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Address to the Clothing Workers
Klein is best known for his speech to the Clothing Workers, where he said the following:
... my friends, after this war, there will be a great unemployment problem. The munition plants will be closed and useless, and millions of munitions workers will be thrown out upon the market. And then the time will come to show whether you strikers and you workers believe one hundred per cent for organized labor or only 35 per cent.... And my friends, in this story you have a history of this entire movement. First they ignore you. Then they ridicule you. And then they attack you and want to burn you. And then they build monuments to you. And that is what is going to happen to the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America. And I say, courage to the strikers, and courage to the delegates, because great times are coming, stressful days are here, and I hope your hearts will be strong, and I hope you will be one hundred per cent union when it comes!
Klein's words are often summarized as "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win", and misattributed to Mahatma Gandhi and to Arthur Schopenhauer as "All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident".
- Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America, General executive board report and proceedings of the biennial convention (1919)
- 'Religion: End of an Idealist' (Monday, August 4, 1930) Time