I pose this question because this morning a colleague of mine told me that he thought of his first experience with socialism while he was riding on the subway. To which I replied, “A crowded train will provoke such thoughts.”
My colleague turned the clock back more than 50 years to when he attended Catholic school here in Boston. His first experience with socialism revolved around pencils.
The pencil he had with him was down to a stub. His mother noticed this and gave him a brand new pencil to bring to school. This pencil had a brand new unstained eraser to boot all ready to use.
Upon arriving at school, the nun noticed that there were many students without pencils while other students had multiple pencils. The nun ordered all the students to relinquish their pencils. After the Sister collected the pencils, she instructed her students to come up to the front one by one and pick one out of the container in which she had placed them.
When it was my colleague’s turn to pick a pencil out of the container he did not get the pencil he brought to school. Instead, he ended up with a pencil that was tooth-marked and eraserless.