Held Captive in Chainy's War Room

from by Sinister Toothbrush

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There are those who smile incredulously at the mention of revolution. “Impossible!” they say confidently. So did Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette of France think only a few weeks before they lost their throne together with their heads. So did the nobility at the court of Tsar Nicholas II believe on the very eve of the upheaval that swept them away. “It doesn’t look like revolution,” the superficial observer argues. But revolutions have a way of breaking out when it “doesn’t look like it.” The more far-seeing modern capitalists, however, do not seem willing to take any chances. They know that uprisings and revolutions are possible at any time. That is why the great corporations and big employers of labor, particularly in America, are beginning to introduce new methods calculated to serve as lightning rods against popular disaffection and revolt. They initiate bonuses for their employees, profit sharing, and similar methods designed to make the worker more satisfied and financially interested in the prosperity of his industry. These means may temporarily blind the proletarian to his true interests, but do not believe that the worker will forever remain content with his wage slavery even if his cage be slightly gilded from time to time. Improving material conditions is no insurance against revolution. On the contrary, the satisfaction of our wants creates new needs, gives birth to new desires and aspirations. That is human nature, and that’s what makes improvement and progress possible. Labor’s discontent is not to be choked down with an extra piece of bread, even if it be buttered.

—Alexander Berkman

credits

from The Issue of Horses, released June 7, 2016

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