[Marxism] Andrew Jackson

Mark Lause MLause at cinci.rr.com
Fri Oct 14 01:32:29 MDT 2005

Algie M. Simons and other critics were on the losing end of the academic
arguments about Andrew Jackson for many decades.  At the time Simons was
thinking about the matter, Woodrow Wilson--a "Progressive" Democrat of
"the New South" occupied the White House and Jackson was adopted as a
kind of forerunner of Wilson and the Progressives.  In the wake of the
New Deal and World War II, Arthur Schlesinger Jr.'s AGE OF JACKSON
presented Old Hickory as a kind of antimonopolist predecessor of FDR.  

The kinship was, in large part, genuine.  All three were icons of
institutional racism in terms of African-Americans or of ethnic
cleansing when it came to some other groups...Native Americans or the
Japanese.  Of course, it should be added that none of them--nor their
contemporary Democratic Party standards--had any doubt as to whether the
Irish...or the Jews...were "white."  All the Caucasian groups were going
to be beneficiaries of the liberalizing Democratic order as much as the
fate of "the colored" were just not going to matter.  

Each of these liberal icons ascribed the most reactionary features of
their racial policies as reflecting "the will of the people," but
Jackson never campaigned as the candidate for Indian Removal or Wilson
as the Jim Crow candidate.  People did not necessarily vote for FDR
because he was a defender of Jim Crow and the instigator of Japanese
removal.  In essence, I think the only thing most voters for Jackson or
for Wilson or for FDR were expressing clearly was their consumerist
appreciation of their images. 

In end, though, Jackson, Wilson and FDR would claim their elections as a
sufficient mandate to justify the racialism of their policies.  I can't
see the fearful spectre that's supposed to be haunting the western world
assenting to this assertion...like it was a little liberal troll who
interacts with the world through riddles.
Mark L.

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