Frasi di Eugene Victor Debs

Eugene Victor Debs photo
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Eugene Victor Debs

Data di nascita: 5. Novembre 1855
Data di morte: 20. Ottobre 1926

Pubblicità

Eugene Victor Debs è stato un sindacalista e politico statunitense.

Eugene Debs, detto Gene, è stato tra i fondatori del sindacato IWW e cinque volte candidato alle elezioni presidenziali: nel 1900 per il Partito Socialdemocratico d'America, e nel 1904, 1908, 1912 e 1920 per il Partito Socialista.

Il 16 giugno 1918 venne arrestato per discorsi che "ostacolavano il reclutamento" secondo la legge federale del 1917 chiamata Espionage Act. Condannato a 10 anni di prigione, nel 1920 si candidò ugualmente alle elezioni presidenziali, pur essendo recluso nel carcere di Atlanta, ottenendo 913.664 voti .

Nonostante le sue pessime condizioni di salute, il presidente Woodrow Wilson rifiutò di concedergli la grazia, che venne invece accordata dal presidente Warren G. Harding nel 1921.

Nel 1924 venne candidato al Premio Nobel per la pace.

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Frasi Eugene Victor Debs

„Socialism is very properly recognized by the capitalist class as the one cloud upon the horizon which portends an end to the system in which they have waxed fat, insolent and despotic through the exploitation of their countless .“

—  Eugene V. Debs
Context: Of course, Socialism is violently denounced by the capitalist press and by all the brood of subsidized contributors to magazine literature, but this only confirms the view that the advance of Socialism is very properly recognized by the capitalist class as the one cloud upon the horizon which portends an end to the system in which they have waxed fat, insolent and despotic through the exploitation of their countless.

Pubblicità

„There has never been a free people, a civilized nation, a real republic on this earth.“

—  Eugene V. Debs
Context: There has never been a free people, a civilized nation, a real republic on this earth. Human society has always consisted of masters and slaves, and the slaves have always been and are today, the foundation stones of the social fabric. Wage-labor is but a name; wage-slavery is the fact.

„You must use your heads as well as your hands, and get yourself out of your present condition; as it is now the capitalists use your heads and your hands.“

—  Eugene V. Debs
Context: I am not a Labor Leader; I do not want you to follow me or anyone else; if you are looking for a Moses to lead you out of this capitalist wilderness, you will stay right where you are. I would not lead you into the promised land if I could, because if I led you in, some one else would lead you out. You must use your heads as well as your hands, and get yourself out of your present condition; as it is now the capitalists use your heads and your hands. As quoted in "Life of Eugene V. Debs" by Stephen Marion Reynolds, in Debs : His Life, Writings and Speeches (1908) edited by Bruce Rogers and Stephen Marion Reynolds, p. 71

„If it had not been for the discontent of a few fellows who had not been satisfied with their conditions, you would still be living in caves. Intelligent discontent is the mainspring of civilization.“

—  Eugene V. Debs
Context: If it had not been for the discontent of a few fellows who had not been satisfied with their conditions, you would still be living in caves. Intelligent discontent is the mainspring of civilization. Progress is born of agitation. It is agitation or stagnation.

„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
Context: I never had much faith in leaders. I am willing to be charged with almost anything, rather than to be charged with being a leader. I am suspicious of leaders, and especially of the intellectual variety. Give me the rank and file every day in the week. If you go to the city of Washington, and you examine the pages of the Congressional Directory, you will find that almost all of those corporation lawyers and cowardly politicians, members of Congress, and misrepresentatives of the masses — you will find that almost all of them claim, in glowing terms, that they have risen from the ranks to places of eminence and distinction. I am very glad 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.

„Let the people everywhere take heart of hope, for the cross is bending, the midnight is passing, and joy cometh with the morning.“

—  Eugene V. Debs
Context: When the mariner, sailing over tropic seas, looks for relief from his weary watch, he turns his eyes toward the southern cross, burning luridly above the tempest-vexed ocean. As the midnight approaches, the southern cross begins to bend, the whirling worlds change their places, and with starry finger-points the Almighty marks the passage of time upon the dial of the universe, and though no bell may beat the glad tidings, the lookout knows that the midnight is passing and that relief and rest are close at hand. Let the people everywhere take heart of hope, for the cross is bending, the midnight is passing, and joy cometh with the morning.

„It is infinitely better to vote for freedom and fail than to vote for slavery and succeed.“

—  Eugene V. Debs
Context: I would address a few words to those who are in sympathy with the Social Democratic Party, but who hesitate to vote for it for fear they may lose their votes. Let me say to you: It is infinitely better to vote for freedom and fail than to vote for slavery and succeed.

