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Tue Feb 19, 2013, 08:52 PM

Salon: The “original sin” of the Southern political class is cheap, powerless labor

Contemporary American politics cannot be understood apart from the North-South divide in the U.S., as I and others have argued. Neither can contemporary American economic debates. The real choice facing America in the 21st century is the same one that faced it in the 19th and 20th centuries — Northernomics or Southernomics?

Northernomics is the high-road strategy of building a flourishing national economy by means of government-business cooperation and government investment in R&D, infrastructure and education. Although this program of Hamiltonianism (named after Washington’s first Treasury secretary, Alexander Hamilton) has been championed by maverick Southerners as prominent as George Washington, Henry Clay and Abraham Lincoln (born in Kentucky to a Southern family), the building of a modern, high-tech, high-wage economy has been supported chiefly by political parties based in New England and the Midwest, from the Federalists and the Whigs through the Lincoln Republicans and today’s Northern Democrats.

Southernomics is radically different. The purpose of the age-old economic development strategy of the Southern states has never been to allow them to compete with other states or countries on the basis of superior innovation or living standards. Instead, for generations Southern economic policymakers have sought to secure a lucrative second-tier role for the South in the national and world economies, as a supplier of commodities like cotton and oil and gas and a source of cheap labor for footloose corporations. This strategy of specializing in commodities and cheap labor is intended to enrich the Southern oligarchy. It doesn’t enrich the majority of Southerners, white, black or brown, but it is not intended to.

Contrary to what is often said, the “original sin” of the South is not slavery, or even racism. It is cheap, powerless labor.

Before 1900, the cheap labor was used to harvest export crops like cotton and lumber. Beginning around 1900, Southern states sought to reap benefits from the new industrial economy by supplying national manufacturing companies with pools of cheap, powerless labor as well. For a century now, Southern state economic development policies have sought to lure companies from high-wage, high-service states, by promising low wages and docile workers. Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s recent appeals to California businesses to relocate to the Lone Star State are the most recent example.

http://www.salon.com/2013/02/19/southern_poverty_pimps/

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Reply Salon: The “original sin” of the Southern political class is cheap, powerless labor (Original post)
Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin Feb 2013 OP
senseandsensibility Feb 2013 #1
DBoon Feb 2013 #2
bvar22 Feb 2013 #3
CanonRay Feb 2013 #30
Canuckistanian Feb 2013 #4
moondust Feb 2013 #5
Major Nikon Feb 2013 #6
alarimer Feb 2013 #7
HiPointDem Feb 2013 #8
Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin Feb 2013 #9
HiPointDem Feb 2013 #11
Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin Feb 2013 #12
HiPointDem Feb 2013 #13
Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin Feb 2013 #14
HiPointDem Feb 2013 #15
HiPointDem Feb 2013 #16
pecwae Feb 2013 #18
cordelia Feb 2013 #19
lynne Feb 2013 #20
OldDem2012 Feb 2013 #21
HiPointDem Feb 2013 #25
Laelth Feb 2013 #28
OldDem2012 Feb 2013 #29
Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin Feb 2013 #38
HiPointDem Feb 2013 #40
Puzzledtraveller Feb 2013 #22
Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin Feb 2013 #39
catbyte Feb 2013 #10
Berlum Feb 2013 #17
LongTomH Feb 2013 #23
HiPointDem Feb 2013 #27
ananda Feb 2013 #24
Laelth Feb 2013 #26
Laelth Feb 2013 #31
HiPointDem Feb 2013 #32
DinahMoeHum Feb 2013 #33
Laelth Feb 2013 #34
Volaris Feb 2013 #35
SpartanDem Feb 2013 #36
Sen. Walter Sobchak Feb 2013 #37

Response to Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin (Original post)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 08:58 PM

1. I still think slavery is the original sin.

But yes, cheap labor was and is what the Southern economy is about.

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Response to senseandsensibility (Reply #1)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 09:54 PM

2. Slavery is the ultimate cheap powerless labor

it is the standard against which all modern variants are judged.

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Response to senseandsensibility (Reply #1)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 10:30 PM

3. If Slavery IS the Original Sin,

...then it stains the soul of North & South alike.
Slavery wasn't abolished until 1863.

What the OP references is a rehash of the difference between Agrarian and Industrial societies.
The farm communities of the San Joaquin Valley, Ca. are STILL dependent on cheap migrant labor,
as are most farming communities across the nation.

