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Debs Attacks “the Monstrous System” of Capitalism

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posted on Sep, 22 2010 @ 03:09 AM
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historymatters.gmu.edu...


The world’s workers have always been and still are the world’s slaves. They have borne all the burdens of the race and built all the monuments along the track of civilization; they have produced all the world’s wealth and supported all the world’s governments. They have conquered all things but their own freedom. They are still the subject class in every nation on earth and the chief function of every government is to keep them at the mercy of their masters.


Whether you are a Socialist or not, whether you like or hate Socialism, I believe that that paragraph is nearly universally accepted as the truth among most people. The workers have been and continue to be the mules for the capitalist class and the government, living in perpetual servitude to an elitist and bureaucratic tyranny. Neither the government nor the ruling class has ever been the friend of the workers and to convince yourself otherwise is humorous at best and dangerous at worst.


But the awakening came. It was bound to come. Class rule became more and more oppressive and wage slavery more and more galling. The eyes of the workers began to open. They began to see the cause of the misery they had dumbly suffered so many years. It dawned upon them that society was divided into two classes - capitalists and workers, exploiters and producers; that the capitalists, while comparatively few, owned the nation and controlled the government; that the courts and the soldiers were at their command, and that the workers, while in a great majority, were in slavish subjection.


This very same thing is occurring today, the Income Inequality in the US is the highest since the Great Depression with the top 1% owning 23% of the nation’s wealth and the top 0.1% owning 11% of the nation’s wealth. With such concentrated wealth disparities it is easily visible what the real problem in society has been and continues to be and that is greed. All humans have a lust known as want, it is perfectly natural and acceptable, but when that want overrides the lives of the people who are providing you with the ability to fulfill your want that is when the line must be drawn.

There is coming a point in our nation now when the statement that there will be only two groups of people, the haves and the have nots, is appearing more like a reality than ever before. This is why parents don't believe their children will have a better future or that the American dream is becoming unachievable, it is because the small group of people making up just 6 million have literally stolen the future of your children and your dreams away from the other 304 million. They pledge no allegiance to our nation, America is merely a good place to easily manipulate people and the government into creating a healthy atmosphere where they can live in gated communities to keep out the poverty that they created so they can send jobs to foreign nations and continue to live here, making this country bend to their wishes at the expense of everyone else.


When they ventured to protest they were discharged and found themselves blacklisted; when they went out on strike they were suppressed by the soldiers and sent to jail.

They looked about them and saw a land of wonderful resources; they saw the productive machinery made by their own hands and the vast wealth produced by their own labor, in the shadow of which their wives and children were perishing in the skeleton clutch of famine.


This is America damn it! I believe strongly in the idea of American exceptionalism, we were given vast lands to use and make a good life off of, we were given rich natural resources and an exceptional environment for farming and agriculture. Yet millions of Americans are shown constantly what this country has to offer but are denied the right to make use of any of these resources. Why? Because the land is taken up by wealthy corporations and individuals who either wish to simply make vast profit at the expense of animals and the environment or hoarding of land by the rich simply because they like to see the beauty and because they have that right.

How is it productive for a society to allow individuals who are not producing off the land to own vast amounts of it, thus blocking off other individuals from harvesting the resources of that land? Just because that is their right does not make it right. Families could have farms where they can become self-sustainable and sell their products on a vibrant local market, yet they are forced into the servitude of large corporations and a corrupted government for everything in their lives.

Individual self production and entrepreneurial motivation are the greatest things for any nation, thus relieving people of their dependence on big business and big government.


The infallible test of a political party is the private ownership of the sources of wealth and the means of life. Apply that test to the Republican, Democratic, and Progressive parties and upon that basic, fundamental issue you will find them essentially one and the same. They differ according to the conflicting interests of the privileged classes, but at bottom they are alike and stand for capitalist class rule and working-class slavery.

The new Progressive party is a party of progressive capitalism. It is lavishly financed and shrewdly advertised. But it stands for the rule of capitalism all the same.

When the owners of the trusts finance a party to put themselves out of business; when they turn over their wealth to the people from whom they stole it and go to work for a living, it will be time enough to consider the merits of the Roosevelt Progressive party.

One question is sufficient to determine the true status of all these parties. Do they want the workers to own the tools they work with, control their own jobs, and secure to themselves the wealth they produce? Certainly not. That is utterly ridiculous and impossible from their point of view.


This same principle applies to our current political parties, minus the Progressive Party. The Democrats own the loyalty of many of the richest Americans, the elite, but so do the Republicans. How could either party truly represent the working class people of a nation when they have the elite investing in their party? No person would vote against their own interest deliberately without being tricked, same applies to the elite, they would never give money to a party that wishes to put workers interests ahead of the elite interests.

