The Causes of Industrial Unrest

The Causes of Industrial Unrest

The Causes of Industrial Unrest

The Causes of Industrial Unrest

Excerpt

This is a book with a definite and limited purpose. It is an attempt to reveal the background, the point of view, and the circumstances out of which the labor struggle emerges. It is written in the hope that it may contribute a little toward an understanding of the phenomena of unrest -- the state of mind that finds expression now in labor turnover, now in mutterings of discontent, now in strikes, and now in violence.

The primary purpose in these pages is to show that, whether the activities of working people in the defense or in the extension of what they believe to be their rights are wise or unwise, they are not irrational. It is possible for a reasonable man, whether he approves of them or not, to understand them if he will try to put himself in the position of the actors. I do not mean to say that every offensive or defensive act committed by a wage-earner in his relations with his employer is one that will commend itself to a thoughtful observer as reasonable, or even that such an observer will always be able to discover reasons for any particular act that he can understand. But neither would I claim that for any other group in human society. No one is so rational that everyone understands his every act.

It follows that even a friendly observer will find some of the acts of men and women in the labor movement unreasonable or inexplicable. But in the main, just as in the case of other groups, their acts are capable of being understood when one is in possession of the facts. That is . . .

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