Thursday, January 09, 2014

A Short History of the Minnesota-Farmer-Labor Party

I wrote a brief history on an important, and relevant, part of our history for Counterpunch. Read it here!


Jonathan Larson said...

I congratulate you on your post about the Farmer-Labor Party. It is a piece of Minnesota that truly needs telling. My Grandfather was a county organizer for the party (Morrison) and my mother knew Floyd B. Olson personally.

Unfortunately, you got a LOT quite wrong. Mostly you misunderstand that while the Farmer-Laborites were very critical of the practices of robber baron capitalism, almost none of the were Socialists. In fact, it was the Marxists who ruined the party after Olson died.

If you would like to discuss this subject further, wander on over to my blog: and leave a note. We should do lunch. Bright young men like you should be encouraged!

Graeme said...

Thanks for the comment! When it comes to "socialism," I'd wonder what your definition is. I would argue anyone who agreed with the party's declaration of principles (which calls for public ownership of monopolized industries) is a socialist, regardless if they consider themselves one or not. The Communists elements were something all together different- I agree.

I'd be interested in getting more input from you. I'll stop by your blog later tonight and, yes, maybe we can arrange a lunch.

Peter Rachleff said...

Hi. I enjoyed your piece on Farmer Laborism in Counterpunch. I'm a labor historian/occasional activist in Saint Paul. I'm currently working with a broad committee of labor folks to organize events marking the 80th anniversary of the Mpls truckers' strikes. Where are you? I'd like to be in contact.
Peter Rachleff

Graeme said...

Thanks Peter. I sent you an email.