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vails there has been demonstrated time every strike engaged in by the various craft and again through the failures of the unions has been lost. That such has been various railroad workers' strikes. The most the case is not an accident. To expect any flagrant example of this is to be found in other result in the unequal struggle bethe recent collapse and routing of the shop tween labor divided, and capital united, men.
would be expecting the impossible. When we come to transportation by
The Strength of Capital water the present prospects are more en
Why has it been impossible for craft couraging. After the final defeat of the
unions to flourish in the automobile or the longshoremen's and the seamen's craft
textile, the steel or the packing industries? unions, through numerous unsuccessful
For the simple reason that these industries strikes, the marine transport workers seem
are operated and controlled by big busito have seen a light, and are at present
ness; they are in the hands of gigantic joining the Marine Transport Workers' In
combines of capital wielding tremendous dustrial Union of the Industrial Work
power. ers of the World in great numbers.
In order to organize the steel mills the But it will take time, take time, grit, and
workers have to buck the colossal power great deal of hard work to build up an organization here that will be powerful
and highly efficient mechanism of the steel
trust. enough to make the masters come to terms. The fiasco of the packing house strikes
In order to organize the oil industry the is well known to everybody who has kept workers have to prove themselves not only is well known to everybody who has kept equal, but superior to the machine built in touch with labor history in recent years. Needless to say, the packing house workers up and kept in smooth working order by
the most powerful organization in the are at present without any form of organi
world to-day,—the Standard Oil. zation. This applies also to almost as great
In order to obtain a foothold and to an extent to the foodstuff workers in the restaurants, bakeries, hotels, and other spread organization in the woolen, cotton places where food is handled.
and silk mills, the textile workers have to We thus see that the major industries
be able to outmaneuver and out-fight the
textile trust. The same applies, only in a in the United States, with the possible ex
lesser degree, to the other industries. ception of one or two, can be looked upon as being altogether unorganized. Can any
The Weakness of Labor body be foolish enough to believe that labor This, then, is the problem that confronts will be able to secure any measure of power us. If any body of men think that they while this condition prevails?
can revolutionize and amalgamate the now The Craft Unions
existing conservative craft unions, why, let The strength of the craft unions is to be
them go to it! We have good reasons for found in the building, construction, print- thinking that this cannot be accomplished, ing, coal mining, and railroad industries. but, for the sake of the argument, let us Neither the building nor the printing in- admit that it could. After they have amaldustries are organized over fifty per cent, gamated to show existing craft unions, nor can they be counted among the pivotal
what will they have? or major industries.
Why, they will have nothing to speak of; The coal miners are organized in most nothing that will be able to effect any apstates, but their brand of organization and preciable change in the destinies of the leadership has been amply illustrated by working class. The workers in the major the failure of the recent coal miners' strike. industries will still be unorganized. The
It is a notorious fact, well known to all power of resistance to the colossal comstudents of recent labor history, that dur- bines of capital will still be almost as small ing the last six or seven years practically as it is to-day.
We thus see that altho the amalgamation semblance of economic power through orf the craft unions might be a laudable ob- ganization at the point of production. This act, surely it is nothing to get excited over; is the big task that confronts us. nd this altogether aside from the question When we set to work organizing the now s to whether or not the amalgamation can unorganized industries we will find that e consummated.
we may have to change our tactics in ac"Organize the Unorganized!”
cordance with the different conditions that The United States is the ideal example
prevail in the various industries. We will f an industrial country. The whole coun- have to use the tools best suited to turn out ry, its industries, and everything else in it,
the work. But surely labor ought to be | run, managed, and owned by a handful able to rise to the necessities of the occaf big financiers and captains of industry.
sion. They are the possessors of all power be- No task should prove to be impossible of ause they are possessors of economic accomplishment by those who keep the ower.
whole world agoing. Let all of us thereThe only way the working class can even fore put our shoulders to the wheel! From lake an attempt to oppose the will of the now on, let our slogan be "Organize the apitalist class is by acquiring at least a Unorganized!”
ERE is a steel mill.
Who are they that shiver in front of the
entrance gates so early in the morning? Why, they are workingmen, going to work or else looking for jobs,—the sons of toil who make everything that is made on the earth, and who represent the Dignity of Labor.
