Would Socialism Really Work?
Last updated 3/1/2021 at 4:23pm
A new decade was introduced in 2020 and lots of new happenings and concepts. One such construct is a re-emergence of talk about socialism. As I often do, I thought about our family and one member who introduced those ideas to me, though I never actually met him as he had died about three years after I entered the world. That gentleman is quite well known throughout the world and is named Clarence Darrow.
In high school I became impressed that we were related to Clarence Darrow and, as a result, had many talks with family members who had personally known him. In questioning relatives, my great uncle’s daughter told me, “After the Monkey Trial, you did not want some people to know you went to family reunions with Clarence Darrow.”
About 20 years before Clarence became famous from the Scopes Trial, he was a young lawyer defending railroad companies from striking workers. The leader of the ARU (American Railroad Union which spoke for the railroad workers) was named Eugene Debs. In that age, Debs was the voice of socialism. Darrow found Debs to be “ intelligent, alert and fearless.” However, Debs did not convince Darrow that socialism was the way to go.
Darrow said, “I never could believe that man was so constructed as to make socialism possible. I believe in keeping society flexible and mobile—humans cannot be controlled like inanimate objects.”
According the family lore, Clarence Darrow’s views about socialism could be summarized as “He could personally accept socialism but it will never work. It is contrary to human nature.”
This seems worth thinking about.