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A correspondent sends in the following query:
“If a man gets up some morning and puts on his trousers with the seat in front and buttons them up behind, draws on his socks wrong side out, puts the right shoe on his left foot and the left on his right, and fastens his necktie on behind and lets it trail down his back, what would you say was the matter with him?”
Answer: We would say he was qualifying for membership in the Four L's.
Here's the best one we have heard in many a long day: The other day we attended a mass meeting of steel workers. An "international officer” of a dinky little craft union having a membership of a few thousand out of the half million or so unorganized steel workers, was on the platform, and was vaxing hot about the dangers of "dual unionism:” “Why don't them I. W. W.s leave the steel workers alone and go into some industry that ain't organized ! Can you beat it!
This talk about the working class being at the foot of the social ladder reminds us of Dan, the school boy.
"If it wasn't for me," said Dan, proudly, "my class wouldn't have any standing at all."
"But I thought you were at the foot of the class," said his mother.
“Well, so I am," admitted Dan, "but how could it stand if it didn't have a foot ?"
The following "gem of purest ray serene” is taken from a K. K. K. sheet. The exalted klukking kleagles are this time klamoring for the scalp of our liberal-minded friend Charles Edward Russell. It sure am a humdinger:
“And by the God of the Hebrew prophets we red-blooded, white one-hundred per cent Americans swear that while the earth revolves on its axis England shall have no part in directing our affairs, and when your sort of caviling, interloping yaps come around dictating how we shall act toward Italian dago, red Russian bolshevik, yaller-bellied Chinanan or murderous Turk, we will beat old Harry out of you, give you a good coat of tar and feathers and then kick you out of this country. If you don't believe it just come to Louisiana and repeat the things which are in this insulting article of yours, and see what happens."
Ain't these 'the berries, though? The self-proclaimed defenders of democracy and the sanctity of womanhood are all there when it comes to changing lofty sentiments into direct action,—you betcha life!
A lot of the workingmen we know are “on their way," but haven't the least idea where they are headed for. They are like the Scotsman who, after a merry evening, said to his friend:
“Do ye ken where Andy Graham lives the noo?”
“Whist!” said his friend, "ye're Andy Graham yersel'."
“I'm no' askin' ye if ye ken Andy Graham,” was the reply; "I'm askin' if ye ken whaur he lives."
"Oh, Henry,” said Mrs. Chatterton, "what do you think? Little Richard is beginning to talk.”
"Good luck to him," said her husband. “It's more than I've been able to do in this house. How did he ever get the chance ?"
Political orator—"Gentlemen," said he, “my opponent suggests that such things are mere pinpricks. But I can assure him that this pinprick is the last straw which breaks the camel's back. If it is not uprooted while still in the cradle, its venomous tongue will permeate the very pillars of democracy, and ring up the curtain on the deluge which will consume us all!”
The Real Workers' International
By E. W. LATCHEM
NE of the most important problems confront- must be subordinated to the great aim of obtaining
ing the International Working Class today is the economic emancipation of the working class, and
the solidification of their forces industrially that this can only be done by getting solidarity in the and internationally in order to enable them to suc- ranks of the workers in various branches of industry cessfully combat the forces of International Cap- in all countries. italism.
Necessarily, this implies that the economic factor It is fifty-nine years since the first attempt was is the predominating factor, and that therefore revomade to weld the militant forces of labor into an lutionary economic organization of the working class international fighting force, and to establish greater is the key to the solution of working class problems. solidarity between the workers of the different Any organization which does not organize in accord countries in their struggles against the common with the above theories cannot truly claim to be enemy-Capitalism.
