Workers and Their Labor

I am currently reading  There Is Power In A Union by Philip Dray  and I came across a passage (p. 129) that I found, well, some things don’t change.  The time was about 1881.  The speaker was Albert Parsons who had previously led the Workingman’s Party.  The subject was an “incident in which two crooked election judges tried to deny reelection to Frank A. Stauber, a Socialist alderman.”

the conviction began to spread that the State, the Government and its laws, was merely the agent of the owners of capital . . . that the chief function of all Government was to maintain economic subjection of the man of labor . . . and that the element of  coercion, of force, which enabled one person to dominate and exploit the labor of another, was centered or concentrated in the State . . . [and] in the last analysis . . . force was despotism, an invasion of man’s natural right to liberty.

I don’t see a dimes worth of difference of the attitude of Big Business Owners when workers were beginning to organize, about 130 years ago, and the efforts today to keep the working class poor and give all the tax breaks to the very wealthy.


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