September 9, 2009

PSSSST...WE SKIPPED ALL THREE STEPS:

The Red Scare Returns: The right dredges up a familiar bogeyman. (Thomas Frank, 9/09/09, WSJ)

What is peculiar about this particular right-wing rebirth is the speed with which it is happening. We had the crash last year, as in 1929. The financial gods were duly dethroned, the banks started to fail, and the mighty were humbled, as per the time-honored script. A market-worshiping Republican Party went down in an avalanche of obloquy. A scary new populism made the cover of Newsweek back in March.

But then we skipped a step. Some new version of the Bonus Army never marched on Washington. No Huey Long materialized to haunt the wealthy and we have endured no wave of sit-down strikes.

Instead, we proceeded straight to the backlash, raging against a leftist upsurge that maybe should have happened but that didn't.


Mr. Frank would be less confused if he started over from the beginning and dismissed the notion--believed only on the Left--that the blip in credit markets represented a crisis of capitalism generally. Thus there was no glorious socialist moment in response nor any need for a counter-revolution. He didn't just live through the 30s but a replay of the early 90s.

Posted by Orrin Judd at September 9, 2009 8:14 AM
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