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Was Franklin D. Roosevelt a Socialist?


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#1 John Simkin

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Posted 30 March 2011 - 11:13 AM

Find out why some people considered Franklin D. Roosevelt a socialist while others believe he prevented the growth of communism in the US.

http://www.spartacus...ArooseveltF.htm

#2 John Dolva

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Posted 30 March 2011 - 04:28 PM

In a sense the ruling classes figurehead can be thought of as a shape-shifter. (a minor point: there never has been such a thing as communism). The second international, as a grouping that united the various democratic socialist labour parties around the world, believed/s that socialism can be attained from within the 'system' (in this case capitalism). This gives capitalism an unwarranted status. The policies (labor type governements tend to rule during times of economic stress and acts as a diversion to the working class. (see how quickly for example that the wisconsin issue has become less phrased in class terms.)) must ultimately ignore the diametrically opposed interests of capital and wage slave. A guise of socialistic policies that serve to disarm the working class (or send them off to die in a war somewhere) is to a non politicised wage slave class a palliative. While the policies may be described as socialistic, the aim is never to dismantle the dictatorship of capital.

#3 Len Colby

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Posted 31 March 2011 - 01:56 AM

Find out why some people considered Franklin D. Roosevelt a socialist while others believe he prevented the growth of communism in the US.

http://www.spartacus...ArooseveltF.htm


He was at best a moderate Social-Democrat, there was very little transfer of the economy to the public sector. The cases where this was done such as the TVA were cases where the private sector was unlikely to act. By the standards of countries just about any western European country his policies were rather conservative.

Thought he seems to have lowered the vote count for the Socialists and other leftist parties i doubt they ever would been able to elect more than a handful of mid-level candidates if FDR had not been elected.

#4 John Simkin

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Posted 31 March 2011 - 08:08 AM


Find out why some people considered Franklin D. Roosevelt a socialist while others believe he prevented the growth of communism in the US.

http://www.spartacus...ArooseveltF.htm


He was at best a moderate Social-Democrat, there was very little transfer of the economy to the public sector. The cases where this was done such as the TVA were cases where the private sector was unlikely to act. By the standards of countries just about any western European country his policies were rather conservative.

Thought he seems to have lowered the vote count for the Socialists and other leftist parties i doubt they ever would been able to elect more than a handful of mid-level candidates if FDR had not been elected.


Emanuel Celler, was a left-wing member of Congress when Roosevelt was elected. He wrote about his election in 1953. "The first days of the Roosevelt Administration charged the air with the snap and the zigzag of electricity. I felt it. We all felt it. It seemed as it you could hold out your hand and close it over the piece of excitement you had ripped away. It was the return of hope. The mind was elastic and capable of crowding idea into idea. New faces came to Washington - young faces of bright lads who could talk. It was contagious. We started to talk in the cloak rooms; we started to talk in committees. The shining new faces called on us and talked. In March of 1933 we had witnessed a revolution - a revolution in manner, in mores, in the definition of government. What before had been black or white sprang alive with color. The messages to Congress, the legislation; even the reports on the legislation took on the briskness of authority."

At the time we had a Labour Government in the UK. Our prime minister, Ramsay MacDonald, thought that the New Deal was too left-wing and refused to follow these policies. If you listen to his speeches on the subject of Social Security it reflects the changes that took place in Europe at the end of the Second World War. Roosevelt was the first leader in the western world to accept the theories of John Maynard Keynes. These are theories that are still supported by the non-communist left in Europe.

#5 Guest_Tom Scully_*

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Posted 31 March 2011 - 12:24 PM

http://www.google.com/search?tbm=bks&tbo=1&q=%22%22the+social+security+act+was+demanded+by+the+people%2C+as+a+result*%22&btnG=Search+Books#sclient=psy&hl=en&tbo=1&tbs=bks:1&q=%22the+social+security+act+was+demanded+by+the+people%2C+as+a+result*%22+postpone+it&aq=&aqi=&aql=&oq=&pbx=1&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.&fp=8d91e24625c7567d
Country squire in the White House - Page 118

John Thomas Flynn - 1940 - 131 pages - Google eBook - Preview
The Social Security Act was demanded by the people, as a result of the depression. And the demand was universal. No president would have dared to postpone it. Roosevelt tried to. ...

