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THAT "A. F. OF L. AND POLITICS"
Sin Diego, Cal., Dec. 5, 1913
Editor' Day Book:
If your paper had a price on its
space, I would offer to buy enough of
it to reply to the attack on my article,
"The A. P. of L. and Politics," by
your communicant, Louis Vineburn,
who describes himself as "Yours for
Solidarity." As you don't sell your
space, I have to beg for some of it.
It is not true, as Mr. Vineburn says,
that "wage slavery is an economic
question and not 'a political ques
tion." It Is both, as are all questions.
Under our form of government, the
law the will of the people must
rule. The expression and execution
of that will are matters of politics.
Wage slavery is a question of eco
nomics; but its control or eradication
is a question of politics or else we
have anarchy. Is this not incontro
vertible? It is at this very point that
I tried to take a fall out of the A. F.
of L. That organization declares a
condition to be bad and refuses to use
its full power to right it, through the
only available means politics, the
means through which all our ques
tions must be settled.
Mr. Vineburn's "Economic power
pre-supposes political power" is
laughable. While the organized
workingmen have been going about
"presupposing" things, organized
greed has got the power, througb
Your communicant does me wrong
in defining my "riot" as meaning
strike and my "sabotage" as .mean
ing "not a fair day's work in ex
change for not a fair day's pay."
Under present conditions, I believe
that strikqs and the boycott are often
necessary and wholly justifiable. To
demonstrate that the country will
not stand for riot during strikes, I
have only to presenl the fact that it
does not and has not. What occurs,
every time? First, the police are
turned upon the .strikers; then, the ,
county authorities and then, if nee- j
essary, the soldiers of the national ,
government all, mind you, crea
tures of politics, all representing the
law which Is also the creation of
The throwing of a monkey-wrench,
into a piece of running machinery
the weaving of rotten threads, into
fabrics, the poisoning of wells and
the like are things this country, in
cluding intelligent organized labor,
will not stand for. They are.but the
crazy, wholly calamitous manifesta
tions of innate viciousness and are
to be put down, for the general good, '
as is rabies in dogs.
Very likely, If the necessity for it
came, in our struggle for justice and
equality, I would be just as eager as
Brother Vineburn to cut plutocratic
throats and set fire to palaces on the
avenue. But there cannot be the
slightest semblance of such necessity
so long as we do our duty in politics,
wherein every citizen has -equal pow
er with every other clUzqn to settle
all questions. Pretty regularly, an
nually, as I become, more and more
ripe, I get hot at the A. F. of L. be
cause it still thinks that "the time
is not ripened" for it to use the power
guaranteed to it by the Constitution
and preserved to It by a thousand
bloody battles. Alas! Brother Vine
burn, some of us old fellows will not
be here to see the ripening. Too many
of our fellows are still serving but as
tails of other fellows' political kites,
and the whole business drags along.
R. F. Paine.
UHLIR TO HAVE A TREE
Judge Uhlir will play Santa Claus
,to the kids whose parents'" misfor
tunes 'bring, them. Into the Court of
He is going to have a Christmas
tree on the. day before Christmas and
will distribute presents. In this work
he will be assisted by "Jovial-Johnny"
Gardner, tfie. clerk of. the court.
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