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This article is cross-posted from Naked Capitalism

An article in the Boston Review by professor of sociology Claude Fischer falls prey to a pattern that is all too common: attributing social/political outcomes to American attitudes without bothering to examine why those attitudes came to be.

Let me give you a bit of useful background before I turn to the Fischer article as an illustration of a lack of curiosity, or worse, among soi disant intellectuals in America, and how it keeps Americans ignorant as to how many of our supposed cultural values have been cultivated to inhibit disruptive thought and action.

Since I have managed to come in on the last act of Gotterdammerung and am still trying to find the libretto, I’ve been in what little spare time I have reading history, particularly on propaganda. One must read book is by Alex Carey, Taking the Risk Out of Democracy. Carey taught psychology in Australia, and he depicts the US as the breeding ground for the modern art of what is sometimes more politely called the engineering of consent. The first large scale campaigns took place before World War I, when the National Association of Manufacturers began its decades-long campaign against organized labor. Carey stresses that propaganda depends on cultivating Manichean perspectives, the sacred versus the Satanic, and identifying the cause to be promoted with symbols that have emotional power. For many people, Americans in particular, patriotism is a rallying point.

Carey demonstrates how, again and again, big business has managed to wrap itself in the flag, and inculcate hostility to unions. One of the early struggles was over immigrants. A wave of migration from 1890 to 1910 left many citizens concerned that they were a threat to the American way of life. Needless to say, corporations were opposed to restrictions on immigration, since these migrants were willing to accept pretty much any work. Thus the initial alignment of interests was that whole swathes of American society were allied with the nascent labor movement in opposing immigration. And this occurred when even conservatives saw concentrated corporate power as a threat to American values (witness the trust busting movement, the success of the Progressives).

Big business split these fair weather friends by promoting an Americanization movement. These foreigners simply needed to be socialized: taught to speak English, inculcated in American values. In addition, the radical Industrial Workers of the World had become a force to be reckoned with, culminating in its success in the Lawrence textile mill strike in 1912. So even though labor unions were particularly hostile to immigrants, the IWW’s leadership role made it possible to cast unions as subversive, a symbol of foreign influence.

The counterweight, the Americanization movement, was born in 1907 with the establishment of the North American Civic League for Immigrants, headed by conservative businessmen. Aligned groups. such as the New England Industrial Committee, were created as NACLI promoted its program.

The success of the Lawrence strike, which garnered national outrage due to police beatings of women who had volunteered to transport and harbor children of strikers, increased the urgency of countering the union threat. The message was that chambers of commerce, as “conservators of the ‘best interests’ of their communities” needed to educate (as in domesticate) adult alien workers. This Americanization movement had business backers in every sizable city with an immigrant population doing outreach to business organizations, church leaders, and other community groups. In 1914, NACLI decided to extend its program nation-wide, and changed its name to the Committee for Immigrants in America (CIA). The CIA paid and provided staff to the Federal Bureau of Education to sponsor Americanization programs (private interests’ ability operate directly through the Federal government ended in 1919).

The outbreak of World War I was a Godsend to the Americanization movement. The war stoked nationalist sentiment and with it, suspicion of obvious aliens as at best “un American” and at worst, subversive. President Wilson spoke at a highly staged “patriotic” event for 5000 recently naturalized citizens in spring 1915. This event was so successful that the movement leaders succeeded in forming local Americanization committees all over the US. Quoting Carey:

The CIA also produced a brilliant propaganda strategy to involve every American in an annual ritual of national identification. This ritual would embed the cultural intolerance of the Americanization movement with an identification that was formally and officially sanctified. The CIA thereby launched its campaign for the fourth of July 1915 to be made a national Americanization Day, a day for a ‘great nationalistic expression of unity and faith in America’.