(Forgive me for invoking the opinion of John T. Flynn, a very controversial source, but his opinion helps explain why FDR receives so little attention on the SSA.gov website, compared to the attention there devoted to Louisiana Senator Huey P. Long.)

IMO, the right skewed contamination of the political bearings of the vast majority of the U.S. population was/is the result of money well spent by those with an agenda to sow that sort of confusion.

If FDR was a "socialist" and not the patrician polticial chameleon that he perfected and Obama has further finessed, the Social Security Administration would not be devoting so many pages to Huey P. Long. My hunch is that the Social Security agency recognizes that it would not exist if not for the political pressure Sen. Long exerted against Roosevelt's lack of commitment to the economically devastated, vast majority in
1934 America. FDR embraced the same narrow goal Obama embraces today; say whatever it takes to attract the most votes on election day, the people be damned.

With only two right of center political parties, FDR was the lesser of two evil choices in 1932, Hoover, and in 1936, Alf Landon, as Obama was probably the lesser evil in 2008, other than the even more abysmal McCain.

The old slogan, "better dead than red", should be modified to more accurately portray conventional political "thought" in the US since Upton Sinclair's candidacy was crushed in California in 1934. "Better dead than anything other than right of center" is the most accurate way to sum it up.

If FDR was even slightly left of center in his political views, he would not have helped to destroy the democratic party nominee and leading candidate, socialist Upton Sinclair, in the 1934 California governor's race. You can argue that FDR's participation was only of benign neglect, but that is a stretch, IMO.

http://www.google.com/search?q=ssa.gov+huey+long&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:unofficial&client=firefox-a
Huey Long - Social Security Administration
Huey Long was Governor of Louisiana from 1928 to 1932 and was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1930. A nominal Democrat, Huey Long was a radical populist, of a ...
http://www.ssa.gov/history/hlong1.html - Cached - Similar

Huey Long - Social Security Online History Pages
During his three brief years in the U.S. Senate, Huey Long became one of the ...
http://www.ssa.gov/h...ry/longsen.html - Cached - Similar
Excerpts from Huey Long's Autobiography - Social Security Online ...
In 1933, at the ripe old age of 39, Huey Long published his autobiography ...
http://www.ssa.gov/history/huey.html


Edited by Tom Scully, 31 March 2011 - 12:35 PM.


#6 John Simkin

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Posted 31 March 2011 - 02:13 PM

The old slogan, "better dead than red", should be modified to more accurately portray conventional political "thought" in the US since Upton Sinclair's candidacy was crushed in California in 1934. "Better dead than anything other than right of center" is the most accurate way to sum it up.


Upton Sinclair said in a letter to Norman Thomas on 25th September, 1951: "The American People will take Socialism, but they won't take the label. I certainly proved it in the case of EPIC. Running on the Socialist ticket I got 60,000 votes, and running on the slogan to 'End Poverty in California' I got 879,000. I think we simply have to recognize the fact that our enemies have succeeded in spreading the Big Lie. There is no use attacking it by a front attack, it is much better to out-flank them."

http://www.spartacus...o.uk/Jupton.htm

#7 Len Colby

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Posted 31 March 2011 - 06:45 PM



Find out why some people considered Franklin D. Roosevelt a socialist while others believe he prevented the growth of communism in the US.

http://www.spartacus...ArooseveltF.htm


He was at best a moderate Social-Democrat, there was very little transfer of the economy to the public sector. The cases where this was done such as the TVA were cases where the private sector was unlikely to act. By the standards of countries just about any western European country his policies were rather conservative.

Thought he seems to have lowered the vote count for the Socialists and other leftist parties i doubt they ever would been able to elect more than a handful of mid-level candidates if FDR had not been elected.


Emanuel Celler, was a left-wing member of Congress when Roosevelt was elected. He wrote about his election in 1953. "The first days of the Roosevelt Administration charged the air with the snap and the zigzag of electricity. I felt it. We all felt it. It seemed as it you could hold out your hand and close it over the piece of excitement you had ripped away. It was the return of hope. The mind was elastic and capable of crowding idea into idea. New faces came to Washington - young faces of bright lads who could talk. It was contagious. We started to talk in the cloak rooms; we started to talk in committees. The shining new faces called on us and talked. In March of 1933 we had witnessed a revolution - a revolution in manner, in mores, in the definition of government. What before had been black or white sprang alive with color. The messages to Congress, the legislation; even the reports on the legislation took on the briskness of authority."

