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BISMARCK has taken many a long step toward practical socialism; France has tried more than one fearful experience to save herself from the dangers of communism; American cities are trembling in the presence of a growling imperative proletaire. We may now close our eyes and ears against the claim of the laboring man, but we cannot do so long. Laborers may be unreasonable, may “strike” and fail as signally as the telegraphers did a few weeks ago, nevertheless they will yet force capital or State to hear them and to hear very thoughtfully, too. The property of the country is passing increasingly into the hands of the few; the voting power is in control of the many. The time will probably yet come when either the State or the parties themselves will determine that labor shall have a larger share of business profits than it now receives, or the laborers will take it by force!
This is one of the initial problems of the present; it will be the dangerous problem of the future, unless we begin to study it and to solve it at once. The pledge given in the Republican platform to labor that “the American workingmen shall have a fair day’s wages for a fair day’s work” is as essential as any other in that platform, and it will be as faithfully kept. It is a point of honor and of safety on which there will soon be but a single voice and purpose among the American people. We are now in the period of discussion, we shall soon be in the midst of experiment and of action.—Sel.
— February, 1884 —