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Response to bvar22 (Reply #3)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 09:13 AM

30. Yes, they've made an adjustment to have to pay some minimal wages

instead of using slaves or convicts. This is why they are so anti-union there.

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Response to Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin (Original post)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 10:39 PM

4. I believe it

Where did this "right to work for less" political movement start?

And where is the resistance to unions the strongest?

And where are blacks kept securely in low-paying jobs?

And where are blacks being denied voting rights through long lineups in minority districts and discriminatory voter rules requiring near impossible ID requirements?

That's right, the southern states.

If there's ever another civil war, that's where it will start.

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Response to Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin (Original post)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 10:45 PM

5. Hmmm...

Why are these two maps so similar?

~1860





2012



My guess is that it has something to do with "cheap, powerless labor."

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Response to Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin (Original post)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 11:00 PM

6. This is not so much a figment of the South anymore

It really appears to be creeping into just about every state where the GOP has a significant representation, or especially a majority.

If you look at the stagnation of wages in the US over the past 20 years or so, it's kind of hard to blame all of that on the South.

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Response to Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin (Original post)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 11:08 PM

7. It is no coincidence that the South had the lowest percentage of union representation.

All of them are right-to-work states. Not a coincidence.

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Response to Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin (Original post)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 11:15 PM

8. what?

 

Northernomics is the high-road strategy of building a flourishing national economy by means of government-business cooperation and government investment in R&D, infrastructure and education.

bull.

1. Northern industry was built on the profits of slave labor. Slaves were used in the North to clear land, harvest crops, run the sugar business, etc. Northerners were the slave catchers and traders, the cotton brokers, and the financiers. They outlawed slavery in the North once they'd made a bundle and were moving into industry, but lots of Northerners were 'invested' in, or *owned* the slave labor sugar plantations of the Caribbean or profited off Southern slavery in various ways.

2. Northern industry was built on slave-like labor, e.g.:



The conditions that children worked under during the Industrial Revolution were morbid. They had long and inflexible work hours. According to many studies, these hours ranged from 14 hours a day or 70 hours per week. The child laborers worked in environments that were unhealthy and dangerous to their physical well being. Many lost limbs, were killed in gas explosions; crushed under machines; and burned. The workers developed lung cancer from poisonous fumes. When their work or machines were not harming them, their supervisors and overseers harmed them. They were beaten, and when they tried to escape from the factories, they were shackled.

https://www.mtholyoke.edu/~hicks22a/classweb/Childlabor/WebsiteChildlabor/History.html

3. Even today, the first-world profits of the "North" relies on slave-like labor both at home and overseas.

4. Scratch any big capitalist dynasty of the present day & you will find the exploitation of slave labor lurking somewhere in the family history.

"Behind every great fortune is a crime."

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #8)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 11:32 PM

9. Funny thing is the article you link to doesn't support what you wrote.

As a matter of fact your link talks about Great Britain not the US.

While working conditions may not have been ideal by today's standard in the industrial north such was not the slavery the south had. People in the factories were compensated for their work.

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Response to Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin (Reply #9)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 11:39 PM

11. child labor wasn't any better in the us than in england, and everything i wrote is true.

 

there is no difference between the northern and southern systems. both were founded on slavery.

fdr's ancestors in new york used slaves in their sugar business and had investments in slave sugar in the caribbean.

ancestors of both the R & D candidate in the 2004 election profited from slavery.

all the major banks & insurance companies made their nut on slavery. quakers were some of the big slave traders in the early days of the trade. rhode island ships were some of the most important in the slave trade.

the lowell textile mills & lowell massachussets were founded on slavery and opium profits. george bush's ancestors had a stake in both northern textile mills and savannah cotton trading -- synergy!!

john kerry's ancestors traded slaves before they traded opium and used the profits to fund their investments in textile mills, railroads and more.

scratch a capitalist, you'll find slavery or semi-slavery.

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #11)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 11:42 PM

12. Sorry buddy I don't buy your revisionist BS

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Response to Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin (Reply #12)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 11:48 PM

13. lol. you don't know your history. 'revisionist' is people who pretend slavery = only the south.

 

"The effects of the New England slave trade were momentous. It was one of the foundations of New England's economic structure; it created a wealthy class of slave-trading merchants, while the profits derived from this commerce stimulated cultural development and philanthropy."

