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to economic organisation in such a manner, that the majority of the Western Federation of Miners gradually drew away from them. The end was that the Western Federation of Miners held aloof from both wings of the split Industrial Workers of the World, and steps are now being taken to organize an effective industrial organisation. Eventually it is not impossible, in view of the action taken with regard to the industrial organisations by the recent convention of the American Federation of Labor, that the Western Federation of Miners may affiliate with that organisation, or at least draw closer to it. This would be a distinct gain for industrial unionism and Socialism.
But if this should happen and the Socialist Party should then unite with the Socialist Labor Party, the western comrades would find themselves once more face to face with the same friction, from which they had just escaped, only they would then have it in their political organisation instead of the economic one. the trouble would be the same as before. The interests of industrial unionism and of the Socialist Party, instead of being advanced, would be injured. The only one to gain in the end. would be the Socialist Labor Party faction. Unity under such conditions cannot mean anything else but new disruption of the political organisation, a loss of sympathizers and members of the economic organisations, and a general reduction of our importance as a social factor.
Most of the rank and file of the Socialist Labor Party are new in the movement, know little or nothing of Marxian theories beyond the distorted versions placed before them in their official publications, are not familiar with the history of international Socialism in general and of American Socialism in particular. In the Socialist Party, on the other hand, we have now a goodly number of welltrained and well informed comrades, who can take care of the normal influx of newcomers. But if we unite with the Socialist Labor Party, we shall at once double our difficulties, because we should be admitting a group of comrades, who are under the influence of men adverse to us, so that we should have to divide our energies between fighting them and educating our new members.
Even if the delegates of the Socialist Labor Party should promise to drop all their typical hobbies and come into our organisation unconditionally, what assurance have we that they would keep their promises? Who will believe the promises of men, who have shown themselves callous against all considerations considered moral by most people and unscrupulous in the choice of their means?
Let me repeat that I do not wish to pronounce any moral condemnation in these words. Those comrades are what they must be. Neither would I pronounce any moral sentence upon
a rattlesnake for biting me, if I got to close to it. But knowing what a rattlesnake is, I keep out of its reach.
Before we unite with the Socialist Labor Party, let the question of industrial unionism develop to a point where it shall no longer threaten to become a new cause of disruption. Meanwhile let the comrades of the Socialist Labor Party give better proofs of their willingness to co-operate like comrades than they have heretofore. There is no particular necessity for uniting now. We have gotten along very well without the Socialist Labor Party and shall get along quite well without it for a while longer. Let them improve their theoretical knowledge in such a way that we shall not have to educate their teachers along with their rank and file. Let them get in line with Marxian methods particularly in the matter of industrial unionism and show by their actions that they have definitely abandoned the policies, which have spelled ruin for them and others.
Until they do that, I for one shall look upon all offers of unity from their side with suspicion and oppose any attempt to humor them, that may be made by inexperienced or overconfident comrades in our party.
By all means let us work for unity. But let us do it in such manner that we may assist the general clarification of minds in both parties and not place ourselves in a position, in which this work of clarification will not only be hampered, but in which we shall also be compelled to make front against enemies inside and outside. Let us prepare for unity so well that it will remain unity after it has been officially proclaimed. ERNEST UNTERMANN.
The Economic Aspects of the Negro Problem.
HE FEW FACTS mentioned show what an influence slavery began to exercise upon the southern white society. Another evident result was the loss of habit for intensive effort and work, so necessary and essential in the life of a colonist. A traveler through the Southern states in 1778 has noticed, that "the influence of slavery upon Southern habits is peculiarly exhibited in the prevailing indolence of the people. It would seem as if the poor white man would almost rather starve than work, because the Negro works."
But while slavery was having such harmful, demoralizing effects upon the white population of the South, it proved to be a school of civilization for the savage Negro. The Negro, who had lived many years on American soil, or the Negro who was born on American soil, and still more the Negro with a greater or lesser admixture of white blood, was even in the beginning of the 18th century vastly different from the newly imported African Negro. The difference was noticed in 1767 by the English missionary whom we have quoted above. The Negro who remained in the household of the master, doing domestic service, felt this civilizing influence more than the Negro slave in the field. That was one reason, among many others, why the Negro in the North felt it more than the Negro in the South.
The importation of new Negroes from Africa therefore called forth different feelings.in the South and the North. New, wild Negroes everywhere presented a dangerous, threatening element, but in the South they were necessary, while in the North they were useless, since a new Negro remained for many years unfit for domestic labor. The opposition to the importation of new slaves, which existed in all the colonies, was therefore much stronger in the North than in the South.
