The New Deal’s organization of the economy in Howard Zinn’s view
Howard Zinn’s assumption that the main objective of the New Deal is performing economic change and preventing social unrest is grounded. The social environment of the relevant period was favorable for the outbreak of massive protests.
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First and foremost, it should be noted that the New Deal was supposed to reduce the tension caused by the Great Depression. Hence, Zinn refers to numerous strikes and the excessive unemployment rate that established by the time of the program’s implementation. Zinn provides an example illustrating that more than a hundred thousand New English mill workers were unemployed by 1933. Those who managed to hold their positions received reduced wages or had to face long-term back pays. Therefore, the American society had an entire scope of reasons to strive for a revolution when FDR came to office (Zinn 395).
From the economic perspective, the situation was likewise poorly managed. Thus, Zinn elucidates numerous reports of farmers that reveal the complete economic stagnation. Hence, for instance, the agricultural industry was impeded not only by the economic factors but the unfavorable weather conditions as well (Zinn 400). As a result, it might be concluded that the New Deal targeted to address economic and social stabilization.
The cost of the war in relation to the New Deal
Smedley Butler’s assumption that war is a “racket” resonates with the ideas expressed by Howard Zinn. Hence, the historians consider war to be a source of profit for the powerful minority gained at the cost of the lives of the powerless majority. The main argument in favor of this position resides in the fact that the key beneficiary of the war is the wealthy elite. Zinn notes that for this reason, there were few pacifist movements in the USA during the Second World War (409).
It is not surprising that Smedley Butler decided to reveal the real character of war after his retirement. His speculations upon the commercial side of tragedies are so straightforward that they would have jeopardized his career.
It should be noted that the ideas elucidated by the historians are not a novelty. Hence, the wealthy class always strives to profit from global events whatever connotations they have. Upon drawing the parallel to the Great Depression, it can be noticed that despite the tragic outcomes of this event that affected the main part of Americans, some of them, for example, bootleggers, managed to take an advantage of the social crisis and earn millions and billions of dollars.
Zinn, Howard. A People’s History of the United States, New York, New York: Pan Macmillan, 2013. Print.