IV Industrial Freedom
Socialism is industrial democracy.
Industrial democracy is Socialism.
Under Socialism the government of the Nation will be an industrial government, a shop government. The political government of today, composed of president, congress and the courts, with the governments of the various states, is purely a class government. It is the government of the property holding classes. Its purpose is to protect private property and keep the workers, who have no property, in subjection. Its most important laws are laws of oppression. Its most important buildings are court houses and prisons. Its most important servants are policemen, detectives and soldiers.
Socialism, or shop government by the workers, will need no armies, navies, police, detectives and prisons. judges today are almost wholly concerned with two kinds of work One is to try cases at law which grow out of private property relations. When two property holders quarrel about a piece of property they go to court in order to have the fight settled as cheaply as possible. Another function of the courts is to sit in judgment upon and determine the punishment of such of the poor as may have been "guilty" of disrespect for private property. Of course everybody now knows that rich offenders purchase this "justice," while poor offenders get it presented to them. Do the starving poor take food? They are sent to jail. Do they strike for more wages? They are clubbed, shot or imprisoned. Such is the nature and purpose of the political government today.
Under Socialism there will be no lawless rich to keeptheir place by crushing the poor. There will be no enslaved poor to be kept down. There will be no great private fortunes to fight about in the courts. Hence government will concern itself only with the management of industry, with the promotion of public education and with other public activities which are of benefit to the workers.
The Growth of Socialism
Unity of the Labor Union and the Socialist Party.The Socialist Party and the labor union will come closer and closer together. The labor union will come to stand for Socialism. The Socialist Party will thus become a mere phase of the labor movement. The union and the party together make war upon the enemy, the capitalist class. This fight is, first of all, a shop fight. It takes place at the point of production where the workers are at present enslaved. Until this is understood there can be no real understanding of Socialism. To understand the world and the world's struggle at the present time we must look at it through shop windows. That is why college professors, preachers, authors and business men must take the working class point of view before they can understand Socialism. They must understand the struggle in the shop. Then only can they understand the needs of the workers and the power of the workers. Otherwise these upper class people will be weak-kneed reformers and not Socialists. Many clergymen, college professors and lawyers, and workers who have learned their Socialism from these, imagine that Socialism is "government ownership." "Under Socialism," they say, "the government will own the railroads, the mines and the factories."
Government Ownership Not Socialism.-Government ownership can never lead to Socialism. It is not a steptoward Socialism. It has nothing Socialistic about it, because all political government is administration from the top. At the present time the employes of the United States Postoffice are treated worse than many employes of private capitalists. The railway mail clerks are less protected and work for less wages than most of the other trainmen. Wherever the capitalists are being driven by the Socialist Movement they are crying out for "government ownership" to save them. The railroad thieves in the United States will soon want nothing so much as to turn over their watered stocks to the National Government. They would then draw their profits as interest on government bonds. No profits in the world could be safer. The government would then have to rob the railroad workers and turn over the stolen money to the idle government railroad bondholders.
The present governments of the United States and of the separate states were developed long before Socialism was thought of. Even if the workers put Socialists of proved wisdom and honesty in office, the present government could not possibly become a Socialist government. It was not made for that purpose. The workers might as well take a cannon left over from the Revolutionary War, run it on the street car track and pretend that it is an up-to-date electric car, as to try to make over the present government of the United States into a Socialist government. A wise tailor does not put stitches in rotten cloth.
The political government of capitalism has served its purpose. Its day is done. The Socialist Party can seize it, prevent its doing further harm to the workers and at the proper time throw it on the scrap heap where it will repose with the outworn tools for the protection of which it was organized.
The Industrial Empire.-We have already describedthe new government--the government of industry. The development began with the organization of industrial corporations. At the present time it is rapidly becoming centralized. Its capital is at New York City. There its executive and legislative departments are located. It is a plutocracy, a form of government by the great rich. It is rapidly becoming an empire.
