Illinois vs. August Spies et al. trial evidence book. People's Exhibit 24.
The Alarm (Newspaper) article, "The Useless Classes," 1884 Nov. 1
Nov. 1, 1884.
The useless classes.
Every person who is rendering no good to humanity is useless, no matter how hard he works. Head work and hand work are equally hard and equally useful if rightly applied. All men, rich and poor, are working every day if they are not deprived of the privelege. Men work because they cannot hold their physical and mental energies still without causing themselves paid. Play and work are all one! We have created a difference by inventing and keeping up a scheme that makes us work after we get tired, or at something we have no love for. In this manner we have lost sight of the pleasure of work. The selfish infernal scheme called "the right of property" has created four times more useless work than is required to produce and distribute all the comforts and luxuries of life. All these useless workers are either capitalists or the allies of capitalists. In this class of workers, whose sole business is to sustain the wicked "right of property", are all the lawyers, ministers, judges, legislatures, jailers, police, bankers, brokers, peddlers, nearly all store-keepers and clerks, the armies, navies, insurance companies, agents, and nearly all bosses, in all branches of industry. Add to this those who cannot get work and those in prison and we see the vast hoards who are giving
their entire life's energies to keeping up a "right of property," and living on the work of the producers; the sole end and aim of which is to make paupers, suicides, thieves, cut-throats, liars, vagabonds, hypocrites and many other things that nothing but the "right of property" will or can produce. All these useless classes employed solely in keeping up this useless thing, which useless thing is alone in turn producing all the criminal classes, which two classes are, altogether, the one useless criminal class of the world. Destroy this infernal "right of property" and you have turned all these useless millions out of work, and as the very energy in them that they cannot check will drive them to do some thing, then that something can only be useful work. This will add about four hundred per cent to the useful workers% The labor of the useful workers will then be so much reduced that all will discover the pleasure that is in work. Then the workers will not be so ragged, dirty, lousy, ignorant and dejected that we shall feel, disgraced by working with them, as we do now.
We must remember that at present all useful workers are much of their time engaged in useless work. The mechanic, whose energies are wasted building jails, court-houses, custom houses, state houses, law and insurance offices, the printers and advertisers work for the same classes, the gold miners included, are all uselessly employed. Destroy the
"right of property" and all this useless energy will be turned, by force of nature, to useful production and distribution.
How can all this be done? Simply by making ourselves masters of the use of dynamite, then declaring we will make no further claim to ownership in anything, and deny every other person's right to be the owner of anything, and administer instant death, by any and all means, to any and every person who attempts to continue to claim personal ownership in anything. This method, and this alone, can relieve the world of this infernal monster called the "right of property."
Let us try and not strike too soon, when our numbers are too small, or before more of us understand the use and manufacture of the weapons.
To avoid unnecessary bloodshed, confusion and discouragement, we must be prepared, know why we strike and for just what we strike, and then strike in unison and with all our might.
Our war is not against men, but against systems, yet we must prepare to kill men who will try to defeat our cause, or we will strive in vain.
The rich are only worse than the poor, because they have more power to wield this infernal "property right" and because they have more power to reform, and take less interest in doing so. Therefore it is easiest to see where the bloodiest blows must be dealt.
We can expect but few or no converts among the rich, and it will be better for our cause, if they do not wait for us to strike first.