Richard Theodore Ely (13 April 1854 – 4 October 1943) was an American economist, author, and leader of the Progressive movement. Ely is best remembered as a founder and the first Secretary of the American Economic Association, as a founder and secretary of the Christian Social Union, and as the author of a series of widely-read books on the organized labor movement, socialism, and other social questions.
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- We have among us a class of mammon worshippers, whose one test of conservatism, or radicalism, is the attitude one takes with respect to accumulated wealth. Whatever tends to preserve the wealth of the wealthy is called conservatism, and whatever favors anything else, no matter what, they call socialism.
- Richard T. Ely, Socialism : an examination of its nature, its strength and its weakness, with suggestions for social reform (1894)
- As quoted in: Charles Austin Beard and Mary Ritter Beard, A basic history of the United States, Doubleday, Doran & company, 1944, p. 395.
- They have two distinguishing characteristics. The vast majority of them are laborers, and, as a rule, they expect the violent overthrow of existing institutions by revolution to precede the introduction of the socialistic state. I would not, by any means, say that they are all revolutionists, but the most of them undoubtedly are...
The most general demands of the social democrats are the following: The state should exist exclusively for the laborers; land and capital must become collective property, and production be carried on unitedly. Private competition, in the ordinary sense of the term, is to cease.
- Richard T. Ely, French and German Socialism in Modern Times, 1883, pp. 204–205.