Now we have an organization that will liberate forty million slaves if we will take it and use it for that purpose. Some farmers don’t like the term “slave,” and if I could find a more suitable term I would use it, but when I look around and see 90 percent of the wealth of our great country owned by 10 percent of its population, then by farther investigation find that the produce of the farm is priced by less than 30 men. If some man prices the product of your labor does he not price your labor, and if he prices your labor and you depend on labor for your existence, then why are you not his slave? Now, brethren, we are too great a people for slavery. We are too intelligent to see our children go as slaves, and if we were to surrender the cause of the Farmers’ Union then what could we resort to, what could we promise our children that are being harmed when we see land going up by leaps and bounds, nothing in the world but to be a tenant and pay tribute to send white handed, purple finger nailed aristocratic son of some land grafter who never earned an honest dollar.
We owe it to our children to put a stop to this robbing system that has been going on for many years. Our forefathers fought for our liberty and sacrificed many noble lives that we should be a free and independent people and have equal rights to all and special privileges to none, but when we take a look into the affairs of our present day we find we have lost nearly all they fought for. When we look down and see that forty millions of our people haven’t the power to price their labor and the most detestable thing is that a majority of these people are held less women and children, labor being priced by some apple headed dude that is an entire stranger to manual labor.
So now we come to the remedy. First, how did the other fellow get the advantage of us? It was by organizing themselves into a body and laying plans whereby they could concentrate their strength together and monopolize all the surplus values of the products of labor, and they decided on cooperation which has proved to be success to them and has drawn all the wealth from the farmers within less than fifty years.
Now what will restore all this back to the farmers? Nothing in the world but union and cooperation. So let use all work for the grand cause, and let us all be lecturers for the F. E. & C. U. of A. When you meet a farmer ask him if he is a Farmers’ Union man; if he is not make him tell why, take him by the hand and tell him how bad we need him. Let us all turn out to our locals and talk unionism and keep down all strife among ourselves for in harmony we must move. -W. B. Denton, in Farmers’ Union Advocate
From the archives of Tom Giessel