How Much Trade-Unionism as Usual?
by SUMNER H. SLICHTER
BY NEXT summer sacrifices which seem big now will seem trivial; what appears to be scarcity today will seem like abundance then; restraints on freedom which seem intolerable now will be accepted as a matter of course; demands for special favors will seem outrageous then; shifts of power and responsibility which seem radical now will be commonplace then.
The war confronts everyone in the community with the same basic and inescapable question: How much living as usual? In the case of unions, this question becomes: How much trade-unionism as usual? Giving up living as usual is not easy. Neither is it easy for the unions to give up unionism as usual, especially since they were carrying on their ordinary activities with great vigor when the Japanese struck. The seller’s market created by the defense program enabled the unions to add about two million members in 1941 and to raise wages faster than in any other year since the First World War — nearly 10 cents an hour in manufacturing. This vigorous activity naturally produced many strikes, and the year 1941 was the third worst in man-days lost from strikes since statistics have been compiled — exceeded only by 1919 and 1937. Then came Pearl Harbor, and unions were suddenly faced with the task of giving up or limiting many activities and of assuming important new responsibilities.
The first step was to agree to give up the strike, and it was taken promptly. The day alter Pearl Harbor, President Green announced a no-strike policy and called a meeting of the Executive Council of the American Federation of Labor to ratify his announcement. President Roosevelt acted almost as promptly. On December 14 he called a Conference on Wartime Labor Relations, to meet on December 17. Unfortunately the influence of the Conference was limited by the fact that the so-called employer “representatives” served simply at the President’s invitation and did not truly represent anyone. The conferees failed to agree on a national war labor policy, but they did agree that there should be no strikes or lockouts and that the President should establish a War Labor Board to handle disputes for which no other provisions for settlement existed.
It has not been possible to prevent strikes altogether. During the first eight months of 1942 they were three-fourths as numerous as in the same period of 1941. In July, 1942, there were 400 strikes, of which 222 were in war industries, and in August there were 350 strikes. There were many more stoppages of a day or two which both unions and employers preferred not to report. These figures, however, taken by themselves, are misleading. More important than the number of strikes is the time lost on account of strikes. Fortunately this has been reduced during the first eight months of 1942 to only one-fifth of the time lost in the same period last year. In fact, the total working time directly lost because of strikes is only one-tenth the time lost because of sickness.
But this figure also is misleading, because in these days of universal shortages, tie-ups resulting from strikes multiply themselves many times in the interruption to the flow of materials. The threatened strike of aluminum workers against the War Labor Board last summer would have directly produced a negligible loss of man-days, but it would have been equivalent to a major military disaster to the United Nations.
Most of these strikes have occurred without the sanction of national union officials, and many of them without the approval of local union officers. The nominal causes are often trivial, indicating that the real cause is the accumulation of irritations. The war has swamped business executives with a multitude of new difficulties. The procurement of raw materials, for example, which in ordinary times usually requires little attention, has become a time-consuming problem. Some employers have taken advantage of the fact that they were working on war orders and have virtually dared the men to strike when grievances could not be settled.
On the other side, unions have lost many able and experienced shop committeemen and business agents to the draft. Under the circumstances, is it surprising that unsettled grievances pile up until the men quit in order to force action? The prevention of stoppages has been hindered also by the fact that thousands of local unions are not yet used to power, and by the additional fact that many managements make no effort to build up a friendly relationship with unions among their employees.
The responsibility for enforcing the nostrike policy rests primarily upon the national unions. The government on several occasions has attempted to enforce the policy by seizing the employer’s plant. It has been suggested that a more logical procedure would be for the government to appoint a “receiver” for the local union. National unions, if they determine to do so, are able to remove or discipline local union officers and members who are at fault; and discipline by the national union, with appointment of new local officers if necessary, is far preferable to government-appointed receivers.
National union officers are hindered in dealing with strikes by the division between the CIO and the A. F. of L. and more recently by the fear in both camps of the organizing plans of John L. Lewis. A large new local of an A. F. of L. union recently went on an outlaw strike in an important defense plant. The national president of the union was handicapped in disciplining the local by fear that the members might transfer to the CIO. Raiding each other’s locals has not been prevalent between the CIO and A. F. of L. unions, but an effective agreement among all unions against this practice would help national officers deal with strikes.
