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About Will Maupin's weekly. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1911-1912 | View Entire Issue (March 17, 1911)
How Democracy Is Choked In
TEMPER OF STEEL WORKERS.
Overthrow of the Unions Has Result
ipd, in . Conditions That Make For
j: -.Radicalism How an Intolerable Sit
ouatron;jMay Be Changed.
By JOHN A. FITCH in Survey.
: "Ninety-nine per cent of the men are
Socialists," if by that you mean one who
hates a capitalist," said a fine working
man of genuine breeding whom I grew
to know in Pittsburg. This attitude
Is the outcome of a feeling that has
been slowly making headway since
1892 when II: C. Frick sent the armed
Pinkerton guards to drive the strik
ing workmen off the company prem
ises at Ilomestead.
Under common conditions working
men develop common feelings with re
spect to some of the more fundamen
tal questions of their lives. This is es
pecially true in a crisis when minor
differences are forgotten. It was true
in 1892 at Ilomestead, and it was so
again in February, 1908, when, with
the mills operating on barely one
fourth time, the Carnegie Steel com
pany cut from 10 to 30 per cent the
wages of men who were not during
those months earning enough to live
on. The lengthening of the working
day, the choking of democratic insti
tutions and the coercive sway of the
employers have worked out more than
a well organized industrial machine.
The flashes of Indignation have died
away often, but each time the embers
have glowed a little redder.
The steel worker sees on every side
evidence of an irresistible power. It
tells him what wages he may expect to
receive and where and when he must
work. If he protests he is ignored or
rebuked. If he talks it over with his
fellow workmen he is likely to he dis
charged. That the overwhelming ma
jority of steel workers are bitter to
ward their employers no one who has
mingled with them enough to catch
their spirit can-deny.
Among the English speaking work
ers, from the standpoint of their atti
tude toward their work, there are four
classes. In a certain element among
them enthusiasm is forgotten. They
are the older men who have waited for
a revival of something like democracy
In western Pennsylvania. But "hope
deferred maketh the heart sick." The
years have done their work. These
men look dull eyed on a world from
which the brightness is gone.
This group, while numerically strong. .
la small compared with the whole body
of employees. Among-the most there
exist varying kinds and degrees of
A majority of the workmen feel that
It is only through their efforts and
that of the community together launch
ed against the opposing powers that
their Industrial freedom is to lie won.
There Is still a firm belief on the part
of many that some day the mills will
be unionized. The argument is logical.
The situation is growing intolerable,
the workmen say; there is a limit to
human endurance, and when that point
is reached the men will rise as one,
organize and make their demands,
which. then cannot, they hold, be safe
ly refused. .
But years have gone by since union
ism was overthrown, and every twelve
. month has seen the control of the
employers grow more nearly absolute.
Under such conditions socialism is
making headway'. This comes1 from a
turning, away fromjwUtcal organic
::. !!: n t.'k.it fii'.s invited !'.' : r.;-'- s '. of
v:iii-:cii:;;i;si'!!, y;r fsiilod to intetw.l it
.;! f in ;niy Important legislation for
their benefit.. If the workmen were
once convinced that there existed a
possibility of the election of the So
cialist candidates there would follow
more than a landslide; it would be an
The last group 1 approach with hesi
tancy, for many regard as sensational
any statement of fact that runs coun
ter to their own experiences. There
is a group of workmen in the steel
district whose social hope involves
physical resistance. 'How widely they
may prevail I do not know, but it
seemed to me significant, that some of
the most intelligent should hold the
view that the only way out of the sit
uation is through an appeal to force.
Some will deny the existence of any
injustice in the institutions of society
that may not be remedied by individ
Those who defend existing condi
tions in the steel mills also resort to
the "high wage" theory. But men
are not recompensed according to the
degree of risk involved in their trades.
At best it is possible to determine a
class risk, not an individual one, and
Hie workman's problem is individual.
But were a man to consider himself
recompensed by high wages for long
hours and lack of touch with the
world and for extreme danger society
is not thereby recompensed. There
must be time in the home for the de
relopment of a sentiment not wholly
concerned with bread winning and for
the rearing of children strong in body
and mind. -
There are three ways in which con
ditions may be changed through op
position interposed by the workers
trade unionism, politics, revolution.
Through either one or other of these
there is bound to- be a revolution ere
long that shall have as its goal the
restoration of democracy to the steel
New York Printers' Unions.
There are twenty-one unions of the
printing trades in New York city with
a membership of" over 25,000.
Maimed Miner Gets $10,000 Verdict.
For the loss of his right hand, both
eardrums and sight of one eye Adam
Gelone, a miner, was awarded $10,000
damages by the federal grand jury in
the United States circuit court in New
York city recently.
The trial had been in progress be
fore Judge Chatfield for three days,
and the jury was out only a short
time. The I.ehigh Valley Coal com
pany wns the defendant. Oelone was
in a mine accident in which a number
of men were killed by a blast of dyna
mite at Mahanoy City, Pa.
Gelone was the only man in the
place who escaped alive.
"Why does Willie Smifkins refuse to
be a good boy just before Christmas?"
"Because," answered the boy who
always knows the answer, "he belongs
to one of those families that believes
in giving none except useful presents."
The American Way.
Microbe on Apple Why is yonder
man eating in such a tremendous
Microbe on Pear Appointment with
his doctor. He is taking treatment for
indigestion during his- lunch hour, you
Tlio Maid's Excuse.
Pearl I am shocked at you! The
idea of l'irting with a perfect stran
ger! Ruby But, dear, he isn't a perfect
stranger. If lie were perfect he
wouldn't -fllft. Chicago News. '
ade in Lincoln
Test of the Oven ;
Test of the Taste
Test of Digestion ; ;
Test of Quality
Test of Quantity
Measured by Every
Test it Proves Best
Demand Liberty Flour and take no other. If your grocer
does not handle it, phone us about it.
BER & SON
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Made from Select Nebraska Hard Wheat
WILBER AND DeWITT MILLS
RYE FLOUR A SPECIALTY
145 So. 9th St., LINCOLN, NEB.
Bell Phone 200; Auto. 1459
First Trust audi Savings Bank
Owned by Stockholders of First National Bank
The Bank for The Wage Earners
Interest aid at Four er Cent
139 South Eleventh Lincoln, Nebraska
e Dr. Benj. F. Baily Sanatorium
For non contagious chronic diseases. Largest, bert
equipped, most beautifully furnished.
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