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Corruption Exposed: The Rise and the Fall of the Molly Maguires

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Content provided by Steve and Organized Crime. All podcast content including episodes, graphics, and podcast descriptions are uploaded and provided directly by Steve and Organized Crime or their podcast platform partner. If you believe someone is using your copyrighted work without your permission, you can follow the process outlined here https://ro.player.fm/legal.

Title: Corruption Exposed: The Rise and the Fall of the Molly Maguires

Original Publication Date:

Transcript URL: https://share.descript.com/view/j65pqEY904M

Description: Join us again, as we talk Friend of Ours, Joe Pascone of the Turning Tides History Podcast about the Molly Maguires. In this episode, we will wrap up the story of the Mollys and the transition of labor relations and unions in the Gilded Age into the Industrial Era.

https://theturningtidespodcast.weebly.com/

#OrganizedCrime #MollyMaguires #CivilWarHistory #CorruptionExposed"

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Begin Transcript:

[00:00:00] Welcome to Organized Crime and Punishment, the best spot in town to hang out and talk about history and crime. With your hosts, Steve and Mustache Chris.

Now that we've gone through that whole story with the, the Molly Maguires, and we've gone through so much of it with the Civil War, what was, Joe, what was the aftermath of the Civil War? How did that play out for this group of labor organizers and people and, you know, culture and everything? So, the Civil War, far from it being like this time of like, you know, there's this idea that after the Civil War, the country, everyone got [00:01:00] together, all the bad blood was kind of shed already, and only John Wilkes Booth really had a problem with what was going on and his conspirators.

It's not really the case. In reality. There were huge, violent ramifications throughout the entire nation, not just with the start of Reconstruction. You saw the rise of the Ku Klux Klan and the Knight Riders in places like the South. Uh, and in the Anthracite region, you see serious reaction and hostility.

These people, they argued for years that the Constitution should stay the same as it was, and the Union should stay the same as it was. That was no longer the case. Everything was turned on its head. And the entire economy basically contracted, uh, not just in America, across the entire planet. I cover Puerto Rico.

The economy there completely falls off a cliff because for a long time, Puerto Rico was supplementing the cotton that was not being grown and exported from the [00:02:00] United States, or the Southern United States. Uh, so you see this huge contraction and it affects these miners specifically because with the leaving of these federal troops, uh, with the nosedive of, of needs to market, uh, the entire economy sputters and a bunch of people are left out on the streets.

Uh, this, that means that a lot of people turn to highway robbery. They turn to things like, uh, bushwhackings of miners and stuff. And they turn to labor unrest, uh, some of the more moderate of them, I suppose, or the least violent. They turn to labor unrest, they try to start strikes. These strikes are usually not successful.

There's a very long one in 1865, where coal executives planned a 33 percent pay cut. Uh, and so to dispatch this, uh, or to end this labor unrest, the government [00:03:00] dispatches troops, like, right away, almost immediately following the Civil War, May 1865. Uh, so the troops are there. They do such a good job that co executives come up with a new excuse for another Pennsylvania militia unit to be stationed there.

The rest of the summer of 1865, um, in one of the more hilarious, uh, newspaper articles of all time, the Lebanon advertisers talking about the supposed uprising, and this is very tongue in cheek. They say several thousand have been killed. The Irish are murdering everybody. The country in general, and the streets of Pottsville in particular are crowded with blood thirsty miners who kill all but Irishmen.

So at this point. A lot of this, I think that goes to show that newspaper clipping right there. A lot of this, these arguments against labor uprisings have become kind of hashed out and people are experiencing a [00:04:00] general sort of weariness against labor agitation. And, but the, but the bosses. Don't seem to mind this.

This is how this guy, Franklin Gowan, comes into the picture. Gowan was, uh, I spoke about him in the first few parts here. He was born an Ulsterman, a Protestant Ulsterman. He was sent to a Catholic college because his father was incredibly, uh, he was for religious tolerance and liberation. And he's brought in as a lawyer for these coal executives because they need a legal excuse to bring in troops.

Uh, this starts his involvement in the coal region, and this starts his involvement with the railroads and, and with the whole. Um, the whole economy in the area in general, and he's ends up being 1 of the biggest players in the story to come. Uh, so almost right away. The, the fury [00:05:00] over these troops. pretty substantial.

A bunch of people get killed. There's a guy, Peter Monaghan. He's killed in a fight with, er, sorry, uh, Peter Monaghan gets into a fight with this guy, Tom Barrett. Barrett gets thrown in jail and he gets killed by guards, supposedly. Uh, thanks to the military occupation, the strike pretty much peters out. So, uh, the miners were saying, we'll accept 10 to 15 percent pay cut, not the 33.

Just just let us go back to work. We're all starving. You know, our families are going hungry. Co executives. They say, no, we're going to see this out to the end. Uh, the strike collapses people begrudgingly go back to work. Families are evicted. Uh. They're forced to move, they're forced to go all over the place.

In one of the most famous examples, a lot of these people who we consider Molly Maguires are part of the larger Irish community in Pennsylvania. They actually drift north to Canada and they take part in the Fenian raids. Uh, [00:06:00] Chris, I don't, I don't know if you want to talk about that. No, no, it's such a weird, crazy part of history.

These were Irish Americans who invaded Canada to protest, uh, the treatment of Ireland in, in, in the British empire is a hilarious scene. There's something like 400 different, um, you know, Irish militant nationalists who were full on invading Canada, and both countries had to get together to try and put down this, this strange movement.

It's one of the craziest parts of history. I read about it. I was like, what? Canada was still under the British Empire at that point. Now that you mention it, I, yeah, we didn't declare our independence until like, uh, much later. Um, yeah, now that you mention it, I do. Vaguely remember it. So this kind of reminds, I don't, you guys probably wouldn't know this, but this was like, 10 years ago.

It was a long time ago. I can't remember. And there were Tamils were [00:07:00] protesting what was going on in Sri Lanka, and they shut down a bunch of highways and then they People up here in Canada are like, what's going on here? Like, I don't understand. Like, do you know what, like, why would a Canadian need to know what's, you know, about the conflict that's going on in Sri Lanka, right?

And that's just one of those moments where you go like, I don't understand why they're shutting down the highways. Yeah, this, in this case, it's even. More egregious than that, these people are arming themselves and, and, you know, they kill something like 50 British soldiers in the whole war. It's a really, it's a really crazy thing that happened.

And by the end, there's only like 70. They were hardcore veterans, Civil War veterans, a lot of them. Like, it wasn't just a joke, a couple of mummers. Walk across the border and start, you know, shooting at people. That was a real thing. And wasn't it initially the U. S. government was kind of like, wink, wink.

And then, like, they realized they had to get on [00:08:00] it. I'm sure there must have been something like that. Because at the same time Because they allow it to happen. Yeah, you let 400 armed Irishmen walk across the border. I understand that border security probably wasn't on par is what it is today. But still, that's a pretty egregious thing.

I mean, they wouldn't let 400 people, they wouldn't let 400 armed Irishmen, you know, walk down the street in, in, in Philadelphia in the same time period. Well, what made it crazier is that they, uh, I think they staged off of an island in, um, the Niagara River, if I'm not mistaken. So they were allowed enough to, like you say, 400 Irishman stage and an island.

So they had to have had a lot of boats to get there and then a lot of boats to get to the other side. So there was a, there must've been somebody who was like, you know, let's take a little pot shot at the British, you know, now that the war's over. That's hilarious. Yeah, it's such a crazy part of history.

Uh, and Chris, you wanted to say something? [00:09:00] No, it's just like, I find like, just from reading a little bit of this story, it's a lot of like, oh, like how, like mistreated the Irish were, and there's a lot of that, right? But you see stuff like this and say you're like Anglo Protestant stock, your family's lived here a couple of generations and you see this and you're just like, we didn't have these problems.

And so, you know what I mean? Like, it's understandable, Regal. Like, is this, I don't know, is this something that we really want and, um, we're doing a series on, like, Italian immigration and stuff like that. And when people like Madison, like, Madison Grant was like a, was a super hardcore racist, right? Like, he had, like, racialist arguments for it, but I could understand a general perspective going, like.

Maybe we can just slow it down. Yeah. And I mean, you can make the same argument against like American revolutionaries in the 1770s. You're like, what? Cause you're paying, you're not, you're paying too many taxes. What are you talking about? You don't even pay that much compared to the rest of the British empire.

I mean, and the same [00:10:00] thing in Puerto Rico too. They were like, you can't tax us. How dare you? It was like, but. We're just taxing you the same amount that we're taxing everyone else in our country. So it's that strange dichotomy. I mean, it's, it's the upper versus the lower, and that's the, that's a constant struggle between the two.

And I think that really applies with the Molly Maguires because you think about it. After the civil war, there was a lot of, well, the, during the war, there was inflation and so they had to raise the end because of all the need for the more coal and more stuff like that. So the wages went up, but then when deflationary pressures come in.

Wages should naturally go down. So they had to fight to get the wages to go up during the inflationary times. And then, well, now our wages are like this, who wants to take a cut, even though the, you know, like the macroeconomic situation saying that price. This should go down. I mean, we're going through that same thing.

Now, wages aren't [00:11:00] keeping up with inflation and people want raises to keep up with inflation. But eventually inflation will settle down and who wants to have their, their wages go down once they're at a certain level to keep up with that. I mean, that's like classic Keynesian sticky wages, but it's more than just a theory when it's happening to you.

So you can really see how these. You know, these, uh, workers, you know, they're getting basically screwed on both ends of that. Yeah. Even today. Uh, I mean, I'll talk about this later, the coal mining situation in America. It's a pretty egregious the way the company or the country deals with with coal miners.

Uh, uh, I'm thinking of, I've just I'm researching right now about the, the Harlan county wars in the 1930s in this country. Basically, short story short, uh, miners in Kentucky were trying to unionize. It was [00:12:00] resisted violently by coal operators and local police forces. Uh, and by the end, we're talking like, 2011.

Um, the union succeeds, but Barack Obama passes a bunch of, uh, environmental legislation to counteract the effects of dirty coal, because coal is the dirtiest, uh, beyond anything that you can burn. It's the dirtiest. So there were. Logical steps taken to prevent, uh, coal mining to continue production. But this left the coal miners completely out in the snow.

I think, I mean, there's so much work being done toward marijuana legalization and the first people who get the first crack at a lot of these marijuana postings or jobs or whatever are people who were formerly incarcerated for marijuana charges. So I think it would be a good idea if. When any of this new green legislation comes forward, the first people who really benefit from it should be these coal miners who are completely [00:13:00] left in the dark.

It's not like, uh, their company just has to declare bankruptcy and they can go back, you know, they can go back to their moderately well off lives. The coal miners completely left in the dark. They're left with no money. And in some cases, they were actually forced, were forced to mine for no pay. And they, they stood on the tracks like these Sri Lankans did in Canada of the, of the railroad.

So the, the. Coal that they picked, which was basically using enslaved labor wouldn't be sent away. They wanted to be paid for the, the things that they did. And this is the same thing here. I mean, uh, as far as we've come, there's always farther we can go. And this just shows the level of egregiousness that it could be at first where it is now.

Not that there aren't problems. I just. I think I showed one right there. Coal miners who haven't done anything wrong. They're not trying to destroy the planet. They're not trying to raise sea levels. Not actively, they're just trying to bring home food for their kids and family. [00:14:00] But because of the situation they find themselves in, they're given the short end of the stick, like you were saying, Stephen.

But what do you guys think of that? Do you think that that's a pretty fair assessment with every environmental You know, in environment, green, new deal, whatever that gets passed. Uh, the 1st people who benefit, I think, should be these coal miners and the people who are getting the short end of the stick.

And in all these cases, it was like, when they did the industrialization and Canada and the United States, um, I mean, we can argue whether that was a good idea or not a good idea to switch over to more of a service economy. And, uh. I have my own opinions on that problem is like a lot of the so when they closed a lot of these factories down, I mean, you can pull up the articles.

It's a meme now, but literally a lot of these people thought, like, the people that were working in these factories, we're going to learn how to use computers, or they're going to be coders, or they were going to do this or that. And like, Yeah, if you're in a think tank and you're talking about [00:15:00] people like they're interchangeable, it sounds like a good idea, but the reality is, like, I am assuming a lot of these guys that are working in coal mines, yeah, maybe the managers and stuff like that, slightly different, but the guys that are actually, you know, mining the coal.

They're not going to be working on computers and stuff like that. And I mean, in a humane way, you have to find them something else to do. You just, you have to, right? Otherwise you have what happened in Pittsburgh. You have what happened in all these towns that, uh, became deindustrialized. They, they become hell on earth.

I mean, look at Detroit. It's going to be interesting to see what this trend, because I mean, yeah, it's been since like the, since the seventies and the deindustrialization has hurt really, uh, I mean, I guess you would say more unskilled labor, but now like we're getting into chat GPT and all these things that you can write code in chat GPT that would take 20 coders.

A week to [00:16:00] do, and these AI programs are doing it better and an hour or less. I mean, it's so now that it's creeping into the, like the next rung of skilled labor that has not, that has not been affected by these, these trends. I wonder what's going to happen with that. I mean, so many fields are going to be disrupted through.

AI and things like that in HR and in accounting where they're just not going to need people, you know, armies of people. And it's going to be interesting to see when it creeps into the, to zoomers getting affected by, by all of these trends, you know, what's going to happen to the, to that, to people who, I mean, arguably probably for one reason or another, I have a lot more voice in society.

You know, what's going to happen when they're, I mean, we're, we're starting to see the trends, like job numbers. Most of the, the [00:17:00] increase in jobs has been in the service economy on the lower end of the pay scale. But the, the number of people who are in the 100, 000 job range that are getting laid off, it's like 30%.

It's huge. Wow. Yeah. It's definitely a problem because I mean, I don't need to tell anyone. The historical, uh, parallels to the situation that we're in where people are making or being employed at at bad jobs, and they're forced to get more jobs to make ends meet and, uh, either they run to the far left or the far right.

There's there's really no in between, and they sort of the government sort of forcing the situation on on people. And that's really that's really not okay. I think that before anything, more democracy is what's needed. Uh, in the government and in the workplace and in everyday life. I don't think that there's really a point where democracy can really fail.

If anyone, if [00:18:00] everyone has an opinion, everyone should be allowed to express it. That's just me. Yeah, that definitely opens up a huge, a huge, uh, discussion. Steve here. We are a member of the Parthenon Podcast Network, featuring great shows like Richard Lim's This American President and other great shows.

Go to ParthenonPodcast. com to learn more, and here is a quick word from our sponsors. Yeah, you guys are, you guys are talking about AI and like, you know, like robotics and stuff like that slowly taking away a lot of these jobs. I mean, another repercussion, I think people, um aren't taking into account is physical labor.

I'm not talking about the stuff that the time period that we're talking about in terms of the minors, you know, like the black cloth and the horrible working conditions. And I mean, that was not right, obviously, right? It was extremely bad, but physical labor in terms of just, you know, physically working a [00:19:00] job.

Now, I'm not saying that, uh, people have to do this, uh, for their entire lives. This is. I don't know. It's kind of basically what I do for work, but I think once that's kind of not there, it's not going to be good, especially for men, to be quite honest with you. I think they should, every man should have to work a physical job at one point in their life, just to kind of understand, um, if you think you have it bad at your job, you know, it beats throwing coal in the crate and lugging it up a hill.

You know, like, it really does. I think it has like kind of a leveling effect. It's either you can do the job or you can't do the job. Right? Um, I just think that's something that's, I don't know, people aren't talking about and I don't know, people say it, I don't know, they see it as a liberation and go, I'm liberated from the, uh, you know, the toils of hard labor, but a hard, hard labor in and of itself, I think is a good quality.

And I was thinking too, like that, that connects back to the Molly Maguire's and like this, uh, [00:20:00] conflict between labor and management, like, think about it to the, you know, over the past, the, the de industrialization of the seventies, the eighties, the nineties, and even to the two thousands, like all the people who lost their jobs, are they going to really.

That now the, the managerial class and the coders and the, the accountants and the HR that they're losing their jobs now, like that class distinction has been set up now and they're not going to really care and there's not going to be a lot of room for, uh, forming alliances because they're going to be like, yeah, you made, uh, you know, six figures for all these times while I was, uh, you know, For a gen, two generations now, people have had no jobs, you know, so I think a lot of conflict is going to be coming up and a lot of that conflict really played out in the 1870s where there was such a massive change in the [00:21:00] way the economy worked.

Yeah, definitely. And speaking of the 1870s, uh. Uh, the thing like the Paris Commune just happened, 1870. The Communards rose in Paris, and something like 20, 000 to 100, 000 Parisians were butchered in the street by a reactionary French government. Uh, and this became The the synonymous calling card for all forms of agitation.

They blame the great fire in Chicago on on communards. They, they, they compared the, the Sioux nation, which was fighting their last rebellion in the, in the plains of Dakota and, and, and stuff to, to the reds. They were like, these were the first and that's, it works out that they were literally red men.

That's what the, the, at least journalists and everything called them. Uh, and they were like, this is red society in America, and we need to stop this out. So Americanism can start to flourish again. And that was how this whole, [00:22:00] uh, uh, scenario was sort of, uh, Uh, placed in and and throughout the late 1860s, uh, early 1870s, the Molly Maguires were very active.

