Daniel De Leon editorial : Labor Fakers And Capitalists Join Hands

Labor Fakers And Capitalists Join Hands
by Daniel De Leon
from the Daily People, March 11, 1905
as reprinted in The People, October 5, 1991

A De Leon Editorial

Where the Loyalty Of Fakers Lies

When "labor leaders" actually punish the rank and file for doing too much harm to capitalist profits in a strike, the treacherous nature of "pure and simple" unionism is clearly revealed.

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Labor Fakers And Capitalists Join Hands

(Daily People, March 11, 1905)

The columns of the enemies of the battling Interborough employees have effected a junction. General Warren S. Stone, whose usual title is Grand Chief of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers, made a forced march and clasped hands with General Frank Hedley, whose usual title is Manager of the Interborough Company. Fain would General Stone have kept his batteries concealed. But he could wait, or was allowed to wait, no longer by Field Marshal Belmont, whose general title is Capitalist. The stocks of the company were tumbling; the Columbia University scabs were inefficient; and the howl of the capitalist press about the strike being ended broke no bones. Under such circumstances something had to be done at the double quick.

To reveal the fact that the national labor leaders are but lieutenants of the capitalist class, and to have them fall in the rear of battling workingmen is a rather costly experiment. It opens the workers' eyes; and that is bad for the capitalist flimflam game of "pure and simple" unionism. But it had to be done: the stocks were tumbling in the gambling halls of capitalist society. That something of the sort was in the wind appeared quite clearly from the capitalist "news" items stating that Gompers and Mitchell had "arrived."

Whether it is true that they arrived or not, we know not. But the foregathering of such carrion crows as the Gomperses, the Mitchells and the Stones ever bodes evil to the working class. Such crows never foregather unless capitalists are in a fix, and labor threatens to get on top. Well, they did foregather, and the result is that Stone had to show his hand. He "ordered" the motormen back to work-not because the strike was lost and they might lose their jobs-but because if they did not he would have them expelled from the organization; in other words, he would punish them for injuring the business of his superior, Belmont!

The incident is of prime value. It is especially valuable because it has not had the desired effect. The strikers have not been stampeded. Thus the lesson stands out clear as a pike what these national officers are there for.

The pure-and-simple trade union is a fetish. It is intended only to humbug the people. Absolute disorganization is preferable to organization that places the power in the hands of the foe organized against. That lesson the conduct of Chief Stone teaches. The blow he meant to give to labor should be turned to profit by labor. Labor should tell the Stones, the Gomperses, the Mitchells to frame up their charters; that such charters are wanted no more; that they may organize themselves into aids of capitalism all they like, but that labor is through with them and will henceforth organize itself for labor's advantage.

Thus have the Socialist Labor Party and the Socialist Trade and Labor Alliance ever spoken -- thus do they speak today, their words ever receiving fresh confirmation.