The Keynesian Elite in the New Deal State

I look at the actual activities, the flows of money, material, manpower, and language of organizations.  The input-output matrices of actual firms demonstrated that there were key sectors of accumulation, networks of power, and that the chief executive officers of firms intersected with the polity in such a way that the "state" under FDR could be better characterized as a segmented state within which the Keynesian elite (rooted in mass consumption) finally achieved parity with the two older elite formations--commodities in international trade (cotton, tobacco, wheat, copper together with their financial, legal, and commercial service providers), and the securities bloc, rooted in infrastructure capital--iron, coal, railroads, telephones and the financial institutions connected with marketing and trading their securities, and the legal firms that serviced them. 

The Securities bloc supplied the major appointees of GOP administrations, organized the National Civic Federation, and supported the First New Deal of the National Recovery Administration.  Commodities in international trade dominated the old Democratic Party.  The mass consumption sector was the second New Deal.  To speak only of big business vs. small; of center vs. periphery; of moderates vs. conservatives, is to begin with abstract categories unrelated to actual practices, is to commit the very sin that Deleuze warns against. One of the purposes of this site is to show that Hegel-Deleuze overcomes this metaphysical disease, and it does so in intensively concrete, "empirical" ways.
     U.S. Political Economy by Sector            
see Rosen for 1932 list

The Taylor Society: elite firms

The Taylor Society: manufacturing firms

Twentieth Century Fund
Committee for Economic Development
Hiss List

The Securities bloc was the subject of the Pujo investigation and of Louis D. Brandeis' book Other Peoples Money.  One should click now on the link below and become familiar with what, in the public rhetoric of that time, was called Big Business.  That of course, as will be seen, is a perfectly useless term, inasmuch as it is external to the praxis of the network of power, the input-output matrix delineated by the Pujo investigation.

Pujo Committee, 1913:  Interlocking  Directorates (the Securities Bloc)  
Louis D. Brandeis,           Other People's Money

One network of power subsumable under the concept of Commodities in International Trade is nicely delineated in Elliot Rosen's Hoover, Roosevelt, and the Brains Trust: from Depression to New Deal (Columbia University Press, 1977)

The figure to the right--the Keynesian Elite in the New Deal state--must be the point of departure for understanding the second New Deal.  Notice that it is possible to group the administrative agencies of the second New Deal state into five major groups: infrastructure, human capital, labor, planning, and credit.  Each group was staffed by a set of Taylor Society "technocrats" and a Frankfurter-linked lawyer.  See Bruce Allen Murphy, The Brandeis/Frankfurter Connection: The Secret Political Activities of Two Supreme Court Justices, (Oxford, 1982).

Proceeding immanently: I examined the state apparatus itself and, working from within that phenomenological field, found that the administrative core of the Second New Deal was a well-defined personnel matrix comprised of a cadre of lawyers linked to Felix Franfurter (FF) and Louis D. Brandeis (LDB), and a network of technocrats drawn from or closely associated with the Taylor Society (TS).  Within this analytical context I reconstruct the history of  LDB-FF x TS.

This is the Brandeisian wing of Progressivism: cosmopolitan, enlightened, and above all, committed to science.  Much attention has been paid to the middle class, professional character of this wing of progressivism (Otis Grahan Jr. Old Progressives and New Deal); almost none to the vast array of modern firms that constituted the business milieu of Progressivism (Gal is the exception).  

The Taylor Socety as an inter-organizational matrix, as an actual networks of individuals, of institutions, and of inter-organizational relations; and as the discursive praxes that emerged out of this complex web of actors and processes, was the infrastructure of what was to become the second New Deal.  

The strategic discourse as well as the internal structure and composition of the Keynesian elite in the Second New Deal was determined by the circuit of realization of mass capitalism.  Moreover, this triple web of discourse, institutions and personnel is already clear in the Eastern Rate Case (1910) and its immediate outcome: the formation of the Taylor Society.  
This is in keeping with the fundamental  premise of Activity Theory, bioecological theory, etc.  As mentioned in the Stupid Party, I wish to strongly dissent from the way a number of related "theories" are treated as doctrines (as in the Wikipedia article) rather than as closely related modes of intellectual practice that can be nominalized as a set of proper nouns (Kant, Hegel, Marx, Wittgenstein, Nietzsche, Heidegger, Deleuze, Dewey, Cooke, Vygotsky, Bronfenbrenner, etc.) and that can all be subsumed as moments in the unfolding of the Second Copernican Revolution.  

