Volume 1, Number 1
<em>While Labor bleeds, hyenas laugh;
It thrills their putrid blood;
They dance around their golden calf,
At peace with self and God.
But he laughs best who laughed last:
Beware the final Blast!</em>
<em>The Golden Rule has lived too long,
A myth from days of old,
It tied the hands that, grim and strong,
Might stay the rule of Gold.
Let now the shackles of the past
Be shatter'd by a Blast</em>
<em>The Rule of Gold and Steel as well
with aid of cant and creed,
Has made fair Earth a living Hell
Where only thieves succeed.
The Golden Rule - Christ stands aghast
A leaf before the Blast.</em>
Why the Blast
-Do you mean to destroy?
-Do you mean to build?
-These are the questions we have been asked from many quarters, by inquirers sympathetic and otherwise.
-our reply is frank and bold:
-We mean both: to destroy and to build.
-For, socially speaking, Destruction is the beginning of Construction.
Superficial minds speak sneeringly of destruction. O it is easy to destroy- they say- but to build. to build, that's the important work. Its nonsense. No structure, social or otherwise, can endure if built on a foundation of lies. Before the garden can bloom, the weeds must be uprooted. Nothing is therefore more important than to destroy. Nothing more necessary and difficult
Take a man with an open mind, and you will have no great trouble in convincing him of the false-hood and rottenness of our social structure. But when one is filled with superstition an prejudice, your strongest arguments will knock in vain against the barred doors of his bigotry an ignorance. For thousand-year-old superstition and tradition is stronger than truth and logic.
To destroy the Old and the False is the most vital work. We emphasize it: to blast the bulwarks of slavery and oppression is of primal necessity. It is the beginning of really lasting construction
Thus will THE BLAST be destructive
And THE BLAST will be constructive.
Too long have we been patient under the whip of brutality and degradation. Too long have we conformed to the Dominant, with an ineffective fist hidden in our pocket. Too long have we vented our depth of misery by endless discussion of the distant future. Too long have we been exhausting our efforts and energy by splitting hairs with each other.
It's time to act
The time to act is NOW!
The breath of discontent is heavy upon this wide land. It permeates mill and mine, field and factory. Blind rebellion stalks upon highway and byway. To fire it with the spark of Hope, to kindle it with the light of Vision, and turn pale discontent into conscious social action - that is the crying problem of the hour. It is the great work calling to be done.
To work, then, and blasted be every obstacle in way of the Regeneration.
*** A Lesson From the World War
Warren Van Valkenburgh
The position of the holy men of Europe is not an enviable one of these days. Between their allegiance to the Omnipotent and their allegiance rulers of the particular countries that they happen to abide in, the slumbers of these men of faith and learning must be anything but sound
The King of the Vatican is in a particularly sorry plight. Since the loss of the Papal States in '70 the pontifical throne has been gradually tottering. Now that Italy has joined the Allies and is fighting against Austria, the pop is placed in the position of having "to whip the Devil around the stump." He must handle Italy with tenderness, even though the interests of the Catholic Church would be greatly jeopardized should the Central powers be crushed. Italy cannot much longer remain the home of Peter's Rock. Gradually, but surely, the favor of the Vatican has been growing less and less in Unified Italy; and war or no war, the time is not far distant when a new home will have to be found for this remnant of the Inquisition. THe one last place under the sun where the rule of the priest will be absolute and profitable is with the Hapsburgs. Some day in the early future the Pope an his minions will wearily wend their way to the Austrian graveyard.
Should Austria by any chance be bartered away by the Kaiser, or conquered and divided by the Allies, that day would be a sorry one for the Church of Rome. It is really a delicate position. If Austria loses, the House of Hapsberg will see the end of its bloody reign. If Italy loses, woe betide the fate of the Vice-Regent's headquarters. None but clever politicians could successfully weather such exasperating circumstances as those now being faced by the Mother Church of Christendom.
