American study of history has been as ruthless in eliminating aspects of history that don't serve the right wing narrative - - the best, the brightest and the most entreprenurial - - as the economics profession has been in eliminating theories that don't serve the narrative, like Keynes.
How many of our colleagues reading these comments know that Socialists and Communists fought Hitler in the streets, were interned with Jews, gypsies, homosexuals and dwarfs and except for the military's last minute demural almost succeeded in organizing a coup against him. How many also know that while the German middle class was voting for Hitler the working classes overwhelmingly voted socialist. American historians pose fascism as a working class phenomenon while it clearly was not. You really need access to foreign language sources in my experience to get the real story of what went on.
The best thing about the possiblity of the ruling class uniting with the lunatics in the country to foster some variant of fascism on us will be the opportunity to rise to the historical occasion again. This same dichotomy occurred in Spain in the war against Franco; Italy in the partisan resistance and France in their resistance and is being played out on the small stage in Europe still today. In England as well elements of the ruling class also supported Hitler but the war got ahead of them and largely but not entirely united the country.
@ Real Person
Thanks for your thoughtful and sincere comments. My own feeling is that Reagan was very instrumental in furthering this agenda. It started as a right wing assault, concerted if not an organized conspiracy - - the monied classes doesn't need to sit down and discuss their common interests to get behind them, they know them all too well - - on what they viewed as the excessive populist gains of the 1960s and 70s, e.g. women's rights, the civil rights movement, student rights, black panther radicalism, union student alliances, environmentalism, etc. One of the first things that occurred was the elimination of progressive economists from campuses around the country --can you believe in that period we even had a few marxist economists in the USA! It wasn't done through conspiratorial efforts and a few survived for a while but the reaction slowly set in through diverse social spheres, endowments given by right wing foundations, right wing think tanks funded, etc. While economics was certainly considered by the well to do a sensitive area to control and one vital to their interest, the assault gained momentum and spilled into many sectors. The assault on Keynes was soon to follow and is the reason for much of the discussion on this blog today as we come to grips with the result of a half century of right wing reaction and empowerment.
In regards to another of a Real Person's questions regarding Obamas plan. I think that the best it will do is gain us a bit of time. I have no doubt that in the circumstance - - both political and economic circumstances have to be taken into account which is something we largely don't do in an economics blog - - the plan is the best anyone could have done.
Buying tims until when and if the economy shows some life is very important because we don't want to force individuals and institutions to take additional losses until the economy picks up.
I do not see criticisms and especially warnings as the one above as "undermining" Obama. On the contrary progressive realism, as that of the socialists in Germany before the war, may be the only thing that will save the middle class from the path the well to do has embarked them on.
4 months ago