Briefly, FDR put together a infrastructure of a welfare system. Desperation bequeathed us, however fleetingly, the Living Theater of Hallie Flanagan, the Farm Security Administration of Walker Evans and James Agee, and murals on public buildings being re-evaluated (upward) by New York critics-curators whose gallery contacts have run out of post-impressionist canvases and whose crudely inflated Pop-Plop genres are even too bloated for the upper middleclass managers whose Money for Art is their substitute for a decent community of humans becoming persons.
The New Deal, without the necessary but not sufficient condition of a human and compassionate clerisy, created a welfare system that engendered the final dimension of Bloat—a covert patronage system for the Big City Democratic machines and, to a lesser degree, for the Big Corp-Small Agribiz G.O.P. ententes that have faked populism since FDR.
In the nineteen sixties we made one last rally to recover from the Politics of Bloat. We assembled Peace Corps, we warred on Poverty, we HEWed ourselves to death of the spirit. When poverty, disease, and ignorance didn’t dissolve like a tule fog, we pouted and raged.
Sadly, we now see that when burrocrats were saying “Poor” they really meant “Middle class professionals.” Money to organize the defeated. This is the prologue to the anti-politics of austerity.
Part two of four