Why I Am A Socialist
October 26, 1897 — National Convention, WCTU, Buffalo NY
Look about you: the products of labor are on every hand; you could not maintain for a moment a well-ordered life without them; every object in your room has in it, for discerning eyes, the marks of ingenious tools and the pressure of labor’s hands. But is it not the cruelest injustice for the wealthy, whose lies are surrounded and embellished y labor’s work to have a superabundance of the money which represents, the aggregate of labor in ay country, while the laborer is kept so steadily at work that he has no time to acquire the education, and refinements of life that would make him and his family agreeable companions to the rich and cultured.
The reason why I am a Socialist comes in just here.
I would take, not by force, by by the slow process of lawful acquisition, through a better legislation, as the outcome of a wiser ballot in the hands of men and women, the entire plant that we call civilization, all the has been achieved on this continent in the four hundred years since Columbus wended his way hither, and make it the common property of all the people, requiring all to work with their hands to give them the finest physical development, but not to become burdensome in any case, and permitting all to share alike in the advantages of education and refinement. I believe this to be perfectly practical, and, indeed, that any other method is simply a relic of barbarism.
I believe that competition is doomed. The trust, whose single object is to abolish competition, has proved that we are better without tan with it and the moment corporations control the supply of any product, they combine. What the Socialist desires is that the corporation of humanity should control all production. Beloved comrades, this is the frictionless way; it is the higher way; it eliminates the motives for a selfish life; it enacts into our everyday living thee this of Christ’s gospel. Nothing else will do it; nothing else can bring the glad day of universal brotherhood.
Oh, that I were young again, and it would have my life! It is God’s way out of the wilderness and into the promised land. It is the very marrow of Christ’s gospel. It is Christianity applied.
Source: Washington Socialist, Everett, Washinton, September 19, 1914, p. 3.