[Marxism] how successful was the New Deal?
markalause at gmail.com
Wed Dec 24 11:56:54 MST 2008
The major impact of the New Deal is both more and less than its
policies and their impact. In the end, I suspect that it may well
have been the simple idea that government was doing SOMETHING beyond
the core "progressive" reforms that had failed to prevent 1929. Put
another way, there was a national decision to abandon the lunkheaded
idolatry of "the market forces" that had prevailed before. That this
legacy was reversible never occured to most of use, I suppose.
Related, this shift generated an ideology that has passed into the
politics of popular culture as a kind of Socialism-Lite. Again, this
had less to do with policies and their impact than an ideology that
government was there to be service to its people. Not long before
Calvin Coolidge has said that "the business of America is business."
These may not be particularly tangible to some of the list, but they
are substantive in terms of how people perceived the New Deal. If you
ever discussed this with people who lived through it, most of them
discussed these broader themes before getting down to the policies and
programs...if ever they got to them...
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