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Declaration of principles and county platform of the Socialistic Party of Chicago: adopted October 4th 1879.
Socialistic Party of Chicago.
1 broadside: 12 x 9 in.
[Chicago, Ill.: The Party, 1879].
(CHS ICHi 19660)

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Declaration of Principles and County Platform
Of the Socialistic Labor Party of Chicago. - Adopted October 4th, 1879.


To Workingmen and all those who earnestly desire a more just and equitable distribution of labor's rewards among the workers; more equal opportunities for all to enjoy the possibilities offered by the present development of labor-saving machinery, and desire the abolition of the present extremes of rich and poor as presented in a Vanderbilt and a tramp:

The Socialistic Labor Party respectfully calls your attention to the following Declaration of Principles and County Platform. Should you indorse the same, we ask you to record your indorsement by voting the Socialistic Ticket at the County election, Nov. 4th.

The earnest efforts of the Socialist (notwithstanding lack of means and misrepresentation by the press) to improve the conditions of the workers by legitimate, peaceful agitation, and the public record of our members who have been elected to the Legislature of the State and City Council, deserve your encouragement and support.

Socialistic Labor Party.

Declaration of Principles.

We hereby reaffirm the declaration of principles and platform of the Socialistic Labor Party, adopted at the National Congress held at Newark, New Jersey, 1877. And we further declare, that labor being the creator of all wealth, through and by which alone organized society and civilization is possible, it necessarily follows that those who labor and create all wealth are the most important part of society, and hence should enjoy to the full extent the results of their toil; and we

Declare, that a just and equitable distribution of labor's rewards is utterly impossible under the present system of industrial production and distribution; this fact is abundantly illustrated by the deplorable condition of the working classes, who are in a chronic state of destitution and degrading dependence, in the midst of an abundance of labor's productions, ("over productions?") and by the disgraceful fact that while the hardest and most disagreeable work brings to the worker only the bare necessaries of life, while others who labor not at all riot in labor's productions and everything that wealth can purchase; and we

Declare, that the development of the present industrial system intensifies this unjust and destructive inequality by irresistibly concentrating into the hands of a few irresponsible persons all means of production, distribution and the results of labor: this fact needs no other proof than is presented in the gigantic monopolies now existing and so rapidly being increased; in the wealth of the new Vanderbilts, Scotts and Goulds, and the helplessness and poverty of the many; and we

Declare, that these monster monopolies and these extremes of rich and poor are the natural outgrowths of the industrial system, and are subversive of all government by the people, injurious to the national interests, and destructive of all truth and morality. The truth of this declaration is shown in the poverty (both mental and physical) of the people, who, notwithstanding the continued flow of nature's abundance, the plentiful creations of their industry and the aid of the mighty powers of steam and electricity - are dependent upon to-day's labor and their masters' pleasure for to-morrows food; in the destructive corruption of national, state, county and city legislative bodies caused by the overshadowing and irresistible influence of these great monopolies; and in the despicable character of the public press, which instead of being the educators and conservators of public honesty and morality, are the subsidized and debased advocates and defenders of an immoral, dishonest, brutal and despotic money power; and we

Declare, that the body and soul-destroying competition among all classes of business men makes honesty, truth, and morality an incumbrance detrimental to their success, that it develops all the most brutal, avaricious and destructive characteristics of human nature, and suppresses all the better feelings and sentiments, and we

Declare, that under these conditions all efforts to effectually suppress dishonesty, intemperance and crime are utterly futile. So long as the earth and all therein is owned by the few, so long the many will be their poverty-stricken dependents and slaves; so long as man is born into an atmosphere of corruption, so long will crime in all its phases prevail; therefore the conditions must be changed.


1st--We demand that the officers elected to attend to the interests of the people should oppose instead of favor the growth of all monopolies.

2nd--We demand that all toll road privileges be abolished; the highways of the county belong to and should be controlled by the people, and should not be sold or leased to any person or persons as at present to be used to oppress the people for the benefit of the owners.

