Workers Rights

1095 – Martin Luther King Jr on the Triple Evils

“Communism forgets that life is individual. Capitalism forgets that life is social, and the kingdom of brotherhood is found neither in the thesis of communism nor the antithesis of capitalism but in a higher synthesis. It is found in a higher synthesis that combines the truths of both. Now, when I say question the whole society, it means ultimately coming to see that the problem of racism, the problem of exploitation, and the problem of war are all tied together. These are the triple evils that are interrelated.”

-Martin Luther King Jr

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1035 – “Workers, the most absolutely necessary part of the whole social structure, without whose services none can either eat, or clothe, or shelter himself, are just the ones who get the least to eat, to wear, and to be housed withal — to say nothing of their share of the other social benefits which the rest of us are supposed to furnish, such as education and artistic gratification.”

-Voltairine de Cleyre

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442 – Simple Truths Message

“Unhappy events abroad have retaught us two simple truths about the liberty of a democratic people. The first truth is that the liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerate the growth of private power to a point where it becomes stronger than their democratic State itself. That, in its essence, is fascism — ownership of government by an individual, by a group or by any other controlling private power.
The second truth is that the liberty of a democracy is not safe if its business system does not provide employment and produce and distribute goods in such a way as to sustain an acceptable standard of living. Both lessons hit home. Among us today a concentration of private power without equal in history is growing.”

–Franklin D Roosevelt, 32nd President of the United States of America

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275 – “It is intolerable and indecent for a society to produce by overworking and underpaying human beings. Even if the product may cost more we in this country eventually accept the difference in cost because it is the man that counts – not the thing.”

–James Mitchell, 8th United States Secretary of Labor (1953-1961)
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235 – Lincoln’s Understanding of the Hired Laborer

“My understanding of the hired laborer is this: A young man finds himself of an age to be dismissed from parental control; he has for his capital nothing, save two strong hands that God has given him, a heart willing to labor, and a freedom to choose the mode of his work and the manner of his employer; he has got no soil nor shop, and he avails himself of the opportunity of hiring himself to some man who has capital to pay him a fair day’s wages for a fair day’s work. He is benefited by availing himself of that privilege. He works industriously, he behaves soberly, and the result of a year or two’s labor is a surplus of capital. Now he buys land on his own hook; he settles, marries, begets sons and daughters, and in the course of time he too has enough capital to hire some new beginners.”

-Abraham Lincoln, 16th President of the United States of America

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226 – “Once social change begins it cannot be reversed. You cannot un-educate the person that has learned to read. You cannot humiliate the person who feels pride. You cannot oppress the people who are not afraid anymore.”

César Chávez
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179 – “Being born elite in the US gives you a constellation of privileges that very few people in the world have ever experienced. Being born poor in the US gives you disadvantages unlike anything in Western Europe and Japan and Canada.”

David Levine

See Source Notes for further reading on this subject if you are interested.
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