Carey describes and quotes a pamphlet promoting the event written by one of the executive committee members:

….the ultimate success of the policy would depend on how effectively the ‘average American citizen’ could be induced to bring the influence of his conservative views to bear on the immigrant….’such a citizen is the natural foe of the IWW and of the destructive forces that seek to direct unwisely the expressions of the immigrant in his nwe country and upon him rest the hope and defense of the country’s ideals and institutions.’ Here we have a blatant industrial and partisan view fused with an intolerance of the immigrant and values of national security, in a submission that would cement these interests and intolerances within the paraphernalia of the annual ritual of what would become Independence Day.

This hidden history of our national celebration is only a small portion of Carey’s account of the extent and reach of the Americanization campaign. It shows how big business has led a long standing, persistent, and well financed campaign to turn the public against fighting for one’s rights if those rights are workplace rights.

Now let’s look at the Fischer article in light of this. He does, usefully, describe how Americans toil far more than their advanced economy peers:

Americans just don’t vacation like other people do. Western European laws require at least ten and usually more than twenty days. And it’s not just the slacker Mediterranean countries. The nose-to-the-grindstone Germans and Austrians require employers to grant at least twenty paid vacation days a year. In the United States, some of us don’t get any vacation at all. Most American workers do get paid vacations from their bosses, but only twelve days on average, much less than the state-guaranteed European minimum. And even when they get vacation time, Americans often don’t use it.
Perhaps Americans are Protestant-ethic work obsessives; we are likelier than Europeans to say that we want to work more hours than we do. But this leisure gap is a recent development. In the 1960s Americans and Europeans worked about the same number of hours. Leisure time then expanded everywhere—only more slowly and much less in the United States than elsewhere, leaving today’s disparity. Some argue that high taxes in Europe discourage working, but economist Alberto Alesina and his colleagues point to legislation—that is, politics. The right to a long vacation is one of the benefits that unions and the left have in recent decades delivered to Western workers—except American ones.

This sets up the key question:

Just about everywhere in the West except the United States, where there is no mandatory paid time off, workers not only get vacations but also short work weeks, government health care, large pensions, high minimum wages, subsidized childcare, and so forth. Why is the United States the exception?

The answer comes in two general forms: one, Americans do not want such programs and perks because we do not want the kind of government that would legislate them. Two, Americans want them but cannot get them.

Fischer’s teasing out of the first “answer” (he offers only two options and later points out that they are not mutually exclusive) is an embarrassment. He claims Americans have little “class consciousness” and in passing contends well financed propaganda efforts have no effect:

Even though economic inequality is substantially greater in the United States than in Europe, Americans acknowledge less economic inequality in their society than Western Europeans do in theirs, and Americans are more likely to describe such inequality as fair, deserved, and necessary. Americans typically dismiss calls for the government to narrow economic differences or intrude in the market by, say, providing housing. Working-class voters in the United States are less likely than comparable voters elsewhere to vote for the left or even to vote at all.

Anyone who has studied the history of public relations in the US will not only tell you it works, but also will be able to provide numerous examples, starting with the Creel Committee in World War I, which turned a pacifist US into rabid German-haters in a mere 18 months. But Fischer would rather appeal to Americans’ vanity and exceptionalism. Carey, by contrast, documents the intensity of messaging efforts, the channels used, and tracks how polls and headlines changed. And contra Fischer, he finds Americans to be particularly susceptible to propaganda (by contrast, Australians’ native skepticism of authority, keen sense of irony, and strong community orientation gives them a wee bit of resistance, although Carey described how they were being worn down too).

Mark Ames wrote on the same topic in 2006, and his article is more on point:

According to a New York Times article, British workers get more than 50% more paid holiday per year than Americans, while the French and Italians get almost twice what the Americans get. The average American’s response is neither admiration nor envy, but rather a kind of sick pride in their own wretchedness, combined with righteous contempt for their European worker counterparts, whom most Americans see as morally degenerate precisely because they have more leisure time, more job security, health benefits and other advantages.

