Saturday, November 5, 2016
Happy Birthday Eugene V Debs
Originally a Democrat he turned to Socialism after doing a lot of reading while serving time in prison for his union activities, and five times was the presidential nominee of the US Socialist Party, a legitimate force in those days, electing hundreds of people to local and state offices and a few to congress.
It took courage to be a union member then, when the government routinely sent out federal troops to violently break strikes, or if they didn't, the bosses sent out armed thugs like those from the infamous Pinkerton Agency to beat or murder strikers with impunity. But those union struggles gave us the standard of living we have in America today, which we are pissing away, incidentally, by not being as radical and active as this nation's workers were in Debs' time.
Debs died in 1926 but is remembered and revered by many on the Left, including former NBA star and long-time radical Bill Walton, who, besides being famous for his days playing for UCLA and the NBA, spoke out against the Vietnam War when it wasn't very cool for people like him to do that. Walton in 2013 took his friend Larry Bird and his wife to see the Eugene V Debs home and museum in Terre Haute, Indiana, where Bird went to college, while they were there for the unveiling of a statue of Bird at the University of Indiana.