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MiddleFingerMom

(25,163 posts)
Sat Jul 14, 2012, 08:52 PM Jul 2012

John Steinbeck and Socialism:

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Steinbeck is one of my favorite authors (along with Tom Robbins). Steinbeck usually focused on
showing us the nobility inherent in "common" men and women -- though he didn't try to conceal
their flaws in doing so.
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4 replies = new reply since forum marked as read
Highlight: NoneDon't highlight anything 5 newestHighlight 5 most recent replies
John Steinbeck and Socialism: (Original Post) MiddleFingerMom Jul 2012 OP
Kick! CaliforniaPeggy Jul 2012 #1
must say annm4peace Jul 2012 #2
Best that it be disputed. Igel Jul 2012 #3
I believe you're right. I dug deeper and found the probable actual quote... not paraphrased, but... MiddleFingerMom Jul 2012 #4

Igel

(35,300 posts)
3. Best that it be disputed.
Sun Jul 15, 2012, 12:50 AM
Jul 2012

What he'd have had in mind isn't the purified, retroactively redefined "socialism" of 2012. But the "socialism" as instantiated in the '40s, '50s, or '60s--depends when you'd have him quoted.

You'd have Steinbeck, either after knowledge of Stalin's atrocities became known in the West or after they became known in the USSR, saying how wonderful the only exponent of socialism to date was.

If it was just after the war, then the terror inflicted by socialism on Eastern Europe hadn't happened yet. If in the '50s and '60s, then he'd have known about it, too, and been praising socialism's repression of strikes and uprisings in Poland and Hungary.

Best let it be a bad misquoting of his general put-down of American "communists", which isn't a bad thing. It makes it easier to be a True Communist now.

MiddleFingerMom

(25,163 posts)
4. I believe you're right. I dug deeper and found the probable actual quote... not paraphrased, but...
Sun Jul 15, 2012, 01:34 AM
Jul 2012

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... flat-out misquoted (and the "Socialism" quote seems to be a fairly widespread falsehood attributed
to Steinbeck).
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This appears to be an actual quote that genereated the "Socialism" quote:
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"Except for the field organizers of strikes, who were pretty tough monkeys and devoted, most of the so-called Communists I met were middle-class, middle-aged people playing a game of dreams. I remember a woman in easy circumstances saying to another even more affluent: 'After the revolution even we will have more, won't we, dear?' Then there was another lover of proletarians who used to raise hell with Sunday picknickers on her property.

"I guess the trouble was that we didn't have any self-admitted proletarians. Everyone was a temporarily embarrassed capitalist. Maybe the Communists so closely questioned by the investigation committees were a danger to America, but the ones I knew—at least they claimed to be Communists—couldn't have disrupted a Sunday-school picnic. Besides they were too busy fighting among themselves."

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