Billeder på siden



the railroads. A heavy inflow of low-standard alien workers brings on a series of struggles by native labor aiming to resist the inevitable economic effects of the immigration.

On the other hand, there are economic developments which allay class oppositions. The drive of manufacturers for a high protective tariff weakens when some of them who invade foreign markets with their goods begin to care more for "free" raw materials than for “protection " to their product. The spread of rural cooperation may put an end to the outcry of small farmers lest they be swallowed up by large capitalistic farming. Cooperative stores may end the friction between the public and the retail merchants. With a fuller knowledge of the conditions of factory efficiency intelligent employers drop voluntarily certain exploitive policies which peculiarly exasperate their workers.

[ocr errors]

ALTERNATION OF SOCIAL PEACE WITH SOCIAL STRIFE Class A class struggle is too exhausting to be let run on forever. Strugglo Flares up As a rule it leads to an adjustment in customs, moral standards, and Dies Down

institutions, law, or the constitution of the state. Each gains a part of what it has contended for, so that the opposition between classes dies away or becomes secondary to certain common interests or feelings. Ere long this adjustment is accepted as if it were a part of the order of nature, and later generations can hardly conceive of any other arrangement. Thus there was social peace in England from the abolition of villenage until the beginning of the enclosures. But the hour strikes when some economic or technological change ruptures this concord and class strife breaks out afresh. This in turn may lead to anarchy, alternating revolutions, foreign intervention or domination, or else to a new adjustment ushering in another June of social tran

quillity. Not the In the course of a long period of social peace the consciousTheories ness of class fades, national or cosmopolitan feeling becomes of Society Prevail

strong, and society is deemed an outgrowth of natural fellowUnder So- ship and the spirit of cooperation. Morals, law and state are cial Peace

regarded as consistent one-piece creations of conscience or reaSocial Strife

son. Conversely, a period of sharp conflict establishes the idea that society is not born of good will, but is the arena of contending groups which, however, have more to gain by sticking together than by going asunder. The social order is looked upon


as a balance of opposing forces, while laws and institutions are seen as compromises rather than products of logic.



In order to win the sympathy and support of other elements each class camouflages its self-interest in the struggle by standing for some high-sounding principle or broad social interest. The landed proprietors demand the shutting out of cheap foreign-terest. grown foodstuffs in order that a rugged rural population be preserved as the nation's reservoir of potential military strength. The feudal lords never admit that they covet the fruits of other men's toil, but ever harp upon willingness to die for "throne and altar." Landlords confronted by a tenants' union set themselves. up as defenders of the rights of all property-owners. Manufacturers solemnly declare that their sole purpose in seeking high tariff protection is to be able to pay "an American wage." To beat the labor unions employers pose as champions of "industrial freedom," as unselfish upholders of the "open shop" principle that the workman may work where and for whom he pleases and under such conditions as he deems fit. In resisting the demand for a legal working day they profess disinterested solicitude for the freedom of the wage earner to contract for such length of day as may seem good to him. Workingmen pressing for the exclusion of Oriental low-wage labor assume the noble role of protectors of Christian civilization against the heathen. The wealthy resist progressive taxation, not frankly because it would flatten their purses, but on the ground that it would "penalize industry and thrift." Every threatened privileged class exploits. the occasional breaches of the peace which invariably accompany Popular movements in order to strike the fetching pose of chamPion of "law and order."

Each Class
Under the


Banner of



Each class arouses the class consciousness and kindles the Economic Weapons fighting spirit of its members by shrieking that its very existence in Use is at stake, or by circulating shameless lies relative to what members of the opposing class have said, or attempted, or done. If possible, it makes an economic thrust at its opponent. Landlords evict tenants who will not pay the higher rental demanded. Tenants reply by agreement not to pay the higher rental and to rent no premises from which a tenant has been evicted. Workmen strike; employers lockout or blacklist. Farmers build

Methods of Warfare Are

OHAP. their own grain elevators and stockpens. Manufacturers' assoXVIII

ciations obtain an ordinance against picketing and menace with ruin any employer who signs an agreement with union labor or runs a closed shop. Workingmen by refusing to work alongside non-union men compel them to join the organization. By union labels a special market is created for goods of the “fair” employer, and by sympathetic strike the employer who uses “scab” product is embarrassed, or by boycott the market for his products is curtailed. By " striking on the job,” the “ Italian strike," or "sabotage," the productiveness of the concern is greatly reduced

without the bosses being able to detect who is responsible. II Law Is Weak the

Each side has its spies to worm out the secrets of the other. Workingmen intimidate non-strikers and beat strike-breakers or

else hire sluggers to do it. Employers hire gunmen, mine guards Imported

and watchmen to beat up labor leaders and provoke violence. Struggles They make “plants” of explosives in order to “get something”

on the labor leaders. Bomb outrages are met by deportations. Each side gets together funds to defend its own law violators and to convict the law violators of the other side. If public sympathy or support is decisive, then the fighting class embarks on a campaign to win the favor of the public. It pleads the purity of its motives and the rightfulness of its claims, demonstrates that they are identical with broad social interests and brands its opponents as predatory, lawless and desperate. In case the class has political representation and can gain some of its ends via politics, it tries to establish a political front and lends its aid to other groups on such terms as to secure from them the utmost possible help in realizing its own purposes.

