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FATHER J. P. O'SULLIVAN Figure Individualism vs. Industrial Democracy PARADOXICAL as it may seem, I will hazard the observation, that the difficulty in accommodating labor disputes, materializes in the fact that the leaders of industrial thought and action are endeavoring to satisfy a new, complex and constantly accumulating set of conditions on the old-time principle of 'laissez faire' (I shall do as I please). Jacques Rousseau, towards the close of the eighteenth century, defined the basis of social relations in these words: It is contrary to the natural, innate and inalienable rights, liberty and dignity of man to submit himself to any authority, the root, rule, measure and sanction of which was not within himself. The French Revolution took its inspiration from that principle and announced its coming in the caption, 'Liberty! Equality! Fraternity!' No fairer or more inviting program ever heralded such world-wide upheaval. Adam Smith, the English economist, based his economic theories on the new social ideal. All systems of preference or restraint, he wrote, being completely taken away, the obvious and simple system of natural liberty establishes itself of its own acocrd. Thus in the early years of the nineteenth century the approved system of industrial relations was individualism—that is, freedom of contract, unrestricted competition, and unlimited individual ownership, control and management. The wage earners soon discovered that the glorious franchises of the revolution, which were purchased with priceless treasures of life's blood, were a gold brick; they realized all too late that liberty meant license for the strong and serfdom for the weak; that equality meant the substitution of the aristocracy of money for the aristocracy of blood; whilst fraternity had a meaning only with the words—in distress. Gibbon has tersely penned the dire results of the workingman's hopeful Magna Charta thus: The obvious and simple system of natural liberty advocated by Adam Smith and his followers brought with it instead of a regime of justice, a period of horror, known in economic history as the period of English wage slavery. From the earliest inception of the new system of industrial relations men of vision and noble purpose have striven by united effort to combat its evil effects. Thus we have witnessed the living mass movements of communism, state and guild socialism, radicalism, bolshevism and labor unionism. These mass movements are a protest to the existing social diseases which have sprung from individualism. Individualism has many excellent features, but as interpreted during the last century and a quarter, it has afforded unlimited opportunity for the crafty grafter and industrial bully. Except this system is radically amended we shall continue to be eye witnesses of strikes and lockouts, paralysis in industry, social and industrial strife. THE axe is laid unto the root of the tree. Within recent years we have witnessed momentous and far reaching changes in Political, Social, Industrial, and Religious life. Absolutism in political relations is dead as a door nail. Individualism in industry has been severely scrutinized; over its portals is written in blazing characters of living light Vox Populi, 'Vox Dei Est'. The World is ripe and safe for Democracy. It requires no bold prophet to predict that the great task ahead of us is to make Industrial Democracy safe for the world. Social Justice THIS lecture is a philosophic, economic and ethical demonstration of the content, causes and effects of the Titanic Social Problem announced by the late President Wilson, when he said, The hostile conflict between Labor and Capital is the darkest cloud upon the Democratic Political Horizon. It tells you wherein shall be found the only practical and enduring solution. Industrial warfare is the social excrescence of sordid avarice and unbridled commercialism. Labor disputes always will prevail, they are the comedies of industrial relations; but bitter conflict is a calamity. Society shall stand four-square to every adverse wind when it can rest on four square legs which are square to each other. In the processes of production and distribution, Capital, Labor, the Management and the Public are indissolubly linked together. Let them know, understand and respect each other's rights, and discharge unstintingly their mutual obligations—ever let their motto be 'HONEST WORK, A FAIR WAGE, CO-OPERATION, HORSE SENSE AND ARBITRATION BY MEASURES OF THE GOLDEN RULE;' and the murmuring lips of discontent shall grow dumb as an oyster. Let it never be forgotten that a contented laborer is a sturdy and jealous defender of his country's flag. The Church and Labor THE light that shone in the darkness, and which the darkness failed to comprehend, unlocked the shackles of the slave. Christ is the ideal workman: He made Labor honourable, He blessed and sanctified it. Peter—the first pope and bisop—walked in his Master's footsteps. From the dawn of Christianity the church has had espoused the cause of the toiling masses. In the dark ages of serfdom and peonage she founded and fostered the Trades Guilds, which were the prototypes of our modern labor unions. Before the noted reformer, Marx, had conceived his great thought, 'The Materialistic Conception of History.' Archbishop Von Kettler was in the field with a splendid program of practical remedies for the industrial evils of the nineteenth century. Leo XIII had been rightfully titled 'The Workman's Pope.' He promulgated in 1891, his famous encyclical 'RERUM NOVARUM.' This document is so wide in its comprehension, far reaching by implication, clear in enunciation, and practical of application, that it is universally accepted as the Church's Labor Constitution. When the late war ended, the Four American Bishops, constituting the Administrative Committee of the National Catholic War Council, and representing the Catholic Hierarchy of the United States, issued a new and timely manifesto of social reconstruction, having for its primary aim the industrial replacement of the discharged soldiers and sailors. It embraces all the more important reforms that seem to be desirable and also obtainable within a reasonable time, and states clearly those general principles which should become a guide to more distant developments. The Living Wage THIS question strikes