Anarchism, Marxism & hope for the future by Noam Chomsky

By Noam Chomsky

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The country needs and, unless I mistake its temper, the country demands bold, persistent experimentation. It is common sense to take a method and try it: If it fails, admit it frankly and try another. "9 Experimentation led to the creation of dozens of "alphabet soup" agencies (including the cultural agencies of the Federal Arts Projects, which would be so important in Page 19 determining the shape of 1930s arts) and the development of a social welfare infrastructure unprecedented in size and scope.

6 Though a sweeping look at the big picture can provide a sense of the general misery in the country, it is perhaps on the local level, and in the most mundane details, that it is easiest to appreciate the impact of the Depression on every facet of daily life. As Ruth McKenney reported in Industrial Valley, her 1939 study of the rubber workers and rubber companies in Akron between 1932 and 1936, dog licenses dropped from 9,000 in 1931 to 2,900 in 1932; people could no longer afford to keep pets.

Moreover, postwar Page 14 writers of all stripes have become more interested in the individual quest and less interested in the fate of the group. Perhaps, after the war, the notion that understanding our history can help us to change anything has come to seem absurd. Thus even a contemporary political novel like Ella Leffland's 1983 Rumors of Peace, which concerns a young girl's struggle to understand the events of the Second World War, is focused only on this young girl's intellectual and spiritual development.

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