Page:Historical Catechism of American Unionism.pdf/85

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ment by and through which the ruling class endeavors to maintain and perpetuate the relationship between the capitalist class and the working class—a slave relationship.

The capitalist state functions for the ruling class in modern society just as the state functioned for the ruling classes in chattel slave and feudal times—to preserve an industrial relationship by which the fruits of the labor of one class are the property of another class. The ownership of socially essential things—resources and means of production is guaranteed by the state and the social relationship growing out of that ownership is a concomitant which the state is designed to preserve.

The United States, more plainly than any other modern country, shows the state to be not only the means by which the existing class relationship is maintained, but the very means by which the ownership out of which it grows was instituted. Railroad grants, timber, mineral and oil steals plainly demonstrate that government (the State) has been the instrument by which the capitalist class has risen to power and the working class has been reduced to its present plight in the United States.

Government has always been a disguise under which acquisitive predatory powers moved for the conquest of socially necessary things and by which they held the producers of the United States and other countries in subjection. This ownership and the class relationship, the state will array all the powers at its command to defend and to continue indefinitely. That, primarily, is its function. It is a social instrument only in the sense and where a slave relationship exists within a society, or a social division. The capitalist state, like its chattel slave and feudal prototypes, is the social instrumentality by which a ruling class is enabled to control the labor power of the working class, and as a consequence, the products resulting from the expenditure of that labor power.

The acts of the legislative bodies, the decisions of the courts, the use of repressive forces by executives, the control of the educational system, all manifest class hostility and all tend to "keep the working class in its place." Yet, the whole superstructure of modern society is upreared and rests upon the working class. To exist and to progress capitalist society must control the labor power of the working class. It must, and it will, use any means or any weapon which will assist it in achieving this end. Political pretensions only conceal industrial ambitions. The im-