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You may not realize it America, but our union and non-union states are at WAR.

Dengre had an AMAZING diary the other day illustrating some maps that show how there seems to be an interesting correlation between states that once owned slaves and states that don't allow unions.

In case you need a refresher:

Coincidence? I don't think so.

What people fail to realize when looking back on the Civil War is that ending slavery in the United States was not just a moral issue, it was also our country establishing its very first minimum wage.

And with Republican governors in the Midwest union states attempting to impose Right To Work For Less bills upon our people, they are perpetrating on us Northerners a WAR OF SOUTHERN AGGRESSION. This is a war on our very Midwestern way of life.

The Civil War was about the moral issue of slavery, absolutely, but it was also about the simple economic unfairness of one person stealing another person's labor from them.

Abraham Lincoln understood this. His opposition to slavery wasn't just about the necessity to free black people from slavery. Because a country that had slave black laborers didn't pay very much more to its "free" white laborers.

That's why he had this platform:

Union supporters also understand that the right to work for less bills do nothing for overall prosperity but simply allow companies to push down wages more and more. The facts bear this out.

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He also understood the relationship that workers had in the overall economy and developed an economic policy that FAVORED WORKERS OVER BANKS.

Lincoln spelled out his underlying republican philosophy, and shot his barbs at the aristocratic bankers, in his Annual Address to Congress, Dec. 3, 1861:

"Labor is prior to, and independent of, capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration. Capital has its rights, which are as worthy of protection as any other rights. Nor is it denied that there is, and probably always will be, a relation between labor and capital, producing mutual benefits. The error is in assuming that the whole labor of the community exists within that relation. .... In most of the southern States, a majority of the whole people of all colors are neither slaves nor masters; while in the northern a large majority are neither hirers nor hired....

"Many independent men everywhere in these States, a few years back in their lives, were hired laborers. The prudent, penniless beginner in the world, labors for wages awhile, saves a surplus with which to buy tools or land for himself; then labors on his own account another while, and at length hires another new beginner to help him. This is the just, and generous, and prosperous system, which opens the way to all-gives hope to all, and consequent energy, and progress, and improvement of condition to all. No men living are more worthy to be trusted than those who toil up from poverty -- none less inclined to take, or touch, aught that they have not honestly earned. Let them beware of surrendering a political power which they already possess, and which, if surrendered, will surely be used to close the door of advancement against such as they, and to fix new disabilities and burdens upon them, till all of liberty shall be lost .... "

I truly believe this fight for unions in this country is not just a fight for teachers or steel workers or any other brother or sister. It's a fight for the very soul of our country in a political culture dominated by Fox News propaganda and unlimited corporate cash flooding our elections and diluting our democratic freedoms.

As Lincoln could have said today using much of his speech from 1858...

"A house divided against itself cannot stand."

I believe this government cannot endure, permanently half slave (anti-union) and half free (union).

I do not expect the Union to be dissolved -- I do not expect the house to fall -- but I do expect it will cease to be divided.

It will become all one thing or all the other.

[...]

Let any one who doubts, carefully contemplate that now almost complete legal combination -- piece of machinery so to speak -- compounded of the Nebraska (Reagonomics) doctrine, and the Dred Scott (Citizens United) decision. Let him consider not only what work the machinery is adapted to do, and how well adapted; but also, let him study the history of its construction, and trace, if he can, or rather fail, if he can, to trace the evidence of design and concert of action, among its chief architects, from the beginning.

For me, it's interesting just how much symmetry we have here.

The union supports the Union. Those who support the Union are seeking refuge in the Land of Lincoln.

Because even if we have our Chicago and Springfield politicians to give us a black eye, at our heart, we Illinoisans and all Midwesterners know:

Amid the broad green plains that nourish our land,
For honest Labor and for Learning we stand,
-Illinois Loyalty

Make no mistake, folks. The Midwest's labor and learning is absolutely in jeopardy right now thanks to Republican attacks on collective bargaining. Our Big Ten universities are collectively the best group of public research universities in the country and provide the best education to the greatest amount of students who attend public universities. Yet Republicans want us Midwesterners to emulate the South? We can't let them!

The Midwest has been under attack the last 30 years of Reaganomics destroying our manufacturing industries, the very same industries that allowed us to defeat the Southerners in the Civil War. For some reason, we seem to finally be waking up to that. It's why all of us in the Midwest voted for Obama in 2008. And it's why we're standing up for our unions now.

So it's interesting that now, all across the country, young people are learning the words to Solidarity Forever.

((youtube wephpersgJo))

They are singing it to the tune of the Union's theme, the Battle Hymn of the Republic.

((youtube /p5mmFPyDK_8))

They are trampling through the vineyard where the grapes of wrath are stored, as working class folks had to do in another tough economic time.

((youtube yer4L1Uhayc))

Meanwhile, some Southerners this month have been celebrating the 150th anniversary of the inauguration of Jefferson Davis as the president of the Confederacy and the state of Mississippi wants to establish a license plate to honor the founder of the KKK?

Meanwhile, Republicans push the same policies (nullification, no labor rights, low and uncollected taxes for the rich, unfettered trade with foreign countries, opposition to infrastucture, opposition to industry-nurturing, opposition to public education) that made the Confederacy a failure... as I previously wrote about in A civilization gone with the wind.

Meanwhile, the Republican Party worships a man who began the Republican's obsession with "state's rights" in a speech in Philadelphia, Mississippi and has cultivated a bizarre and undeserved idolization from much of the public.

The question is how our president, who announced his bid for the presidency at the site of the "House Divided" speech, will handle this War of Southern Aggression on our Northern way of life. I hope he looks to Lincoln.

Originally posted to modemocrat on Wed Feb 23, 2011 at 03:38 AM PST.

Also republished by In Support of Labor and Unions, Southern Liberal Living DK Version, and Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Well said, modemocrat (25+ / 0-)

    Well done.

    I look forward to your next installment, when you talk about Northern pro-slavery copperheads and their modern counterparts in the Democratic Party.

  •  Ugh. There is a Stand with walker ad on this diary (5+ / 0-)

    Does this mean Koch is funding Dkos now?

  •  The North May Have Won the War (36+ / 0-)

    But the Slaveocracy won the peace. Lincoln's principles died with Reconstruction. Hanna and McKinley pissed in the Railsplitter's coffin. Nixon and Reagan and their orc-like minions gleefully ceded what was left of the Union to the Old Confederacy.

    Culturally and economically, the United States has long been little more than a shabbily updated version of the Slave Power.

    "Southern charm," indeed.

    •  We have been going back and forth all the time (29+ / 0-)

      Reconstruction was followed by Jim Crow.

      Jim Crow was followed by the early Progressive movement in the Midwest and trust-busting Progressive presidents.

