and the "Golden Voice of the Great Southwest". He described the struggles of labor unions and the power of direct action
, self-identifying as an anarchist
. He often promoted the Industrial Workers of the World
in his music, actions, and words.
Phillips was born in Cleveland, Ohio
, to Edwin Deroger Phillips and Frances Kathleen Coates. He attended East High School in Salt Lake City, Utah.
"The earth is not dying, it is being killed, and those who are killing it have names and addresses."
"You are about to be told one more time that you are America's most valuable natural resource. Have you seen what they do to valuable natural resources?! Have you seen a strip mine? Have you seen a clear cut in the forest? Have you seen a polluted river? Don't ever let them call you a valuable natural resource! They're going to strip mine your soul. They're going to clear cut your best thoughts for the sake of profit unless you learn to resist."
“But if it’s true that the only true life I had was the life of my brain, what sense does it make to hand that brain to somebody for eight hours a day for their particular use on the presumption that, at the end of the day, they will give it back in an unmutilated condition? Fat chance!”
"The state can't give you freedom, and the state can't take it away. Freedom is something you're born with, and then one day someone tries to deny it. The extent to which you resist is the extent to which you are free."
"But they lived those extraordinary lives that can never be lived again. And in the living of them, they gave me a history that is more profound, more beautiful, more powerful, more passionate, and ultimately more useful, than the best damn history book I ever read.
As I have said so often before, the long memory is the most radical idea in America…."