So there's a guy, David Muir. He's killed. He shot through the heart and he stabbed repeatedly. There's this guy, William Pollack. He's on the road with his kid. Uh, he gets bushwhacked, uh, uh, he gets shot in the back, but somehow he's managed to, he manages to turn on his attacker and during their hand to hand struggle, his son is just like pummeling this dude over the face with a horse whip, uh, who's only 14 years old.

So, so good on that kid. He was, uh, seemingly raised pretty well that he was able to defend him and his father in that situation. Um, so following that, yeah. There was a period of calm. This is because there were no major peasant holidays in between. So the 2nd, December starts up. Boom. There's another killing.

Uh, a company store was ransacked. Uh, Philip Warren's [00:23:00] his house was ransacked to his wife was held at gunpoint terrorized. 1866, same exact thing. It's more of the same. The, uh, on April 2nd, two strangers, complete strangers arrive in Mahoy Township, and they shoot a mine owner's son in the face. This kid, uh, or I assume young adult.

I'm not sure how old he was. He manages to stay alive. And he, he fights off these two and one of them gets killed in the, in the melee. Uh, this shows pretty clearly that Mali's were working across county lines. They would travel north and south across county, uh, territory and commit hits based on, you know, what this guy said about this mine operator or what this member said about this company store.

Uh, and this is how things happen for a lot. So, to counteract this, the Pennsylvania state legislature goes to an unprecedented, uh, uh, uh, new level. They give [00:24:00] private military powers to the coal executives and they create the coal and iron police. This, um, as you might expect, uh, was not a very, uh, good institution.

They mostly targeted people for labor agitation of any kind. I mean, maybe some of the people they arrested were genuinely. Awful people, and that's definitely possible. Uh, but for the most part, a good portion of the people they went for were, you know, community men about town who had a voice who weren't going to be cowed by, you know, the coal executives and what they wanted.

Um, uh, this was compared at the time to feudal retainers. So who, who, I mean, today, who knows what it would have been compared to? I mean, it probably would have been compared to is the Wagner group, which is what we talked about a little bit before, and it goes a step further. The guy, uh, what Mark Bullock, he says, basically.[00:25:00]

That there was a colonized island in the midst of the Pennsylvania Commonwealth. So, uh, they've given up all forms of control. Um, so for months, as these strikes go on, the, the companies just keep the mines open. They're like, we're going to keep the mines open. We're going to get rid of the worst. And we're going to bring in new people.

We're going to bring in people from England and Wales. When they bring in these miners, they're also complaining about, you know, rigorous work schedule, lack of pay, you know, no pay for putting up beams of protection, et cetera, et cetera. Um, and they're like, what's the problem? So, eventually the coal operators just go broke.

They run out of money. And this sort of opens the door for this guy Gowan to come in, uh, before he's able to come in and take over everything, a union rises. This is one of the first, uh, major mining unions, especially in the state of Pennsylvania. This was the WBA or the Workmen's Benevolence [00:26:00] Association.

Um, it was headed by an Irish miner named John Siney. He only recently moved to America. He immigrated from England, uh, born in, in, in County Leash. He was, he immigrated to England and then he immigrated once more to America in 1863. And this was a clear sign that things were changing for the Irish community in Pennsylvania and the country at large.

It wasn't just some Irish thing anymore. The WBA was, uh, incredible in the fact that it allowed all nationalities to participate. Uh, any kind of person can join this, uh, Workmen's Society and, and receive, um, benefits through it or support. Um, with the rise of the WBA, you see immediately Molly Maguire killings fall off a cliff.

In four years, there were two. Uh, that's almost unheard of. Every other year we've talked about so far, there's been at least 10, uh, if not more, [00:27:00] uh, uh, uh, uh, MALDI related killings. So what does this say? I think this says, and uh, when we talked earlier in, in our first part, uh, Chris was asking, what's the point of all this?

I don't, I don't get it. I don't know. I don't know where to, what to make of this. I think what to make of it is that when, when this union came, violence fell off a cliff. And when unions spring up in anywhere across the planet, violence, especially labor related violence, falls off a cliff. That's not to say there aren't, uh, places where corruption can sneak in and organized crime can take over.

I mean, my grandfather was a teamster under Hoffa. So he, I know full well about the many abuses that could take place when unions are given too much power. But if you treat them as equal. Uh, equal institutions, equal associations. You see, uh, violence fall off a cliff. Uh, any country, you can name it. Uh, [00:28:00] violence has fallen off dramatically once union rights are preeminent in the, the state's thinking.

Talk about a place like Italy. In the 1890s, the, the Fasci movement was huge and they were these violent agitators, much like the Molly Maguire movement. Um. And what happens after they're crushed violently by this guy? Crispy, uh, new prime minister comes in. He allows the right to strike. He allows unions the right to organize.

He allows collective bargaining and instantaneously wages go up. The livelihoods of people go up and the economy flourishes, not just flourishes. I'm talking about Italy has the second highest growth rate prior to World War I than Japan. Every other country, it outpaces. It outpaces Great Britain, it outpaces France, even the United States.

Uh, there's not a more powerful, uh, economy besides Japan who's going through the Meiji Restoration at this time. So this to me is the [00:29:00] point. I think union rights, when they're introduced, They mitigate violence on a huge scale, but what do you guys think? Oh, I was going to say, like, you brought up, I mean, the problems with the unions.

I mean, one big part of our show, really, uh, Organized Crime and Punishment, is talking about organized crime and unions and the corruption that it can breed, right? Um But you, but at the same time, like, if you know you're dealing with, say, characters, say, from the mafia, I'm just going to use this as an example, you're less likely to screw around.

Are you not? I don't, that's, uh, because you don't know who's going to be knocking on your door, right? Um, but in terms of like, say, like the owners and say, union reps being able to communicate with one another, um, better if, uh, the unions have a bit, uh, more power. Yeah. I would generally agree with that. I mean, I'm not, I'm not the, I don't know, like, I didn't grow up with, like, the Teamsters Union and stuff like that.

[00:30:00] Right? So, like, I have, like, an interesting, I don't know. I don't know how exactly how to feel about unions because, like, I hear sometimes, like, You know, somebody joins the union and then I hear what they're getting paid in terms of what, uh, he's like somebody at work mentioned their, their husband's like a carpenter or something, or he's doing, I don't know, something.

He's in the union and they're paying, um, I think it's like 70 an hour. And I go, I don't think that's sustainable. You know what I mean? Like, I just, I don't think that's, you know what I mean? Like, long term, I don't think that wage is sustainable. I know up here in Oshawa, where I currently am right now, there's a big GM plant, and they basically shut the entire plant down for, I believe it was 2 years to basically get all the old workers out.

And then they brought it back up. Then they opened it up again, and I think they're making a truck and 1 other vehicle out of there and they brought all new workers. And I mean, 1 of the reasons that they got rid of all the old workers, you had guys that have been working there for, you know, 30 [00:31:00] years, right?

And literally their job is to, like, say, put the tires on the car when it's going through the assembly line. And some of these guys were making close to 50 an hour. And I go, I don't know. You can't. Run a profitable pro plant at those wages, only a few dollars, not more than three or four dollars a day. And they weren't even paid based on like rate age or wages or anything.

They were paid on tonnage. So it depended on how much coal you literally. Mind and of course, every single dynamite charge you use to displace call that was taken out of your paycheck. You broke a piece of equipment that was taken out of your paycheck. You, you, you know, your thing went off on your headlamp.

You had to replace that. That's coming out of your paycheck at the end of the week. And this is in the movie, this is one of the best scenes in the entire movie. Uh, he's getting his paycheck. And the guy in the nice suit is saying, You used three things of, uh, dynamite. You had to replace, [00:32:00] uh, a wick on your thing.

And you have, um, you had to replace a bunch of boards. Here's 23 cents for the whole week. And that was literally all the money he made and and Richard Harris is just there staring at him like stunned. Like, what are you talking about? And this was a whole lineup of people that have to just sit there and bear all these expenses that they shouldn't have even been charged.

I mean, realistically, this should have come out of the company's paycheck at least. I think that's at least a little bit fair. They're forced to come home with 23 cents or in some cases. Oh, I don't know. The place that they work at. Well, yeah, I mean, it's it's circumstances like that, where you look at it and go, like, organized labor in terms of fighting against some of these injustices.

It makes sense, right? Um, it more so my commentary is kind of like how modern unions are kind of running. And I just use the wages as an example. And people, I don't know, people will say, like, push [00:33:00] back and say, well, you're like a bootlicker or something like that. But I think they just think objectively, you know, like, you can't.

Yeah. It's not sustainable to be paying a guy, you know, 55 an hour just because he happened to work there for 30 years to put a tire on a car. It's just not, the company can't be profitable. And at the end of the day, like it, it has to be like a symbiotic relationship, right? They can't be just all about the workers and it can't be all just about the owners.

It really has to work together because if the owners are not making a profit. Right? How can they justify keeping the workers and vice versa, right? This is what happened in England with the, uh, the miners there and Margaret Thatcher, right? People can say whatever they want about Margaret Thatcher, but the, um, coal miners in England at the time, these were not profitable endeavors.

They just weren't. And regardless of whether you think what she did was right or not right, you know. Because I have a lot of respect for her because she decided on a course of action and she stuck to it, you know, and that's [00:34:00] an example of where it becomes way too much in one direction. Really at the end of the day, and people talked a lot about this throughout history, right?

You want to have like a symbiotic relationship kind of where like the owners are respecting the workers and the workers are respecting the company. Yeah, I really, it really boils down to it when there's an imbalance in the labor market, those people, the, the workers in those Pennsylvania coal towns, there's nowhere for them to go.

It's not like they could pick up and go to the next company. So the company really did have them over the barrel. But then when it, like Chris was saying, when things get out of balance in the other way. And labor has so much power over the companies, then the companies wind up folding because they can't pay those, those wages, do those imbalances just have to work them out and they suck at the time that it's either going to, it's going to be bad for.

Everybody at some [00:35:00] point when those labor, when labor versus management breaks down, but eventually it's going to work itself out. Like, I think almost we want, like, we want everything to run smoothly, but sometimes it just doesn't. And I mean, I keep bringing it back to how things now with the industrialization.

Yeah, it's 40 years and it's, it's really crushed, like in a lot of places, two generations, but in the grand scope of things is 40 years, a long time. As far as historical trends go, it's really, really bad for individuals on the micro scale, but in the macro scale, that's just how these things work out. Yeah, but, and that's obviously no consolation for someone who's just working and it's like, wow, I, I have to work three jobs just to get my kids into like a decent school or something, you know, uh, uh.

Like you were saying today, huge change in the market, huge change in the way America makes money. Now we're mostly a service, [00:36:00] uh, uh, service style economy where previously we were industrialized. Uh, I'm in the process of actually researching vociferously for, um, uh, uh, the ninth, my 1930s episode. It's going to cover the thirties, forties.

Um, and there is exactly like what you were talking about, Steve, where labor is given too much power, not out of, you know, like a shifty sort of double dealing kind of way, but genuinely, they were trying to give workers power. But what ended up happening, and FDR readily admitted to this, uh, America became a cartel economy.

These unions became cartels. And the companies that served them became sort of like, uh, the drug fiends. So the, the drug fiends would do anything possible to keep the cartels happy. Which left the government happy, but this led to the massive recession of 1937, which was, which was a huge deal. I mean, [00:37:00] there were questions if FDR was even going to get reelected for his third term.

Uh, we don't think about it now, but it's a, it's a huge part of American history. And there was actually a very, uh, uh, well known, uh, uh, Sort of report a statistical analysis done. Uh, I'm just trying to remember who did it. I think it's UCLA, but he basically, this guy basically puts forward the argument that FDR prolonged the Great Depression through his interventionists economic policies.

That might be the case. I'm not arguing that that's either here or there. I'd suggest reading. The, the, the study, because it goes into way more detail than just that. Obviously, there's more than that. He makes a point to point out that toward the end of his presidency, FDR changed his mind on a lot of these things.

And a lot of these same, uh, ideas were shifted and, and, and changed to a more even middle keel sort of place. Um, but basically what ended up happening is, is like what I was saying, it [00:38:00] became a, a, a cartel and that's obviously not good. But it's obviously not good when, you know, private industry is given complete control over their employer.

Uh, and I think it helps to explain how organized labor and organized crime weren't actually the strange bedfellows. They actually, it actually made perfect sense. Just like how organized crime and law enforcement aren't strange bedfellows. It makes perfect sense. They work with each other. Constantly. I mean, it's a, it's a basic relationship.

It can be symbiotic. It can be incredibly detrimental. Steve here. We are a member of the Parthenon Podcast Network, featuring great shows like James Early's Key Battles of American History Podcast and many other great shows. Go over to ParthenonPodcast. com to learn more. And here is a quick word from our sponsors.[00:39:00]

You really do lay out, Joe, those two dichotomies of where, in the 1870s and in the earlier, earlier than that, where these corporations had so much control, and then it swings in the other direction. And I think that you really have to think about, like, hopefully people are looking at these things and trying to figure out, you know, what can we do?

To stop it from swinging so much because then when things do swing to such a degree, that's where, how you were saying earlier is that people either go to the extreme left or the extreme right or some sort of extreme that doesn't end well for everybody. Yeah, exactly. It's all about balance. It's all about middle ground.

I mean. Even the argument like, oh, I want a complete socialist economy. I want a complete capitalist economy. Those are completely unfeasible, uh, uh, uh, structures. You can't, I mean, even when Adam Smith was writing Wealth of Nations, he was writing it at, right at the start of, of the [00:40:00] Industrial Revolution in England.

So he needed, he was writing about something that was already passing him by. Same thing with Marx. He was writing about socialism from an early industrialized perspective. He wasn't writing about it in the future where, oh, the AI is going to take over people's jobs. He wasn't thinking about this. He was thinking about, like, sewing machines taking over people's jobs.

I mean, it, it's literally, that's literally the, this. Yeah, no, it's the truth. All right, people. I mean, it's good to read the original thinkers, obviously, right? Like, especially there's like a lot of people will claim like, oh, I'm a socialist or, you know, like, I'm a fascist or something. You're using, like, the, the 2 extreme rights and then you talk to these people and like, have you, did you.

Have you actually read Benito Mussolini's book? Like, did you actually read Karl Marx? I know for sure a lot of the times they're lying, because if you actually tried to sit and read Das Kapital, God bless you, I've tried. I got through some of [00:41:00] it. But it's, it's not a fun read at all. Look, Joe, now that we're moving into the 1870s, tell us a little bit more what was going on at that, uh, at that time.

So, through the whole early 1870s, you have this guy, Franklin Gowen. He's buying up everything. He's buying up the canal, which was the main, uh, exporter of coal previous to this. He's already been placed in charge of the, the Reading Pennsylvania Railroad. Um, and he's starting the process of buying out the legislature.

Super easy to do, you know, no problem. That this isn't the issue he's having. The issues he's having is with the union, the WBA, uh, which is now basically a statewide institution, has a lot of power, has a lot of, uh, I guess, progressive congressmen who are on their side, pro labor congressmen, whatever you want to call them.

Um, and he's buying up all this stuff. He's also trying to buy up all these [00:42:00] individually owned small, um, uh, businesses, but right before the 1870s, I should just mention this. There's this massive disaster, uh, massive mining disaster for the time. It was the deadliest in United States history. It's in 1869 at a place called Avondale in, uh, Luzerne County, Pennsylvania, uh, 110.

Uh, miners were trapped when a single shaft mine collapsed on them. Uh, they basically suffocated in the, in the collapse, like whole townships came to try and save the people still inside, but there was no hope. Um, uh, in, in response. Or, well, right before that, there was actually a safety bill in Pennsylvania state legislature that would have, uh, demanded a 2nd exit to your mind.

It would have demanded a safety instructor for your mind. It would have, uh, another 1 would have demanded, [00:43:00] uh. Fencing around an empty hole, for example, all of these were rejected by the state legislature. The guy who rejected it is this guy, Samuel G. Turner, who said, I can't only remember, but 1 instance where fire damp explosion has hurt a single minor.

So, because he can only remember the 1 time when it happened, he decided to, uh, Vote against this bill. Uh, basically his words are recounted. His life is in danger. Um, and he ends up passing a safety bill through the house. He loses right away. So at least democracy works a little bit, I guess. Um, at this time, the Mali's are basically underground.

I mean, they're letting the union do their thing. Their main face is the ancient order of hibernians. So that's what they're mainly doing. They're helping out Irish people in town. They're helping out, you know, Irish people in local politics because the Irish, they latch on to local politics, uh, very easily.

I mean, [00:44:00] they become sheriffs, they become mayors, they become. You know, state senators, et cetera, et cetera. And they have a huge avid base because Irishmen will always vote for fellow Irishmen, um, almost exclusively. Even this guy, Gowen, he's voted for exclusively by Irishmen during the Civil War. So, uh, 1870, Gowen, he's forced to sign a contract with the Union because rail unions are, uh, striking or, or threatening to strike in solidarity with the WBA.

He signs another one. And, but in the north anthracite fields, they're, um, they're still, uh, they're still under control of separate mining institutions. And these mining institutions are saying we're going to need to cut wages. So they strike against John Siney's wishes. Um, it was very effective, but this is when Gowan puts the hammer down.

He, he raises freight rates [00:45:00] 100%. He closes down the canal he just bought, and he starts buying up even more territory with these dummy companies. Um, by the end of 1874, he has 100, 000 acres of, of prime coal mining real estate. Uh, and, and this was basically in a single movement, he became like the kingpin.

