Man over Money: The Southern Populist Critique of American Capitalism

Man over Money: The Southern Populist Critique of American Capitalism

Man over Money: The Southern Populist Critique of American Capitalism

Man over Money: The Southern Populist Critique of American Capitalism

Excerpt

The conditions which surround us best justify our cooperation; we meet in the midst of a nation brought to the verge of moral, political, and material ruin. Corruption dominates the ballot-box, the legislatures, the Congress, and touches even the ermine of the bench. The People are demoralized; most of the States have been compelled to isolate the voters at the polling-place to prevent universal intimidation or bribery. The newspapers are largely subsidized or muzzled; public opinion silenced; labor impoverished; and the land concentrating in the hands of the capitalists. The urban workmen are denied the right of organization for self-protection; imported pauperized labor beats down their wages; a hireling standing army, unrecognized by our laws, is established to shoot them down, and they are rapidly degenerating into European condi- tions. The fruits of toil of millions are boldly stolen to build up colossal fortunes for a few, unprecedented in the history of mankind; and the possessors of these, in turn, despise the republic and endanger liberty. From the same prolific womb of governmental injustice we breed the two great classes-tramps and millionaires.

So begins the preamble to the 1892 Omaha platform of the Populist party, "the Second Declaration of Independence." For the Southern Populists this preamble remained, at least through mid-1896, the single most comprehensive statement of what was wrong with America.

Author Advanced search

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.