Creeping Fascism

June 20, 1952 — The Spokesman-Review

The Mossadegh Project | October 31, 2018                   

Juan Perón (1895-1974), President of Argentina

The slow erosion of civil liberties a la Argentine autocrat Juan Perón was a teachable moment for Americans in the view of this Spokane, Washington newspaper.

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Harry Truman letters, speeches, etc.

An Object Lesson For All Americans

Loss of liberty is a gradual process, for men can only be deprived of it when caught napping and too thoughtless to save themselves. Dictator Juan Peron in Argentina is demonstrating this truth.

Having closed up the newspapers, except those he could control or steal, he deprived his subjects of any means of learning what is said and done in the Argentine congress except by consulting the official record. Now he has shut the door on even that means of listening in on congressional debates, for he has ordered that only an abridged and censored record be published in the future.

There remains but one source of information for the public. They can sit in the galleries and listen, then go out and spread the report of what they have heard.

Obviously the next step, and it can be expected any day now, is for the dictator to silence the opposition in congress so that his acts will never be questioned. That should be easy. It the example of what has happened to administration critics in nazi Germany and Soviet countries is not enough, the means that Hitler and Stalin have used can be applied to insure silence and cooperation.

Americans should watch the disappearance of liberty in the Argentine with alert interest. Here, in our time, is being unfolded before our eyes and rather close to home the process by which great countries are reduced to slavery for a gang which has acquired power in the federal government.

The fact that here we have yet seen only the early steps in the process—the suppression of state rights, restriction of free enterprise, and dictation of too much of the personal lives of individuals—should not fool the citizens of the United States. Dictatorships make progress more and more rapidly as they solidify their control over the nation.

Richard Stokes’ Second Thoughts on Iranian Oil (1951)
Richard Stokes' Letter to Clement Attlee, Aga Khan Concurs (1951)


Related links:

Pres. Harry Truman Is As Bad As Juan Perón, Writes Lady | Chicago Tribune (Oct. 1951 letter)

Some of the Lights Come On Again | The Cleveland Plain Dealer, February 12, 1956

Hague Considers Iran Oil Question | The Spokesman-Review, June 23, 1952

MOSSADEGH t-shirts — “If I sit silently, I have sinned”

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