Great masses of aliens

George Creel

George Creel

[The lack of allegiance to the United States of] “great masses of aliens” [who are responsible for] “seditious attacks upon the government and bold disruptions of industry” [constitutes] “a domestic peril that threatens the permanence of American institutions as gravely as any menace of foreign foe.”

– George Creel, future director of the WW1-era Committee on Public Information, explaining in 1913 that strikes and other manifestations of class antagonism in the United States were not a legitimate response on the part of American workers to indigenous inequalities, but that they came about rather as the result of the importation into the United States of ‘foreign’ ideas, ie. Socialism, and that the integrity of American institutions was under a clear and present threat from a ‘radical alien’ [ie radical immigrant] menace. The work of Creel’s CPI and its ability to skilfully demonise its enemies was later cited by Adolf Hitler in chapter 6 of Mein Kampf as the main inspiration for Nazi propaganda.

(Source: Frank Van Nuys, Americanizing the West: Immigrants and Citizenship, 1890-1930, Lawrence; University of Kansas Press, 2002, p. 46.)

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