      The South responded by giving birth to the KKK and we were stuck with the vile Calvin Coolidge and his policies that set up the 1929 crash (Coolidge was Reagan's favorite president).

      FDR saved workers with the New Deal and temporarily we were all united by WWII.

      Division was sown by the vile perpetrators of the Red Scare.

      The north then won victories for civil rights even as the country was still divided. Unfortunately, since they assassinated Martin Luther King. the South has been winning.

      It's time for the north to make a stand and win again!

    •  Tipped for (6+ / 0-)
      Nixon and Reagan and their orc-like minions

      Desiderius Erasmus, once said: "War is delightful to those who have no experience in it".

      by BOHICA on Wed Feb 23, 2011 at 06:20:31 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  The Union really blew in. (9+ / 0-)

      In most Civil Wars, the ruling class of the losing side is gone- not from power, but from the earth. And while that's a horrible thing, the lack of that happening is why the Southern Aristocracy is still in power in much of the south.

      WTF!?!?!?! When did I move to the Republic of Gilead?!

      by IARXPHD on Wed Feb 23, 2011 at 07:40:34 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  One of these days... (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Tookish, esquimaux, elwior, brein

        I'm going to write a contra-factual history (what would have happened if....) of the history of the US if we would have rounded up the Confed Aristocracy and meted out the customary penalty for treason.

        WTF!?!?!?! When did I move to the Republic of Gilead?!

        by IARXPHD on Wed Feb 23, 2011 at 07:46:15 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  This is correct. (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Tookish, Marie, fumie, IARXPHD, Pris from LA

        In most wars, the victors hang the leaders of the defeated as traitors.

        This wasn't done because Lincoln regarded said leaders as "fellow gentlemen." The South did not undergo a process akin to de-Nazification because, among other reasons, the North was just as racist.

        •  Are You Saying... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Prognosticator, HylasBrook

          That after World War Two ended, the Allies hung all the leaders, government, military, and business, if they supported the governments of Japan, Germany, and Italy?

          The only trials and executions that I am aware of were for war crimes.  Do you know about some secret executions?

          And you are wrong about your assertion that:

          The South did not undergo a process akin to de-Nazification because, among other reasons, the North was just as racist.

          I would call the scourge that the carpetbaggers brought to the South to be the same as de-nazification.

          •  Re-written history - the South wrote it (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            PhilK, IARXPHD, LucyandByron

            as 'carpetbaggers' from the North, but like the "War of Northern Agression" it wasn't quite like that

            Certainly many took advantage of the South's weakened condition, but many also tried to help the former slaves

            HylasBrook @62 - fiesty, fiery, and fierce

            by HylasBrook on Wed Feb 23, 2011 at 10:35:12 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  You don't think the Republicans (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              HylasBrook

              had some "Halliburtons" of the day that swarmed in and made obscene profits, AFTER they'd made obscene profits "dealing" war equipment?

              If they'd expended more of their Righteous Republican Riches and victor's power "to help the former slaves", it wouldn't have taken one hundred years to have REAL civil rights progress in the conquered region!

              Yeah, carpetbaggers were real, and evil, enriching themselves on the suffering of others.  

              If you're talking about the patriarchial, churchy-peacher types who "came to help", well, they were, by and large, a scourge also!   (And still are, sucking money from ignorant, downtrodden people, in exchange for brainwashing said people...)

          •  The Confederacy waged war on its own country (5+ / 0-)

            As Franklin noted at the time of the Declaration of Indepdence: "Gentlemen, we shall hang together, for, if we do not, we shall surely hang separately."  As a general rule, people who revolt against their own government do so at least tacitly understanding the likely risks if they fail.

            There were 11 years of inconsistent and uneven attempts at Reconstruction.  They ended as part of the sordid deal that put Hayes in the WH.  For roughly the next 90 years, life for Southern blacks was marginally better than it had been under slavery.  It wasn't so great for them in the North, either.

            The Confederacy got off easy after the Civil War.

            Some men see things as they are and ask why. I dream of things that never were and ask why not?

            by RFK Lives on Wed Feb 23, 2011 at 10:50:45 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  Charles Sumner wished to cut up new states (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Marie, IARXPHD, elwior

          Sen. Sumner felt that when The South was re-absorbed that the old borders should have been erased in favour of cutting up new states. Electorally breaking up the troublemakers from having too much power. For all intents and purposes West Virginia's loyalty should have been rewarded by offering them the option to reunify with Virginia and take control of the state.
          The entire Confederate Cabinet and most of the Generals should have been strung up. I include Lee with that. If he was such a great General then why did he lose?
          In some ways The South reminds me of The Japanese. The fact that the Southern leadership was not held accountable has resulted in a victim mentality that is similar to how many Japanese have treated World War II, and the fact that Hirohito was not held responsible for his decisions. Instead they scapegoated Tojo.
          In The South pretty much only the Commandant at Andersonville was executed. Most of the others were given a relatively light punishment. Nathan Bedford Forrest was a war criminal even by the standards of the day and should have been hung. Yet somehow that butcher is viewed as a Southern Hero.

    •  what's striking about that map (7+ / 0-)

      of the right to work states, is how close it is to the 2008 electoral map.  Obama won every union state but KY, WV, and MO, and lost every right-to-work state except for NV, FL, VA, and NC.  So, while the South was winning for a while, will it continue?

      The second striking thing about the map is that the discrepancies between which right-to-work state Obama won and which union states he lost, nearly all of that can be explained by race or education.  WV, KY, and MO all have significant elements of Dixie in them, while NV has Hispanic immigration and VA, NC, and FL have migration of snowbirds and educated professional workers.

      "This world demands the qualities of youth: not a time of life but a state of mind[.]" -- Robert F. Kennedy

      by Loge on Wed Feb 23, 2011 at 08:49:58 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  A house divided indeed. (13+ / 0-)

    Differing laws on labor relations should have never been allowed. Leaving the South free to restrict union organizing meant that there would be an eventual race to the bottom. The only real surprise is that it took so long. The economic repression of the South by its ruling class and the Northerners who profitted from this has finally begun to drag the whole nation down. Of course, as my grandfather used say (quoting Booker T. Washington), "the only way to hold someone down is to get down in the ditch with him." Hopefully we are near the bottom and have begun the long climb back.

  •  FAIL (3+ / 0-)

    The American people are not at war with each other.

    Literally or figuratively, some people just want us to think we are.  

    In the adult world it's called a disagreement.  

    •  We are essentially in a trade war (16+ / 0-)

      And the issue of collective bargaining is more than just a disagreement.

      It's a fundamental human right per the UN.

      •  Double down FAIL (4+ / 0-)

        Not going to let you do this.  It's a disagreement and nothing more.  