It’s like a classic case of East Bloc lumpen-spite: middle Americans would rather see the European system collapse than become beneficiaries themselves. If there is one favourite recurring propaganda fable Americans love to read about Europeans, it’s the one about how Europe is decaying and its social system is on the verge of imploding; we Americans pray for that day to come, with even more fervour than we pray for the End of Days, because the very existence of these pampered workers makes us look like the suckers and slaves we really are. This is why you won’t see Bono or Sir Bob Geldof rallying the bleeding-hearts anytime soon on behalf of America’s workers. They’re not in the least bit sympathetic. Better to stick with well-behaved victims like starving Africans.

The cultural propaganda that accompanied the Reagan Revolution has been so hugely successful that America’s workers internalised it too well, like those famously fanatical Soviet workers who literally worked themselves to death in order to help bring true communism that much closer. According to Expedia, American workers save their employees some $21 billion per year by not taking even the meagre vacation time they’re allowed.

Now in fairness to those office slaves, while Americans buy into the “always on duty” attitude (I noticed how little smart phones and IPads were visibly in use, even in the toniest parts of London, compared to New York City), some of it is rational. Even before the bust, it was hard for anyone over 35 who loses a job to land another, much the less at the same level of pay, job tenures are short, and companies keep squeezing workers. Everyone I know who is still on the corporate meal ticket is doing what would have been one and one half or two jobs ten years ago.

So while there is no easy way to turn to regain control of a cultural commons so throughly under the sway of well heeled corporate interests, perhaps we can start to engage in small acts of reprogramming. While I am not telling you to skip Fourth of July fireworks, it might be time to recognize key events that help us look at our history with fresh eyes. Perhaps we should quietly celebrate what we still have of the America our founders envisaged, say on the anniversary of the signing of the articles of Confederation (a protracted affair, with the last signature affixed on March 1, 1781) or their replacement with the Constitution on March 4, 1789. But regardless of how individuals go about it, the more we recognize how cultural memes are created and propagated, the more hope we have of freeing ourselves from them.

This article is cross-posted from Naked Capitalism

Yves Smith runs the brilliant financial blog Naked Capitalism, and she’s the author of ECONned: How Unenlightened Self Interest Undermined Democracy and Corrupted Capitalism.

Would you like to know more? Click the cover and buy Yves’ book!


 

50 Comments

Add your own

  • 1. euro-dude  |  July 4th, 2012 at 2:16 am

    America’s revolution of 4 July 1776 was incomplete and betrayed. With the eventual US paper Constitution and its cult – legitimising slavery, no less – the US revolution had been sufficiently channelled to leave imperialists and oligarchs with the tools to impose full tyranny, a process now being completed in the militarised prison-gulag police state of the USA, where Americans can take comfort that their brutalisation is ‘approved’ by American judges and declared ‘Constitutional’ by their overlords.

    The French Revolution of 1789 was the more important and complete revolution of that era. Despite a bloodier internal course in France, the French Revolution showed the real truth that what is important is not paper ‘laws’, or even ‘election voting’ – both can always be twisted and bent by oligarchs and corrupters.

    What matters much more is, the revolutionary collective power of people in the streets and countryside, the only ultimate force able to sanction and genuinely protect the rights of common people.

    And that French revolutionary heritage, is why Continental Europe, with a legal system descended from that heritage, and people still unafraid to act collectively, to conduct a general strike and close down the government.

    That is why Europe, especially in our more somewhat socialist and egalitarian north-west sector, is today still the best place to live in the world, for common and working people especially.

    And of the 13 world countries which are rich enough to still have the ‘AAA’ credit rating, 9 of them are European and well semi-socialist, many of them with no worker poverty at all … funny how that has turned out. Take care of the lower classes and everybody benefits.

  • 2. CounterSpace  |  July 4th, 2012 at 5:51 am

    ‘The CIA thereby launched its campaign for the fourth of July 1915….’

    The CIA existed in 1915? The OSS, which preceded the CIA, didn’t exist then so what was this organisation called in 1915?

    I’m a curious cat.

  • 3. J  |  July 4th, 2012 at 9:12 am

    2.

    You must’ve been skimming. CIA refers to Committee for Immigrants in America in the context of this writing.

