Writings and Speeches of Eugene V. Debs

By Eugene V. Debs | Go to book overview

Could you imagine Charles O. Sherman--who has given his life to the working class--could you imagine him consorting with Belmont? Could you imagine Trautmann--the very incarnation of the revolutionary spirit of the working class--could you imagine Trautmann attending a banquet of the Civic Federation, in full fellowship with the men who live out of the blood of the working class? It is unimaginable. They would scorn to do it; they would consider this an act of basest treason to their class.

In closing, I appeal to you, as workingmen, to think for yourselves; to cut loose from those who have misled and betrayed you; to close up the ranks and unify your forces. I appeal to you to ally yourselves with the economic organization of your class; I appeal to you to join the union that truly represents you, the union that unites you, the union in which you can stand shoulder to shoulder, regardless of your occupation; the union in which you will move forward, step by step, marching proudly to the inspiring music of the new emancipation. . . .

And if you join this union in sufficient numbers, if you build up this union and give it the power it ought to have if you will rally to the standard of this revolutionary army--then, as certain as I stand before you, you will carry that banner to victory. Then the workers will be the sovereign citizens, the rulers of this earth. They will build houses and live in them; they will plant vineyards and enjoy the fruits thereof. The labor question will have been settled, and the working class, emancipated from the fetters of wage-slavery, will begin the real work of civilizing the human race.


REVOLUTIONARY UNIONISM1

The unity of labor, economic and political, upon the basis of the class struggle, is at this time the supreme need of the working class. The prevailing lack of unity implies lack of class consciousness; that is to say, enlightened self-interest; and this can, must and will be overcome by revolutionary education and organization. Experience, long, painful and dearly bought, has taught some of us that craft division is fatal to class unity. To accomplish its mission the working class must be united. They must act together;

____________________
1
Speech at Chicago, November 25, 1905.

-209-

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