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The toiler. (Cleveland, Ohio) 1919-1922, June 25, 1920, Image 2

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National Chamber of Commence Program of Industrial Slavery
In high-sounding phrases about "justice",
"equality" and "individual liberty", the Board of
Directors of the National Chamber of Commerce
has formulated a complete program of industrial
slavery for the workers of America. This twelve
planik program is now under refonidum vote of over
1.300 industrial and commercial organizations.
At the time of President Wilson's famous in
dustrial conference the liberal journals were in
sistent that Judge Geary represented the views of
an exceptional autocrat, views which had no count
erpart anywhere else in the world except in Japan.
It was stated most emphatically that the group
represented by Judge Geary as spoksman at this
conference, the employer group, would not sanction
the reactionary attitude of the chief of the Steel
Trust; and that this attitude could only be account
ed for by the fact that the steel strike was then
in progress, and that recognition of collective bar
gaining under the circumstances would have compel
led Judge Geary to enter into negotiations with the
union representatives of the strikers.
Now comes the Chamber of Commerce program,
which is expected to secure the necessary two-thirds
vote on referendum, a program which goes the
full limit of Judge Geary's reactionism, and even
a little beyond. The adoption of this declaration of
policy will formally put American capitalism on
record in favor of "benevolent despotism". It will
make our capitalists avowedly the most obstinate,
defiant and contemptuous in their dealings with
their workers of any group of capitalists in the
world. This has already been realized as matter of
fact, though not heretofore advertised by the cap
italists themselves by formal adoption of a program.
This charter of the divine right of business
opens with this significant first clause :
"Any person possesses the right to en
gage in any lawful business or occupation
and to enter, individually or collectively,
into any lawful contract, either as employ
er or employe. These rights are subject to
limitation only through a valid exercise
of the public authority."
Once the absolute sanctity of contract is accept
ed, without regard to the living truths involved in
dealings between the worker whose weekly or daily
wage is his only hold upon life and the powerful
corporation to whom that worker is an item like
any other detail of machinery, then the foundation
is definitely established for the perfect program of
wage slavery. It was upon the same sacred princ
iple that the system of chattel slavery was defend--ed'
even by Abraham Lincoln. But the Abolition
ists did not hesitate to challenge this one of the
"ideals" among "the fundamentals of our national
An important method of limiting effective or
ganization among the workers and the outlawing
of strikes is the use of appropriate employment
It is to be noticed that nobody is questioning
the right of any person to go into business. But
the Chamber of Commerce is very much concerned
to maintain the worker's sacred right to enter into
any occupation on any contract which he may
"choose" to make. This "liberty" is to be limited
only by public law; which means that it must not
be limited by union rules of any kind. It must not
be limited by collective agreement between workers'
and employers' organizations, but each employe
must retain his "rights".
Of course the "open shop" is the logical se
quence to the first clause, and here it is:
"2. The right of open shop operation,
that is. the right of employer and employee!
to enter into and determine the conditions
of employment relations with each other, is
an essential part of the individual right .'of
contract possessed by each of the parties "
To make the matter quite complete,
there follows a clause declaring the right
to scab:
"3. All men possess the equal right to
associate voluntarily for the accomplish
ment of lawful pusposes by lawful means.
The association of men, whether employ
ers, or employees or others, for collective
action or dealing, confers no authority over,
and must not deny any right of, those who
do not desire to act or deal with them."
Just the same, as experience has shown, it
would be rough sledding for any employer who
refused to recognize the authority of an employers'
The fourth clause demands that associations of
employers and of employees shall be "equally sub
ject to the authority of the State" and responsible
legally for their acts or acts of agents. This clause
is a criticism of the exclusion of labor unions from
the anti-trust laws, and it is further suggestive of
incorporation of unions and liability on suits for
damages. If the full meaning of this clause were
to be developed into law the most conservative
trade unions would soon become outlaw organiza
tions. The next clause is a brazen bit of hypocrisy:
"5. To develop with due regard for the
health, safety and well-being of the in
dividual, the required output of industry is
the common social obligation of all engag
ed therein. The restriction of productive ef
fort or of output by either employer or
employee for the purpose of creating an
artificial scarcity of the product or of
labor is an injury to society."
