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Krug grande cuvee

By Owen Paine on Thursday November 29, 2007 07:32 PM

While reading Paul Krugman's latest pamphlet, "Conscience of a Liberal," it occured to me Paul don't get the democracy thing.

A liberal elite used the New Deal to reform "American society" from the top down, i.e. through the power of the Federal government. Paul sees this result, and not only does he, like his Creator, call this outcome "good", he also calls it... democratic.

I guess this is 'cause he sees its "goodness" as good for the lower three fifths of the nation -- the majority <>en soi if not pour soi.

Liberals always know what's best for you, just like business men know what's best for them.

Now we all know FDR wanted a party re-alignment -- a liberal and a conservative duopoly -- after the emergence of the Repug/Dixiecrat de facto majority in '37. So he tried to purge the Dixies out of his party, and merge with the repug progressives -- right? But he failed, or at least died before he could succeed.

Truman barely kept the team on the field; Kennedy was a beacon without a searchlight; but, err, Johnson succeeded, and that's where Paul K don't get the real deal.

A liberal vision might not always or mostly or even often be the choice of the electoral majority, and in fact it wasn't from about '46 to '64.

The liberal elite during that long spell of cold war and hot wages was acting from power through power as much as ever, but on a population that wanted no more New Deals -- only the same old New Deal. Hell, it was working for them, right?

Then after the Dallas martyrdom, Lyndon took Clio's sudden real opening and made a second big push; and again the majority said no mas, and this time, unlike the last time, the Dixiecrats left and the bicoastal liberal elite after 68-72 had to deal with their semi-permanent minority party status, as did the populist Dem Bryanists after '96-00, and the Republican Babbits after 32-36.

Paul may want to conflate best for the majority with the workings of democracy but he can't get away with it here -- not at the center of empire, at least.

Comments (6)


Does this lead into a theory about the New Deal prolonging the Depression, or does it just stop at FDR through LBJ, and by extension Krugman and people who refer to themselves as "liberal," being undemocratic? I always feel I'm just at the edge of being able to understand what you're saying, especially in the comments.

Wagner was the name of the game, but, being trained and confined in the High Altar Vault of One Holy Faith, the Divine Doctrine of the True Church of Cathocapinomics, blessed be the marginal utilities, Dr. K can't imagine any God ever breathed life into the tEMP rESOURCE(R) Outsourced in the Labor Market. (PSA: This Labor Market brought to you by Entrepreneurs, Inc.)

Alas, poor Wagner, having been critically wounded in his pre-puberty during the Power-Up for the Great Adolf Mop-Up of 1944, was then euthanized along with his co-conspirators by a mixed 1947 firing squad, freshly pushed-and-signed pledges in pockets, under the command of Colonels Taft and Hartley.

The ghost of Wagner still cannot escape his own funerary spittoon, let alone pry open the windows of these New Nephews of Scrooge, who dream they've learned all the lessons in Ended History...


"...the New Deal prolonging the Depression"

no good intentions simply couldn't over come wrong Rxs like the nra
or partial reponses
like the second new deal
---de facto keynesian social democracy---
which was never fully funded
ie large enough fiscal deficit ----
or consistently implemented
---- fed recession of 37-38----
till the full fate of national macro demand
was at long last taken out
of the demand hands of corporate investment
by the third or arsenal of democracy phase of the new deal


"I always feel I'm just at the edge of being able to understand what you're saying"

goes both ways

what means this

"or does it just stop at FDR through LBJ, and by extension Krugman and people who refer to themselves as "liberal," being undemocratic"

i think you wonder if i'm suggesting
the ways and means
of the progressive elite is
by nature undemocratic
answer .....most of the time

as in fooling most of the people
on occasion
like the big d and the n deal

then the people and progressives were as one

And there was a very small and very fleeting experiment with the ultimate Kryptonite gegen das Kapital -- governmentally-launched "production-for-use," i.e., public enterprise not-for-profit "business."

According to Nancy Rose, author of the only book I know that even mentions the brief reality of this supposed impossibility, the p-for-u stuff was by far the most stridently-attacked of all New Deal endeavors among the overclassers. Golly, wonder why?

Why, just imagine picking up your 19-cent nontoxic toothpaste before riding home on the best streetcar grid in the world, after getting off your urban or ecological reconstruction job....

Such would not be IMPOSSIBLE (I said IMPOSSIBLE!!!) without the quietly enforced wonders of the FREE (I said FREE!!!) market/flea market.


I'm not usually clear?
No, I meant to ask if you extended it past Krugman to say, my neighbors who call themselves liberals, etc. I want to give the benefit of the doubt and assume Krugman conflated two ideas and doesn't really have such a loose handle on what democracy entails, but how do I know?

This is a stupid question, but suppose that you, personally, are put in FDR's position in March 1933: what do you do to curb the Depression?

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