continuing the great work started by the First In
ternational. The First International and the Workers' Ecanomic Interests
The Second International and German Economic This organization was named the International
Interests Association of Workingmen, and later came to be In regard to the Second International, it is only known as the First International. It adopted the necessary to state that history has proved that the following statutes:
finely worded phraseology and resolutions emanat“That the emancipation of the working class is ing from it were but camouflage for a nationalistic to be attained by the working class itself;
political movement, whose controlling element, the "That the struggle for the emancipation of the Social Democratic Party of Germany, went over to working class does not mean a struggle for class the German Imperialists as soon as the first real test privileges and monopolies, but a struggle for equal came at the outbreak of the World War in 1914. rights and equal obligations, for the abolition of In reality the leaders of the German Social every kind of class-domination;
Democracy represented the economic needs and in"That the economic subjection of the worker terests of the German Bourgeoisie; they succeeded under the monopolists of the means of production, so well in camouflaging themselves that they were i. e., of the sources of life, is the cause of servitude able to impose their narrow, nationalistic concepin all its forms, the cause of all social misery, all tions on the international labor movement to such mental degradation and political dependence; an extent that today we have thousands of sincere
“That the economic emancipation of the working workers who think that they are internationalists, class is therefore the great aim which every political when it reality they are only camouflaged namovement must be subordinated to;
tionalists. "That all endeavors for this great aim have failed
The Third International and Russian Economic as yet because of the lack of solidarity between the
Interests various branches of industry in all countries, because of the absence of the fraternal tie of unity
A close study of the Third International and its
offspring, the Red International of Labor Unions. between the working classes of the different
will disclose the fact that nearly all their programs countries;
and policies are the reflex of Russian economic needs “That the emancipation is neither a local nor a
and interests in the same manner that the German national problem but a problem of a social character
Social Democracy was the reflex of certain Germaa embracing every civilized country, the solution of
economic needs and interests. which depends on the theoretical and practical co
One of the outstanding features of all literature operation of the most progressive countries;
and propaganda issued by the Third International “That the actual simultaneous revival of the
and the Red International of Labor Unions is that workers' movement in the industrial countries of
most of their reasoning and contentions center Europe, on the one hand, awakens new hopes, while, around the idea of a revolution in all countries on the other hand, it is a solemn warning of the
which is to happen in the same manner and go danger of relapse into the old errors and an appeal through the same processes as the Russian revolt for an immediate union of the hitherto disconnected tion. movement."
Those in control are in such close and sympathetic Solidarity Vital
touch with present day Russia and her problems It is to be noted that although the above program that they reflect her needs and desires and harz is incomplete, it is extremely clear on certain points, deluded themselves into thinking that they are voicnamely: That all working class political movements ing the interests of the international proletariat.
As yet Russia has no industrial proletariat cor
Necessary Steps responding to the proletariat of other countries
The first step to be taken by an International, or which are more highly developed industrially, and any other body which happens to be really sincere until Russia has adjusted herself economically she in wanting to carry out the work attempted in 1864 cannot have a Russian proletarian interest that is by the International Association of Workingmen, identical to that of the International proletarian is to start in removing from the labor movements economic interest.
of all countries all obstacles which stand in the We can understand and sympathize with Russia,
way of getting “solidarity between the various but we, as proletarian workers, cannot allow our branches of industry in all countries." This cannot sympathies to override our judgment. We cannot be done successfully by any sectarian group which swallow Russian nationalistic policies and call them excludes workers because they fail to endorse cerinternational policies just to prove our friendship for tain phraseology that pertains to the immediate the Russan revolution.
struggles of some particular country. It is only natural that the hard and intense strug- To use the words of Frederick Engels, the First gle of Russia to adjust herself economically should International “trusted entirely to the intellectual cause even the most advanced Russians to lose sight development of the working class, which was sure of all else for the time being. In acting thus they to result from combined action and mutual discusare only proving themselves human.
sion.” Exponents of the Third International make much
When the Third International and the Red Interof the fact that it was “established in March, 1919, national of Labor Unions made admission dependent in the Capital of the Russian Socialist Federated upon endorsement of phrases which have come to Soviet Republic.” It might be well to recall that the front as a result of the Russian Revolution, they the Social Democratic Party of Germany was also ignored the policies laid down by Marx and others, begotten during a time of great stress, and that the
whom they pretend to follow, and became but a poison which later killed the Second International
sectarian group of “phrase-mongers.” Marx, himwas injected at that time.
self, always pointed out the need and necessity of
combined action and mutual discussion, and the Predominating Influences
danger of becoming transformed into a sectarian In considering international labor problems we group. need to remember that the actions of the labor His policy was to find points of agreement and movements in all countries are largely, if not alto- get the workers together and then, if as a result of gether, influenced by their own peculiar problems, their combined activity and mutual discussion the and that each country is inclined to consider its own
workers decided to adopt other policies, well and problems as the most important.
good. Any international body, to be truly international,
The Communist Manifesto makes that point exwill necessarily have to subordinate all national tremely clear to all those whose minds are free from economic interests to that of the International Prole
nationalistic or other prejudices. tarian interest.
