Eugene V. Debs Famous Quotes & Sayings

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80 Eugene V. Debs Famous Sayings, Quotes and Quotation.

Eugene V. Debs Sayings: If the people would but analyze the human equation of a prison they might better If the people would but analyze the human equation of a prison they might better account for the crimes that are visited upon them in cities, towns, and hamlets, ofttimes by men who graduated with an education and equipment for just that sort of retributive service from some penal institution.
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Eugene V. Debs Sayings: The American people can have anything they want; the trouble is, they don't know what The American people can have anything they want; the trouble is, they don't know what they want.
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Eugene V. Debs Sayings: I don't want you to follow me or anyone else. If you are looking for I don't want you to follow me or anyone else. If you are looking for a Moses to lead you out of the capitalist wilderness, you will stay right where you are. I would not lead you into this promised land if I could because if I could lead you in, someone else could lead you out.
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Eugene V. Debs Sayings: Every solitary one of these aristocratic conspirators and would-be murderers claims to be an arch-patriot; Every solitary one of these aristocratic conspirators and would-be murderers claims to be an arch-patriot; every one of them insists that the war is being waged to make the world safe for democracy. What humbug! What rot! What false pretense! These autocrats, these tyrants, these red-handed robbers and murderers, the "patriots," while the men who have the courage to stand face to face with them, speak the truth, and fight for their exploited victims-they are the disloyalists and traitors. If this be true, I want to take my place side by side with the traitors in this fight.
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Eugene V. Debs Sayings: A man should take to himself no discomfort from an opinion expressed or implied by A man should take to himself no discomfort from an opinion expressed or implied by his adversary, but it is difficult, and oftentimes humiliating to attempt to justify the kindness of one's friends.
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Eugene V. Debs Sayings: Private appropriation of the Earth's surface, the natural resources, and the means of life is Private appropriation of the Earth's surface, the natural resources, and the means of life is nothing less a crime than a crime against humanity, but the comparative few who are beneficiaries of this iniquitous social arrangement, far from being viewed as criminals meriting punishment, are the exalted rulers of society, and the people they exploit gladly render them homage and obeisance.
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Eugene V. Debs Sayings: I do not oppose the insane asylum - but I abhor and condemn the cutthroat I do not oppose the insane asylum - but I abhor and condemn the cutthroat system that robs man of his reason, drives him to insanity and makes the lunatic asylum an indispensable adjunct to every civilized community.
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Eugene V. Debs Sayings: Intelligent discontent is the mainspring of civilization. Intelligent discontent is the mainspring of civilization.
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Eugene V. Debs Sayings: Riches are the savings of many in the hands of one. Riches are the savings of many in the hands of one.
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Eugene V. Debs Sayings: I left that church with rich and royal hatred of the priest as a person, I left that church with rich and royal hatred of the priest as a person, and a loathing for the church as an institution, and I vowed that I would never go inside a church again.
[Eugene V. Debs, describing his teenage reaction to a hellfire lecture by a priest]
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Eugene V. Debs Sayings: As long as he owns your tools he owns your job, and if he owns As long as he owns your tools he owns your job, and if he owns your job he is the master of your fate. You are in no sense a free man. You are subject to his interest and to his will. He decides whether you shall work or not. Therefore, he decides whether you shall live or die. And in that humiliating position any one who tries to persuade you that you are a free man is guilty of insulting your intelligence.
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Eugene V. Debs Sayings: I am guilty of believing that the human race can be humanized and enriched in I am guilty of believing that the human race can be humanized and enriched in every spiritual inference through the saner and more beneficent processes of peaceful persuasion applied to material problems rather than through wars, riots and bloodshed.
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Eugene V. Debs Sayings: I would rather be arrested as a traitor than fight a war for Wall Street. I would rather be arrested as a traitor than fight a war for Wall Street.
