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Helen Keller on This I Believe
I think the greatest tragedy of the Red Scare is the enduring and complete rejection of any political stance that in any way resembles Socialism. To this day, even the smallest hint government involvement in business elicits fear and paranoia in conservatives.
In our nearly universal acceptance of the notion that Socialism is inherently bad, we forget that there was actually a period in our country's history when good, patriotic Americans, when faced with masses of poor and hungry people throughout the world, could unabashedly describe themselves as Socialists and take political action with the goal to achieve economic equality.
Helen Keller was one of those people.
This I Believe has an essay written by her for the original 1950s series, and it is quite good. My favorite part is when Keller, who lived the first part of her life in extreme isolation, first learned about the suffering of others:
It was a terrible blow to my faith when I learned that millions of my fellow creatures must labor all their days for food and shelter, bear the most crushing burdens, and die without having known the joy of living. My security vanished forever, and I have never regained the radiant belief of my young years that earth is a happy home and hearth for the majority of mankind. But faith is a state of mind. The believer is not soon disheartened. If he is turned out of his shelter, he builds up a house that the winds of the earth cannot destroy.
When I think of the suffering and famine, and the continued slaughter of men, my spirit bleeds. But the thought comes to me that, like the little deaf, dumb, and blind child I once was, mankind is growing out of the darkness of ignorance and hate into the light of a brighter day.
thanks for post.