--Lorenzo Johnston Greene, “The Negro in Colonial New England, 1620-1776,” p.319.

Whether it was officially encouraged, as in New York and New Jersey, or not, as in Pennsylvania, the slave trade flourished in colonial Northern ports. But New England was by far the leading slave merchant of the American colonies.

The first systematic venture from New England to Africa was undertaken in 1644 by an association of Boston traders...

Boston and Newport were the chief slave ports, but nearly all the New England towns -- Salem, Providence, Middletown, New London – had a hand in it. In 1740, slaving interests in Newport owned or managed 150 vessels engaged in all manner of trading. In Rhode Island colony, as much as two-thirds of the merchant fleet and a similar fraction of sailors were engaged in slave traffic. The colonial governments of Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania all, at various times, derived money from the slave trade by levying duties on black imports. Tariffs on slave import in Rhode Island in 1717 and 1729 were used to repair roads and bridges.

http://www.slavenorth.com/profits.htm

Emily Dickinson's family lived on slave profits. Ralph Waldo Emerson, ditto.

Scratch a Northen culture-hero, you're likely to find slavery lurking off-stage.

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #13)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 11:49 PM

14. Dude you haven't supported your argument.

Good night.

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Response to Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin (Reply #14)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 11:58 PM

15. dude, you can start your education with the link in the post you just responded to. here it is

 

again:

http://www.slavenorth.com/profits.htm

"On the eve of the Revolution, the slave trade formed the very basis of the economic life of New England.”

I'm actually fairly shocked that someone posting at DU doesn't know about slavery and the slave trade in the North, or the extent to which Northern industrial and financial fortunes were built on it. Or the extent to which Northerners extracted profits from the Southern slave economy (the Brown Brothers, later Brown Brothers Harriman capital was built on the slave trade, for example).

The Ivies were all built on slave and opium profits.

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #15)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 01:34 AM

16. here's another:

 

Harvard University was the first institution of higher learning in colonial America. Founded in 1636 as a training ground for aspiring ministers, it capitalized on this early start and became during the nineteenth century the nation’s most influential university, and by the middle of the twentieth century, arguably the world’s. Not surprisingly, then, Harvard’s four centuries’ long career is tightly connected to the history of New England, the United States and the Atlantic World on whose most dynamic eastern edge it was perched. Notwithstanding a deafening silence on the topic in most remembrances of this great university, Harvard’s history entails a whole range of connections to slavery.

This site is a result of investigations Harvard students made into this forgotten part of the University’s history.

http://www.harvardandslavery.com/

We're marking Black History Month with a look at the ties Ivy League universities have to slavery. Though slavery is still largely considered a Southern institution, it's an American institution that's touched ever corner of the nation, including the country's esteemed universities. From Amherst College, to Harvard University, these institutions were built on the backs of slaves. With Brown University leading the way, universities have recently started confronting the uncomfortable truths about their connection to slavery and the implicit racism that came with it. Now that our academic institutions are exhuming their pasts, how should we be talking about slavery in the 21st century?

http://www.wgbh.org/programs/The-Callie-Crossley-Show-855/episodes/Thurs-22312The-Ivy-Leagues-Shackled-to-a-Shameful-Past-36434

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #16)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 06:22 AM

18. Thank you HPD

for all your posts in this thread and the links.

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #16)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 06:36 AM

19. Much appreciated, HiPointDem

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #16)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 07:40 AM

20. I had the same reaction as you -

- when I first saw this thread. Bull!

Was going to post the slavenorth link and saw that you'd already done it. I'd not seen the harvardandslavery site, thanks for posting them both.

Some have a hard time believing this aspect of our history because it isn't found in our 4th grade history books. Actually, northern support for and profit from slavery isn't unbelievable at all. Where in the world do people think the north was getting the cotton used in all those northern textile mills?

Not a pretty part of our history but one that should certainly be acknowledged and understood.

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #16)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 07:53 AM

21. Thank you! You are absolutely correct. It's remarkable how many people just don't know.....

....the finer details and underpinnings of US History, and not the watered down crap they teach in schools these days.

What really bothers me is most Americans don't even want to know our history.

Here's an excellent website dealing with the history of slavery in the US:

Slavery and the Making of America



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Response to OldDem2012 (Reply #21)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 09:02 AM

25. link looks interesting; thanks! real american history is way more interesting and educational

 

than the standard brand.

