||The history of we are war
begins with Henry Ford's newspaper, The Dearborn Independent,
published in Dearborn, Michigan in the1920s. Mr. Ford's desire to
control every aspect of his workers' lives was legendary, and his
newspaper, which gave voice to his ferocious anti-Semitism, also allowed
him to project his brand of hate into the minds of his subordinates.
Praised by Adolf Hitler in Mein Kampf, Ford's ideas proved
difficult to defend to Americans, and The Dearborn Independent
closed in 1927.
As Ford failed in his attempts to enter the political arena, his frustrations
grew. He felt there should be no limits to the power of the wealthiest
Americans, and sought to destroy "the oppressive yolk the democratic
system set about the neck of America's proper leaders." He struck
upon the idea of creating a large, glossy magazine. It would use photography
and commentary to "shape the public opinion," and would come to rival
to the popular magazine,LIFE.
The new publication, FÔRD, focused on the clouds
of war gathering in Europe. Ford's message was that America should
produce war materiel for use by the European Allies. He stood to engorge
himself on the profits of war production in what might prove to be
a more murderous and lengthy mechanized bloodbath than the previous
European conflict. The European subsidiaries of the Ford Company could
provide tanks, planes, trucks and trains to the Axis powers, guaranteeing
sustainability of his plan.
However, due to Ford's deep-seated need to undermine public works,
funding for his new publication was siphoned from Dearborn's municipal
budget: specifically from money earmarked for the public library system.
When his criminal activity was discovered by a group of local socialists,
(who were un-aligned with US ally Stalin), the group was able to claim
the publication as public property and wrest it from control of Ford.
The penalty he was forced to pay as a settlement for his illegal use
of public funds financed several issues of the re-born periodical,
now named we are war. These issues were dedicated
to outlining several industrialists' plans to make huge profits from
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||Photo essays depicting the
factories being built by American companies, using tax dollars, to
produce war materiel were published with summaries of government contracts
to produce implements of war. Essays demonstrated that profits were
guaranteed, and revealed the over-arching plan: when the war had run
its course use the profits to re-tool the factories and sell a new
Modernity to a weary and shaken public. The goods to be sold had already
been designed, and advertising had begun in the form of the 1939 World's
Fair in New York. All that was needed were capital, factories, and
As we are war grew in circulation, Ford's ire grew
in intensity. Condemned by the mainstream press, we are war's
graphic innovation proved irresistible to the public. The seminal
issue, entitled, "Send a Negroe Jew to Germany as Ambassador,"
was the subject of three day's debate in the US House of Representatives,
during which one group attempting to firebomb the offices of we
are war was attacked by another group with the same objective.
The magazine remained in publication until December 8, 1941, when
it was shut down under the same order which authorized construction
of internment camps for Japanese-Americans. The offices of we
are war were subsequently raided by Ford's notorious Service
Department, and all traces of the magazine were apparently lost in
a fire of mysterious origin.
However, in 1986, the history of we are war took
another turn. The Willow Run Factory in Ypsilanti Township Michigan,
which had been built by Ford to produce aircraft for the war effort,
and subsequently had produced consumer goods after the war, was declared
an EPA Toxic Waste Super-Fund site, and clean-up was begun. Buried
beneath the Sludge Lagoon, a concrete bunker was discovered in which
the entire archives of we are war had been preserved.
And although the ownership of these materials, and so the rights to
reprint them, is still being determined by the courts, the name has
passed into the public domain and is now in use by the current publishers.