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Page 139 text:
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The Myth of Democracy
E.rM'ar'z' from Orulion Given by Oakley Clfliliill .lolinson 'in State Peace Contest
HE men who founded our republic had in their mind's eye
a beautiful vision-the vision of democracy. They saw in the
future a land unsullied by caste or class, where all had equal
power and no man was oppressed. ti 'Z' Men and women of
America, has the d1'ea1n come true?
During the last few months the workers in the Mesaba iron
mines of northern Minnesota have been on strike, striving to gain
a little larger share of their own product, a few more of the
good things of life. Their employer, the United States Steel
Corporation, backed by the police power of the state, has refused
all demands. and has imported a private army of a thousand
gunmen to intimidate the strikers and force them back to work
at the old intolerable terms. There is no time to enter into details.
to explain how many of these miners wade in water up to their
knees all day long, how they buy their own powder for blasting
the rock, how they work sometimes for as low as eight cents a day
because they have to clear away the rock on their own time before
coming to the veins of ore. Suffice it to say that the demands
made by them are so small, so pitifully small, that it would seem cheaper for the Steel Cor-
poration to grant them at once, rather than have the bother of a strike. YVhy, then, has the
corporation refused? The reason is this: To grant llll-lffllillfj to a union would be to acknowl-
edge a principle-the principle of organization, the right of laboring men to unite for mutual
protection and betterment. And that principle the Steel Trust will never willingly admit.
These labor wars are not due to the transient whims of ignorant working men, nor to
the rabid demagogery of labor agitators. They are due to the fundamental injustice inherent
in our industrial system. 'X' t
All down the line we see mankind divided into two classes. First we had the master on
the one hand and the slave on the other, then we had feudal lords for the ruling class, and
serfs ruled by them. Now on one side we have the wage workers who have nothing but
their laboring power, and on the other the capitalists who own the machines and the factories
that the workers must use to get a living. 9' it A' Government statistics prove that the
average factory worker produces a value of ten dollars a day. He receives on the average
less than two dollars a day in wages. The surplus eight dollars is distributed among the
members of the owning class. Capitalists own the mills and factories, and workers must
use these tools of production on terms dictated by the owners. There lies the true cause of
the class struggle, for the workers strive always to get more of their own product, while
the owners are equally determined to appropriate an ever greater portion of all that is pro-
duced by their wage-slaves. The result is unionism on the one hand, and monopoly on the
For this there must be a remedy. Face the logic of the issue squarely. A small class
should not own those things that working men must use in order to live. Should not the
people themselves own the mines and the factories, the gifts of nature and the inventions of
genius? Only by socializing the tools of production can real democracy be possible. at it it
So long as there exists a starved and oppressed working class, just so long will ignorance and
crime increase in our midst. So long as one-half of humanity is submerged, just so long will
civilization itself be held backward. ln that wonderful painting, t'The Man with the Hoefi
Miller has shown us a picture of labor, deprived of his birthright. There stands the toiler,
his bent and weary frame, formed in the image of his Maker, leaning on the hoeg backward
slants his brow, dull and expressionless his eye. A mere clod, brother to the earth at his
feet, is he. Is this the image of the Creator?
"O masters, lords, and rulers in all lands,
How will the Future reckon with this Man?
How answer his brute question in that hour
VVhen whirlwinds of 1'ebellio11 shake the world?
How will it be with kingdoms and with kings-
VVith those who shaped him to the thing he is-
NVhen this dumb Terror shall reply to God,
After the silence of the centuries?"
But the destiny of labor is to be neither blind submission nor blind rebellion. Bowed
by toil, fettered by oppresssion, staggering under burdens of a thousand years, the work-
weary yet aspiring masses of the world are grappling with the problem of their own enslave-
ment, and grappling successfully. at it it A new society is forming out of the chaos of
present, and even now there rises before us a new vision, clear and definite-the Industrial
Commonwealth of the Future, the Universal Brotherhood of Man. I
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Evtruct from Orulion Given at Hope College by Ivaleen F. Hough
HE hope of the world reposes in its men of vision. Abraham,
obeying the command of Jehovah, left his kindred in Ur of
Chaldees and journeyed westward. Columbus sailed with frail
barks, out of the night of ignorance into the light of a new world.