German Catholics curse the ground of atheistic France. British Protestants behold the Kaiser as the Devil incarnate; while to the German Lutherans he is a wingless angel. The Catholic element of England professes outraged anguish at the sacking of Belgium, blind to the record of its own British lust that for over seven hundred years has dyed the soil of Ireland crimson with its native blood. the wisdom of the Pope in closing his eyes to the wanton massacres of Christians by the Turks now taking place, is comparable only to the unoffending attitude assumed by that gentleman at Belgium's ruin at the beginning of the war. Possibly the angelic history of Leopold's Catholic soldiers in the Congo was on his mind; more likely, though the reason for the sycophantic position of the Catholic Church, through its supreme head, has to do with te future welfare of that God Trust. instead of with any consideration for its dupes who are now engaged in blowing one another into Mary's bosom under the various flags.
The Catholic Church has nothing in common with humanity; nor does any sensible person argue that it has.
After all is said and done, there is no use giving up one's fiat till another one has been rented. THe temporal end of the Vatican is taken care of by the Pope. The spiritual is left to the flock. However they dispose of it, matters not. It never carried as an asset on the Papal balance sheet
The Turk alone has reason to rejoice in the present carnage. He can get even with the Christian. All the other nations at war are calling on the self-same God to help their particular side win; but what benefits they will derive is not apparent. Obviously this God must be a Demon or a Fool. If he heeds the Germans, he is deaf to the British. If he listens to the prayers of the Moujik, where will the Turks come in at the finish? However is a real live God going to make so many different decisions satisfactorily?
Even the Pope, who is supposed to be on better terms with Jehovah than all the other inhabitants of the world, does not care to take a definite stand.
This great conflict would really be worth while if it were assured that despotism in every form should perish. But it won't. THe Catholic and protestant rulers will take care that their harvest of victims, stolen as they are from the cradle, shall not wane. The state will permit as any degree of moral elasticity -- from polygamy to promiscuity -- until a new crop of kids will have grown; and the churches of all denominations will graciously fall in line and sanctify the decisions of the governments that make it.
There is one worse evil than the theological evil, and that is the patriotic evil. The Catholic Church is a big obstacle in progress' path, but her power is dwindling down. The institution of the soldier is a greater evil than all the mental chains that now exist, because the Church no longer wields the power of long ago, while the State does and it uses the soldier as an implement.
It is to be hoped that the war will not only tear the foundation from under the institutions of organized superstition of ever denominations, but that it will teach the survivors of this frightful butchery that all tyranny rests finally upon force; moreover, that inasmuch as they, themselves, are the persons who really posses it, the retention of it from those who use it for their own ends would simply mean that the world will be theirs for the taking
Birthday greetings! Let The BLast re-echo coast to coast, inspiring strength and courage in the disinherited, and striking terror into the hearts of the craven enemy, now that one more of our brothers has fallen a victim to the insatiable Moloch.
May The Blast tear up the solidified ignorance and cruelty of our social structure. Blast away! To the darling belongs the future.
--- Emma Goldman
The Greatest Lie
Many are the lies that pass for truths. But the greatest and most pernicious of them all is the cunning insistence on "harmony between capitol and labor."
It is the "harmony" of inevitable, eternal discord, the symphony of master and slave, the love of the jackal for its prey. On this harmony capital battens. while labor grows anemic, in body and spirit
The Greatest Truth
ALL the big volumes of accepted political economy have served only ot obscure this greatest of all truths:
All wealth is the result of human effort applied to natural resources.
In other words, labor is the sole producer of all wealth, it is therefore logically follows the creators of the wealth are the rightful owners of it.
They are. But the real owners are not in possession
Why not? Think it over.
The Greatest Problem
THE above problem is supposed to be the most perplexing problem of the world. It it hard to tell why. It can easily be solved by the most primitive intelligence.