The absolute life principle of capitalist industry
is artificial limitation of production restriction
of output to the point of maximum return on in
vestment. Just why should a wage slave consider that he
has any "social obligation" concerning production?
There could only be social obligation if there were
social production. But with private production there
is only private obligation. Each corporation con
siders itself responsible only to its stockholder
that is its 100 obligation. The only "social ohr7W"'
tion" of the wage slave is toward his fellow-workers.
Production is not his business, and cannot
become his business until "the production-epoch",
that is, until social ownership makes production the
affair and interest of all engaged in the common
Now we come to wages:
"6. The wage of labor must come out
of the product of industry and must be
earned and measured by its contribution
thereto. In order that the worker, in his
own and the general interest, may develop
his full productive capacity, and may there
by earn at least a wage suffficient to
sustain him upon a proper standard of
living, it is the duty of management to co
operative with him to secure continuous
employment suited to his abilities, to fur
nish incentive and opportunity for improv
ement, to provide proper safeguards for his
health and safety and to encourage him in
all practicable and reasonable ways to in
crease the value of his productive effort."
Let us restate this remarkable clause in our on
language; "We think that the workers should be
kept alive. Indeed, we would like to see the work
ers keep on living. But, in order to remove any
doubts on this point, we call the attention of our
employees to the fact that they must hustle to
beat hell if they expect to get enough wages enough
of the time to keep on living. We are also willing
to help the worker to improve himself to increase
the value of his productive effort. But we are not
saying anything about who is to get this increased
How about hours of work?
"7. The number of hours in the work
day or week in which the maximum out
put consistent with the health and well
being of the individual can be maintained
in a given industry should be ascortaned by
careful study and should never be exceeded
except in case of emergency' and one day
of rest, or its equivalent, should be pro
vided. The reduction in working hours be
low such economic limit, in order to secure
greater leisure for the individual, should be
made only with full understanding and ac
ceptance of the fact that it involves a com
mensurate loss in the earning power of the
workers, a limitation and a shortage of the
industry and an increase in the cost of the
product, with all the necessary effect of
these things upon the interests of the com
munity and the nation."
Never was a more inhuman proposition con
ceived by the mind of man. The owner of the chattel
slave was at least obligated to keep his slave alive
and marketable; he could not consider it as open
to question whether or not the slave could keep
himself alive by his contribution to industry. Nor
did chattel slavery ever undertake to regulate the
hours of labor by an exact mathematical calculation
of the limit of efficiency, not one minute more nor
one minute less than the point of maximum use
of the sum total of the slave's life energy.
Not the eight-hour day, not the six-hour day,
not the ten-hour day, but the number of hours
which the worker, calculated as a piece of machin
ery, can stand the strain. For every minute less
,than this calculation, a reduction of wages. Taken
together with the wage clause, this means a ro
ductiotn of wages below the doubtful level of a
"proper" standard of living, whatever these benev
olent employers may consider proper. Go the limit
of the use of your muscles and nerves or starve,
that is the size of it.
One day rest out of seven, maybe; there is the
qualification of an "equivalent" for the one day
of rest. Think of the generosity! at a time when
organized workers are demanding the five-day week.
At a time when the workers of the world are begin
ning to see as reality the possibility of an industrial
system where the six-hour day for the five-day
week may easily supply a living which includes
not only the bare needs of life, but recreation,
education, travel, every substantial enjoyment which
the Chamber of Commerce considers appropriate to
the individual life of its members 1
What about unemployment? Surely this is a
waste of energy utility below the "economic limit"
yet it is a constant, wholesale, inevitable part of
the system of private capitalistic production. Mil
lions are out of work all the time ; on the average
all workers lose one-fourth of full time. Too bad
for the workers; all that the Chamber of Commerce
is concerned about is the . time that the employees
are on the job, and that during this time a day's
work shall be not one jot less than the last ounce
of efficient energy!
