[Marxism] New Deal

Mark Lause markalause at gmail.com
Wed Dec 24 15:54:49 MST 2008


I wouldn't know how to embrace the New Deal, but I don't think
something that it can do us any harm.  For all practical purposes,
isn't it as dead as Teddy Roosevelt's Square Deal?

I do think that the legacy of FDR and the New Deal was, thus far,
unique in the 20th century.  Labor organizations still quote him as
saying "If I went to work in a factory, the first thing I'd do would
be to join a Union."  If we ever had a president who'd have said such
a thing before FDR, we have no record of it. And can anybody imagine
any of his successors doing so?  LBJ?  Raygun? Clinton ("I didn't have
sex with that woman but I would join a union.")?

Or how about ,,, "No business which depends for existence on paying
less than living wages to its workers has any right to continue in
this country. By living wages I mean more than a bare subsistence
level --I mean the wages of decent living."

FDR and the New Dealers talked about how extremes of wealth and
poverty innately subverted representative government and denounced the
privileges of "economic royalists."  In his own words, "The test of
our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who
have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too
little."

Quotes tell us little about policies perhaps but everything about the
popular appeal of the New Deal.

Without a doubt,whatever positive content the New Deal embodied owed
much to the movements of the day.  Conversely, to deny that positive
content minimizes the impact those movements had.

Solidarity!
Mark L.




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