        This is policy difference and nothing more and it's more than disappointing that this is being elevated and inflated with civil war and slavery rhetoric.

        May I remind you that people don't just leave work in a war they die.

        There is no "essentially" you are either at war(which is not the case), or you disagree on policy(which is the case), the bravery of 70k in WI does not stack up well against five 19 year olds in Iraq.

        Protesting is good.  Saying Americans are on the verge of civil war over an issue that affects less than ten percent of the population, is immoral.  

        Take your medicine.  If you think we are that far along it's your right but it doesn't make it right.  

        •  Unions affect more than 10 percent of the pop. (15+ / 0-)

          whether more than 10 percent belong to them or not.

          This diary is not agitating for civil war. It is agitating for Midwesterners to come together to protect our states from right-wing agendas that seem to have taken over much of the South.

        •  Americans ARE in a civil war (15+ / 0-)

          The fact that you can't see that is a measure of how dire our circumstances really are.

          •  Between the North (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Prognosticator

            and the South?

            •  Between Northern mentalities... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              PhilK

              and Southern culture.

              •  Respectfully, David, (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Prognosticator, jlb1972

                I must reject that notion.

                I live in the South.  Was born and raised here.  I've lived in the Northeast.  I know that racism and bigotry resides in both areas.  I've heard racial slurs in both areas.  So, I need you to tell me, what type of mentality do I have?  What type of mentality do the vast majority of my friends have?  Have you decided?  Based on our geographical location?

                What exactly is the mentality of those in Northern states who have allowed Republicans to take governorships and state legislatures?

                They are suddenly embracing the "Southern culture"?  Or is it they were dumb enough to accept lies that were being told to them?

                •  You reject every notion... (0+ / 0-)

                  because you're a Southern apologist.

                  THe diarist and others have made it perfectly clear, not all Southerners are responsible for this, but that doesn't mean it's not a broad cultural phenomenon that persists there...and it does so largely because of people like yourself who seem to find some charm in it all.

                  •  lol, I don't see words (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Prognosticator, jlb1972

                    of apology in my comment.  I've never apologized for the racism and prejudices of some in the South.  And I never will.  I did not state that I find charm in such racism and prejudices.  Really, David, is it so easy for you to throw those memes out there?  You're better than that, David, really, you are.

                    •  It's not "SOME" in the South... (0+ / 0-)

                      for Christ's sake get your damn head out of the fucking sand.

                      It's millions of people.  It's a majority of them.

                      For shit's sake you don't see that you're part of the problem when you come in every fucking diary that criticizes the ghastly southern culture and try to apologize for it.

                      Maybe the fact that you were "born and raised" there, means you can't be objective.

                      I know Northern racism, too.

                      I never saw any of the shit that I saw take place in the South anywhere in the North.

                      EVER.

                      •  I saw and heard it (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Prognosticator, jlb1972

                        when I lived in Philly.  Yes, language worse than what I heard in my years in the South.  No, I'm not saying that racism is worse in Philly than in the South.  I'm not stupid, David.

                        Again, show me where I have apologized for the South.  Show me where I've condoned racism and bigotry.  You can't, because I've never done so.

                        All I can say is - nice language, David.  Surely your vocabulary is better than what you've shown here.

                        Again, what I am against is using broad strokes.  I'm not against saying many or some or the majority.  It's the broad strokes.  What's so difficult to understand about that?  :)

                        •  Sometimes "broad strokes" (0+ / 0-)

                          paint an accurate picture.

                          I saw all I ever want to see from my time in the South.

                          I'd rather live in Philly than in Tupelo any day.

                          •  Well, shoot, (0+ / 0-)

                            I'd rather live in Philly than Tupelo!  Where I'd really like to live is NYC or Costa Rica or one of my other dream places ....

                          •  most of the time (0+ / 0-)

                            they don't and that's the real deal.

                          •  Sorry you feel that way... (0+ / 0-)

                            but the truth of the matter is there is a disgusting and very real correlation between the Southern culture of authoritarianism and racism prior to the Civil War and the Conservative anti-union racism that is found there today.

                            So, if you happen to be Southern and think you're being unfairly picked on...here's something that might help...actually fight for something down there instead of just caving in to the bigots.

                            I had a nice friend down there.  Cultured, charming, and well educated he was.  Couldn't seem to find anything odd with an all-white basketball team at a school with 40% African-American enrollment.

                            "It's just the way things are" he told me...and, "they way they'll always be."

                            Broad strokes....call it what you will.  It's insidious and it's far different from what goes on in Northern states.

                            Up there it's in your face, so you know what it's all about...down there it's their "heritage" and they seem to think it's part of the southern charm.

                            Whatever it is...stop being so fucking defensive and call it for what it is.

                          •  you make a lot of assumptions (3+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Prognosticator, jlb1972, moondance

                            that make you look pretty fucking stupid.  

                            I don't live in the south dork, I'm telling you what you already know.

                            In most cases broad brushing doesn't work.  

                            Don't be a dick, you people are talking about a war you won't ever fight unless it means you kill your keyboard from typing too hard.

                            Two months ago you were probably tripping over yourself to condemn the GOP for using violent rhetoric and now cause you have an issue it's cool?  

                            I don't think so.  No matter what side of the mason dixon you are on, it's still called bullshit.

                            You're not tough, you're not a soldier, you're a blogger, who is using big words and doing your fair share to create another AZ.  

                            Who the fuck are you gonna shoot if it got that serious? Your computer monitor?  I doubt you could even do that.  

                            Whatever the correlation may be, you're not going to back up your tough talk with action other than typing or showing up at a rally, so if you want to keep this dumbass civil war bullshit going, feel free, but the next time something happens, remember you didn't do much to bring down the hostility.

                          •  piss off... (0+ / 0-)

                            I'm not talking about shooting anybody.  I never said any such thing.

                          •  You're damn right you didn't (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Prognosticator

                            Well that's what happens in war David.  

                            I suppose you're going to tell me that all the things that lead up to Gabby being shot had nothing to do with rhetoric now?  Is that it?

                            It's okay now because you are using it for your own political issue, so we don't have to think about what happened a a month and a half ago.  

                            Well your stupid self is part of the damn problem.  It's a policy issue that is being handled as we speak through words and you pretending that this is some kind of war, even if it is metaphorical is the exact type of thing you probably blamed the GOP for when she got shot and it now seems like people didn't really care, they just wanted to use it for politics.

