a history

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 the war.

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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 consumers.

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.