Friday, May 31, 2019



When push comes to shove there are differences between environmental activists visions of the future and those of its allies in the union movement and on the left.
This is especially true when it comes to two controversial topics, oil sands development and nuclear power.  We will look at the oil sands in this essay and the former in a separate essay.

Oil sands or tar sands are bitumen oil sites, these are some of the most ancient of types of oil man has used. It was often the easiest oil to find, as it pooled up to the surface from cracks and was accessibleIt is actually asphalt, except instead of being baked and hardened like your roads or sidewalks, it's a gunky, fluid,  semisolid tar. In ancient societies they knew of it and called it pitch, using it for lamps and as a form of waterproofing for building. 

There are two countries that have extensive oil sands holdings, Canada and Venezuela.  There are other deposits but these two are the biggest. Canada's are in Alberta and have been underdevelopment since the 1960's while Venezula's await development.

And herein lies the essence of our tale, for the past decade  there has been a serious campaign against Oil Sands development and production in Alberta by Greenpeace in particular and other environmentalists as well as by unions and the broad left in Canada and in the United States.

And yet there has been no discussion of the fact that the Belle of The Left, the Home of the Socialist Boliviarian Revolution; Venezuela will have to develop its oil sands eventually as it runs out of conventional oil to meet China's needs as well as America's.

A split already exists when we see the lack of criticism of the BRIC countries by Greenpeace, and Venezuela and Cuba in particular, though not part of the BRIC's perse they are existing regimes that still call themselves socialist as does China.

In Cuba the spilt is based on US foreign policy, which is the embargo of Cuba, which even capitalists in Canada ignore, taking advantage of the lack of American competition to make their own deals with Cuba.

In particular there is one Canadian company involved in Cuban coal, oil, nickel production that has never faced protests from the left or unions or the environmental movement, but has faced 
harsh criticisms and penalties from US Senators and Congressmen who support the Cuban embargo.

That company is Alberta based Sherrit International. And even though it is situated  in the oil refining heartland of central Alberta, there have been Greenpeace banners unfuraled, or picket lines set up. Why? Well they are unionized, they have a good economic deal with Cuba that sees them share 50/50 in development costs and profits. They work closely with the unions in Cuba meeting their demands for infrastructure spending in villages.

But they are miners, they are mining coal, nickel and now they are exploring for oil off the coast of Cuba. While having a model for development economics their model for mining is no different than used anywhere, including in Fort McMurray, since all oil sands production is mining.

So if mining is bad and oil development is bad why is Sherrit OK but not Transcanada or CNRL.

Because it's Cuba a darling of the Canadian left. Heck we take vacations there, sitting on the white sand beaches, not getting mugged, smoking real Cuban cigars, drinking authentic Cuban rum (not Bacardi), dance to hot Cuban Jazz and drink dark organic 
coffee for desert.

It was Canadians and Germans who invested in Cuba after the embargo, Albertan's set up some of the first vacation get away's, Air Canada flies to Havana, and Alberta ranchers have provided Raul Castro with Grade AAA Bull Semen for his experiments in cattle production. It's not just the Left and the Friends of Cuba but businessmen in Alberta who saw an opportunity.
I personally know of two groups of Edmonton area German businessmen who invested in Cuba already in  the Seventies building vacation getaway motels for Canadians and Europeans.

The left wing resurgence in Latin America in the last decade with the election of socialist governments in Brazil, Peru, Educador, Bolivia, Venezula, Argentina, and with the collapse of Argentina under the dead weight of capitalist debt, another way forward was embraced.
And most of the these countries like Canada are resource producers, hewers of wood drawers of water for US Imperialism, where they had once been for their European masters.

China the new imperial power on the block, a now ascending super power, politically, economically and militarily able to compete with America, is investing in Latin American resources as she is in Canadian resources, she would in America too but her corporations have been rebuffed.

So here we have the Left of Capitalism, China, the Latin Americas,  and the opposition to the West, non aligned nations like Iran, all doing what monopoly British American capitalism does.
It is two different forms of post WW II state capitalism, it is the organic growth of capitalism into a centralizing global force.

