Essay: Labor Union Strike
This essay is on labor union strike. In view of the foregoing outline of the equities of the situation, the question concerning the morality of violent methods of supporting a strike may be answered somewhat as follows.
In view of the foregoing outline of the equities of the situation, the question concerning the morality of violent methods of supporting a strike may be answered somewhat as follows: As against the employer, the strikers have no right to destroy his property; for this is lawful only as one of the extreme measures of war, and a strike, no matter how just, has not the moral standing of a just war. As against the men who take the places of the strikers, no violence is lawful when the action of the former is justified by their own needs. Will it be lawful when there is no such justification? May not the strikers forcefully repel unjust assaults upon their rights to decent conditions of employment, just as a man may use force to withstand the attack of a burglar? Pottier hesitates about giving a categorical answer, contenting himself with the statement that force will certainly not be justifiable when less objectionable means would be effective, or when the good effects to be expected are not great and certain in proportion to the evil effects. Now, it is certain that the good effects to be obtained through the use of violence are practically never sufficient to outweigh the evil effects; for the benefits that labor would thus secure are in significant compared with the social disorder and anarchy through which they would be obtained; The interests and rights of a class must yield before the interest and rights of the community.
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