As more and more people have sons, brothers, and friends in the armed services and as more American troops reach the firing line, the control of strikes will become easier. Not long ago I was present at a small luncheon of prominent union leaders in New York. Six out of eight union executives attending had sons in the Army or Navy — some of them more than one. In another year about one out of every four families will have one or more members in the armed services. The so-called right to strike becomes an empty privilege if one cannot use it without striking against one’s children or brothers on the firing line.
Far more difficult for unions than giving up strikes has been the acceptance of restrictions on collective bargaining. The negotiation of new terms of employment is the most important activity of unions, but collective bargaining as usual would prevent the effective control of prices.
The problem of the relation of wage policy to price control began to become acute late in 1941. During that year the total payrolls of the nation had risen about 25 per cent, above the previous year, but the effect of larger incomes upon prices was partly restrained by substantial increases in the output of civilian goods. As war production expands, however, the output of civilian goods must decline. By the end of 1942, it will be at least one-fourth below the peak of 1941, and in 1943 it will go still lower. And yet the total payrolls of the country in 1942, without any increases in wage rates, will rise by another 15 per cent because of promotions, more employment, and more overtime. Profits, incidentally, in 1942 will be substantially below 1941 and probably below 1940. With payrolls rapidly rising and the supply of civilian goods dropping, prices will be in danger of skyrocketing. Wage increases simply cannot be permitted to aggravate this danger.
Neither the government nor the unions were prompt in recognizing the need for a national wage policy. The Conference on Wartime Labor Relations did not touch the question. The so-called price-control bill, passed in January, 1942, provided for little real control of farm prices and no control of wages. The War Labor Board, established early in January, carefully refrained from adopting a wage policy. The unions were demanding substantial wage increases, with 10 cents an hour or a dollar a day a typical demand. They denied that wage increases would increase the danger of inflation. They called it a reflection on the intelligence of the American worker to assume that a larger income would cause him to pay uneconomic prices for goods. The unions added that their members were entitled to higher wages in order to help them buy War Savings Bonds and thus provide a cushion against post-war depression.
There is more merit in the union arguments than most economists are prepared to admit. Certainly the greatest protection against inflation in this country up to now has been the unwillingness of consumers to reach for scarce goods at higher prices. And it is true that a wide distribution of the public debt would help sustain demand after the war. Nevertheless, despite the prudence which consumers have thus far shown, it would be foolhardy to widen unnecessarily the rapidly growing gap between incomes and the supply of goods.
Nor is the bond-purchase argument convincing. With the supply of goods diminishing and payrolls rising, workers, even after the payment of higher taxes, will have devoted from 20 to 25 billion dollars of surplus income by the middle of 1944 either to the reduction of their debts, or to the purchase of War Savings Bonds, or to the accumulation of cash. This is not only an adequate cushion for the post-war transition, but it is a large enough one to create the danger of an uncontrolled post-war boom.
By the end of April, the President saw that something would have to be done to control wages and prices and to impose more or less equal sacrifices on all principal groups — farmers, workers, and business owners. He asked Congress to correct the formula in the price-control bill which permitted prices of farm products to rise 10 per cent above parity or even higher. He also asked for tax increases which would reduce “discrepancies between low personal incomes and very high personal incomes.” He promised to “stabilize” wages, but, curiously enough, he did not ask Congress to give him authority over wages.
In the “Little Steel” decision in July, the War Labor Board adopted as the standard of wage stabilization the purchasing power of wage rates on January 1, 1941 — close to an all-time high for labor. Since the cost of living had increased about 15 per cent since January 1, 1941, the Board held that any group of workers which averaged less than a 15 per cent rise in hourly rates during this period would be entitled to sufficient increase to preserve the “established peacetime standards.” All labor members on the Board voted against the stabilization formula. They charged that the Board had “substituted rhetoric for analysis” in going all-out “for the inflation thesis, a thesis compounded of conjectures and prophecies, fears, and hysterias. . . .”
Not until the President in his Labor Day speech threatened to act even without wellestablished legal authority did Congress finally tighten the loose limitations on agricultural prices. At the same time Congress gave the President an authority and a duty which he had not asked for. It “authorized and directed” him, “as far as practicable,” to stabilize wages at the levels of September 15, 1942. The President promptly ordered the War Labor Board to approve no advance in wages above the rates prevailing on that date unless the increase was necessary to correct “maladjustments” or “inequalities” or to aid in the “effective prosecution of the war.”
