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seeking the truth about unionism is faced at the outset with a mass of absolute but
contradictory interpretations. He is told that unionism is a narrow group organization designed to benefit certain favored workmen at the expense of all other; that it is an artificial monopoly of labor, an impossible attempt to raise wages by unnatural and therefore socially inimical means; that it is the creation of selfish and unscrupulous leaders primarily for their personal gain and aggrandizement, a thing foisted upon unwilling workers and designed to disrupt the natural harmony of interests between employers and employees; that it is a mere business device for regulating wages and conditions of employment by means of collective bargaining; that it is a great revolutionary movement aiming ultimately to overthrow capitalism and our whole legal and moral code; that it is a universal expression of working-class idealism whose purpose is to bring to all the toilers hope, dignity, enlightenment, and a reasonable standard of living; that it is, in short, autocratic and democratic, violent and law-abiding, revolutionary and conservative, narrowly economic and broadly social.” (Robert F. Hoxie, 1914).1
The lengthy quote above illustrates the roles labor unions played in the political life of the early 20th century United States and the diversity of contradictory interpretations, emotions, and responses they evoked. The early 20th century in the US has been a tumultuous period full of promises and disappointments, prosperity and crisis, freedom and repression. The period is marked by many emblematic features, among them: unprecedented immigration and internal migration, industrialization (especially rise of Fordism, which revolutionized production and consumption), and World War I. It is also a period marked by a diversity of ideologies, workingclass politics, and labor unionism. The Great Depression facilitated unparalleled state intervention in the US free market economy and opened an opportunity for the increasingly consolidated labor union movement to institutionalize and legitimate their influence. However, the gains appeared to be temporary and fragile and, under closer scrutiny, unions appeared to be neither equal partners with capital, nor able to resolve their own internal contradictions in terms of social differences, inclusion, and long term strategies. In trying to understand labor unions’ role within the US, culture more broadly and popular culture in particular needs to be examined as well. Not only how pop culture politicized or depoliticized the working-class but also how culture was also employed by various labor and revolutionary movements. Popular culture emerged as a site of contention through representation of existing conditions and articulation of hopes and possibilities, as well as opportunity for profit making. Culture, according to Gramsci, is central in creating and maintaining hegemony, as well as counter-hegemony.2 In this paper I will examine specificities of a US historical context, will analyze the utilization of popular culture for hegemonic and counter-hegemonic ends, and will argue that, while culture is an important site for understanding the trajectory of labor unionism, it is inadequate in itself and needs to be combined with legal and political dimensions. Despite the variety of perspectives and interpretations, the most basic premise in creating the labor unions lays in its promise to shift power balance between employer and employee. The labor struggles in the US and elsewhere came out of conditions of exploitation and frequent poverty of the workers in the process of industrialization. According to Gramsci “the ‘subaltern’ forces, which have to be ‘manipulated’ and rationalized to serve new ends, naturally put up a resistance.”3 However, the US did not see working-class labor and political movement to the
extent they have developed in Europe. Various leftist revolutionaries attempted to explain the US failure to fit theoretical models of Marxist historical developments by claiming that US exceptionalism was allowed by “the ‘frontier’, continuous immigration, the attraction of agrarian democratic ideologies bound up with petty-bourgeois property, the international hegemony of American capital, and so on.”4 Gramsci, for example, also differentiates the US from Europe for its lack of “purely parasitic” classes (that were smaller in the US because of more dynamic “world of production”) that emerged and maintained themselves throughout European history.5 While, at least in part, these perspectives attribute lack of the developed working-class consciousness and unity to individual worker agency and strength of the American Dream ideology, there are also structural obstacles that