The Taylor Society was the embodiment of American Pragmatism.


Taylor Society I: Keynesian Elite in the New Deal State
Source: "Membership List, May 1927," in the Morris L. Cooke Papers, box 66, FDR Library
This analysis reveals the advanced capitalist nature of what is almost universally misconceived as some kind of coalition of middle class reformers, workers, and farmers that was anti-business (such is the fairy tale told by historians).  In fact, a close study of the Keynesian Elite in the New Deal state shows that not only was the leading institutional formation of reform not anti-business (they represented important parts of modern capitalism); and not merely middle class reformers (they were part of the emergence of the higher-order functions of advanced capitalism that transcended the merely localized praxis of the firm); they were the vanguard of advanced capitalism. In fact, Morris L. Cooke refered to the Taylor Society as the spearpoint of modern business (the less clumsy term vanguard was already taken in another context).

Capital ought to be thought of as an active force that has a cognitive-organizational dimension, from the small shopkeeper to the major science-based multinational organization to the investment and regulatory activities of the state.  

Advanced capitalism can be viewed as a phase in the unfolding of complexity.  Its cosmopolitan, technocratic orientation lends itself easily to demonization from the right.  Ironically, a cult of the primitive values of a nostalgically remembered golden age of small business becomes in the public sphere true capitalism, while advanced capitalism's systems approach and its concern with human capital formation is demonized [see Zombie Economics].  Advanced capitalism is politically weak in the United States, undermined by an alliance of small business, evangelicals, provincial elites, and rentier industries (energy, insurance, securities bloc) and now a new and entirely predatory form of finance (vampire capitalism)--and it shows, especially in the area of the development of human capital.  Human capital development in the twenty first century means achieving formal-operational competence among an expanding proportion of the citizenry.  

Thus the modern state of the twenty first century--committed to the broad development of human capital within a political framework misleadingly referred to as the welfare state--is virtually non-existent in the United States.  (In its place we have No Child Left Behind and Race to the Top.)

The Taylor Society II: Member Firms, 1927
Source: "Membership List, May 1927," in the Morris L. Cooke Papers, box 66, FDR Library

In decoding the input-output flows that defined the KE the latter was seen as an example of an emergent phenomenon.  But what was missing and unconceived at the time I did this work in the 1970s was an undestanding of the psychological dynamic, the emotional forces, that I have only recently been able to conceptualize adequately.  The concept of Bildung, so central to early ninetenth century German philosophy, became critical to understanding both the Communist Party of the United States and the Brandeis wing of progressivism. (See Bildung: Was Mozart a Communist?)  Also see Charles Postel, The Populist Vision (Oxford, 2007)  The conept of Bildung, as it has been developed in twentieth century pedagogy, was the essene of Vygotsky's work, and the theoretical core of education in late 20th century Finland.

The Eastern Rate Case: Evidence Taken by the Interstate Commerce Commission in the Matter of Proposed Advances in Freight Rates by Carriers, August to December 1910, Senate Doc. 725, 61 Cong., 3 Sess.   This can now be read online

The Bulletin of the Taylor Society can be read online (Bass Business Collection, University of Oklahoma Libraries)

Alternative Tracks: The Constitution of American Industrial Order, 1865-1917 see review in Contemporary Sociology Nov 94

re the power of anti-elite politics of ressentiment

Lawyer's Lawyer
The Taylor Society III: Non-Mfg Organizations, 1927
Source: "Membership List, May 1927," in the Morris L. Cooke Papers, box 66, FDR Library
One ought scroll down and examine

1.  the Taylor Society membership data for 1927;

2. the Eastern Rate Case: Shippers Association, 1910: Chicago subset; and Eastern Rate Case: Shippers Association, 1910: New England witnesses. Elsewhere I provide excerpts from the testimony of several of these witnesses.

In this context both 1936 campaign contributions and the Ezekiel lists of "liberal" business men compiled in 1938 (Ezekiel files, RG 16, National Archives).

