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PAGE 8 THE TOILER SATURDAY, OCT. 23rd, 1920.
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What Courts Are For
A St. Paul judge decided in a recent case
that it is perfectly legal for a group of business
firms to boycott a plumbing establishment which
refused to join them in the "open shop" war on
organized labor in the twin cities.
In Minneapolis, the adjoining city in the same
state of Minnesota another judge sends men to
jail without trial because they, under instructions
of the Trade and Labor Assembly, advertised a
boycott on an "unfair" movie.
Now, the average worker, who still believes
what he read in the school books about law and
government, is apt to say, "There's some mistake
here. One of these judges is off the track."
But such is not the case. Both of these judges
know what they are doing. There is no inconsist
ency whatever. Nobody is off the track except
the worker who thinks he sees a contradition in
Courts are class institutions. They are part
and parcel of the system of exploitation and op
pression known as capitalism. They are function
ing in good order and according to their historic
purpose when they are used to beat down the
organized workers and uphold the organized boss
es. The work they are doing in the twin cities is
just exactly the kind of work they were made
for and which they will continue to do as long as
the workers allow them to exist.
The "Left" Must Organize
The loft wing was badly defeated at the
machinists' convention, despite the fact that
the great majority of the rank and file are
more in harmony with the ideas they proposed
than with those of the reactionary machine.
The "reds" who went to the convention with
such high confidence, emboldened by the know
ledge that the "men in the shops want a new
deal in the union, soon discovered that it takes
something more than enthusiasm and good in
tentions to buck the smooth-running machine
of the reactionaries.
All the old tricks of the labor politicians
wore in evidence at this convention. At a
crucial stage of the fight the radicals were
demoralized by the defection of some of the
leaders they had relied on to carry the fight
on the floor. The machine "got to" them. The
rank and file rebels were still further handicap
ped by the lack of agreement among themselv
es as to the tactics to be used and the program
to be supported. Pitted against them they
found a solidly united bloc of paid official-
who were agreed to a man on what they want
ed and how to get it. Old heads in the game
of manipulating conventions were on the job
at Rochester, leading and directing the fight
We ought to take a leaf from tin Russian
book. rlho revolutionists in that country control
the unions, Soviets and other working class
organisations despite the fact that in many
cuees they constitute but a small minority of
i lit membership. The do this by virtue of their
own organization formed for the express purpose
of dominating the larger bodies. They go into
every mooting or convention with a program
worked out and agreed lforehand, voting and
fighting in .i solid body for whatever measure?