“Under Fordism-Taylorism, the industrial worker had to work at a pace dictated by the speed of the assembly line. Work was repetitive and often exhausting. [Since the death of Bretton Woods], if you have a job, you have to work at a speed dictated by computers, and you are competing, wage-wise, with other desperate people in low-wage countries.”
Allow me to begin this two-part Blog post by bringing everyone’s attention to some important, yet obscure, history lessons with lots of implications for Russia, China, Japan, and both South and North Korea. There is a little-known urban legend about the Jay Treaty in American history that German could have been the official language of the Union:
“On April 1, 1789, Frederick Muhlenberg was chosen as the first speaker of the House of Representatives. Muhlenberg’s father, Henry, was born in Germany, and he played an important role in the establishment of the Lutheran Church in the Colonies.
Young Frederick was born outside of Philadelphia before serving as a minister and pastor in the colonies. He began his life of public service as a member of the Continental Congress. He also served as the Speaker of Pennsylvania’s House and led the Pennsylvania delegation that ratified the Constitution.
Muhlenberg then emerged as the preferred candidate for the Speaker’s role as the House neared a quorum for its first meeting in 1789.
During two terms as Speaker, Muhlenberg was the first person to sign the Bill of Rights, but his tie-breaking vote on the controversial Jay Treaty proved to be his undoing. Muhlenberg lost a re-election bid after that, and his national political career was over.
But his ‘legendary’ role in preventing the adoption of German as the United States’ official language gained steam over the years.
The late German academic Willi Paul Adams published a study in 1990 that included an explanation of why so many people believed Muhlenberg acted to block a congressional resolution that would have made German the national language.
“Fascinating for Germans, this imagined decision has been popularized by German authors of travel literature since the 1840s and propagated by some American teachers of German and German teachers of English who are not entirely secure in their American history,” Adams wrote.
“In reality, this presumed proposition was never brought to the congressional floor and a vote was never taken,” he added.
Dennis Baron, professor of English and linguistics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, also tells a similar tale in an article he penned for PBS’s website, after the Muhlenberg legend popped up in an Ann Landers column.
“On January 13, 1795, Congress considered a proposal, not to give German any official status, but merely to print the federal laws in German as well as English. During the debate, a motion to adjourn failed by one vote. The final vote rejecting the translation of federal laws, which took place one month later, is not recorded,” Baron said, who cites two contemporary sources for the account.
Baron traces the legend to an 1847 book by Franz Löher called History and Achievements of the Germans in America, which Baron says “presents a garbled though frequently cited account of what is supposed to have happened.”
Adams also pointed out that just 9 percent of the early United States was German-speaking, and that the vast English-speaking majority would have had a few problems with the concept of an official language.
“Colonial speakers of English fought only for their political independence. They had no stomach for an anti-English language and cultural revolution,” Adams said.
Muhlenberg’s role in passing the Jay Treaty with Great Britain was much more controversial than his alleged involvement in rejecting the German language.
The Senate had passed the treaty by a mandatory two-thirds majority, but the House was needed to fund its provisions. Muhlenberg sided with the Federalists against an opposition led by James Madison.
In 1796, he cast the key vote in recommending the House fund the treaty. According to several accounts, Muhlenberg was stabbed by his brother-in-law several days later for that vote. He survived that attack and later died in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, in 1801.
Part of the research that went into the SMP Compendium includes why the Jay Treaty created this urban legend that German could have been the official language of the US and another urban legend about Alexander Hamilton and the Federalist Party being allegedly aligned with the British Crown. It turns out that both were outright untrue. There has been a lot of propaganda peddled by the Democratic-Republican Party since the 1790s. Such Jeffersonian propaganda needs to be scrutinized by American Muckrakers and denounced by the entire Union.
How many Americans are aware of the obscure historical fact that James Madison lied to an American historian about his betrayal of Hamilton and the Federalist Party? Why the Great Divergence in the Federalist Party can be traced back to Madison’s “‘secret interview’” with British spies like “George Beckwith” secretly infiltrating US soil to sabotage the US Economy? How Hamilton knew about this, compelled all Americans to defend the Union against subversive counterrevolutionaries and implored them to lead the Union in an aggressive trade war against the British and the French? Why Hamilton advocated for all Americans to promote the creation of other Federalist Parties throughout all of Latin America, in addition to provoking the British Empire into waging war on the Spanish Empire?
Everything that I had said is coming from another side of US History unknown to everyday Americans. It is too much of a coincidence for these United States and the German Reich to be following similar behavioral patterns over the course of two centuries. Here are more examples:
In addition to the Napoleonic Wars, the American Civil War saw the Confederacy being supported by the British and the French. The Prussians and the Russians were mostly on the side of the Union. I say ‘mostly’ because Prussia and Russia were technically neutral in that conflict.
In the lead up to World War I, the British and French were counting on support from the Jeffersonians in America and Russian Liberal Capitalist elements (the same Russian Liberal Capitalists who forced Czar Nicholas to abdicate). Contrary to popular belief, the Soviets did not overthrow Czarist Russia; the Liberal Capitalists were way ahead of them in their “January Revolution” of 1917, their White-Blue-Red Tricolor being the official flag of the Russian Federation from Boris Yeltsin to Vladimir Putin.
