Eugene V. Debs Quotes


I would rather be arrested as a traitor than fight a war for Wall Street.

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

Anybody can be nobody but it takes a man to be somebody.

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.

The guns on the walls that surround the prison accurately though unwittingly index the true character of the penitentiary in our day.

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.

Progress is born of agitation. It is agitation or stagnation.

The prison above all others should be the most human of institutions.

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.

From the crown of my head to the soles of my feet I am Bolshevik and proud of it.

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

No war by any nation in any age has ever been declared by the people.

The protection the government owes you and fails to provide you are morally bound to provide for yourselves ...

Be true to yourself and you cannot be a traitor to any good cause on earth.

The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles.

I am for Socialism because I am for humanity.

Nothing is more humiliating than to have to beg for work and a system in which any man has to beg for work stands condemned. No man can defend it.

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

If I were hungry and friendless today I would rather take my chances with a saloon-keeper than with the average preacher.

When great changes occur in history when great principles are involved as a rule the majority are wrong.

I have no country to fight for; my country is the earth and I am a citizen of the world.

Intelligent discontent is the mainspring of civilization.

While there is a lower class I am in it. While there is a criminal element I am of it.While there is a soul in prison I am not free.

The economic owning class is always the political ruling class.

A prison is a cross section of society in which every human strain is clearly revealed.

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.

Capitalism needs and must have the prison to protect itself from the criminals it has created.

It is when you have done your work honestly when you have contributed your share to the common fund that you begin to live.

We want a system in which the worker shall get what he produces and the capitalist shall produce what he gets.

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

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

While there is a lower class I am in it while there is a criminal element I am of it and while there is a soul in prison I am not free.

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.

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

Riches are the savings of many in the hands of one.

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.

I may not be able to say all I think but I am not going to say anything I do not think.

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.

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.

The rights of one are as sacred as the rights of a million.

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.

When I rise it will be with the ranks and not from the ranks.

The truth has always been dangerous to the rule of the rogue the exploiter the robber. So the truth must be ruthlessly supressed.

The workers are the saviors of society the redeemers of the race.