AHC: Communist Revolution in America

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by Antonio the Komnenoi, Oct 9, 2019 at 8:37 PM.

  1. Scott Washburn Well-Known Member

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    Seems like we were pretty darn close to some sort of revolution in the early 1930s. Whether it would be communist, socialist, or fascist, is hard to say. But whatever it was, FDR derailed it with the New Deal. So it seems like the easiest way to bring it about would be for the Democrats to lose in 1932 and have four more years of Republicans refusing to do anything.
     
  2. John7755 يوحنا Historical Inquiries

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    What does racial bigotry have to do about nullifying a socialist revolution of sorts?

    Even in otl there was rumblings of the far left in some of the states most afflicted with this racially based views, such as Louisiana. Ultimately, the progressive agitation of the farmers and workers alongside skilled political men/women are required to see a revolution and coup/acquisition of power by the far left.
     
  3. Mr. House Well-Known Member

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    What I've ready written.

    The white population of the U.S. would not create an egalitarian distribution of wealth with non whites. You could see fascism or herrenvolk redistribution of wealth among whites but a proper socialist movement would never gain critical mass among the vast bulk of very racist Americans. Especially of the 19th century.
     
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  4. John7755 يوحنا Historical Inquiries

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    Your definition of socialism you mean. Redistribution of wealth can occur without it being equal and it can occur by ways of only benefiting certain groups to the exclusion of others. If you view is that socialism can only occur wherein all racial and ethnic groups have distribution at equal levels, then you would be of the opinion that no group has performed a socialist economy or political system, something that no left-wing thinker that I know of, has claimed.

    Regardless, the Longist movement in Louisiana offered many welfare programs for the African diaspora in the state that transcended even what was being offered in the New Deal at the time. Long's political machine was known to work actively with the NAACP, in regards to various aspects of African community needs, such as increasing numbers of African American nurses, construction of schools at better qualities, reading and writing classes for impoverished African American farmers and so forth. The Longist policies of free school supplies, free school buses, no property taxes below certain levels of income or property value, infrastructure projects and other topics were taken. Long even took direct action in attacks upon the KKK and other organizations more interested in tightening the state grip upon the minority community.

    As we see though, the most popular southern politician perhaps in history, a certainly left wing one at that, was able to mitigate the race issue by way of focusing his discourse upon the general common folk and the farmers in the state and then pushing his attacks upon the major corporations and political establishment in New Orleans and the Hoover and FDR regimes. White farmers and poor folk in Louisiana were extremely enthusiastic for these policies, despite the lack of public discourse on race from Long and even what is seemingly a benign take on the issue. Long was certainly no Vardaman thus (a populist in Mississippi in the early XX century, quite known for his racialist agendas extending far beyond maintenance of segregation legally; though he was also a strong populist, anti-war and spoke of the interests of capitalism and so forth). Long gives mention as to why he was so successful or gives hints of it in his biography, wherein he says at around the age of 23 to a progressive compatriot of his who claims no progressive change can occur in the state of Louisiana due to the power of the big corporations:

    'Personally, I feel that Louisiana and states like them, are the most progressive in the country, truly...' he goes on to explain that the people of the rural areas are more susceptible to support of radical policy change and even totally flipping the entire system and upending it. This at the time, his speech may have been influenced by the then recent Bolshevik rising Russia (which was a known topic among many of the farmers, Milo Reno of the Farmers Revolution spoke of it in his riots and Long mentioned that economic redistribution will come to the US, either as it had done in France or in Russia or peacefully by his politics) . Long mentioned even earlier in his book, that the key to economic redistribution was a society like the one he lived in rural Louisiana, wherein the people ideally shared and shared alike, where there was little conception of money or of need. He then describes the arrival of the major industries and their perverse effect upon the rural communalism that he seems to idealize. Connected to his later statement, he was saying that the true progressive agenda is not taken from intellectuals in the city, but from the lowest echelon of the economic ladder. He was perhaps the first major US politician to articulate this in a well understood fashion and as we see, he dominated local politics to a degree far surpassing almost any other known US politician and in what was a state with a strong racial consciousness, was able to implement a form of economic redistribution unto the minority populace that exceeded what occurred in the New Deal.

