Editorial: "In defense of the state"

An anti-state editorial, probably written by Ralph Chaplin. Originally appeared in the Industrial Worker (July 17, 1934)

Murder, violence, treachery and deceit have written the history of the State with letters of blood across the ages. "Give your taxes to the State, your loyalty to the State, your life to the State." These have been and are the slogans hammered into the dull brains of the unthinking multitudes since man first learned to degrade and exploit his fellow man. "The people must be governed at all costs and under all circumstances", was the claim. And so, from the days of Caesar to the days of Stalin, the workers have been gouged, butchered, betrayed and left helpless in the face of their enemies. And the end is not yet. The I.W.W. takes the position that the State is as useless and out of place in the modern world as would be the stone axe of the paleolithic cave man. And this includes not only the State dominated by kings, nobles and aristocrats and the State ruled by politicians, lawyers and businessmen: it includes also the State dominated by commissars or dictators.

What is needed at the present time is the administration of things rather than the government of people. The scientific administration and control of industry by the functionally competent elements of the working class would not rest upon a base of clams authority and class robbery. It would not call for bloodshed, violence and duplicity to keep it going. Workers have proved that they are capable of running railroads, mines and factories without wanting.to slit each others throats. But with diplomats, statesmen and politicians it is different! That is one reason why diplomats, statesmen and politicians are becoming increasingly unpopular throughout the world.

The free and classless society of the future—the Industrial Commonwealth—will simply be the intelligent administration of the machinery and resources necessary to sustain human life or a given Continental area. For the first time in history it will give the people of the earth a chance to live, grow and develop to full stature under conditions which favor abundance, rather than scarcity, tolerance, rather than hatred, and growth, rather than destruction.

Originally appeared in the Industrial Worker July 17, 1934 (Vol. 17, No. 24, Whole No. 916)
Transcribed for libcom.org by Juan Conatz