Page:Historical Catechism of American Unionism.pdf/61

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temptuously. Through the craft system they are prevented from doing so. The open shop drive could have been broken before it had gotten under way. The miners' strike could have been won in a week. The steel strike would not have gone under. The maintenance of way men could not have received the first wage cut, let alone the others. The shop crafts would not be fighting a lost cause. There would have been no Coronado decision, no Mooney case, no Centralia murder. All of these and thousands of things equally bad in the working class sense, are directly traceable to the craft union system. It holds nothing in check but the aspiration of the workers; denies nothing but their hopes; and defeats nothing but their longing for united action.

179. How does the system endure if that is true?
By support, not necessarily financial, from capitalist sources.
180. If that be so, how is the open shop drive accounted for?
The capitalist class is not without division. The highest strata of the employing class are intolerant of any form of workers' combination which has in it the kernel of resistance to the capitalist ambition. The craft system has within it a working membership who are compelled by the nature of their economic circumstances to analyze even their own unions and the system which these compose. The value of the craft system to the capitalist depends upon the ability of the managers of the system to control the members of the unions. If, at any time, this would prove to be beyond the power of these managers then a situation would result which would be extremely perilous to the capitalist regime.
If, for instance, the unions' members were to realize the capitalist nature of the system, and would deprive the system managers of control, these members, cognizant of organization value, might consolidate their forces into a single union with disastrous consequences to the capitalist control of society. If, however, with the aid of the craft system, they could destroy these unions, the idea of unionism would receive a body blow from which it would take it some time to recover. These capitalists have started out to destroy existing unions, regardless of the past services the system has rendered, not because