Eugene V. Debs, fully Eugene Victor Debs

Eugene V.
Debs, fully Eugene Victor Debs
1855
1926

American Socialist Leader, Union leader, one of the founding members of the International Labor Union and the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), and several times Presidential Candidate of the Socialist Party of America, Imprisoned for his opposition to WWI

Author Quotes

They are distorted, deformed, hideous mentally and morally. Their trade is treason, their breath is pollution and yet the officials of the C.B.&Q. formed a conspiracy with these professional liars, perjurers, cut-throats and murderers to overcome a strike, the result of a policy of flagrant injustice.

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.

Death to Wage Slavery!

I told my friends of the cloth that I did not believe Christ was meek and lowly but a real living, vital agitator who went into the temple with a lash and a krout and whipped the oppressors of the poor, routed them out of the doors and spilled their blood and got silver on the floor. He told the robbed and misruled and exploited and driven people to disobey their plunderers, he denounced the profiteers, and it was for this that they nailed his quivering body to the cross and spiked it to the gates of Jerusalem, not because he told them to love one another. That was harmless doctrine. But when he touched their profits and denounced them before their people he was marked for crucifixion.

Intellectual darkness is essential to industrial slavery.

The African is here and to stay. How came he to our shores? Ask your grandfathers, Mr. Anonymous, and if they will tell the truth you will or should blush for the crimes.

The most barbarous fact in all christendom is the labor market. The mere term sufficiently expresses the animalism of commercial civilization.They who buy and they who sell in the labor market are alike dehumanized by the inhuman traffic in the brains and blood and bones of human beings.

They have always taught and trained you to believe it to be your patriotic duty to go to war and to have yourselves slaughtered at their command. But in all the history of the world you, the people, have never had a voice in declaring war, and strange as it certainly appears, no war by any nation in any age has ever been declared by the people.

Deny it as may the cunning capitalists who are clear-sighted enough to perceive it, or ignore it as may the torpid workers who are too blind and unthinking to see it, the struggle in which we are engaged today is a class struggle, and as the toiling millions come to see and understand it and rally to the political standard of their class, they will drive all capitalist parties of whatever name into the same party, and the class struggle will then be so clearly revealed that the hosts of labor will find their true place in the conflict and strike the united and decisive blow that will destroy slavery and achieve their full and final emancipation.

I would no more teach children military training than teach them arson, robbery, or assassination.

Intelligent discontent is the mainspring of civilization. Progress is born of agitation. It is agitation or stagnation.

The American people can have anything they want; the trouble is, they don't know what they want.

The most heroic word in all languages is REVOLUTION.

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. That is too much, even for a joke. ...Wars throughout history have been waged for conquest and plunder... And that is war in a nutshell. The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles.

Do not worry over the charge of treason to your masters, but be concerned about the treason that involves yourselves. Be true to yourself and you cannot be a traitor to any good cause on Earth.

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.

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.

The capitalist class is represented by the Republican, Democratic, Populist and Prohibition parties, all of which stand for private ownership of the means of production, and the triumph of any one of which will mean continued wage-slavery to the working class.

The people are as capable of achieving their industrial freedom as they were to secure their political liberty, and both are necessary to a free nation.

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.

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.

First of all, Theodore Roosevelt and Charles W. Fairbanks, candidates for President and Vice-President, respectively, deny the class struggle and this almost infallibly fixes their status as friends of capital and enemies of labor. They insist that they can serve both; but the fact is obvious that only one can be served and that one at the expense of the other. Mr. RooseveltÂ’s whole political career proves it.

I would rather a thousand times be a free soul in jail than to be a sycophant and coward in the streets.

It is when you have done your work honestly, when you have contributed your share to the common fund that you begin to live. Then, as Whitman said, you can take out your soul; you can commune with yourself; you can take a comrade by the hand and you can look into his soul and in that holy communion you live. And if you don't know what that is, or if you are not at least on the edge of it, it is denied you even to look into the Promised Land.

The class which has the power to rob upon a large scale has also the power to control the government and legalize their robbery.

Author Picture
First Name
Eugene V.
Last Name
Debs, fully Eugene Victor Debs
Birth Date
1855
Death Date
1926
Bio

American Socialist Leader, Union leader, one of the founding members of the International Labor Union and the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), and several times Presidential Candidate of the Socialist Party of America, Imprisoned for his opposition to WWI