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A. Lincoln, Socialist? (by Claude Fischer, Professor of Sociology at Berkeley)

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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 03:20 PM
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A. Lincoln, Socialist? (by Claude Fischer, Professor of Sociology at Berkeley)
http://blogs.berkeley.edu/2011/04/06/a-lincoln-socialis... /

and also on Fischer's own blog:

http://madeinamericathebook.wordpress.com/2011/04/05/a-... /


A. Lincoln, Socialist?

April 5, 2011 by Claude Fischer

A while ago, I was dumbstruck by a comment a Republican party insurgent in Utah made about her former governor, Jon Huntsman, Jr., a Republican politician who received strong kudos from the libertarian Cato Institute. On a good day, a socialist, said Darcy Van Orden, a co-founder of Utah Rising . . . . On a bad day, hes a communist. And, of course, people like Ms. Van Orden consider it obvious that Barack Obama is a socialist, if not worse. David Koch, one of the brother team of conservative financial angels, commented, for example, that Obamas father was a hard core economic socialist in Kenya . . . was apparently from what I read a great admirer of his fathers points of view.

It is striking how the term socialist has been redefined so that almost any policy and anyone can get that label. Indeed, many a past president would qualify by these standards surely FDR, Truman, and Democrats through Clinton but so would Republican presidents. By the standards of people such as Ms. Van Orden and David Koch, Abraham Lincoln was surely an out-and-out socialist-communist.

Lincoln Socialism

Lets consider the Lincoln record. During just one term (plus 45 days), Lincoln managed to do the following socialist-communist acts:

Taxed the Wealth Creators. In 1861, Lincoln signed a law enacting the nations first personal income tax. Eventually, those earning between $600 and $10,000 a year paid 3% and those making more paid a higher rate. This was the first move toward progressive taxation of individual effort and we still live with such taxes today.

-snip-



This is a great read. After listing all the things Lincoln did that would have led a Tea Partier to call him a socialist-communist, Fischer considers GOP presidents Teddy Roosevelt, Eisenhower, Nixon, Reagan, and even George W. Bush, and finally concludes that only Calvin Coolidge would be likely to meet the "non-socialist" standards of Tea Partiers and David Koch.
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The Magistrate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 03:37 PM
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1. Definitely An Incendiary Leftist, Sir...
"Labor is prior to, and independent of, capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration. "

"I am glad to know that there is a system of labor where the laborer can strike if he wants to! I would to God that such a system prevailed all over the world."
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MadHound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 03:46 PM
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2. This is a little know secret about Lincoln.
The Magistrate was quicker on the quote trigger than I was, but let me add that Lincoln corresponded with, and was delighted by, Robert Owen concerning his commune that Owen established in the States. Owen was a major influence on Marx's philosophy. Lincoln was also in regular contact with The International and exchanged letters with Marx.

It is one of those great "what if's" of history, if Lincoln had lived, with the opportunity of Reconstruction, how would he have reordered society. Sadly, a bullet ended that opportunity, and we got Johnson instead, leading to a disaster that still reverberates today.
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The Magistrate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 05:04 PM
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4. Indeed, Sir: Mr. Lincoln Is The Only Man Who Might have Managed Reconstruction Successfully
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damntexdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 04:20 PM
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3. Well, according to Harry Turtledove, Lincoln founded the Socialist Party ...
after leaving the presidency following the disastrous loss of the Civil War to the Confederacy.

But then, Turtledove explicitly writes alternative histories -- interesting reads.

By contrast, a lot of Repukes really believe in their alternate histories, and present days. Or at least they claim to. A little issue of distinguishing fiction from nonfiction there.
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 10:13 PM
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5. kick
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