The history of this day, Labor Day, goes back to the Industrial Revolution. With its roots going back to Great Britain, most of Europe and the United States. This was when the nations of the world produced more goods and machines efficiently than ever before. More goods became available at cheaper prices. Due to capitalism in the United States, citizens of the world left their countries for the U.S. in hope to work, earn and live the dream, and it was so. In 1886 President Grover Cleveland dedicated The Statue of Liberty to the immigrants coming to be a part of their new country. They were willing to work, learn the laws of the land and assimilate. Overtime workplaces saw transformations and improvement, before that unfortunately lives were lost, The Haymarket Riot.
However, some brought with them socialist and anarchist ideas. Asserting that individuals and family who have worked and established themselves, ought to share their rightfully earned wealth with everyone.
Then came the nationwide economic depression in 1893, giving further rise to the doctrine of socialism and anarchists. Among the voices was a high school dropout, Eugene V. Debs. An early perpetrator bent on demolishing the working middle class. Even the New York Times editorial referred to Debs as “a lawbreaker at large, an enemy of the human race.”
Debs’ Rebellion turned into a national issue, interrupting the trains and mail services. Erupting violence, and the loss of lives. His followers demanded entitlement. They didn’t stop there, they continued through rioting, looting, and the burning of business, railroad cars, destroying an estimated $80 million worth of property in 27 states. (Sounds familiar?) The imprisonment of Debs for six months, made him more radical, during which time he voraciously read Karl Marx’s Das Kapital.
History records Debs ran five times for the office of the U.S. President of the then Socialist Party of America, but he won zero electoral votes! Thereafter, he blames the system and opposes the electoral process. (Sounds familiar?) Gone are the days of Debs, but the idea remains. In 1979, Bernie Sanders praised Eugene Debs in a produced documentary, even at one point having the plaque of Debs in his office.
Eugene Debs’ Socialist Party of America later broke off and began the Communist Party USA. Their political party ran multiple candidates for the office of the President of the United States, with zero success. Until they decided to support, join, and morph with what is now the Democrat Party.
Know your history, to better understand how to associate with the present.
Today, as we observe Labor Day, for the masses, you are not rich neither are you poor. You are the middle class, and the heart of the nation and your daily efforts are as the beats which give life to the body of this land. You aren’t lesser than your neighbor, nor are you better than others. But you are an individual. Think outside your upbringing. Think outside your community. Think outside your race. Think for yourself. Therein, you will know the truth and the Truth will make you free, and your labor will never be in vain.