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Eugene V. Debs Sayings: I am not a capitalist soldier; I am a proletarian revolutionist. I do not belong I am not a capitalist soldier; I am a proletarian revolutionist. I do not belong to the regular army of the plutocracy, but to the irregular army of the people. I refuse to obey any command to fight from the ruling class, but I will not wait to be commanded to fight for the working class. I am opposed to every war but one; I am for that war with heart and soul, and that is the world-wide war of social revolution. In that war I am prepared to fight in any way the ruling class may make necessary, even to the barricades.
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Eugene V. Debs Sayings: In all the history of organized labor, from the earliest times to the present day, In all the history of organized labor, from the earliest times to the present day, no body of union workingmen ever served in a more humiliating and debasing role than that in which the railway unions appear at this very hour before the American people and the world.
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Eugene V. Debs Sayings: A privately owned world can never be a free world and a society based upon A privately owned world can never be a free world and a society based upon warring classes cannot stand.
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Eugene V. Debs Sayings: You have got to unite in the same labor union and in the same political You have got to unite in the same labor union and in the same political party and strike and vote together, and the hour you do that, the world is yours.
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Eugene V. Debs Sayings: {Letter from Debbs to Eva Ingersoll, husband of Robert Ingersoll, just after the news of {Letter from Debbs to Eva Ingersoll, husband of Robert Ingersoll, just after the news of Robert's death}

We were inexpressibly shocked to hear of the sudden death of your dear husband and our best loved friend. Most tenderly do we sympathize with you, and all of yours in your great bereavement... Gifted with the rarest genius, in beautiful alliance with his heroism, his kindness and boundless love, he made the name of Ingersoll immortal.

To me, he was an older brother and as I loved him living, so will I cherish his sweet memory forever.
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Eugene V. Debs Sayings: Chicago is the product of modern capitalism, and, like other great commercial centers, is unfit Chicago is the product of modern capitalism, and, like other great commercial centers, is unfit for human habitation.
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Eugene V. Debs Sayings: Yes, I am my brother's keeper. I am under a moral obligation to him that Yes, I am my brother's keeper. I am under a moral obligation to him that is inspired, not by any maudlin sentimentality but by the higher duty I owe myself. What would you think me if I were capable of seating myself at a table and gorging myself with food and saw about me the children of my fellow beings starving to death.
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Eugene V. Debs Sayings: The most heroic word in all languages is revolution. The most heroic word in all languages is revolution.
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Eugene V. Debs Sayings: Anybody can be nobody, but it takes a man to be somebody. Anybody can be nobody, but it takes a man to be somebody.
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Eugene V. Debs Sayings: Too long have the workers of the world waited for some Moses to lead them Too long have the workers of the world waited for some Moses to lead them out of bondage. He has not come; he never will come. I would not lead you out if I could; for if you could be led out, you could be led back again.
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Eugene V. Debs Sayings: It is when you have done your work honestly, when you have contributed your share It is when you have done your work honestly, when you have contributed your share to the common fund that you begin to live.
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Eugene V. Debs Sayings: The protection the government owes you and fails to provide, you are morally bound to The protection the government owes you and fails to provide, you are morally bound to provide for yourselves ...
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Eugene V. Debs Sayings: Speaking of myself, I was made to realize long ago that the old trade union Speaking of myself, I was made to realize long ago that the old trade union was utterly incompetent to deal successfully with the exploiting corporations in this struggle. I was made to see that in craft unionism the capitalist class have it within their power to keep the workers divided, to use one part of them to conquer and crush another part of them. Indeed, I was made to see that the old form of unionism separates the workers and keeps them helpless at the mercy of their masters.
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Eugene V. Debs Sayings: The economic owning class is always the political ruling class. The economic owning class is always the political ruling class.
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Eugene V. Debs Sayings: The workers are the saviors of society, the redeemers of the race. The workers are the saviors of society, the redeemers of the race.
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Eugene V. Debs Sayings: I am opposing a social order in which it is possible for one man who I am opposing a social order in which it is possible for one man who does absolutely nothing that is useful to amass a fortune of hundreds of millions of dollars, while millions of men and women who work all the days of their lives secure barely enough for a wretched existence.