If you cannot solve it, it is because you have studied political economy or heard somebody talk learnedly about it
Thousands of volumes have been written to explain away the fact that if you are robbed you are robbed
But the fact remains.
WHAT are you going to do about it?
The Blast will try honestly and fearlessly to point the way.
THAT is our platform. If you are interested, help along. THere is no money back of this paper. There is only HOPE and DARING. We count on you, on you who read and understand these simple words
Don't Be a Hypocrite U.S.
If Jack and Jim are shooting at each other, and you are supplying the ammunition, you are guilty of murder if anyone is killed.
That's your own legal code
Don't shed crocodile tears over the widows and orphans you are helping to make .It's disgusting hypocrisy to pass around the hat to buy bandages fro the victims of your own murderous greed.
The Matthew Schmidt Case
There is too much beating about the bush in cases of this kind. We will be frank, no matter whom it hurts.
A terrible mess has been made of the Schmidt case. "Mat" and his chief advisers have absolutely failed to realize that his trial was but an incident in the great warfare of capitol against labor: one chapter in the drama of the Merchants & Manufactures Association's fight against militant unionism.
Would you stake your life when playing with a crooked gambler whose dice you know to be loaded?
The dice of the law are always loaded against the militant worker picked out for the master's revenge.
This being the situation, Schmidt was convicted even before he entered the court room. For legal Justice is the eager bedpan bearer to King Mammom
The question of technical guilt or innocence in such cases becomes a detail of no particular significance. Witness Patrick Quinian, who was active in the Paterson Silk Weavers' strike, innocently serving seven years in the penitentiary. Witness also, on the other hand the legally 'guilty' labor men torn free from the clutches of the money beast.
The masters dare only what their slaves permit.
The Schmidt trial was conducted like an ordinary murder case. Attorney N. Coghlan, In charge of the defense, repeatedly emphasized it was no labor trial.
With the inevitable tragic result.
How long is this to go on? how long are the militant workers of this country going to permit their best men to be thus sacrificed to the harlot of legality?
Joe Hill, a corpse; Ford and Suhr, Rangel and Cline, the McNamara Brothers and numerous other rebel workers rotting in the prisons. Now Schmidt joins them. Caplan is to come next, then another and another -- and it will never end till labor faces the situation boldly and throws its defi to the law-and-order cannibals:
To hell with the rules of your game! We'll play it our own way
Judas Made Respectable
Judas Iscariot delivered the Nazarene agitator into the hans of the Roman District Attorney. This base betrayal incensed the people against the mercenary stool pigeon. Judas had enough decency to go and hang himself
Has Donald Vose Meserve as much decency as Judas Iscarot? He seems to feel quite at home in the City of Otis, and as respected as the Judge, District Attorney and Wm, Burns
When an individual "prepares" to resist aggression by toting a gun, the State imprisons him on the theory that his preparedness might lead to aggression.
If the State possessed sincerity or brains, instead of mere brute force, it would apply the theory to itself
The Worthy Terms
GRIMY with the toil and smoke, hollow cheeked and misery laden, they crawl from their dark hovels and holes. Their cries of rage and bitterness split the air. Terror stricken is the smug philistine.
Madly the grant figures tear through the streets, venting their fury with voice and deed. Fine silks and satins, diamonds and cut glass are torn and broken by the very hands that made them.
For the first time in their dull existence they feel the strength of a great passion, and lo! the beauty and power of the Daring: the crawling slave is transformed into the Samson of the Temple.
It it Youngstown, Ohio
*** FROM THE EARTH, A CRY
EMPERORS, stand to the bar! Chancellors, halt at the barracks!
Landlords and Lawlords and Tradelords, the specters you conjured have risen -
Communists, Socialists, Nihilists, Rent-rebels, Strikers, behold!
They are the fruit of the seed you have sown -- God has prospered your planting. They come
From the earth, like the army of death. you have sowed the teeth of the dragon!
