"The wealthy, not only by private fraud but also by common laws, do every day pluck and snatch away from the people some part of their daily living. Therefore, when I consider and weigh in my mind these commonwealths which nowadays do flourish, I perceive nothing but a certain conspiracy of rich men in procuring their own commodities under the name and authority of the commonwealth.

They invent and devise all means and crafts, first how to keep safely without fear of losing that which they have unjustly gathered together, and next how to hire and abuse the work and labor of the people for as little money and effort as possible."

Thomas More, Utopia

Monday, June 21, 2010

Mr. Phillips, a few words if you don't mind...

That's when [Fry Pan Jack] told me - you know, he'd been tramping since 1927 -
he said, "I told myself in '27, if I cannot dictate the conditions of my labor,
I will henceforth cease to work." Hah! You don't have to go to college to
figure these things out, no sir! He said, "I learned when I was young that the
only true life I had was the life of my brain. But if it's true the only real
life I have is the life of my brain, what sense does it make to hand that brain
to somebody for eight hours a day for their particular use on the presumption
that at the end of the day they will give it back in an unmutilated condition?"
Fat chance!

He was old enough to remember the sleigh rods under the boxcars, riding the
rods. Fry Pan Jack; the two bums.

the bum on the rods is hunted down as an enemy of mankind
the other is driven around to his club, is fatted, wined, and dined

and they who curse the bum on the rods as the essence of all that's bad
will greet the other with a winning smile and extend the hand so glad

the bum on the rods is a social flea who gets an occasional bite
the bum on the plush is a social leech, bloodsucking day and night

the bum on the rods is a load so light that his weight we scarcely feel
but it takes the labor of dozens of folks to furnish the other a meal

as long as we sanction the bum on the plush, the other will always be there
but rid ourselves of the bum on the plush, and the other will disappear

and make an intelligent, organized kick: get rid of the wasted crush
don't worry about the bum on the rods - get rid of the bum on the plush
-Utah Phillips (collected stories, songs, & poems)


Anonymous said...

"Bum on the plush," pretty good, Coldie.

Unfortunately many of our comrades on the job don't realize it is such, that the rich control society. I do not think they shall ever come around, but that does not mean I will not get trying!


Coldtype said...

That goes without saying Lefty. Nothing worth while is ever accomplished waiting for others to come around, or worse, hoping a savior will come tell us what to do. As far as our co-workers are concerned I believe circumstances will soon force them to obey their consciences (those that have them) or take the path of the coward.