It is ever the men and women with visions of a greater future
who make better things possible for their age.
And what of the pioneers in our own history? The broader
outlook has been exemplified not by the few, but by the many.
if 5' America was founded by strong men and women, whose
education, though not the culture of the schools, was manifest in
cool self-reliance, iron courage, and indomitable perseverance.
VVhether they battled with the giant oaks of the forest, wooed
the virgin soil into fertility, or drafted a constitution, it was
done with direct and virile earnestness. Life meant difficulties to
be overcome, new levels to be attained. In their toils, their con-
flicts, and their decisions, they exhibited the pioneer spirit.
But are our battles all fought? Is the pioneering done? it it 4'
Oh, that we could awaken to the stern realization that vast uncultivated areas of human
endeavor lie still before us! As the settler harnessed the untamed forces of nature, so must
we conquer the crude passions of man. Indifference, selfishness and hate-these are the triple
enemies with which we must cope today, these, the uncleared fields which challenge the
courage of the modern pioneer.
VVhat better illustration of selfishness than the giant industrial democracy under which
we live! From the humble toiler who wields the shovel to the mammoth corporation owning
the coal mine, all make profit first and service to society second. In the face of this fact,
the system of minute division of labor has made every individual dependent on every other
for the necessities and comforts of life. UNO man liveth unto himself alone." Such a system
demands that the principle of industrial selfishness be subordinated to the principle of in-
dustrial service. f tt if
Who among us but thought that hate among nations had all but died years ago? Yet
today the peoples of the world are grappling in an awful death struggle. The nations of the
earth look to America to supply the motive for ending the contest. In her present crucial
position, American public opinion is influencing the conduct of the war and must in no less
a measure help to determine its outcome. it sf' if Instead of meeting this national crisis
with unbalanced impulse, let us depart from the beaten path of custom and confront it with
the coolness of reason.
But indifference is the arch enemy to be overcome. VVe stand today as did the Israelites
of old when, after forty years of wandering, they were about to cross the Jordan into the
promised land. it it 9'
Prosperity has brought with it self-satisfaction and complacency. It is just this indiffer-
ence which must be changed in America. The nation depends on the individual. If the in-
dividual loses his love for humanity and his interest in a greater future, what must become
of the nation? if 5'
The pioneers have been the world's leaders, those who in every generation have con-
ceived new ideas and made possible new undertakings. Today we are reaping the harvest
sown long ago by those who went forth with weeping, bearing precious seed. Honor and
glory, their just due, belong to these noble men and women. But the future of America
depends, not upon those who have already served their day, but upon the energies, the
ambitions, and the hopes of the men and women of the present.
Awaken then, America! Imbibe the spirit of the pioneer! iVith a like vision of a better
country and a like unflinching courage in our hearts, we must push forward into a new era
of moral achievement. Though the awful sounds of war and the rising clamor of social classes
may fill our hearts with alarm, yet down through it all our vision sees the star of hope
shed its sure light upon our pathway. Forward, then, young America, and in the moral
realm which we nmst conquer, let us repeat the epoch-making work of him who, with confident
heart, sailed out upon an unknown sea,
Viiith the rugged Ulysses of the antique time, "Come, my friends, 'tis not too late to seek
ll newer world. Push off, and sitting well in order smite the sounding furrows." Let our
purpose hold "To sail beyond the sunset, and the baths of all the western stars, until we die."
In the strength of the days of old, let us go forth "strong in will, to strive, to seek, to find,
and not to yield."
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A Militant Peace
Eartract from Orution Gii-en mf Hope College by J. Ulfwence Ponlou,
T IS twilight on the Aisne. In the distance stretch the barbed
wire entrenchments of the enemy. At intervals between the
trees can be seen the long, sleek backs and cavernous mouths of
monster howitzers. The clear morning air brings the sharp report
of a rifle. Over the soldier steals uncanny premonitions, fore-
bodings that with the dawn may come the end. Rifle reports
grow faster, shrapnel breaks overheadg aeroplanes soar high.