                          •  Yep... (0+ / 0-)
                            No matter what side of the mason dixon you are on, it's still called bullshit.
                        •  Racism in Philly ... (2+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          Prognosticator, moondance

                          or Boston, NYC, Chicago, Detroit, Milwaukee, etc. The personal worst I've seen was in Boston in the 80's. And Northeasterners have often assured me that it wasn't racism like you people have down South but just a "neighborhood thing." During the 2008 campaign, I realized how very few of my Northeastern, suburban-raised, elite-educated acquaintances actually knew any African-Americans other than casually at work. Some of them are very bitter that Obama didn't match their preconceptions.

                          The problem with this diary, as with so many other such expressions, is that it easily slides over into boasting about the innate cultural superiority of states or regions that largely acquired their enviable positive identifications at the point of FDR's National Labor Relations Act.

                          That's not to say there aren't - or weren't - positive indigenous political trends in those areas or that similar ones in the South weren't brutally repressed when the Republicans tossed away Reconstruction so Rutherford Hayes could be President or when the strike was broken in 1938. But it's good to recall that one major reason the US was so slow to enter WWII was that FDR depended upon millions of Eastern and Midwestern German-, Italian-, and Irish-Americans who didn't especially want to fight for England or France. So, real history is complicated ...

                          My deeper fear here is that such North-South Manicheanism will blind us to how pervasive the reactionary movement is throughout this nation and how much it's driven by things that have nothing directly to do with the South. The key factors are Wall Street, Big Insurance and Pharma, the oil & gas industry, and the military industry - not one of these things originated in the South or is truly based there. I'll put it another way, my Northern grandfather was an executive for the Pennsylvania Railroad, one of the worst robber-baron corporations, and my Southern grandfather ran one of those front companies set up by General Motors and Standard Oil to destroy the trolly system and replace them with gas-guzzling buses. They were both fanatical FDR haters.  

                          Then let us learn our range: we are something but we are not everything - Pascal

                          by jlb1972 on Thu Feb 24, 2011 at 02:34:01 AM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                •  Or were they never really that great all along, (0+ / 0-)

                  but happened to be on the (properly) winning side and thus able to pretend that the labor climate of 1935-1980 was there all the time?

                  Then let us learn our range: we are something but we are not everything - Pascal

                  by jlb1972 on Wed Feb 23, 2011 at 04:35:22 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

        •  You live in an alternate universe. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          PhilK, Marie, elwior
        •  I disagree, both wrt this issue (11+ / 0-)

          and wrt other issues. For example, the Republicans and a few Dems are waging a war against women by trying to criminalize being female w/ their various Fed and state level measures designed to eliminate reproductive rights and remove social safety net programs such as Head Start. Women (as a class) are being targeted at a level not seen in decades and never seen since Roe. It is important to see this for the unequivocal nature of what it is. They want us to return to Gilead.

          And wrt the issue of this diary, they want us to return to a form of slavery. There is no gray area with them and if we don't understand it we will continue to allow them to erode the progress won by the blood and sweat of previous generations in a bit by bit fashion, that will lead us to the horror of The Handmaid's Tale in a modern version of a pre-reconstruction economy. This is not inflammatory or shrill; it's what they want.

          We are here to awaken from the illusion of our separateness.

          by Tookish on Wed Feb 23, 2011 at 09:06:08 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  There is no state in the union where people do not (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Marie

        have a right to collective bargaining.

        There are, however, states in which union power -- and the right to collect dues with which to finance operations -- is seriously diluted by the inability to enforce union shops.

        Freeloaders can get the benefit of wages and benefits negotiated by the unions without paying dues or being bound by union rules.

        LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

        by dinotrac on Wed Feb 23, 2011 at 09:44:24 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  In NC there is no (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          PhilK, JVolvo, moondance

          "collective bargaining." So you can form a "club" and call it a union, but businesses are not required to negotiate w/ the club. And state and municipal workers in NC are legally FORBIDDEN from unionizing.

          •  North Carolina is no different from any other (0+ / 0-)

            right to work state -- and it can't be because of the federal laws.

            At least for private sector employees.

            But...
            the Wagner act does not apply to public employees, so...government workers do form a special case.

            LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

            by dinotrac on Wed Feb 23, 2011 at 01:23:41 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  Oh, yes, we are. (16+ / 0-)

      You think that the attempts to deprive struggling workers of their livelihoods and their power to negotiate better livelihoods is just a "disagreement"?

      You think that white men, disgruntled at the decline of their privilege, shooting up or flying planes into liberal churches, memorials to genocide, women's gyms, or government buildings is just a "disagreement"?

      You think that the attempts to reduce women once again to chattel is just a "disagreement"?

      Man, I'd like to live in your world.

      •  Gabby Giffords (0+ / 0-)

        Think about that name.  Think about how you reacted to her shooting.  Think about how you would react to someone putting crosshairs over union members, then hold yourself to the same standard you wanted to the day you heard she got shot, then rec my comment for not forgetting that rhetoric matters.

    •  They are at war with me as a Union member. (10+ / 0-)

      They want to crush me and my ability to support Democrats.  They are playing for keeps.  

      It's not a freaking game to me.

      "We must hang together,...else, we shall most assuredly hang separately."

      by GreatDane on Wed Feb 23, 2011 at 09:15:01 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  well, points for civility. However, a class and (0+ / 0-)

      social war is being waged in this country - and THEY see us as traitors and harmful to THEIR vision of a country.

      So, I'm diarist on this sub-thread.

      The Republican motto: "There's been a lot of progress in this country over the last 75 years, and we've been against all of it." ~ Hillbilly Dem's 78-yo Dad

      by JVolvo on Wed Feb 23, 2011 at 03:15:41 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  keep talking about war (0+ / 0-)

        and your gonna end up sending someone to fight in one that you will not physically partake in.  

        Gabby, Gabby, Gabby, remember that name and how you felt when she was all over the news.

        jussayin'

  •  And yet, it's Wisconsin. (10+ / 0-)

    The mentality may have been predominantly Southern at one time, but the modern GOP spreads it everywhere. I can assure you that inside-the-perimeter Atlanta is more liberal than outside-the-cities-and-towns Wisconsin, and everywhere else in the Midwest and Plains.

    If you don't stick to your values when they're tested, they're not values. They're... hobbies. -- Jon Stewart, Jan. 22, 2009

    by pat208 on Wed Feb 23, 2011 at 05:46:55 AM PST

  •  From a Southern Girl. . . (27+ / 0-)

    I read your article with shame and fear--fear that what you say--and what I have suspected for many years--has come to pass; that is, a new distinct ideology of Southern separation.  I have lived in the South all my life (I am 60 years old now.) and have seen the reemergence of the  dreaded procession of Southern egotism and hate--very much in evidence in the 60's.  I had hoped we could learn from our tragic history and take another path, but recent developments--such as those you point out, and others, also--have shown that this is not to be.  Obviously, I love the South but I am horrified by what it has become.

