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View Diary: Alone in Kansas (173 comments)

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  •  Kansas was strongly populist in the late 1800s (6+ / 0-)

    as a result of the Farmers Alliances. Look up Henry Vincent, editor of The American Non-Conformist and Kansas Industrial Liberator,  a weekly newspaper that styled itself a fighter for "emancipation from slavery to bond-holders and railroad corporations" and was based in Winfield, the  seat of Cowley County, Kansas. Here's a pdf file of a biography of Vincent:

    In 1891, Vincent's Non-Conformist had 20,000 subscribers - the largest circulation of any political periodical in the state. Vincent was a hard-core Greenbacker, and as such, clearly understood that almost all national problems, especially economic and financial, were rooted in the private monopoly power over the creation and allocation of money and credit. As Lawrence Goodwyn details in his must-read book, The Populist Moment: A Short History of the Agrarian Revolt in America (large excerpts are available for reading at this link), the Greenback orientation of the 1890s populist movement was utterly destroyed by the decision to endorse William Jennings Bryan for President, which necessitated an abandonment of Greenback principles, because Bryan supported a bi-metal monetary system of both silver and gold. This meant accepting the role of the banksters' control of gold, rather than fully confronting the need to destroy the banksters' power and ensure that the banking, credit, and monetary systems were organized for the public good, instead of for private gain.

    This is, of course, the central and most dangerous weakness of the Democratic Party today, as well as many progressives, who cling to defending Obama's record on economics, citing evidence of a recovery, while what is actually happening is economic and financial concentration has actually accelerated the past four years: the top 1% have captured 121 percent of income gains since 2009. The failure to understand economic issues is the greatest weakness of progressives around the world - witness the support for austerity in Europe by so-called socialist parties in Europe.

    Researching and reviving the Greenback populist heritage of Kansas, and how it was destroyed, is imho a necessary first step to addressing the problem of conservatism in Kansas and the Plains states. I strongly suspect that you will find evidence of a deliberate operation to destroy the political networks of populists, by, for example, bringing in outside political "expertise" and muscle and especially funding, from east coast financial interests. Always "follow the money."

    A conservative is a scab for the oligarchy.

    by NBBooks on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 06:31:11 PM PST

    •  Very interesting comment. Thanks! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness. -- John Kenneth Galbraith

      by scarlet slipper on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 07:34:33 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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