Name That Quote: Who Said It and When?

“The world is astonished at recent developments in the United States.  Our actions and attitudes are discussed with puzzled wonder on the streets of every city in the world.  Reluctantly the world is coming to believe that we actually want war; that we must have war; that in no other way can we keep out workers employed and maintain huge profits save by spending seventy thousand million dollars a year for war preparation and adding to the vast debt of over two hundred thousand millions which we owe chiefly for war in the past.

Our present war expenditure must be increased, yet we cannot tax the rich much more since the lawyers who make the tax laws can also break them and let the bulk of wealth go untaxed.  We cannot raise  the taxes on the poor much higher because rising prices leave less and less to tax.  Citizens have borrowed two hundred thousand million dollars on homes, farms and furniture, and the poor and middle class have spent nearly all their savings.  Yet we cannot stop; either we spend more and more on top of what we are spending or our whole industrial organization, with its billions of private property monopoly, will face collapse…

This is what Europe sees us set for, in contradiction to everything we once professed — liberty, free speech, truth and justice.  To this our masters will lead us unless you intervene: unless right here and now you, the people of the United States, say No! Enough of this hysteria, this crazy foolishness!  

the speaker continues…

“No American born before 1900 could possibly conceive that the United States would become a land approaching universal military service; with its armed forces in every continent and on every sea; pledged to conquer and control masses of mankind, order the thought and belief of the nations of the world, and ready to spend for these objects more money than it ever spent for religion, education or social uplift altogether.

When men arise and say this and try to prove its truth, every effort is made by secret police, organized spies and hired informers, by deliberate subversion of the fundamental principles of our law, to imprison, slander and silence such persons, and deprive them of earning an honest livelihood.

Avoiding all hysteria and exaggeration, all natural indignation and instinctive defense of the right of free speech and hatred of thought control, it is clear to all Americans who still dare think, that my description of this America is true, and if true, frightening to all men who once thought of this land as the Land of the Free.”

The Speaker:  William Edward Burghardt DuBois (1868-1963), Citizen of Ghana

The Year: 1951

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As a young man in the early 1890’s.

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As a young scholar touching Harvard, Berlin and Niagara.

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 DuBois, Working in the offices of The Crisis, 1915

 

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 DuBois in 1960.

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 Dr. DuBois in Ghana, 196?

 

 

One comment

  1. One of the most profoundly prescient statements I’ve read. Seems thinking people have seen this all coming for a long, long time. DuBois says it all most eloquently. And here we are, still on the precipice today.

    Lord, help us to wake up and help ourselves.

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