The Future Industrial Workers of the World We should also remember that international ac- We of the I. W. W. are looking forward to the tivity of the working class is not at all dependent time when the workers of other countries are ready upon, nor a result of, the formation of an interna
to seriously undertake to put into practice the tional body.
principles enunciated by the First International. The formation of an international body does not Then and not till then, will we have an International produce international activity but it does provide that can truly be called THE INDUSTRIAL WORKan organized expression for that activity.
ERS OF THE WORLD.
The Railroad Container
By A CIVIL ENGINEER
S a rule socialization follows in the wake of technical progress, as surely as night follows day, technical progress. When we pass from the and many a poor devil with a middle class mind lost
handsaw to the sawmill, we become socialized what few cents he had in trying to domesticate for because it takes a social group instead of an indivi- his personal advantage a technical process that was dual to operate the new tool, the sawmill.
in its essence social. Machinization of life through the industrial proc- Just now, some electric interests are engaged into ess opens up the era of the big shop.
a campaign to rob the little country boy of his Every one of 13 groups into which the Census swimming hole in order to provide "juice" for the Bureau divides the industries of the country in- farms. Commercially it is just a scheme to sell creased in capital and in horse-power used in fac- small dynamos and many will “fall” for the glib tories between 1914 and 1919, but 7 groups lost in talk of the salesmen who ought to realize that they numbers of establishments.
can never produce their own juice cheaper than the In 13 major groups of industries, the following large concern can sell it to them. changes in number of establishments took place in The individualism which the American derives the 5-year period from 1914 to 1919:
from his pioneering ancestors becomes, after the
public domain is gone or gobbled up by the capNet Increases
italists, a silly superstition which causes many a FOOD, 1,995 plants, 3.4 per cent.
hardworking but ignorant person to drop what little TEXTILES, 5,089 plants, 21.6 per cent.
he has scraped together after many untold privaIRON and STEEL, 2,401 plants, 11.3 per cent. tions. OTHER METALS, 644 plants, 6.5 per cent.
As soon a technical progress is registered RAILROAD REPAIR SHOPS, 357 plants, 17.5 beyond the purely experimental stage, it is always
used to hamstring a few would-be capitalists. It MISCELLANEOUS, 3,056 plants, 16.3 per cent.
is practically useless to remind those people that Net Decreases
every step forward in the technique of industry
means more wage-workers and less tool-owners. WOOD MANUFACTURERS, 2,081 plants, 4 per
When there is on the surface a slight possibility cent.
of backing up such a notion with scientific consideraLEATHER and SHOES, 361 plants, 5.3 per cer
tions, the economically ignorant rush up to be plunPAPER and PRINTING, 793 plants, 12.1 per cent.
dered with all the speed at their command. CHEMICALS, 150 plants, 1.2 per cent.
The advent of the motor truck is a case in point. CLAY, STONE, GLASS, 2,218 plants, 15 per cent.
There was a machinized tool, a comprehensive TOBACCO, 3,660 plants, 26 per cent.
technical improvement, and still one man could drive AUTOS and all VEHICLES, 991 plants, 15 per cent. (Excluding auto repair plants, which average
it, keep it up and—notice the easy economic mistake 5 men each.)
-own it. So, salesmen went around the country
who had not only trucks for sale but hauling conIf the increase in small automobile repair-shops tracts as well. All one had to do was to buy a is omitted from consideration, the number of fac- truck, paying down what he had and giving notes tories in the United States showed an increase of for the balance, and he could get a long time cononly 232—less than one-tenth of 1 per cent—in a tract from some industrial concern. On the face of five-year period which put an army of 2,017,000 it, it was a golden opportunity but, in reality, it additional workers into American shops, increased was not as good as it looked. The best those people
the energy of their engines, motors and waterwheels could do, after all their expenses were paid, was to • by 7,000,000 horse-power, and vastly swelled their realize that they were only wageworkers in disguise. capital. It is the Era of the Big Shop.
Most of them learned by experience that in the wake No one is more hopelessly blind than the man who of all key industries there exist a lot of minor, secrefuses to see, and there are still a lot of people ondary enterprises which the owners of large conwho imagine that such a distinctly pronounced cerns are quite willing to leave to individuals because economic tendency will have no bearing upon their they know that, at their best, those minor industries puny little individualiity.
can only assume a subordinate life and are at all A few years ago, there existed in New York a times depending for their very existence upon the magazine called The Unpopular Review and it cer- tolerance of the large corporations. The latter know tainly deserved its name. It made a specialty of their exact profits and, as soon as their earnings rise boosting so-called individual opportunities in the above a certain figure, absorption by the parent face of the economic concentration which follows concern follows.