Because the rest of the world is not America, I will deal with what we all have in common sans the Americans. At various levels regardless of ideologies, we are all liberal capitalist economies that have social democratic values.

We are mixed economies as Ed Broadbent would tell anyone who would care to listen, he would insist we are not American capitalism, nor are we socialism, we are in between, we are social democratic economies, mixed state and private investment.  

The dialectic of late capitalism in the post war economies of last century was that the century began and ended with revolutions, that threatened to overthrow capitalism, but did not and in failing allowed capitalism to ameliorate its worst aspects, increasing its ability to transform itself from being dark satanic mills of production to air condition malls of consumption.

Even the United States as President Eisenhower pointed out in 1960; was transformed into 
 a state capitalist economy, he called it the Military Industrial Complex (MIC)

So capitalism having reformed itself in order to avoid further revolutions, depression and war, 
became the vision of Kautsky and  Bernstein and the followers of the Second International like Ed Broadbent and the NDP Despite Lenin;s scathing criticism of them Kautsky and Bernstein were correct in predicting the adaptability of capitalism but also that this would eventually lead to social democracy, and then socialism.

After the end of WWII the world was recreated in that image with the UN, the ILO charter, the international Charter of Human Rights, the Bretton Woods agreement, the IMF and the Marshall Plan for Europe, and the American reconstruction of Japan. Canada was central in the creation of the ILO, Human Rights charters and found statement of the UN. Not the USA, who maintains to this day a conservative conspiracy view that is really an attempt at one world government. Even our own neo republican right wing believes that as Harper has shown with his disdain.

So today there are two opposing views of society, a left and a right. But that does not make them socialist. And in fact I was about to write anti-capitalist but that too is simply another aspect of the left wing of capitalism.

No I mean good old fashioned, learned on yer grandmothers knee, yes sirree with a capital S Socialism, the peoples control of the means of production and distribution and consumption.

For over 100 years reactionary men in America have assaulted left wing eugenics; birth control by any other name. 

First using the postal act then other acts around obscenity, and moral turpitude, to halt information about and products used as birth control, linking it in the popular mind with other tawdry things the post office busted such as drugs and solicitation for prostitution 

And again another fight led by the ACLU formed to fight for free speech, labour rights, womens rights and birth control rights as it is today against anti abortion laws in Alabama and other Red Republican states where like that state 25 white men decided for several millions of women, who make up 52% of the state

As we see here from silent Tom he is speaking out on his wife's favorite topic, eugenics and Margret Sanger, who along with Emma Goldman and Havelock Ellis fought for the right to birth control and birth control information.

The right have used abortion as a trigger word like they used and still use eugenics falling to differentiate between liberal eugenics of birth control and women's reproductive freedom and RIGHT WING eugenics used by the state.

Such as Alberta did under right wing Social Credit govt when it forcibly sterilized people like their right wing counterparts in Nazi Germany did in Alberta’s case the social credit party was led by two Christian radio evangelists of their day Bill Aberhart and Ernest Manning  whose son Preston now leads a section of the Canadian right wing from the family homestead in Calgary the largest American city north of the 49th parallel.

Clarence Thomas Pens Screed Comparing Women Who Obtain Abortions to Eugenicists

Justice Clarence Thomas wasn’t willing to let Indiana’s nondiscrimination rule die a quiet death.

But Justice Clarence Thomas wasn’t willing to let Indiana’s nondiscrimination rule die a quiet death. Instead, he wrote an astonishing 20-page concurring opinion declaring that the rule is clearly constitutional—and, in the process, condemning many women who obtain abortions as willing participants in eugenicide. (Because Thomas says he wanted to “allow further percolation” of this issue in the lower courts before settling it, he joined his colleagues in refusing to review the case.)

Thomas began by insisting that the “foundations for legalizing abortion in America were laid during the early 20th-century birth-control movement,” which “developed alongside the American eugenics movement.” That’s not actually true: Abortion was legal at the founding, and states only began criminalizing abortion around the 1860s. Thomas is pushing a pro-life narrative that seeks to intertwine abortion and eugenics while ignoring history. To that end, he added that “Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger recognized the eugenic potential of her cause. She emphasized and embraced the notion that birth control ‘opens the way to the eugenist.’ ”
Justice Clarence Thomas wasn’t willing to let Indiana’s nondiscrimination rule die a quiet death.