Uh, and this basically crushes the strike. They agree to arbitration and they all begrudgingly, everyone begrudgingly returns to work. So, by 1873. Gowen is meeting with, he meets with Alan Pinkerton. Uh, I assume everyone knows the Pinkertons famous private detective agency. Uh, he he's famously also this guy, Alan Pinkerton, he delivered, um, information to the union on like military movements.

He claimed that like the Confederate army was like 200, 000 strong outside of Richmond and, and. This is what made George McClellan pee his pants [00:46:00] and, and run as fast as he could away from there. Uh, but he be, he's like this incredibly conservative, like, tough on crime. Like, he would get visibly, like, he would visibly shake when he heard about certain crimes.

Like, if he heard about, like, a, a really bad break in or something, he would become visibly angry and, like, red in the face. He was a real, like, crusader. Here's about this from Gowan almost right away. He's like, yes, let's stop this movement. We need to we need to end it where it's that where it where it is right now before it gets even worse.

He fingers, uh, uh, 1 of his detectives guy named, uh, James McParland. He, um, this guy is an Irish Catholic from Ulster, so he fits the part perfectly. Uh, and his job is to go undercover into school, kill county infiltrate the Molly McGuire movement. Uh, report on any crimes or anything committed and and through this investigation, uh, he will end up bringing [00:47:00] down the Molly Maguires.

So he arrives in October 27th, 1873. He showed up. He said he was an itinerant Irish worker. He was just on the lamb and he was accused of murder. Supposedly got into a fight with this guy and that was his cover story. He's almost discovered like right away. The second he shows up in, in, in school, kill.

He's almost discovered by, uh, uh, uh, a barman who I assume knew him, uh, from, uh, you know, time previous, he gets off Scott free there. He meets up with the body master of, uh, I forget what County it is. But he, he meets up with this guy Lawler, who makes him a part of the HOA, and then the Molly Maguire movement.

Uh, he is then made the note taker, because he can read and write. No one seemed to question this. They just were like, okay, you can read and write. Sure. Uh, take all the notes. This made it incredibly easy for him to, you know, dig up dirt and, and keep [00:48:00] track of everything that was going on. And it made him an integral part of every meeting.

I mean, he was there when they decided when to give out blood money for, for, for a hit and when to, to do this and to do that. And he kept notes on all this stuff. Now, he wrote a book following this, actually, about the whole situation. Now, a lot of people claim he was actually, like, an agent provocateur.

Like, he was working to sully the good name of the HOA and the Molly Maguire movement. Which, previous to this, genuinely wasn't very violent anymore. I mean, this was, they put on their public face. And the Molly Maguires was, you know, something they brought out if they really needed to threaten someone. Um.

But through this whole time, they weren't really necessary, the Molly Maguires. I don't know, what's your opinion? Was he there to be an agent provocateur, or was he just legitimately investigating what was going on? I think it's a little bit of both. I think that it was this and that. I don't think [00:49:00] that there was one clear answer there.

Because, I mean, if you look at a picture of this guy, he's like, he's steely, determined stare. He seems like the kind of guy. I mean, I don't know him personally, uh, but he seems like the kind of guy to, to go to any length to advance his station. And, and this is sort of how he's portrayed by Richard Harris in the movie.

He's this guy will go to any length to just get a little bit ahead because he's been, he's been stepped on his whole life. And that's sort of what he, he, um, he looks like genuinely and, and, and just following him. The, the Molly Maguire's, uh, he would use the same archetype to bring down other movements.

Like, he's made, uh, in the early 1900s, he's made the head investigator for this bombing in Nebraska, I think. And he uses this bombing of this disgruntled employee against his boss. Um, to to pin it on the entire international workers of the world movement, the IWW [00:50:00] and he accuses the head of the IWW as a part of this conspiracy.

He accuses, you know, it's the same. It's the same, you know, strategy. Basically, he's there's this labor movement. That's radical. It's sometimes violent. Uh, so he went in, he accused them of this and that. In that case, it didn't work. All the people accused got off. But in this case, it works to the nines. And that's because of how violent things become, uh, following the long strike of the 18, of the 1870s.

So this strike lasts like 5 months. It's a 5 month long strike. Um, throughout it. I mean, people get more and more disheartened as time goes on, uh, and, and the strike is basically brought on by Gowen. He's been hoarding coal this whole time, even though he owes tens of millions of dollars to, you know, loaners and banks and stuff for all the, all the [00:51:00] land he's purchased.

Um, He's been hoarding coal this whole time. And this is the, this is the final nail on the coffin for the WBA. The WBA, it falls into lesser hands. It falls into the second in command of the, the movement because John Siney is elected the head of the, uh, the, the 1st president of a national. Miners union, which represents, which represented all minors, uh, at the time, or at least attempted to, but I, so I'm not sure.

Yeah, I mean, there, there was other, um, corners on the market that had happened at roughly that time. It was a golden fist with gold at, um, more or less that time. Like that was a going. Yes. Yes. That's around that same time. Yeah. You know, and it was almost like a game of chicken with themselves to if they can.

Do it like if they can hold off everybody long enough to make it work at the end before everything like can just colossally blew up in their face. [00:52:00] Yeah, it was basically a very long game. What did you say a game of chicken? That's that's perfect. It was like, who's gonna who's gonna flinch 1st? Who's gonna who's gonna let slip the their hand?

Who's going to give it all up? You know, I think that was that's a very good analogy. I think it's interesting, too, with that guy who's basically going undercover, it's different when it's being done, I think, by the companies and through this private company of the Pinkertons, they have a different goal at the end of the day than say, the police or the FBI, the FBI has to do things in a certain way with like Joe Pistone, that you need to get convictions at the end and the way Gather evidence throughout that process is going to, we're really at the goal of the companies is just to end the strikes so they can operate in a different way.

So, like the, is it, is he an agent provocateur or is he not? It's kind of the same different sides of the [00:53:00] same coin, I would think. What do you think of that? Yeah. Which side are you on? I mean, that's really what it comes down to. If you're on the side of the company, it makes perfect sense for, for this guy to be going through and he's doing, he's doing the Lord's work.

I mean, these people agreed to, to work for this amount of money for this amount of tonnage rate. And now they're trying to go against an agreement that was made between a company and, uh, uh, an individual. Uh, I guess from their perspective, they would say. Well, this agreement was made under duress, if anything, I mean, we have just as much a right to associate with ourselves as you have a right to decide coal prices for the whole market or gas prices or, or whatever.

Yeah, and you make an agreement. Does that agreement last forever that we have to basically take it? You know, I think that's the next, the next step to it. Probably the most bizarre thing for Anyone listening to this podcast or researching this is just all these private entities doing all this stuff.

Like, it's a private, [00:54:00] uh, detective company that's doing this and the company has its own private police force. It's, you know what I mean? Like, the company's like, it's. I mean, we just don't, I mean, we're starting to see that a little bit offline. We talked to me, I think I mentioned Blackwater and we mentioned like the Wagner group, which was like, I don't know, like these semi private armies.

I mean, I think it's something that we're going to start seeing a little more often, probably not within our lifetimes, like Amazon having like an army or something like that. But we're seeing kind of shadows of that with private security. And I can't think of the name of it. And I probably don't want to say it to get on the wrong side of them, but the government is even using them as security instead of police, because police have do things a certain way, you know, they can't violate your rights completely openly where these companies, even though they're.

Working for the government. It's kind of like a layer because, because these [00:55:00] companies are working for the government, they're supposed to follow the rules in a certain way of like, you know, not, uh, uh, trampling on people's constitutional rights, but because they're a private company, you have to sue the company.

And then if you. You have to like go through the company before you can sue the government. A lot of companies are starting to use these companies because it incites them from a lot of liability and the company is, is insulated. It's, you know, it's not full blown where the, the private security is basically.

The police for a county like Carbon County or Lucerne County, but you can definitely see that there's some, some similarities. History isn't repeating itself, but it's singing a similar tune. So what happens as we get to the pretty much the end of the Molly Maguires? So the long strike's over. It is 1875.

Uh, it's been it's been [00:56:00] defeated. Everyone goes back to work. They have to accept whatever Gowan agrees to pay them. People are blacklisted. You have 2 choices. Now you leave change your name or you starve. I mean, those are really the 2 options in front of people, uh, in the 2 months after the long strike.

There are 6 Molly McGuire assassinations. So, I mean, if this isn't a clear example of we've lost, you know, the, the little bit we were given, or we were allowed, we had to take, uh, now we have to, we have to go back to the old ways. We have to go back to the hard men who, who wait in the night. And, and this is one of the, I think this illustrates the point perfectly.

This was a notice left on a, I think a mineshaft or something, and it's written in Irish Brogue, so it says, I am against shooting as much as ye are, but the Union is broke up, and we have got nothing to defend ourselves with but our revolvers, and if we don't [00:57:00] use them, we shall have to work for fifty cents a day.

So this was a very stark choice for the people, um, who, who, who were living there. I mean, they're, they're living in this supposedly new world where, um, you know, things were supposed to be different where, you know, we, we fought to make men holy. Now we're fighting to make men free. That's supposed to have happened already.

Uh, and now they're subjecting people to basically Amount of money you would pay to refurbish tools or something. I mean, 50 cents is nothing. Uh, on top of this, there was anti Irish mob violence as well. So you see vigilantism and start to creep back into the Irish community where. Uh, Protestant Irish people or, uh, different ethnicities altogether are actively violently attacking Irish people.

In the worst case, Jack Kehoe, who is the [00:58:00] new head of the Molly Maguires, is, um, his, uh, brother in law is murdered. He's shot 15 times, dragged out of his house, shot 15 times. His, uh, sister in law, or his sister. Is murdered as she's pregnant. She has a, uh, a baby. She's shot in the chest and, uh, his, his wife.

Um, his mother in law is pistol whipped. Uh, so she, I guess, got off relatively scot free, but this was a really horrifying event in the movie. It's it's basically tame, uh, what happens? I mean, they're both asleep and they both get shot while they're sleeping and the baby already exists in this. The, the, the, the baby is still Inside the, the sister.

Uh, so the Mali's and the AOH, they begin to fall apart after this. This was the last act of violence that we can point toward or against the Mali's before the situation just becomes, uh, [00:59:00] impossible. And this has to do with McParland. He returns from exile, from being undercover for 3 plus years, collecting all this evidence.

Uh. And charges are brought plenty of people. I mean, 20 plus people are charged with connection to the Malini movement or conspiracy to commit murder. Uh, Gowan actually serves as the lead prosecutor. So this was at a time when you could still, uh, uh, serve as a prosecuting attorney, even if you were a private citizen.

And he says during this, um, during this trial, this trial. really sham of a trial. I mean, it was packed with, uh, conservative Dutchmen and, and Quakers from, from the, from different parts of Pennsylvania. Uh, he says, this very organization that we are now for the first time exposing to the light of day. Has hung like a pall over the people of this country.

Behind it stalked darkness and despair. Brooding like grim [01:00:00] shadows over the desolated hearth and the ruined home. And throughout the length and breadth of this fair land was heard the voice of wailing and lamentation. Nor is it alone those whose names that I have mentioned. But it is hundreds of unknown victims whose bones lie moldering over the face of this country.

So this was a very, like, powerful statement. I mean, his whole, like, diatribe was actually turned into a very popular pamphlet following this, Ga Gowen's diatribe, because it is very much fire and brimstone, you know, like Chris was saying, I can't, you can't help but think that he's kind of cool, right? I mean, I, I'm doing one about, I just did a, uh, an episode on, on Blair Mountain.

And there's this guy in the, during the Battle of Blair Mountain, this is the largest labor uprising in American history, uh, this guy, Don Chaffin, he's the sheriff slash, you know, uh, medieval baron of this [01:01:00] county in West Virginia. And he is the single worst human being I think I've ever read about. I mean, racist, violent, a drunk, everything that you can think of this guy is, but you can't help but be like, God damn it.

You're kind of cool. I, I, I don't like that. I don't like that that's the case. But just for example, this guy, a minor walks into his office, pulls a gun on him. He says, Don Chafin, I'm going to shoot you dead. And Don Chafin, he pulls out his own pistol, cool as anything, and he says, Go ahead, we'll hop into hell together.

Like, this is the kind of guy, That's cool, I can't, I can't help it, I'm sorry. I, I, But this is the kind of guy that Gowen is too, They share a lot of similarities. Um, so the first, They're all found guilty, obviously. There's no question. It takes like 20 minutes for the jury to deliberate. Um, the first round of hangings is set for, uh, uh, the Day of the Rope.

This is Black Thursday, June 21st, [01:02:00] 1877. Ten Molly Maguires, supposed Molly Maguires, a lot of these were just AOH members and union guys and stuff. They all hang together. Uh, among their number Uh, is not Kehoe Kehoe hangs, uh, individually. He is charged with an age old murder that happened during the Civil War or something.

Uh, that was like a bar fight that ended in in someone getting, like, stabbed to death or something, but he was charged with this in connection with being the head of the Molly McGuire movement. Um, he tries to argue for years, uh, against his, uh, against his. Hanging. It doesn't work. He gets killed in 1878 and there are about 10 more following that 2 of the worst.

Uh, it were these 2 guys, they were both accused Molly's, uh, they had their sentences reprieved for, I don't know, like, a day or a few months or whatever by the governor at, like, 1037 at [01:03:00] 1035, they were led to the gallows. So there's this. Time in between where this messenger is furiously banging on the door to try and be let in before this execution can happen and and basically they hear this guy banging.

They assume it's a distraught relative who missed the who missed the time, you know, and they don't answer it until they already are dropped. And so these 2 people are hanging switching because both of their necks don't break. So they're both twitching on the end of a line like fish, and as they finally let this messenger in, and the sheriff reads it, and instead of cutting him down, he takes his time, he's reading the whole thing out, he's like, I just received this, and then the guy stopped twitching, he turned over, he's like, I'm as sorry as anyone, and then he blames the priest.

He blamed the priest for, um, speeding up the execution process. So that was a pretty horrifying end to the Molly Maguire movement. So as this is happening, all these Mollies are [01:04:00] being executed together. The entire country is in a state of upheaval, the likes of which has never been seen before. I mean, this is the great railroad strike of 1877.

Something like 100 plus workers are killed, and they're in a lot of these industrialized places where we talked about today. Pittsburgh is a huge spot for revolutionary violence during 1877 to the point where like a National Guard unit is like literally barricaded inside a big, like, uh, I think it's like a train station or something like a big brick train station building and protesters actually like wheel a burning, uh, a wagon.

Full of stuff. So it catches this whole building on fire and the National Guard need to run for their lives as they're getting shot at by the citizenry of Pittsburgh. In Chicago, there's a burgeoning socialist movement, an American socialist movement that's led almost exclusively by immigrants, [01:05:00] German immigrants, but it's also led by one of the most interesting couples in history.

This is the couple of Albert and Lucy Parsons. Albert Parsons was a civil war, a veteran. He fought for the Confederacy. So following the Confederacy, he disowned the whole idea. He disowned, um, um, racism. He became a radical Republican and then he became an anarchist socialist. His wife was a formerly enslaved woman named Lucy Parsons, who was maybe more radical than he was.

And these two basically foment a gigantic uprising in Chicago that kills maybe like 40 people. There's this massive battle called the Battle of the Viaduct between state and civilian forces with sticks and stones and all kinds of weaponry. Uh And in St. Louis, the 1st ever commune in American history is declared, uh, maybe the only 1.

This was started [01:06:00] during the 1st general strike in the United States. Uh, and it was held up and mostly kept alive through German immigration. And German immigration was a huge part of keeping a place like Missouri, a part of the Union during the Civil War. You don't think about it, but, uh, Germans for whatever reason, they said, we need a place that looks exactly like home and it's exactly in the middle.

So they all moved to Missouri and they're like, this is the same. This is. And that's why the Midwest has so many breweries and stuff because of this German influence. Uh, but yeah, the Molly Maguires, 20 of them would be dead in total. Uh, in a final, like, quotation, this is sort of what you were talking about before, Chris, with the private influence.

It just reminded me of this quote. I needed to find it. So, the Molly Maguire trials. We're a surrender of state sovereignty, a private corporation initiated the investigation through a private detective agency, a [01:07:00] private police force arrested the alleged offenders and private attorneys for the coal companies prosecuted them.

The state provided only the courtroom and the gallows. Any objective study of the tenure of the times and the entire record must conclude that the Mollies did not have a fair and impartial jury. They were therefore denied one of the most fundamental rights that William Penn guaranteed to all Pennsylvania's citizens.

And as if to emphasize this point, uh, even clearer, one of the most famous final events Or final acts, I suppose, of of anyone, uh, occurs before he's hung Alexander Campbell or maybe a guy named Tom Fisher. I'm not sure exactly who did it. There's a bunch of controversy over who was actually the one who did this, but he dug his hand.

Above, high above his cell wall, and he said, There is proof of [01:08:00] my words. That mark of mine will never be wiped out. There it will remain forever. To shame the country that is hanging an innocent man. And, as far as we know, that handprint is still there. Uh, a sheriff eventually, or a warden or something, uh, eventually plastered over the handprint.

Uh, but it was very visible well until the 1820 or 1920s, 1930s, when it was finally plastered, I can attest I've seen the hand, the hand. I don't know what this is. I've gone to that jail. It's a museum now, private museum, and he's the curator and he's the curator. I talked to him for like an hour because nobody, I think everybody else was kind of on the ghost tour.

