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View Diary: "Class Warfare" and the "Founders" (25 comments)

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  •  Agreed (16+ / 0-)

    I liked this diary.  I thought it was well written, and it made the point nicely.

    I had a similar experience in college, where rather than take the basic history survey course, I took a more focused class on the history the relationships that developed between either side of the Atlantic.  I tend to be of the opinion that history courses deeper than basic surveys ought to be mandatory to receive any kind of liberal arts degree- one must understand where we've come from to understand where we're going.

    As to your final statement:  I'm sure you know as well as I do that capitalism is never mentioned in the constitution.  However, for those who are uninitiated, take it from a more authoritative source than myself:

    But a Constitution is not intended to embody a particular economic theory, whether of paternalism and the organic relation of the citizen to the state or of laissez faire.  It is made for people of fundamentally differing views, and the accident of our finding certain opinions natural and familiar, or novel, and even shocking, ought not to conclude our judgment upon the question whether statutes embodying them conflict with the Constitution of the United States.
         -Lochner v. New York, Holmes, J., dissenting.
    •  Agreed! (13+ / 0-)

      First - Thank you for the kind words.  I still have a love of history (and reading it as a much more complex tapestry than that allowed by a typical survey course), although it was never my major.

      And on the point about capitalism (which the GOP seems to want to anoint or something) - yes, it is nowhere in the Constitution (or even the Declaration of Independence).  One reason why I am annoyed by suggestions/charges from the right that Obama is a "socialist" - my response (in my mind, usually) is "So what?  It is not against the law!"

      Especially liked the quote (albeit sadly from a dissenting opinion) from Justice Holmes.  Thank you for adding that.

      When a whole nation is roaring Patriotism at the top of its voice, I am fain to explore the cleanness of its hands and the purity of its heart. - Emerson

      by foolrex on Wed Jan 11, 2012 at 02:05:15 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  What is thoroughly off the charts is (19+ / 0-)

      that the USPS is one of the few government agencies that is specifically outlined in the constitution (Article 1, Section 8, clause 7).  Yet, the USPS is structured such that it must stand on its own.   Could you imagine the postal service that we would have if the USPS received a fraction of the Pentagon's budget?  UPS and FedEx would not be able to compete.

    •  "A Short History of American Capitalism" (15+ / 0-)

      One of my favorite upper-level economic courses in college was the "History of Economic Thought" and the kinds of topics as this diary presents delight me.

      I recently came across this well-written and researched book, "A Short History of American Capitalism", which is available online.   I haven't read it; I bookmarked it for further but this diary reminded me of this part of the intro:

      In this sense, the American economy became predominantly capitalist only by 1900. The earlier years fall into three periods. The first, from 1600 to 1790, is characterized by handicraft-subsistence production alongside elements of a semi-capitalist economy stemming from commercial production of tobacco. ... During the second period, 1790-1865, several industries became organized along capitalist lines... In the third period, 1865-1920, economic development attains an extraordinary pace as industry and, increasingly, agriculture becomes subject to capitalist forces. All capitalist economies are commercialized but not all commercialized economies are capitalist.
      ...
      The U.S. was the first modern capitalist country to develop from a colonial status, from a slave base, and with an enormous natural-resource endowment. Above all, American capitalists utilized more violence in the class struggle than their confrères in any other capitalist country.

      As a sidenote, I believe that those many anti-Obama elements who shrilly cry that he's a socialist yet are ignorant of socialism probably are about as ignorant of the economic principals of capitalism too.   It is my belief that we are in the Dark Ages of economic practice and knowledge thanks largely to the poisoning efforts of "economists" from conservative think tanks who promote ideas like supply-side economics.

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