A picture of Lawrence Dennis as a boy

Here’s a picture of Lawrence Dennis and his aunt as they were when they toured England in 1910.  In those days he was billed as “the boy evangelist.”  Before long Dennis would be sent from his boyhood home in Atlanta to elite schools in the North, schools where he began passing for white.  After graduating from Harvard, Dennis would serve as a US Army officer in World War I, a diplomatic agent in Central America in the 1920s, and a banker on Wall Street in the days before the Great Crash.  In a series of books published in the 1930s, he would argue that the USA was destined to become a fascist state in which dissent would be greeted with criminal prosecution.  For predicting the end of free speech in America, he would be arrested and tried for sedition in 1944.  I guess that showed him. 



  1. cymast

     /  February 19, 2009

    I’ve seen him labeled a fascist. But I thought he simply wrote about fascism.

  2. acilius

     /  February 19, 2009

    Dennis was a fascist, though he wasn’t a particularly enthusiastic one. In his books THE COMING AMERICAN FASCISM (1936) and THE DYNAMICS OF WAR AND REVOLUTION (1940), Dennis predicted that the USA would inevitably adopt a fascist economic and political system, and said that the thing to do was not to resist this development but to try to make the best of it.

    In his last book, OPERATIONAL THINKING FOR SURVIVAL (1967), he revisited his definition of fascism and concluded that it was an apt description of the economic and political system that the USA had in fact developed by that point. He didn’t mention the word “fascism” in that last book- instead, he said that our system was one “which has no generally acceptable name.”

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