The Voice of Industry (Vol. 3 No. 34 - 3 March 1848)

voice of industry cover

The 3 March 1848 issue of the Voice of Industry (Vol. 3 No. 34).

Submitted by adri on July 20, 2023

The Lever of Progress.

The present is the dawn of a period, during which the elevation of humanity in all its phases, will become a problem which shall engage the world in its solution.

In our own country, the rights of the masses will soon engage the deep attention and respect of all; for they are fast taking the investigation of their oppressions into their own hands, are studying out their own remedies, and with their own hands will apply them, and in a form which will render it necessary for the rest of society, in self-defense as it were, to give the matter most heedful consideration.

In the name of Liberty, the (so called) lower classes have been accorded the glorious privilege of electing men to do their legislation and political thinking; but apart from the victory or the defeat of our side, or our party, they have seen no tangible results emanate from the exercise of this boon, save the emolument of those elected, and the putting in force of a system of legislation, which whatever else it may have done, has shown practically that the obligations of society to the laborer and producer, (as such), have never been thought of, or cared for.


- Ernest Hopeful

Savings Fund.

It has been argued that the Protection Union is merely a selfish combination: that it has no humanitarian basis, and recognizes no central element of justice. It is said the working men talk of nothing but the saving of a penny in buying a pound of sugar, or a sixpence on a gallon of oil. Again, it is said that the working men cannot maintain anything like unity among themselves—that they are ignorant, incompetent, jealous of one another—and that their vaunted union, like all their other attempts will fall through—will come to smoke. Our answer to these very grave and most potent charges is that in respect to each and all of them we know the contrary to be the fact. The working men could always have had union among themselves, were it not that some Jesuitical miscreants from the crowd of professional loaferism have from time to time insinuated themselves into our ranks, for the purpose of creating discord, and thus defeating the interests of labor. While capitalists and party leaders have combined in solid phalanxes for the accomplishment of their favorite ends, their motto in respect to all opposing movements has been, "Divide and Conquer." The working men have at last learned the secret of their former defeats, and they too will henceforth act upon Napoleon's plan of never dividing their army. We must not spend our strength and means upon too many objects at once. Our business at present is the organization of trade. Other interests will claim attention ere [before] long. Some of them are already knocking at the door, and will full soon receive a welcome admittance. The working men talk of nothing but saving pennies, forsooth! Attend one of their social meetings then, if you think so, and hear if their talk of saving pennies has not something more than selfishness in its meaning.


Correspondence of the Voice of Industry (Philadelphia, February 14, 1848)

Scarcely a day passes without one or more fires caused by incendiarism. Several arrests have been made by the police, but still the evil is unabated.

The incendiaries are of the Rats, Bouncers, Killers, Fancies, Stabbers, or other bands of banditti, who have received complete education for their profession, amid the squalor, rags, ignorance and other degrading circumstances of the suburbs of this city.

Strange that property holders will not attempt more prevention and less punishment. If they would but glance at the circumstances which form these robbers and incendiaries, they would see, first, parents driven step by step to crime, imprisonment and death, and then, their offspring, imbruted by want—starving in the midst of plenty—educated to the point where we now find them.

The opulent bank director and the democratic legislator do not meet these men on change [sic] or at caucuses, and are only reminded of their existence by a presented pistol or flaming root.

There is much truth in Robert Owen's thought that "society forces its members to crime and then punishes them."


- F. L. T.

The Laboring Classes.

It ought to be known by the laboring people of our country—the men [and women] who produce everything that is produced—that a continued war is made upon their interests by the monied power, in its ten thousand forms and phases, and that nothing short of their own determined and well directed efforts can prevent them from falling into the same miserable, if not utterly hopeless, condition to which the laborers of Europe have already been brought by the tyrant lords of that old world. It ought to be known to them, that while everything is dependent upon their labor, their rights and privileges are being gradually stolen from them, and they are becoming more and more the slaves of an organized, or unorganized—it matters little which—monied aristocracy. It ought to be known to them that property and power are getting gradually from the hands of the many into the hands of the few: and that they can be brought back again only by devoting to the enterprise the same untiring, indomitable zeal and perseverance, which have worked such wonders in changing the face of our country from an unbroken forest to a field of cities.


The rich pile their millions together, to effect what the thousands of one cannot effect alone; and their combined wealth and skill and cunning are used to wrest the land and house, the stores and mechanic shops, from the laborer, and send him homeless into the dirty lanes. Thus, while millions of acres lie unimproved, and thousands of workshops stand unoccupied, he searches in vain for employment, and in vain for food. The capitalist has learned that to enslave him he must first steal his home and palsy his arm—filch his last penny, and destroy his last hope.

It is asked what can be done for this class of men [and women]—for these toiling, starving millions? We answer, teach them first their true condition, and then encourage the beatings of their own hearts to rise. There are a thousand paths leading to independence—and if energy to walk in them were not wanting, we might never doubt that the goal would be reached.


- Republican Herald

Associated Labor.

A French writer by the name of Gorsse, a translation from whom we find in the Harbinger, sums up the different conditions under which labor is performed in the present state of society, and when organized in a state of true association as follows:

In Civilization,

1. Labor is not proportioned to the strength, capacity, and aptitude of every individual.
2. Labor does not procure to the laborer profits proportioned to his efforts and his personal usefulness.
3. Necessary labors are despised; those devoted to luxury and amusement are alone honored and rewarded.
4. Labor is not free; it is imposed by want, hunger, or violence.


In Association,

1. Labor is proportioned to the natural faculties, every function is accessible to all, education is free.
2. Mercenary labor has disappeared; all are partners, and receive individually the fruit of their labor.
3. Each function and every laborer is rewarded, and honored in the direct ratio of their importance to the life of society.
4. Charm and attraction are the stimuli of labor. The minimum guaranteed to all men ensures for ever their existence against misery and slavery.


Note: spelling and punctuation have been slightly modified.