Furthermore the President appointed a Director of Economic Stabilization and an Economic Stabilization Board to advise the director. A happy stroke of wartime administration led the President to place on the Board the heads of the Farm Bureau Federation, the A. F. of L., the CIO, and the United States Chamber of Commerce. Only the National Association of Manufacturers and Mr. John L. Lewis, who may be regarded as the head of a third labor movement in the country, were left out. These appointments are highly significant because they place the responsibility for recommending wage and price policies largely on the leaders of the most powerful organized groups in the country. These men must see that the special interests of their respective groups are subordinated to a national policy of stabilization.
By the middle of November the National War Labor Board had five thousand cases awaiting approval — most of them increases granted voluntarily by employers. In addition, the United States Conciliation Service had thousands of disputes, mostly wage cases, which it had not certified to the War Labor Board. Many unions are assuming that the possibility of gaining wage increases to correct “maladjustments” or “inequalities” or to “aid in the effective prosecution of the war” will permit the continuance of considerable collective bargaining.
As a matter of administrative necessity the War Labor Board will have to give a narrow construction to “maladjustments,” “inequalities,” and “effective prosecution of the war.” Otherwise it will be swamped with wage cases — for now the Board must pass on all wage increases, not simply the cases which reach it as disputes. Furthermore, as scarcities of goods become more acute and more pervasive, the only kind of wage changes which will make sense are those which will facilitate the great redistribution of labor required by the war. Certainly no responsible public agency will go far in giving men more dollars with which to buy goods which do not exist or which can be had in only rationed quantities.
The issue which prevented the Conference on Wartime Labor Relations from reaching agreement in December was whether the proposed War Labor Board should be permitted to arbitrate the demands of unions for the closed shop. Unions have never found it practical to restrict to their own members the benefits of the contracts which they negotiate. The demand for the closed shop is the answer of the unions to the “free rider” — the worker who enjoys union conditions but who does not help pay for them. So long as unions felt free to use the strike, they could bargain with employers over the closed shop. The temporary abandonment of the strike as an instrument of union policy left the unions in a fairly helpless position with respect to the problem of the “free rider.”
Plainly the government as a matter of general policy cannot compel men to join unions in order to gain the opportunity to help defeat Germans and Japs. Where a closed shop is already in existence, the public does not demand that it be disturbed. Furthermore the public seems prepared to permit employers to accept voluntarily an extension of the closed shop. The extension of the closed shop by government edict, however, was out of the question. On the other hand, the unions are entitled to protection against “free riders.”
The policy adopted by the War Labor Board recognizes that, as far as the government is concerned, union membership must be voluntary. The existing members of unions have a limited period, usually fifteen days, to decide whether to stay in the union for the duration of the contract or to give up their membership. New employees are free to join as they choose, but if they do join, they must remain in good standing. This is far from complete protection against “free riders,” but it does prevent most present members from dropping out.
A knotty problem is created by the institution of the closed shop where the working force in a few weeks will be many times larger than it is today and where the jobs may last only a few months. This problem has arisen principally in the case of construction work and in shipyards. An employer with a handful of men may enter into a closed-shop contract with the union in return for the union’s help in supplying labor. Thousands of farmers, farm hands, retail clerks, taxi drivers, and others who can handle a hammer, saw, or paintbrush have been required to join unions or to buy working “permit” cards from unions in order to work on large construction jobs which last only from three to six months.
There is nothing democratic about all this. Indeed, arrangements by which an employer settles the issue of the closed shop with a small fraction of his ultimate force may violate the Wagner Act. And yet these arrangements may serve a useful purpose because unions often give important help in recruiting labor. What seems to be needed is an arrangement between the government and the national unions placing low limits on initiation fees and dues for men who will be in the union for only a few months or the duration of the war. There is no reason why such men who wish to defend their country by building cantonments, ships, airplanes, or ordnance should pay more than a nominal fee — say a dollar — for admission to the union, good for the duration of the war. The case of the men who wish to remain in the union after the war is a separate problem and should be handled at the proper time as such.
In time of peace, most unions leave to management the responsibility of getting out production and keeping down costs. In time of war, managements are overwhelmed with problems which prevent their giving attention to a multitude of important details. The men at the machines and benches are able to give help. Mr. Nelson’s appreciation of this led him in March to urge the establishment of labor-management committees to promote production.
