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Jack Ranger

A Dictionary for Workers

(12 May 1947)

From Labor Action, Vol. 11 No. 19, 12 May 1947, p. 2.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).

Capital, the name given to the means and implements of production or to money when these are used by their owners for the acquisition of profits by means of the use of wage labor.

Capitalism, a system of economic and social organization which developed with the growth of modern business and industry, and which replaced the older feudal society following a series of-violent revolutions. Capitalism is characterized by the fact-that-the ownership of the tools of production – the factories, railroads, mines, etc. – is in the hands of a small group, the capitalist class. Workers, who are without property or the means of production, in order to get a living, must come to the owners of the tools and offer to sell their labor power for wages. This gives the owners the controlling power in society, allowing them to dominate the policies of the government. Besides the two major classes, the capitalists and the workers, there are other sub-classes or groupings such as the small business men, independent professional people and the farmers who neither work for wages nor hire labor. However, these groups are weak and tend to follow the lead of either the capitalist or the working class on important social issues.

Capitalist, a member of the capitalist class the owner of capital, the means of production, one whose income is derived chiefly from profits made as a result of hiring labor. Also sometimes used to designate a person who, while not himself a capitalist, is an advocate and defender of capitalism.

Careerist, one who wishes to live at the expense of organized labor and not for organized labor, usually a man devoid of principle who wants to get ahead.

Centrism, a term defining those trends Within the labor movement which are distributed between reformism and Marxism, and which most often represent various stages of evolution from one to tire other. The term is also now being Used by capitalist journalists to designate certain capitalist parties, particularly Catholic parties in European countries, which for the moment occupy positions between extreme reaction and the brand of capitalist democracy represented by the Social Democratic parties.

Chauvinism, a term applied to the policy of labor leaders who give patriotic support to capitalist governments during time's of imperialist war, and who by so doing betray the interests of the working class.

Check-off, a system of union dues collection whereby the employer agrees with the union to deduct dues from the payroll and turn them over in a lump sum to the union ...

City Central Labor Union, a trade union organization made up of delegates from the local unions In one city area. Its purposes are to promote cooperation among the Unions in that area, to encourage unionism and to speak for organized labor on local issues. In the AFL, the city central labor bodies are known variously as Central Labor Unions, Trades & Labor Assemblies, etc. Local central bodies in the CIO are often referred to as industrial councils.

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