We all know what happened to Socialism, unfortunately. What I’d like to know is: What happened to continuing self-education? These books were read by teamsters and machinists and stevedores and farmhands and miners. How many people—with considerably longer formal educations and a larger fund of leisure time—read anything like that sort of thing today, for fun? How many people assume without thinking about it that reading is and has always been a pursuit strictly for the privileged? Would it be too much to consider a connection between the rightward shift in politics and the decline of self-motivated learning?
Luc Sante, aka badass.