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Excerpt: ...or reciting a scene from Synge, or narrating how he had astounded the family of some lonely farm-house by playing Rachmaninoff's "Prelude" on a badly out-of-tune piano. Also you met among them men who had kept their gentleness, their sweetness of soul, men of marvellous patience, whose dream of human brotherhood no persecution, no outrage had been able to turn sour. They clung to their vision of a world redeemed, made over by the outcast and lowly; a vision that was brought to the world by a certain Jewish Carpenter, and has haunted mankind for nineteen hundred years. The difference was that these men knew precisely how they meant to do it; they had a definite philosophy, a definite programme, which they carried as a gospel to the wage-slaves of the world. And they knew that this glad message would never die-not all the jails and clubs and machine-guns in the country could kill it, not obloquy and ridicule, not hunger and cold and disease. No! for the workers were hearing and understanding, they were learning the all-precious lesson of Solidarity. They were forming the "one big union," preparing the time when they would take over industry and administer it through their own workers' councils, instead of through the medium of parliaments and legislatures. That was the great idea upon which the Industrial Workers of the World was based; it was this they meant by "direct action," not the sinister thing which the capitalist newspapers made out of the phrase. III The country was going into its own war, which it considered of importance, and it called upon Jimmie Higgins and the rest of his associates to register for military service. In the month of June ten million men came forward in obedience to this call-but Jimmie, needless to say, was not among them. Jimmie and his crowd thought it was the greatest joke of the age. If the country wanted them, let it come and get them. And sure enough, the country came-a sheriff, and some thirty farmers and...
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