The Measure of a Revolutionary: Remembering Eugene V. Debs

Harris, Mark
Date Written:  2015-09-07
Publisher:  CounterPunch
Year Published:  2015
Resource Type:  Article
Cx Number:  CX17932

Debs was an articulate, far-reaching critic of American society, staunchly anti-capitalist and opposed to both Democratic and Republican parties, which he saw as controlled by Wall Street. In his five campaigns as the Socialist Party candidate for President of the United States, Debs excoriated the economic exploitation of workers, including the then rampant abuses of child labor, with rare oratorical skill. He advocated for unions in all major industries and promoted a vision of socialism as grassroots economic democracy. In a deeply racist, patriarchal society, he was also staunchly anti-racist and pro-women's rights. When war hysteria swept the country, Debs openly defied the warmongers to oppose U.S. entry into World War I. He did so not as a pacifist, but because he saw the world war as an inter-imperialist dispute among the ruling classes of competing capitalist nations.

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