CRANKY NOTIONS, March 24, 1886

Joseph A. Labadie

Appearing in Labor Leaf just weeks before the Haymarket bombing of May 4, 1886, which unleashed a frenzy of anti-anarchist denunciation, this impassioned "Cranky Notions" column predicts a violent revolution and the downfall of capitalism.

From the Labadie website:

Into what a seething, turbulent, roaring condition the industrial world has suddenly been thrown!

The cry from every capitalistic quarter is now, 'Go slow!'

But the cry comes too late.

For years a few hated and despised agitators have warned the people of breakers ahead, but they were look upon with scorn and their warnings were unheeded.

The privileged class are intoxicated with their successes at robbing the wealth producers, and in their glee they clap their hands and dance with joy.

Alas, it may prove the dance of death!

These industrial rumblings are only the more distinct thunder-claps that precede the devastating storm.

No power on earth can now avert a violent revolution!

The Hoxies, the Jake Sharpes, the Goulds, the Vanderbilts, the Muirs; the Lumber Barons, the Salt Dukes, the Land Lords, the Railroad Kings, the Money Princes--in short, the privileged class, have invited a revolution, and it will come upon them with relentless fury.

The downfall of Capitalism is inevitable!

The blind Sampson [sic] of Labor has been groping, lo! These many years; the memories of the abuses heaped upon him are rankling in his breast; he is at this moment tugging at the pillars of the Temple of Capitalism, and its destruction is as sure as that tomorrow will come.

The agitators have sought to avert this calamity, but their warnings have been as unheeded as the moaning of the wind.

It is useless now to try to escape the revolution.

All we can do is to prepare for it and try to modify its destructive tendencies, and at the same time reap the full benefits that will naturally result from the overturning of a vicious social system.