Ursula Hirschman

From Adelman’s (2013) Wordly Philosopher: The Odyssey of Albert O. Hirschman:

When Ursula once insisted that individual acts of resistance violated the norms of being “useful to the movement,” that it was better to wait for “objective conditions” to be ripe for action, Guia laughed back: “How important your language is for you! There is more value in one who rises and speaks out than in all your wise net of illegals [referring to refugees] who don’t open their mouths but murmur the news into each other’s ears.” Then came a fatal jab. When Ursula explained that the working class was defining the premises of revolutionary actions, he reminded her of the history of passivity wrapped in theory: “To hell with your working class! It seems to me the moment has come to lose a bit of faith…. Twelve million organized Socialists and Communists, the most powerful working class movement in Europe… then comes Hitler and all stand still, nobody moves! Is that your discipline? What is it worth?”


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