"It is the growing custom to narrow control,
concentrate power, disregard and disfranchise the public;
and assuming that certain powers by divine right
of money-raising or by sheer assumption,
have the power to do as they think best
without consulting the wisdom of mankind."
W. E. B. Du Bois
(1868-1963) Professor, Civil Rights Activist, NAACP Founding Member
The Autobiography of W.E.B. Du Bois
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Reader comments about this quote:
He was a Communist!! Why in heck would he merit inclusion in a liberty quote?
 -- Mark, Petersham     
  • 2 2
    I think Mark, Petersham should read "At the Hands of Persons Unknown: The Lynching of Black America" by Philip Dray. He might, just might, come to another opinion. I hope so. Kindest Regards
     -- Alastair, Vettre, Norway     
    Whether the centralization is done in the name of Liberty or Socialism, concentrating the power of nation into the hands of a few sets the stage for totalitarianism.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
  • 7
    Mark--- You are the reason why Du Bois' civil rights activism career was put to a hault, i am ashamed that people such as yourself are still around; he was a pioneer to the civil rights movement and one of the greatest intellectuals of his time, patrotic and did more for the african american race than any other leader, but yet his favor towards communism was a righteous one given situational factors, please read the book which the quote came from.
     -- Jesse O'Shea, Tampa     
  • 1
     -- Anonymous      
    Centralization and that which is now being touted as 'wisdom' (not) are destroying the freedoms and liberties of all man kind.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
  • 1
    Words, words, words. Centralization is bad whether it is "governmnet" or one individual. A powerful capitalist can run rough shod over people just like a powerful government. The word communism at its core can be interpreted as community-ism. Some times community is better than one man rule regardless of how much money he has. .
     -- Waffler, Smith, Arkansas     
  • 4
    I'd rather have a king who leaves me alone than a politburo that "cares" about me. There is one thing a powerful capitalist cannot do: legally force his will on you at the point of a gun.
     -- Ken, Allyn, WA     
  • 3
    Once on the throne there is little distinction between any of them.
     -- RobertSRQ     
  • 1
    He get 5 stars for this one, this is the raw truth at it best, to really make us look truthfully at our selves for the very first time......he was right on point
     -- trinity dushon, S.F.,Calif     
  • 1
    how can you say that he has done alot for his race when he was paid to smear Marcus Garvey as majority of his people where oppressed by no fault of their own and before he died he made alot of money and went back to Africa!
     -- Stephen Bond, Nashville     
  • 3
    I think my great-grandfather got it exactly right and we can see in the most recent "problems" on Wall Street and in corporate headquarters around the world what kinds of corruption that concentration can cause. C. Wright Mills warned us in "The Power Elite" of similar pitfalls.
     -- Arthur McFarlane II, Denver     
  • 2
    I agree with Stephen from Nashville. Du Bois was part of the problem. Not only was he paid to smear Garvey but was part of a secret organization to do so. He was an elitist who was blinded by "power" and wealth. Don't be fooled, Obama is in the same vein.
     -- Yahya, Milwaukee     
  • 3
    DuBois got it right. The (first and) last angry man. Booker T, too patient, Garvey too verbose and unrealistic. Malcolm and Martin: both into Love Thy Neigbbor - which has proven the best strategy in a democracy . "If fury by itself could freedom ring, DuBois is Moses! Every soul would sing." (RBC)
     -- Richard Baldwin Cook, Baltimore     
    DuBois praised the Nazis, the Boleshivks and Mao....if he had his way we would today be living under one of those "utpoians" He said that the Nazi prejudice against the Jews was reasoned and he favored eugenics....he was a real beauty
     -- Dave, Pittsfield     
  • 1
    The only answer is "one man one vote" get the money out of the system.
     -- Waffler, Smith     
    I have serious doubts about" TheWisdom of Mankind" as I've seen little evidence of it. To the concentration of power in Washington, thanks go to Abraham Lincoln. As to "one man one vote" I quote H.L.Mencken. "Government brokers in pillage and elections are a sort of advance auction of stolen goods".
     -- jim k, Austin, Tx     
  • 3
    this SOUNDS good...but what happened to the wisdom of God?
     -- Irene3n2, VA     
  • 1
    Right on, Jesse O'Shea and Aastair. It's obvious many have never read Du Bois, a very great man.
     -- dick, fort worth     
    " For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men. But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God has chosen the weak things of the world to confoud the things which are mighty; and base things of the world, and things which are despised, has God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: that no flesh should glory in his presence. But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption. That according as it is written, he that glories, let him glory in the Lord." I Corinthians.( KJB) jim k, Austin Tx, makes a profound statement concerning the current form of governing, and our besieged Constitutional Republic at Natural law. Our Founding Fathers feared a centralized government and mob rule. Seeking to ascribe righteousness to our Creator in the form of our Declaration of Independence and our Constitutional Resolve to protect the sovereign individual. Both of which are Legal Standings before a Just God and his Heavenly Court ! so it would be foolish indeed to put trust in mans wisdom all the while crying for justice.
     -- Ronw13, Oregon     
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