    Peace to you all.  Jane

    Old Hippies Never Give Up!

    by ravenrdr on Wed Feb 23, 2011 at 06:40:43 AM PST

  •  Good read (7+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Tookish, PhilK, Marie, zett, esquimaux, JVolvo, phonegery

    What is being said about busting unions just to promote politicians careers, and the decades of fiscal mismanagement that led to this?

    This is probably the new southern strategy for 2012.

    We are better than this. We must do better. Cmdr.Scott Kelly

    by mydailydrunk on Wed Feb 23, 2011 at 06:45:43 AM PST

  •  For certain values of "midwest" (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PhilK, JVolvo, i like bbq

    About half the Midwest is Right to Work.

  •  Krugman today (11+ / 0-)

    Quotes Nathaniel Macon of North Carolina, a Southerner opposed to infrastructure improvements, who said in 1818:

    If Congress can make canals, they can with more propriety emancipate.

    Krugman says:

    I leave the elucidation of any parallels or lack thereof to modern politics as an exercise for readers.

    Opposition to Infrastructure Spending: The Origins

  •  Thanks for this great (10+ / 0-)

    diary and reference to Dengre's fine post. I have a couple more maps that Kossacks might find interesting. One shows electoral results by county from 2008. The other shows counties with the highest concentration of slaves prior to the Civil War. There is an almost perfect correspondence between those counties (in mostly red states) that went for Obama, and those with high slave populations. The descendants of slaves know enough to vote against today's Rethugs (Abe Lincoln notwithstanding)
    Here's the maps.

  •  The Union Forever! Hurrah, Boys, Hurrah! (6+ / 0-)
  •  we should've let 'em (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    HylasBrook

    secede. They'd be totally dependent on us by now. They had no infrastructure, no economy to speak of, and the entire experiment would have failed (IMHO)

    Inconceivable! You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

    by hopeful on Wed Feb 23, 2011 at 08:43:33 AM PST

    •  And there would have been (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Tookish, Sylv, PhilK, Marie, HylasBrook

      an entirely new Third World country on our southern doorstep, one that oppressed people of color, not to mention women and others, without any mitigation from our federal policies.

      Also, it would have been a belligerent country with, in all likelihood, ABC weaponry.

    •  Also, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      HylasBrook

      consider the expense that Europe has been going through reintegrating the former Soviet bloc into its economy. So we'd either be facing that or the hostile-neighbor scenario. I guess it's arguable whether either would be worse than the current situation, however.

    •  The South, with its long growing season, (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      zett, jlb1972

      had the food.  Likewise, it had the clothing (cotton).  (Heh, even the union "blues" were dyed with indigo grown in the South.)

      The North has traditionally manufactured things - made gadgets.

      Gadgets vs. food and clothing.  

      Even though the West and Midwest are now agriculturally productive, I think we'd do better to acknowledge that we're all interdependent, and lay aside divisive fantasies.

      •  The North originally manufactured cotton (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Prognosticator

        in those Lowell textile mills grown on Southern slave plantations and also manufactured in New York purpose-built slave ships for the trade. The slavery reparations movement has been terrific in showing how many Northeast fortunes were made on the slave trade, while the real freedom of free labor would wait until the 1930's - and would last barely half a century.

        Then let us learn our range: we are something but we are not everything - Pascal

        by jlb1972 on Wed Feb 23, 2011 at 04:49:40 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  This is an interesting essay. (10+ / 0-)

    I suspect, however, that the global plutocrats at the top of the food chain transcend these regional differences.

    Indeed, they exploit them, but they also laugh about it.

    It is a calling...to do things about injustice.... It helps to have a goal. I've always tried to have one.--Ted Kennedy, True Compass

    by Timaeus on Wed Feb 23, 2011 at 08:46:44 AM PST

    •  Exactly. From the other day: (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Timaeus, magicsister

      I hope everyone will remember that Northern industrialists - Republicans - kicked the Confederates' asses.  

      They then swarmed South and stole everything they could, fomented division and racial hatred at every opportunity, manipulated/"reconstructed" things to their benefit (profit), forced blacks to vote Republican upon pain of death, and did everything possible to keep the conquered both poor and ignorant.  (ESPECIALLY regarding labor issues.  For just one example, when NY businessmen "carpetbaggers" came and murdered the people, black AND white, off the land, then cut all the virgin yellow pine between the Ocmulgee and Oconee rivers in GA, they did not want white laborers in their new lumber mills/rail lines unionizing!)

      These Republican "liberators" were not angels, or the odious "wage slavery", which actually fomented the labor movement, would not have been institutionalized in Northern factories.  Not to mention that the slave trade itself, which served the whole "New World",
      was based in New England, and enriched many of those already-wealthy people AND municipalities.  From the above:  "...the famous schooner-yacht Wanderer, pride of the New York Yacht Club, put in to Port Jefferson Harbor in April 1858 to be fitted out for the slave trade. Everyone looked the other way..."

      The conquered and downtrodden South was a trial run for these Gilded conquerors.  They have slowly and painstakingly refined every trick in their book, here.  

      For example, I guarantee you most GA People didn't understand what "Right to Work" really meant - being perennially ignorant of labor matters.  But it sounded good, the way it was worded on the ballot -  like it was something fair, and even good for workers.   So GA adopted it in November...

      So when you look at these maps, consider "Heh, these current red states are where the conquering Republicans had their way!"  THAT is the disturbing lesson!  Don't forget they "railroaded" the West, too.  (The first Repub presidential candidate, before Lincoln, had been a surveyor for the railroads.)

      We so desperately need solidarity and unification, now, nationwide.  Thoughtless use of divisive, inflammatory, unnecessary language and "parallels" will only hurt and further divide.

      This recent "Conservative = Confederate" talk is not healthy or good for our cause, and it concerns me greatly.  I know people are frustrated, but if stirring up "South-hate" is the best way people can think of to motivate Midwest/Northern support for unions, they need to think a little longer!  INCLUDE the South, don't ALIENATE it with old insults, now!  Hell, try the truth: "Yankees" were Republicans"!

      Let's not act like crabs in a pot, pinching each other.  Let's focus on the bastards holding the pot.

      SOLIDARITY.

  •  We Became Rustbelt Because of the South (13+ / 0-)

    not China. The industries first fled to the nonunion states before abandoning them for Mexico, China and points cheaper.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Wed Feb 23, 2011 at 08:46:54 AM PST

  •  Where's Wall Street? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jlb1972
  •  Free Soil, Free Labor, Free Men (9+ / 0-)

    Foner's book is a great work.  I haven't read it in nearly thirty years, but it neatly sets out the competing ideologies leading up to the Civil War, particularly in the North.  I have to caution you, however.  If my memory serves correctly, many capitalists in the North argued against slavery not because of its inhumanity, but because they deemed it less efficient.  In a country with a surfeit of cheap unskilled labor, why pay to own and maintain labor when one could simply discard a worker who was used up, injured, etc., and hire another?  It was their view that it was slavery that was retarding the South's progress to an industrialized nation, with complacent feudal lords running society instead of enterprising entrepreneurs.  I believe Lincoln's own view was much more compassionate than that, but let's not think that all Northerner's reasons for emancipation was as noble as those of the staunch abolitionists.