At the time we had a Labour Government in the UK. Our prime minister, Ramsay MacDonald, thought that the New Deal was too left-wing and refused to follow these policies. If you listen to his speeches on the subject of Social Security it reflects the changes that took place in Europe at the end of the Second World War. Roosevelt was the first leader in the western world to accept the theories of John Maynard Keynes. These are theories that are still supported by the non-communist left in Europe.


Please correct me if I’m wrong but AFAIK FDR never proposed:

• nationalising any companies
• universal healthcare
• free post secondary education

The cases where he created public agencies to provide private private sector type services where in areas where the private sector displaied no interest in doing business. True pushed trhrough Social Security and unemployment insurance but the formers was funded by its beneficiaries and the latter was partially funded by the workers with the rest coming from their employers, Bismark backed similar programs. He increased regulation of businesses but not radically so.

How was he to the left of Ramsay MacDonald?

#8 Len Colby

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Posted 09 August 2011 - 02:34 AM

Bumped for John S.

#9 Steven Gaal

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Posted 10 August 2011 - 07:53 AM



The old slogan, "better dead than red", should be modified to more accurately portray conventional political "thought" in the US since Upton Sinclair's candidacy was crushed in California in 1934. "Better dead than anything other than right of center" is the most accurate way to sum it up.


Upton Sinclair said in a letter to Norman Thomas on 25th September, 1951: "The American People will take Socialism, but they won't take the label. I certainly proved it in the case of EPIC. Running on the Socialist ticket I got 60,000 votes, and running on the slogan to 'End Poverty in California' I got 879,000. I think we simply have to recognize the fact that our enemies have succeeded in spreading the Big Lie. There is no use attacking it by a front attack, it is much better to out-flank them."

http://www.spartacus...o.uk/Jupton.htm

***********************************************************
link http://www.truth-out...-men/1312315217
Many forces oppose change. I agree labels are very important. sg

#10 John Simkin

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Posted 10 August 2011 - 09:39 AM




Find out why some people considered Franklin D. Roosevelt a socialist while others believe he prevented the growth of communism in the US.

http://www.spartacus...ArooseveltF.htm


He was at best a moderate Social-Democrat, there was very little transfer of the economy to the public sector. The cases where this was done such as the TVA were cases where the private sector was unlikely to act. By the standards of countries just about any western European country his policies were rather conservative.

Thought he seems to have lowered the vote count for the Socialists and other leftist parties i doubt they ever would been able to elect more than a handful of mid-level candidates if FDR had not been elected.


Emanuel Celler, was a left-wing member of Congress when Roosevelt was elected. He wrote about his election in 1953. "The first days of the Roosevelt Administration charged the air with the snap and the zigzag of electricity. I felt it. We all felt it. It seemed as it you could hold out your hand and close it over the piece of excitement you had ripped away. It was the return of hope. The mind was elastic and capable of crowding idea into idea. New faces came to Washington - young faces of bright lads who could talk. It was contagious. We started to talk in the cloak rooms; we started to talk in committees. The shining new faces called on us and talked. In March of 1933 we had witnessed a revolution - a revolution in manner, in mores, in the definition of government. What before had been black or white sprang alive with color. The messages to Congress, the legislation; even the reports on the legislation took on the briskness of authority."

At the time we had a Labour Government in the UK. Our prime minister, Ramsay MacDonald, thought that the New Deal was too left-wing and refused to follow these policies. If you listen to his speeches on the subject of Social Security it reflects the changes that took place in Europe at the end of the Second World War. Roosevelt was the first leader in the western world to accept the theories of John Maynard Keynes. These are theories that are still supported by the non-communist left in Europe.


Please correct me if I’m wrong but AFAIK FDR never proposed:

• nationalising any companies
• universal healthcare
• free post secondary education

The cases where he created public agencies to provide private private sector type services where in areas where the private sector displaied no interest in doing business. True pushed trhrough Social Security and unemployment insurance but the formers was funded by its beneficiaries and the latter was partially funded by the workers with the rest coming from their employers, Bismark backed similar programs. He increased regulation of businesses but not radically so.