The justice then embarked on a lengthy excursion into the sordid history of the eugenics movement, which was, indeed, a dark period in American history. But he repeatedly elides the fact that most eugenicists promoted contraception, not abortion, as a vital tool of “population control.” To conflate the two, Thomas simply proclaimed that “the eugenic arguments that [Sanger] made in support of birth control apply with even greater force to abortion.” In effect, the justice condemned all reproductive rights—not just abortion, but all forms of contraception—as byproducts of the eugenics movement and scorned them as morally reprehensible. (Bizarrely, he also tossed in an off-the-wall footnote comparing disparate impact liability, which limits ostensibly neutral practices that disproportionately burden minorities, with eugenics.)

These wild tangents are a prelude to the meat of Thomas’ opinion: his belief that women who terminate their pregnancies due to a fetus’ “unwanted characteristics” are callous and monstrous child-killers who should be forced by the state to carry these fetuses to term. Abortion, he wrote, “is an act rife with the potential for eugenic manipulation.” Thanks to “today’s prenatal screening tests and other technologies, abortion can easily be used to eliminate children” due to some trait or abnormality. Indeed, Thomas wrote, abortion is a “disturbingly effective tool for implementing the discriminatory preferences that undergird eugenics.” He cited the high abortion rate for fetuses with Down syndrome and the “widespread sex-selective abortions” in Asia as evidence. And he noted that the nationwide abortion rate “among black women is nearly 3.5 times the ratio for white women.”

Notably, Thomas does not claim that women are being tricked into obtaining discriminatory abortions by sex partners or preyed upon by unethical doctors. Instead, his opinion is a rhetorical assault against women who terminate their pregnancies due to a fetal abnormality. (There is virtually no evidence that American women get abortions on the basis of a fetus’ race or sex; that part of the law seems designed to troll liberals.) He accuses these women of seeking “eugenic abortions,” of wishing to “eliminate” an “unborn child” for “discriminatory” reasons. There is none of the usual patronizing pro-life hand-waving here about how women are really the victims of abortion. To Thomas, women who undergo abortions are villains who must be stopped by the state.

The justice closed his opinion by urging the court, in a future case, to rule that states may criminalize abortions on the basis of a fetal characteristics. Anything less, he wrote, “would constitutionalize the views of the 20th-century eugenics movement.”

It may not be a coincidence that Thomas dropped the façade of disgust solely with abortion providers, and not women themselves, just as a state prepares to prosecute women who undergo abortions. A new Georgia law permits the imprisonment of women who terminate their pregnancies, elevating fetuses to full personhood. Any pretense of protecting women has vanished; the law now expressly elevates the interests of the fetus over the interest of the woman. Now that Roe is in mortal danger, abortion foes in state legislatures and federal courts alike can unleash their ire at women themselves. They no longer need to appease Justice Anthony Kennedy.

Clarence Thomas makes it clear: The right is coming for birth control next

By attacking Margaret Sanger's legacy, Justice Thomas isn't going after abortion — this is about contraception Clarence Thomas makes it clear: The right is coming for birth control next


