War II. However, the entire NRA project was a failure, although it did make a lot of tax money available to some very big corporations, which was not exactly the outwardly professed intention of the original New Deal.
Click the banner below to see a film about FDR's New Deal presided over by General Hugh Johnson:
Then a magic show took place.
Instead of scrapping the term 'New Deal' it was sort of reborn sans military general, flag and code. But the commercial, or neo-fascist health of the United States of America was not saved from its economic depression until Japan bombed the U.S. Fleet anchored at Pearl Harbor.
This gave FDR a fresh start by bombing Mussolini's fascist dream of recreating the Roman Empire. Thus Franklin Delano Roosevelt distanced the USA from anything that smacked of Mussolini's fascism, or its bigger spin-off of Adolph Hitler's Third Reich. This was then followed by a long-running Cold War that was fought against the ideology of Joseph Stalin's Communist Empire.
War production in the USA increased the wealth of a lot of good old boys, and it also gave birth to a new generation of wealth seekers who also got their hands into the United States Treasury in order to pay for all kinds of infrastructure projects. Many citizens of the USA basked in the luxury that well paying jobs could provide in the booming Fifties. This was especially true in some areas of Texas where political and commercial power settled on Houston as its base of operations.
Because oil was the lubricant that made the factories and homes of the USA vibrate with wealth, the guys in Houston who controlled the oil, also controlled the wealth, and they also controlled the politicians who controlled Texas and were then sent to Washington, DC to control the USA. But what does this little lesson about the past have to say about today's events that are drowning the USA of 2020 in cries of "voter fraud"?
Although the past may repeat itself in various ways, it is never an exact replica of what has gone before. But there are comparative similarities. Those comparative similarities are what we should now be watching out for, because they may give us hints about the immediate future in 2021.
Here on this Blog we will be taking apart the rogue undertakings of the good old boys in Houston, Texas, and we will continue to reveal how they created and shaped mass media culture in Europe using another kind of warfare called offshore broadcasting. That story is not the same story told by numerous vanity authors reciting tales about the experiences of disc jockeys and spinning records, or even boats pitching about on the North Sea. Their works contain tales of no consequence, but they have fooled millions.
Previous authors have diverted attention away from the real story by concentrating upon fables. But this Blog does not. It scrapes away their muck to reveal the true story. Their fables are merely incidental anecdotes attached to a story that has and continues to affect the lives of millions of people.
It is now time to tell the truth.
Because we are not fettered by any "powers that be", we can almost joyfully "muckrake" as we please while we scrape away fables to reveal the stench of a sinister tale drowning in corruption. It used to be called "boodling".
Happy muckraking with us in 2021!