And he was like, anybody who wanted to hear the history, you better take a seat because he was going to tell it to you. The hand cut came back. And so you can take that for what it's worth, but [01:09:00] they plastered over it. Like Plaster, not just painted over it. They plastered over it and anything that they did the hand.

And I guess the Catholic church, either they investigated it or they're still investigating it, that it's like a bonafide miracle, like relic type thing. Wow. So this guy might be Patrick Campbell is he might be on the way to canonization. Yeah, you can go to, uh, Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania, and see the hand to this day.

Yeah, this is definitely the thing that got me most interested in the story, because I had no idea that this even existed. I, I, there was a, it's a really terrible reality show, I guess. It's like a ghost hunter show. It's called Ghost Adventures, and there's this This guy, Zach Bagan, who's just this complete meathead.

I mean, he's like, Bro, are there ghosts in here, bro? Are there ghosts? Like, this is, this is how he, like, confronts these ghosts. I'm like, yeah, no wonder nothing has ever happened on one of [01:10:00] your shows. I, yeah, it's, uh, but that's how I first heard about it. I didn't understand the labor context behind it, but then once I started researching it, I was like, oh my god, that's, that's this.

And, and, and, oh my, but yeah, it's an incredible story. I definitely suggest people go to visit that museum because the, the curator, and I wish I could remember his name. He, um, I mean, he will take the time to discuss it with you. And he was great with kids, like very personal one on one in the town of Jim Thorpe is amazing.

It's really like a little jewel inside of Pennsylvania. You can learn so much about. All of this, if you go. Yeah, I guess one last thing I would like to ask is, so the Molly Maguire's, this is kind of the impression that I get is, I'm pretty sure like the ancient order of Hibernia and the labor union, they knew that this was like, kind of like a group that they could use.[01:11:00]

if they needed to. So it's kind of like this, this, the logic of like, you, you guys have brought it up, like the extreme left and the extreme right, where on both sides of the spectrum, they all have this talking point is that you don't punch left or you don't punch right. Do you understand? Do you understand where I'm going here with this?

Where these guys were useful. When you need them, the problem is they weren't a lot of the times they would cause more problems than they, uh, than they were worth sometimes. So you have to find ways to be able to clamp down on them, but you didn't want to get rid of them completely because. They're willing to do things that say other people aren't willing to do.

Would that be, am I far off in thinking that? That's the impression I get.

Steve here again with a quick word from our sponsors.

I don't think so. I don't think so at all. Yeah, you're, you're a hundred percent spot on and I think it goes even further than that. I [01:12:00] think the union and the AOH and the Molly Maguires, they were all the same people. Uh, maybe not in the same level or the same numbers, uh, but the Molly Maguires were A A O H and the A O H definitely had union members as a part of it too.

So, it's like a big giant circle and it, it was a, it was a, an alliance of necessity, uh, I, I doubt that this progressive labor union really wanted to work with, uh, you know, this, this weird racist localist thing that the Molly Maguires were. Uh. But they did it nonetheless, just like labor unions have done throughout history with organized crime or syndicates or, or just street gangs in general.

I mean, throughout this whole period in place like New York City, you saw, like, street gangs vying for, like, the highest bidder and they would show up on the strike day. Uh, either supporting or being against the union, depending on who had the most money, if it was the companies or [01:13:00] if it was the union heads, or if you had a rival gang, they would join the other side at a little less of a rate so that they could get in on, on the, on the fight that was about to happen.

So this isn't some, I mean, it wasn't like a conspiracy. I, I, I, or like, uh, some sort of. Nefarious thing that was unintentional, you know, if they don't listen to us, we're going to send this guy in blackface to his house and he's going to blow his head off. I don't think it was like that. I think it was, um, they were all the same.

It was all 1 in the same. And I think. Irish people realized toward the second and sort of the second half of the 1860s and the early 1870s that they got farther with unions with unionizing and with local politics than they did with shooting people in the face. And that seems to, I mean, no matter how right or wrong you thought they were, uh, uh, it just, it wasn't going to work for them doing that policy.

And that's just for anything. I mean, no matter how right [01:14:00] your opinion is, or wrong your opinion is, if you you're Use violence to justify it, no matter how much violence is used against you or your people. It's not going to get anywhere, especially not in a society like we have where the rule of law, you know, regardless on how much it changes or.

How much it varies from person to person. It still is applicable and people still believe in it. And until that happens and outward violence like this is not going to get you anywhere, especially in a place toward more rights. Yeah, you know, like, I mean, you can use examples where. The violence works, but in this particular circumstance, like exactly what you pointed out, like people have a sense of the rule of law.

It's just not going to work. I mean, you can use, say, Russia as an example, like on the, uh, the socialist revolution, the communist revolution. I mean, the violence obviously worked in that circumstance, right? But that was a failed state for the most part, or I mean, they didn't even really have a [01:15:00] tradition of rule of law.

I think, though, that, like, the rule of law, like this idea that the U. S. has been such a paragon of the rule of law, the rule of law entirely failed in this situation because those minor, the minors and the corporations and the private itch. Police services would have never have been able to do half of what they had done if the, the sheriffs of those towns and the counties that they had just, they allowed it all to happen.

And I mean, it also makes. Oh, sorry. I just, people wonder why like Teddy Roosevelt went so hard against like, say, the robber barons or whatever words you want to use for them, right? I mean, I mean, he saw this stuff, right? Like, you know, you know what I mean? Like, uh, you, you see, like, there's a literally a private company that's prosecuting, uh, minors.

Uh, you know, did murders happen? Yeah. Were they? Yeah, at least that guy. That the, uh, the state, well, [01:16:00] it's not even the state, the private company claim that they did. I don't know. It's a little bit up in the air, whether they did or not. I mean, the handprint seems to. Seems to seems to show that they didn't, um.

But it does make sense, like, later on when they, you know, they start implementing antitrust laws and are worried about these giant, uh, corporate monopolies, um, effectively taking over the legal, like, taking over the country, really, um, the opposite. The opposite end of the spectrum is you mentioned the Teamsters Union early in the podcast.

I mean, that was really the government's biggest concern with the Teamsters Union is it was so powerful and it has so much, uh, influence, uh, in terms of transportation in the country. Then, I mean, they really could have shut down the country if they wanted to easily. And that's not good. It's just not, you just can't have it.

Um, because it takes like a couple of nefarious characters, uh, you [01:17:00] know, maybe with a communistic type bent to get into leadership roles in a union like that. And all of a sudden you're having a full, full blown revolution happening, which was a concern still at the time, right? And even with, like, something like the Teamsters, I would not even worry about, like, a communist taking over.

It'd be more dangerous if one of these super corrupt, you know, uh, I guess conservative union bosses took over. I mean, this is what happened to the IBT, uh, literally. There were Numerous like back to back leaders who are just completely corrupt and stealing from the workers that they were supposed to be the leaders of.

I mean, it really disgusting, uh, uh, horrible stuff that these union heads were involved in, especially part of the Teamsters union. But I guess on the other hand, if you were a Teamster, you would say, Hey, this guy is about as crooked as Nixon. I mean, what's the difference? Uh, that, that, that's probably what a Teamster would say.

I think [01:18:00] there's something naturally baked into unions as well, is that because they're representing the interests, the divergent interest, I mean, basically, if you have a union, every single worker, they don't really have a united, they have a, a theoretical united interest, but really each worker has their own individual wants and needs and the union bosses have to, uh, yeah.

Put all those individual needs together to get a corporate need out of all of those corporate in the, in the sense of a need, uh, a vision that encapsulates all of those needs. But in that individuals are going to get. What they want in some ways, and they're not going to get what they want. I mean, I worked for unions for 15 years and in those negotiations, sometimes it's like, what is this union even doing for me?

Because I'm getting shafted [01:19:00] on this personally, because my own, uh, section. They had to, we were small and the union had to give in for given something to make the bigger deal go through and so they had to give in on some of our individual interests to get the bigger plan through. Yeah. And that that's, it's like a, it's a deal with the devil either way.

I mean, however you want to do it. Uh, but for me, at least, I think union rights are preferable to, to any other sort of, um, even like a, a company union, uh, that those haven't particularly worked very well for the people who've been a part of them, especially when it comes to when the rubber meets the road and it's time to argue.

It's time to really stand up for the people you represent. Uh, that sometimes just doesn't happen, and it sounds like that's what happened, uh, with you there, Steve. I think with the unions, it really depends on, um, [01:20:00] on the circumstance. Like if you are in an, in a job and in a geography where there's a really fluid, uh, labor market where if it sucks, you can jump over to the next company, then the union is really not your friend.

But if you're in a situation where your job isn't fluid and the, the geography doesn't lend itself to being able to move freely from one job, either it's because of the, the nature of your work or the industry or whatever, then unions are helpful for you. It's such an American way of looking at work, too, though.

Like, we're, just the way you're describing, it's like, oh, I'll just move to another state or I'll just get to move to another job, right? But I mean, like, you say you live in a place like Romania or Hungary. That's just not, you just can't do it. Like, there's not, where are you going to move? I mean, I guess you could move to another country, but then there's like a whole process, and it's a different [01:21:00] language.

And, um, I just thought of that, right? Like, uh, I don't know, it's just something, it's the same up here in Canada too, right? People are like, oh, I'm just gonna, up here, it's always like, I'm gonna move further up north to get away from the city. Progressively, just like further up north. It's like the equivalent of you guys, like, I don't know, Gaia, yeah, or something, right?

It's the equivalent, right? Like, I'm just gonna. Keep on going up north and I mean and by just you know, but we're massive countries, right? So that's it's very easy to just move around right and you're in a totally different circumstance or say something like smaller country like Hungary or Romania. It's it's it's not as Quite as easy.

Well, I think too, that in the U S and in probably maybe in the West in general, there was never this idea that in a lot of companies, like in Japan and Korea, where the company had a loyalty to the workers and the workers therefore had, you know, there was a [01:22:00] loyalty between the two. If we hired you, you're going to.

Be treated fairly. And that made the workers feel loyal to the company where you have a company men who worked for the company for 40 years. And that is not a Western ideal. I don't think, I think that the much more corporate mindset, again, using corporate in the group sense that I owe fealty to you and you show fealty to me, maybe more of a.

Feudal thing that really died in the Enlightenment with individual, individuality that just does not exist in modern Western societies. I mean, that's a perfect example. I'm going to bring up the chain of being, I mean, me and you offline, I've talked about this many times in terms of the employee worker type of relationship.

You know, obviously, there's problems with it, but if there's an understanding that the bosses have certain obligations and duties to the [01:23:00] workers, and the workers have an understanding that there are certain obligations and duties to their boss, and it's like a chain, right? That keeps them goes further and further and further down.

And I know it's not popular to look at, say, pre enlightenment thinking, but I think there's. In terms of running like a healthy community or healthy society, it's really not a bad way of looking at it. Um, but it's, it's almost next to impossible for even people to kind of think that way because we grew our country was literally found.

Both of our countries were literally founded on enlightenment ideas. And it's very difficult to think outside of that context. It's very difficult to think outside of the enlightenment and people think like, well, like, you're talking about, like, medieval thought in terms of, like, having better labor relations.

And it's like, yeah, I am legitimately saying that. And I don't know, people think it's crazy, but it's, it's really not. There's a lot of, uh, thinkers, especially, uh, I guess you call them like neo reactionary [01:24:00] type thinkers. But if you look at, uh, stuff like, uh, I believe it's called the NRX, Nick Land, and some of these guys, uh.

They talk about this, uh, this, the chain of being and, uh, and implying some medieval type thought, uh, to the modern world. Uh, I don't know if your audience is actually interested. They're interesting. They're controversial type thinkers, obviously, right? They're going to ruffle some feathers, but They're definitely worth reading, I think, um, and I had another thing to just throw in the mix.

There is, um, how, and especially Joe, since you've dug so much into this, how do you think this applies to today? Can we make, use the Molly Maguire's as a learning tool for what's going on today? Or is it really so different that there really is no way to apply it? I think that the only way you look at history is with a modern lens.

So I think, yes, that this is definitely [01:25:00] a relevant story to today. This shows the absolute extent of how bad it can be, uh, when people Uh, either don't care or are forced into doing something against their will and against their benefit, uh, for the benefit exclusively of a, of a nameless 1, 000, 000 dollar institution.

Uh, I think when you look at things like today, there's a massive push against things. We've talked about AI today against AI and especially you look at the actors, uh, actors equity strike. Uh, or that's happening right now, the, the writers guilt strike that's happening right now. They're arguing for the same stuff.

They want better pay. They want better conditions. And they, they want to know that their jobs are going to be protected against a I, which can easily be turned into what any, whatever number of thing you wanted to, um, uh, back then they wouldn't use a I, they would use, uh, imported [01:26:00] workers or. Uh, they would, they would, um, you know, they would spring 1 group against the other using religion or ethnicity, anything like this.

Um, this is what could happen if if things, uh, are are regressed to this point, not just to this point, but, um, you know, it could it could devolve to this. In a very easy, easy way, I think, uh, violence is very much a part of not just Irish history, but American history. And I think this helps explain at least a part of the violence that both have experienced because whether they were in America or they were in Great Britain, Irish people were treated generally the same for a very long time.

I mean, um, um, Even the idea of Irish people being white is a is a relatively new concept. Even the idea of whiteness is a new concept or blackness. [01:27:00] These are all new terms that are just another, uh, further division point, uh, that we have to get over before you would be a Polack or you would be a Boheme or, uh, you know, or whatever, uh, a Johnny or, uh.

Align me or something. These are the words that they were used or I would have been like, uh, I would have been a day ago. Meet me and Steve. We would have been day goes. Um, so I think this, this goes to show how not only close this is to us, but how the government and corporations at large. It seemed to, uh, uh, when you have a job that is very important to the way the country functions, like, for example, a coal miner, uh, who literally generates.

Energy every single day. I mean, how many people can literally say they generate energy? Maybe if you have like, uh, solar power or something, then you could say you generate a little bit of energy, [01:28:00] but coal miners would generate tons of of coal energy every single day. Uh, and they were treated like some of the worst workers, even in things like media.

They're not represented. I mean, how many, how many coal mining movies can you seriously name right now? I've, I've just watched the Molly Maguire's, but that's maybe the only 1 and that that seriously goes in depth on how coal mining operates. Besides that, I can't really think. I mean, most of the time, think of, like, something like the old West.

We guys thought we talked about that a little bit. Uh. Yeah. Uh, you know, there's cowboy movies, there's farmer movies, there's, there's movies about Desperados and, and Pistoleros and everything. There's no real, uh, portrayals in today's media, uh, this totally important job, this all encompassing, uh, job that literally created the United States as we know it today.

Uh, and I, I've always, personally, just Felt at [01:29:00] home with Ireland. I've always really loved Ireland. I am myself Sicilian and Puerto Rican. So my being is of 2 islands that are still under the thumb of of some superior force. Uh, but Ireland. At least for the most part is, has been rid of British yoke for 100 plus years now.

And that I think is impressive. It goes to show the perseverance of the Irish people, the way they've managed to, you know, uh, flex their culture into such ways to make life even bearable, uh, uh, is pretty impressive. And it's something that it shouldn't be, um, discounted or overlooked or, yeah, Or, you know, Irish people shouldn't just be considered when they first immigrated here is just like, you know, subhuman, uh, you know, uh, because because even after, um, even after this period in Ireland for a long time, the Irish were.

Considered, uh, [01:30:00] basically subhuman. People couldn't understand how the literacy rates were so low in Ireland as compared to the rest of Western Europe. Uh, but what happened? They were given freedom. They were given the right to choose their own destiny and the right to, uh, argue for themselves and. Image quickly rebounded.

They became the Celtic Tiger when they were given their independence because their economy was so fluid and so powerful. Uh, and they dispelled almost immediately all these insinuations about their, you know, uh. Proneness to violence and their, uh, intellectual level and, and literacy rates and stuff.

These all went away basically overnight when they were truly given, uh, you know, self determination and, and that word can mean a lot to a lot of different people. Uh, and, uh, it just goes to show how. how much we have to juggle. We have to juggle these things. We have to juggle all this together. [01:31:00] Uh, it's not just one thing, and it's not just the other, it's about everything.

And it's not just about everything, it's about nothing, which is sort of what the Molly Maguires are, are about. I, I related to you the Hindu proverb at the beginning of the, our talk here, and I think it's just perfect. Uh, it's, it's all the things and none of the things at the same time, but it's not, not the things.

Well, I want to, uh, speaking of labor management relations, I got called into work today. So I think we're going to wrap it up this whole series. I want to thank Joe. He's a friend of mine. He's a friend of ours. And now thank you so much for coming on the show. Uh, you know, just to reiterate, how can people find your podcast?

So my podcast is available wherever good podcasts are downloaded. Um, if you download it on Spotify, uh, each episode has its own individual, uh, series art, [01:32:00] which my partner Melissa, uh, meticulously does. It makes it look very nice. It's very clean. Uh, but yeah, it's Spotify, iTunes, uh, Google podcasts. So look for Turning Tides History Podcast everywhere where you can find podcasts.

Thanks again, uh, Mustache Chris, who joined us in this series. We will definitely be hearing if he's willing to come back on. Uh, I hope that Joe will come back on again because this is a great series right here and I know there'll be more. I'm glad you guys appreciated it. Yeah, it's a fun, it's a fun little part of history that not a lot of people know about, but I think it's pretty important to explain the sort of world we live in.