There is no word in this program about un
employment. It is taken for granted that the cap
italists will generously supply work to all who
accept these terms, when as a matter of fact this
has never been the case and never will be the case
under private industry.
The next two clauses are a restatement of tho
Gary version of "collective bargaining", as fol
lows: "8. Adequate means, satisfactory both
to the employer and his employees, and
voluntarily agreed to by them, should be
provided for the discussion and adjustment
of employment relations and the just and
prompt settlement of all disputes that arist
in the course of industrial operation.
9. When, in the establishment or ad
justment of employment relations, the em
ployees do not deal individually' but by
mutual consent such dealing is conducted
by either party through representatives, it
is proper for the other party to aBk that
these representatives shall not be chosen or
controlled by, or in such dealing in any de
gree represent, any outside group or inter
est in the questions at issue."
In other words, no union negotiations, no solid
arity of workers even of a single craft, but only
a nice, amiable little unionism of the one plant, a
unionism which the employer can very easily super
vise and keep in hand.
Th Chamber of Commerce is kidding itself, or
here is the deliberate challenge against any form
of labor organization which goes outside the one
shop, which means no organization at all. Pro
bably the latter is the truth. American capitalism
realizes that all organization of labor must be de
stroyed, or the momentum of the wages and hours
fight will hurl the workers into the revolutionary
struggle for the overthrow of capitalism. The
Chamber of Commerce appears to be ready to face
tho issue, to declare openly that it means to main
tain a slave system by might of the State.
The last clause of this program are anti-strike'"
clauses, dealing with government employees, also
with the workers in "public service activities", a
classification which can easily be extended to in
clude every major industry.
This declaration by the leading organization of
capitalism in the United States shows that we have
arrived at the show-down in the class fight. The
employers dare to show their full hand. They hold
in contempt the backward- narrow, corrupt union
movement in this country; and they mean to crush
in its infancy the newer movement toward militant
industrial unionism. This is the program of class
conscious capitalism, a program of industrial slav
ery built directly on the law-making, court, police
and military power of the State; a program which
regards the worker as one form of material for tho
making of profits, neveT for a moment as a human
The Black Sheep.
Chapter XXXVL
Collin 'a Ambition.
their way to Harrison, Jack
Collins, what object lie or
Rudolph had in cutting pages from his
note book, and the big man replied
that he had done so, for tho good
of humanity. Of courso this was an
explanation that did not oxplain any
thing to the boy. Yet, ho asked no
further questions, partly because ho
had not understood Uollins' moaning
"The trouble with you is, that you
study the problems of labor and the
laboring classes, as the astronomer
studies the moon. You have too little
preeeptivo information of working
problems, to be in a position effect-
ively to criticizo social science, Re
member, the test of truth is, will it
workt You ennnot test any social
theory by yourself. You are an in
dividual within society and not society
itself. You will never be big enough,
.lack, to force a ready made theory
down a social throat. Tn order to
death, one of two things must happen,
cither, the workers take over natural
resources and the tools of industry
and run them for the common good,
or the world plunges back into the
dark ages or worse." He stopped and
looked at his companion intently as if
expecting an aswer, but the boy made
no reply. He just walked on beside
Collins on the trail between the forest
and the lake, evidently busy with
his own thought on the subject of
human destiny.
impatiently. "Get this idea clearly inland "it serves him right, ho had no "Yes, what in hdl did you cut out
. . . . I . .. . . ' i : l . i , M i U . ...... .... . t fur! ' 1
iml, it is tho one important thought business snooting on nis uazoo again-i me loavoa irom mm uum uuun .v.,
that every worker should hold. Tho
working class constitutes eighty per
cent of tho world's population the
parasites twenty per cent. These
figures are not absolutely correct, I
only use them as a paradigm. Now tho
twentv, will employ the eighty, only
as long as there are markets. Once tho
markets aro gone, and they are fast
going, then seventy out of every eighty
will become useless to the twenty pa-
Just before they came in sight of.rasites. Useless human beasts of
the village Collins resumed the con
versation. Speaking as if to himself.