To understand Progressivism one must be familiar with the Eastern Rate Case of 1910, out of which the Kenesian Elite emerged.  (I provide excerpts from the Brandeis brief and from three of Brandeis' winesses: Lawrence, Ives, and Jones.)

from ERC, Vol 5, p. 3237

JOHN S. LAWRENCE, called as a witness on behalf of the shipping
interests, being first duly sworn, testified as follows:
Direct examination by Mr. Louis D. BRANDEIS:
Mr. BRANDEIS. What is your business?
Mr. LAWRENCE. Merchant; dry-goods merchant.
Mr. BRANDEIS. Your firm?
Mr.LAWRENCE. The firm of Lawrence & Co., with headquarters at
Boston and New York and west.
Mr. BRANDEIS. What is the general character of your business?
Alr. LAWRENCE. The general character of our business is the busi-
ness of commission merchants; in fact, the selling department of the
textile mills in New England.
AMr. BRANDIES. How many mills do you represent?
Mr. LAWRENCE. Five or six of the largest mills.

from ERC, Vol 5, p. 3239, JOHN S. LAWRENCE, cont.

I regard railroad rates as very similar to taxation. The problem
seems to be how to distribute the cost of operation among the users
of a railroad and have prosperity all around.

Johanna Bockman, Markets in the name of socialism : the left-wing origins of neoliberalism  (Stanford University Press, 2011).  Review by, Zsuzsa Gille, in Slavic Review Vol. 71, No. 3, FALL 2012, pp. 655-657

From this review it appears that I am on the same wavelength as Johanna Bockman.  Waiting for book to be delivered to my library.

Charles Perrow, Organizing America: Wealth, Power, and the Origins of Corporate Capitalism (Princeton, 2002)

Kalecki’s Economics Today Edited by Zdzislaw L. Sadowski and Adam Szeworski

Neoclassical vs. Institutional Economics

Bandera, V. N., 1963  "New Economic Policy (NEP) as an Economic Policy," the journal of political economy 71:265-279

Evidence taken by the Interstate Commerce Commission in the matter of proposed advances in freight rates by carriers.
Eastern Rate Case: Shippers Association, 1910: Chicago subset
Mass Consumer-Oriented Firms

Sears, Roebuck
Marshall Field & Co.
Mandel Brothers
B. Kuppenheimer
Montgomery Ward
Siegel, Cooper & Co.
G.W. Shelton & Co.

Hart,  Shafner, & Marx
Rosenwald & Weil, Inc.
The Hub (Henry C. Lytton & Sons)
Charles A. Stevens & Brothers
Percival B. Palmer & Co.
Warren Featherbone

Millinery, Gloves, Hats, Hosiery
Bush Hat Co.
Chicagao Mercantile Co.
Joseph N. Eisendrath Co.
Parrotte, Beals & Co.
C.D. Osborn Co.

Wilder & Co.
Guthman, Carpenter, & Telling Co.
Smith-Wallace Shoe Co.
The Rice and Hutchins Chicago Co.
Selz, Schwap & Co.
R.P. Smith & Sons & Co.

Food & Related
Southern Cotton Oil Co. (Wesson Oil)
Booth Fisheries
National Biscuit Co.
Nordyke and Marmon Co.
   (flour and cerial   
   milling machinery)
Beech-Nut Packing
Sprague, Warner & Co.
   (flavoring extracts,  
   preserves, beverages)

Food & Related, cont.

Steel-Wedeles Co.
   (importing, jobbing &
   mfg. of grocieries and
W.M. Hoyt Co.
Frankln MacVeagh & Co.
Oerlich & Laux, Inc.
Charles B. Ford & Co.
   (butter, eggs,
   poultry--brokers and
W.T. Rawleigh Co.
   (veterinary and pultry
E.B. Millar & Co. (tea,
   coffie--importing and
Libby, McNeil, & Libby
Decatur Brewing Co.
Thomson & Taylor Co.
   (coffee, spices--mfg
   for jobbers)
Reid, Murdoch & Co.
   (coffee, pickles,
   peanut butter)
Rueckheim Bros. &
   Eckstein (candy,
United Cerial Mills
   (Washington Crisps,
   Egg-O-See, Toasted
   Corn Flakes)

Soap & Related
James S. Kirk
Frigid Fluid Co.
The Fairbanks, N.K. Co.
Darling & Co.
Globe Rending
Pacific Coast Borax Co.
Fitzpatrick Bros. Soap