    •  Odd argument considering (3+ / 0-)

      that for over two hundred years there was a labor shortage in the US.  That's why up until the 1970s, as productivity increased, the real wages of workers increased.  "They" finally put a stop to all that by moving their capital offshore to places with surplus labor.

      •  I don't think the two points are irreconciliable. (0+ / 0-)

        While the overall labor pool was more competitive than in Europe, wages were still pretty low.  As long as your labor requirements aren't too intensive (which industrialization seeks to overcome by replacing workers with machinery), contracting such labor on as short a term as possible, with no concern as to what those workers do for food or shelter, seems preferable from a purely capitalist standpoint.
             Skilled labor had much more leverage in bargaining.  However, I might submit that the real wages of workers increased along with productivity gains moreso from  the large-scale organization of labor that took place in the late nineteenth and the first half of the 20th century and the collective bargaining power that accompanied that, rather than the as a result of the productivity gains themselves.  However, I fully agree that the offshoring of labor begun in the latter part of the 20th century has once again put labor on the bad end of the bargaining table - not just because of different standards of living, but also because that offshore labor is unorganized as well.

  •  There are still many folks down there (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PhilK, Hannibal, esquimaux

    who make comments like "If the unions get in, the Jews and I-talians will be coming down here and taking over."
    The old ways die hard, but times CAN change.

  •  Great Article (5+ / 0-)

    I have been thinking so much about how we have stopped fighting the 1960's and actually are re fighting the civil war again.

    I mean if you look at the modern republican ideology and the confederate ideology, and account for the difference in time and language, both are so similar it's not funny.

    Exporting our raw materials rather than using them at home to creat value added products.

    Keeping the population in ignorance and then using emotion and patriotisim to get them to mobilize and go to war against their own interest.

    The total hatred of the national government.

    It's really uncanny

  •  I think the gop agenda is very clear: (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PhilK, DEMonrat ankle biter

    "A liberal is a man or a woman or a child who looks forward to a better day, a more tranquil night, and a bright, infinite future." ~Leonard Bernstein

    by lyvwyr101 on Wed Feb 23, 2011 at 09:29:40 AM PST

  •  A little surprised by how little difference (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Prognosticator, HylasBrook

    in wages there is for union states, especially when you consider that they include Califormina and New York -- very large and very expensive places to live and the non-unions states include places like Arkansas, Mississippi and Alabama.

    Has anybody tried compiling similar info that adjusts for cost of living between states?

    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

    by dinotrac on Wed Feb 23, 2011 at 09:35:32 AM PST

    •  Very good point Many of the manufacturing (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      chimpy, Prognosticator, dinotrac

      areas in NYS are upstate where the cost of living is less than New York City, but there is still the high taxes and the cost of heating a house in winter

      But certainly it's cheaper to live in the South - wonder if anyone has correlated the cost of living with annual union/no unionwages

      HylasBrook @62 - fiesty, fiery, and fierce

      by HylasBrook on Wed Feb 23, 2011 at 10:53:06 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  It might also have something to do with urgency (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        HylasBrook

        in southern states.

        An employer in the south could offer notably lower wages than, say, here around Chicago, yet still enough to permit employees a lifestyle that doesn't leave them yearning for a union.

        When you add in the diluting impact of right-to-work laws, an employer would really have to be pretty bad (and some are) to get unionized in the south.

        That, of course, wouldn't apply to something like car plants that were started with UAW representation as a result of nationwide agreements, but does seem like an advantage to southern employers.

        LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

        by dinotrac on Wed Feb 23, 2011 at 11:29:47 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  While the revived confederacy may not actually (3+ / 0-)

    call for the revival of slavery, it's pretty obvious they're going to rub butts with it.

    The community of fools might be small if it were not such an accomplished proselytizer.

    by ZedMont on Wed Feb 23, 2011 at 10:21:11 AM PST

  •  I Prefer To Call the Rust Belt States the (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TiaRachel, phonegery

    Mid-Atlantic states rather than the Midwest.  To me, the Midwest means the plains states (Kansas, Nebraska, etc.) which are all red state and anti-union.  I stand in solidarity with the Wisconsin union workers (even though I am not a union member)! The diarist is partially correct - the moneyed elites are waging a war on the middle and working class in this country, and even though the rich elites don't all come from the South, the union busting mentality does.  I think it is telliing that Walmart is a southern based company (Arkansas).  Walmart (along with politicians like Reagan) are primarily responsible for sending our manufacturing jobs overseas, and then offering low wage jobs with no benefits in their place. And of course, the Walton family (founders of Walmart) have been pushing relentlessly to reduce estate taxes on millionaires and billionaires.

  •  Your Diary gives The Impression That... (5+ / 0-)

    pre-Civil War slavery significantly depressed wages for free white workers.  You didn't state a factual basis for your conclusion.

    The facts that I have seen are in complete oppostion to your thesis.

    My research has shown that the price of a field slave was approximately $900 in 1810 and increased to approximately $1,800 by 1860.  For the period prior to the Civil War, this was a very large amount of money to spend to insure that you had available labor.  Wages for the same period were very low regardless of the existence of slavery in or near the marketplace.  

    According to "The History of Wages and Prices in Massachusetts, 1752-1883" the wages for an agricultural laborer (with board) was $8 - 10 per month in the United States and $4 - 6.50 per month in England and France.  The use of slaves appears to be more closely related to the need for large numbers of workers than slaves being cheap labor.  Slaves were used primarily for very labor intensive agriculture crops starting with rice and indigo, moving into tobacco, and later cotton after the invention of the cotton gin.  These crops were very labor intensive and growers needed a reliable supply of workers to grow these very profitable crops.  It doesn't seem logical that a grower in 1825 would spend $1,000 for a slave if he could hire a free man for $10 per month, unless the supply of free workers was unreliable.  And if you look at the lower wages paid to agricultural workers in England and France, it appears that the short supply of workers in the United States drove up the value of agricultural workers here.

    •  ?? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      PhilK

      In E & F, prices for labor were lower -- and they lacked slave. That doesn't imply that slavery doesn't supress wages -- why possibly would you run the risk of slave uprisings and all the costs of slaves when your free labor is so cheap?