at the very kernel of the social problem, which America with all her pride, her wealth, her strength, her progress, must intelligently answer and promptly dispose of, in the light of truth and justice. Within a decade of years, our Social, Industrial and Economic ideals all but completely have been revolutionized. The very pillars of the constitution, our prized traditions and institutions echo the muffled accents of compromise. The Adamson law may be unconstitutional, but reason, as well as nature, dictates that Labor's domestic life must have precedence to Capital's profits. Nevertheless the relation between Wages and the true worth of Labor must stand the acid test of sound economics as well as justice. When wages efface profits, the investor is trading in the lemon exchange. A note of genuine zeal, sound judgment and rational optimism prevails throughout this lecture on the big and vital question, 'How Uncle Sam shall make possible for his millions of deserving toilers the real opportunity of real home life.' Fr. O'Sullivan's confidence in the righteous verdict of the American Social conscience is simply illimitable and unshakeable. Wherefore buoyant with hope of ultimate triumph, he is freely devoting his best efforts to the work of Social progress, to the restoration of hope and confidence in the souls of men. A Few Personal and Press Comments My Dear Father O'Sullivan: I am very glad to know that you are continuing your studies of the economic conditions of the world. Never were such investigations more actual; never the peril involved in neglecting them more menacing. The state once theological in its inspiration and ideal became national and secular as a result of the many movements which history wrongly associates with the Reformation. The national state is now threatened in turn by the economic state which substituting the stomach for the soul disregards the idealism of patriotism and makes capital of the hunger and the sufferings incident to war. Prophets of justice who cut cleanly their thoughts and their phrases must speak now if ever and wherever they can secure a hearing. I wish you God speed in your meritorious efforts to set forth the churches position as the interpreter of social justice. 6-6-1919 AUSTIN DOWLING, Archbishop of St. Paul. The Rev. Jeremiah O'Sullivan, Pastor of Chariton, Iowa, My Dear Father: Having satisfied myself in our talk last week of your capability by study and experience of the labor troubles, and of your knowledge of the trials and difficulties of platform lecturing, and of the welfare of your parish being attended to during your absence; I glady grant you permission to continue your lectures on the Problems of Labor and Capital. The Church has been always interested in the welfare of the laboring classes, as is evidenced by the many letters of Popes and Prelates, and especially those of Leo XIII—there you will find the standard to go by. 7-1-1919 THOMAS W. DRUMM, Bishop of Des Moines. Having just read in the columns of the Yorkshire Post the report of your address given last evening in the Young Men's Association Hall, Bradford, I take this opportunity to compliment you on the tactful and masterly way you handled your subject. I can remember but one other General Election founght on such vital issues. I am confident your talk must produce good results. 2-4-1910 WILLIAM GORDAN, D. D. Bishop of Leeds. HISTORY OF HARRISON COUNTY, IOWA (Published 1915) Father O'Sullivan is a man of wide experience, big ideals, and is highly esteemed by all classes and creeds. EVENING DEMOCRAT, FORT MADISON, IOWA: Packed House greeted well-known Orator. To an audience of attentive and appreciative listeners gathered at the Orpheum Theatre, Thursday evening, Father Jeremiah O'Sullivan delivered an inspiring lecture, which was believed by many to be unparalleled in the history of this city. RIVERSIDE PRESS, IOWA: Those people who availed themselves of the opportunity last Thursday evening of attending the lecture at St. Mary's Hall listened to one of the most forceful addresses ever delivered here. Father O'Sullivan dwelt mainly upon the labor question, and the able manner in which he handled this great and delicate subject left the impression with his hearers that he is not only an orator, but a scholar and deep thinker. WESTERN WORLD, DES MOINES, IOWA: The great lecture on Labor vs Capital by Father O'Sullivan of Chariton was delivered in St. Peter's Church to a large audience who listened with rapt attention to every word that fell from the lips of the speaker who delivered his subject in a masterly way. LINCOLN EVENING STAR, ILLINOIS: The lecture given at St. Patrick's Church, Wednesday evening by Rev. J. O'Sullivan on Labor vs Capital was one of the finest addresses that has ever been given in this city on the subject. * * * The subject was discussed dispassionately and without prejudice. THE DAILY BULLETIN, ILLINOIS: Approximately 800 persons gathered at Holy Trinity Church, Tuesday evening to hear Rev. J. O'Sullivan of Chariton, Ia., speak on the problems of Capital and Labor. * * * * Father O'Sullivan is one of the best known pulpit orators of the middle-west. DUNLAP REPORTER, IOWA: All should have heard this splendid address from one who is a master of the subject, and who comes with the strongest recommends from the many cities where he has spoken. CLINTON COUNTY DEMOCRAT, MISSOURI: Fr. O'Sullivan's lecture on the problems of Labor and Capital was well received. THE IRISH STANDARD, MINNESOTA: Father O'Sullivan has already won an international reputation as a writer, traveller and lecturer. It is evident from a cursory review of his work that he is a bold and fearless thinker and does not hesitate to challenge theories, however generally accepted.
|Title||Father J.P. O'Sullivan|
|Topical Subject (LCSH)||
|Personal Name Subject||O'Sullivan, J.P.|
|Digital Collection||Traveling Culture: Circuit Chautauqua in the Twentieth Century|
|Contributing Institution||University of Iowa. Libraries. Special Collections Dept.|
|Archival Collection||Redpath Chautauqua Collection|
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|Contact Information||Contact the Special Collections Dept. at The University of Iowa Libraries: http://www.lib.uiowa.edu/spec-coll/contact/index/|
|Number of Pages||4|
|Digitization Specifications||Scanned at 600 dpi, 32-bit color. Master image available in tiff format.|