"It makes no difference," said he,
"if the ultimate change comes, first
to the light or to the dark and it will
be for good or evil in proportion to the
accumulated intelligence of the working
tho people who give him work," and .Jack asked as he heaped another arm
"A man should stay by the man who of bark on the fire,
feeds him." Yo gods, thoy fod mo, j "I sent it to the daughter of that
xutinn T wnrVnrl in their mines, in coo-' real estate man at Anamooso. I have
something. I was no rebel then. Just a
plain hoosicr but that cut mo to the
quick. I have tried to atone in some
measure ever since, and I'll keep on
attacking the system that made a fool
of me, and a corpse of her, in every
stant danger of death and received a notion that a little correspondence ; way mai 1 can as long ua ann "
1 xariii anraknn n now Ml of bruin cells. I b r o a t ta in mo. And if consciouBnosa
Jll IV U I I UV. 1IUU "Uv f ' v w niu " w - . I l - ,
No, no Ed I can't sco where cither that have hitherto laid dormant in holds out and I can gage my strength
vou or 1 eain anything, by playing your hoad. That pin uau tue spine uiu iat torn wvnw, j. wm ny wwi
.... " i .1. m til- i . . . mw Ivinnr Krnnth will ' ' f!nl ilntin
n.m nnr i Mmrtm Hnr.n imp inn. tr run it u.i nr. w i ir uiu "7 - i hu uivwbu tvmi w..
sters nnd the slaves, would look upon I mind of a scientist, and damn mo if capitaluiml
. . . . . . . i : ..,, . ( . An r.nr Hiiila ' '
us ns Black Sheep.
T don't believe that bringing you
said Jack.
.ml ran. .uvninrr tliA mntfnF nuor in ,
,.....,..r v.. ........ w.. ... . . . , . ,
his mind, and partly, because Collins ""umu "u """".V" , i daw, The change will come as truly
immediately proceeded to tnko him tO-"M " J " . " .. . ', as tomorrow's rising sun will bring tho
hum a
he. "Imt it is leading you wrong. It! industrial development, allho they may
lien vnu no rlnno to a mnl'e hill that von It is true, you have had but littlolbo a problem in social relations. And
fail to see the mountain. Your passion I experienco in the working class. You social relstions arc but tho reflex of
nmedintelv proceeded to take him to .nlpr worK.ng eiaai i tnmorrow9 ri9i ng BUn will bri ng the
sk for his singular philosophy anont"nd workings from within . . f h That b
umnn relations You must learn to guide the natura ina1 lunatically demonstrated. Hlondes
"Yon have a good brain Jack," said Tfj! hh XT" bronrttt. are not a problem in
for natural phenomena in the animal
and vegetnblo world has a tondancy
to blind you to the greater, and in a
sense more wonderful, phenomena, of
the social world. You nre not a mil
haTe seen some of its trials in a minor industrial necessities and industrial
way, but only in a very minor way. ' necessities aro regulated by the re
You havo only approached tho class quirements of mankind and tho avnil
strugglo in the skirmish line; ns yet ibility of natural resources, plus tho
vou aro unacquainted with tho fierce-1 evolution of the mnchinc. All these
lionalre, or the son of a millionaire, I nous of its battles. You have met much factors are interacting. The real pro
lin mntter hnw vmi If vou arc on of the dross that is, the drunken, blem is, whether mankind will retain
the lower side of the fence. Types weak nod, degenerate elements, and you and develop what It now has or
or no types, capitalism Is a renlitv i "nve met a tew thinning mon. u tins ir it. win lose anu reiapso into me
and the class strnoirle is a fact. It nil been in less than six months, and primeval night."