There is no doubt, as Thomas makes abundantly clear in this opinion, that Sanger was an advocate of the noxious early-20th-century pseudoscience of eugenics, which suggested that the human race could be "bettered" by manipulating breeding to improve human "stock." But it's historically inaccurate to imply, as Thomas and the anti-choice activists he's cribbing from do, that Sanger started the birth control movement because of her belief in eugenics. The historical record is clear on this: Sanger began advocating for birth control to empower women and then latched onto the eugenics movement as a way to increase interest in the issue.
Sanger advocate for some highly distasteful eugenics ideas at times. But it's flat-out false to imply, as Thomas does, that she supported forced sterilization or that she was trying to get rid of black people. In her writings, she insisted that birth control must be "autonomous, self-directive, and not imposed from without" and that no one should "be endowed with the authority to order anyone to be sterilized."
More importantly, Thomas is being disingenuous in his suggestion that Sanger was targeting black people for eugenics purposes when she teamed up with activists like W.E.B. Du Bois to open clinics geared towards helping black women obtain contraception. As Imani Gandy wrote at Rewire in 2015, this project was literally the opposite of a racist attack on black people. It was an explicit effort to make services available to black people that only whites previously had access to. Sanger believed that birth control helped people exert more control over their lives and help themselves economically, and this project was explicitly meant to help people in the black community empower themselves.
"Due to segregation policies in the South, the birth control clinics that opened in the 1930s were for white women only. Sanger wanted to change that," Gandy explained.
As Gandy notes, Sanger explicitly rejected the idea of racial eugenics, saying she had encountered a man who tried to give her money if she would "cut down" on the number of black people.
"That is, of course, not our idea. I turned him down," Sanger said. "But that is an example of how vicious some people can be about this thing." She added that her purpose was to reduce "sufferings for all groups."
Despite his protestations to the contrary, Thomas's opinion is clearly meant to bolster the growing efforts of the religious right to expand the war on reproductive rights past attacks on abortion, onward to reducing access to contraception.
Demonizing Margaret Sanger is clearly meant to stigmatize her legacy. But her legacy is not abortion — which, again, she opposed — but birth control. It was Sanger who coined the term "birth control." It was Sanger who went to jail repeatedly for teaching women how to prevent pregnancy. And it was Sanger who envisioned the concept of the birth control pill, eventually securing the funding that allowed it to be developed. So when anti-choicers seek to turn her into a villain, their goal is to taint contraception by association and create a moral case for restricting access.
There's no small amount of hypocrisy in play here. Clarence Thomas sits on a court that was literally created by slave-holders, including George Washington, who signed the act that created the Supreme Court. And Thomas adheres to an "originalist" judicial philosophy which claims that the beliefs of the nation's founders — who were, whatever their better qualities, a bunch of racists who literally wrote legal slavery into the founding documents — should matter more in jurisprudence than current, more progressive social mores. Thomas presumably doesn't believe that the U.S. Constitution or the Supreme Court is permanently tainted by these racist associations. But when it comes to restricting women's rights, he is happy to advance a much shakier case of guilt by association.
The good news is that there's not much that's legally binding in this rant from Thomas. His opinion was tied to a court decision that actually throws out Indiana's law banning abortions done on the basis of race, sex or disability. (To be clear, there is no evidence that the first two kinds of abortions even happen. Those seem to be figments of anti-choice activists' collective racist imagination.) For now, the claim that reproductive rights must be restricted on the basis of some imaginary eugenics threat against people of color has no legal importance.
The bad news, however, is that by elevating right-wing conspiracy theories about Margaret Sanger, Thomas has given the blessing of a Supreme Court justice to the escalating war on birth control. The pretense that the right's campaign against reproductive rights is about "life" is fast fading away. Instead, Thomas bluntly suggests that women can't be trusted to make their own decisions about when to give birth because they will use that power for unsavory or even racist purposes. That kind of argument isn't just about abortion. It's about the idea that society must control or restrict any method women employ to control childbirth.

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Fascism and Dictatorship: The Third International and the Problem of Fascism

