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Newspaper Page Text
FRIDAY, SEPT 17, 1920.
$3.50 Per Hundred
Address all mail and make all cheeks payable to
3207 Clark Ave., Cleveland, Ohio.
Entered as Second Class Matter, under the name of The
Ohio Socialist, February 21, 1917, at the Post Office at
Cleveland, O., Under the Act of March 3, 1879.
Five copies each issue for one month payment In
Ten copies each issue for one month payment In
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in advance . . . 3.00
One hundred copies 3.50
One thousand copies 35.00
Bills upon bundle orders of 100 or more rendered
monthly. Bills must be paid upon presentation.
Order a bundle of Toilers weekly and sell them to
Published weekly by the
Toiler Publishing Association
Telephone: Harvard 3639
The Federated Press sends us a series of nine
long articles by a "liberal" lawyer on the sub
ject of "Civil Liberty How we got it; How we
lost it; How to regain it." The title of the
series as well as the subject matter seems to
proceed on the theony that civil liberty is some
sort of natural or divine right which we pos
sessed for a long time and have just been de
prived of through the machinations of un
worthy officials who are not true to !tho consti
tution, American traditions, etc. The inference
being that when we were pormitted to write
and speak without being arrested we were
"free" and that when the unfaithful officials
are brought to see the error of their ways we
will be free again.
Such a viewpoint shows a total lack of under
standing of the real issue we are confronted
with. The situation in society, briefly stated, is
this: There are two classes, one of which is the
ruling class. In America the ruling class at the
present time hapeus to be the capitalist class.
The Government is not a thing which repre
sents the interests of "all the people" as this
sort of propaganda takes for granted but, on
the contrary, it is the special instrument of the
ruling class and its main purpose is to keep
the workers where they are. 1 '
This is not simply our theory of it; it is the
actual fact. Under these circumstances the
working class, naturally, has no "rights"
whatever, civil or otherwise, which acrue to
them as a result of "constitutional guaran
tees." Under certain conditions the Govern
ment of the ruling class permits a certain
amount of free discussion to the workers, but
this is never done in recognition of their rights
to it. They allowed free speech, more or less,
in America before the war because they did
not consider the revolutionary movement to
have sufficient strength to be dangerous.
They allow civil liberty to a large extent in
Italy at the present time because the organ
ized workers are so powerful they cannot help
One of these two conditions must exist be
fore any of the rules of "democracy" apply
for us. Neither prevails now in this country.
The time when the revolutionary movement
was regarded as harmless by the ruling class
has passed forever, and the time when we will
bo strong enough to take such rights as w-3
need has not yet arrived. In the meantime civil
liberty is bound to languish.
But there is another aspect to this question
that cannot, be passed by. The freedom we
are fighting for is not merely the freedom to
meet, speak and write without being persecut
ed. That is only one small plank in the platform
of the revolutionary workers. The big, im
portant objective is freedom from labor exploi
tation and all the abuses that follow from it.
The -goal of the labor movement is complete;
control in industry and government, nothing
less. Not equal rights with the capitalists, but
a society without any capitalists in it.
The struggle for the accomplishment of this
real and serious purpose requires 'that we rid
ourselves of all illusions and see the issue clear
ly as it is. One of these illusions and a most
harmful one is the idea that the capitalist
class is going to recognize any "rights" except
those which we have power to defend.