is a damnod hideous fact and you will from this monger data you have built Jack looked at the big man curious
not he able to escane it " I up your theory of types as ultlmnte.lv. He hnd seldom hoard hit., talk with
such calm earnestness. There was no
doubt, but what Collins believed what
"T do not donv the class stmcffle. determining fncto-s in human evolu-
T know that il exists. The onlv dif- tion. And I do not say thnt thav aro
ference between yon and I is that T not determining fnctors. I often feel , he said. He actually feared tho possible
maintain that it must exist il a 'the force of your nrgument, for yon I death of civilization and n consequent
nntnml rinlt of hinlmrir variation. As know I do not like to associate with ! relapse into the dark ages, lie feared
lnni? ns life produces variations there stew bums, Jesus lovers, nnd mission i" Caesar's Column" more than ho did
will be the weak and the strong, the stiffs. I am free to confess that I dis jthe "Iron Heel." Jack tried to corn
wise and the foolish, the agressive and like the riff raff; they grnte on my; fort him with tho statement thnt
meek, the worker and the shirker, the nerves. I admit that T am top heavy, civilization could only fall and perish
schemer and the producer. All I main- and naturally lean toward men with i if by somo catastrophe the blonde
t i thnt no matter what vonr brain. Hut nil thnt is beside the , races were exterminated. Then, he
burden will be disposed of, as were the
oxen at tho coming of the horse, and I
as will tho horse be disposod of at tho
coming of tho motor. My Ood kid,
can't you see tho massacres, tho ho
locausts of the future, if wo do not
develop the spirit of solidarity. Tho
people simply must awaken to retain
and to hold what their hands and
brains have lost, for if hey do not
then their masters will hurl them
against each other, and they
will destroy each other in tho fury of
their own ignorance," ho concluded
It's no use to try it," Jack
answered. "They will only chaso yon,
and jail you, and finally kill you, for
your pains. Tho very people you try to
awaken would thank their nawhta mr-
ed Oods for bnrlag had part in your a man to entertain so damned selfish
murder. Tho very masses who you a view or ltro. rou simpiy mum my
would give your life to educate would in battle tr a better world. He
boid a ghost dance around vour bleed- member you donot live for yourself
ing cadaver. It ii not that they aro alone. You are only a link in the chain
viscions, it is because they are trusting! of human evolution. Some dnv yon may
and obedient to their superiors, as they havo children, and thoy may live at the
call them. They believo the word of! death of capitalism, while you lived
Hv tho way, do you know why 1 together will save you both as ferment- LW s get to Harrison. 1'crnnps mere
la llieir in ;r germs in me great lonven i iv I ""
(Continued next week)
Hill Smith, our cartoonist, has been
slinen men keen black sheep
' . . ., . L... . .. it l.A T ll. l.n...
flockT It is in order to count mo wnne voiutionary inougtu. t nine mu u.-
ones and keep track of them. So wo geoisie, and it was a big fight on my
agitators are used by tho masters to part to decido whether to send those
size up the temper of tho slave." notes or not. T remembered all thnt
rm , . . . . . . 4uat iroaainn- n little ali nniil nml ftrmrcf inlcd moro what sllC
brook "that ran from tho woodland into did thon you perhaps imagine. I know off the job for n eovplo of weoks.
the lake, by jumping from one rock to that she is mado of good stuff, in a Our readers will bo pleased to see ho
tho other. The rocks wore wet with ponse of better stuff thnn you, yon ia now jck again,
the rain that had fallen and the big are inclined to Rravitate towards book.., L , w booflterf
man loosing his footing fell full length nnd hills, and vnllcys, animals and
into the water. Tho icy bath colled plants, and abstract thought, whilo sho havo boon doing lately.
the ardor of his eloquence and .men is drawn toward man ana .pisuce, aim
rustled about to find pitch wood, with the ideals that directly affect human
which to stnrt a fire, sa as to dry his, welfare.
