Page:Instead of a Book, Tucker.djvu/474

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
458
INSTEAD OF A BOOK.

gling for unequal liberty; why then sympathize with them? True enough; and their claim to sympathy is greatly lessened by their abominable authoritarianism. If it will comfort Mr. Bilgram, I take pleasure in assuring him that, if the time ever comes when these trade-union employees are thoroughly on top with their hands fastened upon their employers' throats, and when in consequence the employees begin to wax fat and the employers to grow wan and thin, much of my sympathy will be transferred from the employees to the employers. When both parties to a fight are wrong, whatever sympathy is felt goes naturally to the one that suffers most. Apart from this friendly feeling for the under dog, however, there is an- other consideration which mitigates the offence of the labor authoritarians as compared with that of the capitalist authoritarians. The latter, for the most part in knavery, set up authority as a weapon of aggression; the former, for the most part in ignorance and following the latter's example, resort to authority originally as a weapon of defence. The difference is considerable.

Mr. Bilgram and I agree almost to a dot as to what constitutes the true solution of the difficulties at Homestead and of nearly all other labor difficulties whatsoever. I agree with him too that, if the workmen knew the remedy, they could apply it very quickly and effectively. But I do not think that the ignorance of the workmen implies a similar and equal ignorance on the part of the employers. For one thing, the employers, as a rule, are men of superior education and intellect. And for another thing, the creators of a scheme of aggression are much less likely to be innocent of evil intent than the victims. To be sure, there are many exceptions, and I have said nothing to the contrary. I am just as certain, for instance, that the employer, Hugo Bilgram, is not a knave as I am that Dana and Frick are knaves. If there were no such exceptions, then, as Mr. Bilgram says, the situation would be hopeless. It is on these exceptions that my hope rests. All the employers are not knaves, and all the workmen are not such fools that they cannot acquire wisdom; and because of these two facts I see Light and-Liberty ahead.