Workers Movement

The New York Commumist Why Political Democracy Must Go of By John Rood VIII will of the industrial autocrats for their very exists such as the Standard Oil they have done so in a previous article attempted to show the eco ence. When they combined and demanded a larger appearance only, and the result has been, as every nomic interests behind the Constitution of the share of the product of their labor, this constituted one knows, merely to strengthen their monopolistic United States and the deliberate expedients em an attack upon private property, and the Govern hold upon the resources of the country.
ployed by the Colonial ruling class to create a ment was called in to suppress them. Important The war completed the abject surrender of the government which would obstruct the will of the illustrations of this are the calling in of Federal Government to the great financiers. The countrymajority of the people. Let us now briefly see how troops during the Pullman strike in 1895; the use the voting majority of small property owners the machinery operates.
of injunctions in industrial disputes, in some cases olected the Democratic administration in 1916, Contrary to general belief, the American political forbidding strike and in one important instance, primarily because it had kept us out of war. But democracy is not one of the most advanced de even forbidding the workers to stop working for by the spring of 1917, the United States Covernmocratic governments of the world, but one of the a corporation; the manipulation of laws directed ment was at war. It had been clearly proven for most backward. To indicate a few points in which against the great corporations such as the Sher: almost two years that the forces which were push it lags behind other governments: The President is man Anti Trust Low 10 as to turn it against the ing the country toward war were the great mun elected for four years, and cannot be removed er working class as in the case of labor boycotts tions interests, the bankers who had floated Allir oept for serious cause, by impeachment; but the (see the case of the Danbury Hatters. and finally, loans, and the imperialist corporations anxious Premiers of England, France and Italy, retire when the interpretation of laws by the Courts.
share in the redistribution of foreigo markets. The their Party loses power. The Cabinet of the After all this innovation, unique among political United States was by this time, through the action United States Government is not responsibie to any.
democracies, has turned out to be the easiest and of private bankern, heavily involved in the Allied one, and can only be removed by the President, who most successful expedient for thwarting the will of cause; the Allied blockade had cut of German appoints it; the Cabinets of England, France and the masses, and defending the political power of commerce, and a vast trade had opened up with Italy are responsible to the parliaments, and fall the capitalist class. Founded with the ostensible England, France and Russia. Allied defeat would with the Premier. Laws passed by Congress may purpose of interpreting the Constitution, the have proven disastrous to Wall Street, which, at be declared invalid by the Supreme Court; but Supreme Court has extended its powers of inter the very moment that the Allied strength waverod, laws passed by the British Parliament cannot be pretation until it has become, in fact, a legislative plunged America into the struggle reviewed by any court, and can only be changed body in itself: and being con. posed largely of eni Never had there appeared so clearly the almost at the ballot box. In the United States the form Dent corporation lawyers, it represents the most complete control of the press and all agencies of of Government is rigidly fixed by the Constitution, reactionary property interests. For instance, it publicity by the capitalist class; with one voice which moreover eternally guarantees the sacredness property nor can this Constitution be altered York State Legislature forbidding bakery employ every rumor of German atrocities. German except by an overwhelming majority, which prac. ees to work more than ten hours a day on the propagandists bere were outlawed; British and tically makes impossible any profound economic ground that this statute infringed the rights and French propagandists bought, corrupted, threatchange by law; while in England no such bar ex liberties of manufacturers as citizens under the ened, pleaded without hindrance. Congressmen isto to Revolution by law.
Constitution. It declared the Income Tax Law who dared to oppose war in the interest of their However, these apparent differences in degree unconstitutional, and more recently the Child constituents were lashed with a bitter fury by press of political democracy are not so important as they Labor Law both because they were attacks upon and pulpit and the President. was at that timo seem. In all political democratic countries today, property and liberty. On the other hand, in in Washington, lobbying against the war and under the capitalist system, the Stale power is more spite of the Constitutional provision specifically against conscription. Three fourths of the Con and more turned into an organ of capital mastery forbidding Congress to make any law abridging gressmen admitted to me that they did not want over Labor public force organized for social en. the freedom of speech. the Supreme Court upheld war, that their constituents were against it; but slavement, an engine of class despotism. In the the conviction of Eugene Debs and Kate Richards almost all of them were terrified of the Chambers nited States, however, the methods by which the Hare for expressing their opinions upon pelit of Commerce (the business men, bankers, etc. of great capitalists control the State are more apparent ical questions their districts, and dared not brook the wrath of to the crver than elsewhere; although here, too, The Federal judiciary has been the supreme authe great newspapers. democratic ideology in which political comercial Conte dominant class. For instance, in 1856, the masses of the people are more blinded by the thority in the Government even dominating And when once the country had gathered way toward are phrased, and by what a great boen bad passed the great capitalists delive hair the illusion of the ballot box ultimatum to the cowering Government it.
