[lbo-talk] Confusing the Symptom with the Illness

Jim Farmelant farmelantj at juno.com
Mon Mar 26 10:37:39 PDT 2018

FDR started to back away from some of the more radical aspects of the New Deal after the US entered the Second World War because he wanted to ensure the wholehearted support of the business community. During the war, the unions in the defense industries were pressured into accepting "no strike pledges." The CPUSA, which had been a driving force behind organized labor's radical left eagerly accepted those pledges too. FDR's shift to the right was signaled in 1944, when he dropped Henry Wallace as his running mate in favor of Harry Truman. Truman, unlike Wallace, was willing to embrace the anticommunist policies that the capitalist elites were pushing in the postwar era. Thus, Truman as president brought in loyalty oaths for Federal employees. That practice was then widely copied at the state and local levels too. The GOP's success at regaining control of Congress in 1946, ensured that Truman would continued to be pressured from the right. In 1948, Truman was successfully reelected as president. He ran on a Fair Deal platform which promised to continue and extend the gains of the New Deal. It had planks for such things as national health insurance and public housing. But in the end, only public housing was enacted into law. As Carrol points out, this period saw the passage of Taft-Harley which effectively rolled back many of the gains that the CIO had made. The unions were pressured into purging their left-wing as were also the universities and schools. That is why when the left revived in the 1960s's. it did so without significant backing from organized labor and radical students also found there was a a dearth of support for them from senior faculty, since most of the left-wing professors had been purged in the previous decade.

Jim Farmelant http://independent.academia.edu/JimFarmelant http://www.foxymath.com Learn or Review Basic Math

---------- Original Message ---------- From: "Cox, Carrol" <cbcox at ilstu.edu> To: "lbo-talk at lbo-talk.org" <lbo-talk at lbo-talk.org> Subject: Re: [lbo-talk] Confusing the Symptom with the Illness Date: Mon, 26 Mar 2018 16:40:10 +0000

This is all exploratory rather than assertion.

I tentatively suggest it started rather rearlier and has (_merely_) hardened. Starting dates could be August 8, 1945, or the Marxhall Plan or the launching of The Great Red Scare under Truman or the Taft-Hartley Bill, with its prohibition (unchallenged by labor) of Secondary Boycotts. Without the weapon of the Secondary Boycott Labor _as a Movement_ essentially disappears. Looking back from Trump what we see is a partly spontaneous, partly conscious and systematic Counter-attack by Capitalist elites on the gains labor had made from 1917 to 1945. I would sggest Kennedy's Inaugural Address as systematizing that counter-attack (Back sometime in the '70s, either in personal conversation or in some paper, Bruce Frandlin pointed out that "the 60s" left was the first left not grounded in and supported (actively supported) by The Labor Movement. Taft-Harley had succeded: Repression worked.

I would like to see another crude summary & analysis of history 1945-1988. I'm suggesting that Reagan-Thatcher represented not the biginning but merely the formalization of that post-war offensive by capital.


P.S. In some moods I would assert: The Class War is Ended -- Capital (Barbarism) is triumphant.

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