Now all roads lead to France and heavy is the tread
Of the living; but the dead returning lightly dance.
Edward Thomas, Roads

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Samuel Gompers's Insight

American labor leader Samuel Gompers was a big booster for the war effort.  Shortly after the United States declared war, he made something of a rah-rah speech that contained this gem that I think proved true not only for the First World War, but the Second, as well.

This war is a people's war — labor's war. The final outcome will be determined in the factories, the mills, the shops, the mines, the farms, the industries, and the transportation agencies of the various countries. That group of countries which can most successfully organize its agencies of production and transportation, and which can furnish the most adequate and effective agencies with which to conduct the war, will win.

Gompers Visiting an American Trench on the Italian Front

Listen to the full speech at the Library of Congress Website:   (Audio File)

1 comment:

  1. A lesson well stated. Soldiers don't go to war, countries go to war - or should. I think this is the principal behind giving Congress the power to declare war. But it is a lesson we seem to be forgetting, or are just ignoring in the Constitution. Labor, people and countries should back their soldiers, sailors and airmen in the battle. We the people of the United States do this with a declaration of war in Congress, both to back our warriors and let all warring states know our purpose - VICTORY. For which there is no substitute.