– Re: Out of Towners?
In Reply To
From James Green's Death in the Haymarket: a story of Chicago, the first labor movement and the bombing that divided gilded age America:
"The most decisive moment in Albert Parsons's political transformation came in March of 1876, when the charismatic socialist Peter J. McGuire came to speak in Chicago. Born of Irish parents in New York's Hell's Kitchen, McGuire was converted to a passionate brand of radicalism when police attacked a peaceful demonstration of the unemployed at Tomkins Square Park two years earlier. He then embarked on a career that would make him the most effective socialist agitator and union organizer of the late nineteenth century. McGuire, a captivating orator, told his Chicago audience of the socialist program of the Workingman's Party of America and how it would lead to the creation of a cooperative commonwealth to replace monopoly capitalism. When the speaker finished, Parsons sharply questioned him. Would such a communistic society, he asked, become a "loafer's paradise" in which the "parasite" would live "at the expense of the industrious worker"? McGuire responded that under the socialist system there would be true freedom of opportunity in which individual producers would receive the full product of their efforts, depending on time and energy expended. Parson's was satisfied. He signed up with McGuire's party, along with several other workers..."