Earth trembles with the boom of mortarsg the crack, crack,
crack of machine gunsg and the pom, pom, pom of 75's. Bursting
shelhs take as their toll one or a hundred lives. , Behind inexorable
gas clouds, twenty miles of soldiers rush forward-the death
struggle is on. f' f' if Twelve hours of such carnage and the
smoke clears away. The evening shadows reveal a gruesome
spectacle. The once level ground torn and rent-eacli liillock piled
high with the quivering forms of human beings, beaten, mangled,
eyeless, jawless, limbless, lifeless. Night falls. The pale moon
sheds its sickening beams oier all. Out of the impending dark-
ness come the groans of the wounded, punctuated by the dismal
struggle. Then silence-silence. Such is a picture of No-Man's-
vance on the Aisne. Such is modern war. Such is twentieth
shrieks that mark the death
Land after the French ad
century uncontrolled force.
Wlar has in like manner, but in less marked degree, perturbed society since the dawn of
history. The modern war of nations is an evolution of individual combat. The cause of this
social chaos has been uncontrolled force-a struggle between individuals, clans, tribes, or
states, over which there was no human authority. A' f it
Still, the crude civilization of the past was undoubtedly promoted by the iron hand of
war. Force invaded Gaul and Briton and gave to Celt and Teuton the rich culture of Rome,
Force united the German states and gave birth to the most versatile nation of the ages.
it it it But other more constructive forces a1'e rendering war no longer necessary. Mis-
sionaries carry their evangel of good will to earth's darkest places. Education is within
reach of practically every individual of the civilized world. Steam, electricity, and the press,
are welding modern nations into a, great interdependent commonwealth. Democracy is
teaching the common man his responsibility toward the problems that affect his own destiny
and demanding that he root up the evils that menace the general welfare. These new and
higher forces are pregnant with the same character-building elements formerly thought to
inhere only in the strife of the battlefield. it ti t' As the world moves forward the logic
that consigns war to oblivion must grow ever stronger.
The problem of today is the elimination of war and the adoption of more progressive
principles. 'Q it at Recognized by each and supreme over all must reign a higher law, a law
powerful to curb the recalcitrant nation and quench the sparks of warg yet auspicious and
benign, under whose governance the forces of peace shall ,accomplish their mighty tasks.
VVhat shall this higher law be? The logic of events points unniistakably to an over-
whelming league of force, subject to the orders of an international tribunal, and supported
by the public conscience of the world. It is the logical next step in the social progress of
the world. The stage of self-asserted justice evolved into the city police, the county sheriff,
and the state militia. The era of state sovereignty merged into the broader and more
altruistic national control. Today the supreme court of a nation renders its verdict. lt is
but a word, yet that word is law. It is the voice of a nation. it it 'f' If "through the
ages one eternal purpose runsf' if history is to unfold consistently with the past, the
cogent example of thirteen heterogeneous colonies welded into one common mass is a fore-
runner of the Unitcd Nations of the NVorld. True, destiny decreed that the integrity of our
nation should be tested in the tires of civil warg and, though dreadful the thought, humanity
too may be compelled to sacrifice herself once again before the last flag of rebellion dips
to salute the authority of universal law. it f it Out of the darkness and turmoil of the
present will emerge the human control, the peace of the world, the subinission of the
minority to the will of the niajority-a militant peacc.
Then the scrcech of shrapnel and the roar of cannon shall he drowned in the lnun of
progress and the noise of industry: for the ruthless slaughter of war, the noble sacrifice of
science, for thc menacing armaments of militarisni. the vigilant armies and navies of co-opcra-
tion, and with Englaud's poet:
"-the coimnon scnsc of most shall hold a fretful realm in awe,
And thc kindly earth shall slumber. lapt in universal law."
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