The Politics of Labor: A Critique of American Radical Social Thought by a Canadian Labor Spokesman in 1887
Published: December 1975© 1975
292 Pages, 6.00 x 9.00 in
Ebook - PDF
1886 witnessed the height of a period of violent industrial strife in North America. In that year the eight-hour day movement culminated in Chicago's notorious Haymarket Riot. Both the Trades and Labor Congress of Canada and the American Federation of Labor became firmly established and held their first annual meetings; the Knights of Labor were at their peak. Unemployment, working dislocation, and social unrest were focusing public attention on the abuses of the emerging industrial system. Those with power -- the big business monopolies -- were exploiting those without, and the various levels of government seemed unable or unwilling to intervene. It was all too evident that wealth and progress were for the few, and poverty and alienation were for the many. What were the cases of this inequality, and how could the balance be restored? This was the 'Labor Question' that engaged the imagination of so many writers in the 1880s, men such as Henry George, Laurence Gronlund, Edward Bellamy -- and T. Phillips Thompson. Thompson was one of the leading spokesmen of the Canadian labor and socialist movements for over three decades. This book presents a distillation of his thought in a constructive critique of the American political and economic system. Time has proved Thompson a prophet: much of what he advocated in The Politics of Labor has come to pass in the years since 1886.