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One Of The Many Corpses In The Johnstown Mine
by [?]

The owner in his struggle makes various statements of which only a few must be answered, and very briefly, for the sake of the impatient reader.

“If capital goes on granting the demands of union labor there will be no more capital, no more big manufactures, our prosperity will die as England’s prosperity is dying–killed by union labor!”

Thus speaks the indignant, would-be patriotic and unselfish capitalist. Let us see:

What becomes of the established FACT that a nation is prosperous in proportion as the average individual citizen (NOT its few millionaires) is prosperous? There are nowhere on earth stronger labor unions than in the United States. There are no such unions in Mexico, none such in South America, none as powerful in Canada. Why are we not eclipsed industrially by those countries?

You say that labor unions have killed English industry? No. They have kept England alive in the face of fierce competition. Millions upon millions of Englishmen live on a little foggy northern island incapable of supporting them. By their courage, their mental power, their genius, their UNION, they have kept the nation great. It is as though in one corner of New York State we had the greatest industrial power on earth. What the Gulf Stream has been to England’s agriculture, labor unionism has been to England’s industry.

It is not the English WORKINGMAN who has been beaten. The English workmen did not sell the English mercantile navy to J.P. Morgan. English capitalists did that.

Get this in your heads, you who talk against unions. Morgan and his fellow American capitalists have formed themselves into financial UNIONS, which we call trusts. And they have beaten the English capitalist, who did not know enough to take lessons from his workman and form unions of his own.

The American FINANCIAL union, not the English LABOR union, has beaten England in the race for industrial supremacy.

Union is strength everywhere and forever. The remaining strength of England is in her labor unions, which give men time to think, food to grow on, and give real men to the nation. You say that powerful unions kill nations.

Why is not China a great industrial power?

She has vast fortunes and no unions. Li Hung Chang was richer than Morgan, and could cut off the head of any striker. His coolies got five cents a day and worked fourteen hours–is THAT your ideal system? —-

Last of all (and we apologize for this unforgivably long editorial), let us discuss the question of foreign labor. The capitalist complains that the Hungarian, “the brutal, ignorant foreigner,” makes much of the trouble, and “wants as much as an American.”

Loud is this cry against the foreign laborer. And the ignorant, know-nothing American workman joins in the cry only too willingly.

Who brings in those foreign laborers by the shipload, Mr. Mineowner?

Who rounds up cargoes of Slavs on the other side and brings them here to cut the wages and the living of the native-born?

Who shrieks dolefully, Mr. Miner, when the Slav shows that he is a MAN brave and willing to prove worthy of freedom by joining the army of union labor?

The Slav and the Hungarian ARE HERE, and their children will be here when we are dead.

Which is better, to underpay them, treat them like cattle, fill them with just hatred of unjust discrimination, or give them a chance to be men?

Shall their children grow up ignorant mine slaves? Or shall they go to that factory of honest citizenship–the public school–to be improved as we have all been improved, whether we came originally from Hungary, Ireland, England, France, Russia, or elsewhere?

The struggle of the strikers, like all great struggles, is sometimes unjust. It has not always the wisest or the most unselfish leaders.

But it is an effort to improve the AVERAGE CONDITION OF HUMANITY. Help that effort.