Federation alone is only a part of that system. The railroad unions are the other part. Combined, these constitute a system whereby the purposes of inter-union combination is defeated.
- 176. How was such a system brought about?
- By fostering economic ignorance among the workers. Without that it would have been impossible to foist such a system upon them. The philosophy of individualism extended only to include a group, is the base upon which the system is built. Every man is vain enough to desire the good opinion of his neighbors, and in the labor world, as in national life, every man and group desires to be regarded as a patriot. It is popular to be patriotic when patriotism calls for nothing more than pretense. So we find the appearance of unity in the craft union system, concealing effective and disastrous division. A system that not only divides, while pretending to unite, but which finds its main excuse for existence in the internicene strife that it cannot eradicate without destroying itself, is in the nature of a conspiracy.
- 177. What is meant by internicene strife?
- Jurisdictional disputes between unions. When two unions each claim jurisdiction over the workmen who perform a certain operation, and such disputes occur continually, it is not the interest of unionism that is involved in the controversy but the "rights" of the conflicting officials to the dues emanating from workmen who are employed on such jobs. If it were only the interest of unionism, the one requirement would be good standing in any union. If it were working class interest, the ability to do the work would be the only requirement. The settlement of such disputes between unions affords employment for Executive Councils that never give satisfaction. Autonomy is the great God of union division. In the interest of autonomy millions of dollars have been wasted and thousands of opportunities lost to the organized workers.
- 178. How are opportunities lost?
- If even the comparatively small fraction of the workers at present organized into the craft union system would act as an economic unit, they would exert a power that legislatures would heed and courts not treat con-