In Winnipeg, Manitoba, the street railway conductors and motormen are on strike. In the dead of winter with the cold as biting as it gets in that northern city, where the thermometer goes down to sixty below zero, men don't throw up their jobs for fun. Only under the stress of great wrong will they strike back at a heartless corporation, that has the economic power to starve and freeze them, and the political power to send them to jail.
A strike is the most serious problem of a working-man's life. A job is life, it is food, it is warmth. To throw it up means to cut himself off from the source of supply.
Do the rich mens' sons, the college boys, who have taken the strikers places on the street cars of Winnipeg, know they are playing with life? Do they know that their sport, their little adventure, may mean death to numbers of children from exposure to want? Do they know what every job they have taken means to the man who left it?
No, the ill-bred parasitic puppies are as ignorant of the meaning of things as they are as a college can make them, combined with their upbringing.
The most contemptible man in modern times is a scab, and the scurviest of all scabs is a college bred scab.
I spent the first twenty years of my life 400 miles south and 50 years downstream of Winnipeg from the author. It was as close as Berlin to me. Another country. Out of sight and out of mind.
But hockey teams made for some awareness. Walking home in Minneapolis in the dead of winter at thirty below zero, I figured it must be colder than a witches' tit in Winnipeg. So I get the author's point. Fatal cold without good clothing.
Reflecting on the point, I realized that in the more than fifty years I have been working, I never wanted to go on strike. At times, I have wanted more time off. At times more money. A promotion. To be somewhere else. But I never wanted to put life on hold. The author of this 1911 snippet makes a good point, a point a writer from our times can't appreciate. Busy as they are with a 'fair and balanced' perspective. The error of considering work as a 'lifestyle choice' can be made. The truth is work is life. We all eat. If someone is not working we all die.
The author isn't fond of college boys. Does the author hate education? I don't know. I suspect mixed feelings. Religious types sometimes have this adversion. Whoever wrote this has been dirt for a long time. There is no way to know. College in 1911 was only for the rich, and 'college boys' were all elites. Members of another tribe, and I do not think, the author's tribe.
"A heartless corporation, that has the economic power to starve and freeze them, and the political power to send them to jail."
In the 112 years since this was written, what has changed? Tribes of the rich have power. Their tribes control the livelihood of others then as now. This has not changed. In North America, socialism was defeated. Men were sent to jail and killed.
In 1911 American socialism had membership. The Haymarket executions had been only 25 years before. The 'Agitator' advertised a P. O. Box in WA state. About thirty miles away across Puget Sound from me.
It is ancient history now. The political power to send people to jail carried the century. The embers of a more egalitarian future, actually any future at all, are smothered by the power of the rich tribes.
By the end of the century, ecological conditions require about 12 billion of us to die 'before our time'. This to happen for there to be any future at all. That to happen, or everyone dies.
Tribal eyes always look the same direction, one way. This is why things play out the way they do. Elite eyes imagine a party that never ends, and suffering is not seen by them.
The elite still go to college, and they still only learn about things that concern themselves. The difference is they are not alone. Acquiring institutional tunnel vision became common. The human race became too smart for its own good. A global Dunning–Kruger effect takes hold.
In other tribal news, 7326 Palestinians are murdered and 18,000+ are wounded since the 10/7 attack by Hamas. My tax dollars at work. And I don't like it.
Many, sinners all, think killing and avenging is ok in war. It is what Hamas does now, to the delight of war hawks in Israel. Living on the Gaza Strip is a slow death. Israel created a prison with two and a half million people in it. Their mission was to kill, not heal. Zionists learned from their German teachers well. Zionists now have the opportunity to accelerate the death and achieve their goal. Eradication of the Palestinians.
Subjugated for decades, radical elements of a nation without a future attacked. The entire world may burn from it. Their actions seem suicidal. But if you have no future. And your adversary has been murdering your people for decades. Suicide can make sense.