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Newspaper Page Text
SATURDAY, DEC. 4, 1920.
the output on the street. The union label blesses
We cannot imagine anything that would make
the devil laugh more heartly than this. The idea
of union men propagandizing the destruction of
their own union must surely make him howl with
delight supposing of course, that he is inter
ested in the battle between Labor and Capital.
Neither can we imagine anything more pleasing
to the capitaliets behind the Open Shop program
than to have the "good union men" cut their own
throats in this way.
Of course, the union printer will answer that
he MUST do this. There is a sacred contract
which binds him to turn out the work he is given
to do. Yes, and the same good union men were
tickled to pieces when they finally prevailed upon
the boss printers to sign those contracts! If their
unionism were based upon the revolutionary prin
ciple of emancipating the worker from wage slav
ery instead of making a series of truces with the
bosses, they would not have any contracts, much
less "sacred" ones with which to undermine theirv
own organization at the will of these exploiters.
But that is t' e lesson they may learn soon. Con
tinue to pre. i your masters' sermons, publish
his lies, defame yourself and your union brothers,
destroy the organization which is the result of
scores of years of effort and when you have
accomplished the task of reducing yourselves to
crawling worms under your bosses' heels, then,
perhaps, you will see the folly of your outworn
craft unionism with its contracts sacred or
An Absurd Proposal
"Among plans' proposed (by the Cincinnati
Central Labor Union to combat the bosses' Open
Shop Propaganda) was the stimulation of the co
operative movement to the end that empolyees
go into business for themselves when a strike is
cal'ed." News item.
The long-drawn out absurdity of the tactics of
trades unionism are endless it seems.
Should this false philosophy of labor skates ob
tain, something like the following would ensue in
the case of strikes:
Should railroad workers strike, they should im
mediately build new national railway systems. In
case of a long shoreman's strike, they would have
to build new docks, wharfs, warehouses. In case
of agricultural workers, all that is necessary is
to invest in some hundreds of millions of acres of
land and start farming. And for street car workers
it is only necessary that they proceed to get
franchises and lay their own city railways. Steel
workers could invest their millions in orey mines,
furnaces, railways, shops, ships, locomotives, land
etc. Garment workers would have nothing to do
but set themselves up in the garment making in
dustry, while coal miners would simply start dig
ging their own coal.
Only it couldn't work out that way.
If it could it would not be necessary to await
a strike to put it into practice.
The idea of the workers setting up in business
in competition with the present owners of capital
istic industry is about the most Utopian and ab
surd proposition that can be imagined. Yet, many
workers consider it in all seriousness.
Co-operation has been made a Fetish of in some
quarters and it may be that outgrown craft union
ism will seek to rally its shattered forces around
this idol in its last supplications before death.
It is quite possible that it will do so, for its whole
philosophy is in tune with the idea. After a half
century of teaching and practicing the co-partnership
of Labor and Capital it is natural that in case
of a breach of business relations it should attempt
to set up for itself around the corner.
If trade unionists had been schooled in the
knowledge of the ineradicable antagonisms be
tween Labor and its exploiters, it would know what
to do in this crisis which it now faces, with its
hundreds of thousands of members already placed
on the benefit lists of the Unions. It
would know that the remedy for the pre
sent lockout of labor, is the taking over
of industry by the workers. And it would be pre
paring to do so too, instead of leading the workers
from one pitfall into another.
The remedy is WORKERS' CONTROL not
"You can't suppress ike strike, you can't put
the lid on life. The strike is the life need of the
workers. Strikes come because workers do not
get enough to live on. We say this is no sort of
social system to ask Americans to live under."
1. E. Ferguson, on trial before Judge Weeks on a
charge of "criminal anarchy."