Sam Pawlett rsp at uniserve.com
Sun Nov 14 23:42:28 PST 1999

19th Century Platforms Still Valid

(a Memory Hole piece) by Ace R. Hayes

[Editor’s Note: The Populist Party Platform of 1892 was motivated by the consolidation of continental plutocratic power. This was permitted by the new technology of that era. Steam, rails and telegraph moved the reach of central monopoly power from sea to shining sea. The people were reduced from citizens to replaceable machine parts.

We are facing precisely the same paradigm today on a global scale. Computers, fiber optics, 747’s, containerization and geosynchronous satellites now permit global monopoly. Thus, we need a global Populist Party to fight the global plutocracy.]

Excerpts from "POPULIST PARTY PLATFORM, July 4, 1892


"The conditions which surround us best justify our co-operation; we meet in the midst of a nation brought to the verge of moral, political, and material ruin [emphasis ours]. Corruption dominates the ballot-box, the Legislatures, the Congress, and touches even the ermine of the bench. The people are demoralized; most of the States have been compelled to isolate the voters at the polling places to prevent universal intimidation and bribery. The newspapers are largely subsidized or muzzled, public opinion silenced, business prostrated, homes covered with mortgages, labor impoverished, and the land concentrating in the hands of capitalists. The urban workmen are denied the right to organize for self-protection, imported pauperized labor beats down their wages, a hireling standing army, unrecognized by our laws, is established to shoot them down, and they are rapidly degenerating into European conditions. The fruits of the toil of millions are boldly stolen to build up colossal fortunes for a few, unprecedented in the history of mankind; and the possessors of these, in turn, despise the Republic and endanger liberty.
>From the same prolific womb of governmental injustice we breed the two
great classes — tramps and millionaires. . . .

"We have witnessed for more than a quarter of a century the struggles of the two great political parties for power and plunder, while grievous wrongs have been inflicted upon the suffering people. We charge that the controlling influences dominating both these parties have permitted the existing dreadful conditions to develop without serious effort to prevent or restrain them. Neither do they now promise us any substantial reform. They have agreed together to ignore, in the coming campaign, every issue but one. They propose to drown the outcries of a plundered people with the uproar of a sham battle over the tariff, so that capitalists, corporations, national banks, rings, trusts, watered stock, . . . and the oppressions of the usurers may all be lost sight of. They propose to sacrifice our homes, lives, and children on the alter of mammon; to destroy the multitude in order to secure corruption funds from the millionaires. . . .

"We declare that this Republic can only endure as a free government while built upon the love of the people for each other and for the nation; that it cannot be pinned together by bayonets; that the Civil War is over, and that every passion and resentment which grew out of it must die with it, and that we must be in fact, as we are in name, one united brotherhood of free men. . . .

(Excerpts from Documents of American History, ed. by Henry Steele Commager of Columbia University, F.S. Crofts & Co., Inc., 1943, pp. 143-44)

[Editor’s Note: Mark Twain redesigned the American flag in honor of U.S. Imperialism. He replaced the white stripes with black ones and replaced each star with a skull and crossbones. He observed that if we were going to be a pirate nation, we should fly the pirate flag.

Then it was the Philippines, now it is Iraq. The Imperial system has neither improved nor changed. Still, it must end.]


". . . We hold that the policy known as imperialism is hostile to liberty and tends toward militarism, an evil from which it has been our glory to be free. We regret that it has become necessary in the land of Washington and Lincoln to reaffirm that all men, of whatever race or color, are entitled to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. We maintain that governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed. We insist that the subjugation of any people is ‘criminal aggression’ and open disloyalty to the distinctive principles of our Government.

"We earnestly condemn the policy of the present National Administration in the Philippines. It seeks to extinguish the spirit of 1776 in those islands. We deplore the sacrifice of our soldiers and sailors, whose bravery deserves admiration even in an unjust war. We denounce the slaughter of the Filipinos as a needless horror. We protest against the extension of American sovereignty by Spanish methods.

"We demand the immediate cessation of the war against liberty, begun by Spain and continued by us. We urge that Congress be promptly convened to announce to the Filipinos our purpose to concede to them the independence for which they have so long fought and which of right is theirs. . . .

"Whether the ruthless slaughter of the Filipinos shall end next month or next year is but an incident in a contest that must go on until the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States are rescued from the hands of their betrayers. Those who dispute about standards of value while the Republic is undermined will be listened to as little as those who would wrangle about the small economies of the household while the house is on fire. The training of a great people for a century, the aspiration for liberty of a vast immigration are forces that will hurl aside those who in the delirium of conquest seek to destroy the character of our institutions.

"We deny that the obligation of all citizens to support their Government in times of grave National peril applies to the present situation. If an Administration may with impunity ignore the issues upon which it was chosen, deliberately create a condition of war anywhere on the face of the globe, debauch the civil service for spoils to promote the adventure, organize a truth-suppressing censorship and demand of all citizens a suspension of judgement [sic] and their unanimous support while it chooses to continue the fighting, representative government itself is imperiled.

"We propose to contribute to the defeat of any person or party that stands for the forcible subjugation of any people. We shall oppose for reelection all who in the White House or in Congress betray American liberty in pursuit of un-American gains [emphasis ours]. We still hope that both of our great political parties will support and defend the Declaration of Independence in the closing campaign of the century.

"We hold, with Abraham Lincoln, that ‘no man is good enough to govern another man without that man’s consent. When the white man governs himself, that is self-government, but when he governs himself and also governs another man, that is more than self-government — that is despotism’. ‘Our reliance is in the love of liberty which God has planted in us. Our defense is in the spirit which prizes liberty as the heritage of all men in all lands. Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves, and under a just God cannot long retain it.’ . . . " (ibid., pp. 192-93.)

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