Henry Demarest Lloyd

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Henry Demarest Lloyd in 1903
Monopoly is business at the end of its journey.
Nature is rich; but everywhere man, the heir of nature, is poor.

Henry Demarest Lloyd (May 1, 1847 – September 28, 1903) was a 19th-century American progressive political activist and pioneer muckraking journalist.


  • I spend every morning at my desk working on a book about the Trusts but my progress seems lamentably slow. However, it "do move." The worst of it is the work is really so distasteful. It keeps me poking about and scavengering in piles of filthy human greed and cruelty almost too nauseous to handle. Nothing but the sternest sense of duty and the conviction that men must understand the vices of our present system before they will be able to rise to a better, drives me back to my desk every day.
    • From a letter to his mother, as quoted in Henry Demarest Lloyd, 1847-1903, A Biography by Caro Lloyd, 1912, pages 188-189 [1]
  • The methods by which the Vanderbilts, Goulds, Fields, Rockefellers, Mackays, Floods, O'Briens, and the coal and iron and salt Pashas are heaping up enormous fortunes are methods, not of creation of wealth, but of the redistribution of the wealth of the masses into the pockets of monopolists.
    • Quoted in Henry Demarest Lloyd, 1847-1903, A Biography by Caro Lloyd, 1912, page 53
  • The bottom truth is that Governor Altgeld is of that type whose brains and character alike do not make it possible for their personal success to suffocate their love of justice. He is a man whom the trusts, corporations, and concentrated millionairism of the country have found it impossible to bend, break, or seduce. If such men as Altgeld the Democrat and Pingree the Republican survive, monopoly will perish and monopoly by a sure instinct of self-preservation has set itself to destroy them by ridicule, slander, and by every means of financial and political assault. One of the most regrettable features of public opinion in this campaign is that so many of the American people have allowed themselves to be played upon by these sinister interests who are catering to every prejudice and using every ingenuity of misrepresentation to destroy public confidence in the few public men who are standing like giants on guard for the public.
    • Quoted in Henry Demarest Lloyd, 1847-1903, A Biography by Caro Lloyd, 1912, page 151

Wealth Against Commonwealth[edit]


  • Nature is rich; but everywhere man, the heir of nature, is poor.
    • Opening sentence
  • Liberty produces wealth, and wealth destroys liberty.
    • Page 2
  • If our civilization is destroyed, as Macaulay predicted, it will not be by his barbarians from below. Our barbarians come from above. Our great money-makers have sprung in one generation into seats of power kings do not know.
    • Page 510
  • The yacht of the millionaire incorporates a million days' labor which might have been given to abolishing the slums, and every day it runs the labor of hundreds of men is withdrawn from the production of helpful things for humanity.
    • Page 512
  • Monopoly is business at the end of its journey.
    • Page 512
  • We have chartered the self-interest of the individual as the rightful sovereign of conduct; we have taught that the scramble for profit is the best method of administering the riches of earth and the exchange of services. Only those can attack this system who attack its central principle, that strength gives the strong in the market the right to destroy his neighbor. Only as we have denied that right to the strong elsewhere have we made ourselves as civilized as we are.
    • Page 514
  • Our system, so fair in its theory and so fertile in its happiness and prosperity in its first century, is now, following the fate of systems, becoming artificial, technical, corrupt; and, as always happens in human institutions, after noon, power is stealing from the many to the few.
    • Page 515
  • Believing wealth to be good, the people believed the wealthy to be good. But, again in history, power has intoxicated and hardened its possessors, and pharaohs are bred in counting-rooms as they were in palaces.
    • Page 515

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