Helen Keller

Helen Keller, interviewed in 1916 by a reporter for the New York Tribune, explained her alliance with the Industrial Workers of the World, “I became an IWW because I found out that the Socialist party was too slow. It is sinking in the political bog. It is almost, if not quite, impossible for the party to keep its revolutionary character so long as it occupies a place under the government and seeks office under it.” Keller credited the Lawrence strike with bringing her attention to the Wobblies, and noted that its principles of immediate action appealed to her. The interviewer then asked, “What are you committed to–education or revolution?” “Revolution.” She answered decisively. “We can’t have education without revolution. We have tried peace education for 1,900 years and it has failed. Let us try revolution and see what it will do now.” The reported advised Keller that it might not be in her best interests to have such radical thoughts published, to which Keller responded, “I don’t give a damn about semi-radicals!” HK



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