  • 4. Mr. Bad  |  July 4th, 2012 at 9:18 am

    @ 2. CounterSpace

    Try reading the article instead of scanning for key words before you bust another stupid comment you fat fucking twat.

  • 5. ☭ mouse ☭  |  July 4th, 2012 at 10:54 am

    CounterSpace, read the fucking article next time

    Committee for Immigrants in America (CIA)

  • 6. Damn Red  |  July 4th, 2012 at 10:56 am

    @2 Committee for Immigrants in America (CIA)
    Go back and actually read that passage again.

  • 7. wanooski  |  July 4th, 2012 at 10:58 am

    @counterspace, don’t you pay attention? CIA stands for Commitee on Immigrants in America.

  • 8. Ozinator  |  July 4th, 2012 at 11:05 am

    @2
    CIA = Committee for Immigrants in America

  • 9. Ozinator  |  July 4th, 2012 at 11:32 am

    great article and I’m going to go read “Taking the Risk Out of Democracy”–Thanks!

    Regarding, “(by contrast, Australians’ native skepticism of authority, keen sense of irony, and strong community orientation gives them a wee bit of resistance, although Carey described how they were being worn down too)”… Very true and all this while having an even more controlled press than the US (the stuff not run by Murdoch is like NPR and while getting truth out once in awhile, its message is controlled). Carey wrote his book in ’96 and Aussies have been worn down quite a bit but next to most USicans, most Aussies still seem rich in critical thinking. ANZAC day we are all reminded to shut the fuck up and honor war and that controlled message has really worked well since especially the Iraq invasion. Check out a song called, “The Band Played Waltzing Matilda” and look at the dumb comments from people entirely missing the point. “we must honor our brave “troops”".

    Not just Aussies are being worn down USican propaganda style either! someone above mentioned Sweden but shits getting dumb quickly there too (google “karl rove Sweden”) and last time I went, the bars were full of Swedes talking in American English about television.

  • 10. easytolo  |  July 4th, 2012 at 11:34 am

    @2

    In 1914, NACLI decided to extend its program nation-wide, and changed its name to the Committee for Immigrants in America (CIA).

  • 11. Ozinator  |  July 4th, 2012 at 11:36 am

    oh I see all that comes up is Karl Rove going after Assange. But before that, he was involved with their ruling party too

  • 12. BamaRainbow  |  July 4th, 2012 at 11:49 am

    @CounterSpace: Please learn to read more thoroughly, as your question was answered in the article itself.

    “In 1914, NACLI decided to extend its program nation-wide, and changed its name to the Committee for Immigrants in America (CIA).” (from the second paragraph below the image titled “Law and order in Lawrence”)

  • 13. Kropotkin  |  July 4th, 2012 at 12:02 pm

    CIA = Committee for Immigrants in America.

    Not too curious.

  • 14. Anarchy Pony  |  July 4th, 2012 at 12:32 pm

    Damn, everybody pounced on #2. But great article. I’d suggest checking these two documentaries: http://metanoia-films.org/psywar/

    http://metanoia-films.org/human-resources/

    Both are excellent, and free.

  • 15. Ozinator  |  July 4th, 2012 at 2:27 pm

    lol

    soap party for #2!

  • 16. Rob  |  July 4th, 2012 at 3:11 pm

    good article, what does the cia refer to here? i thought it didnt exist in 1915?

  • 17. Anarchy Pony  |  July 4th, 2012 at 5:06 pm

    Jesus Fucking Christ Rob #16 I hope you’re kidding.

  • 18. Fissile  |  July 4th, 2012 at 5:32 pm

    “Socialism never took root in America because the poor see themselves not as an exploited proletariat but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires.”

    – John Steinbeck

  • 19. Punjabi From Karachi  |  July 4th, 2012 at 5:34 pm

    Oh fuck this.

  • 20. Damn Red  |  July 4th, 2012 at 6:17 pm

    @16 LOL TLDR; amiright =) brb NTP.