      You make a similar jump by saying that it would be "illogical" for a grower to pay $1000 for a slave if a free laborer was $10 per month. But could he actually hire a laborer for $10 per month to do the intensive labor? Particularly if he hired a large number of them, who were then free to negotiate?

      You can also easily argue that by having slavery as an option to "guarantee labor", the natural price of labor in the US was reduced several-fold by your data -- that natural price being a high enough wage to guarantee the "reliability" of labor.

      You can't do this simple analyses by correlation in economics (or any other field). You don't know which way the cause and effect goes -- or whether there is any cause and effect.

      Slavery was stealing labor. It makes no sense to think that stealing labor of one group doesn't have a negative effect on the price of labor for others. I'll go with the beliefs of 19th century free laborers rather than your post hoc rationalizations, thank you very much.

  •  Excellent diary (6+ / 0-)

    Dengre has it exactly right when he poses the matter throughout history as "stealing labor."

    An additional part of it now is actual slave labor in the form of private contracting with prisons for convict labor.

    I always believed the we were on an upward trajectory in terms of human and economic rights.  Now it is a rearguard action against extreme reactionaries just to preserve what was won after the New Deal.

    The GOP: "You can always go to the Emergency Room."

    by Upper West on Wed Feb 23, 2011 at 10:45:27 AM PST

  •  As mentioned above, part of the reason the South (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PhilK, TiaRachel, esquimaux

    hasn't really changed since antebellum days is that the descendents of those elites are still in power.

    For example, Mark Stanford's ancestors owned a plantation.

    I'm sure there are a number of (white, male) people who have been able to move into the elite.   But the power of the close-knit families on the top of the economic heap are still there.

    There are working class politicians who can rise to high positions - George Wallace in Alabama is an example - but I think the 'purse strings' are still controlled by the elite.

    HylasBrook @62 - fiesty, fiery, and fierce

    by HylasBrook on Wed Feb 23, 2011 at 11:08:28 AM PST

  •  Awesome thanks t & r (0+ / 0-)

    John Kasich, R-OH-gov hates black people, women, children, and unions, I guess that covers almost everyone.

    by OHknighty on Wed Feb 23, 2011 at 12:01:10 PM PST

  •  Tip'd, Rec'd, Tweet'd, Appreciat'd. Moreover... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PhilK, Neferhuri

    ...having been raised in Georgia, I LOVE your turnabout headline!

    Don't tell me what you believe. Tell me what you do and I'll tell you what you believe.

    by Meteor Blades on Wed Feb 23, 2011 at 12:35:27 PM PST

  •  Although the headline is cute (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PhilK, Prognosticator, jlb1972, moondance

    One of the things that is often overlooked about the union movement in the South is that national union leadership let Southern textile workers white and black hang out to dry because they did not want to desegregate their own unions.  Or couldn't because the rank-and-file would revolt.  And most of the unions did not desegregate until the mid-1960s.  The 1930s were full of organizing in the South, but the Textile Workers Strike of 1938 collapsed, leaving the organizers and their infrastructure available for later support of the civil rights movement.

    One of the last pro-union politicians in the South, Olin D. Johnston of South Carolina -- yes, that South Carolina -- served in Congress until 1965.  He was replaced by Gov. Donald Russell, who lost the 1966 election to Fritz Hollings.

    There is a lot of bitterness among the families of the textile workers who did stick their necks out about this betrayal.  And is a reason why most of the textile states became right-to-work states.  Coal-mining states used to have some union power, but that has been undercut by their legislatures as social conservative issues were used to peel the rank-and-file union members from the Democratic Party.

    This is a heritage that must be recaptured in the South for the progressive movement to grow.  It is very difficult to do this with the frequent cheap shots citing the Civil War.

    And the labor movement still lives in the South.  Smithfield Foods, a hog disassmbly plant in Tarheel, NC, was successfully unionized in December 2008 after a 15-year fight.

    50 states, 210 media market, 435 Congressional Districts, 3080 counties, 192,480 precincts

    by TarheelDem on Wed Feb 23, 2011 at 01:04:41 PM PST

    •  Is your claim that (0+ / 0-)

      Southern unions were left out to hang because Northern unions didn't want to desegregate -- but the Southern unions did?

      That would be surprising. Seems more plausible that desegregation of unions was a national problem that caused a failure in unionization wherever there was a large non-white population.

      And that would suggest that the problem was white people in general across the country -- that the gain they saw from unionization wasn't as much as the gain they saw from keeping black people down.

      •  That is exactly my claim (3+ / 0-)

        And it is also why FDR didn't challenge segregation.  It was in the 1930s, the third rail of national politics.  Outside the South, union shops became a way of excluding blacks (or other ethnic groups) from particular industries and trades.

        And your conclusion was correct.  White people were more attached to their prejudices than to better working conditions and compensation.  And you can see the remnants of those attitudes today, regardless of what region in the country you are in.

        50 states, 210 media market, 435 Congressional Districts, 3080 counties, 192,480 precincts

        by TarheelDem on Wed Feb 23, 2011 at 01:19:25 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Attached to prejudices? (0+ / 0-)

          Or attached to interests -- the real gain from extracting the work from brown neighbors was bigger than the real gain from unionization?

          I find it hard to believe that American whites have just been insane for centuries -- they've acted in their self-interest, willingly exchanging better working conditions for all the gains of having even poorer people in the neighborhood.

          If it was purely prejudice -- then your claim wouldn't make sense; there's no reason to believe that poor Southerners were less prejudice to such a large degree that they were willing to cooperate with blacks, and not northerners.

          If there was such a distinction, self-interest is a much more likely explanation. The North had a system of racist egalitarianism -- one that to some extent was run on the back of minorities. The South appears to have lacked that -- the aristocratic tradition in the South abused whites so badly, they were sometimes willing to co-operate with blacks.

          So, we come back to the problem -- the culture of the South is problematic, even if Northern culture has a stink all it's own, reflected in the continued abuse of working class people to a greater extent in the South.

          •  The difference was this (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Prognosticator, jlb1972

            The organizers understood that segregation depended on pitting white workers against black workers.  The unions in the North were formed before or during the massive influx of blacks to the north, who could find jobs in the 1920s but not union jobs.  Blacks were not included in the organization of unions outside the South.  The organizers in the South had strategic and ideological reasons for including blacks in the establishment of the unions.

            The culture of the South was small manufacturing towns being unionized; folks knew each other personally despite the color bar.  Outside the South in the large cities, which were ethnically segregated (thus Harlem and other ethnically uniform neighborhoods), unions tended to be ethnically identified (and not just racially identified) as well.

