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About The commoner. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923 | View Entire Issue (Dec. 26, 1902)
WILLIAfl J. BRYAN, EDITOR AND PROPRIETOR.
Vol. 2. No. 40.
PRES. ELIOT AND LABOR
President Eliot's eulogy of the non-union
strike breaker has called forth the condemnation
of the' federation of labor, and excited criticism
from all quarters. The first question to be de
cided is whether organization among laboring
men is desirable. Those, who say that it is, can
point to the reforms which have been brought
about through, the various labor organizations.
The secret ballot, arbitration, the lessening of
the hours of labor, legislation against child labor,
the increase of wages; the better protection and
the sanitation of mine3 and factories; and the
discussion among laboring men of economic, social
and political questions these are some of the
things that the labor organization has accom
plished. But for the organization the condition of the
wage-earner today would be very much worse
than it is now; without the. labor organization it
-would be difficult to imagine the condition of la
bor a few years hence. The labor organization has
not only helped its members, but it has helped
those outside of its ranks, for they also have
shared in the general amelioration of .conditions.
There is, no doubt that non-union men have by
their votes helped to secure thb Teforms for which
the. Tabor organizations hare oontondod, but with-,
out the labor -organization to give direction and
leadership little could have been accomplished.
It is not sufficient to say that tho members of
labor organizations are not perfect, or that tho
organizations make mis cakes. It is not sufficient
to say that strikes have sometimes been ordered
upon insufficient ground, or ..that strikes have
sometimes failed to accomplish their purposes,
the members of the organization therefore suf
fering loss. This is simply saying that laboring
men, like all others, are liable to err. The labor
organization does not advise or encourage vio
lence, and if violence is committed by individual
members it is no more fair to charge it up to the
organization than to charge the sins, of a church
member to the religious organization to which
President Eliot can better employ his time
attempting to improve and perfect the labor or
ganization than in praising those who attempt rto
destroy its usefulness. It will bo unfortunate for
the country if the students of President Eliot are
alienated in sympathy from the struggling masses
upon whom the strength of the nation must final
ly rest in peace and in war.
Gold Standard Logic.
. It is astonishing to see what passes for argu
ment in the gold standard papers, and nothing has
been more astonishing than tho comments that
these papers have made on the recent decline In'
the, price of silver. Is it ignorance or perversity
that leads these editors to overlook the influence
of legislation upon. the Tvhite metal? The silver
dollar was worth 3 cents more than the gold dol
lar when silver was demonetized In 1873. The
Bland-Allison act aided -silver ysome, but, as it did
Hot take all of the silver oh. the market, the metal
that could not secure a place for coinage cont'nr
Lincoln, Nebraska, Dec. 26, 1902.
Whole No. 10 1.
ued'to fall but for the demand created by tho
Bland-Allison act, silver would have fallen still
more rapidly during that period. In 1890 tho Sher
man law created a little larger demand for silver,
and under tho stimulus of this law silver rose to
$1.20 an ounce within 9 cents of tho . coinage
price. But when it was ascertained that even
the Sherman law did not utilize all the annual
product,, silver again began to fall. The repeal
of the Sherman law still further accentuated the
decline; and tho legislation now contemplated by
"congress is casting its shadow before it and In
fluencing in advance the price of the metal. China
is being blamed for tho present decline, and the
fact that "she is compelled to pay so large an In
demnity and has nothing but silver with which
to pay may account, in part; for the recent de
cline7but American legislation is more responsible
than anything else for the present position of
silver. , ' ' '
The Independent Press.
The Kansas City Journal, discussing Mr. Bry
an's statement in reg-.d to the growing indepen
dence of the dailies, says that "the daily newspaper
. is becoming less and less a blindly partisan pa
per, and there never was a time when the dally
press was so little dominated by partisanship as.
nowv'Tihat Is the Journal's wayo'expreislfig
it The daily papers are aulto Independent when
it comes to supporting a party policy, but they
are not at all independent when it comes to at
tacking any wrong that is backed by capital. Ag
gregated wealth cannot demand anything so un
just or oppressive that it will not be supported
by most of the great dallies, especially by those
that claim to hold themselves aloof from party
politics. The so-called independent papers are, Jf
possible, more virulent and vicious than tho
straight-out republican papers in their denuncia
tion of all who dare to array themselves against
corporater greed and corporate domination.
