THE FSA: DISTURBER OF THE PEACE
Every reform is only a mask under which a more terrible reform, which dares not yet name itself, advances.
RALPH WALDO EMERSON1.
In the minds of men, things are what they seem. Although the agrarian reforms pursued by the Farm Security Administration (FSA) did not amount to a revolution, and the leaders of the FSA were not revolutionaries, wherever the agency challenged the status quo, it was perceived with some terror as a disturber of the peace. And it mattered little whether the challenge was real or imaginary, actual or potential. The growing power of the FSA within the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA); the development of a special clientele possessing considerable political potential; deepening contact between the FSA and its client families; fears and resentments of people in hundreds of rural communities who believed that their own social status, prestige, political power, and profits were being threatened by uplifting those who were beneath them--these were some of the anxieties which conferred upon the FSA, like the Resettlement Administration before it, a subversive image.
During the first few years, while the depression continued and the____________________