Page:Instead of a Book, Tucker.djvu/503

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

fail to emphasize, the true lesson of the man's life, which is that the impending social revolution has certain fixed principles behind it; that one of these principles is, "Thou shalt not steal"; that any scheme by which a single individual becomes inordinately rich, whether as proprietor or trustee (unless the trust be purely voluntary), is necessarily carried on in violation of that principle; and that whoever prosecutes it as in accordance with that principle thereby proves himself either too ignorant or too insincere to be allowed to serve, much less to lead, in the revolutionary movement. Such a man is of the plunderers, and should be with them. Idol-smashing is no enviable task; but to unmask the pretensions of play-house philanthropists whose highest conception of distributive justice seems to be the sharing with a fortunate few of goods stolen from the many is a service that, however disagreeable, is of prime necessity in the realization of that Equity which distributes to each the product of his labor and that Liberty which renders it impossible for one to reap the profit of another's toil.




[Liberty, March 6, 1886.]

Gertrude B. Kelly, who, by her articles in Liberty, has placed herself at a single bound among the foremost radical writers of this or any other country, exposes elsewhere in a masterful manner the unique scheme of one Batterson, an employer of labor in Westerly, R. I., which he calls co-operation. But there is one feature of this scheme, the most iniquitous of all, which needs still further emphasis. It is to be found in the provision which stipulates that no workman discharged for good cause or leaving the employ of the company without the written consent of the superintendent shall be allowed even that part of the annual dividend to labor to which he is entitled by such labor as he has already performed that year. In this lies cunningly hidden the whole motive of the plot. By promising to give labor at the end of the year the paltry sum of one third of such profits as are left after the stockholders have gobbled six per cent, on their investment, and adding that not even a proportional part of this dividend shall be given to labor if it quits work before

the end of the year, this Batterson deprives the laborers of