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BBp^^ Erery class struggle is • political
/r*fSJ^s\ ftrugglp. • • * The proletariat must
fcffSS&^ytS fiist ol "II a.-qmio political supremacy,
(•W^ii^M*?/ mist rise to. be the 1.-.-ulnu class of the
\2^»ii> >«^' nation, must constitute itself the nation.
i^flNHHB^ —Communist Manifesto. '"■ nation
PRICE 5 *l
EDITORIAL SERMONS FROM
TEXTS ALWAYS AT HAND
AVOID FALSE ISSUES.
"Todaj an ever increasing percentage of voters are firmly con
\inced that our present system is ■ tax on thril'i and industry and
that such n tax is tyranny," says the Evereti Labor Journal in dis
eussins the single tax amendmen) recently adopted by Everett.
The adoption of the single tax is not an injury to the worknu:
class. ■■•', •-
Dissipation of working-class political energy upon such an issue
as single tax is an injury to the working class.
The single taxer accepts as the main political issue the manner
in which public revenues are raised, lie seeks for ■ new distribution
of the burden* of taxation. The problem which he propounds is
necessarily the problem of the property owner.
The socialist, on the other hand, lays main stress upon the manner
in which all values are produced. Re seeks for a new distribution
of the products of labor. The problem which he propounds is the
problem of the laborer who produces all values, public revenues m
Ye.-ir after year the socialist makes his campaign, never changing
the issue. So soon as the socialist Forgets that his party is the party
of the propertyless worker, so soon as he diverts his dieussion from
the terms upon which the laborer is forced to coin his energy into
wealth, just so soon will his party cease to have a reason for being.
There are parties galore organized to settle upon a proper di
vision of the spoils among the spoilers.
The laborer is the victim—rent, interest, profit, taxes all are
produced by his effort.
No possible combination of the factors of production can produce
wealth, in the economic sense, without the hand of labor.
The earth is of first-rate importance in any discussion of wealth
production. , . . ,
Ranking in importance with the earth itself is the labor by
which the earth is made fruitful.
Henry George is agreeing with this when he says. Now for the
production of wealth, two things are required— and land."
Labor systems have always determined the condition of the
Chattel, serf and wage system have been characterized by the
looting of the laborer by the owners of the necessary factors in pro
duction. ; iJ: v.
The most startling and glaring wrong of every labor system that
has disgraced human association, has beeen the enjoyment of the
products of toil by those who performed no toil.
The power of masters has always resided in their private owner
ship of the vital factors in production. ■".,-';
Land and machinery are both necessary factors in production
today. It is useless to discuss which is more important—the absolute
admits of no comparison. As well discuss the relative importance of
the heart and-the stomach to the human body as to liscuss the relative
importance of land and machinery in modern production."
The worker is robbed through private ownership of the means o.t
life —land and machinery. ' :
In the train of false prophets—tariff tinkers, prohibitionists, trust
busters, comes the single taxer, with his "Lo, you are robbed by a
wrong system of taxation."
Systems of taxation have given advantage to one group of owners
as against another group. The worker has been reserved to produce
the funds out of which taxes were paid—he has never controlled the
Mr. Kauffman, an ardent tax reformer of Bellingham. said in a
letter to the press about a year ago, that the taxing of milling ma
chinery tended to discourage mill owners from establishing them
selves and founding a pay roll.
We workers live by the wage roll but we refuse to be blinded
to the fact that under the single tax or any other tax, the wage roll
is a robber's device and we are its victims.
the wage roll means the sale of the wage worker's energy on
the open market, on a par with calico, pig iron and other commodities.
It means that his pulsing life is forever on the public auction block-
Hubjeci to the law of supply and —moving briskly (yes,
indeed!) during times of prosperity, stagnant during time of crisis.
The crisis and the wage system are twin brothers.
Wages to the man mean profits to the masters.
Profits represent what the worker produces over and above his
No boss is ambitious to create a pay roll that will bring no
Accumulated profits which cannot find profitable reinvestment,
mean over-production. Over-production means crisis—stagnation in
the labor market and starvation for the laborer. As Dooley would
say, "There ye a-are." If the machine owner is relieved of tax
burdens, his profits increase. If wages went up with profits, the
wage worker would be justified in fighting for single tax or any
other measure that would increase the profits of the boss. The boss
does not voluntarily pay more for shingle nails with every increase
in his profits. Nor does he voluntarily pay more for labor-power.
The market status of shingle nails and labor-power is the same.
