diana lynn

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The cruel inequity of labor and capital is not an abstraction. And it’s not new.


Here’s the entry for May 24, 1853 in my great-great-grandfather Peter McIntyre‘s journal as he sailed from Scotland to the United States, and then pushed on by wagon to a better life in the West:


“Still playing against the stream. This is Queen Victoria‘s birthday. My God will remove your diadem and take off your crown, your power will be out as the pot shard, and King Messiah will, as with an iron rod pound all your scepters. All you kings and queens of Babylon. Come Lord, our King, come quickly is my prayer. Thou knowest what I suffered from oppression and hard labor for a morsel of bread after my sore travel, hunger and thirst in the Peninsular War. My cry to thee, oh Lord, is remember the cry of the poor and fulfill the promise, destroy them who have oppressed the hireling and kept back their wages by fraud. I know that I wrought many days upon bread and water doing the work of a slave, and traveled 5 miles to work for 1/8 S. a day to support my family. Great Britain is the seat of this, as one works with loss to support his body as his wages there will not afford him life."


And here’s an entry from another great-great-grandfather‘s journal, James Crookston, from a similar time, recalling his childhood  in Scotland: 


"I attended school until I was about 14, when father had me go down in the mines to work with him. I received 1/4 of a minors wage, and when father had an easy place to work, he would do my share on his own and send me up to play.  Father was always good to me. We used to go down on summer mornings and the birds would be singing so sweetly, the hares hopping in the furloughs among the green wheat fields, the Hawthorne hedges white with blossoms, the perfume so pleasant, but it took a stout heart to light a stinking lamp and go down into the bowels of the earth for 8 or 10 hours. But we could take a days rest once a week and then we would work in our vegetable gardens. There were several girls working in the coal pits along with their fathers and brothers, they pushed small cars on the truck containing about 600 pounds each. They were good girls, and seem to always be treated with respect, and after working hours, they always dressed up like ladies. I am glad to say there are no women allowed to work in the coal pits now as they have found other better employment.”


And now it is 2020, with enormous suffering while a few reap the profits, so please honor and defend unions and support pro-union candidates.

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