By November, 1800 enterprises with approximately 3,000,000 employees had established labor-management committees. This is a passably good record, but nothing to boast about, especially since some industries which could best use help from unions, such as shipyards, have set up few committees. Unfortunately, only about 300 of the committees are really functioning. Some workers have feared that labor—management committees would simply mean speed-up. Even more important have been material shortages. Workers have not seen why they should be asked to produce more when they are being laid off every now and then because of lack of materials. In the main, however, the failure to establish more labor-management committees is attributable to employers.
Part of the explanation is the failure of managers to realize how much ability there is among the men who punch time clocks. It is true that a small minority of the working force, usually about 10 per cent, is responsible for nearly all suggestions, but this minority is important. Executives who started at the bottom forget how many present executives came from the ranks and how many future corporation presidents and plant managers are running machines today. More important is the unwillingness of many employers to see unions gain the influence and prestige which labor-management committees (especially successful ones) would give them.
Closely allied to this objection is the fear of some employers that the committees are simply an attempt by unions to run the employer’s business. This last fear would be less prevalent if unions and managements alike were to distinguish sharply between making suggestions and deciding which suggestions were worth trying. It is the responsibility of management to decide what new ideas are worth a trial. But it is a mark of good management to get as many good ideas for improving methods and processes from as many sources as possible.
The range of activity of the committees has been very great. Many of them have done little more than coin slogans and supply “pep” material for plant bulletin boards. Some have ceased to meet. Others, few in number, have really come to grips with problems of safety, transportation, labor turnover, and absenteeism. A still smaller number have handled technical problems of increasing output, conserving materials (very important in these days), and reducing spoilage. All too seldom does one find a man near the very top of management, and another at the head of the union, fitted and ready to take an active interest in the committees and stimulate them to produce results. Committees reflect the interest of the executive heads of management and unions and they are not productive if their existence is merely tolerated.
As shortages of materials and manpower become more acute, the need for Help from unions in conserving materials and reducing spoilage will become more urgent. By suggesting more and better inspection, a union was able to cut spoilage on gun barrels by 95 per cent. More output from existing plants and equipment would reduce shortages because it would permit raw materials to be used for planes, tanks, and vessels instead of new plants. In most plants in peacetime, workmen impose informal limits on their output. They may do it because they fear that more production will mean layoffs or bring cuts in piece rates, or because the removal of restrictions might lead to overwork. Mr. Nelson probably had the lifting of these informal limits in mind when he said: “Let no man fear that by putting more steam into his effort he will soon run out of work.” Labor-management committees are well fitted to handle informal restrictions on output by reviewing the feeds and speeds used by the men on various machines and obtaining guarantees that more output will not cause reductions in piece rates.
Looming ahead are shortages of manpower more acute and pervasive than the man in the street suspects. The arrangements for dealing with this problem constitute one of the sorriest messes in the history of the war effort. Duties and authority are hopelessly divided among the Army, the Navy, the local draft boards, the War Production Board, the manpower administration, the Department of Agriculture, and other agencies, and authority is generally lacking to institute even the most rudimentary manpower policies, such as the allocation of scarce types of skills between the armed services and industry and control over the hiring practices of employers. The problems of manpower will present unions with their next great opportunity to help win the war.
The acute labor shortages will lead unions to give up conditions and practices which are well established and in some instances deeply cherished. It will not be easy to avoid suspending temporarily the six-hour day or the thirty-five-hour week in the plants where they now exist. Nor will it be easy to continue to define a day’s work in railroad freight train service as 100 miles or in passenger service as 150 miles. Jurisdictional rules which waste the time of some of the scarcest types of labor in the navy yards or elsewhere will have to be made more flexible. In fact, all working rules which compel employers to use labor wastefully will have to be revised. Such revision, incidentally, will leave unions better prepared for bargaining and better able to raise wages after the war.
A number of unions wall be threatened with large losses in members — as when men from building trades go to work in the shipyards. Some unions require a man from another union to tear up his card in his old union before an officer of the union to which he is transferring. A few unions have worked out informal arrangements by which their members are allowed to work in shops controlled by other unions and are given representation through the union in the plant either without charge or by the payment of a service fee by the man’s original union, in which he still retains his card. As men move from civilian industries into war work, such arrangements will need to become far more numerous.
Although the shortages of men will compel unions to give up some established conditions, at least temporarily, these shortages will also open the way for unions to play a far more important role in the war. Extreme labor shortages will compel many employers to overcome their reluctance to work with union-management committees on ways of saving labor and materials. The rising rate of absenteeism can best be handled by union committees. Let the management refer each case of excessive absenteeism to the committee for appropriate action. The same device may be used in many cases to control labor turnover.