Hark to the bay of the leader! You shall hear the roar of the pack
As sure as the stream goes seaward. The crust on the crater beneath you
Shall crack and crumble and sink, with your law and rules
That breed the million to toil for the luxury of ten --
That grind the rent from the tiller's blood for drones to spend --
That hold the teaming planet as a garden plot for a thousand --
That draw the crowds to the cities from the healthful fields and woods --
That copulate with greed and beget disease and crime
--- John Boyle O'Reilly
WITH the subtle cunning this world is being dinned into the ears of the American worker
Prepare to spend millions upon millions for machines and equipment to facilitate the murder of human beings!
Prepare to kill peaceful fellow workingmen from some other s=country who would never think of going to war, were they not--like ourselves--victims of the superstitions that there is something sacred in the commands of rulers or governments.
No people in history has ever voted for war, though nations have often voted to pay for the blunders of rulers.
Still, it is not unthinkable that a people might vote so, considering that the means of education are in the hands of those who profit by war.
Every newspaper controlled by Big Business and opposed to Labor is in favor of a large Army and Navy. You will find nearly all these papers opposed to the income tax, to the inheritance tax, to the taxation of automobile oil, to the Seamen's Act, opposed to special taxes on war profits, opposed with might an main even to government manufacture of its own supplies. in short they want the Governments to spend money without stint, but let the poor pay an they get the profits.
Preparedness? Yes, they were well prepared in Europe. All of them. And what have they got? The satisfaction that through thorough preparation they have succeeded in making more widows, more orphans, and spread more human corpses to manure the untilled fields that their mot brutal and savage ancestors ever dreamed of.
Defend you home! Very well--but first let us get one. Let the Landlord and the Real Estate sharks defend their property. We need not go to foreign countries to grab homes from poor devils there, who at best possess very little. There are plenty of homes here: but those who built them may not use them. In every city block there a dozens of 'For Rent' signs, and homeless people galore.
Prepare you disinherited, to take possession to the homes right before your nose, and then defend them against any man who demands that you pay him tribute. The worker's enemy is not someone in a foreign land. It is the parasite upon his back right here at home.
Prepare not by making instruments to kill, but by refusing to make them.
Build no battleship, make neither gun nor bayonet: let the grass grow over the fortress, and let the General go to work. Turn no night-stick for the policeman, but give him a guidebook instead. Tether the man-eating district attorneys with the cows in a peaceful pasture.
When that is done, open the jails; for then there will be no criminals, except perhaps a few harmless kings to be treated in an asylum.
*** THE ERECTORS' ASSOCIATION versus MATHEW A. SCHMIDT
In the year 1906 the Erectors' Association, a subsidiary of the Steel Trust, passed a resolution at the behest of John Pierpont Morgan, forbidding any of its members to deal with organized labor. The penalty for non-compliance meant that to such a firm the Steel Trust refused to furnish steel.
Thus the gauntlet was thrown down and war declared upon the lat remaining union in the steel industry.
To surrender meant less pay and longer hours for the workers; a lower standard of living; more deprivation of necessities; less opportunities for their children.
Poverty upsets the common rule of mathematics: the more people poverty is divided up among, the larger share each individual gets.
The human animal, like all others, will fight for its food.
In the grim struggle for existence the recently acquired "morality" of the human species goes for naught, be it in the trenches of Europe, or on the industrial battlefield of America. The Bridge and Structural Ironworkers' International organized a campaign of resistance.
Aside from the fact that they have maintained their organization and actually improved their condition, the direct testimony rendered by a flock of scab contractors in the recent trial of Mathew A. Schmidt, charged with having aided and abetted J.B. McNamara, is eloquent proof of the terrible efficiency of the Ironworkers' campaign
As to the l-e-g-a-l guilt of Mathew A. Schmidt, THE BLAST considers it of no consequence, except as it affects Schmidt individually, his family and friends.