Originally published: Marx & Philosophy (May 2, 2019)   | 
One of Poulantzas most important observations for understanding the extreme right today is his four-stage analysis of the rise of fascism. In the first stage, Poulantzas says that fascism exists as a mass movement that has grown and succeeded in establishing itself as a powerful force in society. The fascist movement has grown to such proportions that it becomes a danger and has the potential to seize state-power. In Brazil, this was the period between 2013, in which the right-wing seized control of leftist anti-government protests in Sao Paulo and other parts of the country, until they put Lula in prison in 2018. This mass movement posed a danger because they constituted the popular forces behind Jair Bolsonaro, and could no longer simply be ignored or dismissed as an isolated phenomenon. The second stage of fascism is “the period from the point of no return until fascism comes to power” (Poulantzas 66). One characteristic of this stage is a paralysis of working class organisations, which tend to only make economic demands, but fail to provide political leadership. Poulantzas shows how the German Communist Party (KPD) in the early 1930’s called many demonstrations for higher-wages as a result of the economic devastation of the post-war situation. Because the KPD did not initially think fascism was a real danger—viewing it as a temporary, passing phenomenon—they did not  fight the Nazi’s in the early 30’s, nor did they provide revolutionary leadership to the working class. They spent a lot of time attacking the SPD social democrats, instead of building a united front to defeat Hitler and the Nazi’s before they came to power.
In the second stage, the working class itself is significantly divided and the lack of political leadership drives some sections of them into the hands of the fascists. Here, the petty-bourgeoisie has succeeded in uniting the working class behind it in order to consolidate the forces to take political power. In Brazil, most Leftist parties and organisations had become critical of the Workers Party by 2014, and did not provide the political leadership needed to move the PT to the left. Some of them, such as the Unified Workers Socialist Party (PSTU) put out slogans such as “get rid of them all”, and agitated against both the Workers Party and the Brazilian neoliberal elite. Although they were always opposed to the PT since their founding in 1992, during the 2018 elections they escalated their attacks against the Workers Party. Others, such as the Communist Party of Brazil (PCdoB), tended to tail behind the Workers Party, and while they were critical at times, they did not really challenge their class collaborationist approach to governance. This left many working people confused and as a result of this, many moved to the right and joined the forces to help get Bolsonaro elected in 2018.
In the third and fourth stages, Poulantzas argues that fascism changes as a result of transforming from a mass movement to a fascist state. He points out how in the period of monopoly capitalism, the state plays a more interventionist role by directly intervening into capitalist production. During a crisis, such as the one in Europe and the United States in the 1930’s, the bourgeoisie will utilise interventionist strategies to save capitalism (i.e. Keynesian economic policies, Roosevelt’s New Deal, etc.). When there is a significant threat to its continued domination, fractions of finance capital will be more willing to embrace fascism, which Poulantzas points out is a more extreme form of interventionism.  This is exactly what happens during the third stage, in which the capitalist class provides assistance to the fascist mass movement and helps them get elected to power. The third stage represents the first period in which a fascist takes power and begins building a fascist state. Poulantzas says that during the third stage, the bourgeoisie staffs the fascist state with members of the petty-bourgeoisie who helped fascism come to power. The bourgeoisie will make concessions to the petty-bourgeoisie, such as the imprisonment of politicians perceived to be corrupt, the enactment of racist legislation, and the encouragement of violence against immigrants and national minorities. Also, in the third stage, the working class suffers significant political defeats. The fascist state will criminalise communist and socialist political parties, imprison their leaders, and eliminate legislation that protects the working class. In Brazil, the fascist government of Bolsonaro has removed LGBTQ laws, escalated attempts to prosecute important PT and PCdoB leaders on trumped-up charges, encouraged violence against indigenous people and minorities, and passed pro-gun laws on the pretext of fighting crime. Many middle class Brazilians — lawyers, professionals, some intellectuals — who were excluded from the state during the PT years (2002-2014) have been given high posts in the government, the federal police, and the educational system.
In the final stage of fascism, the fascist state has consolidated power and freed itself of its petty-bourgeois class origins. Poulantzas says that this is the most brutal stage, for it involves violent purges at the state level to remove the petty-bourgeoisie, and terroristic repression over the masses. The fourth stage results when the opposition to fascism does not succeed in removing the fascist government.  One defining feature of this period is the beginning of expansionist imperialist wars. In Germany, this was the beginning of the camps in Auschwitz, and the imperialist war against Europe and the Soviet Union. Brazil has not yet achieved this stage, and the dynamics in which it develops will probably be different than in Nazi Germany. Bolsonaro, Trump, and the right-wing Colombian president Ivan Duque have formed an alliance against the Venezuelan government of Nicolas Maduro. Furthermore, Brazil and Colombia have both given the US access to its military intelligence and allowed them to build military bases. The three of them backed the counter-revolutionary Juan Guaido in an attempted coup against Maduro, and spread anti-Venezuela propaganda in their media. The beginning of the fourth stage of fascism in Brazil will likely be accompanied by a direct military invasion of Venezuela, which will receive assistance from the United States, Colombia, and other right-wing states in Latin America.

