Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Standard-Examiner: Utah's Radical History May Surprise Some - Updated

Nosiree folks. Socialism is nothing new to Utah, or to Ogden City, for that matter

We'd like to call our gentle readers' attention to a top-notch Standard-Examiner story appearing in the S-E online edition this morning, wherein the multi-journalistically-talented and seemingly tireless Doug Gibson provides yet another fantastic "special feature" piece which goes far beyond his "editorial page editor" job description. We've railed consistently over the years about the tradition and current practice of "socialism" around these parts. Well, in that connection, Mr. Gibson has done some serious research and just plain ole diggin', and provides this morning a wonderful historical essay about the history of socialism in Ogden City, and other Utah places hereabout. Nosiree folks, Comrades Godfrey, Stephenson and Safsten, et al. are not the first Utah politicians to advocate and practice the use of the coercive power of government to promote central government-planned social engineering objectives.

Read up, folks:
Mr. Gibson's column also mentions that "one ancestor of today's Standard-Examiner newspaper, the Ogden Standard, ran a weekly socialist column for several years, and for a couple of years ran dueling weekly columns from the Socialist Party and the more radical Socialist Labor Party." This interesting information tidbit was also discussed in some detail, along with the socialist activist Kate Hilliard, (whom Mr. Gibson also mentions), in the below-linked Standard-Examiner online video, which originally appeared embedded within a June 29, 2008 online SE story:
Although Mr. Gibson's fact narrative doesn't completely dovetail with that of of the SE video, (the video describes Glasmann's Standard as a Republican-partisan newspaper, and the Examiner as Ogden's socialist-leaning newspaper - [fast forward to 3:23]), Mr. Gibson also does refer to what appears to be at least one of his primary sources, for those readers who may seek to clear up any factual discrepancies regarding this fascinating topic:
Mr. Gibson's morning essay is an informative read, all-in-all; and if you'd like to further extract the historical details of the history of socialism in Utah yourself from at least one other scholarly viewpoint, you can also order the book from Amazon.com, via the above link.

Nosiree folks. Socialism is nothing new to Utah, nor to Ogden City, for that matter. The only difference these days, it seems, is that local politicians now seem to practice the right wing version, rather than the "lefty" Marxist style of the late 19th and early-to-mid 20th centuries.

Interesting side note, also from the above-linked video: It seems the Standard-Examiner survived possible economic extinction in February of 1893, by engaging in some good old fashioned Republican-style "union busting" and "'scab' hiring practices." Imagine that.

And we'll add that while we don't know what The Standard is paying Doug Gibson for the huge volume of consistently excellent quality material that he produces, both in print and online, we're quite certain that it can't be enough in this modern age of struggling print journalism.

That's it for now, O Gentle Readers.

Who'll be the first to dive in with their own savvy comments?

Update 11/15/11 9:25 a.m.: John S. McCormick and John R. Sillito will discuss their book A History of Radicalism: Startling, Socialists, and Decidedly Revolutionary at 1:30 p.m. Thursday in the Hetzel-Hoellein Room of the Stewart Library, WSU, 3848 Harrison Blvd., Ogden. This is a free event.

1 comment:

dgibson said...

Thanks Tom for posting a link to the review. It's a fascinating book. There are a couple of chapters on the LDS Church's movement from an attempted socialist-like theological utopia to a capitalist theological entity and its resulting antipathy toward socialism. I hope one day a scholar will write an in-depth book on that evolution, which was prompted by the threat of the church losing its assets due to its stance on polygamy

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