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The hours of labor are to
be reduced, child labor is to be abolished, and everything is to be done
that will tend to diminish competition between one workingman and
another, he argued, with the idea of securing early control of the labor
market. Through labor's restriction of output, production is to be cut
down and the unemployed are to be absorbed. Thus, he declared, "_a
partial expropriation of capital is taking place_" and "_this
constructive program is followed until the workers get all they

Here is an invaluable insight into the underlying standpoint of some of
these anti-political "syndicalists," to use a term that has come to us
from France. Nothing could possibly be more alien to the whole spirit of
revolutionary Socialism than these conclusions. The very reason for the
existence of Socialism is that Socialists believe that the unions cannot
control the labor market in present society. The Socialists' chief hope,
moreover, is that economic evolution will make possible and almost
inevitable the transformation of a capitalist into a Socialist society;
it is then to their interest not to retard the development of industry
by the restriction of output, but to advance it. Indeed, Mr. Duchez's
philosophy is not that of Socialist labor unionism, but of anarchist
labor unionism, and there have been strong tendencies in many
countries, not only in France and Italy, but also in the United States,
especially among the more conservative unions, to be guided by such a
policy. It is the essence of Mr. Gompers's program, as I have shown, to
claim that "a partial expropriation of capital" is taking place through
the unions, and that by this means, _without any government action_, and
_without any revolutionary general strike_ the workers will gradually
"get all they produce." According to the Socialist view, such a gradual
expropriation can only _begin_ after a _political and economic_
revolution, or when, on its near approach, capitalists prefer to make
vital concessions rather than to engage in such a conflict.

The leading Socialist monthly in America, the _International Socialist
Review_, which has indorsed the new unionism, has even found it
necessary recently to remind its readers that the Socialist Party does
after all play a certain rôle and a more or less important one, in the
revolutionary movement. "Representative revolutionary unionists, like
Lagardelle of France and Tom Mann of Australia," said the _Review_,
"point out the immense value of a political party _as an auxiliary_ to
the unions. A revolutionary union without the backing of a revolutionary
party will be tied up by injunctions. Its officers will be kidnapped.
Its members, if they defy the courts, will be corralled in bull pens or
mowed down by Gatling guns.

"A revolutionary party, on the other hand, if it pins its hopes mainly
to the passing of laws, tends always to degenerate into a reform party.
Its 'leaders' become hungry for office and eager for votes, even if the
votes must be secured by concessions to the middle class. In the pursuit
of such votes it wastes its propaganda on immediate demands."

The _Review_ adds, however, that a non-political menace of revolution
does ten times as much for reforms as any political activity; which can
only mean that in its estimation revolutionary strikes, boycotts,
demonstrations, etc., are of ten times higher present value than the

Mr. Tom Mann seems also to subordinate political to labor union action:
"Experience in all countries shows most conclusively that industrial
organization, intelligently conducted, is of much more moment than
political action, for, entirely irrespective as to which school of
politicians is in power, capable and courageous industrial activity
forces from the politicians proportionate concessions.... Indeed, it is
obvious that a growing proportion of the intelligent pioneers of
economic changes are expressing more and more dissatisfaction with
Parliament and all its works, and look forward to the time when
Parliaments, as we know them, will be superseded by the people managing
their own affairs by means of the Initiative and the Referendum."[260]
The last sentence shows that Mr. Mann had somewhat modified his aversion
to politics, for the Initiative and Referendum is a political and not an
economic device. His objection to politics in the form of
parliamentarism (that is, trusting everything to elected persons, or
_representatives_) as distinguished from direct democracy, would
probably meet the views of the majority of Socialists everywhere (except
in Great Britain).

A later declaration of Mr. Mann after his return from Australia to
England shows that he now occupies the same ground as Debs and Haywood
in America--favoring a revolutionary party as well as revolutionary

"The present-day degradation of so large a percentage of the
workers is directly due to their economic enslavement; and it is
economic freedom that is demanded.

