[Marxism] New Deal: Racism, and imperialism

S. Artesian sartesian at earthlink.net
Fri Dec 26 15:10:54 MST 2008

I've had a good day.  Lunch in the sun in Paris, a fine bottle of Bordeaux, 
afternoon at Jeu De Paume and L'Orangerie, and I get attacked by both Mark 
Lause and Abu Hartal-- AND I Got Rhythm, so who could ask for anything more?

Abu claims I am a sectarian because I refuse to acknowledge that 
unemployment was cut in half in FDR's first 2 terms-- that would be be from 
1932-1940.  First, I didn't discuss unemployment.  I pointed to no 
improvement in living standards over the improvements generally accruing 
prior to the depression.  Secondly, we are talking about the impact of the 
New Deal programs, and not the run up to WW2, so I would kind of want to 
limit the discussion to the period 1927-- prior to the depression-- to 1938, 
when all the New Deal stimulus came to naught in the collapse of that year.

I would recommend to all-- Abu, and Charles, and anybody who wants to 
embrace the New Deal-- that they spend some time looking at the Statistical 
Abstracts for the US for those years.

There you will see, in referring to living standards, that death rates per 
1000 of the population declined  .4% between 1927 and 1932, and then rose 
.3% between 1932 and 1937.  Deaths of those under five years of age 
continued to decline between 1932 and 37, but only at half the reate 
achieved between 27 and 32.

You will also see that average weekly wages in manufacturing increased 33% 
in manufacturing between 1934 and 1937, only to fall 9% between 37 and 38, 
and please keep in mind that 1932-1933 was the nadir, the lowest of the low 
in the depression.

Working hours per week which had increased 12% between 34-37 declined 7.7% 
between 37 and 38.

In the 1939 Statistical Abstract, "Wage Rates for Common Labor in 13 
Important Industries" are essentially unchanged until 1937 when they leap up 
as capital experiences a momentary recovery, ony to fall back slightly in 

Regarding employment and payrolls, the Statistical Abstract uses an index 
measurement with the 3 year avg, 1923-1925 as the base of 100.   1929 
employment which measured 106% of the average was not exceeded at any point 
to 1937, falling  back in 1938 by some 20% to its 1934 level..

Payrolls had fallen to 46% of the base measure by 1932, from a 110% level in 
1929.  In 1937 payrolls peaked at 102% of the base, only to drop 
dramatically (by about 25%) in 1938.

Those interested should also look at farm output, income, etc, since 
agriculture still demanded so much labor time.

I could go on and on about this-- the point being is that the New Deal did 
nothing plus or minus for the recovery of capitalism-- it was neither 
betrayal nor salvation; this notion of state interventions VS the market is 
baloney-- capitalism never developed without both.

Now I am no more a sectarian in my refusal to embrace the New Deal than Abu 
is a would be Second International Menshevik Social Democratic compromiser 
capitulationist in his embrace of the New Deal.  Actually I'm less of mine 
than he is of his.  But this is not a choice between FDR and Hoover; Hayek 
and Keynes.  That's not what was at stake in the 1930s; and that clash of 
ideologies was neither the cause nor the solution to the depression. Abu 
himself recognizes it, if not then, at least now, I THINK, when,if  he 
states quite correctly, that Japan's recovery from the long recession of the 
1990s [hard for me to tell if that is the period he is referring to] 
depended more on cutting labor costs than all of the Keynesian policies put 
together.  Exactly.  Japan succeeded in creating a new underclass, a 
permanently underemployed, superexploited working class right at home. 
Coming to a prefecture near you... your own private 3rd world.

We, that is Marxists, do not embrace the New Deal; it was a capitalist 
program for the purposes of capital accumulation. We no more embrace it than 
we embrace the depression that preceded and accompanied it; no more than we 
embrace the world war the followed it-- no more than we embrace Vargas' Novo 
Estado, Huey Long's would- be Peronism,  Kennedy's New Frontier, Johnson's 
Great Society, Obama's Yes We Can Can.

And I still want to know why the Pointer Sisters are not giving the 
invocation at the inaugural; why Anita and Bonnie and June and Ruth aren't 
headlining the whole she-bang.
I would be so excited.  I would Jump. Automatic-ally.

Note to Charles:  Could you provide some information on exactly what 
benefits were delivered to African-Americans during the New Deal.  In the 
South.   I have no dispute with the benefits bestowed by the waves of 
industrial unionism in the North,( but the source for those waves, and the 
reasons for its success are not in the New Deal).  I am specifically 
interested in the agricultural South.

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