Page images
PDF
EPUB

only, and without the intervention of any private citizen, corporation, or banking institution. It should be based upon the wealth, stability, and integrity of the nation. It should be a full legal tender for all debts, public and private, and should be of sufficient volume to meet the demands of the legitimate business interests of the country. For the purpose of honestly liquidating our outstanding coin obligations, we favor the free and unlimited coinage of both silver and gold, at the ratio of sixteen to one, without consulting any other nation.

4. Land is the common heritage of the people and should be preserved from monopoly and speculation. All unearned grants of land, subject to forfeiture, should be reclaimed by the Government and no portion of the public domain should hereafter be granted except to actual settlers, continuous use being essential to tenure.

5. Railroads, telegraphs, and other natural monopolies should be owned and operated by the Government, giving to the people the benefit of service at actual cost.

6. The National Constitution should be so amended as to allow the National revenues to be raised by equitable adjustment of taxation on the properties and incomes of the people, and import duties should be levied as a means of securing equitable commercial relations with other nations.

7. The contract convict-labor system, through which speculators are enriched at the expense of the State, should be abolished.

8. All citizens should be protected by law in their right to one day of rest in seven, without oppressing any who conscientiously observe any other than the first day of the

week.

9. American public schools, taught in the English language, should be maintained, and no public funds should be appropriated for sectarian institutions.

10. The President, Vice-President, and United States Senators should be elected by direct vote of the people.

11. Ex-soldiers and sailors of the United States army and navy, their widows, and minor children, should receive liberal pensions, graded on disability and term of service, not merely

as a debt of gratitude, but for service rendered in the preservation of the Union.

12. Our immigration laws should be so revised as to exclude paupers and criminals. None but citizens of the United States should be allowed to vote in any State, and naturalized citizens should not vote until one year after naturalization papers have been issued.

13. The initiative and referendum and proportional representation should be adopted.

14. Having herein presented our principles and purposes, we invite the co-operation and support of all citizens who are with us substantially agreed.

SOCIALIST LABOR PLATFORM

The Socialist Labor party of the United States, in convention assembled, reasserts the inalienable rights of all men to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

With the founders of the American Republic we hold that the purpose of government is to secure every citizen in the enjoyment of this right; but in the right of our conditions we hold, furthermore, that no such right can be exercised under a system of economic inequality, essentially destructive of life, of liberty, and of happiness.

With the founders of this Republic we hold that the true theory of politics is that the machinery of government must be owned and controlled by the whole people; but in the light of our industrial development we hold, furthermore, that the true theory of economics is that the machinery of production must likewise belong to the people in common.

To the obvious fact that our despotic system of economics is the direct opposite of our Democratic system of politics, can plainly be traced the existence of a privileged class, the corruption of Government by that class, the alienation of public property, public franchises, and public functions to that class, and the abject dependence of the mightiest of nations upon that class.

Again, through the perversion of democracy to the ends of plutocracy, labor is robbed of its wealth which it alone

produces, is denied the means of self-employment, and by compulsory idleness in wage slavery, is even deprived of the necessaries of life.

Human power and natural forces are thus wasted, that the plutocracy may rule.

Ignorance and misery, with all their concomitant evils, are perpetuated, that the people may be kept in bondage.

Science and invention are diverted from their humane purpose to the enslavement of women and children.

Against such a system the Socialist Labor party once more enters its protest. Once more it reiterates its fundamental declaration that private property in the natural sources of production and in the instruments of labor is the obvious cause of all economic servitude and political dependence.

The time is fast coming when, in the natural course of social evolution, this system, through the destructive action of its failures and crises on one hand, and the constructive tendencies of its trusts and other capitalistic combinations on the other hand, shall have worked out its own downfall.

We therefore call upon the wage-workers of the United States, and upon all honest citizens, to organize under the banner of the Socialist Labor party into a class-conscious body, aware of its rights and determined to conquer them by taking possession of the public powers, so that, held together by an indomitable spirit of solidarity under the most trying conditions of the present class struggle, we may put a summary end to that barbarous struggle by the abolition of classes, the restoration of the land and of all the means of production, transportation, and distribution to the people as a collective body, and the substitution of the co-operative commonwealth for the present state of planless production, industrial war, and social disorder, a commonwealth in which every worker shall have the free exercise and full benefit of his faculties, multiplied by all modern factors of civilization.

Resolutions

With a view to immediate improvement in the condition of labor we present the following demands:

1. Reduction of the hours of labor in proportion to the progress of production.

2. The United States shall obtain possession of the railroads, canals, telegraphs, telephones, and all other means of public transportation and communication; the employes to operate the same co-operatively under control of the Federal Government and to elect their own superior officers, but no employe shall be discharged for political reasons.

3. The municipalities shall obtain possession of the local railroads, ferries, waterworks, gasworks, electric plants, and all industries requiring municipal franchises; the employes to operate the same co-operatively under control of the municipal administration and to elect their own superior officers, but no employe shall be discharged for political reasons.

4. The public lands declared inalienable. Revocation of all land grants to corporations or individuals the conditions of which have not been complied with.

5. The United States to have the exclusive right to issue money.

6. Congressional legislation providing for the scientific management of forests and waterways, and prohibiting the waste of the natural resources of the country.

7. Inventions to be free to all; the inventors to be remunerated by the nation.

8. Progressive income tax and tax on inheritances; the smaller incomes to be exempt.

9. School education of all children under fourteen years of age to be compulsory, gratuitous, and accessible to all by public assistance in meals, clothing, books, etc., where necessary.

10. Repeal of all pauper, tramp, conspiracy, and sumptuary laws. Unabridged right of combination.

II. Prohibition of the employment of children of school age and of female labor in occupations detrimental to health or morality. Abolition of the convict-labor contract system.

12. Employment of the unemployed by the public authorities (county, State, or nation).

13. All wages to be paid in lawful money of the United

States. Equalization of women's wages to those of men where equal service is performed.

14. Laws for the protection of life and limb in all occupations, and an efficient employers' liability law.

15. The people to have the right to propose laws and to vote upon all measures of importance according to the referendum principle.

16. Abolition of the veto power of the Executive (National, State, or municipal), wherever it exists.

17. Abolition of the United States Senate and all upper legislative chambers.

18. Municipal self-government.

19. Direct vote and secret ballots in all elections. Universal and equal right of suffrage without regard to color, creed, or sex. Election days to be legal holidays. The principle of proportional representation to be introduced.

20. All public officers to be subject to recall by their respective constituencies.

21. Uniform civil and criminal law throughout the United Administration of justice free of charge.

Abolition

of capital punishment.

[graphic]
« PreviousContinue »