The dignity is not apparent in their faces, to be sure, because those of them who have jobs are afraid the others will get them, and 'the others are afraid they will not get them.
The walls of the building are black and dusty, for it does not pay to clean them; the boss does not live here. The air is cold and damp. The looks that the workingmen bestow upon each other are chilly and furtive; they are eloquent of suspicion, wretchedness, a gnawing at the heart, a sinking at the stomach, a feeling of vague and dumb terror.
A whistle's peremptory scream, and the doors are flung wide open-some go in to serve the rumbling machines, and some go up to face a grumbling master.
The machine must be tended, the master must be . placated.
Why this fear, dread, apprehension of impendi danger?
Why the subdued lights in this picture of lus workingmen-so superbly endowed with the ft dignity of labor!
Because all their lives long these men have be thinking, as did their fathers before them, that th are but puny struggling creatures in a world gigantic forces; that they can get no food, no clot ing, no shelter, except through the gracious bent olence of the exalted power which owns the ni and gives them monay in return for services r dered.
The preservation of their families, their hope happiness, their very lives, depend on placating t MAY, 1923
power,—so they think. They crawl to it as basely as ever savage crawled to his blood-smeared idol to pay homage. They think they must do this, for does not the corporation, the capitalist, possess a power greater than that wielded by the deity? The deity gave life unasked. The capitalist not only gives it but can also take it away, or at least the fulness of it, if it pleases him to do so. The workingmen fear him, for he holds the threads of their fate in his hands, and, like Caliban dreaming himself Setebos, this one he kills, and to that one he grants a morsel of bread, if the man begs for it.
The army of humanity marches on, out from the grim caverns of the unknown past into the misty land of an obscure future. And on its way from a darkness to a darkness, it passes through smoke and dust and noise, through factories, mines and farm lands; it travels over endless stretches of land, and over the face of great lakes and the limitless expanse of the oceans.
Every child born into the world finds awaiting him certain institutions which form the structure of the society in which he has to live—his place of earthly abode, so to speak. As far as he knows by direct evidence, and not by hearsay, these institutions are as much a part of nature as the sun and the moon.
That is not all. The child passes through other sorts of factories,—thought or "mind-fixing" factories. There are newspapers, moving pictures and games which artfully engage his time and attention; there are churches which he should go to on Sunday, and there are schools which he must attend. All these are as little his as the factories he is thrown imong, yes, into, at a too early age. They are outside of his personality and beyond his control, but hey supply the moulds into which his whole being is cast. As far as the child knows, these institutions ikewise are as much a part of nature as the Steel Mills.
from the outside. When every craftsman had his own tools, every iron worker his own forge and bellows and hammers, it was observed,—and observed correctly,—that men did not like to work all day long and have some other man take away the products of their toil. It was decided, and correctly, that if the smith made shovels and rakes, they should be his, unless he were paid for them what he thought they were worth. There you have the origin of the idea that private property is sacred, and of the right to “do what he wishes with his own."
In their time and place these ideas were good. The blacksmith should own the product of his own forge, when he operates it himself, for it is to the social advantage that he be secure in the possession of the fruits of his labor applied to the forge.
But what about the steel mills? Do the cringing, worried, whitefaced men and boys work in them? They certainly do. Do they get the value of their product? They certainly do not.
The owner still applies his traditional right, “to the full product of the forges," although the ownerthe corporation,-is a thing without hands or feet, incapable of working a single machine, of stoking a single furnace. (Needless to say, the stockholders are too busy attending church in Los Angeles, or booze parties in Bermuda, to lend a hand.)
The tradition, the fruit of practical experience, the thought-out result of observation (of long ago) is still with us, though the facts which were observed have ceased to be.
Now, why does not a new concept take the place of the old, lying, outworn tradition?
Since the day when the capitalist masters found the factory rule sliding into their hands, they have labored incessantly to keep the fact of their rule concealed from all and sundry. They are worshipped and dreaded not as human beings but as representatives of a tradition, as priests of the mysterious force, known "OWNERSHIP," "PRIVATE PROPERTY,” which is a mere notion, a vacuous idea.
The wage slave is a spiritualist, kneeling in abasement before a ghost, a disembodied spook of a former social morality.
