WHOSE GOOD EARTH?

Because the South continues to be a predominantly agricultural region, solution of its farm problems is essential to its economic progress.

It has been noted that Southern farming is still dominated by the antiquated tenant-cropper plantation system, suffers from a disastrous overconcentration on such cash crops as cotton and tobacco, and is sadly lacking in farm machinery; while at the same time the new system of highly mechanized big business farm enterprises, ofttimes operated by absentee corporations, threatens with its resources and efficiency to tractor off the land the South's small farmers, tenants, and croppers, leaving them the grim prospect of becoming hired hands.

In short, the technological revolution in agriculture has at last come South, posing the question of whether the new system of mechanized farming is to be monopolized for the profit of a few or democratically controlled for the benefit of the many. Reduced to its simplest terms, the question boils down to: Who is going to own the farm machinery? By extension the question also asks: Who is going to own the good earth?

Unless social controls are established (if freebooting is allowed to continue on its way), both the machines and the land will very soon be monopolized as a big business, and the South's farm folk will become exploited hired hands. This is not meant to imply that the Southern farmer should not welcome the appearance of farm machinery, nor even that the Southern cotton picker should look with terror upon the mechanical cotton picker. It simply

-275-

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Southern Exposure
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iv
  • Contents xi
  • 1. the Problem of the South 1
  • The Squalid South 1
  • The New Order of Slavocracy 19
  • The Perversion of Populism 37
  • Freedom Road--Closed 48
  • Last Hired, First Fired 63
  • Book Larnin', in Black and White 68
  • White Man's Country 78
  • The 7.7 Democracy of the South 92
  • 2. All's Hell on the Southern Front 127
  • The Southern Revolt 127
  • The Visible Empire 162
  • Kingfish and Small Fry 187
  • 3. the Road Ahead 264
  • Whose Good Earth? 275
  • Tva Leads the Way 282
  • The South Joins the Unions 288
  • Brotherhood--Union Made 302
  • Fair Employment Forever! 315
  • The Race Racket 326
  • Total Equality, and How to Get It 341
  • To Make the South Safe for Democracy 356
  • Index 365
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