Unless we are deceived, there is now in progress a movement among the laboring classes, which must result in a vast social and political amelioration of their condition. Never before, has there gleamed light so golden of promise, as at this hour. There have for ages, been attempts, among the laboring classes, to secure a social recognition of their own usefulness; of the injustice to which in all countries they have been subjected; and of the untold miseries which must result to posterity and to Humanity, from the false system of labor which has obtained till now, from earliest period of civilization- and not a false system of labor only, but as a false mode of compensating it.
The perpetual revulsions in industry, in commerce and in general society, full always at last, upon the laborers. – The gambling schemes of speculators, defalcations of public officers, the universal commercial bankruptcies, which have periodically occurred, repudiations, and slavocratic swindlings, and the perpetual “hard times” which some one or other class experiences, have always in the end been borne by the laborers, as the meed of comfort and honor which society has offered him, in consideration of his heroism and patient toil. Under these fearful burdens the struggles of the industrial classes have been painful, severe, sometimes terrific. Murmurings, strikes, riots, revolutions and fearful harvests of kingly and aristocratic beads, have often succeeded each other in inglorious defeat. Our suffering fellows have felt the sentiments of liberty and justice, but their means of realizing them have not been always wisely chosen. Violence can rage, but only the still small voice of Love, is omnipotent to create conditions, in harmony with freedom and with right.
Today there has fallen upon the hope of the laboring classes, a light which is humane and gently strong. It is the light of general friendship, of brotherhood, of orderly co-operation. We have learned that it is impossible for a State, dismembered by political factions, weakened by party jealousies, and whenever the collective well-being of the whole people is sacrificed to personal ambition to extend a general providence over the mass of its citizens, and to guarantee a just relation of interests and of classes to each other. We have learned not to trust in political parties, but rather in political measures, and still more, in a quiet and unpretending union among ourselves, to effect hereby those essential reforms which can come only through us.
We ask no conscience wasted politician, or political economist, to assure us of the immensity of good which the general tendency to co-operation among the laboring classes, the world over, holds out to us, beyond all that their respective fraternities have ever cajoled us with. Their gilded lies have done well nigh the last of their wizard-work with us.
We would rather have the Public Lands made free to actual sellers only, and in limited quantities that all that has been done politically, for the laboring classes, from the day our government was organized.
We are confident that the humble movement of Protective Union Stores, is the germ of an organized system of commerce, which will be productive of more public benefit and genuine national prosperity, than all the Tariffs and Sub Treasuries and Exchequers in Terraquem.
Then look to the Trades Unions, the movement for a Lien Law, for the Limitation by Law of the hours of daily labor, on all public works and chartered corporations, and for the Inalienable Homestead, which have originated with the working people, and have been made conspicuous by them, and tell us if these are not, each and all of them, measures both practicable, and of the most evident utility to all classes.
But what must he the instrumentalities for accomplishing these desired projects? Do you repudiate all political action? We answer use all instrumentalities actioned by good citizenship, justice and humanity. Yes we are for political not partizan action. We wish the triumph of measures, and will vote for any man who will act according to our wishes, be he Whig, Democrat, Liberty Leaguer, Bavarian or Japanese.
But the grand reliance of the Workingmen must be upon a noble, firm, well compacted and concerted organization among themselves. There can be no success without it. It has often been flung in our faces, that we could never do any thing effective, because we are mutually jealous and suspicious of each other, and because a small ambition, to be first in affection and honor among our fellows, breeds contention and disunity among ourselves. Now let us prove these allegations false, and let us show to the world, that he is most honored among us, who manifests by deeds as well as words, that he is most useful and devoted in earnest efforts of co-operation. But organize we must, or we shall be impotent. Nothing is so important to the protective movement to day, as thorough organization and affiliation among the several Divisions. There is no beauty or order in Nature, until organization ensues. Behold what organization is arrayed against us. Let us be wise. We must have something more that a nebulous aggregation of parts. We must have one pure crystallization of order.