This Quaker for a Coup

The Business Plot of 1933

In 1933 there was a plan by corporate interests, including JP Morgan Bank, in the United States to overthrow the government of Franklin Delano Roosevelt by coupd’etat and then subsequently reconstruct the United States in a fascist model like was the case with several other countries of during that era.

‘This plot failed.’

Yet only because a certain Pennsylvania Quaker son had the courage to speak out. For had he not done so we would have already been living under the heel of fascism for decades now and been raised – under their education programs.

Yes, this would have meant ‘Industrial (Residential) schools for ALL of us.’

‘You may never have known the difference.’


His name was Smedley Darlington Butler (July 30, 1881 – June 21, 1940)

In 1935, Butler wrote a book entitled War Is a Racket, where he described and criticized the workings of the United States in its foreign actions and wars, such as those he was a part of, including the American corporations and other imperialist motivations behind them.

At the time of his death the most decorated Marine in U.S. history.

In 1933, he became involved in a controversy known as the Business Plot, when he told a congressional committee that a group of wealthy industrialists were planning a military coup to overthrow Franklin D. Roosevelt, with Butler selected to lead a march of veterans to become dictator, similar to other Fascist regimes at that time. The individuals involved all denied the existence of a plot and the media ridiculed the allegations. A final report by a special House of Representatives Committee confirmed some of Butler’s testimony.


An adult male looking to the right in a military uniform; military ribbons are visible.


He became widely known for his outspoken lectures against war profiteering, U.S. military adventurism, and what he viewed as nascent fascism in the United States.


The McCormack-Dickstein Committee confirmed some of Butler’s testimony in its final report. “In the last few weeks of the committee’s official life it received evidence showing that certain persons had made an attempt to establish a fascist organization in this country…There is no question that these attempts were discussed, were planned, and might have been placed in execution when and if the financial backers deemed it expedient.”



The coup plotters were stayed. Yet they never went away. They sat waiting for a new opportunity…





Boot, Max (2003). The Savage Wars of Peace (First Paperback ed.). Basic Books. ISBN 0-465-00721-X. LCCN 2004695066.


Burk, Robert F. (1990). The Corporate State and the Broker State: The Du Ponts and American National Politics, 1925–1940. Harvard University Press. ISBN 0-674-17272-8.

“Gen. Butler Bares a ‘Fascist Plot'”. New York Times. November 21, 1934. p. 1.

Sargent, James E.; Archer, Jules (November 1974). “Review of: The Plot to Seize the White House, by Jules Archer”. The History Teacher (Society for History Education) 8 (1): 151–2. doi:10.2307/491493. JSTOR 491493.

Schlesinger Jr., Arthur M. (2003). The Politics of Upheaval: 1935–1936, The Age of Roosevelt, Volume III (The Age of Roosevelt). Mariner Books. ISBN 0-618-34087-4.




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