prevented widespread labor radicalism. The analysis of working-class disunity cannot be separated from the particular historical circumstances of racial relations and slavery. Although, the industrialization in the North required substantial immigration outside of the US as well as internal migration, ethnic and racial politics were accompanied by structural and spatial exclusions. For example, according to Davis, “By 1914, when Henry Ford began to create his ‘brave new world’ of assembly production at his Highland Park (Michigan) Model-T plant, the majority of this enlarged proletariat were foreignborn workers, more often than not politically disenfranchised and segregated— by poverty or deliberate discrimination—into slum areas apart from the native working class.”6 Ethnic and racial divisions were artificially exacerbated whenever possible and eventually all the European immigrants consolidated into a category of “white” in order to prevent cross-racial working-class solidarity. Those unions, such as IWW, that represented immigrants and racial minorities, as well as critiqued capitalist system, were perceived as particularly threatening and suffered disproportionate amounts of repression.7 “Race, creed, color, and sex were made no bar to [IWW] union membership” as long as they were wage earners, contrary to many mainstream unions, that were directly or indirectly exclusive. However, that is not to say that racism did not exist among either “native” working class or newly arrived immigrants. According to Mann, “the white working class, newly (if unevenly) empowered by union organization, was busily engaged in defining itself as free, native, and occupationally and geographically mobile – in other words, not southern, and definitely not black.”8 Moreover, it was not infrequent that union solidarity was enhanced precisely by excluding immigrant and ethnic others, thus espousing race, rather than class, solidarity.9 Although specificities do exist when analyzing the US context in comparison to other Western nation-states, the thesis of the American exceptionalism10 needs to be approached with caution. Although, the workers should not be seen as mere “masses” that need to obey the laws of Marxist theorizing to fulfill their role in the dialectical unfolding of history, the reasons for fragmentation of class-consciousness needs to be thoroughly examined. Gramsci, for example, have argued that in the US “it was relatively easy to rationalize production and labor by skillful combination of force (destruction of working-class trade unionism on a territorial basis) and persuasion (high wages, various social benefits, extremely subtle ideological and political propaganda) and thus succeed in making the whole life of the nation revolve around production.”11 What Gramsci suggests here, and in his theory of hegemony in general, is that the exercise of power is most effective when variety of technologies of governance are utilized force as well as persuasion. Persuasion, or “the manufacture of consent,”12 is a critical element in
maintenance of any given political and social order. However, in the US, contrary to the “American exceptionalism” rationalities, working-class struggles were often quite intense and evoked not only cultural means and political means but also quite often violent repression. For example, IWW’s anti-war and anti-capitalist sentiments (“The working class and the employing class have nothing in common”13) gave pretense for the state to virtually destroy the union in 1917.14 Nevertheless, the explanations of violence or the context of the American exceptionalism alone are not sufficient in trying to understand working-class inability to neither establish collective consciousness nor labor and political organizations to represent its interests. Moreover, class, should not be seen as essentialist entity neither economically nor culturally that must act in some predetermined ways – “classes, after all, are organized (or disorganized) entities acting (or not acting) in what they perceive to be their own interests (or they either do not perceive their interests to be obtainable, or they misperceive them).”15 Thus, the role of cultural politics utilized by the labor movement and the role that the pop culture played in early 20th century workingclass life needs to be considered. The rise of mass or popular culture coincided and facilitated massive industrialization. According to Denning, prior to the rise of Fordism, “low” and “high” culture was much more clearly divided along the class lines.16 From the elites’ perspective, “masses” are associated with “gullibility, fickleness, herd-prejudice, or lowness of taste and habit.”17 According to E.P. Thompson, “class is a cultural as much as an economic formation.”18 While for certain social reformers earlier