Illinois vs. August Spies et al. trial evidence book. People's Exhibit 96.
Arbeiter-Zeitung (Newspaper) article, "The Eight Hour Movement," 1886 Mar. 19

3 p.
Introduced into evidence during testimony of Eugene Seeger (Vol. K p. 701-720), 1886 July 31.
Transcript of translation of article.

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March 19, 1886. Fourth page.


A correspondent writes: that the oppressed prepare themselves for resistance is a good sign, but it is a pity that the abbreviation of the working time is demanded only now instead of ten years ago. At that time this measure would have had a purpose, but now it is inadequate and worthless. The development of industry the last ten or fifteen years was such a tremendous one, that the demands of the working men must go a great deal further to achieve a corresponding result. Even if the manufacturers, it may be the case, will grant the eight hour time, what good will it do in view of the fact that the warehouses are brim full of merchandise, and when the manufacturers are not obliged for a long while to produce as much as at present, and when they will be able in the course of time to get the same quantity out as formerly without increasing their force of labor.

The middle classes and the working men are ruined through the industrial system, and their buying capacity is broken down. They therefore cannot support production, and rich people will not support it, for the very reason that it will benefit the working men. The only business which flourishes

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yet is that of the capitalist and the coupon clipper, and they take the last dollar out of the pocket of the producer, caring very little for their misery. Under such circumstances what good would the eight hour law do the idle working man. It strikes me just the same as though they demanded an abbreviation of the working day in Turkey, Egypt or Persia, where there is a grave-yard stillness in regard to production. This demand would be of little benefit to the masses. An extortioner may treat once in a while his wageslaves, in order to make them work better, but he will never grant them the right of a larger share of the products of his labor.

The only aim of the working men should be the liberation of mankind from the shackles of the existing damnable slavery. Here in America, where the working man posseses yet the freedom of meeting, of speech, and of the press, most should be done for the emancipation of suffering mankind. But the press gang and the teachers in the schools do all in their power to keep the people in the dark. Thus everything tends to degrade mankind more and more from day to day and this effects a "beastening" as is observable with Irishmen, and more apparent even with the Chinese.

If we do not soon bestir ourselves for a bloody revolution we cannot leave anything to our children, but poverty

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and slavery, therefore prepare yourselves in all quietness for the revolution.

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