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Philip Dru: Administrator- A Story of Tomorrow, 1920-1935 Paperback – 1998
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Philip Dru: Administrator is a political fantasy novel about a military overthrow of the United States government and its Constitution. Its significance rests upon the fact that the novel represents the "political and ethical faith" of the most influential presidential advisor in American History, Edward Mandell House. House was a close adviser to Presidents Woodrow Wilson and Franklin Roosevelt. Wilson called House his "alter ego" and much of the economic program outlined in Dru can be found in Roosevelt's New Deal. It has been said that House "copyrighted fascism" before Mussolini took power in Italy. House was not adverse to the allegation, writing in 1935 that he had "anticipated Mussolini by several years" in the midst of an article which heeped praise upon Il Duce. Dru has had a greater impact on American government then the Communist Manifesto, Mein Kampf or any other tract of political extremism, yet by comparison, Dru is unknown. Philip Dru: Administrator belongs on the short shelf of any American interested in public affairs.
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Aside from the lifeless love story, there is more importantly a disturbing story of dictatorship offered as self-sacrifice on Dru's part. Philip Dru single-handedly amasses an army, challenges the current presidency of the United States, and wins dictatorship through his military victory. Of course, he considers himself to be only an "Administrator" of justice, and contends that he will step down once order has been restored. He believes that man will be enlightened by his leadership and reborn in a spirit of love and brotherhood.
He believes that the Materialists, such as Darwin, Huxley, and Wallace; got it right, but didn't go far enough. He believes that with the Enlightenment that he intends to bring to man, via his dictatorship, that man will no longer have bad thoughts, they will in fact be cured mentally and physically, and the world's redemption will have been brought. There's this word that starts with an "M"...mega...megalo...oh, yes Megalomaniac.
I found it comedic that while he is tending to the poor, he refuses to live among them because "he feared he might become too absorbed in those immediately around him...His purpose was not so much to give individual help as to formulate some general plan." What a Saint indeed or perhaps the original community organizer. He believes that in order to "convince and convert" followers of his creed, he must "veil" his thoughts and "curb" his enthusiasm so that others will think he is reasonable.
Granted, there are many points that Dru makes throughout the book that I find agreeable. For instance, collusion between the government and big business that is detrimental to the People. That government is indeed a machine that can be bought. That the government is run secretly by few behind the scenes. He made some interesting points about the Union's lack of helping former slaves after the Civil War, questioning the North's motive for going to war, was it specifically a slavery issue or more a financial plunder of the South?
After a few moments of contemplation on these matters, the book returns to Dru's destruction of the Constitution in order to make it more perfect. He insures the American people that he has no desire to dictate, but it is for their own good. It is a distasteful choice to make, but this radical step is necessary in order to purge the government of abuses. He assured the people that he was free from personal ambition and magically no one doubted his word and they all pledged their loyalty to him. Yay! Yay! Cheers! Loud yelling, happy faces, victorious gestures! God bless us everyone.
He then increases the military and sets on a course for world imperialism...for the world's own good. The world is essentially divided between the U.S., Great Britain, Japan, and Germany. While dominating the world, he also finds the time to rewrite the American Constitution, requesting insight from foreign advisors. States' Rights are ended as well as Union strikes. A flexible currency replaces the gold-standard. He becomes best buddies with Selwyn, the character he previously disliked because of all of his political strength and puppets.
Dru pursues a second war, now with Mexico and various Central American countries. America wins the battle, rewrites the Mexican constitution, lumps all the Central American countries into one, and re-educates the people to make them "ready for democracy", so to say. Insert snide remark about modern foreign policy similarities here. He then steps away from his 7 year dictatorship, runs away with Gloria, they live happily ever after. The End.
One good point that is made is that people get as good a government as they deserve. As long as people remain indifferent about those running their day to day lives, the Edward Mandell Houses of the world will indeed bring recompense for their apathy. Indifferent people will be led into various wars, will have their money replaced by fiat, and their constitutions rewritten by a Plutocratic coterie for private interests.