This industrial government makes the real laws of the land. It determines who shall and who shall not work and how long and for what wages. That is, it has the power to say who shall live and who shall not live. It legislates as regards the amount of protection the worker shall receive while at work. It holds in its hands the powers of both the industrial and political governments. It has decreed, in order that profits may be increased, that the workers shall suffer slavery, starvation, disease and death.
The Industrial Republic.-The workers' government of the future will realize Socialism. No government is created in a day. Any new system of society, with its peculiar government, must grow through many years to its final and perfected form. In this Socialism cannot be different from other forms of government. Socialism cannot be realized until the workers, through their industrial government, own and manage the means of production. This government is now developing-in the workshops, of course. Wherever the organized workers gain partial control over the shop in which they work, we have the growth of industrial democracy. If the workers have been employed twelve hours a day and they force their employer to grant them the ten-hour day, they are passing an important law of the shop. That law springs from the power of the workers to govern the shop.
Suppose that the workers of the whole Nation demanded and enforced the eight-hour day. That would be a mightier law in the interest of the working class than all the laws ever passed by Congress and the state legislatures.
With the growth of the organized industrial and political power of the workers, the class struggle will become. ever keener. The government of the capitalists will make war on the workers. The battle will rage throughout the land, in every city and town, in every shop and mine. It will continue until the workers are strong enough to gain complete control of the Nation's industries. The trust is organized industry. The labor union will become organized industrial society.
The Class Struggle in Politics
In their war upon the working class, one of the most effective weapons of the capitalists has been the physical force wielded by their political government. Everywhere the workers have been fooled into supporting this government. The Republican and Democratic parties and the various reform parties are maintained to keep the workers divided. Whichever of these capitalist parties is victorious, the workers are always defeated. Democratic, Republican and reform politicians alike use the powers of government in the interests of the master class, wherever the workers seek to control the shop. Whenever the workers strike they are brutally clubbed, stabbed and shot by police and soldiers. Whenever they declare a boycott they may be put in jail. Injunctions prevent them from picketing a struck shop and talking to the strike breakers. The courts seize the funds of the union and turn them over to the capitalists.
Fortunately the male workers have the right to vote. At first they foolishly try to defend themselves by defeating this or that obnoxious politician of the old parties. They vote for such politicians as call themselves "the friends of labor." But they soon find out again that "the friends of labor" out of office, become the enemies of labor when in office. So finally, in every country under the sun, the workers are forced to organize a party of their own.
The Socialist Party.-In America this party of the workers is the Socialist Party. It has now been developing for nearly twenty years. For many workers it seems to grow too slowly. This is because of the great work and mission of the Socialist Party. A labor reform party might elect officers very quickly and in a few years control the country. In Australia this has actually taken place. But the workers of Australia have found that their Labor Party is no better than any other capitalist party. This is so because it is not a Socialist party. The Socialist Party stands not merely for the POLITICAL supremacy of labor. It stands for the INDUSTRIAL supremacy of labor. Its purpose is not to secure old age pensions and free meals for school children. Its mission is to help overthrow capitalism and establish Socialism.
What Will the Socialist Party Do?-The great purpose of the Socialist Party is to seize the powers of government and thus prevent them from being used by the capitalists against the workers. With Socialists in political offices the workers can strike and not be shot. They can picket shops and not be arrested and imprisoned.* Freedom of speech and of the press, now often abolished by the tyrannical capitalists, will be secured to the working class. Then they can continue the shop organization and the education of the workers. To win the demands made on the industrial field it is absolutely necessary to control the government, as experience shows strikes to have been lost through the interference of courts andmilitia. The same functions of government, controlled by a class-conscious working class, will be used to inspire confidence and compel the wheels of industry to move in spite of the devices and stumbling blocks of the capitalists.
The Socialist Party is not a political party in the same sense as other parties. The success of Socialism would abolish practically every office existing under the present form of government. Councils, legislatures and congresses would not be composed principally of lawyers, as they are now, whose highest ambition seems to be to enact laws with loop-holes in them for the rich. But the legislatures of the workers would be composed of men and women representing the different branches of industry and their work would be to improve the conditions of labor, to minimize the expenditure of labor-power, and to increase production.
