Encyclopedia of Modern Worldwide Extremists and Extremist Groups

By Stephen E. Atkins | Go to book overview

C

Carto, Willis (1926-)

Willis Carto, a longtime supporter of anti-Semitic causes and the founder of the Liberty Lobby, was born in 1926 in Fort Wayne, Indiana. After graduating from high school in Fort Wayne, he joined the U.S. Army and served in the Pacific Theater during World War II. While there is no evidence that Carto attended college, he did take a few courses at the University of Cincinnati Law School. Carto found a job in San Francisco, California, as a bill collector with Household Finance. By the early 1950s, he had become attracted to right-wing causes. Among the organizations he associated with were the Congress of Freedom, an organization that combined racist and anti-communist activists, and his own creation Liberty and Property. He also became a devoted follower of Francis Parker Yockey and the ideas Yockey expressed in his book Imperium (1949). Yockey combined Oswald Spengler's decline of the West thesis with a glorification of Adolf Hitler and Nazism. Carto adopted Yockey's basic ideas and anti-Semitism as his personal philosophy. To advance these views, Carto published a right-wing magazine, Right, from 1955 to 1960. He intended this publication to unify the various right-wing organizations in the United States around the issue of race. It also advanced an anti-communist and anti-Semitic agenda. Carto also became active in the new John Birch Society, but he found it too moderate on race issues. After an argument with Robert Henry Winborne Welch, Jr., over the direction of the John Birch Society, Carto left. In 1957 Carto founded the Liberty Lobby, which was intended to be a forum for the radical right and a way to keep the Republican Party under the control of pro-Barry Goldwater forces. Carto also published a newsletter, Liberty Letters. Almost from the beginning, Carto nurtured the Holocaust denial movement by publishing materials denying the Holocaust ever took place. He started the Institute for Historical Review (IHR) in 1979 and its publication, the Journal of Historical Review. Carto also published the IHR Newsletter. Later in 1980, he formed a shadow company, the Legion for the Survival of Freedom, Inc., to serve as an umbrella organization over his other holdings.

Carto helped launch the populist movement of the 1980s. In 1980 he published a series of articles in his Spotlight newspaper and collected them in a book titled Profiles in Populism. Carto defined populism as a combination of economic and political nationalism, free enterprise capitalism, a conspiracist view of history, and racism. His interpretations of populism and his efforts to publicize them led to the formation of the

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Encyclopedia of Modern Worldwide Extremists and Extremist Groups
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Chronology of Events vii
  • Introduction xxi
  • A 1
  • B 26
  • C 57
  • D 80
  • E 89
  • F 96
  • G 110
  • H 123
  • I 137
  • J 142
  • K 149
  • L 166
  • M 184
  • N 215
  • O 230
  • P 238
  • Q 252
  • R 253
  • S 267
  • T 291
  • U 301
  • V 304
  • W 306
  • Y 326
  • Z 328
  • Selected Bibliography 331
  • Index 339
  • About the Author 375
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