working-class “low” culture was an object of scrutiny and censorship19 in their aims to “uplift” the poor from economic as well as moral decay, the later popular culture was seen as carrying within itself a promise of erasing class and social boundaries in the pursuit of all-encompassing Americaness.20 While initially some forms of popular culture such as cinema were dismissed by the higher classes and were consumed almost exclusively by the workingclass and the poor, popular culture assumed increasingly important role in public life across differences. Perspectives on the role of popular culture varies widely. For example, theorists such as Adorno and Horkheimer saw popular culture as signifying depoliticization, appeasement, and distraction of working-class politics and revolutionary potential; others, such as Lizabeth Cohen, called for much more nuanced analysis of the context, production, and consumption of popular culture.21 Williams similarly argued that understanding popular culture as merely one-way transmission of ideas overlooks how “reception and response” complete the act of communication.22 Thus, culture, inevitably, becomes a site of hegemonic struggle. The legitimacy of social and economic system is questioned but also reinforced within the cultural field. Ever expanding field of pop culture genres was being passionately consumed although with mixed responses and not necessarily according to the producers intents. Workers and artists in the 1930s who were deeply involved in militant labor struggles also formed “proletarian literary clubs, workers theatres, camera clubs, film and photo leagues, composers collectives, Red dance troupes, and revolutionary choruses: the proletarian avant-garde of depression.”23 Although it might seem that such cultural expressions were merely subcultural developments of the left radicalism, the popularity of working-class motifs often circulated within “mass” culture proper. According to Ross, “labor and the left used the newest medium of mass culture, silent movies, as political weapon in their struggles for greater justice and power.”24 Films such as Why? (1913),
The Jungle (1914) and Our Daily Bread (1934) carried radical messages in direct opposition to liberal capitalism (see Figure 1). Other forms were less confrontational but nevertheless articulated wide range of critiques at the existing social order, for example, by mocking middleclass respectability in Work (1915) starred by Charlie Chaplin.25 Variety of other mediums was also utilized. For example, theater play Waiting for Lefty (1934) centered on taxi strike and became “the most widely performed play in America – and the most widely banned.”26 The premiere in New York City ended with an audience of over one thousand shouting “Strike! Strike!”27 Nan Enstad suggests that places of popular culture consumption facilitated the emergence of the new democratic public space. Enstad, though, is aware that mediums such as film and its public consumption allowed formation of new “public identities” while at the same time, often, reproduced social and gendered hierarchies on the screen.28 Thus, the interplay and limits of “discursive” and “material” effects influencing social change always needs to be examined. According to Triece, for example, “many of the working class knew that challenging restrictive gender norms (domesticity, submissiveness) by voicing their grievances, even collectively, often produced little tangible change such as improved wages or reduced hours unless backed with action or the threat of action that carried material consequences, for example, machine stoppage and subsequent loss of profit for owners.”29 While it is evident that control of the means of production and distribution were uneven and increasingly the “culture industry” was monopolized by capital this did not automatically translate into diminishment of working-class themes within production. According to Hansen, “the cinema's transition from an anarchic cottage industry to a monopolistic branch of American Business, however, was not as streamlined as its eventual success suggests; the unequal development of productive relations, spectatorship and individual authorship left traces of resistance in the films themselves.”30 Enstad calls attention not to romanticize earlier workingclass representations as outside capitalist relations.31 Hansen, on the other hand, takes it even further and puts into question certain scholarly preoccupations to “redeem” silent film and nickelodeon as a democratic and inclusive space for the working-class and minorities, as a new “universal language” to uplift and incorporate immigrants and socially marginalized.32 On the contrary, seemingly democratic working-class public space emerging through cinema culture needs to be examined in relation