Exploring the Eclipse of Equality

Posts Tagged ‘Unemployment’

The Red and the Green: Whatever happened to the Civilian Conservation Corps?

In Domestic Politics, Reviews on April 3, 2010 at 10:11 am

The country needs and, unless I mistake its temper, the country demands bold, persistent experimentation. It is common sense to take a method and try it: If it fails, admit it frankly and try another. But above all, try something.

FDR’s Oglethorpe Address

You have probably heard the saying that America has no ideologies, it is one. I always attribute the saying to the historian Richard Hofstadter, but like all great lines, it can roam and be attached to whoever first said it to you–if you take that person to be relatively clever. A corollary of the idea is that America, being an ideology, tolerates no others. This is why Socialism found shallow roots here and the seeds of Communism fell on rocky soil. While some of the most interesting social science has been written about the failure of class politics to take hold in the United States (Seymour Martin Lipset’s oeuvre comes to mind), the history of the American political mainstream is far more pragmatic.

Part of that pragmatism that revealed the bold, persistent experimentation that was the only ideology that Franklin Roosevelt seemed to have, was the New Deal program the Civilian Conservation Corps. If you don’t know what that is, I suggest that you take a trip over to American Experience to watch a really inspirational hour long program on the CCC. The program began Read the rest of this entry »