Both parties are corrupted bureaucratic monopolies on power which owe their loyalty simply to the ruling class of this nation at the expense of everyone else. Americans who contribute to the two party system are merely perpetuating policies which are strictly at odds with their own interests.

If you truly believe in the freedom of your person you would believe that no one owns the rights to the fruits of you labors, neither the government nor a so-called employer, which is merely a slave owner. When we go to work we are merely going right back onto the plantation to serve our owners at our own expense. For all those that truly believe in freedom and individual liberty, you cannot truly believe in a hierarchy based employer system and at the same time be a proponent of Liberty.

FREEDOM MEANS JUST THAT, FREEDOM! THE FREEDOM TO KEEP THE FRUITS OF YOUR LABOR BOTH FROM THE GOVERNMENT AND FROM THE CAPITALISTS.

That is freedom I believe in.


edit on 9/22/2010 by Misoir because: grammatical errors




posted on Sep, 22 2010 @ 03:42 AM
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I apologize Mods for the following quote which will be very long, I just believe it is quite important to this thread.

This was Eugene V. Debs when he was arrested as directed by Woodrow Wilson and charged with 10 counts of sedition. He had no witnesses that testified for him, instead he spoke for two hours, he was then charged with all ten counts and at his sentencing he gave one more speech which became a classic. According to Heywood Broun who was not a Debs supported said this after the speech,

"one of the most beautiful and moving passage in the English language. He was for that one afternoon touched with inspiration. If anyone told me that tongues of fire danced upon his shoulders as he spoke, I would believe it."

And this was his infamous speech just before after he was proven guilty for opposing the US entry into World War 1.


Your honor, I have stated in this court that I am opposed to the form of our present government; that I am opposed to the social system in which we live; that I believe in the change of both but by perfectly peaceable and orderly means....
I am thinking this morning of the men in the mills and factories; I am thinking of the women who, for a paltry wage, are compelled to work out their lives; of the little children who, in this system, are robbed of their childhood, and in their early, tender years, are seized in the remorseless grasp of Mammon, and forced into the industrial dungeons, there to feed the machines while they themselves are being starved body and soul....

Your honor, I ask no mercy, I plead for no immunity. I realize that finally the right must prevail. I never more fully comprehended than now the great struggle between the powers of greed on the one hand and upon the other the rising hosts of freedom. I can see the dawn of a better day of humanity. The people are awakening. In due course of time they will come into their own.

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, and 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 look-out knows that the midnight is passing – that relief and rest are close at hand.

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


And what was considered the best part of his speech (This is exactly how I feel).


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.



edit on 9/22/2010 by Misoir because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 22 2010 @ 10:26 AM
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Great post Misoir. The words of Eugene Debs are still as valid today as when he spoke them. America has changed little since he was imprisoned, the workers rise has been reversed with the destruction of the unions and wage slavery is again the norm.
Debs work in the founding of the Industrial Workers of the World is, I believe, his greatest legacy. The history of the IWW looms like a dream from long ago, a brotherhood of all workers, for the workers, standing against the tide of capitalist greed and fascist control. The "wobblies" (IWW members) were among the first volunteers to fight against the dictatorship of Franco who was supported by Hitler and Mussolini.
Their sacrifices may be long forgotten but they made an impact and left a model for future workers to take control of their own destinies. The ideals held by the IWW may be humanities' best chance to escape a future of class control and subhuman treatment of workers and the destitute.
We, the workers, are the people of "we the people". Without us, there is no commerce, no wealth, no future. Every morsel of food, every convenience of life is brought to us by our fellow worker, nameless but not faceless, who toils each day to bring us the goods which we enjoy each day.
That worker deserves a living wage, to feed and clothe his family and to know that they have received the just fruits of their labors.
Thanks for the reminder about Eugene Debs, a great American and a good and decent person.
Workers of the world, Unite!

Star and flag


edit on 22-9-2010 by Asktheanimals because: for spelling errors



posted on Sep, 22 2010 @ 10:27 AM
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reply to post by Misoir
 


free markets do not rob people.

only government created monopolies, taxes, and inflation rob people.



posted on Sep, 22 2010 @ 03:23 PM
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Originally posted by mnemeth1
reply to post by Misoir
 


free markets do not rob people.

only government created monopolies, taxes, and inflation rob people.



Along with the perpetual thuggery of monopolies, taxes, government and inflation the capitalist class (owners and employers) rob people as well. No one has any right to the fruit of your labors, end of the story.