to “hegemonic efforts to suppress, repress, destroy, isolate, split, or assimilate any formation of a potential proletarian public sphere and to appropriate its material substance, experience, in the interest of private profit-maximization.”33 Thus, the limits of utilization of popular culture need to be situated within discussions about the aesthetic commodification. Even if labor unions, such as AFL, had a share in an early movie industry and along with various other oppositional players were producing movies in order to educate and mobilize the public, their efforts appeared to be limited and labor movement and politics remained fragmented (see figure 2).34 As such, other aspects of labor unionism and its failures needs to be further examined. According to Sexton labor union movement suffered series of legal defeats starting in the late 19th century. For example, Sherman Antitrust Act of 1890, although was initiated to prevent monopolies and restrictions on interstate trade, was from its outset used against labor.35 For example, strike or other labor dispute could be legally interpreted as obstacle to free trade, as it happened with Danbury Hatters decision (1908), in which industrial boycott was considered
illegal and extreme fines imposed on the union, setting a precedent, which was considered a major setback for the labor movement.36 IWW, as the most militant union, was outlawed under “criminal syndicalism” statutes.37 The 1920s saw a steep union decline. According to Sloane and Witney there were multiple reasons for that, including: 1) stability of significant wage increases from the period of 1917-1920; 2) reconsolidation of anti-union activities on the part of employers; 3) employer initiated benefit plans – known as “welfare capitalism” - that would render union unnecessary; 4) legal system’s hostility to labor; and 5) internal problems of union leadership.38 Although employer resistance to the union movement was consistent since the early days of the labor movement, the 1920s appeared to be the time of increasingly sophisticated and consolidated legal and ideological onslaught on unionism. Although various cultural, social, political, and organizational means were employed to discredit labor unionism, one particular consolidation occurred under the title of the “American Plan.” “The ’American Plan’ portrayed unions as alien to the nation’s individualistic spirit, restrictive of industrial efficiency, and frequently dominated by radical elements who did not have the best interests of America at heart.”39 Moreover, attempts to fragment labor movement utilizing race spiked in the 1920s as the largest number of black strikebreakers in comparison to any other decade suggests.40 Although often violent clashes among the workers occurred when employers tried to bring strikebreakers, whites were perceived “as merely misguided or ignorant dupes of cynical employers” while “most vehement hatred” was reserved for blacks.41 Violence, in general, has been characteristic to labor struggles either against employers, strikebreakers or for union recognition. In fact, according to some labor historians, the United States labor history has been far more violent than other Western countries.42 Not only local police were employed to control and repress labor disputes but also national guard, military, private company guards, as well as vigilante groups of middle-class citizens in rural areas or small towns.43 Violence alone, however, is not sufficient or the only factor to explain what factors facilitated “an accommodating rather than a revolutionary labor movement and working class in the U.S.”44 Violent repression occasionally evoked even stronger militancy and organization, such as in the case of Minneapolis Teamsters’ strike of 1934, which was highly effective and reverberated across the US for years as a symbol of success and influenced prolabor legislation.45 However, the history of the US, and labor history in particular, cannot be explained by one factor alone. Celebratory accounts of the “American exceptionalism,” that frequently overemphasize individual agency and patriotic feelings towards American project often overlook systematic and diverse tactics utilized by the employers and the state. The state, contrary to the liberalism’s ideals of limited state power, was never as weak and fragile in the US as some historians tend to claim.46 The narrative of progress that is often invoked about the US via its tropes of “the struggle for political liberty, emancipation from bondage, the rise of civil, economic, and social rights,”47 overlooks the extent to which the state and capital maintained or shaped the limited outcomes those struggles resulted in. For example, while variety of factors explored above shaped the working-class struggles in the US, highly organized and effective employer and the state strategies to fragment and depoliticize labor movement resulted in conservative and accommodating labor movements rather than a revolutionary one. The capitalist interests were