Packaging & Paper
Humel & Downing Co.
Sanfod Mfg. Co.
The Paper Mills' Co.
J.W. Butler Paper Co.
SOURCE: Evidence Taken by the Interstate Commerece Comission in the Matter of Proposed Advances in Freight Rates by Carriers,
August to December 1910, Senate Doc. 725, 61 Cong., 3 Sess., Vol. 1  pp. 6-15
Keynesianism circa 1928

Full article online
Goldman Sachs+/Waddill Catchings/Pollak Foundation
from   Bulletin of the Taylor Society, Feb 1928

from H. B. Brougham, Must Prosperity Be Planned?  Bulletin of the Taylor Society, February 1928

Among the recommentations to eliminate waste, prepared by the Hoover Committee of the Federated American Engineering Societies appears the following: "Productive capacity should be conservatively based upon a careful study of normal demand."  A little further on the Committee urges: "Production schedules should be based on a carefully formulated sales policy, determined from an intensive study of markets, thus stabilizing production."

Planners of prosperity, not for individuals but for the nation, would turn thse maxims inside out.  They would change the first maxim to read: "Normal demand should be based on a careful study of productive capacity, and should be steadily increased as capacity to produce increases."

The second recommendation would read, as revised: "The aim is not to stabilize production, but to expand production, and to remove any purely monetary hinderance to that expansion by providing that markets be supported by an always adequate purchasing power."

Thus private sales policy would be reduced to the welcome task of ascertaining the selective preferences of a patronage that is at all times able to buy the full output.  Production would not be stabilized, but mobilized with a view constantly to raising the standard of living.
Eastern Rate Case: Shippers Association, 1910: Chicago subset, cont.

Mass Housing Supply Industries

U.S. Cast Iron Pipe & Foundry James B. Clough
Kewanee Boiler
Crane Co.    
H. Mueller & Co.
Illinois Malleable Iron Co.
Joseph T. Ryerson & Son
Devoe & Reynolds
Adams & Elting Co.
George S. Mepham & Co.
Hibbard, Spencer, Bartlett & Co.

American Lumberman
Lumber World Review
Morgan Sash & Door
Chicago House Wrecking Co.
John V. Farwell Co. (wholesale furniture, carpets, etc)
Union Furniture
Balkwill & Patch Furniture Co. Inc.
W.W. Kimball Co. (pianos, etc.)
Lyon & Healy, Inc. (pianos, etc.)
Tonk Manufacturing (piano benches)
Foley & Williams (sewing machines, supplies, pianos)
The Brunswick Balke Collendar Co.
Chicago Portrait Co.
Pitkin & Brook, Importers, Mfg and Distributors (china, glass, lamps)
M. Paulman & Co.

Diversified Capital Goods, Esp. Agricultural Implements

International Harvster
Deere & Co.
Emerson-Brantigam Co.
R. Herschel Manufacturing Co.
Rock Isoand Plow Co.
Star Mfg. Co.

Link-Belt Co.
Smith Mfg. Co.
Williams, White & Co.
Whiting Foundry Equipment Co.
Whitman & Barnes Co. (twist drils & reamers)
The Delaval Seperator Co.
Griffin Wheel Co.
Galena Sigal Oil Co.


General Chemical Co.
Lehigh Valley Railroad
Peabody Coal
Inland Steel

SOURCE: Evidence Taken by the Interstate Commerece Comission in the Matter of Proposed Advances in Freight Rates by Carriers,
August to December 1910, Senate Doc. 725, 61 Cong., 3 Sess., Vol. 1  pp. 6-15
The above excerpt contains in a nutshell the difference between the First New Deal (the NRA: corporatism/Securities bloc) and the Second New Deal (Keynesianism).


New England

Brandeis-FIRMS (Gal, Chicago subset; N. eng subset)

New York  



Merriam-Ickes-Crane-Rosenwald  (Chicago Progressivism, similar to LDB & New England Progressivism)

The Life and Times of Charles R. Crane, 1858-1939: American Businessman, Philanthropist, and a Founder of Russian Studies in America

Charles E. Merriam and the study of politics



Kennan-Harriman (B&O-->Baker-->Davis: Rosen List-->Liberty League)

Red Scare (Houston)



"And so Merriam entered the race.  His campaign manager was Harold L. Ickes, who quickly won promises of substantial financial support from industrialist Charles R. Crane ad Julius Rosenwald, president of Sears Roebuck and Company.  A number of other wealthy businessmen pledged money."

