Property Rights Vs. Human Rights

By Lucy Parsons (1905)

Entry 3466


From: holdoffhunger [id: 1]


Revolt Library Anarchism Property Rights Vs. Human Rights

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(1853 - 1942)

IWW Founder, Anarchist Activist, and Labor Organizer

: In addition to defending the rights of African-Americans, Lucy spoke out against the repressed status of women in nineteenth century America. Wanting to challenge the notion that women could not be revolutionary, she took a very active, and often militant, role in the labor movement... (From:
• "...we are willing to work for peace at any price, except at the price of liberty." (From: "The Principles of Anarchism," by Lucy E. Parsons.)
• "People have become so used to seeing the evidences of authority on every hand that most of them honestly believe that they would go utterly to the bad if it were not for the policeman's club or the soldier's bayonet. But the anarchist says, 'Remove these evidence of brute force, and let man feel the revivifying influences of self responsibility and self control, and see how we will respond to these better influences.'" (From: "The Principles of Anarchism," by Lucy E. Parsons.)
• "The land and all it contains, without which labor cannot be exerted, belong to no one man, but to all alike." (From: "The Principles of Anarchism," by Lucy E. Parsons.)

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Property Rights Vs. Human Rights

 Photo by Maureen Barlin, CC BY-NC-ND License

Photo by Maureen Barlin,
CC BY-NC-ND License

Every person who is rendering no good to humanity is useless, no matter how hard he works. Head work and hand work are equally hard and equally useful if rightly applied. All men, rich and poor, are working at something; perhaps one at useful labor, the other at useless labor. Nevertheless they are each and all using their energies at some occupation.

Men work because they cannot hold their physical and mental energies in check without causing themselves pain. But we have made work disagreeable because we have allowed conditions to obtain which force us to continue to work after we are tired, or at something for which we have no taste, take no interest in and have no adaptability for.

For this reason we lose pleasure in work and it becomes irksome to us; for this reason, often what we do is done in a slovenly manner and the community loses thereby. The selfish scheme called “property rights” has superseded human rights and created four times more useless work than is required to produce and distribute all the comforts and luxuries of life.

All these useless workers are either capitalists or the allies of capitalists. In this class of workers whose sole business is to sustain the “rights of property” can be classed the lawyers, jailers, police, bankers, insurance companies, agents and nearly all bosses in all branches of industry; add to these those who cannot get work and those in prisons, and we get some conception of the vast hordes that must be supported by those who perform useful labor, and these must devote their entire life’s energies in keeping up the “rights of property,” a thing which they have neither a share nor interest in. And this condition of affairs makes paupers, suicides, thieves, cut- throats, liars, vagabonds, hypocrites, and unsocial beings generally.

Who, pray, are benefitting by all this waste and confusion? The few, a mere small percentage of the population of the world. All the remainder submit, because they think “it always has been so and it must always be so.” The work of those who have a conception of a true society of the future, must devote all their efforts toward disabusing the people’s minds of the ancient falsehoods. It can be done. Many other hoary lies have passed away, so will this one, too.

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November 22, 1905
Property Rights Vs. Human Rights — Publication.

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July 19, 2019; 5:15:47 PM (America/Los_Angeles)
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