The Message of the Socialist Party
The most priceless intellectual possession of the world's workers has been the gift of the Socialist Movement. This includes a complete system of thought with regard to human society and social progress. It was worked out by the first great scientific Socialists, Karl Marx and Frederick Engels. Their main ideas are included in this system. We shall briefly discuss each of these.
Surplus Value.-Long before the coming of the modern Socialist Movement it was understood by the economists that all wealth is produced by labor. How then, it was questioned, can profits be accounted for? If labor produces all wealth why do not the laborers receive their full product? The answer to this question was not known until it came from Karl Marx. Wages, said Marx, are not the full product of labor. Nor are wages any,definite part of the product. Wages are simply the selling price of the worker in the market. This selling price, on the average, is just enough to keep the worker in good condition to do his work and produce some one to take his place. For instance, if the worker toils ten hours and produces $10.00 worth of wealth, he does not receive $10.00, nor $5.00. If $2.00 will support him he receives $2.00, and no more. These $2.00 are his wages and the remaining $8.00 are the profits of the capitalist. If the hours of the worker be increased, and better machines introduced, the workers' product is increased, let us say, to $15.00. Do the workers' wages go up? No. Instead of rising they fall. They are now but $1.50.
The theory of surplus value is the beginning of all Socialist knowledge. It shows the capitalist in his true light, that of an idler and parasite. It proves to the workers that capitalists should no longer be permitted to take any of their product. Without this knowledge the worker will never fight along correct lines. With this knowledge he will never stop fighting until Socialism, which will give to the working class the whole of its product, shall be fully realized.
Economic Determinism.-Until Marx it was generally thought that history was made by great men. Great men won battles, made treaties of peace, created constitutions and laws, ruled nations, and saved humanity from destruction. Marx and Engels showed, through their study of history, that this was a childish view of life and of government. The great facts of history-its wars, its governments, its art, science and literature-these were created by a deeper social force. This force, said Marx, was the economic or material force. People lived as they did and acted as they did, because they made their living in a certain way. If they used small, rude tools, and the soil they worked. was poor, their ideaswould be much different from what they would be if they used larger and more productive tools upon richer soil. The nature of man's social life depends chiefly upon the physical conditions under which he is living. This same principle is true in matters of morality. An individual, or nation, or a class, will finally come to think that right which is to his material advantage. Nations make war in order to add to their possessions. Individuals engage in such work or business as will yield them the largest pay or profits. A class will fight to the death with another class over profits or wages.
In war, killing people and burning cities is thought to be a patriotic work. If successful it is considered to be right and fine. In industry the capitalists will enslave small children, and the profits wrung from their pitiful toil goes to build churches and universities and support Christian missions. The murderous capitalist who robs cradles to get his gold comes to be praised as most "benevolent," "virtuous," "religious," etc.
When the worker, either through experience or a study of Socialism, comes to know this truth, he acts accordingly. He retains absolutely no respect for the property "rights" of the profit-takers. He will use any weapon which will win his fight. He knows that the present laws of property are made by and for the capitalists. Therefore he does not hesitate to break them. He knows that whatever action advances the interests of the working class is right, because it will save the workers from destruction and death. A knowledge of economic determinism places the worker squarely oil his intellectual feet and makes him bold and independent of mind.
The Class Struggle.-An understanding of the class struggle, which we have repeatedly discussed before, comes only from a knowledge of the economic interpretation of history. If the conditions of a people are determined by the nature of the tools they use, of the work they do, and by their relation to these tools (that is, whether they own them or not), then we may easily obtain an insight into the working class struggle. All the great revolutions of history, said Marx, have been class struggles. So, too, must be the movement of the workers. No class has been really free until it has ruled society. Therefore the working class, to be free, must rule society. But the workers, when they free themselves, will make slaves of no one. Machines will be so developed that every one can labor and live in freedom. Long ago slavery was necessary to the end that the master might develop civilization. Under Socialism a higher and better civilization will be open to all.