If profits determined wages, the section hand on the great rail
road would not be asked to work for a dollar and thirty-five cents
Marx's words on free trade are applicable here:
"Grant for an instant that there are no more grain laws, no
more custom houses, no more city tolls —in short, that all the acci
dental circumstances on which the worker can still put the blame
as being the cause of his miserable existence, have entirely disap
peared — and you have torn aside so many veils which conceal from
liis eyes his true enemy.
•||e will sec that capital become free does not render him
less a slave than capita] harassed by custom houses."
JUSTICE IN CALIFORNIA (?)
j n ., ced to life imprisonmeni
f the tli' htj dollars and Borne jewelry from
lay's papers i a two months' jail sentence m<
> \ ieted of white
labor system puts humi which is human
Things Doing in Sedro-Wooley, Wash.
Sedro-Woolley is witnessing one of
the liveliest campaigns in her history
this fall. The people* party, rcpresent
iiiir the special interests, grafters and
capitalism, and the socialist party, rep
resenting the workers and true democ
racy and social revolution, are at it nail
I lie socialists have reaffirmed their al
legiance to the principlei of international
socialism "and" us Focal relief measures,
have submitted the following declara
tion of municipal policies to the voters.
Ist. The socialist party of Sedro-
Wocdlcy solicit your support on matters
of principle only. Wo have plenty of
mud, but will not sling it unless we are
compelled to do so in self defense.
2nd. We will wherever practicable do
all city work on a day labor basis, and
thus do away with the enormous profits
paid to contractors, and we will if elect
ed insi-t on the employment of resident
workers, and a minimum wage of $2.50
per day of eight hours.
3rd. We will submit all proposed
franchises to the voters for their ap
proval or disapproval, and will rigidly
abide by the expressed will of the peo
4th. We favor the erection of public
comfort stations, and will if elected, at
once take steps to this end.
th. We favor the opening of public
building for the purpose of holding town
meetings, and the discussion of public
6th. We will if elected rigidly and
impartially enforce the laws of the city
with reference to saloons, etc., whatever
those laws be. At the last looaJ option
election held in this pity, a majority of
voters voted to license saloons, and the
socialist party cannot and will not trans
gress the expressed will of a majority
because it is undemocratic for a minor
ity to rule a majority. Had the result
of the election been the opposite to what
it i^ the socialist party, if in power,
would enforce the law. Can any policy
be fairer than this?
Elections of the Past.
Elections in Sedro Woolley in the pasi
have been nothing but an animal farce,
there being but one ticket in the field.
Ill" administration having no opposition,
naturally grew to be one of nothing but
graft in the interests of the politically
dirty dozen that formed the ring, and
t lie people are eager for a hauce to vote
for a party that stands for a square
deal. The party i- opposing government
ownership, as long as a few plutocrats
own the government, which is at present
the case in Sedro Wool ey.
The comrade! have challenged the In -t
talent the opposing party can produce
to debate the Justice of any or .ill of
the above policies] but like the whipped
canine, they have sneaked into their hole
ami began to sling mud. Comrade S. L.
lioddy was addressing a crowded linll the
other evening, and asked, "Sir. people's
party man, why do you adopt your
underhanded, snake inthograss methods
of fighting! Why do you resort to mud
slinging? Why don't you come out,
(Continued on Page Eight.)
/\ SOCIALIST WEEKLY
"This is the state of man: today he puts forth
The tender leaves of hopes; tomorrow blossoms
And bears his blushing honors thick upo nhim:
The third day comes a frost, a killing frost,
And, when he thinks, good easy man, full surely
His greatness is a-ripening, nips his root,
AND THEN HE FALLS."
HURRY THE ELECTION RETURNS IN TO THE COMMONWEALTH.
Win Ten Dollars
Wanted, three hustlers each to
win ten dollars.
Comrade A. B. Melville of Con
crete has contributed thirty dol-j
lars to The Commonwealth to be!
distributed equally among the
three hustlers who shall send most
money to he paper for subscrip
tions during the months of Decem
ber and January.
It is stipulated that twenty-five
dollars in subscriptions is the least
amount for which one of these tea
dollar prizes wife cc paid.
Do not include names and ad
dresses of those subscribing in a
letter. Write them on a separate
Mark the sheet "Contest" and
let your own full name and address
Money to cover subscriptions
must accompany list of names.
This office will at once forward
receipt for money received.
Hustlers on the socialist lyceum
course may participate in this con
test. It may seem to others that
they would have an advantage but
a yearly lyceum subscription can
be credited to the hustler at only
50 cents, as that is the amount
which we receive from Chicago on
each subscription. Those taking
subscriptions for The Common
wealth through the lyceum bureau
must send to us a list of the names.
They will be unable to send the
money, as that must come from
Chicago, but we must have a list
of the names here that we may
check them up.
