[lit-ideas] Re: On the prospect of World Peace (correction)

  • From: Eric Yost <eyost1132@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Thu, 07 Sep 2006 03:09:07 -0400

>>it is equally possible that better working conditions could have been obtained through reasoned discourse.

Take the Anthracite Strikes at the beginning of the 20th century. Violence built on violence, leading to a general strike followed by reprisals of the mine owners (such as kicking members of relief committees out of their company houses)--all against a background of violent strike breaking behavior followed by violent reprisals by the strikers (such dynamiting company offices).

When the Anthracite Strikes had an economic impact on the US, Teddy Roosevelt intervened, put in a temporary fix, and then proclaimed a series of investigatory hearings into the circumstances of Anthracite mining (the danger, the child labor, the low pay, etc.).

The violence then led to reasoned discourse between the forces sponsored by the mine owners and the fledgling UMWA union, who fielded Clarence Darrow to argue their cause. The miners eventually saw some improvements and a ten percent pay raise.

What Roosevelt did was a FIRST in US history. No President had previously come down fairly for both sides of a strike question, and then set up an investigative commission to hear both sides of the dispute.

To imagine, as Robert does, that reasoned discourse could have emerged first--before the strikes, the Molly Maguires, the dynamiting, the arrests, the clubbings, the hangings, the forcing of people out into the streets, and BEFORE Teddy Roosevelt's new approach to labor problems--is indeed imaginative. It's also ignores history. Sure they could have reasoned first. Sure. Napoleon could also have invented a nuclear submarine and rock music. We could also have been born as butterflies dreaming we were philosophers.

In high worker solidarity dudgeon,

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