Labor and Freedom

Labor and Freedom
English | March 20, 2022 | ASIN: B09VYFD1XZ | M4B@125 kbps | 4h 40m | 250.37 MB

Author: Eugene V. Debs
Narrator: Peter Lerman

As of the date of publication (March 2022), this is by far the largest collection of Eugene V. Debs’ writings available in audio. Published in 1916, it is a compilation of his writings – magazine articles and campaign material – and his speeches to conventions and other large gatherings, from the years of his greatest popularity and influence.

What were once widely known and popular ideas (nearly a million votes for Debs for President in the election of 1912) became somewhat lost to us. The history we are taught in the US was stripped of these ideas in order to draw a line more clearly between the US and the several nations of the world in which these ideas succeeded in becoming the dominant political force; our Cold War adversaries.

Most of these nations have long since abandoned these ideas. In truth, the implementations were deeply flawed and the nations on that list were cruelly oppressive dictatorships. This version of socialism did not work as it was promised it would; the economies operating under these structures were not “fair”; they were not “the worker’s paradise”. They failed completely. Debs was wrong.

However, nations that adopted parts of these ideas of which Debs writes and speaks have enjoyed economies that treat their citizens more humanely than most others: stronger social safety nets, universal healthcare, better public education, free college education, lower incarceration rates, and more.

The “pure” Marxist ideology led to disastrous outcomes in countries which adopted it. But nations that recognized the right of their working-class citizens to a larger share of a nation’s wealth have happier and healthier citizens than nations that did not – without sacrificing fundamental freedoms. Of course, there are many sides to this argument and many great thinkers and writers on all sides. Listen to as many of them as you can.

This collection is presented to you for your consideration, for you to learn who this man was and what his movement advocated. His core principles and ideals are included herein. Should you find it interesting and engaging, there is much more material about this era of American history – the Labor Movement, the Progressive Movement, the Women’s Rights movement, etc. – and all of Debs’ contemporary allies and opponents, available in hundreds of audiobooks which offer a critical analysis of the thinking, and retell the stories.

“I am not a Labor Leader; I do not want you to follow me or anyone else; if you are looking for a Moses to lead you out of this capitalist wilderness, you will stay right where you are. I would not lead you into the promised land if I could because if I led you in, someone else would lead you out. You must use your heads as well as your hands, and get yourself out of your present condition.” – Eugene V. Debs

“We demand the complete enfranchisement of women and the equal rights of all the people regardless of race, color, creed, or nationality. We demand that child labor shall cease once and forever and that all children born into the world shall have equal opportunity to grow up, to be educated, to have healthy bodies and trained minds, and to develop and freely express the best there is in them in mental, moral and physical achievement.” – Eugene V. Debs, 1912

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