The Interwar years between the two World Wars are also interesting. I have evidence of the Jeffersonians supporting Trotskyists in Russia and Hitlerists in Germany. Lucrative business deals provided enough Economic Foreignization to inflict untold misery and suffering on millions of people in Russia and Germany, from the Holodomor to the Holocaust. What united the Jeffersonians, Hitlerists, and Trotskyists in the economic and financial sense is so Liberal Capitalist that I had alluded to it in Part III of “Technology and the War Effort.”
From 1921 to 1925, the Soviet Union suffered three famines that killed some 5,000,000-7,000,000. Another in 1932-1933 killed 7,000,000, giving rise to the infamous Holodomor. It was all pioneered by ‘Fordism’, the business model of Henry Ford, and its European cousin ‘Taylorism’ or ‘Scientific Management’. Josef Stalin was fully aware of this, admitting that things could have gone differently in the last written work, Economic Problems of Socialism in the USSR. He could have blamed Leon Trotsky for encouraging the widespread suffering, but he could never seem to figure out what was needed for any Socialist nation to prevent this tragedy from ever having again.
For the German Reich and these United States, generations of economists since the Vietnam War have failed to mention that the “Guns and Butter Model” did not begin with Dwight Eisenhower. The Guns and Butter Model is something that the whole world should be ashamed of. I say this because I had literally mentioned the smoking gun connecting the Jeffersonians’ Dust Bowl, the Hitlerists’ Blut und Boden (Blood and Soil) – the so-called “Reichsnährstand” (Reich Food Estate Law) of 1933, and the Trotskyists’ “STEP” (Soviet-Type Economic Planning) throughout the entirety of the SMP Compendium. If I had to give it a better name for this smoking gun, “Fordism-Taylorism” is far more appropriate because of the Great Divergence and rise of the Total Mobilizations of Production for Profit and Production for Utility.
“Taylorism” employs the “Division of Labor” in a time-and-motion work-performance and wage system based on the Incentives of Supply and Demand. It is capable of coexisting within Production for Profit and Production for Utility. The Incentive here is to generate the greatest Quantity of Kapital for the least Quantity of Schuld. This phenomenon manifests itself in the Mass Production and Mass Creation of Producerism and in the Mass Consumption and Mass Destruction of Consumerism. Vast Quantities of goods and services are manufactured for the sake of generating enough Kapital in existence to pay off the Schuld created by the Fractional-Reserve Banking System and its Debt-Standard.
“Fordism,” the business model of Henry Ford, refers to the mass production of Kapital and Schuld for the mass consumption of Kapital and Schuld. This is basically Taylorism, except on a much larger Scale. There are Producers and there are Consumers: the Incentive is to generate the greatest Quantity of Kapital and for the least Quantity of Schuld. “Consumer Spending” and “Government Spending,” the Liberal Capitalists claim, are meant to achieve “economic growth” and “returns on investment.” The trend consistently manifests itself behind the language of “Supply-Side Economics,” “Progressive/Regressive Taxation,” “Public Works Programs,” “Universal Basic Income,” “Minimum Wage,” and the “Social Safety Net.”
How does Fordism-Taylorism unite the Jeffersonians, the Hitlerists and the Trotskyists? In these United States, the German Reich, and Soviet Union, the massive agricultural production that all three were capable of producing since the Interwar years had been conducted according to aspects of Fordism-Taylorism. So much food was being created and wasted in order to keep the Quantity of Kapital higher than the Quantity of Schuld. The results are discernible in all three countries:
- Widespread destruction of the countryside rendering the topsoil vulnerable to erosion.
- Overworked farmhands struggling to generate enough Kapital to pay off their Schuld.
- Farms at risk of Foreclosure and Repossession because their Quantity of Schuld was too high.
- Whole families abandoning their farms in search of Kapital in the cities.
- Rising food prices, emerging shortages and rationing at the local grocer.
- Malnutrition and mass starvations because there is simply not enough food in existence.
In the United States, the Dust Bowl exhibited characteristics of the first, second, third, four and fifth attributes. For Fordism-Taylorism, mass production of agriculture in the Midwestern States also coincided with the mass production of automobiles in the Great Lakes States. Both eventually collapsed in the ensuing Great Depression. Entire communities were wiped off the map, as hundred families fled in search of more Kapital to pay for their increasing Schuld.
In the Soviet Union, First Soviet Five-Year Plan exhibited the characteristics of the two, fourth, fifth and sixth attributes. Leon Trotsky had exalted Fordism-Taylorism and accused anyone of being a “Reactionary” by questioning whether Fordism-Taylorism was responsible for why millions were starving to death and receiving very little in return for their shoddy work to buy what few good there were in existence. Copious amounts of resources and millions of lives were being drained in the Soviet Economy, which later became the target of Josef Stalin’s criticism in Economic Problems of Socialism in the USSR.
And in the German Reich, the Reichsnährstand exhibited characteristics of the second, third, fourth, and fifth attributes. The mass production of agriculture in 1933 steadily declined by 1936, creating shortages of butter and rye and forcing the Reichsbank to spend its Foreign Exchange Reserve on food imports. Housewives on shopping trips to the store were expected to stick to only one grocer. Restaurants were forced to limit menu options. Josef Goebbels diverted attention away by claiming that these sacrifices were necessary as part of German Rearmament, which is simply not true if the Soviet Union and the US were also suffering within the same timeframe. Worse, Adolf Hitler praised Henry Ford, insisted that “his inspiration” was Ford himself, “had a life-sized portrait” of Ford, and even awarded Ford a medal for his ‘contributions’.
Categories: Third Place