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The toiler. (Cleveland, Ohio) 1919-1922, November 13, 1920, Image 3

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Persistent link: http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn88078683/1920-11-13/ed-1/seq-3/

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SATURDAY, NOV. 13, 1920.
At the crucial moment they are changed from
mere industrial shop committees to a political
rallying point in the struggle for power.
Will The Trade Unions Die?
Either the reactionaries will retain control of
the trade unions, in which case they will be a bul
wark of capitalism, or, the bureaucracy will be
displaced by a militant leadership, in which case
the trade unions will perform a revolutionary
function. Since the trade unions are, essentially, a
working class organization the latter is more pro
bable. We see that the trade unions are still thriv
ing in Russia. They served a revolutionary pur
pose during the conflict. And now with these
very shop committees or Soviets established as
the organs of state power, the trade unions in Rus
sia, now established on a more industrial basis are
aiding and supplementing the Soviets in industri
al reconstruction.
The above article is excellent and wo
hope that every week we will be able to publish
contributions that show the same clear insight.
There is one point, however, in regard to Soviets
and workers councils that must not be overlook
ed. Zinoviev, the president of the third interna
tional, in a thesis on Soviets has pointed out the
danger in too premature organization of these
very potent instruments of the working class. He
showed, for instance, how the Soviets that were
organized during the German revolution were sub
verted to the interest of Scheideman Noske and
Co. He tells us to observe also how the Soviets in
Petrograd, before the period when the workers of
Russia took a decisive stand against the constit
uent assembly, were very often misled by Keren
sky's followers and other reactionary factions.
When the idea of the Soviets became popular
in this country there were widespread efforts to
organize local councils. Because their was no need
for them they withered away one after another.
The organizations of Soviets must be preceded by
certain definite conditions or they amount to less
than nothing. There must be a period of national
turmoil, with a spirit of revolutionary agressive
ness developed on the part of the working class,
before Soviets can be effectively organized.
The Editor.
"They Won't Stick Together"
Said Jim Crow to his buddy on the same job:
"The trouble with the working class is that it
won't stick together. Reminds me of a story I
heard some days ago. You know, a drowning per
son is supposed to come up three times before
he's finally gone for good.
"Well, a life saver at the ocean beach made a
grand rush to save a guy's life that had fallen into
the deep water. The life saver got there just as the
drowning man was coming up for the first time.
He grabbed his leg, and the leg came off. It was
"The life saver waited till he rose the second
time and as he came to the surface he grabbed
hold of his arm. The arm came off. Artificial
"The life saver waited for the drowing man
to come up for the third and last time. He grabb
ed him by the hair. It was a wig and the wig
came off. That settled it. The poor guy drown
ed because he couldn't stick together."
Join Veterans' International
The Rank and File Veterans, an organization
claiming 261 posts and excluding officers from
membership, has notified Henri Barbuss, secretary
general, of its willingness to enter the Veterans'
International, which was formed at Geneva last
May with the purpose of preventing future wars.
The Rank and File Veterans' Association is
composed of labor exservice men and others with
progressive ideas. Although it does not subscribe
to all the declarations of the Geneva conference, it
declares itself in sympathy with them in the
general idea, and stands against universal military
Other groups, such as the World War Ve
terans (Minneapolis) will probably be asked to
affiliate with the international.
Will be the subject of a lecture by Tom Lewis.
At Bushnell Hall 127 Federal St. Youngstown, 0.
November 14th. 8 P. M.
Only workers invited.

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