“There’s a politician in my hometown, a very nice guy. He used to be a shop steward for the union in the local factory, but for twenty years he represented our town in the county legislature. And he said, ‘Pete, if you don’t grow, you die.’ One o’clock in the morning, I sat up in bed and thought of the next question. If that’s true, if you don’t grow you die, doesn’t it follow the quicker you grow, the sooner you die? Nobody is facing up to that question, but it’s very definitely true. Now the first step in solving a problem is to admit there’s a problem. Then we can argue about ways it could be solved.
“I suppose one person will say. ‘Well, let a few people have trillions of dollars and the rest of the people obediently do the work, and the people in charge will see that everything is done right.’ On other hand, I think what was in the Declaration of Independence is true now, just as it was then. Those great lines, they’re written by Ben Franklin, you know, not Jefferson. ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these rights are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness; that to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed; that when any government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it.'”
–Pete Seeger, as interviewed by Amy Goodman on Democracy Now!, July 3, 2006