Socialist Labor Party
VOL. 2, NO. 185.
NEW YORK, WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 1, 1902.
A VERY HAPPY NEW YEAR.
By DANIEL DE LEON
HE first year of the Twentieth Century has closed with capitalism rioting
in the profits it has wrung from labor: with speculation mad, but still
fearful in its madness: with municipal, state, national, commercial, and
industrial enterprises, either under way or proposed, to an extent that has no
parallel: and with the increase of richness piling up at a rate that would stagger
even the most sanguine twenty years ago. There can be no doubt that there has
been prosperity, but it has been prosperity for those who held in their control all the
vast social and industrial machinery whereby wealth is produced. It has been a mad
debauch of production, a merciless exploitation of labor. Great though it has been,
limitless as has been the wealth amassed by the capitalist class, there are evidences
of a halt, and a halt, temporary though it may be, indicates the coming of an
Statisticians and economic experts, who hold the pulse of the nation, in order to
see how much more the great bulk of the people can be bled, already feel an
irregularity that indicates trouble. They can foretell the inevitable disease, but they
are as powerless to prevent it, as impotent to cure it as the medical profession is
when confronted with a case of leprosy or consumption. Their failure is the result of
their ignorance, and their ignorance is the result of their steadfast adherence to
ideas which are as false and worthless as the incantations of so many savage
medicine men would be in trying to set a fractured bone by howling.
Capitalism has had everything its own way. It has had the best of service from
the political party it placed in power in the nation. It has good and obedient
servants in all branches of the Government. It has ousted from office, here in New
York, a party that did not seem to give adequate returns for the spoils it controlled,
and it has placed in powe