Sunday, September 03, 2006

A Labor Day Oration

Sept. 3, 1907
Editorial, Los Angeles Times

“I have no patience with the prejudices which exist between alleged classes when the classes themselves do not exist. There is no reason for hostility between employer and employee, between capitalist and wage earner. A condition of class hatred, such as has developed in Colorado, is a curse to this country.”

The utterer of these excellent sentiments was W.R. Hearst, orator of the day at the Jamestown Exposition yesterday—whose string of yellow socialistic newspapers and magazines has done more than any other agency existing to foment prejudice and class hatred and arouse reasonless hostility between capitalists and wage earners.

The first few hundred words of Hearst’s speech read like a prelude to a scathing arraignment of the New York Journal and American for their persistent efforts to teach the working people of America that they are the slaves of the “predatory rich”; that every corporation is a conspiracy to rob; that all capitalists are brainless brutes; that the government of the United States is a corrupt glutocracy; that the non-union laborer is a pest to be exterminated; that a “captain of industry’ is a pirate and that the only hope of salvation for downtrodden labor in this country lies in revolution and the “speeding to Washington of the bullet that killed Goebel.”

In a stern rebuke of his own editorial writers and cartoonists, Mr. Hearst said:

We have no aristocracy save that of intellect and industry, and the proudest title of our most successful millionaire is “captain of industry.”

The true captain of industry is the general of our industrial army. He cannot do without soldiers, and yet, no matter how well the soldiers fight, the victory depends very largely on the general’s skillful conduct of the campaign.

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