This contest is open to workers
everywhere. Get busy. Win ten
dollars and swell the subscription
list of The Commonwealth. De
cember and January are the
Los Angeles, Cal., Nov. 30.—With
eleven peremptory challenge! he will
clear the jury box down to seven jurors.
During the past week the character of
! the talesmen and the attitude of Judge
Bordwell l^s been most discouraging.
The deoiiioai have been of such a nature
that the judge and thief counsel for the
defense have M several occasions come
into tharp conflict.
Darrow sprung a sensation when he
declared that he did not want jurors
who were inclined to any half-wav meas
•\\c want this defendant to be given
his liberty or t» be hanged," was the
,ri(lin_' declaration of the attorney
when the judge hesitated concerning
challi of a juror who was not cer
tain M to what he would do regarding
I circumstantial evidence. Darrow ex-
I pected the prosecutor to challenge the
I man for cause and upon his failure to do
so Darrow chalU-pgtd. The judge kept
his ruling in abeyance two days waiting
to decide whether to permit the defense
' to challenge under the circumstances.
Loran W. Travers stated that he could
not convict entirely on circumstantial
i evidence where the death penalty Wil
involved. Here is where Bordwell hesi
(Continued on Page Twu.)
The School Board
It is nn axiom—an evident truth —
that self praise is no praise. Following
the universal custom of the capitalist
class of which you are all representatives,
you have chosen a lawyer your presi
dent to disguise the truth and obscure
the issue in the coming school election.
You are trying once more to befog the
mind of the worker.. You do not disprove
one of 'the facts or 'deductions-* of tV
circular you denounce. You say it re
quires no answer and then disprove your
own statement by attempting to answer.
Your own class has furnished us with
the statistics used. Can you deny their
We do not disapprove the good nmves
you have made. They were demanded
and forced upon your class by the evolu
tion of the worker. But, gentlemen, you
do not tell the whole story.
You allow Senator Gore to make a
democratic campaign speech and charge
admission in our high school auditorium.
You deny the ÜBe of the same room for
free socialist lectures. You favor night
schools and with them the system which
grinds out ten hours of exhausting toil
and then drives the tired brain to night
education at the cost of needed sleep.
You say '"the school board is not chosen
BY any one class." AVhy, then, should
you attempt to deny us representation
and to demand a school board chosen
FROM only one class?
In your evasive lawyer-like way you
recognize a few truths. We thank you
when you say we will consider no om
promise; when you say that our board
members Cort and Solie will represent
those who ele«t them; when you recog
nize that we are united; when you
acknowledge that we submerge the indi
vidual in the cause. May »c ever re
main true to the principles with which
you credit us.
Gentlemen of the board, stick to facts.
Where will you get 5,000 strong in Ev
eretl I If you are ■ majority why not
capture our locale and direct our : oardj
you so much fear. The real truth is that
you are of ■ dominant minority, ■ lelfiah
few. You call yourselves the "average
American eiti* You are not—you
are behind in the evolution " the hu
man family. We, the working clasi,
have long furnished the brain and
muscle of industry—you the greed and
power. We are now waking up. We
art; going to run our own affairs. That
we who work will boon rule, and that
wisely, is as inevitable a» is the up
ward tendency of the human race.
In our circular "Socialism and Schools,"
we state that we demand practical edu
cation for all children; school* managed
for the greatest good to the greatest
1 number. What more need we »ay!
Oentlemen of the board, do you not
suspect that we the worker* of the
human race, are really the onw who rep
-1 reseat the "independence »ud intelligence
[.of the arerage American citizen V
—City Central Committee.
WF CANNOT TRAFFIC IN OUR PRINCIPLES WE
(AN MAKE NO COMPROMISE, NO AGREEMENT
Will rU HIH.INt; SYSTF.M. WF MUST BREAK
WITH THI RIMING SYSTEM AND FIGHT IT TO
A FINISH .—LEIBKNECHT, "NO COMPROMISI
A SIX DOLLAR WAGE.
llow do girls live wln> support themselves on six dollars a week?
There arc thousands of such girls in our large cities.
Listen to Mrs, Craig's story—it is interesting because she speaks
for so many.
Mrs. Craig was forty-five years of age. She had found herself
a penniless widow at forty.
She found employmeni with one of the larg* department stores
on Sixth avenue, New York, at a wage of six dollars ■ week. For
her room she paid one dollar and seventy-five eenta ■ week. It was
on the third floor of a second-rate rooming house—an inside room
opening on a small air shaft. A loose board partition separated her
from the bath and toilet room.
Six days of the week she paid fifteen cents for her principal
meal —dinner. On Sunday she enjoyed a treat —a twenty-five cent
meal. Breakfast and supper she prepared and ate in her stuffy room.
