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A SOLACE AND A HOPE

NO WRITER ATTRIBUTED

The principal objectives of the new Cambridge Union of University Teachers, writes Mr. Sweezy, lie outside University walls. They are, (1) self education from contact with local labor movements, (2) a foundation for cooperation with a "great progressive force" in the eventuality of the growth in America of blind reaction.

Number (1) objective fulfills the age-old cry for more contact of University professors in the world outside their academic cloister. Business men, politician, radicals, and Hearst have all at one time or another cried for it. This particular application of the idea, as Mark Twain said of always doing right, "will gratify some, and astonish the rest."

As for objective number (2), there is no doubt that teachers, as a class, have no more influence in politics than J. P. Morgan; in fact, professors and that gentleman share the undubious honor of being scapegoats for morons and politicians. This spirit might in the future react against educational opportunities in America, and abolish the freedom of speech and investigation which is the foundation of the greatness of great universities. So that allying with such a power as the A F. of L. Makes for a strong safeguard against the present political defencelessness of teachers.

But in the meanwhile, before this coming period of "blind reaction," which Mr. Sweezy indicates has not yet arrived, perhaps the Cambridge Union could build up a large debt in its own favor. Labor needs a modicum of intelligence in its leadership; wages cannot be raised solely by redistribution, and the problems of increase in general wealth to be distributed,--of a total increase in national well-being, have so far seemed beyond labor leaders' powers of understanding. In the meanwhile, therefore, Cambridge Union teachers may possibly be able to give good advice to such leaders, even influence them toward desirable activities and action.

May we all live to see the day when Mr. J. Raymond Walsh (or even Mr. Alan Sweezy) will be President of the American Federation of Labor!

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