CHAPTER XIII
On Radicalism, Pressure, and Planning

To change the world
To do it
In one generation.There's
An objective worth having!

Shall we achieve it then
By revolution?
No.Too messy, brutal,
And impractical.

Propaganda; pressure
On legislators;
Orienting the community; even
Loading the dice:

There are methods that
May work! But
Let us make haste.For
Time is short.

EVER SINCE THE TIME when men and women first engaged in social work as a way of making a living, the proper relationship between social workers and society has been a matter for debate.The basic question has remained, "Should social workers exert an effort to change the total environment, or should they limit their reforming efforts to individuals"? Social action in matters of legislation, a highly controversial subject, will be examined here, for the nature and significance of that activity by social workers and its influence on American society have lasting interest.

Is social work radical or conservative? Should the public look on its social workers as knowing or unwitting allies of socialists and communists or as cohorts of vested financial and business interests? These questions have to be faced, for among men of power, wealth, and affairs are some who call career social workers enemies of "the American way of life."

Everyone must grant, at the outset, that many social workers have been antagonistic towards the rich and towards businessmen.

-264-

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