ERRE HAUTE, Ind.—Eugene Victor Debs, whose home is an infrequently visited museum on the campus of Indiana State University, was the most important political figure of the 20th century. He built the socialist movement in America and was eventually crucified by the capitalist class when he and hundreds of thousands of followers became a potent political threat.
If I read this correctly, nothing short of class war (emphasis on “war”) will correct the current situation. Fine. I’m all for it. When do we start?
I got all choked up, once again, reading of the persecution of Eugene Debs. Once again, I am reminded that I have yet to earn the right to call my self a Socialist.
So many Socialists, Anarchists and Communists paid a severe price for their belief and advocation for the rights of the working class against our capitalist masters.
I am deeply humbled. I am also embarrassed at my lack of radical activism that puts the value of principles for all mankind over my own life.
Laws are made by the imaginary size of the penis of a small male minority. The system has nothing to do with that.
Just try to get the “masses” to give up their goodies and see what happens…The “revolters” will be literally hung and or crucified! Aside for a major economic crisis/collapse we will continue down this brutal “free-market” economy business until either that collapse or nuclear war. Repose in Pace!
And the worst evils perpetrated throughout history are repeated today with a reach that circles the planet (unlike the days of Eugene Debs): “…in this high noon of Christian civilization money is still so much more important than the flesh and blood of childhood. In very truth gold is god today and rules with pitiless sway in the affairs of men.”
DJT and his trash tribe of tyranny behold only on god: gold with the sole intention of amassing more and more while bleeding the masses dry. The Death Act that McConnell and his vile conspirators have created will harm/kill millions of the most vulnerable humans in our nation: families, women, children, the elderly, disabled, critically (or terminably) ill…which adversely affects ALL OF US.
Chris Hedges always has something good to write about. Pointing to the past shows that not much has changed in those many years. The capitalist rulers still have a firm grip on government and will continue until the collapse. The only question is when will the collapse happen and how bad will it be. The house of cards of the economy won’t survive another meltdown as happened in 07-08. Quite a few are still suffering form the last crash working more jobs for less pay. The ‘recovery’ mainly happened for the top 15% or so; the bottom half are, most likely, worse off today. We need a big change to move away from the staggering inequality the permeates America today.
Our charge is to think for ourselves
And act for others
Chris Hedges hits yet another home run with this one! About three years ago, I read a very good biography of Eugene V. Debs. Needless to say I learned a lot. Hedges does a very good job here of condensing the story of Debs and his times, which have much in common with our own. I hope that everyone who visits CD will read this in it’s entirety.
Interesting thoughts and observations. Wilson was absolutely one of the worst presidents and a serious racist. Where are the Eugene Debs of today to lead us? There is so much smoke and mirrors today and people are so confused - they believe that a Trump or Obama can lead us to the right places. Currently we are having Laborfest in the San Francisco Bay Area - a series of videos, presentations, walking tours and other events teaching about and celebrating labor. I’ve gone to a few and I sometimes thought - is this just a review from a post-labor era. yea, it sort of is but it also is valuable in letting us know what was done before and what can be done again. You still hear rumblings of a “general strike” out here and LaborFest’s founder - Steve Zeltzer - made a impassioned case for a “general strike” at one of the recent sessions I attended. They have some good videos of their sessions and other info at www.laborfest.net .
Sorry to say you are probably correct. The mind control of the masses has gone too far. Given the toleration of homelessness and other human indignities and rights violations - most people know what is waiting for them if they don’t go along with the plan. When the Warriors won the NBA playoffs hundreds of thousands filled the streets of Oakland for a parade. For a protest of some serious government violation or police shooting, lucky to get a hundred people sometimes more. It seems like only a catastrophe can change people’s thinking - rational thought and intellect does not appear to play a role. I think Theodore Roosevelt said something along the line that Americans only do something in the face of a crisis.
He insisted that Jesus came “to destroy class rule and set up the common people as the sole and rightful inheritors of the earth.” “What is Socialism?” he once asked. “Merely Christianity in action.
Now we have this:
The article demonstrates, once again, the futility of change via participation in rigged elections, sponsored by the duopoly. It was obvious to Debs in his time and elections, today, are even more restricted and manipulated by the power elite. Anyone who thinks that voting in well-meaning Democrats at a local level will somehow transform the party into a force for socialism and the common good or who thinks that the power elite will be any less ruthless or brutal in repressing any attempt at functioning democracy than in Debs’ time, needs to wake up. We don’t need more pseudo-elections. We need a true revolution and a dissolution of the duopoly. Debs was a true revolutionary and paid the price.
“I have no country to fight for; my country is the earth, and I am a citizen of the world.” Eugene Debs, merci’ beaucoup!
This comes at an interesting moment for me personally.
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about my grandparents and my grandfather’s family, including his sister, Mary Donovan and her husband Powers Hapgood, union organizers and socialists all.