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Eugene V. Debs Sayings: The issue is Socialism versus Capitalism. I am for Socialism because I am for humanity. The issue is Socialism versus Capitalism. I am for Socialism because I am for humanity. We have been cursed with the reign of gold long enough. Money constitutes no proper basis of civilization. The time has come to regenerate society - we are on the eve of universal change.
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Eugene V. Debs Sayings: They tell us that we live in a great free republic; that our institutions are They tell us that we live in a great free republic; that our institutions are democratic; that we are a free and self-governing people. This is too much, even for a joke. But it is not a subject for levity; it is an exceedingly serious matter.
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Eugene V. Debs Sayings: A prison is a cross section of society in which every human strain is clearly A prison is a cross section of society in which every human strain is clearly revealed.
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Eugene V. Debs Sayings: In the very progress of society, the prison has in the very nature of things In the very progress of society, the prison has in the very nature of things undergone some improvement, but there are vast stretches yet to be covered before the prison becomes, if it ever does, an institution for the reclamation and rehabilitation of erring and unfortunate men and women.
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Eugene V. Debs Sayings: To stir the masses, to appeal to their higher, better selves, to set them thinking To stir the masses, to appeal to their higher, better selves, to set them thinking for themselves, and to hold ever before them the ideal of mutual kindness and good will, based upon mutual interests, is to render real service to the cause of humanity.
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Eugene V. Debs Sayings: The general public knows practically nothing about the prison and appears to be little concerned The general public knows practically nothing about the prison and appears to be little concerned about how it is managed and how prisoners are treated.
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Eugene V. Debs Sayings: Wherever capitalism appears, in pursuit of its mission of exploitation, there will Socialism, fertilized by Wherever capitalism appears, in pursuit of its mission of exploitation, there will Socialism, fertilized by misery, watered by tears, and vitalized by agitation be also found, unfurling its class-struggle banner and proclaiming its mission of emancipation.
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Eugene V. Debs Sayings: I would not be a Moses to lead you into the Promised Land, because if I would not be a Moses to lead you into the Promised Land, because if I could lead you into it, someone else could lead you out of it.
Eugene V. Debs Sayings: From the crown of my head to the soles of my feet I am Bolshevik, From the crown of my head to the soles of my feet I am Bolshevik, and proud of it.
Eugene V. Debs Sayings: The rights of one are as sacred as the rights of a million. The rights of one are as sacred as the rights of a million.
Eugene V. Debs Sayings: Your Honor, years ago I recognized my kinship with all living beings, and I made Your Honor, years ago I recognized my kinship with all living beings, and I made up my mind that I was not one bit better than the meanest on earth. I said then, and I say now, that while there is a lower class, I am in it, and while there is a criminal element I am of it, and while there is a soul in prison, I am not free.
Eugene V. Debs Sayings: I am for Socialism because I am for humanity. I am for Socialism because I am for humanity.
Eugene V. Debs Sayings: The class which has the power to rob upon a large scale has also the The class which has the power to rob upon a large scale has also the power to control the government and legalize their robbery.
Eugene V. Debs Sayings: As a rule, large capitalists are Republicans and small capitalists are Democrats, but workingmen must As a rule, large capitalists are Republicans and small capitalists are Democrats, but workingmen must remember that they are all capitalists, and that the many small ones, like the fewer large ones, are all politically supporting their class interests, and this is always and everywhere the capitalist class.
Eugene V. Debs Sayings: When great changes occur in history, when great principles are involved, as a rule the When great changes occur in history, when great principles are involved, as a rule the majority are wrong.
Eugene V. Debs Sayings: Be true to yourself and you cannot be a traitor to any good cause on Be true to yourself and you cannot be a traitor to any good cause on earth.
Eugene V. Debs Sayings: Only the very ignorant and foolish believe that a president who has surrounded himself with Only the very ignorant and foolish believe that a president who has surrounded himself with Wall Street darlings as cabinet ministers has any serious designs on the trusts.
