The Deal

Max Sawicky sawicky at
Fri Jul 10 08:50:31 PDT 1998

> Much of Jim Heartfield's note made sense to me. Just what did
> Roosevelt do to
> win the enthusiastic affection of so many Blacks, who previously
> voted with the
> party of Lincoln?

Nice to see revivals of the platform of Wendell Wilkie here.

Could somebody please remind me which planet we're on?

On one the party of the further left denounces the abolition of public assistance (AFDC), the erosion of fair labor standards, the assaults on Social Security, and threats to trade unionism's legal protections.

On the other, the notion has surfaced that the New Deal, which recast the constitutional climate making such policies possible, where it didn't actually inaugurate them directly, did not contribute to progress for black Americans, most of whom are in the working class.

Historical note: veterans basically are served by a separate (and somewhat better) welfare state in the U.S., one which was launched in the 19th century but which had to help support the more general concept. New Deal era programs which began in narrow, discriminatory terms broadened after that; THAT'S THE WAY THESE PROGRAMS DEVELOPE. They don't spring into being in full-grown form, resplendent in all the socialist virtues.

Shouldn't the FDR administration be judged by the times it was in? Isn't the historical context relevant to good marxmanship? I'm reminded of a little book called "Flatland," a two-dimensional world whose beings understand length and width but have no depth.



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