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May Day Toast to the Workers of the World

 

“Let’s drink a toast to all those farmers, workers, artists and intellectuals of the last 100 years who without thought of fame and profit . . . worked tirelessly in their dream of a worldwide socialist revolution, who believed and hoped that a new world was dawning and that their work would contribute to a society where one class does not exploit another, where one ethnic group or one nation does not try to expand itself over another, and where men and women live as equals.  The people who nourished these hopes and dreams were sometimes foolishly blind to the opportunism of their own leadership, and many were led to ideological absurdities, but the great majority of them selflessly worked for socialism with the best of hearts. . . .  The failure of socialism is the tragedy of the 20th century and . . . we should honor the memory of those who struggled for the dream of what socialism might have been.  And begin a new way again.” — Gary Snyder, 2000


Gary Snyder is an American poet.  His May Day Toast is included in The Portland Red Guide: Sites & Stories of Our Radical Past.


 

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