  • 21. Ozinator  |  July 4th, 2012 at 9:14 pm

    i fucking love this place

  • 22. CounterSpace  |  July 5th, 2012 at 12:42 am

    Thank you all for the correction. Yes, I have indeed been under a lot of strain lately and it has caused me to be exhausted and make some errors. I appreciate your effort to clear up my misunderstanding.

    As for Mr. Bad (@ 4) how about you go pull that rusty nailed stick out of your tight little asshole instead of being a big fucking stupid twat yourself? I imagine Mark Ames book about bullying has gone well over your head. If you haven’t read it then do so and stop being the assumptive prick that you practise.

  • 23. Punjabi From Karachi  |  July 5th, 2012 at 1:05 am

    Exile; you have a troll problem, and I appreciate the effort you kiddies go into cleaning up the troll poop. However, I was wondering if the time may not have come to raise an official eXile Army of your own.

    An eXile forum, as a base of operations, with the AEC presiding as moderator, and a hive of angry internet wasps to hound your enemenies?

    It’ld be in the spirit of Nestor Makhno’s Revolutionary Insurrectionary Army of Ukraine except with the Red Army kaput, there would be nobody to stop it.

    Exile, send out a call to raise an anarchist internet army.

    H’MMMM… [SOUND OF THE A.E.C. SCRATCHING CHIN CONTEMPLATING THE POSSIBILITIES...]

  • 24. Mr. Bad  |  July 5th, 2012 at 7:17 am

    @ 22. CounterSpace

    Don’t apologize just STFU. What has you so exhausted sunshine? Did you used to be so spot on and fucking brilliant that this lone comment stands out as a startling departure from you typical incandescent insights… Oh noes, I will continue being the “assumptive prick that I practise” you cockmongling British twat until you stop making a fucking mess in public sight – no wonder Ames can’t even get a reacharound from rt.com when the pathetic fans of his “bully” books can’t stop crying long enough to donate.

  • 25. CounterSpace  |  July 5th, 2012 at 9:54 am

    @ 24

    You’re lack of intelligence shows in your conditioned reaction of being a prick from go. The racism really helps.

    You are part of the problem: It’s nice you believe you’re intelligent when you’re just as fucking stupid as the next push-the-button-to-destroy-live-I-was-only-doing-my-job cocksucker.

    Enjoy your assumptions and continue pretending to be the bad ass you’re not but you haven’t won anything but the FAIL™ trophy. That’s great, bully for you! Just keep in mind you’re not anymore intelligent than a backwards pig fucker with your conditioned knee-jerk reactions. Enjoy!

  • 26. CounterSpace  |  July 5th, 2012 at 10:33 am

    Oh NOES!!!!!!!! My mis-spellings are going to bring out the WRATH of the REST of the CONDITIONED KNEE-JERK BACKWARDS PIGFUCKERS!

    Enjoy your pathetic mockery and anger as the clique of ANGRY ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS jump down my throat for not delivering the perfect message or being too sick and exhausted to correctly read the article. You’re all so fucking perfect you angry cock sucking YANKSTERS. Enjoy living in your OCCUPYFAIL™ shithole and going to the gas chambers like the rest of the cattle you are in America.

    Fuck your racism, your anger, and your lame lack of basic fucking decency. Eat your arrogance, your shithead assumptions, and I pray you all end up starving and homeless like you deserve because you’re too busy being ANGRY BUTTFUCKERS rather than making a REAL DIFFERENCE WITH REAL ACTION.

    You are the perfect role models for the roman practise of DIVIDE AND CONQUER.
    Practise away Mr. Bad and the rest of you angry little sacks of pathetic shit so you can enjoy your pathetic little militarised and aggressive lives. Be the police state that you are! Rock on!

    I fed nearly 4000 people with my own money and time and energy in 1997 in San Francisco, not one of you can say you made even a fucking modicum of a difference compared to that.

    Fuck Ames for allowing this sort of mis-directed anger to flow about on his site. You’re a disgusting ingrate and hypocrite if you think this is okay, Mark. Wow…. Clique away all!

