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View Diary: Anti-Capitalist Meetup: Once Upon A Time: American Socialism (39 comments)

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  •  Great post Richard! (4+ / 0-)

    It is such an incredibly important history that seems to have been lost or merely forgotten.  I wanted to raise the Jewish Bund whose ideas were probably brought over to the US from Eastern Europe. Yiddish was the language spoken by Ashkenazi Jews and hence that is why that language was spoken by so many eastern and central European Jewish immigrants. A history of rich political organisation and a wonderful culture that adapted to living in the US. So while the Bund who were Mensheviks argued for a Jewish nation in the Pale which they should represent, there was clearly never a movement like this in the US as there was not a Jewish majority as there were in so many districts of the Pale before the Holocaust.  However, the struggle for socialism was never adapted and organisation of the Jewish working class and the creation of a uniquely Jewish american culture which influenced not only the rest of the left, but music (Klezmer was revived in the US for example) and theatre and other forms of culture.

    There were Jewish socialists, of course, that did not speak Yiddish; those Jews that came from Italy, Spain and Portugal and the Middle East did not speak Yiddish.  But I so seriously wanted to thank you for this piece; a part of Jewish history that has been lost or forgotten is being discussed tonight and that is due to you! Thanks!

    "Hegel noticed somewhere that all great world history facts and people so to speak twice occur. He forgot to add: the one time as tragedy, the other time as farce" Karl Marx, The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte .

    by NY brit expat on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 03:39:26 PM PST

    •  On a personal note, this is so lovely to see here! (4+ / 0-)

      I have vivid memories of my grandfather sitting on the stoop in front of the apartment reading the Forward in Yiddish (even living to 93, he never learned to read in English), we had the newspaper in my house, my mother used to raise money for the City of Hope which was set up by Workmen's Circle to help those suffering from tuberculosis and work-contracted illnesses of the lungs, my aunt was in a Workmen's circle nursing home in the Bronx and both uncles were trade-union organisers and socialists. To see a reference to this rich history here has literally made my night! :)

      "Hegel noticed somewhere that all great world history facts and people so to speak twice occur. He forgot to add: the one time as tragedy, the other time as farce" Karl Marx, The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte .

      by NY brit expat on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 03:46:32 PM PST

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      •  Plz tell me that you still have some (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        NY brit expat, Richard Lyon, Justina

        old copies of the JDF, expat!

        What a treasure that would be.

        WE NEVER FORGET Our Labor Martyrs: a project to honor the men, women and children who lost their lives in Freedom's Cause. For Dec: Life so cheap; property so sacred.

        by JayRaye on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 04:03:17 PM PST

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        •  wish I did, but unfortunately no ... (2+ / 0-)
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          JayRaye, Justina

          otoh, if you want some old austro-hungarian currency and pre-revolution Tsarist Russian currency, am glad to share! :)  ... you know how something is normal and it isn't treasured ... hence no copies of the Forward ... sigh ...

          "Hegel noticed somewhere that all great world history facts and people so to speak twice occur. He forgot to add: the one time as tragedy, the other time as farce" Karl Marx, The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte .

          by NY brit expat on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 04:07:36 PM PST

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          •  Nobody in my family (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            JayRaye, NY brit expat

            saved any Confederate money. :)

            •  was cleaning out my parents' apartment (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              JayRaye, Richard Lyon

              after my mom died and accidentally (and fortunately) knocked over a cigar box ... was wondering why Catherine the Great was looking at me (currency from 1896), also a picture of an elderly woman that looks just like my grandfather and whom I assume is my great-grandmom, my grandfather's social security card, some austro-hungarian currency, currency from Krakow ... the precious things (as they didn't have much) were the photos many of people lost to the Holocaust which I grabbed after my grandfather's death.

              They may have saved the currency in case they needed it if they visited; I have a feeling this box travelled a long way before it fell open at my feet in florida.

              "Hegel noticed somewhere that all great world history facts and people so to speak twice occur. He forgot to add: the one time as tragedy, the other time as farce" Karl Marx, The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte .

              by NY brit expat on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 04:15:04 PM PST

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              •  What a precious find! (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                NY brit expat

                One thing I wish we had was a picture of the inside of our barn.

                It was basically a log cabin barn. Grandpa cut the trees himself (northern pine, I think) and built the barn with the help of his sons and a neighbor.

                Didn't look like much from the outside, covered with tar-paper, but inside was beautiful esp by kerosene lantern.

                But you're right, common place to us back then, esp since cows had to be milked twice a day, 365 days a year. But would be great to have some nice photos now.

                And while we're on the subject of Socialism. Just North of us was the Mesabi Iron Range, full of Finnish Socialist in the early 1900s, and a great strike led by the IWW in 1916.

                Minneapolis had a Socialist Mayor in the 1920s. And MN had a Farmer-Labor Gov, Gov Olson. Forget the year.

                Eventually merged with the Dems who are now known as the MN Democratic Farmer-Labor Party. (the DFL)

                WE NEVER FORGET Our Labor Martyrs: a project to honor the men, women and children who lost their lives in Freedom's Cause. For Dec: Life so cheap; property so sacred.

                by JayRaye on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 04:29:33 PM PST

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                •  I had always associated the socialist party (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  JayRaye

                  with the Germans and the Scandinavians; the Workmen's Circle with the Bund and the Central and Eastern European Jews with the CP and the Trotskyist parties. As such, strong socialist roots in Minnesota and Wisconsin. Anarchism was more of an american movement but which also had strong support from Italian immigrants which brought the tradition with them. This was such an interesting piece for me which tied into a rich ethnic fabric of immigrants to the US which built trade union movements of various types, struggled for socialism from various perspectives, all of which contributed to the wealth of left-wing culture and politics which seems to be so weak these days.

                  "Hegel noticed somewhere that all great world history facts and people so to speak twice occur. He forgot to add: the one time as tragedy, the other time as farce" Karl Marx, The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte .

                  by NY brit expat on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 04:46:37 PM PST

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