[Marxism] The working class roots of the DP?
markalause at gmail.com
Fri Nov 11 10:28:06 MST 2016
The historic class roots of the Democratic Party were in the newly
empowered cotton-growing slaveocracy. It emerged from the proverbial
coalition of the South and West, hinged on the new cotton plantations of
the lower Mississippi. The generation after the invention of the cotton
gin--and the booming demand of Britain for cotton--created a new kind of
superwealthy plantation system, vastly more profitable and exploitative
than those which had earlier produced tobacco and other goods on the
After the Civil War, it never had a solid base in the working class, except
for ethnically stratified but always white skilled labor in select cities.
Working class voters were more likely in most places to vote for pro-tariff
Republicans. Wilson courted organized labor--again skilled and white and
male--and the AFL rather than the hunted and persecuted IWW--looking for a
role as respectable collaborators with the Progressive agenda. This
briefly came to fruition under FDR . . . though never as much as claimed by
the Democrats, union officialdom, and the Communists who favored the
alliance. Given the choice of being allied to Southern Jim Crow
industrialists and the organizers trying to reach their employees, FDR's
administration happily looked the other way during the even violent
repression of their workers.
For a balanced view of how employers worked before and during, see the new
For the official Democratic Party view, consult the New York Times . . . or
reruns of the Howdy Doody Show.
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