Were he as innocent as driven snow, the fact that was was of, for and with the aggressive militant labor, would be sufficient to convict him in Lo Angeles before a jury of petrified scissor-bills with barely sufficient intellect to distinguish between a reasonable doubt and two dollars a day.
The one and only hope of penetrating the dense fog
of village morality, which hangs like a pall over "the scabbiest town on earth," was by labor showing its teeth, ignoring the stupid rulers of court procedure, and the thousand and one trivial objections of lawyers who seemed to be afraid that a ray of real information concerning labor should reach the jury
Be it said ti the everlasting credit of the late Judge Charles Fairall, then chief counsel for the defense, that he saw that the human rather than the legal side was of paramount importance, in case where classes clash.
Though himself a law-sharp, though his association with men like Lincon Steffens, Clarence Darrow and Fremont older, he had reached the conclusion that, in cases of this kind, the creation of a sympathetic understanding in the minds of a jury labor's struggles, trials and temptations, was worth volumes of legal arguments.
Mr. Fairall's sudden and mysterious death as a sad blow to the defense.
Through the influence of the conservative labor element, a conservative labor element, a conservative lawyer was engaged, Fairall's successor as chief counsel, Nathaniel Coghlan, is considered an excellent lawyer(whatever that means); but being an aristocrat by birth, training and association, he could not see that this was a Labor case, and so declared. To him it was an ordinary murder case,- a mere incident in his legal career.
So when in his address to the jury he wound up his speech with remarks to the effect that he was as firmly convinced that they had the wrong man as he was convinced that they had the wrong man as he was convinced of the efficacy of prayer; aye, as sure of it was he was that the atheists had not yet driven God out of Heaven, every juryman knew he was bluffing.
No lawyers believes efficacy of prayer. if he did, he would not study law but prayer books.
And as for atheists driving God out of Heaven, the old doggerel: "A mother was chasing her boy 'round the room, and while she was chasing her boy 'round the room, she was chasing her boy 'round the room might have been quoted with as much aptitude.
God and the atheists are old-time sparring partners, giving weekly exhibitions before churches and liberal clubs.
But however sad the outcome, due credit must be given to Mr. Coghlan an his associates for bringing out a matter of paramount interest to labor: The bomb found at Zechandelaar's house has been analyzed by the city chemist, Mr Miller, who found it contained vaseline, sawdust and sodium nitrate. There was not an explosive element in it
This fact was reported to the District Attorney. Yet that noble champion of the people, elected a a 'friend of labor,' carefully suppressed it in order to facilitate the hanging of labor men.
To further grease the skids under the judicial juggernaut, a training school for witnesses was very successfully conducted by a former lieutenant of the immaculate Mr. Burns.
There is, of course, no such thing as justice where all the money and machinery of law is on one side
The persecution had witnesses gathered from Japan to Canada, a squealer at $6.00 per day and free rent from honduras, a stoolpigeon graduate of Mr. Burns' seminary for liars and a candidate for the fat rewards, ever written large across the heavenly firmament of the Judas Iscariots.
Questions and answers were carefully prepared and typewritten, so that witnesses might take them home for study. Every step of the prosecution showed the eagerness to win rather than a desire for justice.
Justice for labor begins where capitalism ends.
Who was indicted for the murder of working men, women and children at Ludlow?
*** NOT GUILTY
Margaret H Sanger
THERE seems to be considerable misapprehension among those who are interested in my coming trial. Many are under the impression that the indictments pending are for circulation of forbidden information. This, of course, is not rue. I have been indicted under the Section 211 of the Federal criminal code, for alleged obscenity. They were issued against me as editor and publisher of The Woman rebel. My 'crime' consists not in giving the information, but solely in the advocacy of birth control. There are three indictments, based of twelve articles, eleven of which are for printing the words "prevention of conception". To the elect of federal officialdom these words themselves are considered lewd, lascivious, and obscene. In none of these articles in any information given--simply discussions of the subject addressed to working women of this country.
