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The day book. (Chicago, Ill.) 1911-1917, February 14, 1916, LAST EDITION, Image 2

Image and text provided by University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library, Urbana, IL

Persistent link: http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83045487/1916-02-14/ed-1/seq-2/

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tion on the part of the men by saying: "The army should be used for
national defense. It should never be used, of course, for police duty, for
strike service or for anything that would not meet the approval of the
workers. It must be the country's army nothing more, nothing less.
For the same reason service should be absolutely voluntary. No man
should be influenced tchbelong to this industrial army for national defense
against his wish."
But somewhere in the middle of the editorial, John, I find this sig
nificant sentence; "Take your men out during the noon hour and put
them through the calisthenics that will make them supple, keep their
waist lines within athletic bounds and relieve the fatigue that comes from
bending over a work bench or the monotonous motions that are a feature
of machine work day after day."
And in still another place you say: "It (military training) would
afford recreation. Many workers get too little of that. Their idea of
recreation is to go to the moving pictures or perhaps to lie around some
park on a Sunday. These diversions are good, but military service is
better. You have observed the soldierly bearing of men in military train
ing. They are erect; their step is elastic. They are clear-eyed. They look
a man fearlessly in the face," etc.
All very pretty, Johnny Glenn, but it won't do. Your industrial army
isn't democratic. The evident purpose is to have it officered by the em
ployers. "Take YOUR men out during the noon hour," you say. In a
democracy workmen are their own men. They don't belong to the bosses.
And your army stunt couldn't be pulled off in any factory where the
workmen are organized. It might be done in 'an open shop, open to none
but non-union men because they might join and drill out of fear that they
would lose their jobs if they didn't. But if the shop were organized the
men could look the bosses in the eye, anyhow and tell them that they,
the workers, would officer that democratic army.
The workers will be suspicious of such an industrial army as you sug
gest Especially with your open shop policy. They won't feel like joining
an army to fight for your property or your country when they are not per
mitted to organize now as workers to protect their own lives and those
of their wives and children.
The continental army has gone up he spout The people don't want
the regular army enlarged, and the state militia has been discredited by
tts use as a strike-breaking agency of state policemen.
If we are going to have a national army of defense, John, it's got to
be a democratic army something along the lines of the Swiss plan, where
the rich man and his son must make the same preparation for national
defense as the poor man and his son -an army where military training
will start in youth and officers will come up from the ranks on merit an
army not made up of lured mercenaries, soldiers trained to make a business
of killing, but an army of ALL citizens of fit age and physique who can
pursue the vocations of peace and only become soldiers when they are
needed to defend their country from an invading foe.
This is a democracy, Glenn, and any defensive army we have must
be a democratic army one that the people themselves can control. Under
your plan, if the workers drilled with guns, their employers would takr
charge of the guns and store them away in the plant, to be used onl
when they might see fit. Under a democratic plan, .something like they
have in Switzerland and Australia, the man who drilled with a gun couk
keep it in his own home and be prepared to defend any invasion of hi;
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