A rat race is for rats. We're not rats. We're human beings.
August 11, 2010 1:03 PM Subscribe
posted by Len (40 comments total)
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Scottish trade unionist, journalist and broadcaster Jimmy Reid
has died aged 78. Often described as the best MP Scotland never had
, Reid was the instigator of the 1971 Upper Clyde Shipbuilders
, where rather than striking, workers demonstrated the viability of the shipyards by working to fill the orders on the books, drawing national and international support (including a fat cheque
from John Lennon). The year after, he was elected as rector of the University of Glasgow, where he delivered a speech
(behind a paywall, sadly) that the New York Times (which saw fit to print it in full) called one of the finest since the Gettysburg Address
The key message (quoted here
) of that speech (unfortunately unavailable online, at least not without paying) is this eloquent plea:
"A rat race is for rats. We're not rats. We're human beings. Reject the insidious pressures in society that would blunt your critical faculties to all that is happening around you, that would caution silence in the face of injustice lest you jeopardise your chances of promotion and self-advancement.
This is how it starts, and, before you know where you are, you're a fully paid-up member of the rat pack. The price is too high."