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Newspaper Page Text
PAGE 16 THE TOILEB - SATURDAY, DEC 4, 192C.
My Own Shop
THE SMALL FARMERS OF NORTHERN NEW JERSEY.
By John Lawrence.
The working farmer is not generally pro
pagandized by the revolutionary movement.
Nevertheless, he is the bread-producer, and his
opposition at the time of revolution would be a
stumbling block to a speedy proletarian victory.
Here in Northern New Jersey the farms are
one-man farms averaging about thirty acres.
Isolation creates conservatism.
believe now make the housewife's work a joy?
There is no electric power for lighting, washing,
pumping. A bathroom is a rarity. Water is till
being drawn from the well or the pump by the
kitchen sink. The roads in this section are
atrocious. It is true, we have telephones and auto
mobiles (some of us). There is no abject poverty;
Crops are carted to the neighboring towns ; there at the same time there is little leisure, little com
are however, no public markets, to the farmer fort.
must either sell to the retailer or peddle his
produce from door to door. In the former case he
is at the mercy of the store keepers. In the latter
he must lose time and energy which he can ill
spare from the field.
Big Crops And Small Prices.
This year is an apple year. Because the fruit
is abundant the price is inadequate. Jn some cases
it is so low that it does not pay to pick the fruit
We are shaking to be ground and grinding into
cider apples of choice variety such as city people
pay five cents a piece for and more. Barrels also
are difficult to obtain.
One day last summer several truck loads of
tomatoes were brought by the farmers to a can
ning factory. Fifteen cents a basket (thirty cents
a bushel) was the price the buyers offered. Think
of it! Fifteen cents for what represented hours
of planting, cultivating, spraying, picking! Well,
the canners got the tomatoes but not in the way
they wanted. There were some hot bloods among
the farmers and they climbed upon the trucks
and pelted the buyers and every one within reach
with the fruits of their labor. The streets of the
town ran red with tamotoes. The farmers' anger
was vented but their purses were not filled. So
does capitalist economy function, with waste-
So much for material conditions. Revolutionary
consciousness desire for a radical change in
society is at a minimum. We hear of the farmer's
"conservative instinct." It is not instinct, but
isolation, that makes the farmer conservative,
isolation and the Sun, the Times, the Newark
Evening News and those other anti-working-class
newspapers which alone penetrate his remote
corner to mould his opinion. It is not strange that
here the I. W. W. is an object of ridicule and the
Communists of dread. The Sun, the Times and the
rest of the lying tribe have taught the farmer
that these people are bloated, sponging labor
fakirs or wild eyed aliens bent upon "destroying
everything." Who will tell him that the I. W. W.
is a group of hard working, conscientious men
and women whose aim is to abolish the enslave
ment of the working people by idle parasites?
Who will tell him that the Communists wish to
inaugurate a society in which the means of pro
duction (factories, mines, etc.) will be owned
collectively and their product enjoyed by all in
stead of by a few?
The farmer must learn that his interests are I
those of the working class. It is true that as a
property holder and an occasional employer of
waste of material, waste of energy, waste of life, help the small fanner belongs with the lower
Primitive Methods The Rule.
Methods of agriculture are primitive. The small
iarmer cannot afford scientific machines which
would lighten his toil and double his product.
Here, still prevail the two horse plough, the hand-
middle class. Nevertheless he lives mainly from
his own labor, and he is exploited by the retailers,
manufacturers, and middlemen to whom he must
sell his crops. These two facts identify him with
the working class. Let him learn then where his
cultivator, the hand-spray. The farmer's body is true interests he. let the farmer ioin hands with
ments which the family magazines would have us the industrial proletariat, to struggle together
bent in his tussle with the soil. until the working class as a body comes into
In his home, where are those boasted improve- its own.