If you enjoyed what you hear and you, uh, want to spread the message, tell your friends about us so that your friends can become friends of ours. Oh, forget about it, guys. Forget about it.

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Title: Corruption Exposed: The Rise and the Fall of the Molly Maguires

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Transcript URL: https://share.descript.com/view/j65pqEY904M

Description: Join us again, as we talk Friend of Ours, Joe Pascone of the Turning Tides History Podcast about the Molly Maguires. In this episode, we will wrap up the story of the Mollys and the transition of labor relations and unions in the Gilded Age into the Industrial Era.

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Begin Transcript:

[00:00:00] Welcome to Organized Crime and Punishment, the best spot in town to hang out and talk about history and crime. With your hosts, Steve and Mustache Chris.

Now that we've gone through that whole story with the, the Molly Maguires, and we've gone through so much of it with the Civil War, what was, Joe, what was the aftermath of the Civil War? How did that play out for this group of labor organizers and people and, you know, culture and everything? So, the Civil War, far from it being like this time of like, you know, there's this idea that after the Civil War, the country, everyone got [00:01:00] together, all the bad blood was kind of shed already, and only John Wilkes Booth really had a problem with what was going on and his conspirators.

It's not really the case. In reality. There were huge, violent ramifications throughout the entire nation, not just with the start of Reconstruction. You saw the rise of the Ku Klux Klan and the Knight Riders in places like the South. Uh, and in the Anthracite region, you see serious reaction and hostility.

These people, they argued for years that the Constitution should stay the same as it was, and the Union should stay the same as it was. That was no longer the case. Everything was turned on its head. And the entire economy basically contracted, uh, not just in America, across the entire planet. I cover Puerto Rico.

The economy there completely falls off a cliff because for a long time, Puerto Rico was supplementing the cotton that was not being grown and exported from the [00:02:00] United States, or the Southern United States. Uh, so you see this huge contraction and it affects these miners specifically because with the leaving of these federal troops, uh, with the nosedive of, of needs to market, uh, the entire economy sputters and a bunch of people are left out on the streets.

Uh, this, that means that a lot of people turn to highway robbery. They turn to things like, uh, bushwhackings of miners and stuff. And they turn to labor unrest, uh, some of the more moderate of them, I suppose, or the least violent. They turn to labor unrest, they try to start strikes. These strikes are usually not successful.

There's a very long one in 1865, where coal executives planned a 33 percent pay cut. Uh, and so to dispatch this, uh, or to end this labor unrest, the government [00:03:00] dispatches troops, like, right away, almost immediately following the Civil War, May 1865. Uh, so the troops are there. They do such a good job that co executives come up with a new excuse for another Pennsylvania militia unit to be stationed there.

The rest of the summer of 1865, um, in one of the more hilarious, uh, newspaper articles of all time, the Lebanon advertisers talking about the supposed uprising, and this is very tongue in cheek. They say several thousand have been killed. The Irish are murdering everybody. The country in general, and the streets of Pottsville in particular are crowded with blood thirsty miners who kill all but Irishmen.

So at this point. A lot of this, I think that goes to show that newspaper clipping right there. A lot of this, these arguments against labor uprisings have become kind of hashed out and people are experiencing a [00:04:00] general sort of weariness against labor agitation. And, but the, but the bosses. Don't seem to mind this.

This is how this guy, Franklin Gowan, comes into the picture. Gowan was, uh, I spoke about him in the first few parts here. He was born an Ulsterman, a Protestant Ulsterman. He was sent to a Catholic college because his father was incredibly, uh, he was for religious tolerance and liberation. And he's brought in as a lawyer for these coal executives because they need a legal excuse to bring in troops.

Uh, this starts his involvement in the coal region, and this starts his involvement with the railroads and, and with the whole. Um, the whole economy in the area in general, and he's ends up being 1 of the biggest players in the story to come. Uh, so almost right away. The, the fury [00:05:00] over these troops. pretty substantial.

A bunch of people get killed. There's a guy, Peter Monaghan. He's killed in a fight with, er, sorry, uh, Peter Monaghan gets into a fight with this guy, Tom Barrett. Barrett gets thrown in jail and he gets killed by guards, supposedly. Uh, thanks to the military occupation, the strike pretty much peters out. So, uh, the miners were saying, we'll accept 10 to 15 percent pay cut, not the 33.

Just just let us go back to work. We're all starving. You know, our families are going hungry. Co executives. They say, no, we're going to see this out to the end. Uh, the strike collapses people begrudgingly go back to work. Families are evicted. Uh. They're forced to move, they're forced to go all over the place.

In one of the most famous examples, a lot of these people who we consider Molly Maguires are part of the larger Irish community in Pennsylvania. They actually drift north to Canada and they take part in the Fenian raids. Uh, [00:06:00] Chris, I don't, I don't know if you want to talk about that. No, no, it's such a weird, crazy part of history.

These were Irish Americans who invaded Canada to protest, uh, the treatment of Ireland in, in, in the British empire is a hilarious scene. There's something like 400 different, um, you know, Irish militant nationalists who were full on invading Canada, and both countries had to get together to try and put down this, this strange movement.

It's one of the craziest parts of history. I read about it. I was like, what? Canada was still under the British Empire at that point. Now that you mention it, I, yeah, we didn't declare our independence until like, uh, much later. Um, yeah, now that you mention it, I do. Vaguely remember it. So this kind of reminds, I don't, you guys probably wouldn't know this, but this was like, 10 years ago.

It was a long time ago. I can't remember. And there were Tamils were [00:07:00] protesting what was going on in Sri Lanka, and they shut down a bunch of highways and then they People up here in Canada are like, what's going on here? Like, I don't understand. Like, do you know what, like, why would a Canadian need to know what's, you know, about the conflict that's going on in Sri Lanka, right?

And that's just one of those moments where you go like, I don't understand why they're shutting down the highways. Yeah, this, in this case, it's even. More egregious than that, these people are arming themselves and, and, you know, they kill something like 50 British soldiers in the whole war. It's a really, it's a really crazy thing that happened.

And by the end, there's only like 70. They were hardcore veterans, Civil War veterans, a lot of them. Like, it wasn't just a joke, a couple of mummers. Walk across the border and start, you know, shooting at people. That was a real thing. And wasn't it initially the U. S. government was kind of like, wink, wink.

And then, like, they realized they had to get on [00:08:00] it. I'm sure there must have been something like that. Because at the same time Because they allow it to happen. Yeah, you let 400 armed Irishmen walk across the border. I understand that border security probably wasn't on par is what it is today. But still, that's a pretty egregious thing.

I mean, they wouldn't let 400 people, they wouldn't let 400 armed Irishmen, you know, walk down the street in, in, in Philadelphia in the same time period. Well, what made it crazier is that they, uh, I think they staged off of an island in, um, the Niagara River, if I'm not mistaken. So they were allowed enough to, like you say, 400 Irishman stage and an island.

So they had to have had a lot of boats to get there and then a lot of boats to get to the other side. So there was a, there must've been somebody who was like, you know, let's take a little pot shot at the British, you know, now that the war's over. That's hilarious. Yeah, it's such a crazy part of history.

Uh, and Chris, you wanted to say something? [00:09:00] No, it's just like, I find like, just from reading a little bit of this story, it's a lot of like, oh, like how, like mistreated the Irish were, and there's a lot of that, right? But you see stuff like this and say you're like Anglo Protestant stock, your family's lived here a couple of generations and you see this and you're just like, we didn't have these problems.

And so, you know what I mean? Like, it's understandable, Regal. Like, is this, I don't know, is this something that we really want and, um, we're doing a series on, like, Italian immigration and stuff like that. And when people like Madison, like, Madison Grant was like a, was a super hardcore racist, right? Like, he had, like, racialist arguments for it, but I could understand a general perspective going, like.

Maybe we can just slow it down. Yeah. And I mean, you can make the same argument against like American revolutionaries in the 1770s. You're like, what? Cause you're paying, you're not, you're paying too many taxes. What are you talking about? You don't even pay that much compared to the rest of the British empire.

I mean, and the same [00:10:00] thing in Puerto Rico too. They were like, you can't tax us. How dare you? It was like, but. We're just taxing you the same amount that we're taxing everyone else in our country. So it's that strange dichotomy. I mean, it's, it's the upper versus the lower, and that's the, that's a constant struggle between the two.

And I think that really applies with the Molly Maguires because you think about it. After the civil war, there was a lot of, well, the, during the war, there was inflation and so they had to raise the end because of all the need for the more coal and more stuff like that. So the wages went up, but then when deflationary pressures come in.

Wages should naturally go down. So they had to fight to get the wages to go up during the inflationary times. And then, well, now our wages are like this, who wants to take a cut, even though the, you know, like the macroeconomic situation saying that price. This should go down. I mean, we're going through that same thing.

Now, wages aren't [00:11:00] keeping up with inflation and people want raises to keep up with inflation. But eventually inflation will settle down and who wants to have their, their wages go down once they're at a certain level to keep up with that. I mean, that's like classic Keynesian sticky wages, but it's more than just a theory when it's happening to you.

So you can really see how these. You know, these, uh, workers, you know, they're getting basically screwed on both ends of that. Yeah. Even today. Uh, I mean, I'll talk about this later, the coal mining situation in America. It's a pretty egregious the way the company or the country deals with with coal miners.

Uh, uh, I'm thinking of, I've just I'm researching right now about the, the Harlan county wars in the 1930s in this country. Basically, short story short, uh, miners in Kentucky were trying to unionize. It was [00:12:00] resisted violently by coal operators and local police forces. Uh, and by the end, we're talking like, 2011.

Um, the union succeeds, but Barack Obama passes a bunch of, uh, environmental legislation to counteract the effects of dirty coal, because coal is the dirtiest, uh, beyond anything that you can burn. It's the dirtiest. So there were. Logical steps taken to prevent, uh, coal mining to continue production. But this left the coal miners completely out in the snow.

I think, I mean, there's so much work being done toward marijuana legalization and the first people who get the first crack at a lot of these marijuana postings or jobs or whatever are people who were formerly incarcerated for marijuana charges. So I think it would be a good idea if. When any of this new green legislation comes forward, the first people who really benefit from it should be these coal miners who are completely [00:13:00] left in the dark.

It's not like, uh, their company just has to declare bankruptcy and they can go back, you know, they can go back to their moderately well off lives. The coal miners completely left in the dark. They're left with no money. And in some cases, they were actually forced, were forced to mine for no pay. And they, they stood on the tracks like these Sri Lankans did in Canada of the, of the railroad.

So the, the. Coal that they picked, which was basically using enslaved labor wouldn't be sent away. They wanted to be paid for the, the things that they did. And this is the same thing here. I mean, uh, as far as we've come, there's always farther we can go. And this just shows the level of egregiousness that it could be at first where it is now.

Not that there aren't problems. I just. I think I showed one right there. Coal miners who haven't done anything wrong. They're not trying to destroy the planet. They're not trying to raise sea levels. Not actively, they're just trying to bring home food for their kids and family. [00:14:00] But because of the situation they find themselves in, they're given the short end of the stick, like you were saying, Stephen.

But what do you guys think of that? Do you think that that's a pretty fair assessment with every environmental You know, in environment, green, new deal, whatever that gets passed. Uh, the 1st people who benefit, I think, should be these coal miners and the people who are getting the short end of the stick.

And in all these cases, it was like, when they did the industrialization and Canada and the United States, um, I mean, we can argue whether that was a good idea or not a good idea to switch over to more of a service economy. And, uh. I have my own opinions on that problem is like a lot of the so when they closed a lot of these factories down, I mean, you can pull up the articles.

It's a meme now, but literally a lot of these people thought, like, the people that were working in these factories, we're going to learn how to use computers, or they're going to be coders, or they were going to do this or that. And like, Yeah, if you're in a think tank and you're talking about [00:15:00] people like they're interchangeable, it sounds like a good idea, but the reality is, like, I am assuming a lot of these guys that are working in coal mines, yeah, maybe the managers and stuff like that, slightly different, but the guys that are actually, you know, mining the coal.

They're not going to be working on computers and stuff like that. And I mean, in a humane way, you have to find them something else to do. You just, you have to, right? Otherwise you have what happened in Pittsburgh. You have what happened in all these towns that, uh, became deindustrialized. They, they become hell on earth.

I mean, look at Detroit. It's going to be interesting to see what this trend, because I mean, yeah, it's been since like the, since the seventies and the deindustrialization has hurt really, uh, I mean, I guess you would say more unskilled labor, but now like we're getting into chat GPT and all these things that you can write code in chat GPT that would take 20 coders.

A week to [00:16:00] do, and these AI programs are doing it better and an hour or less. I mean, it's so now that it's creeping into the, like the next rung of skilled labor that has not, that has not been affected by these, these trends. I wonder what's going to happen with that. I mean, so many fields are going to be disrupted through.

AI and things like that in HR and in accounting where they're just not going to need people, you know, armies of people. And it's going to be interesting to see when it creeps into the, to zoomers getting affected by, by all of these trends, you know, what's going to happen to the, to that, to people who, I mean, arguably probably for one reason or another, I have a lot more voice in society.

You know, what's going to happen when they're, I mean, we're, we're starting to see the trends, like job numbers. Most of the, the [00:17:00] increase in jobs has been in the service economy on the lower end of the pay scale. But the, the number of people who are in the 100, 000 job range that are getting laid off, it's like 30%.

It's huge. Wow. Yeah. It's definitely a problem because I mean, I don't need to tell anyone. The historical, uh, parallels to the situation that we're in where people are making or being employed at at bad jobs, and they're forced to get more jobs to make ends meet and, uh, either they run to the far left or the far right.

There's there's really no in between, and they sort of the government sort of forcing the situation on on people. And that's really that's really not okay. I think that before anything, more democracy is what's needed. Uh, in the government and in the workplace and in everyday life. I don't think that there's really a point where democracy can really fail.

If anyone, if [00:18:00] everyone has an opinion, everyone should be allowed to express it. That's just me. Yeah, that definitely opens up a huge, a huge, uh, discussion. Steve here. We are a member of the Parthenon Podcast Network, featuring great shows like Richard Lim's This American President and other great shows.

Go to ParthenonPodcast. com to learn more, and here is a quick word from our sponsors. Yeah, you guys are, you guys are talking about AI and like, you know, like robotics and stuff like that slowly taking away a lot of these jobs. I mean, another repercussion, I think people, um aren't taking into account is physical labor.

I'm not talking about the stuff that the time period that we're talking about in terms of the minors, you know, like the black cloth and the horrible working conditions. And I mean, that was not right, obviously, right? It was extremely bad, but physical labor in terms of just, you know, physically working a [00:19:00] job.

Now, I'm not saying that, uh, people have to do this, uh, for their entire lives. This is. I don't know. It's kind of basically what I do for work, but I think once that's kind of not there, it's not going to be good, especially for men, to be quite honest with you. I think they should, every man should have to work a physical job at one point in their life, just to kind of understand, um, if you think you have it bad at your job, you know, it beats throwing coal in the crate and lugging it up a hill.

You know, like, it really does. I think it has like kind of a leveling effect. It's either you can do the job or you can't do the job. Right? Um, I just think that's something that's, I don't know, people aren't talking about and I don't know, people say it, I don't know, they see it as a liberation and go, I'm liberated from the, uh, you know, the toils of hard labor, but a hard, hard labor in and of itself, I think is a good quality.

And I was thinking too, like that, that connects back to the Molly Maguire's and like this, uh, [00:20:00] conflict between labor and management, like, think about it to the, you know, over the past, the, the de industrialization of the seventies, the eighties, the nineties, and even to the two thousands, like all the people who lost their jobs, are they going to really.

That now the, the managerial class and the coders and the, the accountants and the HR that they're losing their jobs now, like that class distinction has been set up now and they're not going to really care and there's not going to be a lot of room for, uh, forming alliances because they're going to be like, yeah, you made, uh, you know, six figures for all these times while I was, uh, you know, For a gen, two generations now, people have had no jobs, you know, so I think a lot of conflict is going to be coming up and a lot of that conflict really played out in the 1870s where there was such a massive change in the [00:21:00] way the economy worked.

Yeah, definitely. And speaking of the 1870s, uh. Uh, the thing like the Paris Commune just happened, 1870. The Communards rose in Paris, and something like 20, 000 to 100, 000 Parisians were butchered in the street by a reactionary French government. Uh, and this became The the synonymous calling card for all forms of agitation.

They blame the great fire in Chicago on on communards. They, they, they compared the, the Sioux nation, which was fighting their last rebellion in the, in the plains of Dakota and, and, and stuff to, to the reds. They were like, these were the first and that's, it works out that they were literally red men.

That's what the, the, at least journalists and everything called them. Uh, and they were like, this is red society in America, and we need to stop this out. So Americanism can start to flourish again. And that was how this whole, [00:22:00] uh, uh, scenario was sort of, uh, Uh, placed in and and throughout the late 1860s, uh, early 1870s, the Molly Maguires were very active.

So there's a guy, David Muir. He's killed. He shot through the heart and he stabbed repeatedly. There's this guy, William Pollack. He's on the road with his kid. Uh, he gets bushwhacked, uh, uh, he gets shot in the back, but somehow he's managed to, he manages to turn on his attacker and during their hand to hand struggle, his son is just like pummeling this dude over the face with a horse whip, uh, who's only 14 years old.

So, so good on that kid. He was, uh, seemingly raised pretty well that he was able to defend him and his father in that situation. Um, so following that, yeah. There was a period of calm. This is because there were no major peasant holidays in between. So the 2nd, December starts up. Boom. There's another killing.

