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Newspaper Page Text
SATURDAY, OCT. 23rd, 1920
It is contended and rightly that the sym
pathy of the public is necessary to the success of
any strike. But let us examine first what is this
public which we find represented to us as though
it were a third factor, standing outside the two
others: Labor and Capital, or the Workers and the
In case of a strike, be it in any branch of in
dustry, we know that organized capital as a body
sides against the strike. This is natural, since
they are defending their interests, their "rights"
that is, their stolen profit. No one expects the
exploiters to sit down and tamely hand over a
portion of that booty which they have enjoyed so
long. If only the workers saw- their interests as
well and defended them as stubbornly!
We have also the small capitalist or middle
class the small tradesmen and shopkeepers
who may be in some cases as pinched in their ex
istence as the workers, but who nevertheless share
the psychology of the exploiters. This again is to
be expected, since their very existence as a class
depends upon the continuation of the rotten and
crumbling bourgeons system.
Put these two groups together and what is
left in society? The great majority of the po
pulation, which is nothing else but the working
Two Opposing Classes.
We have then two opposing classes, and
there can be no third,- detached, disinterested
group outside of these in a strike or in any other
situation. Let the fallacy be exploded at once that
there is a third party called the public. Every con
sumer setting aside the enemy robber group
which consumes without producing is at the
same time a producer.
That sympathy which is needed to gain a
strike is the sympathy of the working class.
Every strike proceeds from the working class and
is directed against the master class.
Every strike should have the sympathy and
active support of every member of the working
class. This support can be expressed by refusal
to scab, by boycott, by financial contributions to
the strikers, by sympathetic strikes in allied in-
dustries. There are no "just" and "unjust", there
are no "reasonable" and "unreasonable" strikes.
Every economic strike that is, one which
has for its objects shorter hours and more pay
represents an attempt on the part of the workers
both to better their wretched conditions, to live a
little more like humans and to get back a small
portion more of that surplus which they have earn
ed and of which they are systematically robbed
not the whole surplus yet, mark you, only a portion
The Case In A Nut Shell.
When then do we not find all of the working
class solidly backing every strike? Why are we
confronted with this pitiful and exasperating
spectacle of workers pitted against workers, of
workers defending the very bosses that are rol
bing them, and glibly repeating the "arguments"
with which these masters cover up the bald fact
of their robbery?
The situation in a nutshell is this: A minority
of workers in America are class conscious; the
rest, through ignorance or apathy, are still un
conscious. The conditions of conscious and uncon
scious are alike, but the former knows his position
and the latter does not.
The class-conscious worker knows that the
working class produces all the wealth in the
world, and at present receives back only a small
fraction of this wealth in the form of wages. He
knows that the capitalist class produces nothing,
but lives on unearned rent, unearned interest, and
unearned profit taken out of the workingman's
product. He knows that this state of affairs can
exist because the capitalist class is well organized,
because it is in fact the ruling class, having at
its disposal, to uphold and defend it, all the forces
of society the schools, theatres churches, news
papers and the government.
The class-conscious worker is aware that the
workers can change this society, with its hor
rible evils and suffering, into a better society in
which all shall work save the young and unfit, in
which all shajl enjoy the full fruits of their labor
and develop into such splendid men and women as
the world has never seen.