A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from December 26, 2010
“Fascism is capitalism plus murder”

Upton Sinclair (1878-1968), formerly a socialist, unsuccessfully ran for governor of California as a Democrat in 1934 under the End Poverty In California (EPIC) platform. Sinclair said that he didn’t agree with capitalism or with fascism. “Fascism is capitalism plus murder” Sinclair said, noting the violence of Italism fascism under Mussolini.

A similar quotation is “Fascism is capitalism in decay.”


Wikipedia: Upton Sinclair
Upton Beall Sinclair, Jr. (September 20, 1878 – November 25, 1968), was a Pulitzer Prize-winning American author who wrote over 90 books in many genres. He achieved popularity in the first half of the 20th century, acquiring particular fame for his 1906 muckraking novel The Jungle. It exposed conditions in the U.S. meat packing industry, causing a public uproar that contributed in part to the passage a few months later of the 1906 Pure Food and Drug Act and the Meat Inspection Act. Time magazine called him “a man with every gift except humor and silence.”
(...)
Political career
In the 1920s the Sinclairs moved to Monrovia, California, near Los Angeles, where Upton founded the state’s chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). Wanting to pursue politics, he twice ran unsuccessfully for Congress on the Socialist ticket: in 1920 for the House of Representatives and in 1922 for the Senate.

In 1934 Sinclair ran in the California gubernatorial election as a Democrat. Gaining 879,000 votes made this his most successful run for office, but Frank F. Merriam defeated him by a sizable margin. Sinclair’s platform, known as the End Poverty in California movement (EPIC), galvanized the support of the Democratic Party, and Sinclair gained its nomination.

Wikipedia: Fascism
Fascism (pronounced /ˈfæʃɪzəm/) is a radical and authoritarian nationalist political ideology. Fascists seek to organize a nation according to corporatist perspectives, values, and systems, including the political system and the economy. Fascism was originally founded by Italian national syndicalists in World War I who combined extreme Sorelian syndicalist political views along with nationalism. Though normally described as being on the far right, there is a scholarly consensus that fascism was influenced by both the left and the right.

Fascists believe that a nation is an organic community that requires strong leadership, singular collective identity, and the will and ability to commit violence and wage war in order to keep the nation strong. They claim that culture is created by the collective national society and its state, that cultural ideas are what give individuals identity, and thus they reject individualism. Viewing the nation as an integrated collective community, they see pluralism as a dysfunctional aspect of society, and justify a totalitarian state as a means to represent the nation in its entirety.

They advocate the creation of a single-party state. Fascist governments forbid and suppress opposition to the fascist state and the fascist movement. They identify violence and war as actions that create national regeneration, spirit and vitality.

9 February 1934, Covina (CA) Argus, pg. 6, col. 1: 
Fascism is capitalism plus murder.
-- Upton Sinclair.
Fascism is not an exportable product. it is peculiar to Italy and belongs only and fits only Italy.
-- Benito Mussolini.

Google News Archive
15 September 1934, Indian Express (Madras), pg. 3, col. 4:
Fascism Means Capitalism Plus Murder
Upton Sinclair’s Slashing Attack

LOS ANGELES (By Mail)
Upton SInclair, the novelist and radical broadcast to the nation from Los Angeles describing his victory in the California Democratic primary elections as a signal for the “birth of a new system of Government.”

As a result of this victory Sincalir will be the Democratic party’s candidate for the Governorship of California in the November elections.

During his broadcast he reviewed world politics, stressed the growth of dictatorships and forecast the doom of capitalism. He referred to Germany where an “obscene deagogue seized power and a great civilized nation has fallen into the hands of gangsters.

“I define Fascism,” he said, “as capitalism plus murder. We’ve seen it in Central Europe and I fear that the Anglo-Saxon and the Scandinavian nations are the only ones with a chance to escape it.”

29 September 1934, Los Angeles (CA) Times, “Sinclair in Radio Talk: Former Socialist Declares Democracy vs. Fascism Election Issue,” pg. A14:
The issue in the November election is Democracy vs. Fascism, Upton Sinclair said in a radio address last night. He defined Fascism as “capitalism plus murder, and that’s no exaggeration.”

Google Books
The Communist International, Volume 15
Communist International. Executive Committee
Workers Library Publishers
1938
Pg. 504:
“And now have come Mussolini, and then Hitler, and then the Mikado. I used to be asked, during our EPIC campaign, to define fascism, and my answer was, ‘Fascism is capitalism plus murder.’”

Google Books
Terror in Russia? Two views
By Upton Sinclair and Eugene Lyons
New York, NY: R.R. Smith
1938
Pg. 22:
I used to be asked, during our EPIC campaign, to define Fascism, and my answer was, “Fascism is capitalism plus murder.”

Google Books
Presidential Agent
By Upton Sinclair
New York, NY: The Viking Press
1944
Pg. 412:
“Fascism is capitalism plus murder,"— so the leftwing Rick had declared after his first interview with Mussolini, eighteen years ago.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityGovernment/Law/Politics/Military • Sunday, December 26, 2010 • Permalink