Uh, a company store was ransacked. Uh, Philip Warren's [00:23:00] his house was ransacked to his wife was held at gunpoint terrorized. 1866, same exact thing. It's more of the same. The, uh, on April 2nd, two strangers, complete strangers arrive in Mahoy Township, and they shoot a mine owner's son in the face. This kid, uh, or I assume young adult.

I'm not sure how old he was. He manages to stay alive. And he, he fights off these two and one of them gets killed in the, in the melee. Uh, this shows pretty clearly that Mali's were working across county lines. They would travel north and south across county, uh, territory and commit hits based on, you know, what this guy said about this mine operator or what this member said about this company store.

Uh, and this is how things happen for a lot. So, to counteract this, the Pennsylvania state legislature goes to an unprecedented, uh, uh, uh, new level. They give [00:24:00] private military powers to the coal executives and they create the coal and iron police. This, um, as you might expect, uh, was not a very, uh, good institution.

They mostly targeted people for labor agitation of any kind. I mean, maybe some of the people they arrested were genuinely. Awful people, and that's definitely possible. Uh, but for the most part, a good portion of the people they went for were, you know, community men about town who had a voice who weren't going to be cowed by, you know, the coal executives and what they wanted.

Um, uh, this was compared at the time to feudal retainers. So who, who, I mean, today, who knows what it would have been compared to? I mean, it probably would have been compared to is the Wagner group, which is what we talked about a little bit before, and it goes a step further. The guy, uh, what Mark Bullock, he says, basically.[00:25:00]

That there was a colonized island in the midst of the Pennsylvania Commonwealth. So, uh, they've given up all forms of control. Um, so for months, as these strikes go on, the, the companies just keep the mines open. They're like, we're going to keep the mines open. We're going to get rid of the worst. And we're going to bring in new people.

We're going to bring in people from England and Wales. When they bring in these miners, they're also complaining about, you know, rigorous work schedule, lack of pay, you know, no pay for putting up beams of protection, et cetera, et cetera. Um, and they're like, what's the problem? So, eventually the coal operators just go broke.

They run out of money. And this sort of opens the door for this guy Gowan to come in, uh, before he's able to come in and take over everything, a union rises. This is one of the first, uh, major mining unions, especially in the state of Pennsylvania. This was the WBA or the Workmen's Benevolence [00:26:00] Association.

Um, it was headed by an Irish miner named John Siney. He only recently moved to America. He immigrated from England, uh, born in, in, in County Leash. He was, he immigrated to England and then he immigrated once more to America in 1863. And this was a clear sign that things were changing for the Irish community in Pennsylvania and the country at large.

It wasn't just some Irish thing anymore. The WBA was, uh, incredible in the fact that it allowed all nationalities to participate. Uh, any kind of person can join this, uh, Workmen's Society and, and receive, um, benefits through it or support. Um, with the rise of the WBA, you see immediately Molly Maguire killings fall off a cliff.

In four years, there were two. Uh, that's almost unheard of. Every other year we've talked about so far, there's been at least 10, uh, if not more, [00:27:00] uh, uh, uh, uh, MALDI related killings. So what does this say? I think this says, and uh, when we talked earlier in, in our first part, uh, Chris was asking, what's the point of all this?

I don't, I don't get it. I don't know. I don't know where to, what to make of this. I think what to make of it is that when, when this union came, violence fell off a cliff. And when unions spring up in anywhere across the planet, violence, especially labor related violence, falls off a cliff. That's not to say there aren't, uh, places where corruption can sneak in and organized crime can take over.

I mean, my grandfather was a teamster under Hoffa. So he, I know full well about the many abuses that could take place when unions are given too much power. But if you treat them as equal. Uh, equal institutions, equal associations. You see, uh, violence fall off a cliff. Uh, any country, you can name it. Uh, [00:28:00] violence has fallen off dramatically once union rights are preeminent in the, the state's thinking.

Talk about a place like Italy. In the 1890s, the, the Fasci movement was huge and they were these violent agitators, much like the Molly Maguire movement. Um. And what happens after they're crushed violently by this guy? Crispy, uh, new prime minister comes in. He allows the right to strike. He allows unions the right to organize.

He allows collective bargaining and instantaneously wages go up. The livelihoods of people go up and the economy flourishes, not just flourishes. I'm talking about Italy has the second highest growth rate prior to World War I than Japan. Every other country, it outpaces. It outpaces Great Britain, it outpaces France, even the United States.

Uh, there's not a more powerful, uh, economy besides Japan who's going through the Meiji Restoration at this time. So this to me is the [00:29:00] point. I think union rights, when they're introduced, They mitigate violence on a huge scale, but what do you guys think? Oh, I was going to say, like, you brought up, I mean, the problems with the unions.

I mean, one big part of our show, really, uh, Organized Crime and Punishment, is talking about organized crime and unions and the corruption that it can breed, right? Um But you, but at the same time, like, if you know you're dealing with, say, characters, say, from the mafia, I'm just going to use this as an example, you're less likely to screw around.

Are you not? I don't, that's, uh, because you don't know who's going to be knocking on your door, right? Um, but in terms of like, say, like the owners and say, union reps being able to communicate with one another, um, better if, uh, the unions have a bit, uh, more power. Yeah. I would generally agree with that. I mean, I'm not, I'm not the, I don't know, like, I didn't grow up with, like, the Teamsters Union and stuff like that.

[00:30:00] Right? So, like, I have, like, an interesting, I don't know. I don't know how exactly how to feel about unions because, like, I hear sometimes, like, You know, somebody joins the union and then I hear what they're getting paid in terms of what, uh, he's like somebody at work mentioned their, their husband's like a carpenter or something, or he's doing, I don't know, something.

He's in the union and they're paying, um, I think it's like 70 an hour. And I go, I don't think that's sustainable. You know what I mean? Like, I just, I don't think that's, you know what I mean? Like, long term, I don't think that wage is sustainable. I know up here in Oshawa, where I currently am right now, there's a big GM plant, and they basically shut the entire plant down for, I believe it was 2 years to basically get all the old workers out.

And then they brought it back up. Then they opened it up again, and I think they're making a truck and 1 other vehicle out of there and they brought all new workers. And I mean, 1 of the reasons that they got rid of all the old workers, you had guys that have been working there for, you know, 30 [00:31:00] years, right?

And literally their job is to, like, say, put the tires on the car when it's going through the assembly line. And some of these guys were making close to 50 an hour. And I go, I don't know. You can't. Run a profitable pro plant at those wages, only a few dollars, not more than three or four dollars a day. And they weren't even paid based on like rate age or wages or anything.

They were paid on tonnage. So it depended on how much coal you literally. Mind and of course, every single dynamite charge you use to displace call that was taken out of your paycheck. You broke a piece of equipment that was taken out of your paycheck. You, you, you know, your thing went off on your headlamp.

You had to replace that. That's coming out of your paycheck at the end of the week. And this is in the movie, this is one of the best scenes in the entire movie. Uh, he's getting his paycheck. And the guy in the nice suit is saying, You used three things of, uh, dynamite. You had to replace, [00:32:00] uh, a wick on your thing.

And you have, um, you had to replace a bunch of boards. Here's 23 cents for the whole week. And that was literally all the money he made and and Richard Harris is just there staring at him like stunned. Like, what are you talking about? And this was a whole lineup of people that have to just sit there and bear all these expenses that they shouldn't have even been charged.

I mean, realistically, this should have come out of the company's paycheck at least. I think that's at least a little bit fair. They're forced to come home with 23 cents or in some cases. Oh, I don't know. The place that they work at. Well, yeah, I mean, it's it's circumstances like that, where you look at it and go, like, organized labor in terms of fighting against some of these injustices.

It makes sense, right? Um, it more so my commentary is kind of like how modern unions are kind of running. And I just use the wages as an example. And people, I don't know, people will say, like, push [00:33:00] back and say, well, you're like a bootlicker or something like that. But I think they just think objectively, you know, like, you can't.

Yeah. It's not sustainable to be paying a guy, you know, 55 an hour just because he happened to work there for 30 years to put a tire on a car. It's just not, the company can't be profitable. And at the end of the day, like it, it has to be like a symbiotic relationship, right? They can't be just all about the workers and it can't be all just about the owners.

It really has to work together because if the owners are not making a profit. Right? How can they justify keeping the workers and vice versa, right? This is what happened in England with the, uh, the miners there and Margaret Thatcher, right? People can say whatever they want about Margaret Thatcher, but the, um, coal miners in England at the time, these were not profitable endeavors.

They just weren't. And regardless of whether you think what she did was right or not right, you know. Because I have a lot of respect for her because she decided on a course of action and she stuck to it, you know, and that's [00:34:00] an example of where it becomes way too much in one direction. Really at the end of the day, and people talked a lot about this throughout history, right?

You want to have like a symbiotic relationship kind of where like the owners are respecting the workers and the workers are respecting the company. Yeah, I really, it really boils down to it when there's an imbalance in the labor market, those people, the, the workers in those Pennsylvania coal towns, there's nowhere for them to go.

It's not like they could pick up and go to the next company. So the company really did have them over the barrel. But then when it, like Chris was saying, when things get out of balance in the other way. And labor has so much power over the companies, then the companies wind up folding because they can't pay those, those wages, do those imbalances just have to work them out and they suck at the time that it's either going to, it's going to be bad for.

Everybody at some [00:35:00] point when those labor, when labor versus management breaks down, but eventually it's going to work itself out. Like, I think almost we want, like, we want everything to run smoothly, but sometimes it just doesn't. And I mean, I keep bringing it back to how things now with the industrialization.

Yeah, it's 40 years and it's, it's really crushed, like in a lot of places, two generations, but in the grand scope of things is 40 years, a long time. As far as historical trends go, it's really, really bad for individuals on the micro scale, but in the macro scale, that's just how these things work out. Yeah, but, and that's obviously no consolation for someone who's just working and it's like, wow, I, I have to work three jobs just to get my kids into like a decent school or something, you know, uh, uh.

Like you were saying today, huge change in the market, huge change in the way America makes money. Now we're mostly a service, [00:36:00] uh, uh, service style economy where previously we were industrialized. Uh, I'm in the process of actually researching vociferously for, um, uh, uh, the ninth, my 1930s episode. It's going to cover the thirties, forties.

Um, and there is exactly like what you were talking about, Steve, where labor is given too much power, not out of, you know, like a shifty sort of double dealing kind of way, but genuinely, they were trying to give workers power. But what ended up happening, and FDR readily admitted to this, uh, America became a cartel economy.

These unions became cartels. And the companies that served them became sort of like, uh, the drug fiends. So the, the drug fiends would do anything possible to keep the cartels happy. Which left the government happy, but this led to the massive recession of 1937, which was, which was a huge deal. I mean, [00:37:00] there were questions if FDR was even going to get reelected for his third term.

Uh, we don't think about it now, but it's a, it's a huge part of American history. And there was actually a very, uh, uh, well known, uh, uh, Sort of report a statistical analysis done. Uh, I'm just trying to remember who did it. I think it's UCLA, but he basically, this guy basically puts forward the argument that FDR prolonged the Great Depression through his interventionists economic policies.

That might be the case. I'm not arguing that that's either here or there. I'd suggest reading. The, the, the study, because it goes into way more detail than just that. Obviously, there's more than that. He makes a point to point out that toward the end of his presidency, FDR changed his mind on a lot of these things.

And a lot of these same, uh, ideas were shifted and, and, and changed to a more even middle keel sort of place. Um, but basically what ended up happening is, is like what I was saying, it [00:38:00] became a, a, a cartel and that's obviously not good. But it's obviously not good when, you know, private industry is given complete control over their employer.

Uh, and I think it helps to explain how organized labor and organized crime weren't actually the strange bedfellows. They actually, it actually made perfect sense. Just like how organized crime and law enforcement aren't strange bedfellows. It makes perfect sense. They work with each other. Constantly. I mean, it's a, it's a basic relationship.

It can be symbiotic. It can be incredibly detrimental. Steve here. We are a member of the Parthenon Podcast Network, featuring great shows like James Early's Key Battles of American History Podcast and many other great shows. Go over to ParthenonPodcast. com to learn more. And here is a quick word from our sponsors.[00:39:00]

You really do lay out, Joe, those two dichotomies of where, in the 1870s and in the earlier, earlier than that, where these corporations had so much control, and then it swings in the other direction. And I think that you really have to think about, like, hopefully people are looking at these things and trying to figure out, you know, what can we do?

To stop it from swinging so much because then when things do swing to such a degree, that's where, how you were saying earlier is that people either go to the extreme left or the extreme right or some sort of extreme that doesn't end well for everybody. Yeah, exactly. It's all about balance. It's all about middle ground.

I mean. Even the argument like, oh, I want a complete socialist economy. I want a complete capitalist economy. Those are completely unfeasible, uh, uh, uh, structures. You can't, I mean, even when Adam Smith was writing Wealth of Nations, he was writing it at, right at the start of, of the [00:40:00] Industrial Revolution in England.

So he needed, he was writing about something that was already passing him by. Same thing with Marx. He was writing about socialism from an early industrialized perspective. He wasn't writing about it in the future where, oh, the AI is going to take over people's jobs. He wasn't thinking about this. He was thinking about, like, sewing machines taking over people's jobs.

I mean, it, it's literally, that's literally the, this. Yeah, no, it's the truth. All right, people. I mean, it's good to read the original thinkers, obviously, right? Like, especially there's like a lot of people will claim like, oh, I'm a socialist or, you know, like, I'm a fascist or something. You're using, like, the, the 2 extreme rights and then you talk to these people and like, have you, did you.

Have you actually read Benito Mussolini's book? Like, did you actually read Karl Marx? I know for sure a lot of the times they're lying, because if you actually tried to sit and read Das Kapital, God bless you, I've tried. I got through some of [00:41:00] it. But it's, it's not a fun read at all. Look, Joe, now that we're moving into the 1870s, tell us a little bit more what was going on at that, uh, at that time.

So, through the whole early 1870s, you have this guy, Franklin Gowen. He's buying up everything. He's buying up the canal, which was the main, uh, exporter of coal previous to this. He's already been placed in charge of the, the Reading Pennsylvania Railroad. Um, and he's starting the process of buying out the legislature.

Super easy to do, you know, no problem. That this isn't the issue he's having. The issues he's having is with the union, the WBA, uh, which is now basically a statewide institution, has a lot of power, has a lot of, uh, I guess, progressive congressmen who are on their side, pro labor congressmen, whatever you want to call them.

Um, and he's buying up all this stuff. He's also trying to buy up all these [00:42:00] individually owned small, um, uh, businesses, but right before the 1870s, I should just mention this. There's this massive disaster, uh, massive mining disaster for the time. It was the deadliest in United States history. It's in 1869 at a place called Avondale in, uh, Luzerne County, Pennsylvania, uh, 110.

Uh, miners were trapped when a single shaft mine collapsed on them. Uh, they basically suffocated in the, in the collapse, like whole townships came to try and save the people still inside, but there was no hope. Um, uh, in, in response. Or, well, right before that, there was actually a safety bill in Pennsylvania state legislature that would have, uh, demanded a 2nd exit to your mind.

It would have demanded a safety instructor for your mind. It would have, uh, another 1 would have demanded, [00:43:00] uh. Fencing around an empty hole, for example, all of these were rejected by the state legislature. The guy who rejected it is this guy, Samuel G. Turner, who said, I can't only remember, but 1 instance where fire damp explosion has hurt a single minor.

So, because he can only remember the 1 time when it happened, he decided to, uh, Vote against this bill. Uh, basically his words are recounted. His life is in danger. Um, and he ends up passing a safety bill through the house. He loses right away. So at least democracy works a little bit, I guess. Um, at this time, the Mali's are basically underground.

I mean, they're letting the union do their thing. Their main face is the ancient order of hibernians. So that's what they're mainly doing. They're helping out Irish people in town. They're helping out, you know, Irish people in local politics because the Irish, they latch on to local politics, uh, very easily.

I mean, [00:44:00] they become sheriffs, they become mayors, they become. You know, state senators, et cetera, et cetera. And they have a huge avid base because Irishmen will always vote for fellow Irishmen, um, almost exclusively. Even this guy, Gowen, he's voted for exclusively by Irishmen during the Civil War. So, uh, 1870, Gowen, he's forced to sign a contract with the Union because rail unions are, uh, striking or, or threatening to strike in solidarity with the WBA.

He signs another one. And, but in the north anthracite fields, they're, um, they're still, uh, they're still under control of separate mining institutions. And these mining institutions are saying we're going to need to cut wages. So they strike against John Siney's wishes. Um, it was very effective, but this is when Gowan puts the hammer down.

He, he raises freight rates [00:45:00] 100%. He closes down the canal he just bought, and he starts buying up even more territory with these dummy companies. Um, by the end of 1874, he has 100, 000 acres of, of prime coal mining real estate. Uh, and, and this was basically in a single movement, he became like the kingpin.

Uh, and this basically crushes the strike. They agree to arbitration and they all begrudgingly, everyone begrudgingly returns to work. So, by 1873. Gowen is meeting with, he meets with Alan Pinkerton. Uh, I assume everyone knows the Pinkertons famous private detective agency. Uh, he he's famously also this guy, Alan Pinkerton, he delivered, um, information to the union on like military movements.

