Page:Historical Catechism of American Unionism.pdf/91

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class divisions, perpetuated from outgrown industrial stages. His wages constantly grow less as his hours grow longer and prices grow higher. Shifted here and there by the demands of profit takers, the laborer's home no longer exists. In this hopeless condition he is forced to accept whatever humiliating conditions his masters may impose. He is submitted to a physical and intellectual examination more searching than was the chattel slave when sold from the auction block. Laborers are no longer classified by differences in trade skill, but the employer assigns them according to the machines to which they are attached. These divisions, far from representing differences in skill or interests among the workers, are imposed by the employers that workers may be pitted against one another and spurred to greater exertion in the shop, and that all resistance to capitalist tyranny may be weakened by artificial distinctions.

While encouraging these outgrown divisions among the workers the capitalists carefully adjust themselves to the new conditions. They wipe out all differences among themselves and present a united front in their war upon labor. Through employers' associations, they seek to crush, with brutal force, by the injunctions of the judiciary, and the use of military power, all efforts at resistance. Or when the other policy seems more profitable, they conceal their daggers beneath the Civic Federation and hoodwink and betray those whom they would rule and exploit. Both methods depend for success upon the blindness and internal dissensions of the working class. The employers' line of battle and methods of warfare correspond to the solidarity of the mechanical and industrial concentration, while workers still form their fighting organizations on lines of long-gone trade divisions.

The battles of the past emphasize this lesson.

The textile workers of Lowell, Philadelphia, and Fall River; the butchers of Chicago, weakened by the disintegrating effects of trade divisions; the machinists on the Santa Fe, unsupported by their fellow workers subject to the same masters; the long struggling miners of Colorado, hampered by lack of unity and solidarity upon the industrial battlefield, the thousands of subway railroad workers of New York City forced into defeat by orders from the Civic Federation, the unholy alliance between leaders of labor and captains of industry; the hatmakers in a long-drawn-out struggle fighting the industrial power of their opponents with weapons of by-gone days; the iron and steel workers defeated in