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Kevin Carson posts a wide-ranging sermon on our peculiar brand of training for civic life, c.f. Turkification;
Russification; Sinicization; Germanization; Polonization.
There's very little online about the organized Americanization efforts earlier in the century, and what little there is is generally praise for the coinciding literacy programs and civics lessons for immigrants, something altogether aside the industrial efforts to tame immigrant labor by indoctrinating them with that peculiar American spirit of "free enterprise", wherein they slaved virtually for free, and the organized worship of government and flag. Until I finish transcribing Alex Carey's essay on it I'll just leave it with AFL president Samuel Gomper's comment in 1916 on the assimilation effort from the American Federationist:
It is not reasonable to expect an intelligent understanding of American ideals or patriotism among those whose daily lives are filled with industrial injustice and who meet with nothing but abuse and exploitation. Any serious attempt to Americanize the foreign workers who have been crowded into our industrial centres and our mining districts must concern itself also with the problem of Americanizing employers, trusts and corporations ... So long as [the united States Steel Corporation] hires armed thugs to beat into submission workers who have the manhood to make a fight for their rights, that corporation will remain ... an obstacle to the work of Americanizing aliens with our country.
Opposition from the conservative unions was short lived, however, and shortly thereafter that great idealist Woodrow Wilson ushered in the Red Scare, the Palmer Raids, and "criminal syndicalism",
which is how we might come to understand references to George W. Bush's much lauded "Wilsonian Idealism".
:: posted by buermann @ 2005-06-16 22:28:53 CST |