Beginning with 1681 dozens of laws were passed by the various colonies limiting or altogether prohibiting by means of high import duties, the importation of new slaves. The reason given for these measures in the North was usually the desire to restrict the growth of the anti-christian institution,
but the South was more frank in admitting the possible danger of an excessive increase in the number of slaves to the peace of society. Judging from this legislation, the struggle against slavery as an institution in the North began as early as the 17th century, but in reality the moral antagonism to slavery in those days seems to have been a very weak factor, since the laws of Massachusetts prohibited or taxed heavily the importation of Negroes into that commonwealth, but permitted the enterprising Yankees to continue their slave trade with the Southern colonies. Thus Massachusetts having established a very high duty on importation of Negroes in the beginning of the 18th century, nevertheless thought it necessary to return this duty at re-exportation, which made this state the main slave market. This materially affects the rights of the Northern colonies to the claim of a more humane attitude towards the slavery question.
Nevertheless, in view of the many economic and social causes indicated above, the first protests against slavery as such, had to arise in the North. Only a small minority could possibly be directly interested in the slave trade. The results of civilization and progress could more easily manifest themselves there, where the economic advantages of slavery were not so great as to suffocate all manifestations of protest. In any case, it is hardly necessary to say that towards the end of the 18th century these moral objections against the system of slavery had almost no practical effect upon the distribution of slavery. Nevertheless, the fragmentary information of such objections have a very great historical interest.
The first serious and sincere agitation in favor of suppression of slavery came from the Pennsylvania Quakers, that remarkable body of people of high moral principles.
John Woolman, (1720-1784), and still more Anthony Beneset were ardent preachers of the immorality of slavery as it existed in the South. Woolman protested mainly against the excessive work of the slaves, against the denial to them of a Christian education, while Beneset compared the condition of the slaves with that of the mode of life of the Negro tribes in Africa, which he pictured in rather sympathetic colors, and insisted upon the Human rights of the Negroes. But all these efforts, as far as they were directed towards a practical aim, and did not satisfy themselves with moral teachings, aimed only a reduction of the slave trade and of the importation of new slaves.
It is true, that Beneset, like the famous John Wesley, the founder of Methodism, went as far as to suggest the advisability of liberating the slaves, but they scarcely expected anyone to follow this advice, and they did not therefore ex
pect the appearance of the Negro problem, that is, the problem of the free Negro. They did not therefore try to solve that problem. Their preaching was purely religious and ethical, but not political.
In the North where the number of slaves by that time was small, where free Negroes side by side with the few slaves performed domestic service, the solution of the slavery problem did not present such difficulties as in the South, and there the preachings of Besenet and others had a much stronger influence. All through the seventies of the 18th century the slaves of Massachusetts began to fight for their liberty through the courts, insisting that the English common law did not permit of the institution of slavery. Frequently the juries took the same attitude. The revolutionary epoch brought the abolition of slavery by law in all the Northern colonies or states. The influence of these new thoughts began to be felt in the South as well; opposition to slavery became a sign of progressive thought during the revolutionary era.
The burning speeches and writings of Thomas Paine about the rights of man, the great formula, "All men are born free and equal," the whole theory of natural rights could not but have a strong influence upon contemporary thought. Not only Franklin, Hamilton, Jay, and Adams in the North, but also Washington Jefferson, Madison, and Henry in the South, were convinced opponents of slavery in principle.
It is true, that they continued to own their slaves, for without them life in the South would have been very uncomfortable indeed; besides, the liberation of slaves needed, not only principles, but also heroism and self-sacrifice. In his famous Declaration of Indegendence Jefferson had originally included a few sentences, accusing England of the shame of introducing slavery in the colonies for its personal advantage. But Adams, the Northerner opponent of slavery, influenced Jefferson to strike out this paragraph, so as not to call forth the displeasure of the South.
But even among these "best citizens of the South" the radical tendencies were not caused by any greater respect for the Negro as a human being. It is no exaggeration to say, that the opinion of these men about the Negro was, if anything, a less favorable one than those entertained by the convinced slave holders. If Jefferson protested against the institution of slavery he did it more in the interest of the white population than of the colored one. The strongest argument against slavery was the consideration that it led to an increase of the black population. Slavery develops in the slaveowner a crude and cruel disposition and immorality.
"The children of the white folks are brought up in asso