well represented and counter-union movement organized by two major organizations: National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) and National Civic Foundation (NCF).48 NCF, “formed in 1900 and composed of leaders from both big corporations and major trade unions, as well as leading citizens from the worlds of finance, academia, and government, it was the first policydiscussion group created by the newly emerging corporate community.”49 Thus NCF serves as a particularly instructive example of hegemonic power consolidation, which attempts to incorporate as diverse players as possible to establish a “common sense.” The two major stages of offense were decade long “open shop” campaign which started in 1903 and the 1920s “American Plan.”50 The resources that were put into anti-union movement could not be matched, especially when more often than not the business had the backing of the state and the legal system. According to Griffin et al: Though a utilitarian logic of "'cost-benefit" analysis may indeed be an important component of a worker's decision to join a union, it presupposes that union membership was an existing right of the working class, to be embraced or rejected voluntarily by a worker properly imbued with the calculus of economic rationality. In fact it was not. Th[e] labor had to struggle - infrequently with the aid of the state but more often against it - for years with a highly organized and determined foe, corporate capital, to obtain that right and to obtain legal protection to exercise that right.51 Such assessment does not negate individual motivations and difference, which in fact were often quite stark, but de-centers individualism as the main component and the driving force of American history. While numerous factors shaped labor politics in the US, the outcome of it was “permanent federal labor policy [which] was not responsive to the needs of unions but rather made unions responsible to the state.”52 Such consolidation of power could have come only through intense hegemonic struggle utilizing political, legal, and cultural means. The unions, especially more moderate and mainstream ones such as AFL, clearly contributed to the establishment of such hegemony. “No ideology is natural or simply dominant or subordinate but occurs in a complex web of social relations. Ideologies of a stable hegemony are so ingrained that even challenges can reinforce relationships and re-create practices that favor dominant interests.”53 By identifying themselves against more radical elements within the labor union movement and in principal accepting the logic of employer organizations such as NCF, “responsible unionism”54 helped to discredit the movement as a whole. The stock market crash of 1929 provided a context for the reinvigoration of labor union movement which was increasingly co-opted and pacified by the capital interests in the previous decade. The Great Depression evoked significant “crisis of legitimation”55 and institutional setback for unconstrained power of capitalism. In particular, 1935 Wagner Act (or The National Labor Relations Act) is cited as evidence and marks the beginning of union growth in the United States.56 The generic definition of the Act is often represented like this: The Wagner Act was enacted by the Roosevelt Administration (1933–45). It gave recognition to unions and the right of workers to join unions without being harassed and intimidated by employers opposed to negotiating with unions. It permitted collective bargaining, prohibited discrimination against unions when hiring labour, and sanctioned (certain) strikes.57
Although institutionalization of the collective bargaining might sound like a major achievement to shift the uneven power balance of labor and capital, in reality, it maintained, or even strengthened the power of capital.58 That is not to suggest that the unions did not have a say in the process or it did not mean certain gains for certain workers, but rather that it meant that particular compromise was established that made capital to compromise but the preservation of capitalist system was safely secured. According to Ramirez: Only by viewing labor relations as part of the continuing dynamics of capital-labor confrontation is it possible to lay bare the essential historical significance of collective bargaining in the Progressive Era; it was both a result of labor’s power as well as a vehicle to control workers’ struggles and channel them in the path compatible with capitalist development.59 However, under closer scrutiny it appears that the Act, as well as New Deal