  • 27. Mr. Bad  |  July 5th, 2012 at 11:27 am

    @ 25. CounterSpace

    Hey, you must be smart, huh? Like, maybe a fucking genius? Phrases like “conditioned reaction” and the even more devastating “conditioned knee-jerk reactions” could only be known to somebody who skimmed the B.F. Skinner Elementary School reader while massaging his PHI 101′s professor’s prostate with his pretentious limey gob!

    I am also in awe of you and your mastery of the internet “FAIL” meme which was very funny about a decade ago, lots of larfs there pal, lots.

  • 28. CounterSpace  |  July 5th, 2012 at 11:51 am

    @ 27
    Checkmate, loser.

  • 29. John Galt  |  July 5th, 2012 at 11:57 am

    USA! USA! USA! USA! (But bury your $$$ in the Caymans, yo bitches!)

  • 30. Jedi Mind Trick  |  July 5th, 2012 at 2:26 pm

    Retard fight!

    In a battle of wits, I fight unarmed!

  • 31. Mr. Bad  |  July 5th, 2012 at 4:27 pm

    28. CounterSpace

    Oh I see, you’ve won this one, eh? You’re a damn sight smarter than I thought, just skipping over the “clever” point you were going to make and getting right to the ego salving self congratulation. Don’t run away you fucking prig, I want to hear more about how your “endgame” and how you came up with that cutting final retort “checkmate,loser”.
    So original, really good stuff, you should write for this site they’re always looking for clever, original writers like yourself.

  • 32. Anarchy Pony  |  July 5th, 2012 at 5:09 pm

    Oh Great and Powerful A.E.C. Please come down from on high and lay waste to this pointless flame war between these two imbeciles and rid this thread of their stupid squabble!

  • 33. Jesse  |  July 5th, 2012 at 5:13 pm

    “And this occurred when even conservatives saw concentrated corporate power as a threat to American values (witness the trust busting movement, the success of the Progressives).”

    Yes. The Progressive movement was a threat to trusts and concentrated corporate power, but I am a troll who pretends it wasn’t, so I must thank AEC for improving my comment. I am a sham, scam, flim-flam anti-labor who would have been the subject of the S.H.A.M.E. project had I mattered.

  • 34. super390  |  July 5th, 2012 at 7:50 pm

    #33:

    Oh, hell, AEC, now we’ll never get to know which embalmed libertard cliche Jesse employed to draw your justified wrath. Was it the “monopolies never happen in unregulated markets” crap? Or did he try to get tricky and masquerade as a more-Marxist-than-thou pisser on the Progressives for being too bourgeoise, and anyone else who ever accomplished any reforms back then?

  • 35. Punjabi From Karachi  |  July 5th, 2012 at 10:27 pm

    If I were American and wanted to get back at you guys at eXile, my counter-project to Shame would be called something like; “The Anti-American Watch™”.

    Also, if you want to get rid of the most obvious trolls, add a captcha that requires simple math to be done, like “3+5=?” or “4×3=?”

    I’ve seen it on other boards keep the most obvious retard/racist/should’ve been aborted/knuckleheads away.

  • 36. Punjabi From Karachi  |  July 5th, 2012 at 10:55 pm

    Are you guys at eXile seriously sensitive about abortion?

  • 37. Nestore  |  July 6th, 2012 at 12:31 am

    @33

    LOL hahahahahahahaahahahahahahahaHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAhahahahahahaaahhaaaaa….ohhhhhh mercy…

    if its male, and named jesse, it has to be a stupid, shaven headed joe-the-plumber wanna- be. Thanks. Thanks for that. I would love to have that job.

  • 38. Nestore  |  July 6th, 2012 at 12:52 am

    @1

    Europe is right behind the US and catching up fast. Europeans have sold thier souls for the same American style neoliberal McProsperity. Germany is crushing its Unions by closing and offshoring, Britain has bought into the same “centrist” politics which are depoliticizing the American people. Your accomodations at the Euro- gulag wont be any more confortable than ours Here in the statesm and last time a looked, Britain and the Euro-state are cheerfully marching in lock step with American war mongering.

