Thursday, November 15, 2012

FDR Presidential Library: 'We Work Again (1937)'

Source:Film Preservation- from the 1937 film We Work Again.

“We Work Again (1937)
Production Co.: U.S. Works Progress Administration. Transfer Note: Copied from a 35mm positive preprint preserved by the National Archives and Records Administration. Running Time: 15 minutes.

Priceless historical footage can be “lost” within unlikely films. We Work Again, a Depression-era documentary on African American reemployment, also includes a forgotten record of the first professional play staged by Orson Welles.

It had long been assumed that no sound or moving images survived from Welles’s legendary “Voodoo Macbeth,” his 1936 Harlem stage production of Shakespeare’s play, set in Haiti with an African American cast. As one of Welles’s many biographers lamented in 1996, “Nothing remains but still photographs and memories.” However, We Work Again turns out to include the…

“We Work Again – FDR Presidential Library 1937 – Video 352 – From IMDB. In the 1930s, the economic depression has been especially hard on African-American families and communities. But the federal government’s Works Progress Administration now provides many new opportunities for employment and advancement. Both skilled and unskilled laborers are employed in many public works projects. Others find work in a wide range of fields, including education, medicine, and even music and the performing arts. Written by Snow Leopard.” 

Source:Public Resource- from the 1937 film We Work Again.

From Public Resource  

I believe this photo is from the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library. It’s about the domestic legacy of President Franklin Roosevelt, which of course is the New Deal.  

Source:FDR Library- President Franklin D. Roosevelt (Democrat, New York) 32nd President of the United States (1933-45)

If you are familiar with the Great Depression of the late 1920s and 1930s, you know that it was an economic hell for America: 20% unemployment rates, negative 10% economic growth rates, 1/2 Americans unemployed and living in poverty, homelessness and hunger became crisis’s in America, even in big cities and urban areas.

Even with the Great Depression, President Franklin Roosevelt still wanted to get reelected in 1936 and managed to do that, because the economy started improving somewhat. But by 1937 we were still trying to recover from the crisis of the Great Depression and the FDR Administration needed something positive to show the voters. And I believe that’s what you see here which is really just a government propaganda film in favor of the New Deal. 

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Professor Noam Chomsky: ‘On Liberalism, Freedom & Democracy’

Source:AZ Quotes- Professor Noam Chomsky talking about capitalism and what he calls libertarian socialism.

“I think it is useful to set up as a framework for discussion four somewhat idealized positions with regard to the role of the state in an advanced industrial society. I want to call these positions: (1) classical liberal, (2) libertarian socialist, (3) state socialist, (4) state capitalist, and I want to consider each in turn. Also, I’d like to make clear my own point of view in advance, so that you can evaluate and judge what I am saying. I think that the libertarian socialist concepts, and by that I mean a range of thinking that extends from left-wing Marxism through to anarchism, I think that these are fundamentally correct and that they are the proper and natural extension of classical liberalism into the era of advanced industrial society.

In contrast, it seems to me that the ideology of state socialism, i.e. what has become of Bolshevism, and that of state capitalism, the modern welfare state, these of course are dominant in the industrial societies, but I believe that they are regressive and highly inadequate social theories, and a large number of our really fundamental problems stem from a kind of incompatibility and inappropriateness of these social forms to a modern industrial society.

Let me consider these four points of reference in sequence, beginning with the classical liberal point of view.”

From Noam Chomsky 

“Chomsky on Classical Liberalism, Freedom, & Democracy. Edited clips with Magee, Foucault, and others.” 

Source:Understanding Power- Professor Noam Chomsky I believe being interviewed by PBS News anchor Bill Moyers in the late 1980s. But I don't know for sure.

From Understanding Power 

I have a lot of respect for professor Noam Chomsky’s honesty and being able to communicate exactly where he is politically and being able to articulate what he thinks about other political ideologies. Noam Chomsky is an admitted Libertarian Socialist and very honest about that. Which means he’s like a Social Democrat or Democratic Socialist on economic and foreign policy.But Noam Chomksy is a Liberal-Libertarian on social issues. So we probably agree on most social issues.

My issue with professor Chomsky has to do with the fact that he sort of has this “you are either with me, or you are selfish and believe in selfishness and inequality. And that poor people should be kept down and so-forth”. He’s somewhat exclusive with his politics, you either agree with him and share his politics completely, or you’re a bad person, or something. It’s not that you disagree with him, but that you are a bad person all together. Which I don’t have much respect for.

As far as libertarian socialism vs. liberalism, classical Liberalism, even: I believe he’s right for the most part. That people who are Liberals today, are not Social Democrats or even Progressives. But people who share my politics or are similar are actual Liberals instead. Where people who are called modern Liberals, are essentially Socialists or Social Democrats.

Today’s so-called Progressives (who are actually Socialists or Social Democrats) who believe that the state, especially the Federal Government has a big role to play in taking care of the people and insuring economic equality and that they are somewhat liberal on social issues, depending on what type of leftist that they are, aren’t very liberal at all. Today’s leftists actually don’t like Liberals and liberalism, because they don’t believe in individuals and individual rights. But instead believe in the collective and collective rights, or what they would call welfare rights. Today’s leftists believe in the welfare state over the individual, which is why they’re not very liberal at all. 

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Brookings Institution: Bruce Katz & Mark Muro: 'Brookings Podcast: Remaking Federalism and Renewing the Economy'

Source:Brooking Institution- Mark Muro.

"In this post-election season and with a fiscal cliff looming, states and metros have begun the work of meeting their many challenges. They're implementing game-changing initiatives to create jobs and restructure their economies for the long haul. The federal government needs to take notice and get on board, note Metropolitan Program policy experts Bruce Katz and Mark Muro as they urge a move for remaking our federalism and renewing the economy. Katz and Muro explain in this episode of @ Brookings.

Read their paper at:Brookings." 

Just to start off with: it's a great to hear a center-left institution like Brookings or any other center-left institution, making the case and arguing in favor of federalism. 

Progressives (who are center-left) always get stereotyped as big government, national government, do-gooder, know-it-alls, who think that there's a national government solution for everything in America. And that if anything, there's too much power with the states and localities, and even individuals, and that we need a bigger, more centralized government in this country. And for good reason, because people who call themselves Progressives (who are actually closeted Socialists or Social Democrats) are always arguing in favor of a bigger Federal Government, more Federal taxation, more Federal spending, more Federal regulations and prohibitions. 

But what Brice Katz and Mark Muro from Brookings are arguing here, is that there are real economic and fiscal challenges that America faces and the Federal Government can't simply solve all these problems itself, especially being buried in debt and deficits that it currently is. That we need to look at what the states and localities are doing, be more creative in how we try to deal with these economic issues. And if anything, get more power out of Washington and down to the states and localities.

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