After Portland, Neither Capitalism nor Socialism with a Human Face

Once again a great European city (Vienna) trembled in horror as citizens carried their impassioned political differences from parliament into the streets and made the gutters run with blood. And once again, the implications of the domestic turmoil were far more momentous than contemporary witnesses could have imagined.

— From “The Death of Red Vienna,” in Between Two Fires, Europe’s Path in the 1930s, David Clay Large, 1991

Et tu, America? Following in the
Path of Europe, disillusioned by
Democracy’s slow and messy
Stumbling, ready to embrace
Impassioned ideologues, leaders
Of abandoned, aggrieved masses,
Encouraged by amoral plutocrats,
Standing in the wings, promises of
Work and bread on their lips, private
Ambition in their hearts and minds,
Fueled by the lust for power and
Wealth, ready to inflict more pain
And deprivation on those they
Pretend to serve, now and forever.

George Salamon lives in St. Louis, MO, where he did not grow up. Read other articles by George.