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is a definite rule as to how much work can be done in a day. A good workman is not allowed to do more than this even if he can easily do so. Unions have also sometimes resisted the use of machinery. On railroads it is claimed that the unions have often interfered with rules intended to make travel safe. If a man was careless, a railroad manager might think it necessary to discharge him in order to prevent accidents. It is claimed that unions have often interfered to prevent careless men from being discharged. The chief objections, then, to unions are that they are in some cases violent, that they have sometimes resisted improvements in machinery, that they have limited the amount of work that men should be allowed to do, and finally that they have sometimes caused strikes, to worry or harass employers when there was no just ground.
We are not attempting just here to say how far either side is right or wrong in all these points. We are simply noticing the reasons for the separation between classes. These differences will not be settled at once. Every American is likely to have opportunity to do something toward helping to settle them, but there is one principle which we can see clearly must be ob
served if we are to preserve unity and be one people. The First, no one has the right to think only of his own
interest or of the interest of his own class or group. interest
We all have an interest in the great Union, the common greater than the
life, the union which is more important than the private private
interest of any of us. For it is only through the interest Union—through the nation—that we have order, of capital safety, peace, and liberty. May not a man conduct his
own business as he pleases? Perhaps the best way to answer this is by asking another question. What is “his own business"? Of certain kinds of business, such
as railroads and warehouses, the Supreme Court has said that they are “affected with a public interest.” They are so important for the general welfare that the public properly controls them. But is it not true that every business affects some one else than the owner? Certainly if a man has a machine shop which is dangerous to workmen, or if he conducts a hazardous business such as that of making powder, or white lead for paint, which is the occasion of accident and disease, he is affecting others. If men are maimed, or rendered ill, public charity may have to step in. If wages are too low to support men and their families in health and efficiency, the whole nation suffers. For an employer to take the position that he will not allow workmen to unite in order to deal with him on terms of equality, that he will have nothing to do with unions, and that he will resist any effort of the public to regulate his business, is to forget the larger public interest. It is not good citizenship.
On the other hand, the labor unionist has likewise or of at times forgotten his citizenship. It is, of course, very labor hard for the under dog in a fight to remember the rules
The workingman has usually been the under dog. When he has resorted to violence, when he has beaten or killed non-union men, when he has dynamited buildings or bridges that were being built by nonunion men, he has not been a good citizen. Despite bad conditions in our factories and on our railways, despite the fact that it has often been hard to get protection by law for the lives and health of workingmen, despite the backwardness of our government, in many ways, as compared with the governments of Europe, it is nevertheless true that our country has been on the whole the best which the workingman has known.
of the game.
It is also true, as all the most thoughtful leaders of the trade-unions profess, that the workingman can gain only through public sentiment. He must have the help of all. In other words, it is only through the power of the nation that he can receive just wages and proper protection to life and health. Of all classes in the community he has the strongest interest in the Union. The employer needs the state and nation and their law to protect his property; the workingman needs the state and nation and their law to protect his very life and liberty.
DEMOCRACY AS SELF-GOVERNMENT
EMOCRACY is used in this discussion in two Two senses : democracy meaning self-government meanings and democracy meaning equality. We do not of
democracy intend to use the word “Democracy” in the sense which is so common among us,—the name of a particular political party, as when we say that Woodrow Wilson was the candidate of the Democratic Party. In Greece, where the word was first used, it meant rule by the common people, the free citizens, as distinguished from rule by a king or by a few. Rule by a few was called oligarchy or aristocracy. Growing out of this usage is the meaning of democracy as self-government. (1) SelfBut at the same time, besides its meaning of self- governgovernment or government by the people, it included also the second meaning, equality. Our Declaration (2) of Independence was a great democratic document in Equality both of these senses. It affirmed that all governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed. This was democracy in the first sense. It also declared that “all men are created equal.” The words of Abraham Lincoln at Gettysburg are often quoted as expressing both these aspects of democracy—“a government of the people, for the people, and by the people.” For although the word “equality” is not used, the words “ for the people” evidently mean, for the whole people, and not for some special class of the people. “For the people” implies, then, that all men
have an equal right to be considered, although, of course, it may not mean that all men are equal in all respects or for all purposes.
We shall consider these two meanings of democracy separately, and in the first place we may well ask, Why do the American people believe in democracy in the
sense of government by the people. Four Many reasons might be urged for rule by the people.
Let us consider four. (1) No other kind of governfor self
ment is right, for no one has a right to govern another govern
without that other's consent. (2) It gives a better ment
government. (3) It makes people more intelligent and responsible. (4) It is less likely to plan and wage wars of aggression. We can see that it was the first of these reasons which was strongest with our forefathers; today we are putting more emphasis upon the
last two. (1) No The first reason appeals to men who have been opother gov- pressed or treated unfairly by any government. As ernment is right
we saw in the earlier part of this book, in the clan or tribal life there was really a sort of self-government. The old men of the group handed down customs and decided quarrels, but the group did not think of them as really making laws. Frequently the old women would have as much influence in certain matters as the old men.
Obedience to customs was not forced, but was given as a matter of course.
But in military life the chief came to the front, and if he were successful, became the king. He was often thought to be divine and his commands were sacred. Or if he was not regarded as divine, he was at any rate so strong that his commands were obeyed as law. It has been gradually and step by step that the people have gained any right of making laws in modern Eu