Friday, January 27, 2006
Henry Ford (1863-1947)
by Richard E. Noble
Henry Ford is one of those positive/negative type guys. No sooner do you read something good about him than you pick up something else that paints him as a demon.
Positive: Henry manufactured an automobile, by an assembly line process, paid his workers an astounding five dollars a day, and produced an automobile that even the workers in his factories could afford to buy. He was a popular national and world hero - a super-wealthy capitalist but yet, the champion of the wage earner and the working class.
Negative: His assembly line process was a stab in the back to craftsmanship and the organized labor force of the day. His system reduced the laborer to a machine. Any bonehead could work on his assembly line, no skilled labor required. His assembly lines were sophisticated, modern, industrialized torture chambers.
He paid five dollars a day not because he was a generous man and wanted to improve the plight of the workingman but because he couldn’t get anybody to work at his boring, monotonous, regimented factory assembly line for more than a short period of time. People felt the work demeaning, and insulting to their intelligence.
No worker at the factory was allowed to learn the whole process, therefore hampering anyone from working for Henry for a year or two and then opening up an Oldsmobile plant in the neighborhood.
Positive: Henry was a peace loving man who advocated against World War I. At one point, he actually sent some sort of peace ship to Europe, in hope of preventing or stopping the war. He didn’t believe in charity, but paid generously and even over paid for items that he wanted to collect for his famous museum - a kindhearted capitalist.
Negative: Somewhere along the assembly line Henry determined that the Jews were the curse of mankind. He published a newspaper out of Dearborn, Michigan through which he “informed” the general public of a “Jewish Conspiracy” to take over the world. He went so far as to publish and distribute this notion throughout the world. Henry Ford is credited with pumping out more anti-Jewish literature and negative propaganda in the 1920’s than Adolf Hitler.
It is said by historian William Manchester that Adolf Hitler had Henry as one of his idols, distributed Henry’s book (The International Jew) at the Reichstag and had Henry’s picture in his jail cell (imprisonment resulting from the 1923 putsch). Henry was to become Hitler’s North American dictator once Hitler conquered the world.
Researchers today are finding links between Henry and Adolf that amount to more than ideology. James Pool in “Who Financed Hitler” devotes a whole chapter to the connection between Henry and Adolf. In “Trading with the Enemy” by Charles Higham, Henry and the Ford Motor Company are significant. In “Hitler and His Secret Partners - 1933-1945” again by James Pool, Henry Ford is also considered. But the most recent and extensive book on Henry, Hitler and Nazism that I have read is “The American Axis” by Max Wallace. This book deals with both Henry Ford and Charles Lindbergh and their ties with Adolf Hitler and Nazism. If we can believe all the accusations and information in this book, FDR's famous statement with regards to Charles Lindbergh being a Nazi could certainly be expanded to include Henry Ford. Those interested in current political controversies might find page 349 in this book interesting.
Many others accuse Henry along with Thomas Edison, Lucky Lindy and many more wealthy Americans and Europeans of financially backing Adolf in his rise to power. The wealthy all over the world were very much distressed by the antics of the anti-Capitalist, Russian Bolsheviks and others who were in the process of “redistributing” wealth and encouraging the mass burial of a lot of once respected entrepreneurs.