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Building Resilience in the Days of the Coronavirus: Lessons from the Great Depression

Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/views/2020/04/28/building-resilience-days-coronavirus-lessons-great-depression-0

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FDR’s New Deal DID “correct the social structure” and it worked well until its dismantling accelerated when Saint Ronny ascended the throne in 1981, with Bill Clinton’s regime holding the prize for the most “decriminalization” of New Deal regulations in the name of “deregulation”.

Unless we restore all of the New Deal programs and regulations that were dismantled and decriminalized, and add in all FDR’s New Deal programs and regulations that Congress voted down during the Great Depression, the 99% will continue being sucked down the Reagan revolution vortex to neofeudalism.


This epidemic has made warriors of many of us;


My fathers side of the family was one with 20 children. They had a farm which they worked and no one really had money during the depression. He spoke of wandering hoboes looking for any work and of one coming to my Grandads farm. Grandpa give him work for a few days moving chopped wood from one location to the other and when the guy left had the kids move it all back. Grandpa told my dad that he did it because the guy needed to keep his pride and would never accept charity.

No real money to be paid as a wage but a place to sleep for a few days grub and he was sent on his way with some food. That was about all people could do for one another but the biggest lesson of the great depression is helping each other out. Resilience comes from community and not every man for himself.

Some might think these sorts of accounts are just something someone read in a book or seen on some TV screen but that not the case. It is what people did. When I grew up one of our outbuildings on the farm caught fire. We had no phone then and most people did not. Out of no where people were showing up from miles around to help put it out . My dad was away on the rigs but some of the men went right into the burning building to get the animals out. All the women were in the house cooking .

Along come the neo liberals claiming there no such thing as society and what made the world tick was self interest. All downhill from there.


I think there may be a typo in the article, as anyone who was making two or three dollars an hour during the 1930’s would have been earning a terrific wage. I think the real wage for a maid might have been two or three dollars a week.

You’re right. I don’t think maids were paid that much in the 1950’s. I just put it in the way it was on the tape of the narrator and didn’t think about it.

I realize on reading it back that the narrator possibly worked in Faulkner’s home in the late 1950’s. She was very old when she did her interview and had worked in the Great Depression, but the excerpt about Faulkner obviously was later assuming she actually was paid that much.

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FDR’s New Deal did help all races & working classes to advance, but it was a tiered system that supported Jim Crow laws de facto.
Don’t forget that until the 1965 Civil Rights Law, Washington DC, the nation’s Capitol, was legally segregated!!

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The last three years in particular have been a horrid display of the inner soul of a too large share of the American people. They are scared and “proud” at the same time and the strange alchemy produces a racism and tribalism that has threatened the progress of too many Progressive Heroes to name here (most whose names would not be recognized). They have come out of the shadows to worship the One who they believe empowers them while not even seeing that he is nothing but the Ultimate Imposter. The Progressive Torch must be relit in earnest no matter who is elected. Let the People do the heavy lifting. Here is a song for inspiration: