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developing to an unprecedented extent, making the need for money in proportion to the work done very much less than at any previous stage. Again the amount of money absolutely and per capita is much more in the United States than in many other capitalist countries where there is no crisis at the present time.

Approaching this question from another point of view, crises overleap all bounds set by varying monetary systems and play havoc with "elastic currency" countries as well as with those with a fixed amount of circulating medium. Hence some cause must be found that will follow the effect across these varying financial and national lines.

There has been another explanation put forward of the present crisis, and sometimes this has been done by Socialists. This is that the collapse came as a result of the fight between Heinze and the Rockefeller crowd which took place just as the panic was starting. That this battle of the industrial giants helped to kick over the tottering sructure is at least probable. But if it had not been tottering they could not have knocked it over. The similar fight between Harriman and Hill over the Northern Pacific a few years ago, although it caused a greater commotion in Wall Street than anything that has occurred at the present time did not bring on an industrial crisis.

Others would explain the crisis as an act of revenge by the great trust magnates as a revenge for Roosevelt's use of the big stick. The reverse of this theory is that Roosevelt caused the panic by too liberal use of the same big stick. There are many things the matter with this theory. In the first place the big stick has not wrought any such havoc in either direction as would cause it to be so very much feared. Not a single trust has been destroyed or seriously interfered with.

The only things that have been accomplished was the levying of the twenty-nine million dollar fine against Standard Oil, which no one is foolish enough to think will ever be paid, and the seizure of a few thousand dollars worth of cigarettes from the Tobacco trust.

But the really weak point in this theory lies in the idea that it is in the power of any body of men to create and prevent crises. Industrial and social progress is controlled by forces that are far more powerful than any few individuals. This is at least true of those great fundamental movements such as produce crises. If this were not so, if capitalists could produce or prolong prosperity and adversity at will, then there would be little hope of the success of Socialism. This would imply sufficient control to prevent the concentration of wealth and the growth of an exploited, rebellious proletariat. The economic interpretation of history is either true or false. If it is true, then any such great social phenomenon as a far-reaching industrial crisis is due to features in the industrial structure itself.

If the Marxian theory of surplus value is true, then it follows that the degree of exploitation is continually increasing with the perfecting of the means of production and that the margin of surplus value is growing

ever greater. The most frequent objection to this is that there was no evident overproduction preceeding this crisis. The weakness of the objection is that such an overproduction is always invisible immediately prior to the crisis. The overproduction is always potential at the moment immediately preceding the break.

We have made quite an extensive study of the literature of every panic in the United States and never found a mention of overproduction immediately preceding the financial crash, which introduces every industrial crisis. The limit of the market is reached and here and there a few firms begin to feel the pressure while the majority åre still apparently overwhelmed with future orders. There comes a slight depression, a calling for financial support by the firms that have first felt the pressure. This causes a slight "tightness" in the money market. Then comes this first falling off in production which instantly reduces the already insufficient consuming power and the potential overproduction becomes active and the crisis is on.

A slight examination of the trade papers during the last summer shows that this was the exact condition during the past twelve months. While these underlying causes are the same in each great crisis, yet the phenomena vary with the changes that take place in capitalist oragnization in industry. During the highly competitive period, the crisis wipes out a majority of the firms. This occurred in 1873. With the coming of the trust, certain firms rose above the crash and were uninjured by it. This was the case in 1893-5, when only the smaller firms went down.

In a completely trustified society, there could not be any bankruptcies, because there would be but one firm in each industry to fail and its failure would practically be impossible.

How near we have approached that stage has been seen by the present crisis. Trusts do not go bankrupt. They simply stop producing until they can commence again.

The effect on the workingman in all cases is practically the same. He is thrown out of employment, goes hungry, becomes a tramp, sees his family suffer.

The question now arises as to how long the present condition will continue. Remembering that the capitalist class is organized thoroughly, that it is fighting for existence before the advancing army of Socialism, we may be sure that every possible means will be taken to shorten the time of depression. Much can be done in this direction. The expenditure of a few hundred million dollars in permanent improvements would afford labor for the great army of unemployed and would wipe the surplus out of existence in short order and start the wheels of industry in motion. That such steps will be taken seems quite likely.

One of the effects of this crisis will be to arouse a rebellious feeling among the working-class. A hungry mass of unemployed workers is not apt to remain satisfied with present conditions. But this discontent will not become spontaneously intelligent. Quite the reverse. It will

be fruitful ground for the work of the demagogue. It will be a difficult task to direct it into intelligent paths.

If the Socialist Party can do this, if it can rise equal to the task that will be set for it during the coming months it can make history, If not it will be shoved aside until it shall have grown equal to the task.

Social Programs.

We ish in this number an interesting suggestion of how society might be revolutionized if there were no class struggle, no laws of social evolution, no internationalism, no existing society from which we must begin, and which is never twice the same, but whose fundamental law is continuous change.

There are suggestions in the article that may help in formulating Socialist platforms, although it is based more largely on Single Tax than Socialism. It belongs rather in the literature of a generation and more ago, yet we believe it contains enough that is interesting and suggestive to justify reading at the present time.

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The Norfolk convention of the American Federation of Labor has come and gone and on the surface no great departure has been made from the policies of previous gatherings of that body. But a beginning has been made that will probably lead to good results. One fact that stands out clearly above all else is that President Gompers dominated the Norfolk meeting more completely than any yet held. It cannot be said that Gompers resorted to unfair methods to enforce his will upon the convention. The simple truth is that the vast majority of delegates agreed with him, outwardly at least, upon every proposition that he favored.

The most powerful influence that aided Gompers in maintaining absolute control of the Norfolk convention was unquestionably the savage attacks made upon him, as well as other trade union officials, by the National Association of Manufacturers. If Van Cleave, Parry, Post & Co. believe they could secure the downfall of Gompers by arranging to assault his integrity while the delegates were assembling they could not have chosen a more inopportune moment. The labor-haters simply fired a boomerang. Those who have differed from Gompers most radically upon questions of principle and policy, and who, by the way, have the highest regard for his rugged honesty and sincerity of purpose, were among the first to pledge him their support in his battle against that branch of capitalism that has dropped the mask and boldly announced its intention of destroying the trade unions.

When during the convention Gompers took the opportunity to reply at length to the charges of dishonesty and insinuations of immorality made against him through certain daily and weekly newspapers, which charges were inspired by the so-called Century Syndicate, a creature of the National Association of Manufacturers, he presented sufficient evidence to satisfy the most exacting critic that not only had the Van Cleave cohorts held out a bribe to make him "safe financially," but also that they intended to resort to the same tactics in the East that the Mine Operators' Association and its Pinkerton hirelings have been practicing in the Western country.

"Gompers did not reveal all the information that he had," said a prominent member of the Federation, executive council. "We have positive knowledge that Van Cleave and his plutocratic friends are developing a thorough system of espionage throughout the organized labor movement. Their minions are instructed not only to spy upon union workmen and gather evidence regarding the activity of agitators and organizers, but they are likewise expected to secure all

the damaging information that they possibly can against the private character of union officials, and to manufacture such evidence if none can be obtained."

The bosses of the National Association undoubtedly believe if they can destroy the reputation of union officials they will turn the rank and file against their organizations and cause them to become disheartened and withdraw from the unions. Just as the Colorado capitalists started a hullaballoo against an alleged "inner circle," so the Van Cleave outfit has started a loud cry against an "inner circle" in the American Federation of Labor. While it is unlikely that the Eastern plutocrats will go to the lengths of their Western colleagues, especially after the monumental fizzle to railroad Haywood to the gallows; still there will unquestionably be many prosecutions and persecutions to record during the next few years, as the oppressors are not raising a fund of $1,500,000 for fun or because of their love for labor. They have already had several local union officials imprisoned alleged contempt of court, and they made a desperate effort, during the past month, through the Typothetae, the printing branch of the capitalistic federation, to drive President Berry, of the printing pressmen into jail at Cincinnati for disobeying an injunction, but they failed.

Under the circumstances those delegates who attended the Norfolk convention who are Socialists, agreed among themselves, and unanimously and spontaneously at that, that it was not only their duty as trade unionists to do their part to present a solid front to the common enemy upon the industrial field, but they also owed it to their party to protect it from any charge or even suspicion of being used as a cat'spaw or an ally to assist the damnable work of the labor-haters. The Socialist party made a noble fight to rescue the Western miners from the slutches of the tigerish grand dukes of capitalism, and it can do as much for any and all other trade unions, even though they are conservative and move slower than we could wish.

The class lines are being sharply drawn in this country, and the most indifferent trade unionists are beginning to understand that they are not engaged in a mission that is going to be a summer picnic. We are in a period of transition and entering a new stage of development in organization effort. Heretofore it has been a comparatively easy matter to conduct union business and follow a certain routine and well-defined plans. But in the future, unless the signs of the times are misleading, the trade unions will be compelled to fight step by step to hold what they have gained and make further progress.

So while it is stated above that no apparent change has been made in policies, yet ground work has been prepared that will in all probability lead to a much-needed departure from old moorings.

For example, there was marked impatience manifested with the narrow factionalism born of the jurisdictional entanglements, and every utterance upon the necessity of closer affiliation and more thorough unification struck a responsive chord. The general clamor that the brewery workers' charter be restored and that unions outside of the Federation be invited to join became infectious, while sincere efforts were made on the part of rival organizations to begin the task of establishing lasting harmony. This fact was fully demonstrated when the building crafts, by unanimous vote, agreed to form a department of the Federation and arrange all their jurisdictional disputes without dragging them into conventions. It is not improb

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