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Let's Talk About The Pullman Strike, Knob-Gobblers

Let's Talk About The Pullman Strike, Knob-Gobblers

Thu, 06 Jan 2022 11:00

Robert is joined by Shereen Lani Younes to discuss the Pullman Strike.

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Hello, I'm Erica Kelly from the podcast Southern Fried True crime, and if you want to go from podcast fan to podcast host, do what I did and check out spreaker from iheart. I was working in accounting and hating it. Then after just 18 months of podcasting with Spreaker, I was able to quit my day job. Follow your podcasting dreams, let's break or handle the hosting, creation, distribution, and monetization of your podcast. Go to That's Hey there, it's Ebony Monet, your co-host for the San Diego Zoo's Amazing Wildlife podcast. In this special episode, we're speaking with Doctor Jane Goodall about the fascinating journey that led to her social discoveries on chimpanzees. So four whole months, the chimps ran away from me. I mean, they take one look at this peculiar white ape and disappear into the vegetation. Bing wildlife on the iHeartRadio app or wherever you get your podcasts. In the 1980s and 90s, a psychopath terrorized the country of Belgium. A serial killer and kidnapper was abducting children in the bright light of day. From Tenderfoot TV and iHeartRadio, this is La Monstra, a story of abomination and conspiracy. The story about the man who simply become known as. Lamaster. Listen for free on the iHeartRadio app, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts. Hi, everybody. I'm a parent. Is there something I should look at? Or you're gonna tell me things, right? Jeez, we already botched this introduction considerably between you and me, Shereen. We really, we really. That was, unfortunately, Robert Horton's host of behind the ******** podcast, not listening to doing a weird voice. I'm someone else. Don't. Don't. Today I don't know. I'm talking to Shereen is who I am. Hello, shereen. Being higher. How are you? I'm shereen. I'm. I'm well, to be honest, but I feel guilty saying that cause relatively. I'm usually bad, but I think it's a I'm. I'm a better bad than usual, you know? That's good. That makes sense. I don't know. Yeah. Yeah, yeah. I know. It's always good to be a better bad than usual. And it's really gloomy in LA and that makes me thrive. I love God. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. I love it when LA feels like the Pacific Northwest briefly. Yes, exactly. It doesn't happen often. You get me. Mm-hmm. Yeah. So, shereen. How do you feel about? Trains. They're fun. That's way to introduce I love to travel, OK? How do you feel about so you like you like comfortable trains, right? Like you know trains with cabin sleeper cars, all that sort of stuff. The trains you can sit on and enjoy. I like all trains. I think they're very impressive and. Yeah, if you if you really think about it, there are a feat that man made. You know what I mean? They were pretty cool. Now how do you feel about workers being gunned down? Ohh, because they are trying to get paid fairly for helping to make trains bad. I feel bad about you feel bad about that. OK, so this might not be a super happy episode. Well that's that's frustrating the episode like that. It's it's it's great. It's great. I'm very good at my job. The working title I have for this. This episode, Shereen, is let's talk about the Pullman strike, **** *******. And I don't know why I was so aggressive when I was writing the title to this, but. But I never edited it. And now it's it's in there. So if we can we make this the title of the episode. We put **** ******* in Spotify. I don't know. There's certain apps that reject the curse. Oh really? Yeah. Or. And it makes it makes it like like, it blocks it for searching things. But in my heart, that's the title. Yeah. I feel like if cumtown is fine. Oh my God, you're. Let's talk about the Pullman strike **** ******* is also OK. I mean, I'm willing to give it a shot if it would make you happy. Yeah. I I think I would like to. You're gonna give it a shot on the episode that I guessed on and my it might be gone forever. Well, might be. Yeah. Well, we'll change the title. It will show up on a couple. It'll be an artifact we can change the title to. Let's talk about the Pullman strike knob gobblers. OK. They're not gonna catch that. Catch that at all. That's great. That's great. Umm, so today, Shereen. Lonnie Eunice today, that's we're gonna learn about George Pullman, a guy who sucked so bad that workers who didn't even work for him quit working to protest how ****** a boss he was. Like, that's the level of bad. But like other people who had nothing to do with this guy quit working to protest how much he sucked. Now, like most great labor stories, the story of the Pullman strike has a sad ending and a