Eugene V. Debs: Yes, I am my brother’s keeper

“Now my friends, I am opposed to the system of society in which we live today, not because I lack the natural equipment to do for myself but because I am not satisfied to make myself comfortable knowing that there are thousands of my fellow men who suffer for the barest necessities of life.

We were taught under the old ethic that man’s business on this earth was to look out for himself. That was the ethic of the jungle; the ethic of the wild beast. Take care of yourself, no matter what may become of your fellow man. Thousands of years ago the question was asked; ”Am I my brother’s keeper?” That question has never yet been answered in a way that is satisfactory to civilized society.

Yes, I am my brother’s keeper. I am under a moral obligation to him that is inspired, not by any maudlin sentimentality but by the higher duty I owe myself. What would you think me if I were capable of seating myself at a table and gorging myself with food and saw about me the children of my fellow beings starving to death”.

Eugene V. Debs (1908)


2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Kamille on December 27, 2010 at 1:26 pm

    I have a speech project about this particular speech of Debs.
    Ii this the whole speech? and I need to know
    How Eugene V. Debs reached out to people.
    How was his volume, pace, vocal variety, gestures,
    postures, articulation, emphasis, appropriate presentation,
    and u]his uses of pause.\\Please Reply ASAP 🙂
    Thank you.


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