For my extra reading I read “Educating America on the Merits of Socialism.” This chapter highlights the dissident weekly newspaper Appeal to Reason. To be honest, I was fascinated by the ability its’ founder J.A. Wayland had in creating the circulation to almost equal that of the mass media of its’ time. Especially since there was such a backlash against anything communist in the 50s. This paper survived before a time of complete and utter hatred for a philosophy and the paper was supported by 80,000 “foot soldiers for socialism.” I didn’t realize how popular socialism was in this country or could ever be for we have fought many wars trying to prevent the “spread” of these kinds of ideals.
However, I was most troubled by Wayland’s suicide note where he said, “The struggle under the competitive system is not worth the effort; let it pass” (Streitmatter 111). I thought the whole point about being a dissident voice was struggle, competition, being the under dog and hopefully rising up? Wayland just gave into the pressures from the mainstream media. I suppose not every story can be about winning in the end. Wayland was able to influence many people and share hopes for a better work place.