How much compulsion is necessary in order to handle the problems of manpower? Congress will need to authorize the director of manpower (1) to compel employers to abandon practices which waste labor, to cease hoarding labor, to do an adequate amount of training, to hire certain types of labor in some areas only through public employment offices; and (2) to require unions to honor each other’s cards and to service each other’s members on reasonable terms. Action on these points is long overdue. But will it be necessary to draft labor or to “freeze” some workers in their present jobs? These last are the questions which most concern unions.
Authority both to draft and to freeze labor will probably be required because the differences in the labor situation in different occupations are extreme, and the government must have ample authority to deal with the worst situations. Unions can greatly reduce the use of compulsion and they can provide safeguards against its abuse. For example, if the drop in the supply of raw materials available for civilian industries fails to force enough men to move into war work, unions can stimulate voluntary shifting. They will not do this effectively, however, unless they reach an interunion agreement by which men need not transfer from one union to another when they transfer from one industry to another. Unions can also limit the necessity of freezing labor by providing committees for the review of resignations. When compulsion is exercised, either to move men or to forbid men from moving, unions and management can prevent abuses by helping to determine where compulsion shall apply and by furnishing joint committees for the expeditious review of exceptional cases in which the individual worker asks relief on the ground of extreme hardship.
The labor leader has one of the most important and difficult responsibilities in the community. Again and again, in peace as well as in war, he must represent small groups whose lives are being disturbed by great changes — changes which make possible a rise in the standard of living of the community. In these cases he must mediate between the general interests of the community and the special interests of his members. He holds his job by devising workable compromises between these interests.
In the last war a gulf developed between the rank and file and leaders in England, and led to the development of a shop steward movement which caused strikes and considerable difficulty. This gulf was largely a result of the fact that the labor leaders, through close contact with the government, gained far better insight into the needs of the country than the rank and file possessed. Were a similar gulf to develop in this country, it might have far-reaching consequences, for it might lead some locals to shift into a third federation of unions headed by Mr. Lewis or some other ambitious leader.
Thus far no serious gulf has developed between the rank and file and the leaders, and one does not appear to be likely to occur. The rank and file as a whole do not find fault with the leaders for placing national interests ahead of the interests of their special groups. In fact, if the public opinion polls are to be trusted, the rank and file rate national interests (such as control of strikes and prevention of inflation) very high and are often less disposed to push their own special claims than the policies of their unions seem to indicate.
Inevitably the question arises whether the war will bring “peace” between the CIO and the A. F. of L. Will the desire of labor to have more voice in the peace conference lead it to unite, or will its fears of Mr. Lewis, who may start a third labor movement, bring unity? Most of the discussion of labor unity misses the real point. For nearly fifty years, from 1886 to 1935, the American labor movement operated for the most part on the principle of “exclusive jurisdiction.” This meant that only one union was recognized as having the right to organize the workers in a particular occupation or industry. The British labor movement operates on the opposite principle, that no union has the exclusive right to organize in a given field and that it is for the particular workers to decide which organization they will join. When American labor supported the Wagner Act, it unwittingly abandoned the principle of exclusive jurisdiction, for the Wagner Act gives men the right to be represented bv organizations of their own choosing. The abandonment of the principle took a very practical turn when the CIO started.
The greatest problem now confronting the American labor movement is not peace between the A. F. of L. and the CIO so much as how to make the principle of tolerance work. The war is making this problem more acute by encouraging the rapid growth of unions regardless of craft or industrial lines. The successful operation of the principle of tolerance involves (1) avoidance of attempts to influence the voting in original elections under the Wagner Act by threatening to boycott the employer’s product or to strike in his other plants if the employees vote for certain unions; (2) the conscientious observance of unfavorable awards in jurisdictional disputes with other unions; and (3) refusal to attempt to capture dissatisfied locals of another national union — even when the revolters use the Wagner Act to obtain a vote on changing the bargaining agent.
None of these changes will be easy to establish, because our American unions have been as aggressive in asserting their rights against one another as in asserting their rights against employers. In particular, the strongest unions refuse to accept jurisdictional awards against them. Unless the labor movement is able to make the principle of tolerance work, its jurisdictional conflicts will lead the government to impose drastic restrictions on union activities. Thus tolerance, not unity, is the real need of the labor movement.
