Richard T. Ely

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Richard T. Ely, 1903

Richard Theodore Ely (13 April 18544 October 1943) was an American economist, author, and leader of the Progressive movement. Ely is best remembered as a founder and the first Secretary of the American Economic Association, as a founder and secretary of the Christian Social Union, and as the author of a series of widely-read books on the organized labor movement, socialism, and other social questions.


  • They have two distinguishing characteristics. The vast majority of them are laborers, and, as a rule, they expect the violent overthrow of existing institutions by revolution to precede the introduction of the socialistic state. I would not, by any means, say that they are all revolutionists, but the most of them undoubtedly are...
    The most general demands of the social democrats are the following: The state should exist exclusively for the laborers; land and capital must become collective property, and production be carried on unitedly. Private competition, in the ordinary sense of the term, is to cease.

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