The Reduction of the Output
The present European crisis has resulted in an unparalleled augmentation in the numbers of the unemployed workers in Australia. In all directions, the employing class are taking every advantage of the over-supply of labor, and aided by the politicians and law courts, they are either deliberately ignoring, or setting aside the decisions laid down at various times by the Arbitration Courts of this country.
The Federal and State Governments, in spite of all their former statements to the contrary, are admitting their utter ineptitude, and also admitting with more or less acidity, that they are entirely in the hands of the international financiers, who hold the purse strings and call the tune.
Large employers gave donations to the Patriotic Fund, and then, in order to emphasise their thorough going Imperialism, reduced the number of their staffs. Three hundred men were dismissed at the Randwick workshops a fortnight ago, and more are to follow.
Thousands are unemployed, and daily their numbers are augmented and swollen by government, skilled and unskilled workers alike. The position in New South Wales is becoming so precarious, that even the diplomatic shuffling of Mr. Holman, the “not at home” strategy of Mr. Cann, and the kettle like outbursts of Mr. Griffiths, will not stem the rising tide of hunger, misery, and dissatisfaction. The Labour Parties are at last reaping the whirlwind; the aftermath; and natural product of years of systematic misrepresentation, plausibility, and side-tracking.
Their “power,” their “democracy,” their armies of docile, lamb-like voters, were mere superstitions when confronted by the Napoleons of International finance. Nietzsche was right when he said, “Whatever the State saith is a lie, whatever it hath is a theft, even its’ bowels are counterfeit.”
Delegated “power” is no power at all, the whole belief in the State, in the Parliamentary institutions is a childish superstition, it is what Redbeard would define as “a wasting cranial disease.”
But, nevertheless, there is a solution to this all important problem of unemployment. That is Industrial Unionism, or the systematic education of the working-class, to control the industries, the source of all wealth.
As an immediate weapon, we of the I.W.W. emphatically advocate the reduction of the output on the part of the workers. Systematic propaganda on these lines will breed a gradual slackening on the part of the workers expending their energy.
This slowing-down process will create a demand for more labor, which will reduce the number of unemployed, which in its turn will reduce the amount of competition amongst the workers, and naturally result in a corresponding rise in wages, and improvement in conditions.
Therefore, despite all muddled psuedo economists and their teachings, the I.W.W. says, “The less work you do, the more you will get for doing it.”
In these days of machine productions and “psychotechnics,” the machine has become predominant to man, the pace is made by the machine, and the man becomes a mere stereotype, a piece of the mechanism. Such a man is a veritable slave.
The I.W.W. claims that flesh and blood is higher and grander than the leviathan of steel and iron, and to that end we propagate the slow-down process, by which conscious deliberate action the worker become the master of the machine, he begins to exercise gradually his ascendency to the enslaving influences of the workshops.
By this slowing down process, and the reduction of the hours of labour, he is meeting with conscious and awakened power, the baneful effects of each new labor-saving device; he is reducing the amount of unpaid labor time, which provides the ruling class and their lackies with their means of life and their power; he is weakening the power of the State, and every other institution that binds him down to present-day slavery, that jail, starve and persecute him, he is strengthening himself by weakening his masters, and by developing his controlling power over the means of wealth production.
And, finally, in attacking surplus value, he is carrying on the only scientific campaign against War, and its effects.
Workers of Australia, carry the message of the I.W.W. far and wide. Slow down, slow down, slow down.
Refuse to be slaves, and bulwarks of scabbery and unemployment. Refuse to be things, with a machine for your master.
Down with the masters of bread, the plunder patriots, the lords of hoarded gold. Up with the One Big Union of the Working Class; the Industrial Workers of the World. Free yourselves.
As Redbeard said,—
“There’s nothing grand in a horny hand,
“There’s nothing free in a bended knee.
“There’s nothing bold in a lack of gold.”
Editor Direct Action, OFFICIAL ORGAN of the INDUSTRIAL WORKERS OF THE WORLD (Australian Administration).
Office: —330 Castlereagh St., Sydney, Australia. Also HEADQUARTERS I.W.W.
Direct Action, Sydney NSW, 15 February 1915.