Michael P. McCarthy, "Prelude to Armageddon: Charles E. Merriam and the Chhicago Mayoral Election of 1911 (

see also Ickes, Autobiography of a Curmudgeon pp. 117-20, 122-23, 138

Crane Co. History  

see Elites in American History
Eastern Rate Case: Shippers Association, 1910:New England subset

 (see Alon Gal, Brandeis of Boston, Harvard University Press, 1980)

Louis D. Brandeis, the Lenin of Progressivism, in his own words

Harold Urofsky, ed., Letters of Louis D. Brandeis, Vol I (1870-1907): Urban Reformer (State University of New York Press,  1971); Vol II (1907-1912): People's attorney; Vol. III (1913-1915): Progressive and Zionist (State University of New York Press, 1971-78)

testimony of Lawrence

*JOHN S. LAWRENCE, called as a witness on behalf of the shipping interests, being first duly sworn, testified as follows:
Direct examination by Mr. Louis D. BRANDEIS:
Mr. BRANDEIS. What is your business?
Mr. LAWRENCE. Merchant; dry-goods merchant.
Mr. BRANDEIS. Your firm?
Mr. LAWRENCE. The firm of Lawrence & Co., with headquarters at Boston and New York and west.
Mr. BRANDEIS. What is the general character of your business?
Mr. LAWRENCE. The general character of our business is the business of commission merchants; in fact, the selling department of the textile mills in New England.
higher-order macro functions

David O. Ives, manager of the Transportation Department of the Boston Chamber of Commerce

John S. Lawrence, Lawrence & Co.  The selling department of the textile mills in New England


Charles H. Jones, President of the Commonealth Shoe and Leather Company of Whitman, Massachusetts (a close associate of Louis D. Brandeis), representing the New Engand Shoe and Leather Association

*Guy T. Miller, treasurer of the Bridgeport Brass Company

B.F. Curtis of the Norton Company (a major manufacturer of grinding wheels and abrasives)

George H. Benkhart, of Smith, Klein and French Company (drugs and baby foods)

Edwin F. Forbes, President of the New England Confectionary Company

A.C. Lorion, rrepresenting the Wright Wire Company of Worcester and Palmer, Massachusetts (wire cloth for poultry netting)

the Grayton and Knight Manufacturing Company, and the Metal Trades Assocation  of Worcester (mostly machine tool manufacturers)

E.A. Stuart, of the Mitchell-Woodbury Company, Boston (importers of crockery and china)

The New Deal coalition must be distinguished from the Keynesian Elite: the former was the usual heterogeneous amalgam of petty elites (urban and rural machines, local notables, "labor" machines based on skill and patriarchy, churches--Coleman Young's Baptist base) with an added force of "new" citizens strongly attracted to the rhetoric and practice of bildung usually referred to as, variously, Progressives and the Left: the milieu within which the Communist Party existed (see Bildung: Was Mozart a Communist).  In this context the use of the term front group is misleading.  Had the entire thrust of history--the relative balance of power between the four ontologies--been shifted in the direction of e.g. Finland's postwar development, we would have seen the growth of new institutional centers of progressive power and a decline in the relative weight of the CP in such an alternative history.  Indeed, this is the thrust of American Communism in Crisis, 1943-1957, by Joseph Starobin.  The "influentials"--union leaders who were technically non-Party but very much a part of the leadership milieu of the Party--resisted and defied the Party's shift from being a force within the Democratic Party to spearheading the Wallace third party movement.  

The Taylor Society--the heart and the brains of the Keynesian elite--intersected with the Left coalition.  One major player in the NGO-social worker milieu of the TS, Mary van Kleeck, was either an actual Party member or a non-member "influential."  But the Taylor Society was the strategic elite of advanced capitalism.  And, as Steve Fraser (Labor Will Rule) has shown, the TS was at the very center of the Second New Deal state.  Looked at in this way, the Communist Party could be seen as the left wing of advanced capitalism; and its subsequent demonization, which reached out to all that was modern in American society, was an indication that advanced capitalism was too weak to resist the massive assault from the forces of provincialism and ressentiment.  
Morris L. Cooke
BILDUNG   The papers of Morris L. Cooke (FDR Library, Hyde Park), document an inner intellectual life of the New Deal administrative elite that was absolutely stunning.  One can also get a sense of the intellectual dynamism of this network by reading the issues of the Bulletin of the Taylor Society.  Louis D. Brandeis played a critical role in the formation of the Taylor Society in the course of the Eastern Rate Case (1910); his letters are available in Harold Urofsky, ed., Letters of Louis D. Brandeis (State University of New York Press).  Alon Gal, Brandeis of Boston (Harvard University Press, 1980), provides a detailed account of Brandeis' business milieu.  The business milieu of modern Progressivism, circa 1910, is also indicated by the members of the Chicago Shippers Association and by the set of New England witnesses who were interested parties in the Eastern Rate Case.  (Progressivism to New Deal: Charts).

