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Monday, 23 August 2010

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John Emerson

I have been making a nuisance of myself about this, but anyway:

1. Bryan was a Democrat, not a Populist. In 1896 he was endorsed by the Populists, but he didn't even acknowledge the endorsement. By contrast, Clarence Darrow, Bryan's opponent in the Scopes trial, had been an active Populist. The Populist Party had a significant socialist wing, many of whom ended up in the Socialist Party, for example Debs.

2. The term progressive means all kinds of overlapping things: 1912 Progressives, 1924 Progressives, 1948 Progressives, Prairie Progressives, Wisconsin Progressives, and the all-important Other Progressives. Many Progressives worked within one of the major Parties in defiance of the national leadership, usually the Republican Party. But you are correct that London was probably none of these.

3. In 1912 Roosevelt left the Republican Party to form a new party. He had the same kind of relation to the Progressives as Bryan did to the Populists, and LaFollette, who hd been the Progressive leader, did not support him (and Wisconsin voted for Wilson.) LaFollette ran in 1924 and got 17% compared to Roosevelt's 27% in 1912.

4. While the Populist Party was around the Populists and the Progressives were not necessarily friendly, but as time went on Progressives absorbed a lot of Populist support and probably some Socialist support.

5. Bonus: The Republican Progressive Fiorello LaGuardia, legendary mayor of NYC, was half Jewish and half Italian atheist, and he was raised as an Episcopalian in Arizona. His mother is buried in the Jewish cemetery in Budapest.

6. Governor Floyd B Olson of the Minnesota Farmer Labor Party grew up in a Jewish neighborhood and spoke Yiddish.


rumor

As an aside, "Liberal Fascism: Two Words Next to Each Other" is still the funniest thing I've ever seen in relation to Jonah Goldberg.

SEK

The term progressive means all kinds of overlapping things: 1912 Progressives, 1924 Progressives, 1948 Progressives, Prairie Progressives, Wisconsin Progressives, and the all-important Other Progressives. Many Progressives worked within one of the major Parties in defiance of the national leadership, usually the Republican Party. But you are correct that London was probably none of these.

None of which point to London, who by 1911 had thrown off socialism and Socialism in all but name, and who would be dead five years later. His hatred of Bryan was, I believe, largely based on the endorsement of him by the Populists, as early on he thought they might be allies.

Ahistoricality

It weakly suggests, and then only by extension, that those who shared his ideological commitment to socialism ... might be racist.

Emphasis on "might" because there's no necessary connection between racial ideologies -- which were endemic to right and left and middle and high and low in the late 19c-early 20c -- and socialist ideologies. And then there's the "how racist?" question, which starts to show some interesting variation between left and right....

Did Somin cite Goldberg? Or has he cited Goldberg in the past? I'm not clicking through to VC without much better reason than idle curiousity.

SEK

Emphasis on "might" because there's no necessary connection between racial ideologies -- which were endemic to right and left and middle and high and low in the late 19c-early 20c -- and socialist ideologies. And then there's the "how racist?" question, which starts to show some interesting variation between left and right....

I tried to couch that in as tenuous terms as possible--"weakly" "suggests" "by extension" "might"--but apparently I was still a little too strong for people concerned with, you know, accuracy and stuff.

Did Somin cite Goldberg? Or has he cited Goldberg in the past?

Not a direct citation, just another use of the brush Goldberg's "study" "legitimized."

Ahistoricality

I tried to couch that in as tenuous terms as possible...

You did, and I recognized it, but I wanted to broaden the discussion of racial ideology, because the conditional in isolation still presents an imbalanced picture. Which was Somin's intent, of course, as with Goldberg. Goldberg, it should be noted, really wasn't being all that original, either: USENET discussions were full of that kind of crap for years before he compiled it into a book and got blurbs and symposia.

aimai

I guess what the whole thing makes me wonder wha is meant by this:

The racist elements of Progressive ideology don’t prove that economic interventionism is racist by nature, or that the policies Progressives defended in large part on racist grounds can’t be justified in other ways.

Of course "economic interventionism isn't racist by nature." All states intervene in markets. Markets are the product of corporate action since law, by its nature, is the product of corporate/state/communal agreements and enforcements. If those laws are race neutral, be they however interventionist, they aren't "racist by nature." Unless, of course, you are subscribing to the argument I thought righties hated that unequal outcomes that are overwhelmingly racial in character can be understood as racist in origin.

But I guess I'm interested in the phrase "defended on other grounds." If Racism wasn't necessary to London's political and economic program what was it doing there? What was its function? Just pure meanness? Is that what's wrong with Racism? What's the problem with London's racism that isn't identical to, say, Buckley's racism?

The unspoken word here is class. It seems to me that London's anti Chinese Racism which is pro-white-working class is infringing on the rights of the ownership class to get cheap labor, while Buckley's racism is explicitly designed to keep Blacks in a subordinate but functioning position as workers.

But I have to remember I haven't read much London for a long, long time.

aimai

SEK

It seems to me that London's anti Chinese Racism which is pro-white-working class is infringing on the rights of the ownership class to get cheap labor, while Buckley's racism is explicitly designed to keep Blacks in a subordinate but functioning position as workers.

This is part of the story, but by no means all of it: London spent time in Japan and China, and while there acquired a respect for the former but his disdain for the latter--Californians being none too enamored of Chinese laborers--hardly changed. His thoughts on African-Americans were complicated, but by no means wholly racist, though as a Californian he didn't share Northerners' enmity for them on the basis of class competition.

Let me formulate a more thoughtful response and post it later, as I'm a bit muddleheaded at the moment.

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