It must be admitted that the Constitution has been Congress passed the famous roconstruction acte, some of which were clearly unconstitutional. Con ington. The Anti Trust legislation Diasi be surbroadened during the last century that more and gress had then been captured by the Northern pended; the bankers and business men themselves more democracy has been introduced into our Republicans, the new powerful great capitalists, must run the war. Hence we had the amazing Government; such amendments as the Income Tax under the leadership of Thaddeue Stevens, the iron spectacle of the Council of National Defense, made and the Direct Election of Senators testify to this manufacturer of Pennsylvania. In passing these up of speculators, manufacturers and merchants.
tendencs. Also the evolution of the State constitu acts, Congress warned ihe Supreme Court not to awarding Government Contracts at outrageous tions, removing franchise restrictions; ad the acts lay its bands on them; and the Supreme Court prices in the morning, and in the evening accepting of Congress and the State legislatures, fixing the obeyed.
these same contracts as private individuals. But control and hastening the democratization of the In other cases the capitalists have used the Presi. not only this: all through the country, Chambers electoral machinery all these signify that larger dent against Congress. In 1864, Lincoln, and the of Commerce and Boards of Trade formed organand larger masses of citizens theoretically partici: most far seeing of the great industrial capitalists irations of armed detectives and police, composed pate in the Government. But these democratic of the North, determined to abolish slavery both of business men and bankers, who used the power advances exactly correspond with the growth of the as a military measure against the South and as a delegated to them the Department of Justice to Invisible Government the autocracy of finance way of destroying the economic competition of wage the class war against the Labor Movement which progressively nullifies the power of the polit. slave labor. The Thirteenth Amendment to the And an arbitrary War Labor Board legislated in ical ballot.
Constitution was about to be submitted to the all differences betworn capital and labor, whose Political democratic ideals grew out of the theory States for ratification, against a very determined decisions were binding and backed by the power that men were born free and equal; that their interopposition. It was seen that one more state was the Federal Government. The workers were forca ests were ostensibly equal interests, resulting from necessary for the ratification, and three votes were to obey these decisions or forced into the army, the freedom of opportunity and that it was the con needed in Congress to admit Nevada into the Union. great corporations, most of them, either refused to flict of these equal but diversified property rights Lincoln did not besitate to bribe three Congress obey decisions they did not like, or like the manuespecially their geographical diversity whi made men by by appointing them to Federal offices.
facturers of Bridgeport, Conn. took advantage of it possible to construct a government representing In 1906, the of the small property owners the war situation to destroy the defenses of organ all and satisfying the great majority. Such condi.
against the headlong career of great capitalist ixod labor.
tions existed to a greater degree in the American Colonies, with their hinterland of undeveloped contrustification and monopolization had reached a Advocates of parliamentary action often poi to the mass of labor legislation passed by Congi tinent, and their lack of any indigenous aristocracy, stage when the small property owners had got control of Congress and placed on the statute books and the state legislatures, such as eight hour lax.
than in other parts of the world, and the Declarathe Sherman Anti Trust Law. The Supreme Court, workmen compensation statutes, minimum wagt tion of Independence was the expression of these after its experience with popular wrath awakened regulations and factory laws in general. Like the sentiments.
But even at the time of the War of Independence, did not dare to declare the Sherman Lew unconby the rejection of the Income Tax Law in 1905, increase in political democracy, the increase in the capitalist system was well developed, and the stitutional. Here was a clear case of political growth of knowlodge among the great labor.
industrial democracy is also in exact ratio to the Constitution, eleven years later, embodied the clear class consciousness of the Colonial capitalists, Blocked in its plan of absorbing the Tennessee Coal more effcient it is; and the more it can produce, and democracy at. work the will of the majority, employers that the more labor is protected, the rendered palatable by democratic idealistic and Iron Company by this law, the great financiers the more it can be exploited. The spooding op of phraseology who were forming the United States Steel Corpora machinery consequent upon mechanical perfection Madison had warded the Convention to take into tion deliberately precipitated ine Panic of 1907. and scientific management now make it possible to account the new and changing forms in which President Roosevelt was forced to beg for mercy cıploit labor more thoroughly in eight hours, than property would manifest itself in the future. In from the great capitalists, who consented to stop in twelve hours. Lord Leverbulme, the English the next century the industrial ca brought irito the panic on condition of being permitted to pro employer, now advocates the Six Hour Day, because existence wholly new forms ví property; and, ceed with their plans. In 1907 08, then, the it is productive of larger profits for the manufa moreover, changed both the relations of men to Tennessee Coal and Iron Company was absorbed, torer than the Pight Hour Day.
one another, and the relations of men to their Gov. in direct violation of the law. In 1909, the Senate But whes the capitalist doce not feel it to his ernment. The ownership of the tools of production demanded that the Attorney General inform it interest to obey the law, be does not obey it; and and the means of distribution by a few, reduced whether he had instituto proceedings against the tho Stato backs him up in his disobedience. For the mass of mankind to dependence upon these fow Steel Trust and if not, why not. President Roose example, in Colorado there has been an eight hour for all the necessities of life.
velt directed the Attorney General not to answer law on the Statuto books for twenty years or mora; Now the State is the expression of the relations the Senate; and further declared that the Cabinet and yet, in 1913, that law was deliberately broken of classes. property relations. society. The was responsible to himself alone.
coal of the state and bad been for American Government, particularly, was formed to In spite of the will of the vast majority of voters ten yours. All attempts of the men themselves to protect property, and since as time went on more in the country, expressed in the election of Wilson, organize for its enforcement were frustrated by and more wealth was concentrated in the hands of and the passage of the Sherman and the Clayton armed force. The unions were smashed by armed the few great capitalists, the Government protected Acts, the aggregatioa of vast groups of capital has thugs, who killed and deported miners at will. At and fostered this capitalist property more and more gode on apace, untouched by the law; or when the election time the ballot boxes were placed on com.
The mass of mankind became dependent upon the great combinations have been forood to dissolvo pany ground, guarded by armed hireling of the revolt in