3rd--We demand that eight hours shall constitute a regular day's work upon all county work.

4th--We demand that the contract system be abolished and that all county work be done under the immediate supervision and control of the county authorities, and that all supplies be purchased in the open market.

5th--We demand a thorough reform in the public institutions of the county.

That the County Agent's office be made to fulfill the purposes for which it was created - that of relieving the immediate wants of the destitute and not for the purpose of manufacturing votes for the political party having control.

That the County Jail be used for the safe-keeping of criminals, and not as a gold mine to be worked for the benefit of the political party in charge.

That the Insane Asylum be so managed as to alleviate the sufferings of the unfortunate inmates, and not to intensify their misfortunes, as at present.

That the Poorhouse be made the honorable refuge of the old, decrepit, worn-out, unfortunate and worthy poor, and not the disgraceful, degrading and cruel slaughter-house of the weak and helpless, as at present.

The County Hospital should be reformed from a mere quack shop to an institution of health, where the sick can find a refuge and be attended by scientific and experienced physicians.


Showing the Development of the Industrial System and its Effects upon the Working Classes.


Professor Fairbairn states that in the year 1865 the power of steam in England was equal in productive results to the labor 76,000,000 of men, and if divided among the number of families (5,000,000) would give to each fifteen slaves, with muscles of steel incessantly working and not to be tired out. (We have the same mighty power in this country.)

William E. Gladstone, the ex-Prime Minister of England, states that the production of wealth in Great Britain since the year 1800 up to 1870 equals all that had been acquired during the entire time from fifty-five years before the birth of Christ up to the year 1800, and that the wealth produced from 1850 to 1870 equals all that had been produced the fifty years immediately preceding.

Have the working classes a share in this increasing wealth and wealth producing power?

Chicago Trades Council labor statistics for 1878, condensed statement, presented to the Congressional Labor Committee.


(This average has been compiled from reports of adult workers in standard trades that furnish the most constant employment and highest wages:)

Weekly earnings when steadily employed....................$8.68
Actual earnings per worker for the year 1878....................374.98
Reduction in wages since 1872, 37 per cent.
Lost time during the year, 12 1/2 weeks.
Yearly earnings divided by the number of days in the year (365) gives per day....................1.02
This amount for a family of five persons, allows for each day....................0.20


Cost of living for the year 1878....................445.58
Excess of expenditure over earnings....................70.00
Cost of living divided by the number of living days in the year (365), and also divided by five, the average number of persons per family, allows to each person per day for subsistence....................13 cts.
For clothing....................3 3-5
For fuel....................4-5
For rent....................4 cts.
For recreation....................1-10
For education....................3-5
Total expenditure....................23 cts.

Compare this with the report of the Illinois State Board of Charities, 1878.

Average expense for board only of each inmate of the charitable institutions of this State, per day....................66 3-7 cts.

An excess per day of 43 3-7 cents over the expenditure of the workingmen's families of this city for all the necessaries of life, or nearly 300 per cent or three times as much for board as is considered by our masters sufficient to supply each member of our families with not only all the necessaries of life, but also to enable us to provide against sickness, lack of employment, accident, build up a home, be honest, and become rich.


For each criminal in the County Jail 25 cents is allowed each day for food only, or more for food than can be earned by the industrial population, for food, shelter, clothing and all other expenses.

Fellow-workers, is not this condition of the working classes an outrage upon all justice? If you think so, record your earnest protest with the ballot, aid us with your moral and financial support to secure a more just and equitable distribution of the wealth we create, in a lawful and proper manner, at the ballot-box.

Socialistic Labor Party.


Treasurer--J. J. Altpeter.
Commissioner--North Side--Alex Eilert.
Commissioners--West Side--Eric Johnson and Leo Meilbek.
Commissioner--South Side--James H. White.
Clerk Superior Court--Maurice Bowler.
County Surveyor--Gustave Wedekind.
Judge of the Superior Court--Nicolas Jorgensen.

Notice! - Show this Platform to your Friends, at Home, and in the Shop.

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