This editorial is reprinted from the Sept. 1, 1919, edition of the Minneapolis Morning Tribune.
Labor Day is a day of recreation and celebration. The wheels of industry are still in token of the importance of the holiday in the life or organized labor.
Comradeship of the crafts and the whole body of workers is the keynote of the day. It is good that the brotherhoods of toil should thus get together at least once a year that they may acquire a perspective of what they mean to the world and its progress. It is good that the general public should look upon these annual assemblages.
For those who march and for those who do not march, whether they be of the unions or apart from them, it is a time to take special counsel of the past and special reckoning of the future. The industrial world has moved far in the last few years.
In the course of that movement, both capital and labor have a very profound interest. Each is dependent on the other. Each has its rights that the other is bound by its sense of justice and by its wisdom to respect.
The defining of those rights has been one of the great problems of all civilized peoples. No definition has yet been laid down that is acceptable to all parties in interest. Whether such a definition ever will be arrived at is a question, but it is obvious that there is a deeper concern today than ever before for a general relationship between capital and labor that will make for a better community of interest, for more wholesome understandings and for a great enhancement of the sum total of good will and happiness.
The good sense and natural impulses of the American people have availed time and again to bring them back to the safe road after they had wandered from it, lured by a harmful lust for gain. We may still count on those virtues as having the necessary potency.
Their best exercise has been through the ballot, and that great privilege is the safest and sanest means of working out the future destinies of the country. The bullet has been useful to us in protecting our institutions from enemies within and without, but it was used only as a last recourse. The ballot today vastly outweighs in the scales of reason the bomb, the bullet and Bolshevism.
Capital and labor will work a general good by acting upon the fundamental principle that each has its duties going along with its rights. Each should render full and honest value for what it gets. Each should be content with its fair and reasonable reward.
Each should recognize that the rights of all are above the rights of a part. Each should deport itself on the fact — not merely the theory — that a free exercise of mutual good will is the only thing needful to overcome all differences and to preserve all legitimate interests.