Quiet here these days. Online that is, not in life, which is why the blog is less active lately. I shall return. For now:

Progress schmogress! This piece from the Brewers in 1903 says most of it in my opinion.

DECLARATION OF PRINCIPLES OF THE UNITED BREWERY WORKMEN OF THE UNITED STATES

In our society of to-day there are two classes whose interests are directly opposed to each other. On the one side stands the propertied class, that owns almost all the lands, all the houses, the factories, the means of communication, all the machines and raw material; all the means of life. Compared with the nation at large this class is only a small minority.

On the other side stand the workers, who possess nothing but their physical and intellectual labor power, and this they are compelled to sell to those who own the means of production. The workers number millions.

It is to the interest of the propertied class to “buy labor at the cheapest possible price; to produce as much as can be produced, and to heap up wealth. The few hundreds of thousands who compose the propertied class take from the workers the greater part of the wealth they have created.

Of all the product of their toil the millions of workers receive only just as much as enables them to eke out a miserable existence.

Every new invention in machinery, every new discovery of natural forces, inures to the benefit of the propertied class alone, which is still further enriched thereby. Human labor is, as a consequence, being constantly more and more displaced.

The superfluous workers have to live, and therefore have to sell their labor at a price they can get. Labor falls more and more in value; the working people become all the time more and more impoverished; their consumptive capacity continually declines; they are able to buy less and less of the products they have produced; the sale of goods stops, production is checked, and in places it comes altogether to an end. The crisis has come.

The propertied class has taken into its service the state, the police and the militia, the press, and the pulpit, whose task is to declare the sanctity of and to defend the possessions that others have created for them.

On the other side stand the workers in their millions; without the means of life; without rights; defenseless; betrayed and sold out by the state, press and pulpit. It is against them that the weapons of the police and the militia are directed.

Taking all these facts into consideration, we declare:

1. That in order to emancipate themselves from the influence of the class that is hostilely arrayed against them, the working class must organize locally, nationally and internationally; must oppose the power of capital with the power of organized labor; and must champion their own interests in the workshops, and in municipal, state and national affairs.

2. National and international unions are in a position to exercise a great influence on production, on wages, on the hours of labor; to regulate the questions of apprenticeship; to uphold their members in various emergencies.

3. The struggles which they naturally have to wage with the organized power of capital bring them to a recognition of the fact that individual unions must unite in one large league, which shall proclaim the solidarity of the interests of all, and give mutual support. Soon thereafter will come the recognition of the fact that our whole system of production rests exclusively upon the shoulders of the working class, and that this latter can, by simply choosing to do so, introduce another, a more just system.

The self-conscious power of capital, with all its camp-followers, is confronted with the self-conscious power of labor.

4. There is no power on earth strong enough to thwart the will of such a majority, conscious of itself. It will irresistably tend toward its goal. It has natural right upon its side. The earth and all its wealth belong to all. All the conquests of civilization are an edifice, to the rearing of which all nations for thousands of years past have contributed their labor. The results belong to the community at large. It is organized labor that will finally succeed in putting these principles into actual practice, and introducing a condition of things in which each shall enjoy the full product of his toil.

The emancipation of the working people will be achieved only when the economic and political movements have joined hands.

AIMS AND OBJECTS

The organization seeks to promote the material and intellectual welfare of the United Brewery Workers of the country, by means of :

1. Organization

2. Education and enlightenment by word and pen.

3. Reduction of the hours of toil, and increase of wages.

4. Active participation in the political labor movement of the country, on independent labor class lines.

From the WFM’s preamble:

“We hold that there is a class struggle in Society, and that this struggle is caused by economic conditions. We affirm the economic condition of the producer to be that he is exploited of the wealth which he produces, being allowed to retain barely sufficient for his elementary necessities. We hold that the class struggle will continue until the producer is recognized as the sole master of his product. We assert that the working class, and it alone, can and must achieve its own emancipation. We hold that an industrial union and the concerted political action of all wage workers is the only method of attaining this end. An injury to one is an injury to all. Therefore, we, the wage workers employed in and around the mines, mills and smelters, tunnels, open pits, open cuts, dredges, and other allied industries of the Western Hemisphere, unite under the following Constitution:”

(via.)

(via here: http://www3.niu.edu/~td0raf1/labor/Brewery%20Workmen.htm)

Advertisements