Labor Review Centennial, 1907-2007
Beat the Tom-Toms
From the Minneapolis Labor Review, March 16, 1917
The people are thinking. There is danger for privilege when the people think.
The people have already thought too long. The common herd now has the audacity to inquire why they starve while the terminals and warehouses are choked with food supplies waiting shipment to England.
So the little serfs of privilege, commonly known as Congressmen and Senators, beat the Tom-Toms of war hoping that the people will stop thinking and with the kill lust in their hearts go forth to murder their brothers.
Privilege feels itself slipping. Privilege feels the golden crown joggling unpleasantly and realizes it is none too firmly fixed when the people think.
Behind the cloak of patriotism there is being made a determined effort to turn this government back to despotism. There is nothing Democratic about war making. In fact the laws of Democracy are suspended before war can be made. In war time the President becomes a King, and the Congress his privy council…
In time of war the dominant law is “the government can do no wrong.”
They are beating the Tom Tom… All those who live off the sweat of others are beating the Tom Toms and hoping while they beseech the God of War that the people will stop thinking and plunge madly into a deluge of blood.
Make them show you. Make them come across. There is no one so good and so mighty that he should not consult the people of the United States.
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