  • 39. CounterSpace  |  July 6th, 2012 at 3:08 am

    @ 31

    I’d write for Exiled Online only if they don’t pay me and I don’t have to use US spelling. They have my email if they think I’m worth their time.

    If you want a tete-a-tete with me this forum is not the place to do it.

  • 40. Palmer Eldritch  |  July 6th, 2012 at 10:52 pm

    CounterSpace, you should prove your worth by starting a blog and trying to keep up a good pace. Start publishing some strong articles of your original political commentary, and perhaps Ames will take notice. And the eXiled commenters will surely read and comment! Think of it as a portfolio of sorts. It’s never too late to make the leap into a professional career in the field you were born to work in.

  • 41. DrunktankDan  |  July 7th, 2012 at 4:43 am

    @ Punjabi
    Dude, I have been considering putting up an Exile forum for a while. I don’t know how the AEC would react though unless we had some sort of official divine sanction. I plan on making an earthly donation with my first paycheck and I hope that it will direct his gaze upon us pathetic mortals with some sort of response.
    Until then, we can wait in joyful hope etc. etc.

  • 42. DrunktankDan  |  July 7th, 2012 at 4:51 am

    ALso, I was kinda cheering for Mr. Bad in that nasty little flame war, for whatever its worth. He must have passed out or something.

  • 43. chabinga  |  July 7th, 2012 at 11:58 am

    Enlightened self-interest is still self-interest. Greed is greed. We need to balance self interest against community solidarity.

  • 44. chabinga  |  July 7th, 2012 at 12:04 pm

    Progressivism grew out of the Mugwump, liberal republican, gold democrats. The Progressives were anti-labor but saw that violent reactionary policies toward labor would only strengthen unions. Progressivism reined in some large trusts and threw a few bones to workers but only to avoid an escalating class war which would threaten their own positions.

    Now, I know that none of this is true—Robert LaFollette for example was a Progressive who ran on the Progressive Party ticket in ’24 and won one of the highest 3rd party counts ever, and he ran on a solid pro-union platform— but nevertheless, even though none of the evidence backs up my comment, nevertheless most scientists will tell you that it’s scientific fact.

  • 45. Jesse  |  July 7th, 2012 at 12:56 pm

    @34 super390

    LOL. You still sore over how I bitch-slapped your daddy, Adam Smith?

  • 46. Mr. Bad  |  July 7th, 2012 at 4:25 pm

    39. CounterSpace

    “tete-a-tete”? Isn’t that what you brits call it when two fags dance? Sorry, what were we talking about? Oh yeah a sanctimonious British prig who “fed” 4000 San Francisco fairies straight from the freshly alcohol swabbed teat and then bragged about it on an internet message board attached to an article he couldn’t even be bothered to read. Is that checkmate? Explain it to me lord sizzle-ass, I’m just a dumb American rube like your messiah mark ames.

  • 47. helplesscase  |  July 8th, 2012 at 2:29 pm

    eXiled subforums:

    1. classics reposts and discussion
    2. substance abuse
    3. two minutes of hate

  • 48. Dimitri Ratz  |  July 8th, 2012 at 2:52 pm

    There is a general cultural difference between large portions of dollar land and Euro trash. The American prevailing view is work hard, a lot, get rich and than fuck it, just stop it all together. The European view is make work part of your life, enjoy and embellish in a long lunch, take long paid and unpaid days, there is no external existance to do something and get out of it. Just a long, never ending continuation. Which is better? Fuck, I don’t really know…

  • 49. Anarchy Pony  |  July 9th, 2012 at 12:55 pm

    Mr. Bad, stop being a fucking douchebag, CounterSpace, stop responding to the little shit. Christ, what is this? one of ex Breitfart’s boards?

  • 50. Slacker  |  July 10th, 2012 at 6:58 pm

    I think LaFollette was the real deal but not Teddy Roosevelt or Woodrow Wilson who get also get painted with the Progressive brush.


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