Nước Mỹ may mắn khi có những người cộng sản
lời một bà mẹ nghèo khổ nói với con những năm 1950s...
...My mother was in the audience that night and said, when she came home: “America was fortunate to have had the Communists here. They, more than most, prodded the country into becoming the democracy it always said it was (họ đã góp phần đưa đất nước thực sự trở thành nền dân chủ mà người ta luôn nói đến)."
My parents were working-class (tầng lớp lao động) socialists. I grew up in the late 1940s and early ’50s thinking of them and their friends as what they themselves called “progressives.” (người theo chủ nghĩa tiến bộ) The sociology of the progressive world was complex (phức tạp). At its center were full-time organizers for the Communist Party, at the periphery (vùng ngoại vi) left-wing sympathizers (cảm tình đảng), and at various points in between everything from rank-and-file party card holders to respected fellow travelers.
In my childhood, these distinctions did not exist for me. The people who came to our Bronx apartment or were present at the fund-raising (gây quỹ) parties we attended, the rallies we went to, and the May Day (ngày quốc tế lao động) parades (đoàn người diễu hành) we marched in were all simply progressives. At the kitchen table they drank tea, ate black bread and herring, and talked “issues.” I understood nothing of what they said, but I was always excited (phấn khích) by the richness of their rhetoric (sự phong phú trong luận điệu), the intensity of their arguments, the urgency and longing behind that hot river of words that came pouring ceaselessly from them.
They were voyagers on that river, these plumbers, pressers and sewing machine operators; and they took with them on their journey not only their own narrow, impoverished experience (kinh nghiệm hạn hẹp, nghèo khổ) but also a set of abstractions (tập hợp các khái niệm trừu trượng) with transformative powers (sức mạnh biến đổi xã hội). When these people sat down to talk, Politics sat down with them, Ideas sat down with them; above all, History sat down with them. They spoke and thought within a context that lifted them out of the nameless (vô danh), faceless (vô diện) obscurity into which they had been born, and gave them the conviction that they had rights as well as obligations. They were not simply the disinherited (những người thừa kế bị truất quyền) of the earth, they were proletarians (người vô sản) with a founding myth (huyền thoại sáng lập) of their own (the Russian Revolution) and a civilizing worldview (Marxism).
...The effective life of the Communist Party in the United States was approximately 40 years in length. Hundreds of thousands of Americans were Communists at one time or another during those 40 years. Many of these people endured social isolation, financial and professional ruin, and even imprisonment. They were two generations of Americans whose lives were formed by political history as were no other American lives save those of the original Revolutionists. History is in them — and they are in history.