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Sep 30, 2008

The Cross of Gold: text link from DNC 1896

We may be tempted to think that today's current money crisis is somehow new or unprecedented in America or in the wider world.

Yet William Jennings Bryan, in his address to the Democratic National Convention of 1896, covered many issues which may resound to our current issues such as: "gold Republicans" vs "silver Democrats" and the coining and issuing of money by private individuals (such as the Fed.)

Siding with Thomas Jefferson on the coining and issuing of money being a function of government, Bryan stated that, "banks ought to go out of the governing business."

If the Bush-Cheney-Bernanke-Paulson scheme passes, banks will BE the governing business.

And you know what that adds up to: corporatism + state = fascism. Simple formula, a long time coming.

When he delivered his address, 'Cross of Gold' which denounced the gold standard, Bryan was a young Nebraska congressman who had been chosen as the Democratic party's presidential nominee. His speech mesmerized the convention and Bryan thereafter became a spokesman and devotee of silver. Not all Democrats agreed on the issue, but that's a post for another day.

Yet Bryan and his party members were defeated at least partially due to their silver promotion and the economic crisis of their day. Then, as now, it was the economy, stupid.

Between a major economic depression and the rise of Populism, William McKinley and the gold Republicans were able to carry the 1896 election; Republican control of the White House and both houses of Congress in 1897 serve in hindsight to mark the end of the *Gilded Age, even as the descendants of "the idle holders of idle wealth" whom Bryan railed against so eloquently in 1896 continue to play the trickle-down card upon the working masses to our present-day detriment.

Cross of Gold by William Jennings Bryan, 1896.

*Gilded Age is what is usually referred to on this blog as the Generation of Materialism, marked astrologically by the Great Conjunction Neptune and Pluto, 1892.

You may wish to read Senator Bernie Sanders' statement on the vicious class warfare being waged upon America's middle class (compliments of Pluto-Chiron plutocracy) which is included in a post of mine from January 13, 2008, Plutocrats: Middle Class Warfare going dandily, for the effects of their viciousness have become, with current market meltdowns, socializing of private debts, and naked power grabbing, impossible to hide or ignore.


W. J. Bryan details from: 'America Interpreted Vol II: since 1865' by R.Woods and W. Gatewood.


Anonymous said...

thank you for the history lesson. This has been discussed in the progressive world for quite sometime but to get the actual words and thoughts of those who came before is so helpful. Who knows perhaps the day is coming when corporations will no longer be human beings under the law. No wonder our childrne love stories of vampires and zombies since they are growing up in a society that gives human rights to monsters that are not born, never die and do not bleed.
By the way I think of you as woman because I believe that you said so at some point but recently I read someone wondering if you are male or female.
so happy that you are back-look forward to your thoughts in these upset days.

Jude Cowell said...

Hi Clymela, thanks, it's good to be home although the wedding and vacation were wonderful. Tonight i'm a pooped puppy!

Yes, I've 'seen' myself referred to as 'he' in a couple of forums so i've assume it's someone who never visits my blogs or they'd see my avatar!

Finding historical speeches has become a hobby of mine - i do think we gain much from checking them for ourselves. Of course a problem comes in that we don't always know the exact context (what happened before/after, how things were then, what's now 'politically incorrect' may not have been so then, lies that were told, etc) so it's easy to over- or under-interpret them as well. Still, it's very useful to read a historical figure's actual words rather than what amounts to a politician's or a pundit's opinion or current day spin of them!