As it happens, I’ve just finished rereading my grandfather’s copy of “Individualism and Socialism : an ethical survey of economic and political forces” by Kirby Page.
I can’t help but think that it all could have been so different… but then given the tragic flaws of humans, maybe not.
Mao said political power comes from the barrel of a gun. Now China is a great power. Engineers ,doctors, educators, businessmen and common people run the givernment. Here lawyers, lobbyist and corrupt politicians, along with corporations and the rich. Does anybody really think that these people care about you? Personally I think they are enemies and traitors to humanity.
Yes, it could have been, but for the tragic flaws of Capitalism, Classism, and Racism!
“We have to begin all over again. And we must do so understanding, as Debs did, that any accommodation with members of the capitalist class is futile and self-defeating. They are the enemy. They will degrade and destroy everything, including the ecosystem, to get richer. They are not capable of reform.”
Where are the Debs of today? The sad fact is that people will not act, even in their best interests, unless they are led to act. The U.S. today is a third world plutocracy led by global capitalists. They dream of a united “new world order” which can never happen among capitalists who are determined to crush any competitors and reap greater profit. There can never be a “new world order” but there definitely is a new world war among competing capitalist groups including the state capitalism of China and the new Russian kleptocracy under the KGB man Putin.
Need I mention Trump? Many fear his fascist fantasies(corporations are fascist people too) but he will never rule anybody other than his personal financial empire lackeys. There has forever been the inverted totalitarianism of the owners of the U.S. against whom Debs so bravely fought which has now metastasized into a fully blown world empire financially dependent upon constant war. They rule and hold a gun to the head of not only U.S. politicians but to any maverick owner such as Trump; but Trump was never anything but talk and he is doing what all good capitalists do, enriching himself and the capitalist owners.
Where are the Debs of today? I have faith that they are out there and as conditions worsen they will appear. Revolutions are fueled when people are finally in too much pain and have nothing left to lose. Capitalism is at the dead end Marx wrote of. Decades now of capitalism failing worldwide has no end in sight and more and more people will increasingly suffer, wars and violence will continue to rise fueled by declining resources, robotization and globalization, and the destruction of the environment by insufficiently regulated technology.
We “begin all over again”. The battle between capitalism and socialism has never been clearer and every day socialism grows more urgently needed to prevent the destruction of the human race itself. I love how intellectuals talk of “educating” people or creating a”vibrant subculture”. Most people have never had the time or energy after struggling to survive another day for anything but a little entertainment and rest. What is needed for revolution is enough pain, that is the job of the elite governance, and learning effective revolutionary leadership, that is the job of revolutionaries. Opportunity for revolution increases daily but are there socialists who can recognize it and effectively lead?
People act from emotion not intellect, as those who control society have learned so well. That is what charismatic leadership by a Debs can combat. Inspiration is what is needed to lead a revolution.
The US neoliberal economy depends on war. The war machine and its ramifications contribute more than 50% to the US GDP. Without war the U.S. economy and its empire would collapse. Of course such classic military overextension preceded the fall of previous empires. World peace would mean a black hole for the U.S. but the “exceptional” nation has no other way for the predatory owners to not only protect but increase their obscene wealth. The owners of the world are 1,810 billionaires on the Forbes 2016 rich list that own $6.5 trillion, “as much wealth as the bottom 70 percent of humanity.” If you work for a living or are starving to death they still own you.
The 1,810 owners have overwhelming power but their capitalist base is crumbling. As Karl Marx predicted capitalism in its final stages would be unable to expand or generate profits at former levels. The owners under the banner of neoliberalism are consuming governments and the sustaining physical and social structures. Infrastructure and social programs are being sacrificed to feed the short term profit motive that is capitalism’s only motive. This will destroy the owners.
Revolution will only be a new redistribution among new owners unless it is a socialist revolution. There is every indication that big changes are about to happen. We could be on the eve of a rational, peaceful, socialist world where all are provided for and respected in a classless society. Although the danger of the destruction of the human race has never been greater, greater too is the promise of its final awakening. Let’s “begin all over again”. Fight capitalism in any way you can, no matter how small, and better yet look for new ways to fight. You may even become an inspirational leader such as Debs was.
The only reason we got FDR’s New Deal is due to 10% of US voters voting for Socialists or Communists during the thirties. Debs’ influence was still being felt a decade after he died.
The 1% figured if they didn’t toss some crumbs to the 99% in the form of the New Deal, the US could still go commie.
With 95 to 98% of US voters voting corporate Dim or corporate GOP in the 21st century the 1% has no incentive to give the 99% anything and every incentive to destroy what little remains of the New Deal.
Extremely inspiring article.
Disheartening that a Century later, we’ve made no progress, or that so many of us don’t even understand who WE are.