The cognitive/psychological dimension of capital as such is not appreciated. Capital is thought of in terms of property, individual greed, and profit.  I propose that capital also be thought of as an active force that is cognitive-organizational (and at varying levels of development), from the small shopkeeper to the major science-based multinational organization to the investment and regulatory activities of the state.  The key document wherein one can see emergent Keynesianism as cognitive/psychological revolution is

Evidence Taken by the Interstate Commerece Commission in the Matter of Proposed Advances in Freight Rates by Carriers, August to December 1910, Senate Doc. 725, 61 Cong., 3 Sess. 

The institutional context out of which Keynesianism emerged (already well-developed by 1910!) was the input-output matrix of mass consumer capitalism.  (see 
Progressivism to New Deal: Charts and Progressivism to New Deal: Documents)

The calculating, planning, organizing mind, as individual and as aggregation of individuals, is at the core of capital as activity.  Conversely, the market wherein desire is stimulated and gratified and stimulated again is the antithesis of this inner, cognitive-organizational dynamic of capitalism.  This fundamental contradiction within capitalism has yet to be appreciated.  (Although its effects are now evident.  See Hall, et. al. above.)

from Shlomo Avineri, Hegel's Theory of the Modern State (Cambridge University Press, 1972)

. . . America has never been a state (in the Hegelian sense), only a 'civil society', where the common bond has always been viewed as a mere instrument for preserving individal life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. . . .   In the American social ethos, the 'tax payer' always comes before the 'citizen'.  n. 6, p. 135

The plane of immanence (or consistency) to the right has been labeled by the title Progresivism to New Deal: Bildung.  The assemblage represented by the graphic emerged out of the "empirical" stuff as an effect of perceived consistencies in two domains.  The first part of the title is the conventional periodization of American History.  The second part--Bildung--to the fundamental process, the inner logic (or eigenvector), of the making of modernity.  It is Bildung that is the plane of immanence.

First, the cognitive-discursive practices emergent out of the flux of the historical field of "Progressivism."  These more complex common cognitive-discursive practices of what is sometimes called Progressivism (and other times socialism) are what ties these different texts together.  Given that it is a certain kind of historicized, socialized "individual" that speaks, writes, and acts, the Wellman interview, with its insight into the self-formative process--Bildung--is relevant to understanding these processes among the technocratic, entrepreneurial, managerial, and legal intelligentisia, as well as among white collar employees and the "workng class."  In the letter of McElwain to Frankfurter, 1919, one sees the same process in action: an enthusiasm for complex thought, and, implicitly, for the self-discipline that is a key element in self-development that it takes to resist and overcome the business provincialism still powerful today in America.  One senses in the McElwain letter great pride in this achievement.  In the Murray Body minutes one sees this same process, more clearly in the actual discussion of the UAW representatives, but also in Reuther's comments about Peterson--that is, we get a glimpse into the psychological dynamic of Bildung in the boss of Precision Spring, and note the cultural-linguistic link between the ontological modalities of Peterson and McElwain.

Second, these historicized and socialized individuals refered to above were enmeshed in specific organizational, cultural and political contexts.  Some of these contexts are indicated in the lower half of the graphic to the right.  Referring to the charts in
Progressivism to New Deal: Charts, the three elements in the lower half delineate the mass consumption sector immanently--that is internally, from within the field of its own activity.  One form of activity is discursive (see Progressivism to New Deal: Documents); another form of activity is given by the input-output matrix of the business activity of the mass consumption sector.  From the Eastern Rate Case of 1910 (Chicago subset and New England Witnesses), to the Taylor Society's membership list of 1927, to the Keynesian Elite in the New Deal state (1936), one sees this sector in action defining itself.
Plane of Immanence ----- Progressivism to New Deal: Bildung

1.  discursive flows/networks

          TS: mfg members                        TS × FF (KE in New Deal)                   TS: non-mfg
ts     ke      333
2.  institutional flows/networks
larger image
The plane of immanence (although I like the alternative, plane of consistency, better, I am sticking with Deleuze's usage), once established by this assemblage of primary sources, exerts a gravitational pull on other texts.  When reading Lewin's Lenin's Last Struggle and Russia/USSR/Russia: the drive and drift of a superstate; and Hatch's "Labor Conflict in Moscow, 1921-1925," I could not help but notice the striking overlap of segments of these secondary sources with the essence of these primary texts. There was a cognitive-linguistic similarity or isomorphism between primary and secondary texts.

