“In this great contest of Right against Wrong, of Liberty against Slavery, who are the wicked, if they be not those, who, like vultures and vampyres, are gorging themselves with human blood? if they be not the plunderers of the poor, the spoilers of the defenceless, the traffickers in 'slaves and the souls of men?' Who are the cowards, if not those who shrink from manly argumentation, the light of truth, the concussion of mind, and a fair field? if not those whose prowess, stimulated by whiskey potations, or the spirit of murder, grows rampant as the darkness of night approaches; whose shouts and yells are savage and fiend-like; who furiously exclaim, 'Down with free discussion! down with the liberty of the press! down with the right of petition! down with constitutional law!'–who rifle mail-bags, throw types and printing-presses into the river, burn public halls dedicated to 'Virtue, Liberty and Independence' and assassinate the defenders of inalienable human rights?”
Continues, who indeed—
Who are the just? The wicked they
Proclaim from hill and dale their greed.
“Free market!” and “Money is speech!”
They holler far and wide;
“A corporate entity” (they teach)
“Holds virtue undenied.”
Today the heavy manacles
The slave was called to wear—
Those gilded chains, still terror else—
Once sold on public square
Have been supplanted rather by
Exigencies held by a lie
That men are scared to tell.
The contest has continued: we
Today find the usurper
Ensconced in halls of justice—he
Of platitudes the chirper
Calls for enforcement of the laws
Which hold the pauper down,
And raising capital, because
He worships its renown.
By an abomination men
Curtail the hope of others,
To be condemned, again, again,
Before disaster smothers.
They preach a value: “Money talks!”
And “Virtue trickles down,”
Conceptions at which honor balks
But honor stands alone
Without a friend in the cabal
That ushers men with speed
Toward slavery renewed—their call
Proclaims from hill and dale their greed.