Monday, October 6, 2008

Bailout vis a vis Dorothy Day's take on another depression

illustration credit: Rex Babin

"Another Depression might be a relief to many people. They know our prosperity is built on war. It might be so much better than war.

People won't have to keep up a front any longer. They wouldn't have to keep up the payments any more. There would have to be a moratorium.

The threat of Depression is nothing to worry about. I wish to goodness the stock market would collapse for good and for all. I'd like to see a nonviolent revolution take place and an end to this Holy War..."


Dorothy Day, as told to Studs Terkel in "Hard Times, An Oral History of The Great Depression" 1970

"We need to change the system. We need to overthrow, not the government, as the authorities are always accusing the Communists "of conspiring to teach to do," but this rotten, decadent, putrid industrial capitalist system which breeds such suffering in the whited sepulcher of New York."

Dorothy Day, "On Pligrimage," September 1956

It is 2008. Are her sentiments relevant?

14 comments:

DCup said...

Wow. I've been thinking about this alot. We're already in a personal recession/depression. It could be worse. We have our jobs, but still.

Maybe it wouldn't be a bad thing on all fronts. It scares me to even suggest it, though.

thailandchani said...

She's right. I can see all of her points. It really is a wretched system and I would be happy to see a non-violent way of changing priorities and values.


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Ruth Hull Chatlien said...

Wow. Prescient words.

Liberality said...

Oh hell yes it is still relevant. The more things change the more they stay the same?

Fran said...

The thing that scares me is Social Security was in trouble BEFORE all this mess emerged. If 401K retirement $, pensions, savings, AND Social Security vanish all at the same time, we would be hit by hardest times ever.

John Donaghy said...

Dorothy Day offers some strong medicine. Can the US take it?
But more - can the poor world endure its effects?

Mnmom said...

I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around [the banks] will deprive the people of all property until their children wake-up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered. The issuing power should be taken from the banks and restored to the people, to whom it properly belongs.
Thomas Jefferson, Letter to the Secretary of the Treasury Albert Gallatin (1802)
3rd president of US (1743 - 1826)

Mauigirl said...

She makes some good points. In some ways, a new depression could restore people's values, make them realize what really matters in life, and stop wasting all of their time and treasure on superficialities and "things" they don't need.

That said, I wouldn't want it to be as bad as the first Depression; the poor, the children and the elderly would need to have a security net.

Dada said...

Day's sentiments are more relevant today than ever. Why, gee, hecks, like the mainstream keeps telling us, we might be in for a "RECESSION" down the road some day (as spoken from their ivory towers 40 floors above Main Street).

And Fran...not to worry...we can all console each under in our communal homes under the freeway overpasses of America! (If you and family get there before us, save us a place, okay? -- [my biggest fear now is getting in under the bridge too late. "NO VACANCY"] aaargh!)

D.K. Raed said...

IMO, Dorothy's sentiments are relevant in that they were already tried & tested in 1929. The stock market did collapse then & Prez Hoover did use the strong medicine of doing NOTHING which I think was personally reprehensible. The threat of Depression was more than just something to "worry about" ... people in my family lost what little they had, almost starved or were worked to death. It took FDR making the first steps toward socialism to stop the slide & set up a system to redistribute wealth. I see Ms. Day wrote those quotes in the 50's, when things had pretty much returned to S.O.P. under Ike. Too bad the grand experiment wasn't allowed to continue, is my opinion.

afeatheradrift said...

Well I think they are relevant, and some have argued that this is the perfect time to buy buy buy on credit, as much as you can. Nobody will get their money. However, whose to say that a revolution will aright things? It may result in a militaristic takeover. We got the weapons. Who says they can't be turned on us, the citizenry? I have no faith in Washington and the megacorpocracy that is fast becoming our reality.

susan said...

Good find, BE. Unfortunately, it will be hard if it happens.

okjimm said...

I think America is already in a big Depression. I know I am.

I would like to think that Congress, in a magnanimous gesture, would approve a few billion dollar expenditure to buy us all Prozac. It might help. Or even a few million to buy us all beer.

the Citizens need Help!!

ThomasLB said...

Dorothy Day is one of my favorite people. I have a poster of her on the wall above my computer with the quote, "Our problems stem from our acceptance of this filthy, rotten system." (I got it from Donnelly-Colt. They've got a lot of neat stuff.)