Eugene V. Debs Sayings: I'd rather vote for something I want and not get it than vote for something I'd rather vote for something I want and not get it than vote for something I don't want, and get it.
Eugene V. Debs Sayings: What can Labor do for itself? The answer is not difficult. Labor can organize, it What can Labor do for itself? The answer is not difficult. Labor can organize, it can unify; it can consolidate its forces. This done, it can demand and command.
Eugene V. Debs Sayings: Solidarity is not a matter of sentiment but a fact, cold and impassive as the Solidarity is not a matter of sentiment but a fact, cold and impassive as the granite foundations of a skyscraper. If the basic elements, identity of interest, clarity of vision, honesty of intent, and oneness of purpose, or any of these is lacking, all sentimental pleas for solidarity, and all other efforts to achieve it will be barren of results.
Eugene V. Debs Sayings: It is better to vote for what you want and not get it than to It is better to vote for what you want and not get it than to vote for what you don't want and get it.
Eugene V. Debs Sayings: I would no more teach children military training than teach them arson, robbery, or assassination. I would no more teach children military training than teach them arson, robbery, or assassination.
Eugene V. Debs Sayings: Those who produce should have, but we know that those who produce the most - Those who produce should have, but we know that those who produce the most - that is, those who work hardest, and at the most difficult and most menial tasks, have the least.
Eugene V. Debs Sayings: Beware of capitalism's politicians and preachers! They are the lineal descendants of the hypocrites of Beware of capitalism's politicians and preachers! They are the lineal descendants of the hypocrites of old who all down the ages have guarded the flock in the name of patriotism and religion and secured the choicest provender and the snuggest booths for themselves by turning the sheep over to the ravages of the wolves.
Eugene V. Debs Sayings: The guns on the walls that surround the prison accurately, though unwittingly, index the true The guns on the walls that surround the prison accurately, though unwittingly, index the true character of the penitentiary in our day.
Eugene V. Debs Sayings: Progress is born of agitation. It is agitation or stagnation. Progress is born of agitation. It is agitation or stagnation.
Eugene V. Debs Sayings: If you go to the city of Washington, you will find that almost all of If you go to the city of Washington, you will find that almost all of those corporation lawyers and cowardly politicians, members of congress, and mis-representatives of the masses claim, in glowing terms, that they have risen from the ranks to places of eminence and distinction. I am very glad that I cannot make that claim for myself. I would be ashamed to admit that I had risen from the ranks. When I rise it will be with the ranks, and not from the ranks.
Eugene V. Debs Sayings: In every age it has been the tyrant, the oppressor and the exploiter who has In every age it has been the tyrant, the oppressor and the exploiter who has wrapped himself in the cloak of patriotism, or religion, or both to deceive and overawe the People.
(Canton, OH, Anti-War Speech, June 16, 1918)
Eugene V. Debs Sayings: The people can have anything they want, the only problem is they do not want The people can have anything they want, the only problem is they do not want anything.
Eugene V. Debs Sayings: The greedy, profit-seeking exploiter cannot see beyond the end of his nose. He can see The greedy, profit-seeking exploiter cannot see beyond the end of his nose. He can see a chance for an "opening"; he is cunning enough to know what graft is and where it is, and how it can be secured, but vision he has none-not the slightest. He knows nothing of the great throbbing world that spreads out in all directions. He has no capacity for literature; no appreciation of art; no soul for beauty. That is the penalty the parasites pay for the violation of the laws of life.
Eugene V. Debs Sayings: We want a system in which the worker shall get what he produces and the We want a system in which the worker shall get what he produces and the capitalist shall produce what he gets.
Eugene V. Debs Sayings: You need at this time especially to know that you are fit for something better You need at this time especially to know that you are fit for something better than slavery and cannon fodder.
