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The toiler. (Cleveland, Ohio) 1919-1922, November 20, 1920, Image 7

Image and text provided by Ohio Historical Society, Columbus, OH

Persistent link: http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn88078683/1920-11-20/ed-1/seq-7/

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Industrial Management
By John Lawrence.
We hear a great deal about the conquest of
political power as an event for which the workers
must prepare. This is indeed an essential phase of
the Revolution and cannot be too much emphasized.
At the same time it must be remembered that
the Revolution means the taking over by the work
ers of the means of production. This industrial
procedure will be the backbone of the Social Revo
lution. The political act, the setting up of a work
ers' government or proletarian dictatorship, will be
the means by which this industrial transformation
will take place.
Taking over of the industries will proceed Rapid
ly under the proletarian dictatorship, but the pre
paration for it must be begun now.
We see that the Italian workers have already
taken over a large part of the industries of their
country in anticipation of the political conquest or
overthrow of the capitalist state which is being
prepared for and will take place at any time.
Both are necessary the political Act and the
industrial preparation.
It is in the industrial field that most of the
workers will be called upon to act.
Shop Councils And Committees.
What can be done now?
Let the workers of every shop organize in a shop
council and electa shop committee. Let the council
and committee not only instruct the workers in
the economic and political facts of the Revolution,
but also learn actually to manage the affairs of the
shop, with the aim in view of assuming entire
control and ownership.
It is very well to be revolutionary but it is also
necessary for the worker to learn more about his
Under capitalism with its development of ma
chinery the average worker knows very little about
the processes of production in the industry in
which he is engaged. His own task is probably
some minute and repetitious action, which he goes
through mechanically and paying no attention to
anything else. The actual management of the shop
and knowledge of the production which is being
carried on there are vested in the forehian, or
technical director, or efficiency expert. This indi
vidual is a worker so highly paid and well treated
that he no longer considers himself a member of
the working class, but feels he belongs with the
If we only study the experience of the Russian
Revolution we see that these technical men whose
work is necessary to production side with the cap
italists and sabotage the proletarion revolution.
In the early stage of the Russian Revolution the
workers tried to do without the technical men, and
lacking the knowledge of how to manage scientific
production, they made a muddle of it. When the
Communists seized the power they paid these ex
perts high salaries to get their servies-the onhj
thing they could do.
Preparing For Workers' Control.
This however is an extravagance and can be
avoided by the workers learning now to supplant
these managers from among their own numbers.
This is difficult but it can be done.
Let the Shop Council take up such questions as
How are raw materials obtained? What quan
tity is needed? Does the shop use the best and
latest type of machinery? What working hours
will enable the workers to give best service ? What
is adequate compensation for each particular job?
What can be done to stimulate production, en
courage inventions, etc?
"What," you may ask, "are we to do all this for
the boss's benefit?"
No! in a few years, for your own.
The Shop Council is not only an effective means
of the workers bettering their conditions 'now. Is
this it supplements the Labor Union, and unlike
the latter, which in many cases is controlled by s
conservative bureaucracy, it may be controlled
directly by the workers since the Committe and
officers will be chosen from their Own number.
The Shop Council furthermore will be the nuc
leus of the new working class government which
will take the place of the present one and will be
more like a democracy then anything yet known-

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