producerism
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Producerism is an ideology which holds that those members of society engaged in the production of tangible wealth are of greater benefit to society than, for example,
aristocrats Aristocracy ( grc-gre, ἀριστοκρατία , from 'excellent', and , 'rule') is a form of government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a state. In the case of its bro ...
who inherit their wealth and status.


History

Robert Ascher traces the history of producerism back as early as the
Diggers 300px, Woodcut from a Diggers document by William Everard The Diggers were a group of Protestant radicals in England, sometimes seen as forerunners of modern anarchism, and also associated with agrarian socialism and Georgism. Gerrard Winstanle ...
in the 1640s. This outlook was not widespread among artisans of the time because they owed their livelihoods to the patronage of the aristocracy, but by the time of the
American Revolution The American Revolution was an ideological and political revolution which occurred in colonial North America between 1765 and 1783. The Americans in the Thirteen Colonies defeated the British in the American Revolutionary War (1775–1783) ...
, the producerist view was dominant among American artisans. Rosanne Currarino identifies two varieties of producerism in the mid-19th century: "proprietary producerism", which is popular among self-employed farmers and urban artisans, and "industrial producerism", which spoke to wage-laborers and is identified in particular with the
Knights of Labor Knights of Labor (K of L), officially Noble and Holy Order of the Knights of Labor, was an American labor federation active in the late 19th century, especially the 1880s. It operated in the United States as well in Canada, and had chapters also i ...
and the rise of
socialism Socialism is a political Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with Decision-making, making decisions in Social group, groups, or other forms of Power (social and political), power relations between individuals, ...
. For some commentators, the
Pullman Strike The Pullman Strike was a nationwide railroad strike in the United States that lasted from May 11 to July 20, 1894, and a turning point for US labor law. It pitted the American Railway Union The American Railway Union (ARU) was briefly among the l ...
of 1894, led by Eugene V. Debs, was a high-water mark in the history of American producerism. In the United Kingdom, producerism was historically influential in the
Liberal Party The Liberal Party is any of many political parties A political party is an organization that coordinates candidates to compete in a particular country's elections. It is common for the members of a party to hold similar ideas about politics, ...
, especially its
Radical Radical may refer to: Arts and entertainment Music *Radical (mixtape), ''Radical'' (mixtape), by Odd Future, 2010 *Radical (Smack album), ''Radical'' (Smack album), 1988 *"Radicals", a song by Tyler, The Creator from the 2011 album ''Goblin (album ...
wing, until the early 20th century, pitting "the many against the few" – i.e. the working and middle classes against the landed aristocracy, expressed in support of ideas such as the single land tax advocated by
Georgist Georgism, also called in modern times geoism and known historically as the single tax movement, is an economic ideology holding that, although people should own the value they produce themselves, the economic rent derived from land – includi ...
s.


Modern-day producerism

Producerism has seen a contemporary revival, sparked by popular opposition to the machinations of globalized
financial capital Financial capital (also simply known as capital or equity in finance Finance is the study of financial institutions, financial markets and how they operate within the financial system. It is concerned with the creation and management of mon ...
and large, politically connected corporations. Critics of producerism see a correlation between producerist views, and views that are antagonistic toward lower income people and immigrants, such as nativism. These critics see producerism as analogous to
populism Populism refers to a range of political stances that emphasize the idea of "the people" and often juxtapose this group against "the elite". The term developed in the late 19th century in connection to the People's Party (United States), Populi ...

populism
. Examples of politicians or groups that are cited by these critics include the
Reform Party of the United States of America The Reform Party of the United States of America (RPUSA), generally known as the Reform Party USA or the Reform Party, is a political party A political party is an organization that coordinates candidates to compete in a country's elections ...
,
Ross Perot Henry Ross Perot (; June 27, 1930 – July 9, 2019) was an American business magnate, billionaire, politician and philanthropist. He was the founder and chief executive officer of Electronic Data Systems and Perot Systems. He ran an Indepe ...

Ross Perot
,
Pat Buchanan Patrick Joseph Buchanan (; born November 2, 1938) is an American paleoconservative political commentator, columnist, politician and broadcaster. Buchanan was an assistant and special consultant to U.S. Presidents Richard Nixon Richard ...

