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Reply #63: Technically, that's correct. [View All]

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RaleighNCDUer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-05-10 12:43 PM
Response to Reply #50
63. Technically, that's correct.
WWI was borne of the conceits of the Gilded Age, of literal imperialism - as in the British Empire, the German 2nd Reich, the Imperial Czars - as a fact of life, and the disregard of the aristocracy for the workers in ALL nations. Unionization was violently suppressed to the tunes of thousands of deaths during anti-labor actions, even in this country where the legal system saw labor organizers as anarchists and deserving of whatever happened to them.

WWI exposed the fallacies that were the underpinning of the world's empires, and the economic system they depended on. Millions of men who faced death every day on the battlefield returned to their civilian jobs and found they had the wherewithal to stand up to corporate goons - it's hard for a cop with a nightstick to intimidate someone who survived mustard gas attacks. The personal empowerment they experienced was translated into action when the economy collapsed. The majority of labor activists in the 20s and 30s were veterans of WWI, and not easily scared. Without their radicalization there would have been little impetus for adopting many of the New Deal programs. They were NOT products of FDR's imagination - they were, nearly all of them, platforms of the socialist and communist parties, and he adopted them to forestall a revolution here in this country. At one point we were lining up into two camps - the fascists on one side and communists on the other - and without the New Deal we could have devolved just as Germany did in a similar situation, with fascists and reds shooting it out on the streets. Just as in Germany, that was a result of WWI, only there it was the fascists who won.
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