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Page:Studies in socialism 1906.djvu/156

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XII

THE GENERAL STRIKE AND REVOLUTION

 

When we speak of the general strike, we must begin by defining the words very clearly. We are not concerned, of course, with the general strike of a single trade. For instance, when the miners of all France decide by the vote of a majority that the time has come for them all to strike to obtain an eight-hour day, a higher pension for old employés, and a minimum wage, it is a very important strike, and may be called a general miners' strike. But that is not what is meant by the words “general strike” in the parlance of those who see in it the decisive means of emancipation. They are not thinking of the limited movement of one trade, no matter how vast its extent. On the other hand, it would be puerile to say that there could not be a general strike unless all wage-earners, in all departments of production, quit work simultaneously. The working class is too much dispersed for such unanimity to be possible or even conceivable.