From STUART BRAMHALL
“There were no poor people in the land of Oz, because there was no such thing as money, and all property of every sort belonged to the Ruler. Each person was given freely by his neighbors whatever he required for his use, which is as much as anyone may reasonably desire. Every one worked half the time and played half the time, and the people enjoyed the work as much as they did the play, because it is good to be occupied and to have something to do.” L. Frank Baum. (from L Frank Baum’s Socialist Society)
A reader has recently turned me on to William Still’s 2009 film, The Secret of Oz, about the socialist writer L. Frank Baum, who happens to be my earliest political influence. In addition to his outrageously popular The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, Baum wrote thirteen sequels in which Dorothy returns to Oz for further adventures. Many of his later books provide detailed depictions of Oz (always governed by women) as socialist utopias. I still vividly recall one of the more remote regions of Oz being governed by a young woman who is required by law to dress in plain clothing and live in a crude one room hut.
According to numerous scholars, parts of Baum’s 1900 The Wonderful Wizard of Oz are loaded with symbols related to monetary reform, which was at the core of the Populist movement and the 1896 and 1900 presidential bids of Populist Democrat William Jennings Bryan. The yellow brick road represents the gold standard, the Scarecrow farmers, the Tin Man industrial workers, the Wicked Witch of the West Cleveland banker J.D. Rockefeller, the Wicked Witch of the East (NY banker J.P.Morgan), the Cowardly Lion William Jennings Bryant