The war has forced both the unions and the government to face the question of the relation of organized labor (and other organized groups) to the formation of public policy. Labor is keenly dissatisfied with the voice it has had in policy-making, and, despite the considerable influence exerted by individual union leaders, labor’s dissatisfaction seems to be well founded.
Unions have been handicapped in efforts to gain a voice in the war effort by misconceptions among both labor leaders and government officials concerning how special groups participate in policy-making. Many trade-union executives have thought that labor gains a voice when its leaders are placed in positions of authority. The President attempted to use this idea by associating Mr. Hillman with Mr. Knudsen in the Office of Production Management.
It is a grave error, however, to assume that the hiring of labor leaders by the government gives labor a voice in policymaking. The instant a man becomes an official of the government, he ceases to be a representative of labor — or of any other group from which he comes. His decisions, of course, will be colored by his background. This is inevitable, and often desirable, because his background is part of his competency. Nevertheless, the labor leader (or businessman) who takes an administrative office is compelled by his new responsibilities to make many decisions of which his group disapproves. Consequently, labor is bound to be disappointed when it seeks to gain a voice in public policy-making by putting its leaders in government jobs.
How then is labor to obtain a voice in public policy-making? Plainly, this can be done only through men who do not cease to be representatives of labor and who are chosen by it. This last point is important. Mr. Hillman had a Labor Policy Advisory Committee of sixteen, but it was selected by him, not by the labor movement, and hence it was not truly representative. More recently, Mr. Green and Mr. Murray have been asked to serve on the most important bodies where the advice of labor was desired. Obviously, there could be no question concerning the representative character of these two men. Nevertheless, the principle remains to be firmly established that special groups, such as labor, employers, farmers, will be regularly consulted on important questions of public policy and that each group, not the government, will select its representative.
What should be the role of representative bodies in the formation of public policy? Some labor leaders believe that representative bodies should be given authority to make policy. In most cases this is impracticable. One can never be sure that the representatives of several groups can agree on a recommendation to a government agency. But the debate cannot go on forever. Consequently, public officials must be given authority to end discussion and to act. Clear understanding of this last point remains to be achieved. Representatives of special groups, however, should not take lack of authority too seriously. After all, authority is not important if one has influence, and one may have influence if one has superior knowledge of facts and good ideas.
Next summer, when we are far more engrossed in the war than now and confronted with long and painful casualty lists, how will labor’s record look? Shall we say that labor has done a good job of giving up tradeunionism as usual and of assuming new responsibilities to help win the war? And how will the records of labor, business, and farmers look to the boys who come back from the firing line after the war?
Strikes arouse keen criticism from the public, and yet, on the whole, the record of unions in holding down the time lost from strikes has been good. Strikes in 1942 have been only slightly less numerous than they were in 1917 or 1918, but they have been smaller and shorter. Unions have been slow in recognizing the relationship between their wage demands and the problem of price control, but they have accepted the decisions of government with good grace and have not been obstructionists. Unions have not yet taken advantage of the labor shortages produced by the war to get rid of obsolete rules and practices which limit production and which in time of peace restrict the ability of unions to raise wages, but they may soon decide to do so.
Unions, on the whole, have been more willing to help management raise production and save materials than employers have been to receive the help of the unions. The greatest opportunity of unions to contribute to the war effort will be in the field of manpower. It is disappointing that few unions have arranged for the temporary transfer of members from one union to another or for representing each other’s members. Unions have a great opportunity to help keep down absenteeism and labor turnover and to encourage the movement of men from civilian industries into war work. By next summer, we shall know how successfully unions have shouldered these important responsibilities.
What is the war doing to the labor movement? It is plain that the war, by stimulating the growth of unions, is making their relations to the rest of the community far more important than ever before. Indeed, the war is encouraging group organization throughout the community — among farmers and businessmen as well as among workers. These organized groups will either fight each other or they will work together. Undoubtedly they will do both, but will they work together more than they fight? This is bound to be a question of crucial, practical importance. The very fact that organized groups have become so numerous and so powerful makes it intolerable that they become the basis for a better-organized and more vigorously fought struggle. Consequently the achievement of effective cooperation between organized groups will be the great task of the twentieth century. The war, by compelling men to put national interests first, may help them to learn new social skills and to discover how to limit the area of conflict and to enlarge the area of coöperation. Should this happen on a substantial scale, the rise in the standard of living after the war would be breath-taking.