Jack Houston’s Editorials in the OBU Bulletin: 12 August 1919
In making our first public bow we have no apologies to make nor honeyed phrases to offer. The Winnipeg Central Labor Council of the O.B.U., recently created, recognizes the importance of establishing a literary mouthpiece as early as possible, striving all the time not only to maintain such an organ, but at the same time to increase its size and influence. We make no pretensions to literary style, being ordinary workmen from the shop and the factory, having more regard for the truth of our assertions and the correctness of our contentions.
The O.B.U. Bulletin has come to stay in Winnipeg because the organization, the O.B.U., has itself come to stay. We did not create it out of pure thought, but had it thrust upon us the inexorable logic of the objective industrial situation. Craft Unionism has demonstrated its obsoleteness. This assertion is not prompted by spite, nor is it intended as a personal reflection upon any of our A.F. of L. Friends. It is a statement of fact; and Craft Unionism is obsolete because the conditions which gave it birth and demanded its growth have been destroyed by the onward surge of industry itself; by the ever changing methods of machine production.
Therefore, we repeat: “We have no apologies to make.” If the workers in any measure and with any degree of satisfaction are going to carry on, collectively, the every day fight-bargaining if you wish-over rates of pay, conditions of work, etc., then we state emphatically they are pre-doomed to failure if they maintain themselves bound in the red tape and empty rhetoric of the A.F. of L.
The columns of this journal will be devoted to explanations of the workings and structure of our organization; news and views of the movements in other parts; working class educational essays on Economics, History and Sociology, realizing the crying need for sound working class knowledge; and discussion between members of the “rank and file” upon matters pertaining to their every day problems.
Our objective, as far as the paper is concerned, is a real live daily, carrying reliable news and untrammelled by the emasculations peculiar to the capitalist sheets. We NEED a daily literary mouthpiece, just as we NEEDED the new form of organization. New needs, arising from new industrial conditions, demand it. The call is imperative. We must be prepared and able to answer word, article for article, editorial for editorial, the vile ravings and screaming hysteria of a prostituted press.
Of course, it must be taken for granted that all the combined weight of A.F. of L., reactionaries, muddle-headed would-be labor [sic] politicians, Boards of Trade, Citizens’ Committees, and other products of a profit producing and mind-destroying competitive system, will be thrown against us. It is well! By our own energy, born of the workers’ position; by virtue of the faith which grows daily stronger in the minds of the working class, shall we live and advance. Upon our own knowledge and strength we shall rely. All others are but as broken reeds. If the mass make not the movement, then indeed our efforts were useless and our organization an abortion. Economic evolution argues for us, stronger than eloquent verbal pleas, with all the power of conviction that facts ever possess.
Organization and education MUST go hand in hand. To work, brothers! The O.B.U. is your organization; the Bulletin is your paper.
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