This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
 to do over again what the Whig aristocracy of Great Britain has successfully done for two hundred years. Thirty thousand families own Great Britain to-day; and if you multiply John Bright by a hundred, and double his eloquence, it seems impossible that he should save England from a violent convulsion in the great grapple between such a power and the people who have determined to have their way. Men blame us, the representatives of the workingmen of the nation, that we come into politics. The other day it was my good fortune to meet that distinguished Frenchman, Monsieur Coquerel; and he asked me what was the motto of the working-men of the United States. I said to him, “Short hours, better education, co-operation in the end, and in the mean time a political movement that will concentrate the thought of the country upon this thing.” Now, here I take issue with the best critic which the Labor movement has met: I refer to Rev. Samuel Johnson of Salem, one of the thinkers who has spread out before the people his objections to the Labor movement of this country. His first objection is, that we will hurry into politics. Well, now, our answer to him, and to the score of other scholars who have been criticising us, is this: Gentlemen, we see the benefit of going into politics. If we had not rushed into politics, had not taken Massachusetts by the four corners and shaken her, you never would have written your criticisms. We rush into politics because politics is the safety-valve. We could discuss as well as you, if you would only give us bread and houses, fair pay and leisure, and opportunities to travel. We could sit and discuss the question for the next fifty years. It's a very easy thing to discuss, for a gentleman in his study, with no anxiety about to-morrow. Why, the ladies and gentlemen of
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.
An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.