100 Years of Fascist Propaganda: The Lincoln Memorial’s Centennial

The Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. turned 100 on May 30, so I thought I’d add my two cents to all the tributes being paid to “America’s most beloved monument,” as one conservative publication described it.   If you’d like to know what you’re teaching your children and grandchildren to worship and revere when you take them to visit the Lincoln Memorial, I suggest reading a U.S. National Park Service (NPS) publication by one Nathan King entitled “Secret Symbol of the Lincoln Memorial.”  This is the U.S. government’s explanation of the meaning of the Lincoln Memorial.

The “true meaning” of the Lincoln Memorial according to the National Park Service that administers it is represented by a “ubiquitous symbol” that is all over the monument, inside and out.  That symbol is the fasces, a bundle of rods bound together by a leather thong.  This is said to represent “the higher meaning of the memorial and the man.”

The fasces was originally used in the Roman Empire as “a symbol of power and authority,” says the NPS publication.  It “represented that a man held imperium, or executive authority.”  Exercising that “authority” a “leader could expect his orders to be obeyed, could dole out punishment [to those who disobeyed him], and could even execute those who disobeyed.”  That man, in the American tradition, would be Abraham Lincoln in particular, and all of his successors in general.  It means that Jefferson’s declaration in the Declaration of Independence that governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed is null and void.  From Lincoln on forward, government in America derives its “just powers” from itself.  Its “powers” are whatever it says they are.  The word “fascism” of course has its roots in the word “fasces.”

The NPS notes that the “executive authority” represented by the fasces was often enforced in history by “beatings” and “beheadings” if need be.  The fasces that are “depicted all throughout the Lincoln Memorial” imply governmental “power, strength, authority, and justice.”  Not freedom, or natural rights to life, liberty, and property, but governmental “power” and “authority.”  Calling dictatorial fascism “justice” apparently makes it all perfectly acceptable.

The purpose of all this unbridled “power” is to exert “the power and authority of the state over the citizens, commanding respect,” says the NPS.  Respect is not something to be earned, but commanded.  That the American people are no longer the masters of but rather the servants of the state is the “true meaning” of the Lincoln Memorial.  The ubiquitous fasces implanted all over the Memorial are Americanized with cute little images of bald eagles on top.

The Lincoln Memorial was dedicated in 1922 when many of the world’s ruling class elites were infatuated with communism and fascism.  A case in point would be one Richard Washburn Child, a poster boy for American ruling class elitists.  A graduate of Harvard and Harvard Law School, he wrote propaganda pamphlets for the U.S. Treasury during Word War I, and then became a P.R. flack for Warren Harding.  In return for his efforts President Harding appointed Childs as the American Ambassador to Italy, knowing that he was infatuated with Benito Mussolini and fascism.  Childs used his elitist connections to get the J.P. Morgan bank to invest in Italy; boasted of talking Mussolini into his March on Rome; and even ghost authored Mussolini’s autobiography with the catchy title of “My Autobiography.”  He was the most prominent American proponent of fascism, promoting fascist ideas in The Saturday Evening Post.

Around the same time, Winston Churchill was announcing that if he was an Italian he, too, would have donned the fascist black shirt of Mussolini’s minions.  And it should also be said that FDR’s New Deal was in many ways nearly identical to both Italian and German fascism from an economic perspective.  As John T. Flynn noted in The FDR Myth (p. 43):

[Mussolini] organized each trade or industrial group or professional group into a state-supervised trade association.  He called it a cooperative.  These cooperatives operated under state supervision and could plan production, quality, prices, distribution, labor standards, etc.  The NRA [i.e., FDR’s National Recovery Administration] provided that in American industry each industry should be organized into a federally supervised trade association.  It was not called a cooperative.   It was called a Code Authority.  But it was essentially the same thing . . . this was fascism.

The Lincoln myth is the ideological cornerstone of arguments used to prop up unlimited and unconstitutional governmental power in America.  It is supported by both political parties for exactly that reason, which is why its monument is a monument to fascism by the state’s own admission.  By its own proud and in-your-face admission.  It was completed during the heyday of American elitists’ bizarre infatuation with fascism.  They understood that no one in American history was a better symbol of brutal, uncompromising, dictatorial government, Roman Empire Style, than Abraham Lincoln.  This is what any state or collection of states would be seceding from if they should choose to do so.  Perhaps the Southern Confederates knew what they were doing after all.

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