into Class


What They

In the economic field the strife of classes rages about rentals, length of lease, ownership of tenant's improvements, prerogatives of landlord, wages, length of the working day, Sunday labor, avoidable risk in industry, "speeding up," method of payment, collective bargaining, the closed shop.

In the social field it involves recognition of the union, methods of hiring and “firing,” shop discipline, and the question of the workers' share in management.

In the political field it concerns itself with:
a. Constitutional rights, franchise, sharing of offices, appoint-

ment or election of officials, remedies for their misconduct, selection and powers of representatives, rights of assemblage, of association, free speech, free press, etc. Composition of army and the courts, position of church and school in the state.

b. Class privileges and their abolition. Equality before the law.

c. Distribution of public lands, of landed property, of taxes, of tariff benefits; rights of property, of inheritance, of contract, vested rights, legal position of master, of employer, of creditor; nationalization of industries.

2. The interests of two classes may be so intertwined that either is in a position to inflict upon the other extreme economic injury. In this case there is a prompt and unscrupulous resort to drastic measures in order to end an intolerable situation. Compare a mine strike or a dock strike with a mill strike.

3. When one of the classes predominates in the state, the opposing class can get no justice and expects no consideration before legislatures, courts, or officials. Conscious that the cards. are stacked against it, it renounces agitation and from the very outset contemplates resort to ruthless economic pressure or to



1. In case the opposing classes include nearly everybody there No Jury is no great impartial public to appeal to. The issue lies with the interested parties themselves, which means that not argument will settle it, but force or threat of force.

4 Inequality of classes before the law and the enjoyment by one class of hereditary rule, of the right to vote or to hold office, while the members of the opposing class lack these rights.

5. The denial to an aggrieved class of free speech, free press, free assemblage, free association and the right of petition, destroys its hope of obtaining redress by lawful means and makes

feel that any weapons and any tactics are justified if they

Promise success.

6 Control by the intrenched class of the agencies for forming Pc opinion and influencing the action of the public authoriesthe newspapers, the churches, the schools, the clubs, the commercial organizations, the party machinery, the platform, posociety-so that the spokesmen of the aggrieved class are


State by

tion of the

One Class


No Path

cried down and ridiculed, stigmatized as malicious disturbers, wanton trouble makers, adventurers, or professional agitators, while their utterances are twisted and garbled so as to appear foolish, monstrous or dangerous. When one side can get no fair hearing, it dispenses with appeal to the general sense of right and seizes the weapons at hand.

7. Differences in social level, betraying the “better" element into a display of contempt and arrogance which the humbler class bitterly resents.

8. When there are no gangways from the inferior to the superior class, the members of the former may present a solid front, since none of them cherishes the hope of rising some day into the envied class, or seeing his son do so.

9. Loss of religious faith or cultural interests and growth of materialism sharpen oppositions which arise out of clash of economic interests.

10. Weakening of the spiritual ties which hold together and restrain classes whose material interests collide. Such are raceunity, remembrance of common descent, religious fellowship, pride in a common past, patriotism, faith in the nation's mission and devotion to ideal social aims.

Want of a



Loyalty to

1. A popular war tends to close social seams and chasms. Nation Competes The sharpening of national consciousness dulls class consciouswith Loy. alty to

Patriotism triumphs over class egoism. As a French Class

soldier puts it, “ Here we are, peasant and mill hand and marquis, in the trench together, sharing the same hardships and dangers and living like brothers.” In the same way common oppression, as in the case of Poles and Bohemians, strengthens the national spirit and delays the growth of class spirit.

2. Any riving of society along other lines — racial, tribal, sec

tional, creedal — lessens its cleavage along the line of class. Now Eco

3. Class contention abates to the degree that other goods or nomic Opportunities chances than those contended for come into the focus of attenSoothe Angry

tion. Lazarus fraternizes with Dives if abundant opportunities Classes

of improving his lot are opened up by conquest, state colonization, emigration, or easy access to public lands. The pushing outward of national frontiers, the discovery of rich and accessible gold deposits, the opening of new markets, the rapid industrial

« ForrigeFortsæt »