Monday, September 22, 2008
James P. Cannon, "After the Maritime Strike"- Labor Action Feb 20, 1937
A conflict between workers and employers is not merely a misunderstanding between two elements who have a common general interest. On the contrary, it springs from an irreconcilable conflict of interest. It is an expression of a ruthless class struggle wherein power alone decides the issue. Viewed in this light, a dispute between workers and employers cannot be settled fairly by the government. The government is an instrument of one of the parties to the dispute- in this case, the capitalists. The class conflict cannot be handed over to "the public" to decide. The public is itself divided into classes with different interests and different sympathies regulated primarily by these interests. The polemics of Karl Marx against the conservative labor leaders of his day answered all these questions. All the experience of the labor movement since that time, including the recent west coast strike, speaks for the position of Marx and against all conceptions which overlook the class struggle.