John Curtin on Optimism
Election Campaign Speech July 26th, 1943: "If we have the knowledge of how to control our economy, and the courage to use that knowledge, then, instead of being pessimistic about what is going to happen to our livelihood when the stimulus of war demands slackens off, we can look forward to the future with soundly based optimism."
In the Australian Dictionary of Biography, Geoffrey Searle wrote, "He was elected to the State executive, unwillingly stood for Perth at the 1919 Federal election, and was badly beaten. Suffering from neurasthenia and veering between optimism and melancholy, he had to have six months complete rest; both his father and Hyett had died that year. Curtin supported adoption of the socialist objective in 1921."
Dr David Day: "Curtin had come to the Timber Workers' Union in 1911 after nearly a decade of activity within the Melbourne socialist circle. Like many people, Curtin was searching for a cure for society's ills, hoping to harness the prevailing optimism of the age, with its notions of inexorable progress, into an unstoppable revolt against capitalism. The idea of progress had taken particular hold on the human imagination in the nineteenth century as the marvels of the industrial revolution transformed people's lives. Curtin grew up during this age of marvels, an age that saw the introduction of telephones and electricity, of steam ships and motor cars, and which promised a future of even greater marvels."