LA REVUE GAUCHE - Left Comment: US War On Capitalism In Iran

LA REVUE GAUCHE - Left Comment: US War On Capitalism In Iran: The sabre rattling will increase since Iran has rightly stood up to the US over the issue of its development of a nuclear energy infrastruct...

Friday, May 24, 2019

LA REVUE GAUCHE - Left Comment: Hinduism Is Fascism

LA REVUE GAUCHE - Left Comment: Hinduism Is Fascism: Modern Hinduism is fascism and racism. It is the origin of what we would call modern Fascism. Based on a religious caste system that is Aryan


Thursday, May 23, 2019

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who has been criticized by some indigenous communities, on Thursday apologized and posthumously exonerated a Cree chief unjustly imprisoned for treason more than 130 years ago.

The Liberal prime minister received widespread support from Canada's First Nations when he ran for office four years ago promising to reconcile Canada with the native peoples wronged during the country's colonial past.

Chief #Poundmaker, or #Pihtokahanapiwiyin, was a #Cree leader during #Canada's #NorthWestRebellion*** of 1885. Historians have said he helped prevent a massacre of federal soldiers during a battle with the primarily French speaking rebels, who were descendants of First Nation and European settlers, was a Cree leader during Canada's North-West Rebellion of 1885.

Historians have said he helped prevent a massacre of federal soldiers during a battle with the primarily French speaking rebels, who were descendants of First Nation and European settlers




Sunday, May 19, 2019

TIME's new cover: ‘Now I am speaking to the whole world.’ How teen climate activist Greta Thunberg got everyone to listen
“When I grow up, I want to be able to look back and say that I did everything I could.”

Scientists in the United States have detected the highest levels of planet-warming carbon dioxide in Earth's atmosphere since records began, sounding new alarm over the relentless rise of man-made greenhouse gas emissions..26

Eugene V. Deb's Canton Speech, 1918

From Eugene v. Debs's Canton Speech. Chicago: Socialist Party of the United States, 1918.

