The Keynesian Elite in the New Deal State, 1910-1939

MLC can stand for a homogeneous praxiological milieu, habitus, and network: the Keynesian Elite  (see Fig. 2).  FDR, on the other hand, stands for the fundamental heterogeneity of his Administration, as the site of fundamental conflict between competing elites (Fig. 1), and the scene of emergent functions and institutional formations (NLRB, NRPB, etc.).  It is utterly naive to conceive of FDR as a unitary, homogeneous agent.  

These elites are in part defined by the input-ouput matrices of the major sectors of the American political economy.

This page is about the most dynamic and modern of these sectors within the Administration of FDR.  

                                 Morris L. Cooke (MLC)                                           Franklin D. Roosevelt (FDR)
U.S. Political Economy by Sector, 1910-1939 is derived from several sources.

The Securities bloc (SC)

Other People's Money, by Louis D. Brandeis (1913-1914)

Pujo Committee Interlocking Directorates 1912

Commodities in Inernational Trade (CIT)

Elliot A. Rosen, Hoover, Roosevelt, and the Brains Trust: from Depression to New Deal (Columbia University Press, 1977), although not conceptualizing it as such, gives a compelling description of CIT in action around the candidacies of Al Smith and Newton Baker, etc.

Post-WWII Configurations that are beyond the scope of this page

Mark S. Mizruchi, The Fracturing of the American Corporate Elite (Harvard, 2013): the "modern corporation"

Thomas Piketty, Capital in the Twenty-First Century (Harvard, 2014).  See Paul Krugman review:  the resurgence of “patrimonial capitalism”

                            Figure 1.  U.S. Political Economy by Sector, 1910-1938          

see Rosen for 1932 list

The Taylor Society: elite firms

The Taylor Society: manufacturing firms

Pollak Foundation
Twentieth Century Fund

Committee for Economic Development
Hiss List

The Papers of Morris L. Cooke (FDR Library)

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

Figure 2.  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 and
United States Government Manual 1937
Figure 3.  The Taylor Society II: Member Firms, 1927
Source: "Membership List, May 1927," in the Morris L. Cooke Papers, box 66, FDR Library
Bruce Allen Murphy, The Brandeis/Frankfurter Connection: The Secret Political Activities of Two Supreme Court Justices (Oxford, 1982)

Milton J. Nadworny, Scientific Management and the Unions, 1900‒1932 (Harvard, 1955)

Establishment of National Economic Council. Hearings before a subcommittee of the Committee on Manufactures, United States Senate, Seventy-second Congress, first session, on S. 6215 (71­st Congress) a bill to establish a National Economic Council. Printed for the use of the Committee on Manufactures.  here

This page consists mainly of the graphic materials in the right-hand column.  The reader ought to first scan the entire column.  Scan is the wrong word; the reader ought to look closely, and pay attention to detail.  Concepts of class, function, strategy, network, habitus, and praxis are not living things, but are the product of the effort of human beings to understand stuff.  see Bryant.  There is no contradiction conceptual rigor and empirical richness.

Certain things do not appear on this page becaue they are readily available online.  

Sixth.  The resurgence of “patrimonial capitalism” (Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty (Harvard, 2014).  See Paul Krugman review  
Figure 4.  The Taylor Society III: Non-Mfg Organizations, 1927
Source: "Membership List, May 1927," in the Morris L. Cooke Papers, box 66, FDR Library
In Fig. 5 I have proceeded immanently taken the 1927 member list of the Taylor Society and arranged the firms according to their place in the flow of money and goods.  These are actually quite large firms in relation to their specific field of economic activity; they are technologically progressive; and are intellectually among the vanguard of capitalists.  To refer to them as small and provincial is flatly wrong.  Even to refer to them as competitive, while not flat-out wrong, is misleading.  Steve Fraser's study of Sidney Hillman describes the joint union-management efforts to stabilize the market by taking labor out of competition.

The modern corporation itself is a form of planned economy (see Alfred Chandler Jr.,  The Visible Hand).

For attempt by Walter Reuther and progressive spring manufacturers to stabilze the spring industry see:

Minutes.  Murray Body Committee Local 2 at Executive Board Meeting, April 26, 1939, Toledo Ohio (Addes Collection, Box 14.11, Reuther Archives Detroit) re. competitive situation in the spring and wire industry
Figure 5.  Taylor Society, 1927: Mass Distribution, input-output flows
Source: "Membership List, May 1927," in the Morris L. Cooke Papers, box 66, FDR Library
The Fig. 6 I proceed immanently,

Figure 6.  Taylor Society, 1927: Mass Housing, input-output flows
Source: "Membership List, May 1927," in the Morris L. Cooke Papers, box 66, FDR Library
Figure 7.  Taylor Society, 1927: Machinery
Source: "Membership List, May 1927," in the Morris L. Cooke Papers, box 66, FDR Library
Figure 8.  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

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
Figure 9.  Eastern Rate Case 1910: New England Witnesses

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. Fobes, President of the New England Confectionary Company

A.C. Lorion, representing the Wright Wire Company of Worcester and Palmer, Massachusetts (wire cloth for poultry netting), the Grayton and Knight Manufacturing Company (belting), 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)

1937-8: Carmody & Ezekiel Lists of Liberal Businessmen: Seattle

Nathan Eckstein, Pres. Schwabacher Grocery Co. (Wholesale grocer)
Charles H. Black, Pres. Seattle Hardware Co. (largest wholesale hardware business in  
     the state


Darrah Corbet, Pres. Smith Canning Machine Co.
George H. Penny, Pres. Western Blower Co. (al sawmills in this part of country use his
     pipes and machinery for blowing the sw dust out of the mills and into the fuel bins)
W.B. McCaffray, Pres. National Fruit Canning Co.

Construction Contractors

Raymond H. Huff, V.P. & Treas., Puget Sound Bridge & Dredging Co.
Henry Lohse (contractor in industrial and commercial buildings)
Hugh Russell (builds for large and small home owners and for real estate developers)
W. B. Shannon (electrical engineer)

Figure 10.  The Cleveland Trust-Midland Steel
midland cleve
•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): David Stern; Ezekiel Seattle

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 retained, together with a similar compilation 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 in and 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 perhaps 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; 

(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)

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

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)

Pujo Committee, 1913:  Interlocking  Directorates (the Securities Bloc)  

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

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)

Angus Burgan, The Great Persuasion: Reinventing Free Markets since the Depression (Harvard, 2012)

Mark S. Mizruchi, The Fracturing of the American Corporate Elite (Harvard, 2013)

Gerald Berk, Alternative Tracks: The Constitution of Amierican Industrial Order, 1865-1917 (Johns Hopkins, 1994)

Postel, The Populist Vision

Atlantic Crossings (habitus of urban-cosmopolitan Progressivism)

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

Johanna Bockman, Markets in the name of socialism : the left-wing origins of neoliberalism  (Stanford University Press, 2011)
•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 as a developmental field.

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); Bourdieu; Getty

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