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"It is extremely dangerous to exercise the constitutional right of free speech in a country fighting to make democracy safe in the world...
These are the gentry who are today wrapped up in the American flag, who shout their claim from the housetops that they are the only patriots, and who have their magnifying glasses in hand, scanning the country for evidence of disloyalty, eager to apply the brand of treason to the men who dare to even whisper their opposition to Junker rule in the United States. No wonder Sam Johnson declared that "patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel." He must have had this Wall Street gentry in mind, or at least their prototypes, for in every age it has been the tyrant, the oppressor and the exploiter who has wrapped himself in the cloak of patriotism, or religion, or both to deceive and overawe the people...
Every solitary one of these aristocratic conspirators and would-be murderers claims to be an arch-patriot; every one of them insists that the war is being waged to make the world safe for democracy. What humbug! What rot! What false pretense! These autocrats, these tyrants, these red-handed robbers and murderers, the "patriots," while the men who have the courage to stand face to face with them, speak the truth, and fight for their exploited victims-they are the disloyalists and traitors. If this be true, I want to take my place side by side with the traitors in this fight."
Eugene V. Debs [The Canton, Ohio, Anti-War Speech; June 16, 1918]
Thanks for the above quote go to the excellent Information Clearing House#
An orator whose communication skills rivaled those of the great William Jennings Bryan, Debs' anti-war speech given in Canton, Ohio on June 16, 1918 is perhaps his most famous speech, while his appeal to the jury and statement to the court at his trial for treason (arrested and imprisoned for giving this speech against America's entry into WWI) are considered two of the great classic statements ever made in a court of law.
Born in Terre Haute, IN on Nov 5, 1855, Debs has a Sun Sco/Moon Virgo personality blend and Mercury in intense Scorpio (8Sco03 Rx, and opposite Pluto...Mercury/Pluto = the orator; a sharp critic; the propagandist.)
The Sun Sco/Moon Virgo combo is intensely passionate, a relentless perfectionist, witty, conscientious, loyal, and a dedicated worker. (Dedicated to workers' issues as well, in Debs' case. And he was devoted to his wife all his life--they had no children.)
His straight-from-the-shoulder honesty and excellent mind are still on display in his speeches and can stir the heart as well as the mind of anyone who appreciates honesty and forthrightness...anyone who believes America should change course and return to higher ideals than those of the lower road brought upon us by the Bush-Cheney regime (and others--it's been a drawn-out process since Carter or even since Eisenhower, some say. Guess that would have to be Ike's warning against the "military industrial complex" notwithstanding.)
An interesting feature of Deb's natal chart (Nov 5, 1855; Terre Haute, IN; using sunrise: 6:36:55 an lmt) is his Pluto/NN conjunction at 3Tau+--the Discovery degree of Chiron (Nov 1, 1977.)
This adds an oppressive Pluto-Chiron plutocratic flavor--the very people he spoke against all his life--to his North Nodal path (connections with the public; encountering the powerful.)
Pluto conj NN gives a special knack for seeing through prevailing social trends and the necessary drive and determination to take advantage of the ability. Negatively, this conj indicates a dangerous tendency toward attempting to manipulate social forces too large to be handled with safety--it's the tiger-by-the-tail aspect. Affairs get our of hand and there is danger of collapse (The Astrologer's Handbook., Sakoian)
Prison terms which ruin one's health would definitely qualify here.
Images for Integration for Debs' Sun/Moon blend:
An artist combines simplicity with intensity in a study of still life...A scientist probes into the mysteries of the cosmos...Britten's opera Billy Budd. (Sun Sign-Moon Sign, Chas & Suzi Harvery.)
You may wish to visit the Eugene V. Debs official website where you'll find, among other things, a list of recipients of the Debs Awards Program given for contributions to the advancement of the causes of industrial unionism, social justice, or world peace. Some recipients include Molly Ivins in 2003; Howard Zinn 1998; Edward Asner 1987; and Studs Turkel in 1983.
Eugene Debs ran for US president as the Socialist Party candidate in 1900, 1904, 1908, 1912, and 1920 (in 1920 from fed prison in Atlanta, Ga) and he must have been quite a thorn in the imperialist-robber barons' sides. Pres. Wilson "vigorously denied" a request for pardon in 1921, but Pres Warren G. Harding released him under a general amnesty on Christmas Day, 1921.
Harding then invited Debs to stop by the White House and told him, "I have heard so damned much about you Mr. Debs, that I am very glad to meet you personally."
Well, I'm glad someone in the White House (ever) showed some shame and humility. Debs' humility and friendliness in prison had won him the respect of fellow prisoners, and personally I would have been honored to have met him myself.
Needless to say, Debs' health was broken by his years in confinement and he died in a sanitarium on Oct 20, 1926.
Now perhaps you read "Socialist Party" and cringe a bit, yet no one can deny that Eugene V. Debs gave his all for America and for social justice--losing his health and his citizenship in the process.
Whenever I read the words of Eugene Debs I feel proud of America and feel her spirit of decency--whenever I read the words of recent US administrations I feel anxious, depressed, and above all--threatened. Our liberties are their toys, and our freedoms are to be dispensed with asap. The attacks of 9/11 were about just that for we've been couped from without and, even more debilitatingly, from within.
But just what have I done for America lately? Grouse, complain, and dissent against Washington DC imperialists and warmongerers...while it's still permissable. Is this "extremely dangerous"? Probably so, for somewhere in Bush's back pocket there must be an imperialist's signing statement covering the abolishment of sassy blogs such as this! If not, perhaps I may up the sass (no, I don't have a Pluto-NN conj!)
Hear an excerpt of Debs' presidential campaign speech of 1904.
And now some final bon mots from Mr. Debs:
"When great changes occur in history, when great principles are involved, as a rule the majority is wrong."
"Intelligent discontent is the mainspring of civilization."
update: here are my comments about this post at Jude's Threshold.