      To speak for labor; to plead the cause of the men and women and children who toil to serve the working class, has always been to me a high privilege; (applause) a duty of love.
      I have just returned from a visit over yonder (pointing to the workhouse) (laughter) where three of our most loyal comrades (applause) are paying the penalty for their devotion to the cause of the working class. (Applause.) They have come to realize, as many of us have, that it is extremely dangerous to exercise the constitutional right of free speech in a country fighting to make democracy safe in the world. (Applause.)
      I realize that, in speaking to you this afternoon, that there are certain limitations placed upon the right of free speech. I must be exceedingly careful, prudent, as to what I say, and even more careful and more prudent as to how I say it. (Laughter.) I may not be able to say all I think; (laughter and applause) but I am not going to say anything that I do not think. (Applause.) But, I would rather a thousand times be a free soul in jail than to be a sycophant and coward on the streets. (Applause and Shouts.) They may put those boys in jail--and some of the rest of us in jail--but they cannot put the Socialist movement in jail. (Applause and Shouts.) . . .
      There is but one thing that you have to be concerned about, and that is that you keep four-square with the principles of the international Socialist movement. (Applause.) It is only when you begin to compromise that trouble begins. (Applause.) So far as I am concerned, it does not matter what others may say, or think, or do, as long as I am sure that I am right with myself and the cause. (Applause.) There are so many who seek refuge in the popular side of a great question. On account of that, I hope, as a Socialist, I have long since learned how to stand alone. (Applause.)
      Why should a Socialist be discouraged on the eve of the greatest triumph in all history of the Socialist movement? (Applause.) It is true that these are anxious trying days for us all--testing days for the women and men who are upholding the banner of the of the working class in the struggle of the working class of all the world against the exploiters of the world; (applause) a time in which the weak and cowardly will falter and fail and desert. They lack the fiber to endure the revolutionary test; they fall away; they disappear as if they had never been. On the other hand, they who are animated with the unconquerable spirit of the Social revolution, they who have the moral courage to stand erect and assert their convictions; stand by them; fight for them; go to jail or to hell for them; if need be--(applause and shouts) they are writing their names, in this crucial hour--they are writing their names in fadeless letters in the history of mankind. (Applause.) . . .
      Are we opposed to Prussian militarism? (Laughter.) (Shouts from the crowd of "Yes." "Yes.") Why, we have been fighting it since the day the Socialist movement was born; (applause) and we are going to continue to fight it, day and night, until it is wiped from the face of the earth. (thunderous applause and cheers.) Between us there is no truce--no compromise. . . .
      Socialism is a growing idea, an expanding philosophy. It is spreading over the face of the earth. It is as useless to resist it as it would be to try to arrest the sunrise on the morrow. It is coming, coming, coming, all along the line. . . . Here, in this assemblage (applause) I hear our heart beat responsive to the Bolsheviki of Russia. (Deafening and prolonged applause.) Yes, those heroic men and women, those unconquerable comrades, who have, by their sacrifice, added luster to the international movement. Those Russian comrades, who have made greater sacrifices, who have suffered more, who have shed more heroic blood than any like men or number of men and women anywhere else on earth, they have laid the foundation of the first real Democracy that ever drew--(great applause) the first real Democracy that ever drew the breath of life on God's footstool. (Applause.) And the very first act of that immortal revolution was to proclaim a state of peace with all the world, coupled with an appeal, no to the kings, not to the emperors, not to the rulers, not to the diplomats, but an appeal to the people of all nations. (Applause.) There is the very birth of Democracy, the quintessence of freedom. They made their appeal to the people of all nations, the Allies as well as the Central powers, to send representatives to a conference to lay down terms of peace that should be Democratic and lasting. Here was a fine--here was a fine opportunity to strike a blow to make democracy safe in the world. (Applause.) Was there any response to that noble appeal? And here let me say that that appeal will be written in letters of gold in the history of the world. (Applause.) Was there any response to that appeal? (From the crowd "No.") Not the slightest. . . .
Wars have been waged for conquest, for plunder. In the middle ages the feudal lords, who inhabited the castles whose towers may still be seen along the Rhine--whenever one of those feudal lords wished to enrich himself, then he made war on another. Why? They wanted to enlarge their domains. They wanted to increase their power, their wealth, and so they declared war upon each other. But they did not go to war any more than the Wall Street junkers go to war. (Applause.) The feudal lords, the barons, the economic predecessors of the modern capitalist, they declared all the wars. Who fought their battles? Their miserable serfs. And the serfs had been taught to believe that when their masters declared and waged war upon one another, it was their patriotic duty to fall upon one another, and to cut one another's throats, to murder one another for the profit and the glory of the plutocrats, the barons, the lords who held them in contempt. And that is war in a nutshell. The master class has always declared the war; the subject class has always fought the battles; the master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, and the subject class has had nothing to gain and all to lose--including their lives. (Applause.) They have always taught you that it is your patriotic duty to go to war and to have yourselves slaughtered at a command. But in all of the history of the world you, the people, never had a voice in declaring war. You have never yet had. And here let me state a fact--and it cannot be repeated too often: the working class who fight the battles, the working class who make the sacrifices, the working class who shed the blood, the working class who furnish the corpses, the working class have never yet had a voice in declaring war. The working class have never yet had a voice in making peace. It is the ruling class that does both. They declare war; they make peace.
"Yours not to ask the question why; Yours but to do and die."
      That is their motto, and we object on the part of the awakened workers.
      If war is right, let it be declared by the people--you, who have your lives to lose; you certainly ought to have the right to declare war, if you consider war a necessary. (Applause.) . . .
      If the war was over tomorrow, all of the prison doors would open. They just want to silence this voice during the war. The cases will be appealed, and they will remain pending in court many a month, perhaps years. What a compliment it is to the Socialist movement for telling the truth. The truth will make the people free. (Applause.) And the truth must not be permitted to reach the people. The truth has always been dangerous to the rule of the rogue, the exploiter, the robber. So the truth must be suppressed. That is why they are trying to drive out the Socialist movement; and every time they make the attempt, they add ten thousand voices proclaiming that Socialism has come to stay. (Applause.). . .
      What you need is to organize, not along curved lines, but along revolutionary industrial lines. (Applause.) You will never vote in the Socialist republic. You are needed to organize it; and you have got to organize it in the industries--unite in the industries. the industrial union is the forerunner of industrial Democracy. In the shop is where the industrial Democracy has its beginning. Organize according to the industries, and minimize all the Gompers. Get together. United, very often your power becomes invincible. Organize to get up to your fullest capacity. Organize. Act together. And when you organize industrially, you will soon learn that you can manage industry as well as operate industry. You can soon find that you don't need the idle for your masters. They are simply parasites. They don't give you work. You give them jobs taking what you produce and that is all. Their function is to take what you produce. You can dispose of them. You don't need then to depend upon for your jobs. You ought to own your own tools; you ought to control your own jobs; you ought to be industrial free men instead of industrial slaves. Organize industrially. Make the organization complete. Then unite in the Socialist party. . . . Then, when we vote together and act together on the industrial pledge, we will develop the supreme power of the one class that can bring permanent peace to the world. We will have the courage. Industry will be organized. We will conquer the public power. We will transfer the title deeds of the railroads, the telegraph lines, the mills, the great industries--we will transfer them to the people; we will take possession in the name of the people. We will have industrial political Democracy. We will be the first free nation, whose government belongs to the people. Oh, this change will be universal; it will be permanent; it looks towards the light; it paves the way to emancipation. . . .
      Yes, we are going to sweep into power in this nation and in every other nation on earth. We are going to destroy the capitalist institutions; we are going to recreate them as legally free institutions. Before you very eyes the world is being destroyed. The world of capitalism is collapsing; the world of Socialism is rising.
      It is your duty to help build. We need builders of industry. Builders are necessary. We Socialists are the builders of the world that is to be. We are all agreed to do our part. We are inviting--aye, challenging you this afternoon, in the name of your own manhood, to join us. Help do your part. In due course of time the hour will strike, and this great cause--the greatest in history--will proclaim the emancipation of the working class and the brotherhood of all mankind. (Thunderous and prolonged applause.)

