Are we still “a nation of joiners” as Arthur Schlesinger posited in an article for The American Historical Review in 1944? Maybe if joining Facebook counts.
Once, we were a nation of associations and fraternal organizations. These included labor unions, like the old Knights of Labor and then later, the American Federation of Labor. Workers banded together against attempts to pay them less than they thought they were worth, and other exploitive tactics of Big Business. The farmers did the same thing, countering Big Business attempts to divide and conquer. These agrarian organizations were the “Patrons of Husbandry or the Grangers.”
If we’re slowly but surely becoming a nation of free agents, ala, Daniel Pink, does that mean that Whitey TM now has the upper hand? Where do we gather our strength and solidarity from these days? Continue reading