True Conspiracies: The Business Plot
Imagine the United States of America ruled by a fascist dictatorship. Not the kind your uncle is always complaining about, mind you, but a real one with an actual goose-stepping il Duce type giving orders to the president on all matters of policy. That almost happened in 1933, when a group of American businessmen tried to install a retired Marine Corps general as a shadow dictator to offset the perceived threat of Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
Of course, by “almost happened,” it’s more accurate to say that the conspirators were caught before they even got close to throwing the switch on their plans. All the same, the Business Plotters, as they came to be known, did manage to give the hilariously named McCormack-Dickstein Committee a light workout as it exposed a group of conspirators that included the heads of General Motors and Chase Manhattan Bank, a French fascist organization called the “Arrow Cross,” and at least one future US Senator, Prescott Bush (yes, that Bush).