In warm weathe; she could keep no butter. Five cents' worth of
rolls served her for two meals. She cooked cocoa in a tin cup held
over the gas. If she cooked coffee, her landlady would smell an
infringement of the house rules in the use of gas for another purpose
than lighting. / ; ■;' :>■;.'
Sometimes she bought a pot of jam which lasted for several
lays. A five-cent fish ball was often a supper delicacy. She kept
ihc cost of supper and breakfast within fifteen cents.
The store iii which she worked required the girls to wear white
waists and collars. Mrs. Craig might have washed waists ■in ■ the
bathroom, but that was against the rules also; and besides she had
no means of ironing. »■•
Strive as she might she could not keep her laundry bill below
fifty cents a week. * : -
Mrs. Craig was a church member and paid ten cents a week
church dues. You see, she had been the wife of a minister.
Now count, if you please, what was left for clothing and inci
dentals. Rather what should be left, but was not. For the store
deducted from Mrs. Craig's envelope every week, at least fifty cents
in fines. . *
There was a fine for tardiness, which Mrs. Craig was careful
not to incur. ■ ■
Miswritten cheeks carried a penalty.
But the fine which no clerk seemed able to escape arose from
goods returned by delivery wagons on account of wrong names and
addresses. New York teems with foreigners who do not speak the
language plainly. A package returned for better address cost the
unhappy clerk twenty-five cents.
Marx described the fine system of his day as follows:
"Each manufacturer has for r his own use a veritable code in
which there are fines fixed for all faults voluntary and involuntary.
The worker shall pay so much if he has the misfortune to sit '"down
on a chair, if he whispers, talks:' laughs, if he arrives a few minutes
too late, it' a'p'aVt of the nfacntfu* Tmrftfrepif fie does not turn out
objects of a desired quality, etc.
"The fines are always greater than the real damage caused by
the worker. And in order to give the worker every facility for in
curring penalties, the factory clock is set ahead, bad raw materials
are furnished, so that the worker shall make many breakages.
"Dismissal awaits the overseer who is not sufficiently skillful
to multiply the causes for fines."
If the store in which Mrs. Craig worked remained open until
ten o'clock, the clerk received thirty-five cents supper money. Dur
ing rush season it was a common practice to remain open until nine
thirty—and pay no supper money.
Mrs. Craig lived within walking distance of her work, and thus
escaped a charge of twenty cents a day car fare which was paid by
girls who lived beyond the Fiftieth street transfer. The transit com
pany had shifted titles so as to be able to refuse transfers at Fiftieth
You ask how she lived? Her beautiful white teeth were decaying'
and she could not pay for their repair.
She worked in a damp basement and her feet were growing
rheumatic. She often wept in the bitterness of despair for she saw
only the poorhouse in prospect.
"I have always tried to do right," she was wont to say, "but
Sometimes I am so hungry and my soul is so starved for just a little
pleasure that I envy the pretty young women who are invited out to
dinner, though I know their escorts are often SOamps and roues."
The women of the restricted district are a part of a procession,
we are told, but .where does the procession begin t
This procession will never cease until our pious politicians realize
that their duty to the victims of a vicious industrial system does not
begin and end with telling the unfortunate outcast to "move on."
WHO IS THE OWNER?
Henry George says: "That which a man makes or produces h
his own as against all the world—to enjoy or to destroy, to use, to
exchange or to give. No one else can rightfully claim it and his
exclusive right to ii involves no wrong to anyone else."
The wage labor system of industry ia ideally the institution
through which the producer ia robbed of his product. Why all thi.l
beating about the hush.' \Vh> not attacl the robbar outrightly when
he is icovered, rather than to run backward through the centuries
to take the grudge out on the bones of his great grandmother?
If "that which a man produces is his own," how about socil
Should not society control what it produces? And has not society
produced or dcvi loped the great machinery of production and dis
tributioni Do not the people collectively operate that machiti
Who, then, should own the machine and its product! Who, if not
"Who is the owner! asks Kmerson. And he answers his own
question: "The slave is the owner, and always was. Pay him!"
ON THE WAY TO LOS ANGELES.
Here in the Southern Pacific depot in San Francisco, wo aru
asked to help the Salvation Army, which will give a dinucr to poor
children on Christmas day.
"What would you do with the helpless under •ocialism!"
Why, let charity give them a dinner once a year anil let them go
hungry the rest of the time, to be sure! That method haa two
virtues—it makes the poor appreciate the dinner when it comes*;
that is, all those who escape jail for stealing Hiiackn in the lonif
interim "between drink*." And it gives the. ehuritably dixpoxed a
field in which to exercise their benevolence.
Friday. December 1. 1911.