The Growth of the Socialist Party.-The necessity and value of a knowledge of Socialism to the working class need not be emphasized. Into every country has gone the Socialist Party with its message of enlightenment and hope. This part of its work has just begun. In America, on April 1, 1911, eighty thousand people had accepted the principles of Socialism and joined the Party. In 1910, its candidates received 600,000 votes. But millions remain to be educated to a knowledge of Socialism before freedom can be obtained. In this work both the Socialist Party and the labor union will bear a prominent part. During the political campaigns the educational work of the Party is especially effective. It can then get the ear of the working class and emphasize the great truths it bears. Political victories are themselves of great value in drawing the attention of the working class to Socialism and spreading a desire to understand it.
The Socialist Party and the Government of Cities.The. Socialist Party has a further function. Modern industrial cities are a product of Capitalism. They are growing and will continue to grow constantly larger. The governments of cities are much more than the agents of the capitalist class. They develop social service departments, such as the fire department, the waterworks, public schools and parks. Through a department of public health, they can, by means of scientific hygiene, protect and promote the health of the community.
These governments of cities are at present run by politicians, in the interests of the capitalists, for graft. They must be captured and used in the interest of the workers. But at present, city government in the interest of the workers is made almost impossible through the capitalist control of the states. With the growth of the Socialist political power they can more and more be liberated to serve the working class.
The mission of the Socialist Party is therefore threefold:
First, it must lay bold of all the powers of political government and prevent them from being used against the industrial organization of the workers.
Second, it must be the bearer of sound knowledge, using its great and growing organization to teach Socialism.
Third, it must use the governments of the cities to advance the social interests of the working class.
The Social Revolution
The Socialist, through his knowledge of the law governing social progress, gains an insight into the future which is impossible to those ignorant of Socialism. Through his study of history lie comes to understand the part played by revolutions. Whenever a social class has become powerful enough to rule society it has seized the reins of government. Thus the capitalist class in westernkings. They have accomplished this through a number of revolutions. The most important of these were the Europe and America has made an end of the power of English Revolution in 1642, the French Revolution in 1789, and the American Revolution in 1776. The Civil War in the United States was a very great revolution. It made an end of the power of the Southern slaveholding class and established capitalism in the South.
When the working class is strong enough both in its union and at the ballot box, it will make an end of capitalism. That period in which it will be engaged in the work of seizing all the powers of industrial and political government, will be the period of the social revolution. Of course we cannot tell when this will come. Neither can we tell whether the period of revolution will be long or short. Both will depend upon several facts. The most important question is, how long will it take to educate and organize the working class? This will depend much on what the capitalists will do. The revolution might be hastened by a panic. It might be retarded by a foreign war or by capitalist reforms. But it is bound to come. That the well informed Socialists can clearly see.
Socialist Government Will Be Industrial Government. -For the revolution to be successful, it will have to result in the ownership and control of the land, shops, mines and railroads by the workers. The government given to the Nation by the Socialists must be an industrial government. The new Constitution of the Nation must organize the industries. The present industrial empire will be changed into an industrial republic. The congress or legislature of the workers will make laws for the management of the industries.
Political States Merged by Industry.-The separate states of the United States have long since ceased to be needed. At one time the people of different states were widely separated because it took so long to travel from one to another. Now they are connected by railroads, telegraph, the postoffice and by the trusts and labor unions. An old-fashioned farmer would inherit his father's farm and leave it to his son. His family were permanent citizens of the state in which he lived. But the members of the working class move from state to state in search of employment, caring little in which one they happen to be. Let us say that a worker is employed by the Pennsylvania Railroad Company. His employer is the state of which he is a member, and which governs him. He may live in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, or any of six other political states. As a trainman he goes through them but does not recognize their boundaries.
