William D. Haywood

Introduction to Evolution of American Agriculture


Source: From Abner E. Woodruff, Evolution of American Agriculture. s.l. :Agricultural Workers Industrial Union No. 400, [1919?]; pages 7-9.
Transcription: Transcribed & marked up by Juan Fajardo for the Marxists Internet Archive.
Public Domain: Marxists Internet Archive (2022). You may freely copy, distribute, display and perform this work; as well as make derivative and commercial works. Please credit “Marxists Internet Archive” as your source.




This is not intended so much as an introduction to the book, but rather to acquaint the reader with the organization which makes this interesting little volume possible, and promises the likelihood of more and greater works --it being the intention to publish similar hand-books on all the basic industries.

The book does not purport to be a history of the agricultural industry, but merely a condensed story of the evolution of the tools, the machinery, and the remarkable modern methods of agriculture, horticulture, cattle raising, etc., presenting the wonderful development of the production of all things essential to the life and happiness of people, the control of which by all the people would make the world a good place in which to live.

Incidentally herein is shown the way in which corporations have grown and gigantic trusts have been formed, privately owning vast tracts of land, immense implement factories, stock yards, cold storage and canning plants; also the mines and railroads, thus controlling the necessities of life of which food stuff forms the greater part. But nearly all things are within the greedy grasp of these combined capitalists. These vicious institutions are sapping the very life blood of the human race.

You must realize that this infamous system of robbery amounts in the end to crime worse than murder. The trusts have so developed that they now have their fangs fastened deep into the very heart of society. Their merciless schemes and operations are conceived and carried out for profit and personal aggrandizement alone. It is done with the cognizance, connivance, and endorsement of governments the world over, with the result that there are millions of underfed, overworked, uneducated toilers with nothing to look forward to but work, work, --unceasing labor from the cradle to the grave.

The I. W. W. has nothing but words of the bitterest condemnation for individuals, institutions or governments responsible for the terrible conditions which prevail. On the other hand, the I. W. W. is earnest in its commendation of the great minds that conceived and invented the improved machinery and organized the great industries which we understand through social effort would contribute to the welfare and upbuilding of the people of the world.

The Industrial Workers of the World was organized to improve the conditions of the working class and its efforts have been directed unceasingly to this end. Education is regarded as the greatest weapon that the exploited workers can hope to attain. This book is published for the purpose of education --written, printed and paid for by men who have been condemned and in many instances imprisoned as hoboes and vagrants; more than this, they own the print shop where the work is done.

It has been said that every institution is but the lengthening shadow of a single man. This is not true when speaking of the Industrial Workers of the World, as it has required the united efforts of many individuals to cultivate the idea which has become imperishable; but here, as a matter of record, we should mention the name of Elwood Moore, who contributed a considerable legacy that he had inherited, and which he gave to the I. W. W. for organization and educational purposes. This was just prior to the formation of the Agricultural Workers' Industrial Union which was launched at a convention held in Kansas City in the spring of 1915.

Immediately following the organizing of the A. W. O. of the I. W. W., the name of which afterwards was changed to the Agricultural Workers Industrial Union No. 400, I. W. W., the conditions of the migratory workers began to improve, wages were increased, hours reduced, living conditions made comparatively better; but the work of education in the agricultural industry, like all others, has just begun and remains to be carried on by the workers until the earth is redeemed from private ownership and the spirit of co-operation prevails. Use and occupancy will then be the only title to land and its products. Industrial Freedom will then have been attained.

Wm. D. Haywood.