more broadly was only temporal and partial capital’s “defeat” - the real business power did not vanish but rather reconsolidated itself and the Act eventually was significantly altered unfavorably to the unions with the amendments through 1947 Taft Hartley Act.60 Moreover, the seemingly positive developments such as Social Security Act and Wagner Act not only were only partial compromises but also racialized since they “excluded farm workers and domestics from coverage, effectively denying those disproportionally minority sectors of the work force protections and benefits routinely afforded whites.”61 The labor and national politics were also affected by the continuous political and social divide between North and South - the union organizing in the South was far less reaching than in the North.62 The passage of the Wagner Act however was directly affected by the Southern political and business power which exerted control in the government – the fact that is often overlooked in the scholarly literature.63 Although the New Deal and its institutional re-arrangements maintain its currency in popular discourses as highlights of American “progressivism,” it could be argued that it rather marks new era of hegemonic politics, in which power balance is tilted rather insignificantly. According to Domhoff, “the owners and managers of large businesses showed their great power quite dramatically in the way were able to narrow the conflict between labor capital and labor to the limited matter of collective bargaining with welfare capitalism, scientific management, and outright repression.”64 In conclusion, what is needed is deeper engagement with the thesis of the “American exceptionalism” in conversation with cultural, political, and economic practices, strategies, and histories that shaped development of the weak labor movement and, apparently triumphant, capitalism in the United States. Attempts to understand those developments through isolated analytical frameworks, such as “culture” or “economy,” could only provide limited results. Therefore, Gramsci’s concept of hegemony appears to be a useful tool in the attempts to bring together diverse, or oven conflicting, power actors in order to make sense of how larger hegemonic project establishes and maintains itself. For example, Gramscian interpretation of the the term “popular culture” is “viewed neither as the site of people’s cultural deformation nor as that of their cultural self-affirmation or […] of their own self-making; rather, it is viewed as a force field of relations shaped precisely, by these contradictory pressures and tendencies.”65
However, what in this paper emerges, hopefully, is that while the particular hegemony, in this case a capitalist one, is neither stable nor inevitable, it was, for the most part, successful in consolidating and shaping American development in particular ways. However, rather than seeing it as predestined course of history and “American exceptionalism” it should be viewed as a site of struggle in which political, economic, legal, and popular culture discourse merge in creating the United States as “culture” – in its broadest sense – “as the totality of the social field.”66 Works Cited: Artz, Lee and Bren Ortega Murphy. 2000. Cultural Hegemony in the United States. (Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.) Bennett, Tony. “Popular Culture and the ‘Turn to Gramsci,’” in Cultural Theory and Popular Culture: A Reader. John Storey (Ed.) 1998. (Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press.) Cohen, Lizabeth. 2008. Making a New Deal: Industrial Workers in Chicago, 1919-1939. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.) Davis, Mike. 1980. “Why the US working Class Is Different?” New Left Review. I/123. Denning, Michael. 1998. The Cultural Front: The Laboring of American Culture in the Twentieth Century. New York: Verso. Domhoff, G. William. 1990. The Power Elite and the State: How Policy is Made in America. (New York: A. de Gruyter.) Enstad, Nan. 1999. Ladies of Labor, Girls of Adventure: Working Women, Popular Culture, and Labor Politics at the Turn of the Twentieth Century. (New York: Columbia University Press.) Foner, Philip Sheldon. 1965. History of the labor movement in the United States, vol.4. (New York: International Publishers.) Gitelman, H. M.. 1973. “Perspectives on American Industrial Violence,” The Business History Review,47:1. Gramsci, Antonio. 1985. Selections From the Prison Notebooks of Antonio Gramsci. New York: International Publishers. Griffin, L.J., M.E. Wallace and B.A. Rubin. 1986. “Capitalist Resistance to the Organization of Labor Before the New Deal: Why? How? Success?” American Sociological Review, 51.
