1910s >> 2018 >> no-92-april-1912

The Toilers’ Inferno

Under the Southern Cross.
The iron heel of capitalist oppression treads alike on the toilers in old countries and new. The workers’ Mecca, we are told, is New Zealand. We hear of “benevolent Governments” and “wise labour laws” in the late Dick Seddon’s El Dorado, but the facts filter through sooner or later to show how similar is the lot of the wage worker there to that of his fellow in misery here. Not content with binding the toilers with crafty arbitration laws, they recently inaugurated Compulsory Military Service. Then they talk about a free country!

We learn from the “Maoriland Worker” that a bitter battle is being waged against all workers who seek to evade service, and numbers of our fellow workers have been “jailed” for opposing the “Property Owners’ Charter.” In “Labour” governed Australia the same fight is being waged, and the toilers bitterly resent being driven miles after the day’s work is done, in order to drill for a couple of hours that they may become efficient agents in subduing their striking fellows.

The Land of the Stars and Stripes.
Many weeks back there began, in Lawrence, Massachusetts, U.S.A., a strike of cotton operatives. The strikers were seeking a little more than mere bread and substitute. They were met with all the bloodthirsty venom that King Capital invariably shows when you tap his pocket.

Failing to quell the strikers directly, the employers brought out company after company of militia, until now about eight companies are out.

The strikers are largely lads, girls, and women—suffering all the miseries of the mill-workers under millionairedom. This last week or two the soldiers have been ordered to “go for the strikers.” They did. With fixed bayonets they made attacks upon the bent backs and twisted limbs of the worn wage-workers of capitalism.

An American newspaper describes how a lad of eighteen tried to escape from the bloody brigade. He started to run. The soldiers overtook him. A bayonet was driven through his lung —they manage these little matters very much the same in America as in England. They took him to the hospital —after he died. That’s the toiler’s share in the land of the stars and stripes.

The “Golden West.”
Haven’t you heard of our Empire beyond the seas? Haven’t you listened to the Dominion Emigration Agent telling of the prospects for hardy toilers in Canada? They are here now telling the tale, ln to-day’s papers they are asking for labourers and domestic servants. But the Canadian papers are busy telling the woes of those already there.

The Vancouver toilers are suffering unemployment to an extent previously unknown. They have been trying to hold demonstrations. The “Vancouver World” reports the arrest of dozens of trade unionists for daring to demonstrate. The judge informed them the penalty was four years imprisonment!

Our fellow workers here sometimes wonder when we tell them that unemployment dogs the toilere’ footsteps the world over. But there is plenty of proof for those who seek it.

Unemployment is caused by the private ownership of the means of life, and no reform can end it. Vancouver is the pet illustration of the “Land Taxer.” The Single Tax idea of the “prophet of San Frisco ” has been more widely applied there than anywhere else. But in spite of it, unemployment pursues the worker.

Mr. Joseph Hyder, of the Land Nationalisation Society, wrote to the “Manchester Guardian” on October 9th last, pointing to the prosperity of Vancouver Yet even he admitted that “Land Taxation has not proved so deadly in practice as it sounds in theory. Nor has land speculation of the extremest kind been prevented.”

Adolph Kohn

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