He claimed that like the Confederate army was like 200, 000 strong outside of Richmond and, and. This is what made George McClellan pee his pants [00:46:00] and, and run as fast as he could away from there. Uh, but he be, he's like this incredibly conservative, like, tough on crime. Like, he would get visibly, like, he would visibly shake when he heard about certain crimes.

Like, if he heard about, like, a, a really bad break in or something, he would become visibly angry and, like, red in the face. He was a real, like, crusader. Here's about this from Gowan almost right away. He's like, yes, let's stop this movement. We need to we need to end it where it's that where it where it is right now before it gets even worse.

He fingers, uh, uh, 1 of his detectives guy named, uh, James McParland. He, um, this guy is an Irish Catholic from Ulster, so he fits the part perfectly. Uh, and his job is to go undercover into school, kill county infiltrate the Molly McGuire movement. Uh, report on any crimes or anything committed and and through this investigation, uh, he will end up bringing [00:47:00] down the Molly Maguires.

So he arrives in October 27th, 1873. He showed up. He said he was an itinerant Irish worker. He was just on the lamb and he was accused of murder. Supposedly got into a fight with this guy and that was his cover story. He's almost discovered like right away. The second he shows up in, in, in school, kill.

He's almost discovered by, uh, uh, uh, a barman who I assume knew him, uh, from, uh, you know, time previous, he gets off Scott free there. He meets up with the body master of, uh, I forget what County it is. But he, he meets up with this guy Lawler, who makes him a part of the HOA, and then the Molly Maguire movement.

Uh, he is then made the note taker, because he can read and write. No one seemed to question this. They just were like, okay, you can read and write. Sure. Uh, take all the notes. This made it incredibly easy for him to, you know, dig up dirt and, and keep [00:48:00] track of everything that was going on. And it made him an integral part of every meeting.

I mean, he was there when they decided when to give out blood money for, for, for a hit and when to, to do this and to do that. And he kept notes on all this stuff. Now, he wrote a book following this, actually, about the whole situation. Now, a lot of people claim he was actually, like, an agent provocateur.

Like, he was working to sully the good name of the HOA and the Molly Maguire movement. Which, previous to this, genuinely wasn't very violent anymore. I mean, this was, they put on their public face. And the Molly Maguires was, you know, something they brought out if they really needed to threaten someone. Um.

But through this whole time, they weren't really necessary, the Molly Maguires. I don't know, what's your opinion? Was he there to be an agent provocateur, or was he just legitimately investigating what was going on? I think it's a little bit of both. I think that it was this and that. I don't think [00:49:00] that there was one clear answer there.

Because, I mean, if you look at a picture of this guy, he's like, he's steely, determined stare. He seems like the kind of guy. I mean, I don't know him personally, uh, but he seems like the kind of guy to, to go to any length to advance his station. And, and this is sort of how he's portrayed by Richard Harris in the movie.

He's this guy will go to any length to just get a little bit ahead because he's been, he's been stepped on his whole life. And that's sort of what he, he, um, he looks like genuinely and, and, and just following him. The, the Molly Maguire's, uh, he would use the same archetype to bring down other movements.

Like, he's made, uh, in the early 1900s, he's made the head investigator for this bombing in Nebraska, I think. And he uses this bombing of this disgruntled employee against his boss. Um, to to pin it on the entire international workers of the world movement, the IWW [00:50:00] and he accuses the head of the IWW as a part of this conspiracy.

He accuses, you know, it's the same. It's the same, you know, strategy. Basically, he's there's this labor movement. That's radical. It's sometimes violent. Uh, so he went in, he accused them of this and that. In that case, it didn't work. All the people accused got off. But in this case, it works to the nines. And that's because of how violent things become, uh, following the long strike of the 18, of the 1870s.

So this strike lasts like 5 months. It's a 5 month long strike. Um, throughout it. I mean, people get more and more disheartened as time goes on, uh, and, and the strike is basically brought on by Gowen. He's been hoarding coal this whole time, even though he owes tens of millions of dollars to, you know, loaners and banks and stuff for all the, all the [00:51:00] land he's purchased.

Um, He's been hoarding coal this whole time. And this is the, this is the final nail on the coffin for the WBA. The WBA, it falls into lesser hands. It falls into the second in command of the, the movement because John Siney is elected the head of the, uh, the, the 1st president of a national. Miners union, which represents, which represented all minors, uh, at the time, or at least attempted to, but I, so I'm not sure.

Yeah, I mean, there, there was other, um, corners on the market that had happened at roughly that time. It was a golden fist with gold at, um, more or less that time. Like that was a going. Yes. Yes. That's around that same time. Yeah. You know, and it was almost like a game of chicken with themselves to if they can.

Do it like if they can hold off everybody long enough to make it work at the end before everything like can just colossally blew up in their face. [00:52:00] Yeah, it was basically a very long game. What did you say a game of chicken? That's that's perfect. It was like, who's gonna who's gonna flinch 1st? Who's gonna who's gonna let slip the their hand?

Who's going to give it all up? You know, I think that was that's a very good analogy. I think it's interesting, too, with that guy who's basically going undercover, it's different when it's being done, I think, by the companies and through this private company of the Pinkertons, they have a different goal at the end of the day than say, the police or the FBI, the FBI has to do things in a certain way with like Joe Pistone, that you need to get convictions at the end and the way Gather evidence throughout that process is going to, we're really at the goal of the companies is just to end the strikes so they can operate in a different way.

So, like the, is it, is he an agent provocateur or is he not? It's kind of the same different sides of the [00:53:00] same coin, I would think. What do you think of that? Yeah. Which side are you on? I mean, that's really what it comes down to. If you're on the side of the company, it makes perfect sense for, for this guy to be going through and he's doing, he's doing the Lord's work.

I mean, these people agreed to, to work for this amount of money for this amount of tonnage rate. And now they're trying to go against an agreement that was made between a company and, uh, uh, an individual. Uh, I guess from their perspective, they would say. Well, this agreement was made under duress, if anything, I mean, we have just as much a right to associate with ourselves as you have a right to decide coal prices for the whole market or gas prices or, or whatever.

Yeah, and you make an agreement. Does that agreement last forever that we have to basically take it? You know, I think that's the next, the next step to it. Probably the most bizarre thing for Anyone listening to this podcast or researching this is just all these private entities doing all this stuff.

Like, it's a private, [00:54:00] uh, detective company that's doing this and the company has its own private police force. It's, you know what I mean? Like, the company's like, it's. I mean, we just don't, I mean, we're starting to see that a little bit offline. We talked to me, I think I mentioned Blackwater and we mentioned like the Wagner group, which was like, I don't know, like these semi private armies.

I mean, I think it's something that we're going to start seeing a little more often, probably not within our lifetimes, like Amazon having like an army or something like that. But we're seeing kind of shadows of that with private security. And I can't think of the name of it. And I probably don't want to say it to get on the wrong side of them, but the government is even using them as security instead of police, because police have do things a certain way, you know, they can't violate your rights completely openly where these companies, even though they're.

Working for the government. It's kind of like a layer because, because these [00:55:00] companies are working for the government, they're supposed to follow the rules in a certain way of like, you know, not, uh, uh, trampling on people's constitutional rights, but because they're a private company, you have to sue the company.

And then if you. You have to like go through the company before you can sue the government. A lot of companies are starting to use these companies because it incites them from a lot of liability and the company is, is insulated. It's, you know, it's not full blown where the, the private security is basically.

The police for a county like Carbon County or Lucerne County, but you can definitely see that there's some, some similarities. History isn't repeating itself, but it's singing a similar tune. So what happens as we get to the pretty much the end of the Molly Maguires? So the long strike's over. It is 1875.

Uh, it's been it's been [00:56:00] defeated. Everyone goes back to work. They have to accept whatever Gowan agrees to pay them. People are blacklisted. You have 2 choices. Now you leave change your name or you starve. I mean, those are really the 2 options in front of people, uh, in the 2 months after the long strike.

There are 6 Molly McGuire assassinations. So, I mean, if this isn't a clear example of we've lost, you know, the, the little bit we were given, or we were allowed, we had to take, uh, now we have to, we have to go back to the old ways. We have to go back to the hard men who, who wait in the night. And, and this is one of the, I think this illustrates the point perfectly.

This was a notice left on a, I think a mineshaft or something, and it's written in Irish Brogue, so it says, I am against shooting as much as ye are, but the Union is broke up, and we have got nothing to defend ourselves with but our revolvers, and if we don't [00:57:00] use them, we shall have to work for fifty cents a day.

So this was a very stark choice for the people, um, who, who, who were living there. I mean, they're, they're living in this supposedly new world where, um, you know, things were supposed to be different where, you know, we, we fought to make men holy. Now we're fighting to make men free. That's supposed to have happened already.

Uh, and now they're subjecting people to basically Amount of money you would pay to refurbish tools or something. I mean, 50 cents is nothing. Uh, on top of this, there was anti Irish mob violence as well. So you see vigilantism and start to creep back into the Irish community where. Uh, Protestant Irish people or, uh, different ethnicities altogether are actively violently attacking Irish people.

In the worst case, Jack Kehoe, who is the [00:58:00] new head of the Molly Maguires, is, um, his, uh, brother in law is murdered. He's shot 15 times, dragged out of his house, shot 15 times. His, uh, sister in law, or his sister. Is murdered as she's pregnant. She has a, uh, a baby. She's shot in the chest and, uh, his, his wife.

Um, his mother in law is pistol whipped. Uh, so she, I guess, got off relatively scot free, but this was a really horrifying event in the movie. It's it's basically tame, uh, what happens? I mean, they're both asleep and they both get shot while they're sleeping and the baby already exists in this. The, the, the, the baby is still Inside the, the sister.

Uh, so the Mali's and the AOH, they begin to fall apart after this. This was the last act of violence that we can point toward or against the Mali's before the situation just becomes, uh, [00:59:00] impossible. And this has to do with McParland. He returns from exile, from being undercover for 3 plus years, collecting all this evidence.

Uh. And charges are brought plenty of people. I mean, 20 plus people are charged with connection to the Malini movement or conspiracy to commit murder. Uh, Gowan actually serves as the lead prosecutor. So this was at a time when you could still, uh, uh, serve as a prosecuting attorney, even if you were a private citizen.

And he says during this, um, during this trial, this trial. really sham of a trial. I mean, it was packed with, uh, conservative Dutchmen and, and Quakers from, from the, from different parts of Pennsylvania. Uh, he says, this very organization that we are now for the first time exposing to the light of day. Has hung like a pall over the people of this country.

Behind it stalked darkness and despair. Brooding like grim [01:00:00] shadows over the desolated hearth and the ruined home. And throughout the length and breadth of this fair land was heard the voice of wailing and lamentation. Nor is it alone those whose names that I have mentioned. But it is hundreds of unknown victims whose bones lie moldering over the face of this country.

So this was a very, like, powerful statement. I mean, his whole, like, diatribe was actually turned into a very popular pamphlet following this, Ga Gowen's diatribe, because it is very much fire and brimstone, you know, like Chris was saying, I can't, you can't help but think that he's kind of cool, right? I mean, I, I'm doing one about, I just did a, uh, an episode on, on Blair Mountain.

And there's this guy in the, during the Battle of Blair Mountain, this is the largest labor uprising in American history, uh, this guy, Don Chaffin, he's the sheriff slash, you know, uh, medieval baron of this [01:01:00] county in West Virginia. And he is the single worst human being I think I've ever read about. I mean, racist, violent, a drunk, everything that you can think of this guy is, but you can't help but be like, God damn it.

You're kind of cool. I, I, I don't like that. I don't like that that's the case. But just for example, this guy, a minor walks into his office, pulls a gun on him. He says, Don Chafin, I'm going to shoot you dead. And Don Chafin, he pulls out his own pistol, cool as anything, and he says, Go ahead, we'll hop into hell together.

Like, this is the kind of guy, That's cool, I can't, I can't help it, I'm sorry. I, I, But this is the kind of guy that Gowen is too, They share a lot of similarities. Um, so the first, They're all found guilty, obviously. There's no question. It takes like 20 minutes for the jury to deliberate. Um, the first round of hangings is set for, uh, uh, the Day of the Rope.

This is Black Thursday, June 21st, [01:02:00] 1877. Ten Molly Maguires, supposed Molly Maguires, a lot of these were just AOH members and union guys and stuff. They all hang together. Uh, among their number Uh, is not Kehoe Kehoe hangs, uh, individually. He is charged with an age old murder that happened during the Civil War or something.

Uh, that was like a bar fight that ended in in someone getting, like, stabbed to death or something, but he was charged with this in connection with being the head of the Molly McGuire movement. Um, he tries to argue for years, uh, against his, uh, against his. Hanging. It doesn't work. He gets killed in 1878 and there are about 10 more following that 2 of the worst.

Uh, it were these 2 guys, they were both accused Molly's, uh, they had their sentences reprieved for, I don't know, like, a day or a few months or whatever by the governor at, like, 1037 at [01:03:00] 1035, they were led to the gallows. So there's this. Time in between where this messenger is furiously banging on the door to try and be let in before this execution can happen and and basically they hear this guy banging.

They assume it's a distraught relative who missed the who missed the time, you know, and they don't answer it until they already are dropped. And so these 2 people are hanging switching because both of their necks don't break. So they're both twitching on the end of a line like fish, and as they finally let this messenger in, and the sheriff reads it, and instead of cutting him down, he takes his time, he's reading the whole thing out, he's like, I just received this, and then the guy stopped twitching, he turned over, he's like, I'm as sorry as anyone, and then he blames the priest.

He blamed the priest for, um, speeding up the execution process. So that was a pretty horrifying end to the Molly Maguire movement. So as this is happening, all these Mollies are [01:04:00] being executed together. The entire country is in a state of upheaval, the likes of which has never been seen before. I mean, this is the great railroad strike of 1877.

Something like 100 plus workers are killed, and they're in a lot of these industrialized places where we talked about today. Pittsburgh is a huge spot for revolutionary violence during 1877 to the point where like a National Guard unit is like literally barricaded inside a big, like, uh, I think it's like a train station or something like a big brick train station building and protesters actually like wheel a burning, uh, a wagon.

Full of stuff. So it catches this whole building on fire and the National Guard need to run for their lives as they're getting shot at by the citizenry of Pittsburgh. In Chicago, there's a burgeoning socialist movement, an American socialist movement that's led almost exclusively by immigrants, [01:05:00] German immigrants, but it's also led by one of the most interesting couples in history.

This is the couple of Albert and Lucy Parsons. Albert Parsons was a civil war, a veteran. He fought for the Confederacy. So following the Confederacy, he disowned the whole idea. He disowned, um, um, racism. He became a radical Republican and then he became an anarchist socialist. His wife was a formerly enslaved woman named Lucy Parsons, who was maybe more radical than he was.

And these two basically foment a gigantic uprising in Chicago that kills maybe like 40 people. There's this massive battle called the Battle of the Viaduct between state and civilian forces with sticks and stones and all kinds of weaponry. Uh And in St. Louis, the 1st ever commune in American history is declared, uh, maybe the only 1.

This was started [01:06:00] during the 1st general strike in the United States. Uh, and it was held up and mostly kept alive through German immigration. And German immigration was a huge part of keeping a place like Missouri, a part of the Union during the Civil War. You don't think about it, but, uh, Germans for whatever reason, they said, we need a place that looks exactly like home and it's exactly in the middle.

So they all moved to Missouri and they're like, this is the same. This is. And that's why the Midwest has so many breweries and stuff because of this German influence. Uh, but yeah, the Molly Maguires, 20 of them would be dead in total. Uh, in a final, like, quotation, this is sort of what you were talking about before, Chris, with the private influence.

It just reminded me of this quote. I needed to find it. So, the Molly Maguire trials. We're a surrender of state sovereignty, a private corporation initiated the investigation through a private detective agency, a [01:07:00] private police force arrested the alleged offenders and private attorneys for the coal companies prosecuted them.

The state provided only the courtroom and the gallows. Any objective study of the tenure of the times and the entire record must conclude that the Mollies did not have a fair and impartial jury. They were therefore denied one of the most fundamental rights that William Penn guaranteed to all Pennsylvania's citizens.

And as if to emphasize this point, uh, even clearer, one of the most famous final events Or final acts, I suppose, of of anyone, uh, occurs before he's hung Alexander Campbell or maybe a guy named Tom Fisher. I'm not sure exactly who did it. There's a bunch of controversy over who was actually the one who did this, but he dug his hand.

Above, high above his cell wall, and he said, There is proof of [01:08:00] my words. That mark of mine will never be wiped out. There it will remain forever. To shame the country that is hanging an innocent man. And, as far as we know, that handprint is still there. Uh, a sheriff eventually, or a warden or something, uh, eventually plastered over the handprint.

Uh, but it was very visible well until the 1820 or 1920s, 1930s, when it was finally plastered, I can attest I've seen the hand, the hand. I don't know what this is. I've gone to that jail. It's a museum now, private museum, and he's the curator and he's the curator. I talked to him for like an hour because nobody, I think everybody else was kind of on the ghost tour.

And he was like, anybody who wanted to hear the history, you better take a seat because he was going to tell it to you. The hand cut came back. And so you can take that for what it's worth, but [01:09:00] they plastered over it. Like Plaster, not just painted over it. They plastered over it and anything that they did the hand.

And I guess the Catholic church, either they investigated it or they're still investigating it, that it's like a bonafide miracle, like relic type thing. Wow. So this guy might be Patrick Campbell is he might be on the way to canonization. Yeah, you can go to, uh, Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania, and see the hand to this day.