"Now Parliamentary action is at all times useful, in proportion as
it makes for economic emancipation of the workers. But Socialists
and Labour men in Parliament can only do effective work there in
proportion to the intelligence and economic organization of the
rank and file....

"Certainly nothing very striking in the way of constructive work
could reasonably be expected from the minorities of the Socialists
and Labour men hitherto elected. But the most moderate and
fair-minded are compelled to declare that, not in one country but
in all, a proportion of those comrades who, prior to being
returned, were unquestionably revolutionary, are no longer so after
a few years in Parliament. They are revolutionary neither in their
attitude towards existing society nor in respect of present-day
institutions. Indeed, it is no exaggeration to say that many seem
to have constituted themselves apologists for existing society,
showing a degree of studied respect for bourgeois conditions, and a
toleration of bourgeois methods, that destroys the probability of
their doing any real work of a revolutionary character.

"I shall not here attempt to juggle with the quibble of 'Revolution
or Evolution,'--or to meet the contention of some of those under
consideration that it is not Revolution that is wanted. 'You cannot
change the world and yet not change the world.' _Revolution is the
means of, not the alternative to, Evolution._ I simply state that a
working-class movement that is not revolutionary in character, is
not of the slightest use to the working class."[261]

If Mr. Mann later resigned from the British Social Democratic Party,
this was in part due to the special conditions in Great Britain, as he
said at the time, and partly to his Australian experience of the
demoralizing effects of office seeking on the Labour Party there. Mann
stands with Hervé in the French Party and Debs and Haywood in the
American. The reasons given for his withdrawal from the British Party
embody the universal complaint of revolutionary unionists against what
is everywhere a strong tendency of Socialist parties to become
demoralized like other political organizations. Mr. Mann, in his letter
of resignation, said:--

"After the most careful reflection I am driven to the belief that
the real reason why the trade unionist movement of this country is
in such a deplorable state of inefficiency is to be found in the
fictitious importance which the workers have been encouraged to
attach to parliamentary action.

"I find nearly all the serious-minded young men in the Labour and
Socialist movement have their minds centered upon obtaining some
position in public life, such as local, municipal, or county
councilorship, or filling some governmental office, or aspiring to
become a member of Parliament.

"I am driven to the belief that this is entirely wrong, and that
economic liberty will never be realized by such means. So I declare
in favor of Direct Industrial Organization, not as _a_ means but as
_the_ means whereby the workers can ultimately overthrow the
capitalist system and become the actual controllers of their own
industrial and social destiny."

There is little disagreement among Socialists that "Direct Industrial
Organization" is likely to prove the most important means by which "the
workers can ultimately overthrow the capitalist system." This, the
"industrial unionism" of Debs and Haywood and Mann, is to be sharply
distinguished from French "syndicalism" which undermines all Socialist
political action and all revolutionary economic action as well, by
teaching that even to-day by direct industrial organization--without a
political program or political support, and without a revolution--"a
partial expropriation of capital is taking place."

The advocates of revolutionary labor unionism in America for the most
part are not allowing the new idea to draw away their energies from the
Socialist Party; it merely serves to emphasize their hostility to the
present unaggressive policy of the Executive American Federation of
Labor and some of the unions that compose it.

Mr. Haywood (another of Mr. Roosevelt's "undesirable citizens") urges
the working class to "become so organized on the economic field that
they can take and hold the industries in which they are employed." This
view might seem to obviate the need of a political party, but Mr.
Haywood does not regard it in that light. He says:--

"There is justification for political action, and that is, to
control the forces of the capitalists that they use against us; to
be in a position to control the power of government so as to make
the work of the army ineffective.... That is the reason that you
want the power of government. That is the reason that you should
fully understand the power of the ballot.

"Now, there isn't any one, Socialist, S.L.P., Industrial Worker, or
any other working man or woman, no matter what society you belong
to, but what believes in the ballot.

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Keywords: evolution, capitalist, office, indeed, working, present, ballot, partial, concessions, capital
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