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A bit of Leftist history.

7:00 pm in Uncategorized by cmaukonen

25 Years of Industrial Unionism - flickr

I thought it would be a good idea to bring some history to the self defined liberal and progressives who occasionally come to this here site concerning this country and it’s esteemed past.   For what it’s worth here goes.

The founding fathers were smugglers and pirates and worse. And even Benjamin Franklin called the Tea Party and act of piracy.

By 1705 the tide was already turning against slavery in Great Briton. With the following judgments in British courts.

In Smith v. Gould(1705–07) 2 Salk 666, Holt CJ stated that by

               “the common law no man can have a property in another.”

Lord Henley LC said in Shanley v. Harvey (1763) 2 Eden 126, 127 that as

  “soon as a man sets foot on English ground he is free.”

And abolished entirely by 1837 by act of parliament.    So if we had remained part of GB, slavery would have been ended here long before 1865. Kind of makes you wonder what the real motivations behind our so called revolution really were.

The sinking of the USS Maine – which is still considered by many as suspicious – was the  casus belli for the Spanish American war which netted the US Cuba and Puerto Rico and a number of Caribbean Islands. As well as giving Teddy Roosevelt something to charge up and a big boost to his stature. Also cementing The Monroe Doctrine.  As well as the Roosevelt Corollary which essentially stated that the US could do what ever it damn well pleased on this side of the planet.

Speaking of good old Teddy. He was probably the the first and one of the few real progressives we have ever had in Washington.   A conservationist, pro union,  anti-trust and pure food and drug advocate.

The Russian Revolution of 1917 scared the shit pants out of the capitalists. Especially here and that includes the so called middle class.  It resulted in the first Red Scare and The Palmer Raids.

The year 1919 saw a great deal of social conflict–a wave of strikes, the passage of both Prohibition and Woman Suffrage, and the Chicago race riot. A series of bombings by suspected anarchists began in Summer 1919; on June 2, bombs went off in eight cities, including Washington DC, where Palmer’s home was partially destroyed. Just who set the bombs remained unclear. Although there were only about 70, 000 self professed Communists in the United States in 1919, Palmer viewed them as responsible for a wide range of social ills, including the bombings. Encouraged by Congress, which had refused to seat the duly elected socialist from Wisconsin, Victor Berger, Mitchell began a series of showy and well publicized raids against radicals and leftists. Striking without warning and without warrants, Palmer’s men smashed union offices and the headquarters’ of Communist and Socialist organizations. They concentrated whenever possible on aliens rather than citizens, because aliens had fewer rights. In December of 1919, in their most famous act, Palmer’s agents seized 249 resident aliens. Those seized were placed on board a ship, the Buford, bound for the Soviet Union. Deportees included Emma Goldman, the feminist, anarchist and writer who later recalled the deportation in her autobiography, excerpted here

The “Red Scare” reflected the same anxiety about free speech and obsession with consensus that had characterized the war years. Two documents included here point to the absurdity of some of these fears. In the case of “The Most Brainiest Man,” a Connecticut clothing salesmen was sentenced to sixth months in jail simply for saying Lenin was smart.The Palmer Raids

By the 1930s The Communist Party had made large inroads with the workers here.

Moreover, the Communist Party had a genuine base among industrial workers, containing within its membership many of the same shop floor leaders from the strikes that built the CIO unions. In 1935, for example, communist membership among auto workers numbered 630, nearly doubling to 1,100 in 1939–with a periphery of sympathizers far bi gger. In 1937, the CP had 28 shop nuclei in the Detroit auto industry, while CP members were active in nearly every major auto workers union local.40

Likewise, CP members played a leading role in some of the key rubber workers strikes which swept through Akron, Ohio in 1936. CP members were part of the Firestone strike committee, while the chief picket captain of the Goodyear strike was a party leader. And the CP’s Akron organizer was asked to address a meeting of all the strike picket captains.41

But another factor also contributed to the Communist Party’s widespread influence among workers. It claimed to be the true inheritor of the tradition of the Bolsheviks, the party that led the Russian working class to power in 1917. That had been true when the CP was formed in 1921, when several revolutionary groups which had left the SP after the Russian Revolution merged together.

When Stalin, who purged the the Trotskyist opposition and original Bolsheviks,  came to power the communist here were to follow Stalinist policies.  This in my opinion was the initial fall of communism and socialism here as Stalin was opposed to socialism.  As Chomsky states.

Since its origins, the Soviet State has attempted to harness the energies of its own population and oppressed people elsewhere in the service of the men who took advantage of the popular ferment in Russia in 1917 to seize State power. One major ideological weapon employed to this end has been the claim that the State managers are leading their own society and the world towards the socialist ideal; an impossibility, as any socialist — surely any serious Marxist — should have understood at once (many did), and a lie of mammoth proportions as history has revealed since the earliest days of the Bolshevik regime. The taskmasters have attempted to gain legitimacy and support by exploiting the aura of socialist ideals and the respect that is rightly accorded them, to conceal their own ritual practice as they destroyed every vestige of socialism.