Yeah, this is definitely the thing that got me most interested in the story, because I had no idea that this even existed. I, I, there was a, it's a really terrible reality show, I guess. It's like a ghost hunter show. It's called Ghost Adventures, and there's this This guy, Zach Bagan, who's just this complete meathead.

I mean, he's like, Bro, are there ghosts in here, bro? Are there ghosts? Like, this is, this is how he, like, confronts these ghosts. I'm like, yeah, no wonder nothing has ever happened on one of [01:10:00] your shows. I, yeah, it's, uh, but that's how I first heard about it. I didn't understand the labor context behind it, but then once I started researching it, I was like, oh my god, that's, that's this.

And, and, and, oh my, but yeah, it's an incredible story. I definitely suggest people go to visit that museum because the, the curator, and I wish I could remember his name. He, um, I mean, he will take the time to discuss it with you. And he was great with kids, like very personal one on one in the town of Jim Thorpe is amazing.

It's really like a little jewel inside of Pennsylvania. You can learn so much about. All of this, if you go. Yeah, I guess one last thing I would like to ask is, so the Molly Maguire's, this is kind of the impression that I get is, I'm pretty sure like the ancient order of Hibernia and the labor union, they knew that this was like, kind of like a group that they could use.[01:11:00]

if they needed to. So it's kind of like this, this, the logic of like, you, you guys have brought it up, like the extreme left and the extreme right, where on both sides of the spectrum, they all have this talking point is that you don't punch left or you don't punch right. Do you understand? Do you understand where I'm going here with this?

Where these guys were useful. When you need them, the problem is they weren't a lot of the times they would cause more problems than they, uh, than they were worth sometimes. So you have to find ways to be able to clamp down on them, but you didn't want to get rid of them completely because. They're willing to do things that say other people aren't willing to do.

Would that be, am I far off in thinking that? That's the impression I get.

Steve here again with a quick word from our sponsors.

I don't think so. I don't think so at all. Yeah, you're, you're a hundred percent spot on and I think it goes even further than that. I [01:12:00] think the union and the AOH and the Molly Maguires, they were all the same people. Uh, maybe not in the same level or the same numbers, uh, but the Molly Maguires were A A O H and the A O H definitely had union members as a part of it too.

So, it's like a big giant circle and it, it was a, it was a, an alliance of necessity, uh, I, I doubt that this progressive labor union really wanted to work with, uh, you know, this, this weird racist localist thing that the Molly Maguires were. Uh. But they did it nonetheless, just like labor unions have done throughout history with organized crime or syndicates or, or just street gangs in general.

I mean, throughout this whole period in place like New York City, you saw, like, street gangs vying for, like, the highest bidder and they would show up on the strike day. Uh, either supporting or being against the union, depending on who had the most money, if it was the companies or [01:13:00] if it was the union heads, or if you had a rival gang, they would join the other side at a little less of a rate so that they could get in on, on the, on the fight that was about to happen.

So this isn't some, I mean, it wasn't like a conspiracy. I, I, I, or like, uh, some sort of. Nefarious thing that was unintentional, you know, if they don't listen to us, we're going to send this guy in blackface to his house and he's going to blow his head off. I don't think it was like that. I think it was, um, they were all the same.

It was all 1 in the same. And I think. Irish people realized toward the second and sort of the second half of the 1860s and the early 1870s that they got farther with unions with unionizing and with local politics than they did with shooting people in the face. And that seems to, I mean, no matter how right or wrong you thought they were, uh, uh, it just, it wasn't going to work for them doing that policy.

And that's just for anything. I mean, no matter how right [01:14:00] your opinion is, or wrong your opinion is, if you you're Use violence to justify it, no matter how much violence is used against you or your people. It's not going to get anywhere, especially not in a society like we have where the rule of law, you know, regardless on how much it changes or.

How much it varies from person to person. It still is applicable and people still believe in it. And until that happens and outward violence like this is not going to get you anywhere, especially in a place toward more rights. Yeah, you know, like, I mean, you can use examples where. The violence works, but in this particular circumstance, like exactly what you pointed out, like people have a sense of the rule of law.

It's just not going to work. I mean, you can use, say, Russia as an example, like on the, uh, the socialist revolution, the communist revolution. I mean, the violence obviously worked in that circumstance, right? But that was a failed state for the most part, or I mean, they didn't even really have a [01:15:00] tradition of rule of law.

I think, though, that, like, the rule of law, like this idea that the U. S. has been such a paragon of the rule of law, the rule of law entirely failed in this situation because those minor, the minors and the corporations and the private itch. Police services would have never have been able to do half of what they had done if the, the sheriffs of those towns and the counties that they had just, they allowed it all to happen.

And I mean, it also makes. Oh, sorry. I just, people wonder why like Teddy Roosevelt went so hard against like, say, the robber barons or whatever words you want to use for them, right? I mean, I mean, he saw this stuff, right? Like, you know, you know what I mean? Like, uh, you, you see, like, there's a literally a private company that's prosecuting, uh, minors.

Uh, you know, did murders happen? Yeah. Were they? Yeah, at least that guy. That the, uh, the state, well, [01:16:00] it's not even the state, the private company claim that they did. I don't know. It's a little bit up in the air, whether they did or not. I mean, the handprint seems to. Seems to seems to show that they didn't, um.

But it does make sense, like, later on when they, you know, they start implementing antitrust laws and are worried about these giant, uh, corporate monopolies, um, effectively taking over the legal, like, taking over the country, really, um, the opposite. The opposite end of the spectrum is you mentioned the Teamsters Union early in the podcast.

I mean, that was really the government's biggest concern with the Teamsters Union is it was so powerful and it has so much, uh, influence, uh, in terms of transportation in the country. Then, I mean, they really could have shut down the country if they wanted to easily. And that's not good. It's just not, you just can't have it.

Um, because it takes like a couple of nefarious characters, uh, you [01:17:00] know, maybe with a communistic type bent to get into leadership roles in a union like that. And all of a sudden you're having a full, full blown revolution happening, which was a concern still at the time, right? And even with, like, something like the Teamsters, I would not even worry about, like, a communist taking over.

It'd be more dangerous if one of these super corrupt, you know, uh, I guess conservative union bosses took over. I mean, this is what happened to the IBT, uh, literally. There were Numerous like back to back leaders who are just completely corrupt and stealing from the workers that they were supposed to be the leaders of.

I mean, it really disgusting, uh, uh, horrible stuff that these union heads were involved in, especially part of the Teamsters union. But I guess on the other hand, if you were a Teamster, you would say, Hey, this guy is about as crooked as Nixon. I mean, what's the difference? Uh, that, that, that's probably what a Teamster would say.

I think [01:18:00] there's something naturally baked into unions as well, is that because they're representing the interests, the divergent interest, I mean, basically, if you have a union, every single worker, they don't really have a united, they have a, a theoretical united interest, but really each worker has their own individual wants and needs and the union bosses have to, uh, yeah.

Put all those individual needs together to get a corporate need out of all of those corporate in the, in the sense of a need, uh, a vision that encapsulates all of those needs. But in that individuals are going to get. What they want in some ways, and they're not going to get what they want. I mean, I worked for unions for 15 years and in those negotiations, sometimes it's like, what is this union even doing for me?

Because I'm getting shafted [01:19:00] on this personally, because my own, uh, section. They had to, we were small and the union had to give in for given something to make the bigger deal go through and so they had to give in on some of our individual interests to get the bigger plan through. Yeah. And that that's, it's like a, it's a deal with the devil either way.

I mean, however you want to do it. Uh, but for me, at least, I think union rights are preferable to, to any other sort of, um, even like a, a company union, uh, that those haven't particularly worked very well for the people who've been a part of them, especially when it comes to when the rubber meets the road and it's time to argue.

It's time to really stand up for the people you represent. Uh, that sometimes just doesn't happen, and it sounds like that's what happened, uh, with you there, Steve. I think with the unions, it really depends on, um, [01:20:00] on the circumstance. Like if you are in an, in a job and in a geography where there's a really fluid, uh, labor market where if it sucks, you can jump over to the next company, then the union is really not your friend.

But if you're in a situation where your job isn't fluid and the, the geography doesn't lend itself to being able to move freely from one job, either it's because of the, the nature of your work or the industry or whatever, then unions are helpful for you. It's such an American way of looking at work, too, though.

Like, we're, just the way you're describing, it's like, oh, I'll just move to another state or I'll just get to move to another job, right? But I mean, like, you say you live in a place like Romania or Hungary. That's just not, you just can't do it. Like, there's not, where are you going to move? I mean, I guess you could move to another country, but then there's like a whole process, and it's a different [01:21:00] language.

And, um, I just thought of that, right? Like, uh, I don't know, it's just something, it's the same up here in Canada too, right? People are like, oh, I'm just gonna, up here, it's always like, I'm gonna move further up north to get away from the city. Progressively, just like further up north. It's like the equivalent of you guys, like, I don't know, Gaia, yeah, or something, right?

It's the equivalent, right? Like, I'm just gonna. Keep on going up north and I mean and by just you know, but we're massive countries, right? So that's it's very easy to just move around right and you're in a totally different circumstance or say something like smaller country like Hungary or Romania. It's it's it's not as Quite as easy.

Well, I think too, that in the U S and in probably maybe in the West in general, there was never this idea that in a lot of companies, like in Japan and Korea, where the company had a loyalty to the workers and the workers therefore had, you know, there was a [01:22:00] loyalty between the two. If we hired you, you're going to.

Be treated fairly. And that made the workers feel loyal to the company where you have a company men who worked for the company for 40 years. And that is not a Western ideal. I don't think, I think that the much more corporate mindset, again, using corporate in the group sense that I owe fealty to you and you show fealty to me, maybe more of a.

Feudal thing that really died in the Enlightenment with individual, individuality that just does not exist in modern Western societies. I mean, that's a perfect example. I'm going to bring up the chain of being, I mean, me and you offline, I've talked about this many times in terms of the employee worker type of relationship.

You know, obviously, there's problems with it, but if there's an understanding that the bosses have certain obligations and duties to the [01:23:00] workers, and the workers have an understanding that there are certain obligations and duties to their boss, and it's like a chain, right? That keeps them goes further and further and further down.

And I know it's not popular to look at, say, pre enlightenment thinking, but I think there's. In terms of running like a healthy community or healthy society, it's really not a bad way of looking at it. Um, but it's, it's almost next to impossible for even people to kind of think that way because we grew our country was literally found.

Both of our countries were literally founded on enlightenment ideas. And it's very difficult to think outside of that context. It's very difficult to think outside of the enlightenment and people think like, well, like, you're talking about, like, medieval thought in terms of, like, having better labor relations.

And it's like, yeah, I am legitimately saying that. And I don't know, people think it's crazy, but it's, it's really not. There's a lot of, uh, thinkers, especially, uh, I guess you call them like neo reactionary [01:24:00] type thinkers. But if you look at, uh, stuff like, uh, I believe it's called the NRX, Nick Land, and some of these guys, uh.

They talk about this, uh, this, the chain of being and, uh, and implying some medieval type thought, uh, to the modern world. Uh, I don't know if your audience is actually interested. They're interesting. They're controversial type thinkers, obviously, right? They're going to ruffle some feathers, but They're definitely worth reading, I think, um, and I had another thing to just throw in the mix.

There is, um, how, and especially Joe, since you've dug so much into this, how do you think this applies to today? Can we make, use the Molly Maguire's as a learning tool for what's going on today? Or is it really so different that there really is no way to apply it? I think that the only way you look at history is with a modern lens.

So I think, yes, that this is definitely [01:25:00] a relevant story to today. This shows the absolute extent of how bad it can be, uh, when people Uh, either don't care or are forced into doing something against their will and against their benefit, uh, for the benefit exclusively of a, of a nameless 1, 000, 000 dollar institution.

Uh, I think when you look at things like today, there's a massive push against things. We've talked about AI today against AI and especially you look at the actors, uh, actors equity strike. Uh, or that's happening right now, the, the writers guilt strike that's happening right now. They're arguing for the same stuff.

They want better pay. They want better conditions. And they, they want to know that their jobs are going to be protected against a I, which can easily be turned into what any, whatever number of thing you wanted to, um, uh, back then they wouldn't use a I, they would use, uh, imported [01:26:00] workers or. Uh, they would, they would, um, you know, they would spring 1 group against the other using religion or ethnicity, anything like this.

Um, this is what could happen if if things, uh, are are regressed to this point, not just to this point, but, um, you know, it could it could devolve to this. In a very easy, easy way, I think, uh, violence is very much a part of not just Irish history, but American history. And I think this helps explain at least a part of the violence that both have experienced because whether they were in America or they were in Great Britain, Irish people were treated generally the same for a very long time.

I mean, um, um, Even the idea of Irish people being white is a is a relatively new concept. Even the idea of whiteness is a new concept or blackness. [01:27:00] These are all new terms that are just another, uh, further division point, uh, that we have to get over before you would be a Polack or you would be a Boheme or, uh, you know, or whatever, uh, a Johnny or, uh.

Align me or something. These are the words that they were used or I would have been like, uh, I would have been a day ago. Meet me and Steve. We would have been day goes. Um, so I think this, this goes to show how not only close this is to us, but how the government and corporations at large. It seemed to, uh, uh, when you have a job that is very important to the way the country functions, like, for example, a coal miner, uh, who literally generates.

Energy every single day. I mean, how many people can literally say they generate energy? Maybe if you have like, uh, solar power or something, then you could say you generate a little bit of energy, [01:28:00] but coal miners would generate tons of of coal energy every single day. Uh, and they were treated like some of the worst workers, even in things like media.

They're not represented. I mean, how many, how many coal mining movies can you seriously name right now? I've, I've just watched the Molly Maguire's, but that's maybe the only 1 and that that seriously goes in depth on how coal mining operates. Besides that, I can't really think. I mean, most of the time, think of, like, something like the old West.

We guys thought we talked about that a little bit. Uh. Yeah. Uh, you know, there's cowboy movies, there's farmer movies, there's, there's movies about Desperados and, and Pistoleros and everything. There's no real, uh, portrayals in today's media, uh, this totally important job, this all encompassing, uh, job that literally created the United States as we know it today.

Uh, and I, I've always, personally, just Felt at [01:29:00] home with Ireland. I've always really loved Ireland. I am myself Sicilian and Puerto Rican. So my being is of 2 islands that are still under the thumb of of some superior force. Uh, but Ireland. At least for the most part is, has been rid of British yoke for 100 plus years now.

And that I think is impressive. It goes to show the perseverance of the Irish people, the way they've managed to, you know, uh, flex their culture into such ways to make life even bearable, uh, uh, is pretty impressive. And it's something that it shouldn't be, um, discounted or overlooked or, yeah, Or, you know, Irish people shouldn't just be considered when they first immigrated here is just like, you know, subhuman, uh, you know, uh, because because even after, um, even after this period in Ireland for a long time, the Irish were.

Considered, uh, [01:30:00] basically subhuman. People couldn't understand how the literacy rates were so low in Ireland as compared to the rest of Western Europe. Uh, but what happened? They were given freedom. They were given the right to choose their own destiny and the right to, uh, argue for themselves and. Image quickly rebounded.

They became the Celtic Tiger when they were given their independence because their economy was so fluid and so powerful. Uh, and they dispelled almost immediately all these insinuations about their, you know, uh. Proneness to violence and their, uh, intellectual level and, and literacy rates and stuff.

These all went away basically overnight when they were truly given, uh, you know, self determination and, and that word can mean a lot to a lot of different people. Uh, and, uh, it just goes to show how. how much we have to juggle. We have to juggle these things. We have to juggle all this together. [01:31:00] Uh, it's not just one thing, and it's not just the other, it's about everything.

And it's not just about everything, it's about nothing, which is sort of what the Molly Maguires are, are about. I, I related to you the Hindu proverb at the beginning of the, our talk here, and I think it's just perfect. Uh, it's, it's all the things and none of the things at the same time, but it's not, not the things.

Well, I want to, uh, speaking of labor management relations, I got called into work today. So I think we're going to wrap it up this whole series. I want to thank Joe. He's a friend of mine. He's a friend of ours. And now thank you so much for coming on the show. Uh, you know, just to reiterate, how can people find your podcast?

So my podcast is available wherever good podcasts are downloaded. Um, if you download it on Spotify, uh, each episode has its own individual, uh, series art, [01:32:00] which my partner Melissa, uh, meticulously does. It makes it look very nice. It's very clean. Uh, but yeah, it's Spotify, iTunes, uh, Google podcasts. So look for Turning Tides History Podcast everywhere where you can find podcasts.

Thanks again, uh, Mustache Chris, who joined us in this series. We will definitely be hearing if he's willing to come back on. Uh, I hope that Joe will come back on again because this is a great series right here and I know there'll be more. I'm glad you guys appreciated it. Yeah, it's a fun, it's a fun little part of history that not a lot of people know about, but I think it's pretty important to explain the sort of world we live in.

If you enjoyed what you hear and you, uh, want to spread the message, tell your friends about us so that your friends can become friends of ours. Oh, forget about it, guys. Forget about it.

[01:33:00] You've been listening to Organized Crime and Punishment, a history and crime podcast. To learn more about what you heard today. Find links to social media and how to support the show, go to our website, a to z history page. com. Become a friend of ours by sending us an email to crime at a to z history page.

com. All of this and more can be found in the show notes. We'll see you next time on organized crime and punishment. Forget about it.

See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

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