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Newspaper Page Text
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IF PRIVATE CAPITAL WON'T PUT MEN TO WORK
THEN LET CHICAGO DO IT, AND DO IT NOW
BY N. D. COCHRAN
In an article in the Herald on "Relieving the Poor," Stoughton Cooley
"So long as the unentployed and the underunemployed ask merely for
charity, matters will proceed smoothly; but when they demand justice
and declare they will neither starve nor quit the earth, it is time for
society to sit up and take notice."
Society is very slow about sitting up and taking notice, although I
agree with Cooley that when the charity game plays out there will be
something doing. The most encouraging sign of the awakening is that
THE POOR THEMSELVES ARE BEGINNING TO SIT UP AND TAKE
That's the only way the general awakening can come.
The man with a full belly can't understand starvation. The man with
a big diamond on his necktie and large banknotes in his pocket can't
understand pocketpicking and other forms of petty theft. He is apt to
think he is doing his duty if he dispenses charity. The richer he is the
less chance there is of him understanding the difference between charity
Much depends upon how we expect justice to come. For one, I can't
see it coming as' a handout I don't think anybody is powerful enough to
GIVE justice to the so-called masses. They will get justice only as they
understand it and TAKE it
Cooley's statement was -based on the action of a mass meeting of
unemployed at Seattle, where resolutions were passed in which the unem
ployed said they were willing to work and added:
"We are not willing to be treated as criminals. We blame no indi
vidual in particular for our being out of work and we refuse to starve or
be driven off the earth. The responsibility for the starving unemployed
rests upon capitalist society."
That is the human spirit I was going to write American spirit I
hope will grow. I would cut -out the word capitalist before the word
society, because those members of society who are not capitalists are re
sponsible for the members who are. That is, ALL of us permit the social
scheme which some term capitalist society.
Most men have a boss because they haven't learned to boss them
selves. Most men want somebody else to do their thinking for them. If that
were not true political parties would be fluid instead of solid, and news
papers would have more respect for their readers than for their advertisers.
I want people to THINK I want them to refuse to accept charity as 6
a miserable substitute for justice.
It was discouraging when the employed regarded the unemployed as
criminals, and blamed men who wanted to work for not working. IT IS
DISTINCTLY ENCOURAGING WHEN MEN WHO WANT WORK AND
CANT GET IT REFUSE TO BE TREATED AS CRIMINALS AND RE
FUSE TO STARVE OR BE DRIVEN OFF THE EARTH.
When enough of them get that idea through their heads then they
WON'T be treated as criminals, WON'T starve and WON'T be. driven off
Cooley thinks the answer is to levy taxes on community-create s
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