Similiarly, a worker for the Grand Trunk Railway in Canada may live in Michigan, Ontario or New York. But the place of his residence is not important at all when compared with the province of the Grand Trunk system to which he is subject, The great Smelter Trust extends its operations from the United States into Canada and Mexico. Canada and Mexico are parts of the American industrial empire. The Western Federation of Miners has more locals in British Columbia than in any American state. Members of the W. F. of M. go back and forth over the Canadian border, working often for the same trust on both sides of the line and supporting always the same union. So with Industrial Socialism. It will recognize no political boundary lines. To the working class there is no foreigner but the capitalist.
No Socialism but Industrial Socialism.-Socialist government will concern itself entirely with the shop. Socialism can demand nothing of the individual outside the shop. It will not say to the worker how lie shall usehis product. Socialism has absolutely nothing to do with either religion or the family. It has no concern with the numberless social reforms which the capitalists are now preaching in order to save their miserable profit system.
Old age pensions are not Socialism. The workers had much better fight for higher wages and shorter hours. Old age pensions under the present government are either charity doled out to paupers, or bribes given to voters by politicians. Self-respecting workers despise such means of support. Free meals or cent meals for poverty-stricken school children are not Socialism. Industrial freedom will enable parents to give their children solid food at home. Free food to the workers cuts wages and kills the fighting spirit.
Questions Concerning Socialism
When a worker understands Industrial Socialism, he does not ask who will do the hard work, will Socialism divide up, will Socialism destroy incentive, and similar, foolish questions. Yet some serious questions remain to be answered. When Socialism is explained as a political scheme, to be brought about by the passing of laws in the legislatures and Congress, these questions are naturally many and hard. But Industrial Socialism is Socialism with its working clothes on. It is easily understood by the workers. As we look from shop windows upon the world about us, the questions which come into our minds about Industrial Socialism are few and simple.
The Time and Duration of Work Under Socialism.Everybody now realizes that it is ridiculous for sane people to work all day and every day. "The less work the better," is the motto which the workers must set themselves. Let the immense profits which now go to the capitalists be taken by the workers. Let all the lawyers, most of the physicians, the drummers, and the hostof small storekeepers and the unemployed workers but go to work and produce wealth. Let all the wealth now wasted in wars, in strikes, in competitive business-let all this waste stop. Let the newest and best machines and scientific methods be everywhere used. Let the intelligence of the workers be liberated for the many inventions and the development of better processes, which would rapidly follow under Socialism. If all this were to be done, it is readily seen that a small portion of the day, or a few days per month, or a few months steady work per year, will yield wealth in abundance. It would be foolish for us to say how much a worker should work, because we do not know how much wealth lie will desire for himself and his family. It is not for us to determine that. 'But it is most reasonable to suppose that under Socialism an individual working eight hours a day for four months in the year will produce food, clothing and shelter in abundance for a family of five people.
Votes for Women.-Socialist government will be a democratic government of industry by all the workers. Of course both men and women will work. Free people do not wish to be supported, nor support idlers and parasites. Therefore, when those who work rule, women will take part in government.
Those Who Will Not Work.-Those who will not work will probably not be permitted to starve. They will undoubtedly be tenderly cared for in insane hospitals and nursed back to health. At present, even, all healthful people wish to work, yet none desire life-long slavery to the profit of others.
The Coming Freedom
In the shop there must be government, In the school there must be government. In the conduct of the great public services there must be government. We haveshown that Socialism will make government throughout democratic. The basis of this freedom will be the freedom of the individual to develop his powers. People will be educated in freedom. They will work in freedom. They will live in freedom. Most of the diseases which now afflict humanity will be unknown because their causes will have been removed. Where there is plenty for all, none will be driven to swindle, to steal or to take profits. Higher education will be within the reach of every one. Science and the arts will flourish.
Socialism will establish democracy in the shop. Democracy in the shop will free the working class. The working class, through securing freedom for itself, will liberate the race. Socialism will free not only the slave .but the slave-driver and the slave-owner. Socialism today makes war upon the enemies of the working class. When it is victorious, the enemies of the working class will embrace it. Peace and brotherhood will come with freedom. Then we shall have Industrial Socialism.