All corporations and businesses not personally owned should be turned over to the workers where they will keep everything that they earn, they will hold the power of said corporation through democracy and can sell their goods in a market place not held hostage by the corrupt government or thieves.



posted on Sep, 22 2010 @ 03:29 PM
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reply to post by Asktheanimals
 


After my thread The Civil War inside me I decided that my best option of reconciling the two struggling forces in my mind would be to combine the two. And by doing so I found Socialism, but not the kind that is currently active throughout the world known as State Socialism.

Eugene Debs believed in worker Socialism not state Socialism. He knew the government only enforced the will of the capitalist class at the expense of the working class. The state could not and cannot be trusted. And the belief in a welfare system is sickening, it is worse than straight out capitalism because it just protects capitalism from destroying itself. It teaches people that living on the bottom of the barrel is okay and that controlling the fruits of their labors is not necessary because it belongs to government.

If everyone kept what they earned from both the capitalists and the government, the quality of life would skyrocket. The welfare/warfare state would be abolished and voluntary trade unions would be the way to give yourself economic security which would be optional and in most cases not necessary.

The government could then work at its constitutionally defined limits and society would reap their own reward and it would not come at the expense of anyone else.

Workers of all countries, unite!



posted on Sep, 22 2010 @ 03:36 PM
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Originally posted by Misoir
Along with the perpetual thuggery of monopolies, taxes, government and inflation the capitalist class (owners and employers) rob people as well.


But it is the government regulation that enables those evil robbers.


No one has any right to the fruit of your labors, end of the story.


Can't agree more. How do you suppose we enforce it?


All corporations and businesses not personally owned should be turned over to the workers


Any particular mechanism for that? Please remember, any violent takeover of assets requires some kind of a leadership, which eventually becomes the new exploitator class.

Interesting topic, I thought the communist ideas were dead and buried, but they keep resurfacing. King is dead - long live the King!



posted on Sep, 22 2010 @ 03:42 PM
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reply to post by ActuallyActuary
 


Actually it’s not Communism, I am most definitely not a Communist. These beliefs are known as Socialism, but a form of Socialism where the state is not seen as the 'good guy', rather workers should band together.

There are many ways of doing this, the most controversial would be for a Socialist to be elected and direct each company should be handed over to the people and the CEO's will be given a lump sum depending on its worth as stated in an International Agreement signed in the 1930's. The state will not own these companies as was done in the Soviet Union, but rather the workers will own the business and the government will no longer be involved.

The government will be limited to what is stated in the Constitution.



posted on Sep, 22 2010 @ 04:25 PM
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reply to post by Misoir
 


Wrong. Nobody is forced to work. There are other options, like opening a business, artistry, or just being a welfare chicken. These are tactics used to confiscate the wealth of those that aren't completely incompetent so that marxist fools can feel equal without merit.
Remember, you have the right to be a complete failure and nobody owes you a living. Starve to death if you like.


edit on 22-9-2010 by astrogolf because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 22 2010 @ 05:03 PM
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reply to post by astrogolf
 


You also have the right to not be a slave to a group of aristocratic capitalists who feed on the blood, sweat and teers of the workers. They steal the hard earned money from you and that is acceptable? Yet people like you consider the government taking taxes as bad? How can you accept one over the other? It's complete hypocracy.

You own the fruits of your labors, end of the story. If you would like to live in serfdom that's not my problem, but as for me I would prefer to not live in serfdom and I'm quite sure the other 97% of the country agrees with me.


edit on 9/22/2010 by Misoir because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 23 2010 @ 10:12 AM
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Originally posted by Misoir
reply to post by ActuallyActuary
 


Actually it’s not Communism, I am most definitely not a Communist.


Read the Communist Manifesto - it may surprise you, but you are a Communist according to Marx.

These beliefs are known as Socialism, but a form of Socialism where the state is not seen as the 'good guy', rather workers should band together.


That was a declared goal of communists. Look what happened actually.


There are many ways of doing this, the most controversial would be for a Socialist to be elected and direct each company should be handed over to the people and the CEO's will be given a lump sum depending on its worth as stated in an International Agreement signed in the 1930's. The state will not own these companies as was done in the Soviet Union, but rather the workers will own the business and the government will no longer be involved.


The devil is in details. Workers-owned enterpises inevitably and quickly become de-facto elite-owned. There are no exeptions. And the new oligarchy is usually much more brutal and greedy than the old one.


The government will be limited to what is stated in the Constitution.


Yes, please!



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