Hansen, Miriam. 1983. “Early Silent Cinema: Whose Public Sphere?” New German Critique, 29. Hoxie, Robert F. 1914. “Trade Unionism in the United States,“ The Journal of Political Economy, 22: 3. Lipset, Seymour Martin. 1997. American Exceptionalism: A Double-Edged Sword. New York: W. W. Norton & Company. Lipsitz, George. 2006. The possessive investment in whiteness: how white people profit from identity politics. (Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press.) Mann, Geoff. 2007. Our Daily Bread: Wages, Workers, and the Political Economy of the American West. (Chapel Hill: UNC Press.) Novak, William J. 2008. “The Myth of the ‘Weak’ American State.” American Historical Review, 113:769. O’Brien, Ruth. 1998. Workers’ Paradox: The Republican Origins of New Deal Labor Policy, 1886-1935. (Chapel Hill and London: The University of North Carolina Press.) Perry, L.J. 2007. “Neoliberal Workplace Reforms in the Antipodes: What impact on Union Power and Influence?” Australian Review of Public Affairs, 8(1). Ross, Steven J. 1998. Working-Class Hollywood: Silent Film and the shaping of Class in America. (Princeton: Princeton university Press.) Sexton, Patricia Cayo. 1991. The War on Labor and the Left: Understanding America’s Unique Conservativism. (Boulder, San Francisco, Oxford: Westview Press.) Sloane, Arthur A. and Fred Witney. 1991. Labor Relations. (Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.) Williams, Raymond. 1983. Culture and Society, 1780-1950. (New York: Columbia University Press.) Zinn, Howard. 1980, A People’s History of the United States, Harper Perennial. Zieger, Robert H. 2007. For Jobs and Freedom: Race and Labor in America Since 1865. (Lexington, KY: University Press of Kentucky.) Appendix:
Figure 2. Still from the film Why? (1913), film that painted bleak picture of capitalist exploitation and was intended to mobilize working-class to act.67
Figure 1. Graph like this, of course, does not tell much about regional, racial, and gender differences. Taken from Davis, 1980, pg. 36. 1 Robert F. Hoxie. 1914. “Trade Unionism in the United States,“ The Journal of Political Economy, 22: 3, pp.201-202. 2 Culture has various definitions and interpretations depending on the discipline and/or political and theoretical approach. For Gramsci, culture encompasses various “civil society” institutions, such as education, church, as well as ”low” and “high” culture of arts. In this paper, however, it will be used primarily to refer to popular or “mass” culture, such as printed and audiovisual media and various forms or art and entertainment, that is utilized not only by the ruling elites but also by subaltern-classes. Hegemony, according to Gramsci, is not a static relations of power between superior and inferior classes but a dynamic interplay of constantly changing political, economic, and cultural forces. 3 Antonio Gramsci. 1985. Selections From the Prison Notebooks of Antonio Gramsci. New York: International
4 Mike Davis, 4. 5 Gramsci, 281. 6 Mike Davis, 35. 7 Geoff Mann. 2007. Our Daily Bread: Wages, Workers, and the Political Economy of the American West. Chapel
Hill: UNC Press, pp.xii.
8 Ibid, 106. 9 G. William Domhoff. 1990. The Power Elite and the State: How Policy is Made in America. (New York: A. de Gruyter): 99. 10 The phrase is attributed to Alexis de Tocqueville by which he meant exceptional historical conditions, such as
lack of monarchy, egalitarianism, lack of class divisions, less respect to authority and the state, and exceptional religiosity (Seymour Martin Lipset, 17-19).
11 Gramsci, 285. 12 The phrase is attributed to Walter Lippmann, 1921.
13 The phrase comes from the IWW’s preamble to their constitution. Quoted in Philip Sheldon Foner. 1965.
History of the labor movement in the United States, vol.4, (New York: International Publishers): 33.
14 Howard Zinn, 1980, A People’s History of the United States, Harper Perennial. Pp.359-360. 15 Griffin, L.J., M.E. Wallace and B.A. Rubin. 1986. “Capitalist Resistance to the Organization of Labor Before the New Deal: Why? How? Success?” American Sociological Review, 51: 165.
16 Michael Denning. 1998. The Cultural Front: The Laboring of American Culture in the Twentieth Century. New
York: Verso. Pp.40.
17 Raymond Williams. 1983. Culture and Society, 1780-1950, (New York: Columbia University Press): 299. 18 Quoted in Steven J. Ross. 1998. Working-Class Hollywood: Silent Film and the shaping of Class in America. (Princeton: Princeton university Press): xiii. 19 Denning, 40. 20 Lizabeth Cohen. 2008. Making a New Deal: Industrial Workers in Chicago, 1919-1939. (Cambridge: Cambridge
University Press): 100.
21 Ibid, 101. 22 Williams, 302. 23 Denning, xv. 24 Ibid, xii. 25 Ross, 46. 26 Denning, xv. 27 Denning, xv. 28 Nan Enstad. 1999. Ladies of Labor, Girls of Adventure: Working Women, Popular Culture, and Labor Politics
at the Turn of the Twentieth Century. (New York: Columbia University Press): 163.