    This is all to say that the issue is more complex than to say that the race issue precludes far-left movements from taking control. It most certainly had an effect in discouraging it, but it does not remove it from occurring. The main issue I see, the US held the basing for the far-left to take power, but did not possess the political machine to do so or people who were skilled enough to see it come to pass. Long is the only example wherein a politician resorted to the language necessary and also took to making himself dominant politically, creating a vanguard political cadre and then in his later years, conceiving of a military wing and a revolutionary containment to destroy slowly what he termed reactionaries and conservatives in his midst.
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2019 at 11:51 AM
  5. GOU Limiting Factor Demilitarized

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    The Soviet Union was not exactly free of the traditional prejudices that were present in the Russian Empire that preceded it. And these are, today, places where people throw bananas onto the football pitch at black players for their own side.

    It's very easy to imagine a *Communist USA promoting an egalitarian line and behind the scenes, well, being black isn't much better than it was under capitalism, really, but there are some outliers to point to who would never have got where they were without the revolution.
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2019 at 2:08 PM
  6. Alexander the Average Anti-lion tamer

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    I have an idea for a Socialist America timeline where a Socialist Party becomes hegemonically dominant in US politics by the 1880s that could be adapted for an early Revolutionary USA.

    The main PoD is that the Revolutions of 1848 spread even further, reaching ever country in Western Europe including Britain, but still fail. As a result a much larger exodus of radical 48ers migrate to the USA. Over the course of the 50s this melting pot of English Chartists, French Socialists, German and Italian Republicans, Irish, Polish and Hungarian Nationalists, as well as other political exiles and native radicals are able to set the foundations for an independent mass working class socialist party and a much stronger labour movement. Over the course of the 60s this party consolidates and absorbs the Radical wing of the Republican Party. Over the 70s they explode in popularity riding the wave of labour unrest unleashed by the US's rapid industrialisation and the Panic of 73 whilst in the South they gain a following among poor farmers as well as Southern Republicans and African-Americans who feel betrayed by the abandoning of Reconstruction. The party's influence over the growing labour movement helps to unify it and tie it to the party. When the Great Railroad Strike of 1877 breaks out the party and its supporters in the labour movement are able to escalate it into a general strike with the unrest spreading into New England, where many of the factors that cause the strike IOTL were also present, while sympathy strikes, protests and occupations break out throughout cities across the nation. General Strike turns to insurrection and a Second American Revolution is declared.
     
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  7. Brodydaboss Active Member

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    Wasn't the suffrage during that point in America very limited? could the poor workers or tenant farmers even work?
     
  8. Alexander the Average Anti-lion tamer

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    Political activity isn't limited to voting. The German SPD became the largest party in Germany, both in terms of votes and membership, despite an electoral system actively designed to marginalise them and active state repression in large part due to their widespread mutual aid support network and ties to the Trade Union movement even being compared to a state within a state at their height. They were also able to exert influence outside of parliament through direct action and strikes. Likewise the British working class had a strong tradition of political activism and radicalism long before the introduction of universal male suffrage, indeed it was a key factor in getting that implemented, such as the Chartists and Workingmens Associations. IOTL American Anarchists and Syndicalists often disdained electoralism in favour of direct and industrial action which was seen as being more successful in winning concessions than competing in elections. The fight to expand voting rights and enact electoral reform could also be a rallying cry for an early American socialist movement as it historically was for socialist movements in other countries.
     
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  9. YourWaifuForLaifu Anarcho-Islamist

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    You could always take a look at the Reds! Timeline (particularly the SV version) honestly surprised it hasn't been mentioned yet
     
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  10. BeyondTheBorg Well-Known Member

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    Aug 30, 2016
    This. As seen in TTL, there are a lot of dominoes that have to fall in exactly the right places to yield a socialist America, especially with a POD after the Civil War - the biggest obstacles to American class consciousness being racism and Urban-Rural geographical spread. The best timeframe for socialist revolution in America is in the first half of the 20th Century, during the Gilded Age when the labor movement was at its strongest and most radical, with many members also serving in World War 1 seeing their comrades die in the trenches for the sake of bourgeois swine back home. Couple this with an equivalent of the Great Depression sometime later, and the alternative to the New Deal may very well have been socialist revolution.