How was he to the left of Ramsay MacDonald?


I do not believe FDR was a socialist. That is a word used to describe him by the far-right. I do take the view that the New Deal helped to prevent the USA from becoming a socialist country. That is why people on the left hate liberals like FDR who have helped capitalism to survive.

#11 Len Colby

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Posted 11 August 2011 - 01:00 AM

At the time we had a Labour Government in the UK. Our prime minister, Ramsay MacDonald, thought that the New Deal was too left-wing and refused to follow these policies. If you listen to his speeches on the subject of Social Security it reflects the changes that took place in Europe at the end of the Second World War. Roosevelt was the first leader in the western world to accept the theories of John Maynard Keynes. These are theories that are still supported by the non-communist left in Europe.


Why did a supposed Socialist think "that the New Deal was too left-wing"?

#12 Guest_Tom Scully_*

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Posted 18 August 2011 - 10:45 AM

................
I do not believe FDR was a socialist. That is a word used to describe him by the far-right. I do take the view that the New Deal helped to prevent the USA from becoming a socialist country. That is why people on the left hate liberals like FDR who have helped capitalism to survive.


John, an interesting way to describe it. Are there actually Americans who are far enough to the left to "hate" FDR for saving capitalism with the deceptive "New" Deal? I do not think Upton Sinclair hated FDR for shunning him after he won the democratic primary in California in '34.

FDR was constrained as every recent U.S. president has been, he was better at concealing it than Obama has been, and he nipped at the hand of his masters a bit more.

Unfortunately, this turned out to be all talk and no action:

http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/index.php?pid=15637
Message to Congress on Curbing Monopolies.
April 29, 1938
Public Papers and Addresses of Franklin D. Roosevelt

To the Congress:

Unhappy events abroad have retaught us two simple truths about the liberty of a democratic people.

The first truth is that the liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerate the growth of private power to a point where it becomes stronger than their democratic state itself. That, in its essence, is Fascism—ownership of Government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power.

The second truth is that the liberty of a democracy is not safe if its business system does not provide employment and produce and distribute goods in such a way as to sustain an acceptable standard of living.

Both lessons hit home.

Among us today a concentration of private power without equal in history is growing.....

http://www.time.com/...,764913,00.html
Thirteen Families
Monday, Oct. 28, 1940

In 1937 a lumbering, leftish ex-newspaperman named Ferdinand Lundberg decided to give form to his favorite gripe: big, fat capitalists and their de facto control of our de jure Government.

...He wrote an erudite bombshell of questionable accuracy titled America's 60 Families, watched his subjects squirm while Secretary Ickes and then Assistant Attorney General Jackson quoted it with gusto. Within less than a year the families were sprawled under more powerful microscopes as the Temporary National Economic Committee made a study of corporate practices and controls....


http://www.archives....groups/144.html
Records of the Temporary National Economic Committee [TNEC]
Search ARC for Entries from this Record Group

(Record Group 144)
1938-41

....144.1 ADMINISTRATIVE HISTORY

Established: As a joint Congressional-Executive branch committee, composed of members of both houses of Congress and representatives of several Executive departments and commissions, by joint resolution of Congress, June 16, 1938 (52 Stat. 705). Functions: Studied monopoly and concentration of economic power, and made recommendations for legislation.

Abolished: April 3, 1941, by expiration of extension granted by joint resolution, December 16, 1940 (54 Stat. 1225). Liquidation deadline of December 31, 1941, set by Additional Urgent Deficiency Appropriation Act of 1941, May 24, 1941 (55 Stat. 200).

144.2 RECORDS OF THE COMMITTEE
1938-41
967 lin. ft.

....Specific Restrictions: As specified by the SEC, no one, except government officials for official purposes, may have access to records created and filed by the SEC on behalf of the TNEC, except for the following: certain records relating to the insurance study, consisting of replies to formal questionnaires (but not including replies to questionnaires sent to state supervisory officials and replies to the questionnaire of February 9, 1940, to life insurance agents); exhibits, including rate books and form insurance policies; and all conventional-form annual statements. ...

http://www.time.com/...,932259,00.html
GOVERNMENT: Twilight of TNEC
Monday, Apr. 14, 1941

Quietly last week there passed out of existence the most remarkable Government investigating committee in U.S. history. The Temporary National Economic (Monopoly) Committee, its work done after two years, nine months and two days, closed its book-lined Washington offices. Its executive secretary, learned, slangy ex-Stanford Professor Dewey Anderson, went back to California to think about running for Governor.