The Dead Hand of the past has him by the throat; the flail that beats out his manhood is made of bones that once were a saint's, perhaps, but are now but a dug-up pestilence which ought to be buried so that it would torment man no
Accepting then, these things, the factory and the hought factory—will not this child and these childnen accept also the product that pours from them?
The product of the factory is the commodity, he fruit of a commodity-built society; the product of the school and of the newspaper is a mental hing—certain traditions, chief of which is the acredness of private property, and the right of very owner to "do what he wants with his own."
The commodity is older than the factory, in form ind in use. The factory today produces shovels ind rakes cheaper and better, and of a more uniorm standard grade, than was done in the past.
The tradition is older than the newspaper, but it 5 brought up to date, standardized, and cheapened, s well as made more abundant, by the thought actory.
For in the final analysis, the substance of men's houghts is determined by what reaches their minds
So here is the situation, and the cause of the fear. The factory with its capitalist, who must be feared, because the thought factory, with its tradition of private property, permits no idea of his removal.
Your factory sometimes produces a bit of work that is not at all what was intended. As it grows older, it must continually produce more and more work that is defective from the point of view of the capitalist.
The thought factory does the same.
The new circumstances will, sooner or later, force But the Industrial Workers of the World call on a few men to base their ideas upon present-day working men to rise up from their faces, to come facts, even though the men themselves may have out of the mists of a rotting past, to cast off its gone through the “mind-fixing" mills owned and ghostly restraints. No more reverence for outworn operated by the capitalists. The artificial informa- beliefs, no more cringing before millionaires, no tion, the pretended facts, which the thought factory more fleeing from mirages. Capitalism and its packsupplies, will be rejected by these few, and their sack of animated corpses, its gibbets and jails and minds will not be moulded by the fear that distorts everything into grotesque and untruthful shapes.
judges and preachers, its rubbish of ancient moralIf a man moves alone to menace capitalism, the
ity, and its dungeon filth, will no more restrain the police and the juries, its attendant vultures, will tear might of labor in mass than the mists of night will out his liver.
stand against the noon-day sun.
Go East, Young Man, and
Grow Up With Big Industry!
By ALOIS SENNEFELDER, JR.
HE advice of Horace Greeley, "Go
Big Industry in the East west, young man, and grow up with Behold the East! The home of Wal:
the country," will now stand a reversal, Street and the trusts! The land of big inif it has not already been reversed for some dustrialism par excellence! Try your intime past.
dustrial union teeth on that; and, if you can With the disappearance of the frontier, bite into that granite—to adapt to domestic the westward march has ended.
conditions a metaphorical phrase now curresult, we see this westward migration re- rent in Germany—you can bite into any of coiling on itself. We see the young men the problems of giant capitalism. And if and young women of the west and midwest you cannot, the sooner you get a new set of going east “to make their fortunes" and to teeth—which means,
a more effective grow up with giant industrialism there. method of putting theoretical industria The movement to drive the farmers off the unionism into operation—the better. farms into the big cities will give eastward Look at New England, with its giant tendencies still greater impetus in the near woolen trust and its cotton mill corpora. future.
tions! Or take the textile industry as s It is well to call attention to these new whole—the silk industry, for instance, ir tendencies in order that the friends of in- Connecticut, New Jersey, New York and dustrial unionism may appreciate their full Pennsylvania—there's a field that indus significance and act accordingly. There trial unionism must subdue, if it would win is a superstition afloat to the effect that the Or look at the giant electrical manufactur West is the embodiment of everything ing development of the East. The Genera progressive and ideal in industrial tendency. Electric Company, let us say, with its chai The fact of the matter is that, in the de- of plants at Lynn, Mass., Schenectady, N velopment of the continent from coast to Y.; Harrison, N. J.; Erie, Pa.; Fort Wayne coast the East long ago passed the stage Ind. Or consider the Westinghouse plant now characteristic of the West. Chicago,
Chicago, at Pittsburgh, Pa.; Cleveland, O., and othe
points. And don't overlook the Wester for instance, now wants a subway, in emu
Electric Co., of New York City and Chicago lation of the progressiveness of New York
Here are corporations literally employin City. In other words, the West, instead of industrial armies—tens of thousands of em being in the forefront of industrial develop- ployees, mostly unorganized or disorgan ment, lags somewhat behind it.