Many 'radical' advisors have assured me that the wisest course for me to follow in fighting the case would be to plead 'guilty' to this 'obscenity,' and to throw myself upon the mercy of the court, which would mean, according to those familiar with the administration of 'Justice,' a light sentence or a small fine.
It is unfortunate that so many radicals and so-called revolutionists have failed to understand that my object in this work has been to remove, or to try to remove, the term " prevention of conception" from this section of the penal code, where it has been labelled by our wise legislators as "filthy, vile and obscene," and to obtain deserved currency for this valuable idea and practice.
The problem of staying out of jail or getting put into jail is mercy incidental in this fight. It is discouraging to find that advanced revolutionists of this country are frantically trying to save agitators from jail sentences and thereby losing sight of the real and crucial issues of the fights. If we could depend upon strong consistently revolutionary support in such battles, instead of weakened efforts to effect a compromise with the courts, there would be much greater stimulation for individuals to enter revolutionary activity.
To evade the issue in this case, as I have been advised to do upon the assumption that to keep out of prison were the sole aim and abject of my birth control propaganda, would mean to leave matters as the have been since 1872. But it is time for the people of this country to find out if the united States mails are available for their use, as they in their adult intelligence desire, or if it is possible for the UNited States Postoffice to constitute itself an institution for the promulgation of stupidity and ignorance, instead of mechanical convenience
The first step in the birth control movement or any other propaganda requiring a free press, is to open the mails to the people of this country, regardless of class. Nothing can be accomplished without the free and open discussion of the subject.
These indictments have had the effect of opening the discussion of birth control i magazines an papers of the most conservative nature, whose editors would have been horrified at the subject--previous to my arrest.
When my case is called in the federal courts, probably next month, I shall enter a plea of "not guilty," in order to separate the idea of prevention of conception and birth control from the sphere of pornography, from the gutter of slime and filth where the lily-livered legislators have placed it under the direction of the late unlamented Anthony Comstock, and in which the forces of reaction are still attempting to hold it.
*** THE HUMAN MASS
HENRY FORD'S discovery that the people themselves are to blame for the war in Europe instead of the munitions manufacturers--if he is correctly reported in the daily press--is not very startling, or important, or true. Did he think the manufactures were doing the fighting themselves? Most of us have known all along that the European shambles were being operated by just plain, common people, the workingmen, the masses; they always are, They go to the slaughter with a relish, unquestionably; they could not, en masse, be driven there--though some of them are.
But why do they go to war with a relish? Why do they go out and murder each other in battalions--and at whose instigations? maybe Mr. Ford is a good Christian and will answer, Free Will--Original Sin"--and that will close the discussion, of course.
It is an easy and comforting thing for the tired business man to say, "O, the people themselves are to blame," it leaves more time for the enticements of whist of golf or philanthropy. And sometimes it is said by the weary or disheartened radical-- for whose inspiritment these elementary considerations are offered:
People influence each other, consciously and unconsciously. The stronger influence the weaker, and the weaker still the weaker, while negatively even the weak influence the more strong. Everybody is influenced all the time more or less, by every person an thing he contacts. The human mass is impressionable. It is instigated, influenced, to move this way or that way, do this or the other--not by blind circumstances, but by the conscious, purposeful united efforts of human intelligences.
it is influenced toward war and slavery by the concepts of Christian theology. It is instigated to war and exploitations by the daily press which, in turn, is instigated by a bare ten thousand human intelligences strong of purpose, absolutely united therein, and animated by a monstrous, inhuman Greed.
the human mass is not inherently evil--it is only malleable, responsive to the strongest influence cast upon it. The actual number of those who are now designedly influencing it, is very small--but they are united, not as details, but in purpose.
The human mass could be molded to its own unfoldment--swiftly, directly-- were the influence of a united radicalism cast upon it. United not in details or doctrine, but upon a single line of concrete action. Can you doubt it?