Socialism and Apple Pie
At Jacobin, Paul Heideman presents an excellent short history of socialism in early 20th Century America with the mildly revisionist argument that our country never possessed any special immunity against socialist politics. Heideman begins:
In the middle of Bernie Sanders’s unexpected surge in the Democratic presidential primary, Missouri governor Jay Nixon echoed some folksy wisdom against him: “Here in the heartland, we like our politicians in the mainstream, and [Sanders] is not — he’s a socialist.’’
Nixon would no doubt be shocked to learn of his own state’s history with the red menace. In the early twentieth century, the Socialist Party of America boasted 135 locals in Missouri. In St. Louis alone, 24 of the city’s 28 wards had a local.