Writings and Speeches of Eugene V. Debs

By Eugene V. Debs | Go to book overview


During the convention of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen and Engine0men recently held at Houston, Texas, a motion was made that the writer be invited to address the convention. The motion was defeated and the Associated Press spread the report broadcast over the country. A delegate to that convention now writes me to apologize for the action of the delegates, saying the day will come when they will be ashamed of it. Perhaps! But that will be after I am dead, and that will be time enough. The action of the convention was quite consistent and there is nothing in it to apologize for. Had I betrayed the organization instead of serving it, it would be different. The action of the delegates is plain enough and easily understood. Their masters, the railroad owners and managers who control their jobs, do not like me, and how can they afford to have anything to do with me? Were I prime favorite with the railroad magnates instead of their uncompromising enemy, the invitation to address the convention would have been extended by acclamation.

The action of the convention is a simple reaffirmation of the fact that under the capitalist system of private ownership the capitalist class are the masters of the people and the rulers of society, and all social institutions such as the government, Congress, the courts, state legislatures, schools, colleges, universities, the press, moving pictures, etc., including many labor unions, are under their control or domination.

The wage-slave psychology of the delegates at Houston explains the action of the convention and there is nothing unusual about it.

For twenty years I was a member of the organization represented by that convention. When I joined it I paid the admission fee of half the charter members, who had not the money of their own to pay. Five years later, when I was city clerk of Terre Haute and the brotherhood was bankrupt, deeply in debt and its magazine threatened with suspension, I was called upon to take charge and I did so. I secured the entire debt with indorsed notes and spent most of my salary as city clerk in redeeming the organization from bankruptcy. The first two years all my spare hours, late in the night, every night in the week, I gave freely to my task and I paid out more for clerical assistance than the paltry salary amounted to.

New York Call Magazine, October 1, 1922.


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Writings and Speeches of Eugene V. Debs
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Introduction v
  • Contents xv
  • Proclamation to American Railway Union 1
  • Labor Omnia Vincit 4
  • Liberty 6
  • The Martyred Apostles Of Labor 20
  • Prison Labor - Its Effect on Industry and Trade 24
  • Outlook for Socialism in the United States 34
  • Martin Irons, Martyr 41
  • How I Became a Soclialist 43
  • Stopped the Blacklist 47
  • What's the Matter with Chicago? 50
  • The Western Labor Movement 54
  • The Negro and His Nemesis 66
  • The rape-fiend? Horrible! 73
  • The American Movement 76
  • Unionism And Socialism 95
  • The Socialist Party and The Working Class 125
  • The Federal Government and the Chicago Strike Reply to the Article on "The Government in the Chicago Strike of 1894" in Mcclure's Magazine, July, 1904, by Grover Cleveland, Ex-President of the U. S. 140
  • An Edeal Labor Press 161
  • Labor Day Greeting 163
  • Childhood 165
  • The Crimson Standard 166
  • Growth of the Injunction 167
  • Craft Unionism 171
  • Class Unionism 189
  • Revolutionary Unionism1 209
  • You Railroad Men 242
  • Arouse, Ye Slaves! 256
  • The Growth of Socialism 259
  • Open Letter to President Roosevelt 268
  • Prince and Proletaire 271
  • Roosevelts Labor Letters 274
  • December 2. 1859 279
  • John Brown: History's Greatest Hero 280
  • Looking Backward 281
  • Mother Jones 285
  • Thomas Mcgrady 286
  • Revolution 291
  • The Issue 293
  • Railroad Employees and Socialism 311
  • The Socialist Party's Appeal 317
  • Industrial Unionism 323
  • A Letter from Debs 326
  • A Letter from Debs on Immigration 326
  • Industrial Unionism 328
  • Working Class Politics 331
  • Danger Ahead 333
  • The Crisis in Mexico 337
  • Labor's Struggle for Supremacy 340
  • The McNamara Case And The Labor Movement 343
  • Sound Socialist Tactics 350
  • This is Our Year 358
  • Speech of Acceptance 361
  • Revolt of the Railroad Workers 373
  • Homestead And Ludlow 378
  • The Gunmen And The Miners 383
  • The Knights of Columbus 387
  • The Prospect for Peace 391
  • Fantine in Our Day 392
  • Letter Of Acceptance 395
  • Politicians and Preachers 398
  • Ruling Class Robbers 399
  • The Class War And Its Outlook 400
  • Tom Mooney Sentenced To Death 403
  • The I. W. W. Bogey 405
  • John Swinton: Radical Editor and Leader 409
  • The Canton, Ohio Speech 417
  • Address To The Jury 433
  • Statement To The Court 437
  • The Day of the People 440
  • Serving the Labor Movement 443
  • Sacco and Vanzetti 450
  • Woman--Comrade And Equal 453
  • The Relation of Society to the Convict 456
  • My 1920 Campaign for President 463
  • Leaving The Prison 468
  • Capitalism and Crime 473
  • Poverty and the Prison 477
  • Socialism and the Prison 481
  • Bibliography 485


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