American totalitarianism (1)
Making a pretext of sinking of eight American vessels and of revealing of a “plot” to involve the United States in a war with Mexico and Japan, President Wilson appeared on April 2 1917 before the Congress and asked for a declaration of a state of war and on friday April 6, 1917, the United States went to war. Wilson’s slogan “force, force to the uttermost, force without stint or limit” was a declaration for a “total war and marked the passage from American dictatorship to American totalitarianism. At this juncture, the austere and stern scholar turned, under the circumstances of the war, into one of the greatest of war Presidents controlling every aspect of the war effort maintaining morale at home and abroad, mobilizing the nation for war and fight. The government became dictator over industry labor and agriculture ; it took over the railroads and the telegraph lines, farm production was increased by one fourth and fuel and coal production was raised by two fifths, a colossal shipbuilding program, with more than three million tons in a single year was launched Conscription had been voted putting Under arms some twenty-five million men; Wilson made use of propaganda at home and abroad. From the beginning of the war Wilson waged a wide and aggressive psychological warfare against Germany; He tried to sow dissension in Germany by insisting that the United States was not fighting against the German people but against his tyrannous and autocratic government. The hunt against dissent and “disloyalty” had been implemented and the First World revealed a constant continuity and a logical development between Alien and Sedition Acts of the 1790s and the Sedition and espionage Acts of Wilson’s presidency during the first World War or lately the Smith Act of 1940.