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Adlai Stevenson

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We live in a time when automation is ushering in a second industrial revolution, and the powers of the atom are about to be harnessed for ever greater production. We live at a time when even the ancient spectre of hunger is vanishing. This is the age of abundance! Never in history has there been such an opportunity to show what we can do to improve the quality of living now that the old, terrible, grinding anxieties of daily bread, of shelter and raiment are disappearing.
--
Statement at the Democratic National Convention, as quoted in Best Quotes of '54, '55, '56 (1957) edited by James Beasley Simpson, p. 58; later published in The New America (1957), p. 7.

 
Adlai Stevenson

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I believe we're living at a time in human history where it's just simply unacceptable that children wake up and don't know where to find a cup of food. Not only that, transforming hunger is an opportunity, but I think we have to change our mindsets. I am so honored to be here with some of the world's top innovators and thinkers. And I would like you to join with all of humanity to draw a line in the sand and say, "No more. No more are we going to accept this." And we want to tell our grandchildren that there was a terrible time in history where up to a third of the children had brains and bodies that were stunted, but that exists no more.

 
Josette Sheeran
 

What economists call over-production is but a production that is above the purchasing power of the worker, who is reduced to poverty by Capital and State. Now, this sort of over-production remains fatally characteristic of the present capitalist production, because Proudhon has already shown it workers cannot buy with their salaries what they have produced and at the same time copiously nourish the swarm of idlers who live upon their work.
The very essence of the present economic system is, that the worker can never enjoy the well-being he has produced, and that the number of those who live at his expense will always augment. The more a country is advanced in industry, the more this number grows. Inevitably, industry is directed, and will have to be directed, not towards what is needed to satisfy the needs of all, but towards that which, at a given moment, brings in the greatest temporary profit to a few. Of necessity, the abundance of some will be based on the poverty of others, and the straitened circumstances of the greater number will have to be maintained at all costs, that there may be hands to sell themselves for a part only of that which they are capable of producing; without which, private accumulation of capital is impossible!
These characteristics of our economical system are its very essence. Without them, it cannot exist; for, who would sell his labor power for less than it is capable of bringing in, if he were not forced thereto by the threat of hunger?
And those essential traits of the system are also its most crushing condemnation.

 
Peter Kropotkin
 

We must hold fast to the dream that reason will prevail. The world today is full of anguish and dread. As great as is the danger, still greater is the opportunity. If science and technology have catapulted us to the brink of extinction, the same ingenuity has brought humankind to the boundary of an age of abundance.
Never before was it possible to feed all the hungry. Never before was it possible to shelter all the homeless. Never before was it possible to teach all the illiterates. Never before were we able to heal so many afflictions. For the first time science and medicine can diminish drudgery and pain.
Only those who see the invisible can do the impossible. But in order to do the impossible, in the words of Jonathan Schell, we ask "not for our personal survival: we ask only that we be survived. We ask for assurance that when we die as individuals, as we know we must, mankind will live on".

 
Bernard Lown
 

Life is pretty rough for the nearly 400 million people in India who still live on $2 USD or less a day-they are mostly what this show is about.
In America by comparison, the children of the poor may not have access to the latest Dolce & Gabbana or Armani suit, but they at least predominantly have shelter, even though it may not be a castle but it is a warm place to rest and recuperate. So many of the children I come across in such countries as India live and sleep with their families on the street covered by a tarp or a piece of plastic or cardboard. They cry themselves to sleep at night from hunger.
We are very lucky to be living in the U.S. and not there under similar conditions in a country like India, even if being poor here means living simply. If we as people can remember this much from seeing one of my shows, then we are already well on the way toward progress in my opinion.

 
Manuel Rivera-Ortiz
 

Eight hours daily labour is enough for any human being, and under proper arrangements sufficient to afford an ample supply of food, raiment and shelter, or the necessaries and comforts of life, and for the remainder of his time, every person is entitled to education, recreation and sleep.

 
Robert Owen
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