The Charlotte News

Thursday, April 24, 1941


Site Ed. Note: The other two pieces below of this date's page, omitted when we uploaded "A Formula for Unity" in 1998, may or may not have been by Cash.

For more on a formula for unity and the origins of isolationist thinking as it related to stimulating the procrastination which enabled Hitler time to foment what became World War II, see "Papa's Girl", January 3, 1940. Unfortunately, Unity missed the point.

Our note, incidentally, accompanying the other piece, bears a typo: it is obviously supposed to be "Bund", not "Band". Less obvious, we mistakenly advanced the use of V-2 rocket technology by four years from its actual initial use in September, 1944, though developed two years earlier; we were referring to the initial Blitz, which consisted of bombing raids begun in September, 1940. The V-1, developed and deployed prior to the V-2, was based on jet propulsion, not a true rocket motor, and thus was relatively slow and vulnerable to being shot down by bombers.

When preparing and uploading large amounts of material at once, as we were in 1998, some slips are inevitably made. Our apologies--though to the sturdy British who were bombed by these devices, it mattered little whether it was from a bomber or via jet-propelled missile or a rocket hurled across the Channel at them. They were all, in the final analysis, deadly and destructive instruments of war in the hands of aggressive madmen. Since this is one of those pieces uploaded originally, we won't disturb it to make the correction directly.

In any event, Lindbergh, the Firsters and the Bundists were indeed marching to a different drummer, one playing the dirge cadence for the Band aboard the Titanic. Had a sufficient portion of the country continued to listen to Mr. and Mrs. Lindbergh, and their array of followers, the Pied Piper would have likely marched us all into death camps, V-2's having been hurled defenselessly from Canada, after Great Britain had fallen into Nazi possession, certainly by 1944, V-2's hurled into Chicago, New York, and Detroit, at once crippling commerce and industry, both war and civilian, and forcing us to our knees to capitulate to whatever terms upon which the Nazi insisted for the nonce--except of course as to the new aristocrats, the Lindberghs, and those obtaining favor among their retinue. Fortunately, of course, Hitler did not have the oil available for all of that yet, and found that there was only one way to obtain it, that with the help of the Japanese in the Pacific.

Checkmate in four moves.

Incidentally, those voices we heard five years ago claiming it would be "appeasement" and a new form of isolationism not to go into Iraq, seem very quiet now, five years later. There is a profound difference between soft-headed, pre-emptive aggression for the sake of showing off our might, as a bull in a china shop, and intervention for a just cause in an aggressor's campaign to chain the world to his whipping post, eventually impacting the United States or its allies if left alone. The latter scenario had no conceivable chance of becoming a reality with respect to Iraq, bizarre claims from the highest levels of government, contrary to all credible intelligence available at the time, that Saddam Hussein was just seconds, perhaps milliseconds, away from having a nuclear capability and the means and will to deliver it against Israel, notwithstanding. That rationale was no more than a fairy tale.

There is also a profound difference between wishing the country to remain at peace so long as it might, so long as neither it nor its allies are immediately threatened with war, and "appeasement" and isolationism. Appeasement, properly speaking, refers to trading away sovereign territory taken illegally by another sovereign in exchange for promises not to encroach further, as at Munich where the term acquired its modern connotation. Isolationism refers to the antiquated nineteenth century notion, before the coming of the airplane, before the coming of rocket and nuclear technology, before the advances in submarine technology, acquiring negative, antiquarian connotations first during the years 1914 to 1917, that our own immediate borders and the countries within our immediate hemisphere, North and South America, are the only ground of concern, there being adequate defense from Asian or European encroachment from the time and distance buffers afforded by the vast oceans on either side of the United States.

It is well to remember that models which apply from experience obtained from World War I or II, or those applicable in the Cold War, do not easily lend themselves to application within the context of smaller wars, to be fought against relatively small guerilla contingents, derived from the citizenry of the countryside, spurned in their assiduity by either religious or revolutionary fervor, the lessons now of both Iraq and Vietnam--that which England learned from America in the latter 1770's.

But some of our students are a little behind in their lessons.

Wage Fight*

Differential Dispute Is Holding Up Defense Work

The operators of coal mines in the Southern region returned to wage negotiations with CIO, as a result of President Roosevelt's demand that the production of coal be resumed. The conference failed again. And so at last the dispute has been certified to the Mediation Board, as should have been done long ago.

These operators walked out of the general conference between CIO and Appalachian operators on April 11.

Meantime the Northern operators have already agreed to the union demand for an increase in daily pay from $6 to $7. But they have coupled with the agreement a demand for the elimination of the wage differential in favor of the Southern mines. Since 1933 the operators of these mines have been paying a wage of $5.60 as against the $6 rate in the North.

As to whether this differential is justified or not we don't know. It is plainly a matter which ought to be looked into by some disinterested body. However, it seems rational that, since it already exists, it might be left alone until the question of its justification has been explored and settled. Or perhaps until after the national emergency is past.

However, the operators in the area have not been satisfied with that. They walked out of the conference in the first place because the CIO refused their own offer of a flat eleven per cent increase in pay, calculated on the present scale of $5.60. That, in reality, meant that they would be extending their differential advantage over the North from 40 cents to 72 cents. It is difficult to understand how much an extension could possibly be justified in these booming times.

A Comparison*

Which Is Sometimes Made Without Fair Balance

Popular analysis of the case of labor and national defense can easily tip over into unfairness.

Thus there is a great deal of complaint about demand for higher wages when other men are being drafted and sent to camp "at $21 a month."

That, of course, is a gross misstatement of the fact. The $21 wage is made only for the initial three training months, thereafter it is $30, with rated men drawing higher wages as they prove their ability. Technical sergeants, for example, draw about $85 a month.

And of course the money wage is only in part of what is actually paid. The soldier below the commissioned rank is fed, housed, and clothed at Uncle Sam's expense. And in addition he gets a great deal of free entertainment, special transportation rates, medical care, etc.

None of this is to deny that the soldier makes special sacrifices, nor is it to deny that there are in the country a good many labor racketeers who are trying to capitalize on the national emergency for their own purposes.

Nevertheless, it is doubtful that the body of unskilled labor, from which the mass of the soldiers is drawn, enjoys a greater real wage than the soldier. And in the case of skilled workers, the only fair comparison is that with skilled men in the army.

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