Pat Buchanan
,
Lou Dobbs Louis Carl Dobbs (born September 24, 1945) is an American political commentator, author, conspiracy theorist and former television host who presented '' Lou Dobbs Tonight'' from 2003 to 2009 and 2011 to 2021. Dobbs started working with CNN ...
, and
Donald Trump Donald John Trump (born June 14, 1946) is an American Political career of Donald Trump, politician, Media career of Donald Trump, media personality, and Business career of Donald Trump, businessman who served as the 45th president of the ...

Donald Trump
in the United States; as well as
Jean-Marie Le Pen Jean-Marie Le Pen (; born 20 June 1928) is a French politician who served as President of the National Front from 1972 to 2011. He also served as Honorary President of the National Front from 2011 to 2015. He graduated from faculty of law in Pa ...

Jean-Marie Le Pen
in
France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a spanning and in the and the , and s. Its extends from the to the and from the to the and the ; overseas territories include in , in the N ...

France
,
Björn Höcke
Björn Höcke
in
Germany Germany (german: Deutschland, ), officially the Federal Republic of Germany, is a country in . It is the in Europe after , and the most populous . Germany is situated between the and seas to the north, and the to the south; it covers an area of ...

Germany
and similar politicians across Europe.


Religion and social issues

Although producerism is primarily economic in emphasis, it also has a perspective on social issues. Namely, it upholds the traditional values of the middle class as the only true national values. It defends those values against the perceived corruption of decadent inherited wealth, and against the dangerous apathy and sloth that it sees as being the inevitable consequence of dependency on a
welfare state The welfare state is a form of government in which the state (or a well-established network of social institutions) protects and promotes the economic and social well-being of its citizens, based upon the principles of equal opportunity Equal o ...
. Therefore, producerists tend to be patriotic but at the same time intensely distrustful of the State, which they believe to be under the control of forces hostile to the nation. Some have pointed out a similarity between producerism and certain Christian " End Times" narratives that prophesize betrayal by trusted political and religious leaders, with many citizens drifting into laziness and sin. The producerist emphasis on the inherent value of hard work is directly related to the traditional
Protestant work ethic The Protestant work ethic, also known as the Calvinist work ethic or the Puritan work ethic, is a work ethic Work may refer to: * Work (human activity), intentional activity people perform to support themselves, others, or the community ** Ma ...
, outlined by Weber. In the United States and in Europe it is often sympathetic towards conservative or fundamentalist/primitive Christianity, seen as a defender against both the moral degeneracy of the poor and the rapaciousness of unbridled capitalism. But producerism ''per se'' is not tied to a specific religious world view, and its emphasis on economics, labor, and class resentments imbues it with a materialism not entirely compatible with a purely religious outlook.Kazin, Berlet & Lyons


See also

*
Elitism Elitism is the belief or notion that individuals who form an elite—a select group of people perceived as having an intrinsic quality (philosophy), quality, high intellect, wealth, power (social and political), power, notability, special Skill, ...
, the belief that the social rank of people roughly reflects their value to society. *
Georgism Georgism, also called in modern times geoism and known historically as the single tax movement, is an economic ideology An economic ideology distinguishes itself from economic theory in being Normative economics, normative rather than just expl ...
, an economic philosophy holding that people should own only the value they produce themselves *
Populism Populism refers to a range of political stances that emphasize the idea of "the people" and often juxtapose this group against "the elite". The term developed in the late 19th century in connection to the People's Party (United States), Populi ...

Populism
, a political approach that mobilizes the animosity of the "commoner" against "privileged elites" *
Surplus value In Marxian economics Marxian economics, or the Marxian school of economics, is a Heterodox economics, heterodox school of political economic thought. Its foundations can be traced back to Karl Marx, Karl Marx's Critique of political economy#Ma ...
, the profit of businesses achieved by paying workers less than the sale price of the product of their labor * Work ethic, the belief that hard work and diligence have a moral benefit * Working class, all people in a society who are employed for wages


References

{{Reflist Economic ideologies Social theories Working class