ray (rayslinky) wrote,

          Wars throughout history have been waged for conquest and plunder. In the Middle Ages when the feudal lords who inhabited the castles whose towers may still be seen along the Rhine concluded to enlarge their domains, to increase their power, their prestige and their wealth they declared war upon one another. But they themselves did not go to war any more than the modern feudal lords, the barons of Wall Street go to war. The feudal barons of the Middle Ages, the economic predecessors of the capitalists of our day, declared all wars. And their miserable serfs fought all the battles. The poor, ignorant serfs had been taught to revere their masters; to believe that when their masters declared war upon one another, it was their patriotic duty to fall upon one another and to cut one another's throats for the profit and glory of the lords and barons who held them in contempt. And that is war in a nutshell. The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and all to lose — especially their lives.

          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.

          And here let me emphasize the fact — and it cannot be repeated too often — that the working class who fight all the battles, the working class who make the supreme sacrifices, the working class who freely shed their blood and furnish the corpses, have never yet had a voice in either declaring war or making peace. It is the ruling class that invariably does both. They alone declare war and they alone make peace.

          Yours not to reason why;

          Yours but to do and die.

    -Eugene V. Debs

    excerpt from The Canton, Ohio speech

    16 June 1918

I urge anyone with a couple of hours on their hands to read the full text of this speech.

today i began to wonder, now that i have like 14 dollars to my name, shouldn't there be some system to make sure that people dont starve? if all these people are being laid off and not offered anything, what is there to make sure that they can eat? is food not a basic human need? what is wrong with a system that puts the profits of oil companies and airlines above starving men, women, and children? why are we involved in this war that is costing $1,000,000,000+ per day (yes, 1 billion+) when that money could be much better spent providing basic needs to people and communities? capitalist/imperialist states have seriously fuct priorities.

*digression* and my best friends birthday is this weekend and i cant even get her a book that ive been ogling forever. :..(
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