“We meet in the midst of a nation brought to the verge of moral, political and material ruin. Corruption dominates the ballot box, the legislatures, the Congress, and touches even the ermine of the bench. The people are demoralized….The newspapers are subsidized or muzzled; public opinion silenced; business prostrate, our homes covered with mortgages, labor impoverished, and the land concentrating in the hands of capitalists.
“The urban workmen are denied the right of organization for self-protection; imported pauperized labor beats down their wages; a hireling standing army… established to shoot them down… The fruits of the toil of millions are boldly stolen to build up colossal fortunes… From the same prolific womb of governmental injustice we breed two classes – paupers and millionaires…”
– Ignatius Donnelly speaking at the People’s party national convention in 1892, St. Louis, Missouri. Excerpt from A People’s History of the United States 1492-Present, by Howard Zinn