Other secondary sources get drawn in at well.  Gal's biography of Brandies, because of its thorough and detailed account of Brandeis' business contacts, among the most important of whom was McElwain, is ineluctably drawn into the plane of immanence/consistency under discussion.  (Other accounts of LDB, however, are not so affected.)  

But so is Alcorn's Narcissism and the Literary Libido. and Moretti's The Way of the World: The Bildungsroman in European Culture.  Once the problematic of the development of the self is opened (in Wellman explicitly, but also in ERC, McElwain, Reuther and Peterson), any text that illuminates this process is drawn into the plane of immanence/consistency.

It is this assemblage of texts into a plane of immanence/consistency that is the flux of becoming that gets labeled (as Progressivism, the New Deal, Socalism, or what have you).  But I want to avoid the crippling effect of starting with an ontological assumption that there is something (Progressivism, etc.) that has to be elucidated.  I do not want to substitute Being for becoming.  This is what I construe as transcendental empiricism.

Naturally, there is a tension here.  We do speak of things--our secondary literature is generally (but not entirely) about things, not processes.  This tension is evident in Lewin's Russia/USSR/Russia: the drive and drift of a superstate.  On the one hand the tremendous ontological instability of the times: as Lewin says, the Bolshevik Party was remade several time over in a period  of a few years; but Lewin, in an exercise of the fallacy of misplace concreteness, speaks of the Soviet System as an entity even as he points to the flow of destabilizing forces that render its existence, on the level of ontology, merely nominal.  A stable system only emerged after the death of Stalin.   This book is important reading, not simply because of its intellectual power, but also because it will force you to think about these things.
letters from Cyrus S. Eaton to FDR (FDR Library in PPF 5344):

Eaton to FDR May 10, 1939:

Supplementing my letter of May 2, the Temporary National Economic Committee might well extend the scope of its investigation to incude the activities of the three New York law firms who handle the legal aspects of the hierarchy mentioned in my letter.

These firms are David, Polk, Wardwell, Gardiner & Reed; Cravath, deGersdorff, Swaine & Wood; and Sullivan & Cromwell.  

It would be enlightening to find out the number and size of these corporations, banks, and underwriting houses by which these firms are regularly ratained, together with a similar compilzation of those for whom they work from time to time on registration statements and other financial matters

The continued existence of this ring of commercial and investment bankers and law firms does not serve the cause of the country . . . .

Eaton to FDR May 24, 1939 re. GOP campaign in Cleveland area.

Eaton to FDR August 31, 1939:

Your great international policies are in danger of being jeopardized in public antagonism in the personnel of the new War Resources Board with its three Morgan members: Stettinius, Gifford and Pratt . . . .  Should not such a committee be composed of bona fide representives of the nation's industrial areas rather than men located inand connected with the New York financial district.

Eaton to FDR September 12, 1939 on Wall St. and Morgan Interests

Eaton to FDR Nov 21, 1939:

Although Jack Knight, the proprietor of the Akron Beacon Journal, was brought up in the Republican tradition, he is a great admirer of yours.  His is the most successful and prhaps the most influential newspaper in Ohio.  I have been urgin Knight not to support Taft, the Ohio representative of Morgan and Kuhn Loeb.

Eaton to Willkie Nov 22, 1939

Eaton to FDR Feb 7, 1942 re TIME propaganda re Harriman and Morgan in War and Navy departments

Eaton to FDR April 6, 1944 re. growth of Wall St. since 1933

Other letters I do not have but are referenced but not included in my collection:

Eaton to FDR May 2, 1939; 

Committee for Economic Development, 1970

-the Railroads were less "modern" than the shippers, notwithstanding the standard myth of eg LDB as a romantic provincial (center vs. peripheral)
-the Railroads/Wall Street web of interests can be viewed as a(re)emergent aristocracy with claims to the wealth produced by others.

