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« Water over the dam | Main | Why didn't they evacuate? »


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Michael Bains

I imagine the post civil war egalitarianism came into play here as well. Corruption needed a distraction and trust has to be earned some way... Usually at the expense of political minorities.


One thing that irks the hell out of me is the degree to which these 19th and early 20th Century "panics" have completely dropped into the memory hole. We've lived for so long in the shade of the big tree of financial regulation and a social safety net that we've forgotten how utterly, horrifically awful the pre-New Deal U.S. was for anyone not in a two-yacht family. Instead we've swallowed the sort of fantasies of the Old West and the Victorian morality tales that animate idiots like the Three-Percenters, the Bundys, and the Malheur Moron Mulisha.

But anathematizing the Bolshviks and the Fascists as Evil Bad we've driven under the sod the reason that whole bunches of people were enthusiastic Communists and Fascists; because the fucking Master of the Universe really WERE Just. That. Goddamn. Evil. They were real-life Snydley Whiplashes; cackling over their moneybags at the starving widows and orphans of the workers impoverished and killed in their reckless adventures.

Fortunately (!) for us our new Republican Overlords luuuuurve them some Gilded Age and are doing their utmost to re-create that time, so we are likely to be lucky enough to find out why the strikers were willing to charge armed soldiers at Homestead or go to prison for fighting to organize steel mills and lumber camps.

UNfortunately the old coalition that beat back these plutocratic bastards - a combination of muckraking journalists, commies/socialists/anarchists, union organizers, Progressive/Good Government types, immigrant organizations, and random noblesse oblige aristos like FDR - is hopelessly fractured into a courtier press, a tattered, Rush-addicted "white working class", and Koch-sucking banksters. Our chances of getting out of this coming mess are slim to none; more likely will be the rise of some sort of American Man on Horseback; wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross...


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