When great changes occur in history, when great principles are involved, as a rule the majority are wrong.
The people can have anything they want, the only problem is they do not want anything.
If I were hungry and friendless today, I would rather take my chances with a saloon-keeper than with the average preacher.
I may not be able to say all I think, but I am not going to say anything I do not think.
I would rather a thousand times be a free soul in jail than to be a sycophant and coward in the streets.
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.
In every age it has been the tyrant, the oppressor and the exploiter who has wrapped himself in the cloak of patriotism, or religion, or both to deceive and overawe the People.
The most heroic word in all languages is revolution.
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.
It is better to vote for what you want and not get it than to vote for what you don't want and get it.
I have no country to fight for; my country is the earth, and I am a citizen of the world.
Chicago is the product of modern capitalism, and, like other great commercial centers, is unfit for human habitation.
I am guilty of believing that the human race can be humanized and enriched in every spiritual inference through the saner and more beneficent processes of peaceful persuasion applied to material problems rather than through wars, riots and bloodshed.
Ten thousand times has the labor movement stumbled and bruised itself. We have been enjoined by the courts, assaulted by thugs, charged by the militia, traduced by the press, frowned upon in public opinion, and deceived by politicians. 'But notwithstanding all this and all these, 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.
Capitalism needs and must have the prison to protect itself from the criminals it has created.
They tell us that we live in a great free republic; that our institutions are democratic; that we are a free and self-governing people. That is too much, even for a joke. ... Wars throughout history have been waged for conquest and plunder... And that is war in a nutshell. The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles.
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.
When we are in partnership and have stopped clutching each other's throats, when we have stopped enslaving each other, we will stand together, hands clasped, and be friends. We will be comrades, we will be brothers, and we will begin the march to the grandest civilization the human race has ever known
As a rule, large capitalists are Republicans and small capitalists are Democrats, but workingmen must remember that they are all capitalists, and that the many small ones, like the fewer large ones, are all politically supporting their class interests, and this is always and everywhere the capitalist class.
Anybody can be nobody, but it takes a man to be somebody.
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.
Too long have the workers of the world waited for some Moses to lead them out of bondage. I would not lead you out if I could; for if you could be led out, you could be led back again. I would have you make up your minds there is nothing that you cannot do for yourselves.
The class which has the power to rob upon a large scale has also the power to control the government and legalize their robbery.
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 myself. What would you think 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.
Private appropriation of the Earth's surface, the natural resources, and the means of life is nothing less a crime than a crime against humanity, but the comparative few who are beneficiaries of this iniquitous social arrangement, far from being viewed as criminals meriting punishment, are the exalted rulers of society, and the people they exploit gladly render them homage and obeisance.
The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and all to lose - especially their lives.
The Republican and Democratic parties, or, to be more exact, the Republican-Democratic party, represent the capitalist class in the class struggle. They are the political wings of the capitalist system and such differences as arise between them relate to spoils and not to principles.
I am opposing a social order in which it is possible for one man who does absolutely nothing that is useful to amass a fortune of hundreds of millions of dollars, while millions of men and women who work all the days of their lives secure barely enough for a wretched existence.
I'd rather vote for something I want and not get it than vote for something I don't want, and get it.
The truth has always been dangerous to the rule of the rogue, the exploiter, the robber. So the truth must be ruthlessly supressed.
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.
When I rise it will be with the ranks and not from the ranks.
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.
I do not oppose the insane asylum - but I abhor and condemn the cutthroat system that robs man of his reason, drives him to insanity and makes the lunatic asylum an indispensable adjunct to every civilized community.
From the crown of my head to the soles of my feet I am Bolshevik, and proud of it.
We want a system in which the worker shall get what he produces and the capitalist shall produce what he gets.
The American people can have anything they want; the trouble is, they don't know what they want.
The issue is Socialism versus Capitalism. I am for Socialism because I am for humanity. We have been cursed with the reign of gold long enough. Money constitutes no proper basis of civilization. The time has come to regenerate society - we are on the eve of universal change.
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.
The rights of one are as sacred as the rights of a million.