In the meanwhile the little fellows are doing at their own expense a lot of experimenting that is especially useful in the long run to the big concern.
In the specific case of the motor truck, most of the economic nonsense about the false possibilities of hauling by truck came from the little fellow who had purchased trucks on the installment plan and imagined that they were going to give the railroad companies the run of their lives.
As a matter of fact, the truck lines never made very serious inroads upon the revenues of the rail carriers. As soon as the truck lines became important enough to become dangerous competitors, the railroads saw to it that they were placed under the regulative power of the state railroad missions.
The individualistic illusion of the small truck owner caused him to bear the whole burden of a competition whích, he now understands, could lead nowhere.
Now peace has been restored in the transportation world. Good roads have been built, the motor truck is not able to compete with the steam trunk lines, but is going to be used to a larger extent on the branch lines. Such is the understanding which has been brought about between the two types of land carriers, and the first result of which is going to be the ownership of the trucks operating on feeder or branch roads, from the main line, by the railway companies themselves.
This understanding is the product of a technical invention, the railroad container.
A railroad container is a locked steel box which fits inside the stake pockets of a flat car and the standard size of which is the same as that of a boxcar in height, with a length of 8 feet. On the upper part is a strong eyebolt ready to receive the hook of a crane.
It does not look like very much of an invention but the reader will probably change his mind if he follows me in the study of its possibilities.
Let us say that A is a wholesaler in Chicago. The railroad company delivers to his backdoor all the containers he wishes. They come on an automobile truck and are lifted off by an electric crane. A has received an order from a customer B. who lives in C. He opens a container, throws the order into it and locks the door. If A is a big firm and has his own spur or side-track, he leaves the container on his rear loading platform and, during the night, a flat car comes along, puts the container alongside of another one and moves off. If A is a small firm, the railroad company will collect the container with a motor truck, take it to the yard and load it with a crane on a flat. The flat moves off on the main line till it reaches the proper junction. Here a motor truck comes along and several containers are loaded on it. The truck moves off along a branch line and deposits the containers at the very door of B, the local merchant in the town of C.
Now let us notice the economic consequences of this simple invention.
First, from the point of view of the common carrier. Do you, reader, realize that most of the cities are hemmed in and restricted in their development and traffic by the necessity for the railroads to locate in- and outbound freight houses as near as possible to the center of business? Some of the most valuable real estate is tied up on that account.
The door of the container faces the long side of the flat car. Place a board or a steel plate between the container and the stakes and thefts and robberies in transit become practically impossible. No more losses to the railroad on that account and, besides, the use of the container means more flats and less boxes, which represents quite a difference in the cost of buying and maintaining the equipment.
So far we have looked at this thing from the point of view of the employer, but what of the man at the other end who gets his goods delivered at his door without paying to send a team or a truck for them? The item of trucking is by no means to be overlooked. It is still in the chaotic stage. It is also very expensive, specially if we compare it with the cost of long distance hauling.
Petaluma, the greatest chicken and egg producing center in the world, is nearly a hundred miles away from San Francisco by rail, but it costs more to haul a load of eggs from the freight house to the commission merchant's than it costs to bring the same eggs from Petaluma, and I have no doubts that the same conditions are duplicated in other lines in most of our large commercial centers.
And now from the point of view of the worker. The new invention is sure going to treat him rough. Here is a list of some of the employees whose job the railroad container causes partly or entirely to disappear.
Goods carried in containers must not be packed, nor boxed, nor crated, which means a reduction of at least fifty per cent in the number of order pickers, checkers, packers and laborers at both ends of the haul. It means also a smaller demand for box and crate lumber and paper cartons. It cuts out twothirds of the freight house employees, truckers, deliverymen, clerks, checkers, callers, etc. It decreases the amount of work to be performed by the carwhackers and builders of freight cars, with only the compensation of a little more work in the plants where containers and pressed steel cars will be manufactured.
For so simple an invention, it surely threatens to make a lot of victims.
Should the workers oppose the introduction of the container? This would be ridiculous if it were not impossible. Under a sane social system, the workers in the railroad transportation industry would hail the container with joy. It would give them a better chance to read, to get acquainted with their families and to improve their minds, or even to become more proficient at their favorite pastimes.