... . . . t ...
companions clothes. Alter a i mv
ments of good nntured bantering nbout
the mishap Collins said, "you're all
wrong Jack, even if you wero right,
vou would bo wrong. Yoy aro to big
tho papers, the preachers, the teachers,
and nil other hirelings of the ruling
beast. You can't get them to hang to
gether, as far as solidarity is concern
ed, the whole working class is a ropo
of sand."
Just see what they did to me at
Mullen, they praised me to the skies
when I spoke to them of the things
that affected their present and future
Inrinir its life. I know tha' you do not
want it snid thBt you could have
helped to chance conditions only you
were more interostod in rats than
you were in the welfare of your class
After all is said, tho fact remains, that
wo are human and we have duties
rhen there is nn other mntter T want
to talk about, now that wo have a
few momenta time. You can't speak
of such things boforo Rudy. I hnd a
love affair oneo; it was during my
Scissorblll days. Tho girl worked in a
store and I worked in a mill. I got
hurt, nnd was laid up for six months
or more. Couldn't raiso my hand above
my head. Couldn't walk, nad to be
wheeled about in a chair. Of course T
went broke right down flat. This girl
kept me during all the six months. Now
mind yon sho was only getting four
nnd a half a weok, and out of it she
kept hersolf and kept me, and in some
Previously reported $61.05
Charles Brown 50
Jno. Chipmnn 1.50
J. S. Jahner 1.00
Wm. Batten .00
Jas. W. Booker 20
C. Baker 50
A comrade 1.00
X. Y. Z 1.50
Jno Reichlo 1.00
Total $70.15
Expenses 91.28
LONDON Tho Triple Alliance of
way managed to give something to the miners, rnilwaymcn and transport work-
support of her sister. Now take a peek i era, havo passed a resolution calling
at scissorblll psychology. I never stop ; upon the parliamentary committee of
ped to flgnro that sho couldn't do what the Trades Union Congress, the Labor
... . . ! . I 9 t 1 I . . J A. t. . ft At A.
and responsibilities not only to our-i she was doing on nor salary, ann wnen i nny nnn me uooperaiivo movement
selves but to our kind. I know you IT learned the truth nfter T was back on to join with the Triple Allinnce in mnk
will take this view of it, ultimately, my feet, I bawled her out and left the ing nn exhaustive inquiry into the
There nre two forces thnt will drive ouatry. Rudy would not have done reasons for the high cost of living and
von to it. The one is the hnnd or cap- such a thing, iwo mnntns inter i met m worn out a pian ior its aunstantini
nn mntter wist vour nrnin. lint an itinr ih
vstem of socletv von will alwavs he question, it obscures the real issues. ! maintained, thnt the world would go welfare. They lod me to believe that
... . . L . I . ,,' T u rm... ! . .. ., i , .. 1 ; u ,.i ii.im.ii ttnmanilti linb infn .1 n r 1. nnaa until n nnw 1 i rrli t tltnv .....n. wltk ..... . ( ,. 1,. ,. T ...
inee to mrc wun mime nru, .mr "r innmnnn. ... .. ...... mu ure, urn , ;- . . ... , . . ... Ul, ,,. ,r, , .. .
urged Do vou realise Jack that capital- could be evolved in the fog lands. find, because of my agitation, these Italism, and the other is the part j a fellow who had "0W1 bOtfc, reduction. This plan, it was proposod
"t' Pollins Ignored the boys expla- Ism cannot last forever, that, sooner, Hut Collins was not ia the mood to 1 very people aald among themselves, of vonr note book you missed this , and he Md mo that she had died three should bo submitted to tho government
aation at least in part when he said, or later it must die, and that at its philosophise. "O forget it," said he "why didn't he keep his mouth shut," morning." cks after I left with the eon-or as soon as possible.

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