The Taylor Society emerged in the course of the Ean sterRate Case (1910), and is the zone of systems synthesis of mass/advanced capitalism, the locus of the emergent functions of the 'welfare state.  The force-field of out of which the Keynesian elite input output relations emerged is suggested by the membership list of firms, broken down into

a.  capitalist enterprises

distribution and semiotics
distribution suppliers
housing finance and suppliers
machinery and tools

b. service organizations

U.S. government agencies
management, accounting & engineering firms
foundations and universities
magazines & trade journals
mass retailers
trade associations
A.P. Gainnini (Bank of America) in PPF 1135.  These materials cover

1.  merger discussions with Bowery and East River National Bank, Commercial Exchange Bank and the Bank of America (MEMO Feb 13, 1929)
2.  news stories Giannini supports FDR sept 19, 1935; June 25, 1936
3. re furor over court-packing plan: offers to go on radio in support (Giannini to McIntyre, 2/18/37)
4. San Fran. Examiner Nov 9 1934: attacks crowd in control of NRA
5.  Warning to Foes of New Deal, Giannini says of Election (Sinclair) SF Bull  ?? 1934


Miles, McGraw on various characterizations of non-elite businesses
Dart Industries, Salvatore, Scaife, Coors
These two book are drawn into the plane of immanence that contains the Keynesian elite.  An Encore for Reform is based on a sample of reformers (N=400) whose careers spanned the period covered by the figure to the right.  The author constructed a career matrix, dividing his sample into those old progressives who supported the New Deal and those who opposed it.  "One can then say of the New Deal  progressive that he or she was likely to be a person who lived in one of the larger cities and whose work was of the social work, social settlement, religious, or voluntary association variety."  (p. 169)  Academics were also a significant sector among the progressives that supported the New Deal (p. 168, 170)

These were the very people found as correspondents in the Letters of Louis D. Brandeis and in the Morris L. Cooke papers.  Many of these old progressives were members of the Taylor Society.  Thus, they properly belong in the plane of immanence.  

However, the author misconstrues them as mere middle class humanitarians, rather than as a certain kind of historicized, socialized "individual" entangled in the input-output matrix of modern capitalism.

The second text, A Pretty Good Club, is actually less about the U.S. Foreign Service than it is about the very same thing: a network comprised of a certain kind of historicized, socialized individuals--or rather two networks (just as the old progressives were actually two distinct--two disjoint--sets of historicized, socialized individuals).  The personnel matrix of the Keynesian Elite appears in this text as the modern, cosmopolitan ethnically heterogeneous wing of the Foreign Service emergent out of the New Deal, deeply entangled with the Taylor Society, and opposed by the old guard who were both WASP and anti-semitic.

This is to suggest a certain way of reading that decomposes overblown nouns intohegel actual ontological-discursive praxiological networks.  An Encore for Reform does this to a degree, but stops short of making sense of the set of personnel that supported the New Deal.

It is one of the contentions of this site that the being of things historical is to be found in the generative matrix that produces their activity.  Activity is not merely the effect of of an organism's rational asssessment of its interests.  Activity is more important than motive; it is part of the self-formative process.  Conceptually motive and activity are diametircally opposed, inasmuch as "motive" presuposes the Cartesian self, thereby obstructing the understanding of praxis.  (Deleuze-Bryant)

Image of thought in doing history:

from Jerome Kagan, The Human Spark: The Science of Human Development (Basic Books, 2913)

"A number of abstract psychological concepts remain popular because they satisfy the need for consistency among the investigator's semantic networks. The networks for the concepts of positive emotion and negative emotion are an example . . . .  The problems trailing attempts to preserve semantic consistency are clearest for concepts related to the antonyms good and bad.  Many popular terms for human qualities belong to semantic networks that have good and bad as nodes."  p. 271

This statement captures the underlying logic--the generative grammar (or generative matrix)--of almost all writing on history.  Big business, the capitalist class

Digging the Grave of Modernity:
Two of the Architects of Figure 1⎯ Joseph McCarthy and Roy Cohn

The possibilities of advanced capitalism were limited by the availability of the wretched masses/resentiment mobilization; the "natural" appearance of so-called neoliberalism is intimately connected to figure 1 THE PRIMACY OF POLITICS