MM . m
THE POPULIST MOVEMENT
JEFFERSON MEMORIAL ASSOCIATION
An association has been organized called "Tho
Jefferson Memorial Association," with Admiral
George Dewey, president; Jesse B. Wilson, presi
dent of the Lincoln National bank, 'Washington,
D. C, treasurer, and W. S. McKean,, Stewart
building, Washington, D. C, secretary. The ob
ject of the association is "to erect at the national
capital a suitable memorial to. the author of tho
Declaration of Independence.", The editor of The
Commdner has been appointed vice president for
Nebraska. It is needless to gay that The Com
moner and Its readers will take a lively interest in
the success of the effort to perpetuate in the form"
of a monument the memory of tho work of
Thomas Jefferson, but his greatest and most en
during monument is the influence which his teach
ings have already nad upon the world and tho
greater influence wLich they are destined to have.
The gentlemen who claim to be democrats,
but who' voted with the republicans when the
democratic party stood for democratic principles,
still continue to give advice to democrats that is
warmly commended , by .the republican press. '
The Morning Star of Rockford, 111., haB an
editorial on "Tho Passing of Populism." Among
other things it says:
"The populi3t movement was a great blow
to tho democratic party. It forced that party.
to proclaim itself in favor of policies that?
. It opposed from its birth. It drove,-thousands
of democrats into retirement orIhtov
tho republican party. It scared capital and
forced tho business elements of the country
to organize against the democratic party. It
appealed to tho spirit of unrest and rallied to
the populist standard every ism of tho hour.
It challenged tho opposition of every porson
who had become successful and tho challcngo
was accepted. Under such auspices the pop
ulists while masquerading in democratic gar
ments twice struggled for the presidency and
each time was inglorlously beaten.
"Before the advent of the populist-silver
craze the democratic party was a compact, '
, well organized, ably led force. It held certain,
' eastern states securely In its column and dis
puted the control of Illinois and Wisconsin In
the west. Today it holds one state in the en
tire north, Rhode Island.
"This is tho result of Bryantem on tho
fortunos of tho democratic party. Portun-
atoly times have changed. Tho democratic
-gjpartyln.nearly all its, state. .conventions ha .'
anotne party nas come back to itself."
, Tho fact is that the populist movement has
been of great benefit to tho democratic party and
to the country. It helped to save the democratic
party from, annihilation and It helped to teach
economic truths to republicans who would not
listen to democratic speakers. In 1888 the repub
lican party had a largo majority in nearly all the
western states. The farmers' alliance, which was
the. nucleus of tho populist party, did more in a
few years to break the ranks of the republican
party than democratic, speakers and editors had
been able to do in a generation, and this educa
tion has not been lost. The retrograde movement
that has been observed in the west Is duo partly
to the improved conditions, which some former
republicans have credited to republican policies,
and partly to the. fact that tho metropolitan
dailies have constantly declared that tho demo-
cratic party was returnlg to the position that It
occupied prior to 189C- The republicans who left
their party between 1888 and 1898 hate Cleveland
ism as much as they did tho thiHgs that drove
them out of the republican party; tho fear of tho
party's return to Clevelandlsm has had even more
to do with the falling off in democratic votesin
the west than industrial conditions.
Tho Star, in the editorial above referred to,
like all the exponents of reorganization, either
ignorantly or wilfully misstates tho facts. The
position taken by the democratic party on the
money question could not bo truthfully described
as a "populist-silver craze." The silver plank of
the Chicago platform was in line with the action
of the party for twenty yearsv Time and 'again
the democrats in congress had voted almost sol
idly for free and unlimited coinage at the ratio
of 16 to 1 .without waiting for the aid or consent,
of any other nation. In fact, this proposition
never failed to command a majority of the deinoi
cratic votes in both house and senate until: Mr.
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