Eugene V. Debs Sayings: Ten thousand times has the labor movement stumbled and bruised itself. We have been enjoined Ten thousand times has the labor movement stumbled and bruised itself. We have been enjoined by the courts, assaulted by thugs, charged by the militia, traduced by the press, frowned upon in public opinion, and deceived by politicians. 'But notwithstanding all this and all these, labor is today the most vital and potential power this planet has ever known, and its historic mission is as certain of ultimate realization as is the setting of the sun.
Eugene V. Debs Sayings: No war by any nation in any age has ever been declared by the people. No war by any nation in any age has ever been declared by the people.
Eugene V. Debs Sayings: I would rather a thousand times be a free soul in jail than to be I would rather a thousand times be a free soul in jail than to be a sycophant and coward in the streets.
Eugene V. Debs Sayings: I may not be able to say all I think, but I am not going I may not be able to say all I think, but I am not going to say anything I do not think.
Eugene V. Debs Sayings: Privately owned industry and production for individual profit are no longer compatible with social progress Privately owned industry and production for individual profit are no longer compatible with social progress and have ceased to work out to humane and civilized ends.
Eugene V. Debs Sayings: Patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel. Patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel.
Eugene V. Debs Sayings: If I were hungry and friendless today, I would rather take my chances with a If I were hungry and friendless today, I would rather take my chances with a saloon-keeper than with the average preacher.
Eugene V. Debs Sayings: The press and the pulpit have in every age and every nation been on the The press and the pulpit have in every age and every nation been on the side of the exploiting class and the ruling class.
Eugene V. Debs Sayings: As long as this great army of workers is scattered among so many craft unions, As long as this great army of workers is scattered among so many craft unions, it will be impossible for them to unite and act in harmony together. Craft unionism is the negation of solidarity. The more unions you have, the less unity.
Eugene V. Debs Sayings: When we are in partnership and have stopped clutching each other's throats, when we have When we are in partnership and have stopped clutching each other's throats, when we have stopped enslaving each other, we will stand together, hands clasped, and be friends. We will be comrades, we will be brothers, and we will begin the march to the grandest civilization the human race has ever known
Eugene V. Debs Sayings: The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and all to lose - especially their lives.
Eugene V. Debs Sayings: Capitalism needs and must have the prison to protect itself from the criminals it has Capitalism needs and must have the prison to protect itself from the criminals it has created.
Eugene V. Debs Sayings: Thousands of years ago the question was asked; 'Am I my brother's keeper?' That question Thousands of years ago the question was asked; 'Am I my brother's keeper?' That question has never yet been answered in a way that is satisfactory to civilized society.
Eugene V. Debs Sayings: The truth has always been dangerous to the rule of the rogue, the exploiter, the The truth has always been dangerous to the rule of the rogue, the exploiter, the robber. So the truth must be ruthlessly supressed.
Eugene V. Debs Sayings: Why should the railroad employees be parceled out among a score of different organizations? They Why should the railroad employees be parceled out among a score of different organizations? They are all employed in the same service. Their interests are mutual. They ought to be able to act together as one. But they divide according to craft and calling, and if you were to propose today to unite them that they might actually do something to advance their collective and individual interests as workers, you would be opposed by every grand officer of these organizations.
Eugene V. Debs Sayings: He must have had this Wall Street gentry in mind, or at least their prototypes, He must have had this Wall Street gentry in mind, or at least their prototypes, for in every age it has been the tyrant, the oppressor and the exploiter who has wrapped himself in the cloak of patriotism, or religion, or both to deceive and overawe the people.
Eugene V. Debs Sayings: The prison, above all others, should be the most human of institutions. The prison, above all others, should be the most human of institutions.
Eugene V. Debs Sayings: Some go to prison for stealing, and others for believing that a better system can Some go to prison for stealing, and others for believing that a better system can be provided and maintained than one that makes it necessary for a man to steal in order to live.
Eugene V. Debs Sayings: I have no country to fight for; my country is the earth; I am a I have no country to fight for; my country is the earth; I am a citizen of the world.