29 Mary E. Triece. 2001. Protest and Popular Culture: Women in the U.S. Labor Movement, 1894-1917. (Boulder,
CO: Westview Press): 14.
30 Miriam Hansen. 1983. “Early Silent Cinema: Whose Public Sphere?” New German Critique, No. 29: 157. 31 Ibid 166-167. 32 Hansen, 148-149. 33 Ibid, 157. 34 Ross, 7. 35 Patricia Cayo Sexton. 1991. The War on Labor and the Left: Understanding America’s Unique Conservativism, (Boulder, San Francisco, Oxford: Westview Press): 69.
36 Ibid, 69 37 Ibid, 71. 38 Arthur A. Sloane and Fred Witney. 1991. Labor Relations. (Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall): 64. 39 Ibid, 64. 40 Although this argument would require much more research. H. M. Gitelman, 1973, “Perspectives on American Industrial Violence,” The Business History Review,47:1, 13-14. 41 Robert H. Zieger. 2007. For Jobs and Freedom: Race and Labor in America Since 1865, (Lexington, KY: University Press of Kentucky) pp.69. 42 According to Gitelman, Philip Taft and Philip Ross’s extensive study "American Labor Violence: Its Causes, Character, and Outcome" suggests. Although Gitelman himself offers alternative readings and makes comparative studies that somewhat challenge that thesis. 43Ibid, 18-20. 44 Ibid, 22. 45 Lee Artz and Bren Ortega Murphy. 2000. Cultural Hegemony in the United States. (Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage):
46 For example, the US like other capitalist states did not “naturally” develop a free market. Novak quotes Karl
Polanyi: “Economic history reveals that the emergence of national markets was in no way the result of the gradual and spontaneous emancipation of the economic sphere from governmental control. On the contrary, the market has been the outcome of a conscious and often violent intervention on the part of government.” William J. Novak. 2008. “The Myth of the ‘Weak’ American State.” American Historical Review, 113:769.
47 Ibid, 752. 48Griffin et al: 155. 49 Domhoff : 72. 50 Ibid, 155. 51 Ibid, 165. 52 Ruth O’Brien. 1998. Workers’ Paradox: The Republican Origins of New Deal Labor Policy, 1886-1935. (Chapel Hill and London: The University of North Carolina Press): 2. 53 The articulation of Gramscian understanding of hegemony. Lee Artz and Bren Ortega Murphy. 2000. Cultural Hegemony in the United States. (Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage): 31.
54 Griffin et al, 155-156. 55 I borrow this term from David Harvey, although various other authors use it in different ways. 56 Domhoff, 65. 57 L.J. Perry. 2007. “Neoliberal Workplace Reforms in the Antipodes: What impact on Union Power and Influence?” Australian Review of Public Affairs, 8(1): 26. 58 Domhoff, 73. 59 Bruno Ramirex, 1978, quoted in Domhoff, 73. 60 “The Taft-Hartley Act reversed key legal protections given to unions in the Wagner Act. Taft-Hartley gave the
president power to intervene in disputes that were believed to be a danger to national health and safety. It forbade secondary boycotts, sympathy strikes, jurisdictional strikes and closed-shop employment arrangements. In effect Taft-Hartley reversed most of the gains unions achieved under the Wagner Act.” Perry, 27.
61 George Lipsitz. 2006. The possessive investment in whiteness: how white people profit from identity politics. (Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press): 5. 62 Domhoff, 104. 63 This explains particularly racialized employment benefits exclusions. Domhoff argues that splits within the ruling class in the US, along with several other factors, such as working-class militancy and economic crisis, accelerated the passage of the Act. However, once the southern elites realized that the Act was no longer politically and economically productive, it was gradually dismantled. Domhoff. 104-105. 64 Domhoff, 104. 65Tony Bennett, “Popular Culture and the ‘Turn to Gramsci,’” in Cultural Theory and Popular Culture: A Reader. John Storey (Ed.) 1998. (Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press):219 66 Mann, 6. 67 Ross, 70. 1