Q: You are a pacifist even to class struggles?
[Nearing]: I am a pacifist in that I believe that no man has a right to do violence to any other man.
Q: Even in the class struggle?
[Nearing]: Under no circumstances.
Compared with the necessity of protecting ruling class privileges and prerogatives, the right of a man to express his mind goes for nothing. That is the lesson of history and that is what we are witnessing today. Men who have stirred up the people; men who have raised their voices in protest; men who thought straight; men who have loved their fellow men too much; men who have had conviction and courage and purpose; men who were willing to stick by their ideals—such men have suffered in every age.
Men who were willing to stick by their ideals—such men have suffered in every age.
The masters in all ages have put men like Debs in jail because it is the truth-teller that the masters fear most. They fear the Truth; they fear the Light; they fear Justice; and the man who turns on the Light and speaks the Truth and cries out for Justice—is their greatest enemy. So they have always tried this process of putting ideas into jail.
I became a vegetarian because I was persuaded that life is as valid for other creatures as it is for humans. I do not need dead animal bodies to keep me alive, strong and healthy. Therefore, I will not kill for food.
The Making of a Radical: A Political Autobiography (1973)