Houghton Mifflin Company

When America’s Most Prominent Socialist Was Jailed for Speaking Out Against World War I

After winning 6 percent of the vote in the 1912 presidential election, Eugene Debs ran afoul of the nation’s new anti-sedition laws  READ HERE

The Canton, Ohio Speech - Marxists Internet Archive

Eugene V. Debs Article. ... The Canton, Ohio Speech, Anti-War Speech ... 
Transcribed/HTML Markup: John Metz for the Illinois Socialist Party Debs Archive ...

Eugene V. Debs at Canton, Ohio - National Archives
Mar 27, 2019 - Eugene Debs delivers his famous antiwar speech at Canton, Ohio, June 16, 1918. This photograph was used as Government Exhibit Number ...

The speech that made Debs Convict No. 9653 |
Jun 15, 2018 - One hundred years ago, Eugene V. Debs spoke out against the First World War in a speech in Canton, Ohio — and was given a 10-year prison ...



There's nothing noble about dying. Not even if you die for honor. Not even if you die the greatest hero the world ever saw. Not even if you're so great your name will never be forgotten and who's that great? The most important thing is your life little guys. You're worth nothing dead except for speeches. Don't let them kid you any more. Pay no attention when they tap you on the shoulder and say come along we've got to fight for liberty or whatever their word is there's always a word.Just say mister I'm sorry I got no time to die I'm too busy and then turn and run like hell. If they say coward why don't pay any attention because it's your job to live not to die. If they talk about dying for principles that are bigger than life you say mister you're a liar Nothing is bigger than life There's nothing noble in death. What s noble about lying in the ground and rotting. What's noble about never seeing the sunshine again? What's noble about having your legs and arms blown off? What's noble about being an idiot? What's noble about being blind and deaf and dumb? What's noble about being dead. Because when you're dead mister it's all over. It's the end. You're less than a dog less than a rat less than a bee or an ant less than a white maggot crawling around on a dungheap. You're dead mister and you died for nothing.