I was a racketeer for Capitalism

"I spent 33 years and 4 months in active service as a member of our country's most agile military force -- the Marine Corps. I served in all commissioned ranks from a second lieutenant to Major-General. And during that period I spent most of my time being a high-class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and for the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer for Capitalism...

"Thus I helped make Mexico...safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in...I helped purify Nicaragua for the international banking house of Brown Brothers in 1909-12. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for American sugar interests in 1916. I helped make Honduras 'right' for American fruit companies in 1903. In China in 1927 I helped see to it that Standard Oil went its way unmolested.

"During those years, I had, as the boys in the back room would say, a swell racket. I was rewarded with honors, medals, promotion. Looking back on it, I feel I might have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three city districts. We...operated on three continents."


-- U.S. Major General Smedley Butler, Common Sense (1935).

Nabbed from here.

Comments

Barbara said…
So it would appear that it's been this way for a long time, yes?
TorAa said…
Some might say: A selfish playground?
Richard said…
barbara: I am sure it has been like this since humans first formed small groups.

Just to clarify, my choice of passage was not to take a jab at the US, but to simply pick a fairly modern and relevant passage of human behaviour. I could have just as easily chosen a different passage, from a different era. I liked the way this one was worded.

tora: according to evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins, all organisms are fundamentally selfish and proceed from that basis. Their objective is to ensure genetic propagation of their genes (or family of genes) to the next generation. This provides an explanation of why humans cluster into groups and are fanatical about protecting their group. Whether grouping occurs at the national, religious, linguistic, racial, sports team, etc... level.
ghee said…
well,he was a real racketeer!
and for 33 looong years!
Richard said…
ghee: it was how he saw himself in teh end.
steve said…
This speaks to thoughts i have, yet unformed, about what we think we are dong in Iraq, and why those folks that call that region home don't much like us there. We are greedy and have a huge hunger for property.
Came over from Motherof and Barbara...I've often admired your comments...
Richard said…
steve: thanks for dropping by and leaving a comment. I think when you don't know the people whose blog you are commenting on, it helps to be a little extra thoughtful.

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