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #25)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 09:10 AM

28. Thank you for an informative series of posts on this important topic. n/t

-Laelth

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #25)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 09:13 AM

29. I tell that to my two kids every time they have a test in what they now call "Social Studies"....

....the teaching of US and World History has changed dramatically over the last 30-40 years from when I was in high school and college.

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #16)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 12:17 AM

38. Dude you still haven't proven your point.

Yes slavery in colonial America. It died out when we became a country.

Do you know about the anti-slave riots in Boston that occurred when Federal Troops enforced the fugitive slave act?

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Response to Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin (Reply #38)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 02:56 AM

40. you seem to think my point is "the north had slaves too." but my point is that slave-trade

 

Last edited Thu Feb 21, 2013, 03:32 AM - Edit history (1)

capital financed northern industrialization.

that includes capital aggregated from the earliest colonization of north america from actual slave trading, slave labor, and slave products, to the capital aggregated selling northern slaves south, financing southern slave voyages, brokering & selling slave-grown products like cotton, and using slave-grown products for further production as in early textile mills.

You don't get it and apparently don't wish to get it because you have some schemata in your head that says "North = good, South = bad/Northerners = good, Southerners = bad"

Reality is not nearly so tidy.

For example, here are James & Thomas Handasyd Perkins talking about trading slaves in the Caribbean and Georgia circa 1790 (after the Revolution, note):

http://books.google.com/books?id=lmPFnzXU7o0C&pg=PA534&dq=this+was,+for+J+and+T+Handasyde+perkins+of+boston,+as+they&hl=en&sa=X&ei=V8MlUZOxIobliwKt7YGABg&ved=0CDgQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=this%20was%2C%20for%20J%20and%20T%20Handasyde%20perkins%20of%20boston%2C%20as%20they&f=false

And if you know anything about the Perkins family, you know it's one of Boston's elite families, intermarried with most of Boston's old financial aristocracy that became a modern financial aristocracy -- the Cabots, Lowells, Jacksons, Forbes, Higginsons, Lees, etc.

Perkins was also a major industrial investor within Massachusetts. He owned the Granite Railway, the first commercial American railroad, which was built to carry granite from Quincy quarries to Charlestown for construction of the Bunker Hill Monument and other city buildings in Boston. He also held significant holdings in the Elliot textile mills in Newton, the mills at Holyoke and Lowell, New England canals and railroads, and lead and iron mines including the Monkton Iron Company in Vermont.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Handasyd_Perkins

Perkins was one of the "Boston Associates" that developed Lowell, MA as a textile mill town and built the first integrated textile mill in the US:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lowell,_Massachusetts


To detail all the relations between Perkins capital & industrialization would require a heavy tome, but here's just one: William Hathaway Forbes was the major financier of Bell Telephone. He was a great-grandson of James Perkins & a grandson of Margaret Perkins + Ralph Bennett Forbes.

http://books.google.com/books?id=OiEmyTq8lzYC&pg=PA154&lpg=PA154&dq=william+hathaway+forbes+bell+telephone&source=bl&ots=NDSyqRoDh7&sig=DWu_NfmBwD68G20Zd8w1pHxEeXw&hl=en&sa=X&ei=OsclUY_jJMXrigKl2IDwCg&ved=0CFIQ6AEwAw#v=onepage&q=william%20hathaway%20forbes%20bell%20telephone&f=false

And the Perkins family wasn't the only Boston family that made money directly or indirectly from the slave trade by a long shot. Capital amassed from this was re-invested in industrialization.

For example, the Forbes also had their slavery connection:

John Murray Forbes, the railroad barn owned a cottage at Magnolia Springs. He had inherited a fortune passed down from his grandfather who had been a partner in the Panton, Leslie & Co. Indian trading firm....

http://archives.clayclerk.com/Places-Towns-MagnoliaSprings.html

Panton, Leslie (later to become John Forbes & Co.,) also dealt in slaves; they owned them, and they traded them.

http://books.google.com/books?id=PYuKmaAtQ_kC&pg=PA90&dq=panton+leslie+slaves+1802&hl=en&sa=X&ei=ZtklUd2lHumViALdhIDQCg&ved=0CDYQ6AEwAQ#v=onepage&q=panton%20leslie%20slaves%201802&f=false

Senator John Forbes Kerry is a modern-day relation.