The middle class was not fond of socialism or any far left policies. So convincing them how bad communism and socialism was turned out to be very easy. McCarthy and Truman had this one in the bag. Besides their new found employment in the defense and/or related industries depended on it.

The capitalist class employs a managerial middle class to keep workers under control. Like the egg that holds oil and water together in mayonnaise, the middle class functions like an emulsifier, binding workers and capitalists in the social arrangement of capitalism.

At work, middle-class managers impose the will of the boss on the workers. In society, the middle class imposes the will of the capitalist class on the working class.

The middle class functions as the loyal lieutenant of capitalism. When working people rebel, the middle class condemns their demands as “unrealistic” and preaches compromise so as not to offend the powers-that-be. [ emphasis mine]

Without the middle class, the other two classes would battle for social control, and the advantage would go to the working class with its superior numbers and its hands on the wheels of production.

As long as the working-class majority does not believe in itself, it will accept the rule of the middle and upper classes. But as soon as that changes, capitalism will be thrown into the air. As the working class takes control of the economy, it will build a completely new society, a socialist society based on real democracy, solidarity and self-determination.

FDR and LBJ had to do what they did to keep the country from blowing up.  People like Huey Long, Henry Wallace, MLK and Malcolm X were becoming far to popular and a threat to the bourgeoisie, the petite bourgeoisie and elites.

What built Silicon Valley and the technology needed for your iPads and iPhones and PCs and brought your parents and grand parents education and financial security – as well as those nice ethnic free suburban neighborhoods – was good old Uncle Sam and the military.  It was the military and their space wing – NASA- that funded the development of the integrated circuit at Fairchild Semiconductor. Needed for missal guidance and  the noon program. One of the ideas being a military base on the moon.  So the elites and corporatists and the bourgeoisie, the petite bourgeoisie IE middle classes were all for paying for protectionism – that is TAXES.

When these people no longer felt their little worlds threatened, their desire for this diminished greatly as did the government funding. So the jobs and manufacturing went where labor was cheap.  One thing that no one has mentioned is that as long as the Soviet Union existed,  all this new technology was marked secret, top secret or cosmic and its manufacture had to be done here.

I have read a number items on the internet stating that Socialism is the enemy of the middle class. If when one is referring to the middle class as those who are managers and engineers and private practice professionals, this is correct.  In fact it’s one of the whole points. To provide service to the masses for the best outcome with the least cost in resources in an equal and equitable manner.

To at least diminish the effects of capitalistic competition and direct the energies toward and improved product rather than a higher personal gain for the provider.  The antithesis of capitalism and its enemy.

Socialism Is Good For The Stock Market

12:36 pm in Uncategorized by cmaukonen

Came across this little tidbit in Huffington. Seems that the Stocks in socialized countries do much better that those here.

American traders aren’t likely to take kindly to the suggestion that big government might be good for the stock market. But data from a paper on the job- and income-growth of top earners shows that stock prices in some socialized countries, relative to themselves and adjusted for inflation, have done considerably better than those in the U.S over the last two and a half decades.

Specifically, during the twenty five years after Ronald Reagan took office — a pro-market honeymoon that Ryan Chittum of the Columbia Journalism Review this week termed “the ascent of laissez-faire economic policies” — French stock prices have performed significantly better than Americans ones, according to the report by Jon Bakija, Adam Cole, and Bradley Heim.

A further examination of the 39-year period extending from the end of the Nixon administration until 2008 shows the Swedish economy, known for its high taxes and heavy regulation, growing at a significantly higher rate than the US.

Well like Gomer Pyle would say…Surprise ! Surprise ! And this chart gives a pretty good representation of this.

The graph below illustrates the annualised sharemarket returns for several major economies for the 39 year period ending 31 December 2008.

 

According to Jacob Funk Kirkegaard, a research fellow specializing in European economies at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, the disparity between the American and European markets might have more to do with the period in question than governmental forces.

“In 1981, [Francois] Mitterand was elected president of France, and the first thing he did was to nationalize a bunch of French businesses and most of the banking system,” Kirkegaard explained. “But going forward, France has moved quite dramatically towards a market-oriented economy, though not anywhere near the scope of market and economic freedom as perceived in the U.S.”

And seeing is believing.

You can download the pdf of the report here. It’s pretty long but the Columbia Journalism Review has a good summery of it.

First, applaud the fact that the authors adjusted stock prices for inflation. That’s almost never done. They did it here by prices for each respective country.

The authors cut off the stock chart at 2006 because that coincides with the tax data they were studying. Since then, the U.S. stock market has done a little less worse than French stocks. And it seems as if the researchers just used index averages and not dividends in their calculations, which could change the (while I can’t seem to find historical data on French dividend yields, I’d guess they’re at least comparable to American ones).

But the point is, the ascent of laissez-faire economic policies in the U.S. during the first quarter century following the Reagan Revolution wasn’t enough to outdo French stocks, which faced the heavy hand of government.

Take it for what a single datapoint is worth, but it’s interesting, non? You don’t and won’t hear much about this one in the American business press. And you don’t even want to look at truly socialist Sweden’s stock returns, which have outpaced even France’s

And there you have it. The market does better in the socialist countries than it does here.

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