Pubblicità

„Chicago is the product of modern capitalism, and, like all other great commercial centers, is unfit for human habitation.“

—  Eugene V. Debs
Context: Chicago is the product of modern capitalism, and, like all other great commercial centers, is unfit for human habitation. The Illinois Central Railroad Company selected the site upon which the city is built and this consisted of a vast miasmatic swamp far better suited to mosquito culture than for human beings. From the day the site was chosen by (and of course in the interest of all) said railway company, everything that entered into the building of the town and the development of the city was determined purely from profit considerations and without the remotest concern for the health and comfort of the human beings who were to live there, especially those who had to do all the labor and produce all the wealth. As a rule hogs are only raised where they have good health and grow fat. Any old place will do to raise human beings.

„I am not a Labor Leader; I do not want you to follow me or anyone else; if you are looking for a Moses to lead you out of this capitalist wilderness, you will stay right where you are.“

—  Eugene V. Debs
Context: I am not a Labor Leader; I do not want you to follow me or anyone else; if you are looking for a Moses to lead you out of this capitalist wilderness, you will stay right where you are. I would not lead you into the promised land if I could, because if I led you in, some one else would lead you out. You must use your heads as well as your hands, and get yourself out of your present condition; as it is now the capitalists use your heads and your hands. As quoted in "Life of Eugene V. Debs" by Stephen Marion Reynolds, in Debs : His Life, Writings and Speeches (1908) edited by Bruce Rogers and Stephen Marion Reynolds, p. 71

„And now for all of us to do our duty!“

—  Eugene V. Debs
Context: And now for all of us to do our duty! The clarion call is ringing in our ears and we cannot falter without being convicted of treason to ourselves and to our great cause. 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. Yes, in good time we are going to sweep into power in this nation and throughout the world. We are going to destroy all enslaving and degrading capitalist institutions and re-create them as free and humanizing institutions. The world is daily changing before our eyes. The sun of capitalism is setting; the sun of socialism is rising. It is our duty to build the new nation and the free republic.

„Competition was natural enough at one time, but do you think you are competing today?“

—  Eugene V. Debs
Context: Competition was natural enough at one time, but do you think you are competing today? Many of you think you are. Against whom? Against Rockefeller? About as I would if I had a wheelbarrow and competed with the Santa Fe from here to Kansas City.

Pubblicità

„The Republican and Democratic parties are alike capitalist parties — differing only in being committed to different sets of capitalist interests“

—  Eugene V. Debs
Context: The Republican and Democratic parties are alike capitalist parties — differing only in being committed to different sets of capitalist interests — they have the same principles under varying colors, are equally corrupt and are one in their subservience to capital and their hostility to labor.

„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 to myself.“

—  Eugene V. Debs
Context: Now my friends, I am opposed to the system of society in which we live today, not because I lack the natural equipment to do for myself, but because I am not satisfied to make myself comfortable knowing that there are thousands of my fellow men who suffer for the barest necessities of life. We were taught under the old ethic that man's business on this earth was to look out for himself. That was the ethic of the jungle; the ethic of the wild beast. Take care of yourself, no matter what may become of your fellow man. 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. 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 to myself. What would you think of 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?

„You need at this time especially to know that you are fit for something better than slavery and cannon fodder.“

—  Eugene V. Debs
Context: You need at this time especially to know that you are fit for something better than slavery and cannon fodder. You need to know that you were not created to work and produce and impoverish yourself to enrich an idle exploiter. You need to know that you have a mind to improve, a soul to develop, and a manhood to sustain.

„Wars throughout history have been waged for conquest and plunder.“

—  Eugene V. Debs
Context: Wars throughout history have been waged for conquest and plunder. In the Middle Ages when the feudal lords who inhabited the castles whose towers may still be seen along the Rhine concluded to enlarge their domains, to increase their power, their prestige and their wealth they declared war upon one another. But they themselves did not go to war any more than the modern feudal lords, the barons of Wall Street go to war. The feudal barons of the Middle Ages, the economic predecessors of the capitalists of our day, declared all wars. And their miserable serfs fought all the battles. The poor, ignorant serfs had been taught to revere their masters; to believe that when their masters declared war upon one another, it was their patriotic duty to fall upon one another and to cut one another's throats for the profit and glory of the lords and barons who held them in contempt. And that is war in a nutshell. The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and all to lose — especially their lives. 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. And here let me emphasize the fact — and it cannot be repeated too often — that the working class who fight all the battles, the working class who make the supreme sacrifices, the working class who freely shed their blood and furnish the corpses, have never yet had a voice in either declaring war or making peace. It is the ruling class that invariably does both. They alone declare war and they alone make peace. Yours not to reason why; Yours but to do and die. That is their motto and we object on the part of the awakening workers of this nation. If war is right let it be declared by the people. You who have your lives to lose, you certainly above all others have the right to decide the momentous issue of war or peace.

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