Here's another Northern (offices in Philadelphia, New York, Liverpool, Baltimore) family fortune amassed in the slave trade:

Records and letters at the New York Historical Society show James and William Brown built their merchant bank — today's Brown Bros. Harriman — by lending to Southern planters, brokering slave-grown cotton and acting as a clearinghouse for the South's complex financial system. The firm earned commissions arranging cotton shipments from Southern ports to mills in New England and Britain. It also loaned millions directly to planters, merchants and cotton brokers throughout the South.

Company records show Brown Bros. loaned to plantation owners who told the firm that they needed the cash to buy slaves. When those planters or their banks failed, Brown Bros. took possession of the assets. It used its local agents to run repossessed plantations and manage the slaves working there.

The fullest picture of the Browns as slaveholders comes from 1840s and 1850s Louisiana court records affirming Brown's claim to three Concordia Parish cotton plantations totaling 4,614 acres, and the plantations' 346 slaves, each named in court records.

Brown Bros. & Co. merged with two other firms in 1931 to create Brown Bros. Harriman.

Donald Murphy, a partner, says the investment bank has no pre-Civil War records and sees no need to go through its records. "As an institution, I and my partners could look you in the eye and say we abhor that slavery ever existed in this or any other country. And yet I don't feel qualified to comment on practices and actions of a different society of 175 years ago," he says.


http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/money/general/2002/02/21/slave-brown-bros.htm


And Brown Bros Harriman, as we all know, still survives as one of the largest investment banks in the *world*. Built on a foundation of slavery. Also well-known because of prominent execs like Prescott Bush and the railroad-building Harrimans, later to move into politics (Averell Harriman).

What is so surprising about the fact that many of these wealthy families would turn 'abolitionist' once they'd made a lot of money from slavery & were moving toward a new financial model? There was more money to be made in new & more profitable ways and eliminating Southern capital picked off some of the competition, among other benefits.

The simplistic schemata we learn in school teaches us a myth that effectively 'disappears' elites from the story of slavery. The myth says slavery was about 'bad people' who were 'racist', and so our task is to always be on guard against 'racism'.

But racism is just one of the ex-post-facto justifications people resort to when they want to *use* and *exploit* other people, and becomes institutionalized as that exploitation becomes institutionalized -- and that institutionalization is a product of elite power.

The people who run the world today are often times descendants of people who ran the world 100 years ago -- or more. And many of them amassed capital in the slave trade. This is why narratives like "Southerners bad" or "white privilege" -- while containing a partial truth -- are nevertheless deceptive at their core. The average joe gained little from slavery other than the dubious 'privilege' of competing with slave labor while feeling superior to black people.

Cui bono? is the operative question.


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Response to Puzzledtraveller (Reply #22)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 12:18 AM

39. I read the Jungle in 9th grade.

It was deplorable but not slavery.

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Response to Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin (Original post)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 11:33 PM

10. And Snyder & gang is trying to bring that model to MI. I can see the "Pure Michigan"

Campaign now. Pure Michigan, smells like Alabama.

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Response to Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin (Original post)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 06:01 AM

17. Mammon Vs. America

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Response to Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin (Original post)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 08:13 AM

23. There was an interesting AlterNet article on a similar subject back in June 2012

Progressive futurist and AlterNet editor Sara Robinson argued that the GOP is being run by the descendants of Southern slaveowners.

It's been said that the rich are different than you and me. What most Americans don't know is that they're also quite different from each other, and that which faction is currently running the show ultimately makes a vast difference in the kind of country we are.

Right now, a lot of our problems stem directly from the fact that the wrong sort has finally gotten the upper hand; a particularly brutal and anti-democratic strain of American aristocrat that the other elites have mostly managed to keep away from the levers of power since the Revolution. Worse: this bunch has set a very ugly tone that's corrupted how people with power and money behave in every corner of our culture. Here's what happened, and how it happened, and what it means for America now.


HiPointDem is correct that slavery tarnished the history of both North and South and that conditions for workers in both North and South were horrible. However, the reforms that improved conditions for workers largely came from Northern union organizers and Yankee political reformers, the Roosevelts, Woodrow Wilson, JFK, etc.

Northerners are far from pure; most of the old Yankee industrialists were guilty of exploiting their workers; but, there was that reformist strain that eventually produced better working conditions, and the shared prosperity of post-war America until the Reagan revolution.