There never was before, and may never be again, quite such an economic study as the committee closed its books on. The committee spent $1,062,000, once had a staff of 182 experts, looked into 95 different industries, heard 552 witnesses. It made headlines month after month with sensational charges of patent monopoly in the glass-container industry, of international patent combines which put Germany's finger in the U.S. magnesium and optical-glass industries, etc. As its permanent record it left 37 volumes of printed testimony, 43 exhaustive monographs on various phases of its study.

Before closing shop last week, TNEC published its recommendations. With all the ammunition the committee had stored up, a terrific broadside might have been expected. Instead, the committee rolled a rusty BB gun into place, pinged at the nation's economic problems thus:...............

.....Such recommendations had a familiar sound; many of them were contained in the letter which Franklin Roosevelt sent to Congress three years ago asking that the committee be set up. Both friends & foes joined in criticism. Editorialized the conservative New York Times: "TNEC . . . proposes to stimulate private enterprise by adopting . . . more . . . Federal controls that have already done so much to burden . . . new enterprise." Said New Dealers Leon Henderson and Isador Lubin, who served on the committee but were too busy with defense work to bother with the final recommendations: "Surely it should be possible, with all this great wealth of evidence ... to offer a concrete program geared to the needs of our time."....

http://www.4presiden...976brochure.htm
Birch Bayh for President 1976 Campaign Brochure

...Our economy is at a crucial turning point. The problems of skyrocketing energy and food costs and the inability of the free market to function effectively have led me to conclude that recent policy failures are the result of an outdated view of the American economy. Therefore, I am proposing the establishment of a Temporary National Economic Committee -- similar to the Committee established by President Roosevelt in 1938 -- to publicly investigate the concentration of economic power in America today....

http://www.nader.org...-Socialism.html
Thursday, July 18. 2002
Posted by Ralph Nader
Corporate Socialism

Originally published in The Washington Post, July 18, 2002.

...In 1938, in the midst of the Great Depression, Congress created the Temporary National Economic Committee to hold hearings around the country, recommend ways to deal with the concentration of economic power and promote a more just economy. World War II stopped this corporate reform momentum. We should not have to wait for a further deterioration from today's gross inequalities of wealth and income to launch a similar commission on the rampant corporatization of our country. At stake is whether civic values of our democratic society will prevail over invasive commercial values.


The http://SSA.gov seems to understand who was most responsible for its creation.:

http://www.ssa.gov/history/hlong1.html
Huey Long was Governor of Louisiana from 1928 to 1932 and was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1930. A nominal Democrat, Huey Long was a radical populist, of a …
Huey Long – Social Security Online History Pages
http://www.ssa.gov/h...ry/longsen.html
During his three brief years in the U.S. Senate, Huey Long became one of the …
Excerpts from Huey Long’s Autobiography – Social Security Online …
http://www.ssa.gov/history/huey.html
In 1933, at the ripe old age of 39, Huey Long published his autobiography .

http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=cz0xAAAAIBAJ&sjid=ZgEEAAAAIBAJ&pg=7291,4165520&dq=welfare-programs-govern-*&hl=en
Most Of Huey Long’s Goals Achieved, Son Says…‎ Toledo Blade – Sep 7, 1965

….Welfare programs, govern ment construction of highways and hospitals, abolition of poll taxes, and free education are Just some of Huey Long’s programs that have long since become the law, the senator said, adding that Social Security and welfare benefits go beyond what he envisioned.

Parallels Noted
“President Johnson has said he used to come over and listen to Huey Long speak,” the senator added, noting that a large part of the President’s education and anti-poverty programs bear a similarity to the Kingfish’s ideas.

There have been differences, too. “We’ve tried to help people own their own homes.” he added. “He tried to give it to them debt free.”

……Limit On Fortunes
The cornerstone of the Kingfish’s financial progran was to limit personal fortunes to about $50 million and inheritance to $5 million. “If you took the (inheritance) law based on intent, we’ve gone as far as he’s advocated. But people find ways to get around it,” the senator (Huey Long’s son) said…






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