This is not spelled out at the end, but when everything is "perfect"........Well, we can only surmise....... It smacks of, well, you'll see.
The characters are simple, but provocative. The plot is relatively simple, thus understandable.
All in all, interesting characters, interesting plot, and terribly thought-provoking.
In this book House writes of a supposed "benevolent dictator" in Phillip Dru. As Dru over throws the American Government he implements a graduated income tax (The IRS), forms a "League of Nations" (which Wilson attempted a few years after Dru was written but wasn't accepted until it was renamed the United Nations years after Wilson was out of office. Again the book is written in 1911.), sets up a system very much like social security, and eventually conquers Mexico and brings all the Latino countries together into one government (almost like what were seeing with all the NAFTA's, Gatt's, and North American Union talk). After completing House's painful attempt at fiction one can't help but to conclude that for the most part he's been successful. House has slowly tricked the American People into believing that fascism is capitalism. House also established (created) a group called the Council on Foreign Relations. How is this significant? Well this small group has its members in all the important places in government and media (You know like all the top media are members, and yes FOX news big wig Rupert Murdock is a CFR member). Lastly, don't forget that the end game of House's desires is world goverment. Now, I ask you how important is this book?
Don't believe me? Here are some quotes I and a friend of mine have taken from the book.
" This feeling will grow, it is growing, and when it comes to full frution, the world will find but little difficulty in attaining a certain measure of altruism. I agree with you that this much to be desired state of society cannot be altogether reached by laws, however drastic. Socialism as dreamed of by Karl Marx cannot be entirely brought about by a comprehensive system of state ownership and by the leveling of wealth. If that were done without a spiritual leavening, the result would be largely as you suggest."
The following quotes I pulled from the internet (to save time). I have verified their accuracy to the text. Much thanks to Stephen T. McCarthy for allowing me to use them.
Chapter XII - "Selwyn Seeks A Candidate"
Selwyn then began carefully scrutinizing such public men in the States known as presidential cradles, as seemed to him eligible. By a process of elimination he centered upon two that appeared desirable.
One was James R. Rockland, recently elected Governor of a State of the Middle West. The man had many of the earmarks of a demagogue, which Selwyn readily recognized, and he therefore concluded to try him first.
. . .
Selwyn settled back in his chair, nodding his approval and telling himself that he would not need to seek further for his candidate.
At Rockland's earnest solicitation he remained over another day. The Governor gave him copies of his speeches and messages, so that he could assure himself that there was no serious flaw in his public record.
Selwyn cautioned him about changing his attitude too suddenly. "Go on, Rockland, as you have done in the past. It will not do to see the light too quickly. You have the progressives with you now, keep them and I will let the conservatives know that you think straight and may be trusted.
"We must consult frequently together," he continued, "but cautiously. There is no need for anyone to know that we are working together harmoniously. I may even get some of the conservative papers to attack you judiciously. It will not harm you. But, above all, do nothing of importance without consulting me.
"I am committing the party and the Nation to you, and my responsibility is a heavy one, and I owe it to them that no mistakes are made."
"You may trust me, Senator," said Rockland. "I understand perfectly."
Chapter XIV - "The Making Of A President"
Selwyn now devoted himself to the making of enough conservative senators to control comfortably that body. The task was not difficult to a man of his sagacity with all the money he could spend.
. . .
It was a fascinating game to Selwyn. It appealed to his intellectual side far more than it did to his avarice. He wanted to govern the Nation with an absolute hand, and yet not be known as the directing power.
. . .
In the meantime his senators were being elected, the Rockland sentiment was steadily growing and his nomination was finally brought about by the progressives fighting vigorously for him and the conservatives yielding a reluctant consent. It was done so adroitly that Rockland would have been fooled himself, had not Selwyn informed him in advance of each move as it was made.