editorials, untitled

The conscription of labor is at hand. We are not among those who are afraid of the word “conscription”; that every man should have a job provided for him is right and just. We know that a lot of the most pronounced individualists among the Radicals do not agree but as our National ‘resident says the Iloilo has been conscripted all his life-not only conscripted but shanghaied. All the accurst vagrancy laws in all the States of the Land of the Free were put upon the statute books for this very purpose. There has been about as much enforced labor as free labor amongst the Hobo class for this last forty years, while the capitalist system has been getting its strangle-hold. Of course, there is really no free labor. All labor is forced directly or indirectly. Poverty forces labor at all times. Even if forced by poverty to work, if a man has a choice of bosses we call it free labor. But some bosses are so rotten and crooked that they deliberately conscript, kidnap or shanghai labor to suit themselves and through the crookedness of the laws that they have made and the courts they control manage to make men work for then for nothing. That is particularly true of the South.

The whole of the Southern States have been making wealth out of this monstrous injustice for in any years. Now that we have this Government conscription or draft of labor we think that this infamy can be stopped. There is no shortage of labor yet, but there soon will be. And then the Hobo can take his revenge. At any rate he can demand justice.

The United States Government will handle all this labor now through the U. S. Labor Bureau and there is a great choice of work. The wages are good and getting better all the time. But, better than all, the conditions of living are good; at any rate far better than they have been in the past thirty years. And the hoboes, the so-called casual and migratory workers, can have their pick of the jobs. If they do not get fair treatment, it is their own fault.

For years, we have taught the absolute necessity of organization. It will cone in time and when it does the Southern States can holler their heads of for good white labor all lobo labor will say to them, ”Wipe your black-guardly vagrancy and slavery laws off your statute books and we will do your work and not till then” lit them in the pocketbook, boys. “That is the way to make infamous grafters squeal.

Hoboes who are getting three ‘squares a day are so common now that we cannot headline then, but a “bo” with a cigar rather surprised us the other day. He had saved a passenger train from being wrecked and was rewarded with a good cigar. As he does not smoke, he fetched it along to the editor. We think of having it framed.

The poem on the back page of this number is taken from the Leavenworth ”New Era, written, printed and issued by the convicts there. The ”New Era’ is the brightest little weekly that collies into this office. Considering the constraint inflicted upon a paper which can only be issued ‘ with the permission of the Department of Justice” and the suffering of the shackles, the paper is a marvel of cheer and hope and love. We have always contended that there was ‘*’ good in every man,” and that there was just about as much good, in proportion, behind the bars as in God’s sunlight.

If those boys can get out such fine, thoughtful work as this under the circumstances, what could they not do when free and unfettered?

And this reminds us of the Tom Mooney case. It seems that Mooney has been granted a reprieve from death till December. The reason for this action is obscure. Does the Governor of California think that Labor will have forgotten Mooney in six months and that then there will be no difficulty in pulling off this judicial murder” Labor never forgets an injustice.

At our Detroit Conference it was unamnimously decided to ask the President to take the whole ease away from the State of California and since then numerous labor bodies lave done the same thing. It seems far fetched indeed to demand that the President shall boss the sovereign Governor of California, but JUSTICE is greater than all the meticulous renderings of which the Constitution is capable. Tom Mooney should have justice and the working people of America are determined that Mooney shall have it in spite of all the crooks in California. It is enough to make this nation weep for shame when the “ignorant” masses of Russia will not trust our Government nor have faith in us as a people when we permit a man to be done to death on undoubted perjured testimony. 

“They are slaves who fear to speak

For the Fallen and the weak;

They are slavs who will not choose

Hatred, scoffing and abuse

Rather than in silence shrink

From the truth they needs must think;

They are slaves who dare not be

In the right with two or three.”

-James Russell Lowell

Sabotage is a queer word and sounds ugly to most of us. It is said that it is taken from the French word, sabot, meaning a wooden shoe, and that in the olden times if the boss proved unsatisfactory those wooden shoes would be thrown at his nose and that black deed was called sabotage.

But, in spite of the wicked construction, put upon this word by the lawyers for the prosecution in that long-drawn-out farce of a wobbly trial at Chicago, there is some humor in it, even if not in the word itself, still in its application.

If the lawyers in this case are not committing sabotage on the United States Treasury, we do not know what they are doing. They are, perfectly lawfully, mind you, pulling Uncle Sam’s leg for untold thousands and seem to think they can make a life time job of it. “Soldiering on the job,” as the Hoboes call that kind of funny business,

We were told at the Conference that the stenographers’ bill on this case was already in ore than twelve thousand Dollars all the end is not yet. So, you see the anomalous position. The judge commits sabotage, the lawyers commit sabotage don’t blame them so much: they can’t help it. They were educated to it and call it legal practice), and they accuse these poor devils of workers Of doing the same thing, only, of course, in the small way that the workers’ intelligence permits. The lawyers indulge in persiflage between themselves, work all the camouflage possible on the court and charge sabotage. And somebody pays for it all.

We are told that the deadliest or of sabotage is Truth. The Christian lady said to Biddy when the caller was at the door, ”Tell her I’m not at home.’ So dutiful Billy answered the bell and the caller asked, ‘Is Mrs. Smith in?’ ‘No, mum,’ says Biddy, “she’s out and may the Lord forgive me the Wicked lie I’m telling ye,’

And that was how Biddy sabotaged on Old Lady Smith. One of these good religious employers, running a big business, was a stickler for the truth. Great is the truth and it will prevail, was his motto and he took good care that all his employes should know it. All liars were to be discharged instantly. It was a beautiful place to work from the ethical standpoint, but the hours were too long and the pay too short like many other good, sanctimonious jobs. The help got dissatisfied. They got together and discussed a strike. But they were so poor that they could not afford to strike. So, they were all up in the air until one bright Aleck suggested this solution, ”Let is put in our demands. If they are refused, let us say nothing about it and do nothing but absolutely obey instructions. We will tell the customers and every one else the truth.’

So they smiled and were polite and told the truth and drove so much trade out of the store that the boss came to his senses and righted things. And that was ‘sabotage.’

If the instructions given to the workers in all the trades were followed literally, every employer would be bankrupt in a month. The worker must use his brains, his judgment, his heart and put love into his work to make it good. He does these things and he should be paid for then and paid the limit.