I posted some excerpts from the article, beginning with my own comments:

Human beings make models ('hypotheses' in scientific terms) to explain how things work. In science, a hypothesis is judged by its utility in explaining known phenomenon and it's predictive capabilities; that is, how well does it explain new phenomena? Progressive futurist Sara Robinson has offered an interesting hypothesis to explain the behavior and ideology of the Republican party over the last few decades.

The North vs South model can be regarded as a hypothesis; the question is: How useful is it in explaining the increasing ruthlessness of GOP politicians and the capitalists who exploit the South's cheap labor?

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Response to LongTomH (Reply #23)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 09:08 AM

27. the reforms came largely because 1) elite northern abolitionists had already made their nut &

 

were moving on to new things; they didn't want competion from southern slave capital (contrary to the popular image, the south was industrializing right along with the north before the civil war).

2) for most of the rest of the reforms you can give thanks to the nascent communist/anarchist movements and fear thereof among the capitalist classes (marx was a contemporary of lincoln).

northern capital was no more noble or 'gentle' than southern capital. in many cases, in fact, it was the same damn capital.

some of george bush's ancestors, for example, were relations of eli whitney's (also a northerner), and went south almost as soon as the cotton gin was invented to make their fortunes in the cotton business!

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Response to Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin (Original post)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 08:23 AM

24. It still is ...

... along with an obsession with proliferating charter schools and prisons.

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Response to Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin (Original post)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 09:04 AM

26. Excellent eaasy. k&r n/t

-Laelth

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Response to Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin (Original post)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 09:20 AM

31. Interesting paragraph from the article.

Ruthless and callous as they are, the old families and nouveaux riches who make up the Southern elite don’t want their workers to starve. On the other hand, they prefer not to pay a wage adequate for the necessities of life. The solution favored by the Southern oligarchy is the earned income tax credit, a wage subsidy to workers that tops up a too-low wage paid by the employer.


Mrs. Laelth worked for an insurance company at a major service call center here in Georgia, and she discovered that nearly 50% of the center's employees were eligible for and receiving food stamps (SNAP benefits). We the People of the United States subsidize cheap, Southern labor (and enrich wealthy corporations) in a number of ways, not just through the EITC (Earned Income Tax Credit).

-Laelth

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Response to Laelth (Reply #31)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 09:36 AM

32. +1

 

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Response to Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin (Original post)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 09:47 AM

33. Chiquola Mills, Honea Path, SC, 1934. . .

Last edited Wed Feb 20, 2013, 10:53 AM - Edit history (1)

If you want to know why many Southern whites still behave the way they do, this story is worth reading:
http://www.salon.com/2010/09/07/southern_labor_history/


Except they didn't really "forget". It was a very painful period in their lives and many of them chose to deliberately suppress their memories of it. They've been internalizing this ever since; and Southern workers are all the poorer for it.

One important point here: the white churches there failed their worker congregations big time. Unlike the black churches decades later in the civil rights struggles of the 60's.

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Response to DinahMoeHum (Reply #33)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 10:13 AM

34. Excellent essay. Thanks for this post. n/t

-Laelth

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Response to Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin (Original post)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 12:06 PM

35. Then maybe we over here on our side should consider the following:

doing whatever we can to get State-Level Legislatures to prop up the working classes in places like New England, The pacific Coast and the parts of the Midwest that would be open to these kinds of programs, and then offer State Subsidies to get people to move to those places. The "South" can have all the businesses they want move there, but if theres a massive population crash because people can live better elsewhere, theres not much point trying to pull that business away from where it is NOW.

I live in MO. If ANYWHERE in New England or the Pacific Coast offered to pay for my moving expenses because they value me even a little bit more than some random, rich Corporation and want me to contribute to THAT idea of a Functional Government/Society, I would get the hell out of here in a heartbeat.

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Response to Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin (Original post)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 04:25 PM

36. Not much has changed when you think about it, they're still using race as class divider

by in large middle and class poor whites in the South would rather be poor than equal to blacks and other minorities. This doesn't only happen in the South, you could blame a lot of this nations back sliding over the last 30 years on it. But the worst abuses still occur in the South.

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Response to Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin (Original post)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 06:09 PM

37. It is like this guy is reading my university history papers

If his next article is about the economic policies of Francois Mitterrand, well I will know he has been rummaging my parents basement.

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