            50 states, 210 media market, 435 Congressional Districts, 3080 counties, 192,480 precincts

            by TarheelDem on Wed Feb 23, 2011 at 02:01:13 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  Hear, hear and Amen brother! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jlb1972
      This is a heritage that must be recaptured in the South for the progressive movement to grow.  It is very difficult to do this with the frequent cheap shots citing the Civil War.
    •  Thank you, TarheelDem, (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Prognosticator, jlb1972

      for this comment.  Especially:

      This is a heritage that must be recaptured in the South for the progressive movement to grow.  It is very difficult to do this with the frequent cheap shots citing the Civil War.

      Are there any textile mills left in the Carolinas?  Or have they all been moved to India, Honduras, Mariana Islands...

      If you haven't seen the documentary about Walmart, "The High Cost of Low Prices", I highly recommend it.  It briefly touches on the textile industry.

      •  The textile situation is so dire (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        moondance

        that without imports, the USA could not clothe herself.

        That is seriously something to think about.  A People should at LEAST be able to CLOTHE themselves without foreign help!

        There used to be gins and mills and clothing factories all over the South (there's still a good bit of cotton).  But no union "trouble" can arise from a dead industry...  

    •  My critique of what I see as a Know-Nothing (0+ / 0-)

      Neo-Confederacy sort of mindset pushed forward by the predominantly Southern party in this country should not be taken as ignorance of the problems us in the north have had with race or our complicated part in it.

      For example, I grew up in rural Central Illinois in a community that Abe Lincoln used to stop in while riding the circuit as a trial lawyer. I'm also not very far from the place where Ronald Reagan was born and grew up.

      If you look at the history of the communities in the area you can find both places that were part of the underground railroad and also places that were gathering places of the KKK in the 1920s.

  •  Doris K. Goodwin has said that Lincoln evolved (0+ / 0-)

    into his final position on slavery.  The deciding factor was the number of former slaves who fought for the Union?  

    I'm not into revisionist history, even if I admire, voted for or supported any politician.

  •  Will all due respect, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jlb1972

    I can not recommend such hyperbolic... stuff:

    ... Republican governors in the Midwest... are perpetrating on us Northerners a WAR OF SOUTHERN AGGRESSION.

    That is ridiculous and divisive - something I'd expect from an agente provacateur.

    Even more shocking is that this... stuff is trumpeted in a title, and only 2 or 3, like me, are saying "WAIT a damn minute..."

  •  Cheap Labor (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dunvegan

    "I believe this government cannot endure, permanently half slave (anti-union) and half free (union)."

    I have always thought Lincoln's phrase meant that cheap slave labor is cheaper than paid labor and so either America will have to abolish slavery or everyone will end up working as slave labor. Just a thought.

  •  I think that Lincoln's address (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PhilK, Prognosticator, jlb1972

    on the value of labor spoke to a tendency already apparent in the early industrial revolution to turn yeoman farmers and small craftsmen in to lifelong labor for hire.  Allowing a small class of owners to accumulate capital and exploit labor.

    Free labor as opposed to slave labor and convict labor, which was exploited even more back then than it is now, was proposed by reformers to better wages for workers, but also competitiveness for private businesses.  Free labor winning out, the stage is set for the exploitation of the robber barons.  And it has been game on against wage slavery ever since.   At no time have the controllers of capital lost entirely, they had to cede some ground after the trust busting efforts of the early 20th century, came roaring back after WWI, toppled and almost fell at the Great Depression, saved and excesses curtailed by Roosevelt,  and slowly with the post WWII hegemony of the US in manufacturing and resources, the MIC begins to control more of the manufacturing sector, and then with 'post industrial' services and financial markets supplanting much of the consumer manufacturing position as jobs left, capital won out.

    Wage slavery is a goal, union busting is part of it.  A large portion of the southern population never gave up the racial issues.  An even larger portion has never valued labor, the racial issues kept it cheap.  It was fertile ground for the now global capitalists to exploit so they could break the back of labor.  The southerners didn't create this, they are proxies, useful idiots, cannon fodder in a war against labor that's been going on for a long, long time.

  •  The Monologue from "Grapes of Wrath" in the OP (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Prognosticator, magicsister, roadbear

    ...echoes this:

    I dreamed I saw Joe Hill last night,
    Alive as you or me
    Says I, "But Joe, you're ten years dead,"
    "I never died," says he.
    "I never died," says he.

    "In Salt Lake, Joe," says I to him,
    Him standing by my bed,
    "They framed you on a murder charge,"
    Says Joe, "But I ain't dead,"
    Says Joe, "But I ain't dead."

    "The copper bosses killed you, Joe,
    They shot you, Joe," says I.
    "Takes more than guns to kill a man,"
    Says Joe, "I didn't die,"
    Says Joe, "I didn't die."

    And standing there as big as life
    And smiling with his eyes
    Says Joe, "What they forgot to kill
    Went on to organize,
    Went on to organize."

    "Joe Hill ain't dead," he says to me,
    "Joe Hill ain't never died.
    Where working men are out on strike
    Joe Hill is at their side,
    Joe Hill is at their side."

    From San Diego up to Maine,
    In every mine and mill -
    Where working men defend their rights
    It's there you'll find Joe Hill.
    It's there you'll find Joe Hill.

    I dreamed I saw Joe Hill last night,
    Alive as you or me
    Says I, "But Joe, you're ten years dead",
    "I never died," says he.
    "I never died," says he.

    ---------------

    "When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in a flag and carrying a cross."

    -- Sinclair Lewis

    Arizona: Land of Ihre Papiere, Bitte.

    by Dunvegan on Wed Feb 23, 2011 at 02:51:54 PM PST

  •  There's another regional phenomenon (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jlb1972

    The Mountain West was a hotbed of union organizing in the mining industry.  In the first quarter of the 20th century, it was brutal in those states.   In the 1950s, unions were strong in these states.  What happened?

    50 states, 210 media market, 435 Congressional Districts, 3080 counties, 192,480 precincts

    by TarheelDem on Wed Feb 23, 2011 at 02:58:55 PM PST

  •  bookmark. thanks, great diary. nt (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PhilK
  •  Tipped, recc'd, bookmarked for community edu! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PhilK

    This and Dengre's item are my new teaching tools.

    Thank you for so clearly stating the predicament.

  •  I wish I'd seen this quote earlier (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Prognosticator

    From Dr. M. L. King:

    Negroes are almost entirely a working people. There are pitifully few Negro millionaires, and few Negro employers. Our needs are identical with labor's needs — decent wages, fair working conditions, livable housing, old age security, health and welfare measures, conditions in which families can grow, have education for their children and respect in the community. That is why Negroes support labor's demands and fight laws which curb labor. That is why the labor-hater and labor-baiter is virtually always a twin-headed creature spewing anti-Negro epithets from one mouth and anti-labor propaganda from the other mouth.

    AFL-CIO Convention, December 1961

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