What Freedom Means

By Lucy Parsons (1905)

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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 : IWW.org.)
• "...be assured that you have spoken to these robbers in the only language which they have ever been able to understand, for they have never yet deigned to notice any petition from their slaves that they were not compelled to read by the red glare bursting from the cannon's mouths, or that was not handed to them upon the point of the sword." (From : "To Tramps, The Unemployed, the Disinherited, and ....)
• "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.)
• "...were not the land, the water, the light, all free before governments took shape and form?" (From : "The Principles of Anarchism," by Lucy E. Parsons.)


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What Freedom Means

 Photo by andberlinblog, CC BY-NC-ND License

Photo by andberlinblog,
CC BY-NC-ND License

The change from the present method of obtaining one’s living is inevitable, because it has become a necessity. We now live under the pay system, in which if you can’t pay you can’t have. Everything has a price set upon it; earth, air, light and water, all have their price. And he who hasn’t worked, let him starve. Love, honor, fame, ambition, all the noblest and holiest aspirations and sentiments of humanity are bought and sold. Everything is upon the market for sale; all is merchandise and commerce. Land, the prime necessity of existence, is held for a price, and the homeless millions perish because they cannot pay for it. Food, raiment and shelter exist in super-abundance, but are withheld for the price.

The productive and distributive forces of nature, united with the power and ingenuity of man are reserved for a price. And humanity perishes from disease, crime and ignorance because of its enforced, artificial poverty. The mental, moral, intellectual and physical qualities are dwarfed, stunted and crushed to maintain the price. This is slavery, the enslavement of man to his own powers: Can it continue? The change is inevitable because necessary. Free access to all the productive and distributive forces will alone free the minds and bodies of men. There are certain things that are priceless. Among these are life, liberty and happiness, and these are the things which the society of the future, the free society, will guarantee to all for the return of a few hours labor per day.

When labor is no longer for sale, society will produce free men and women, who will think free, act free, and be free. Crime and criminals will flee from such a society, because the incentive for crime will be gone.

From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org


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October 8, 1905
What Freedom Means — Publication.

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July 20, 2019; 4:31:34 PM (America/Los_Angeles)
Added to https://www.RevoltLib.com.

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July 20, 2019; 4:32:42 PM (America/Los_Angeles)
Updated on https://www.RevoltLib.com.


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