lot more racism than you'd hope. But that's no excuse not to talk about this huge ***** ** ****. George Mortimer Pullman. He was born in 1831 in Brockton, New York. His dad, James Lewis, known as Lewis, was a farmer who became a Carpenter because the money was much better. The family seems to have been upwardly mobile for the time, but firmly working class. George was expected to labour from a young age. Now, Brockton had a general store owned by his mom's uncle, and after he finished fourth grade, it was decided that he would drop out and work there for about $40.00 a month, which is a pretty good salary for the time again, his family's comfortable. That same year, his parents left him and his two brothers behind to move to Albion, NJ, so his dad could work on widening the Erie Canal. And yeah, yeah, this was this was like a a whole big deal here, and George is 14 when the effort starts. We have fewer of his early recollections than I'd prefer, so it's hard to say how this affected him, but the move was great. For his father's career, Lewis Pullman developed a method of moving a building off of its old foundations and on to a new one because they had to to widen this canal. There was like stuff built up against the canal that they had to lift up and move so that they could widen the canal. It was like this whole they're doing this and like the the 18, late 1840s, I think it's kind of when the effort gets really underway. Yeah. Could be impressive. Sometimes it's really cool because, like, again, people are there's, they don't have technology, then like, yeah, everything sucks. You have to be innovative or they have to be innovative. Yeah. So they're the, the system that Lewis Pullman develops to move buildings uses like screw jacks and this special machine that he's invented. And it's this whole wild deal. And so since a lot of buildings needed to be moved to expand the Erie Canal, this one, yeah. Could be impressive. Sometimes it's. Really cool. Because, like, again, people are there's they don't have technology, then like, yeah, everything sucks. You have to be innovative or they have to be innovative. Yeah. So there the the system that Lewis Pullman develops to move buildings uses like screw jacks and this special machine that he's invented in pet. It's this whole wild deal. And so since a lot of buildings needed to be moved to expand the Erie Canal, this was a major boon for family finances in 1848, three years after three years of working at his family. Lord George was 17 and he was missing his parents, who were still off building the Erie Canal. So he joins moves to Albion, NY, joins his family and he gets a job at what is now the family business, moving buildings so that it canal can be wider. The next five years were peacefully lucrative for both him and his family before his father died in 1853, leaving George Pullman the heir to the business. At age 22 he had brothers, but they started another business and George had been working with his dad, so he was the obvious choice, his first big contract. From the state of New York, they wanted 20 buildings, most of which were warehouses moved out of the way of the widening canal. This made a decent amount of money, but it was not the kind of thing that could last forever. New York only had so many additional buildings that were in the way of where the canal was getting expanded to, and eventually there was going to be no more money in that. The economy hit a major recession in the mid 1850s and George was forced to look outside of New York for revenue. He found it in Chicago, a city that by 1857 was starting to reap the consequences of trying to make too much Chicago. Way too fast. There was a period of time in which we had a Chicago and everybody was so excited about it. They were like, we gotta keep making more Chicago and then they built way too much Chicago and like they couldn't they couldn't like. So Chicago is built on a swamp like a a lot of places and it was like they didn't, they didn't build like they they had no real infrastructure like because this thing just like blew up so quickly back at the time and like the mid 1800s. It's kind of a cluster of buildings about four feet above lake MI that nobody really planned out all that well. So as it gets bigger, it's flooding constantly. Sewage is just like washing into houses and streets all the time. Like it was just there never should have been large numbers of people there. It was kind of like a ******* swamp and they just, they they made too much Chicago too fast, you know? It's a classic story. I wonder, were they making Chicago because they were like really excited about it or because they had to and their people? It was like the population thing. I think that. Yeah. I mean things, right. I think there's a couple of different things. But yeah, it was just it was the place to be for a while. You know, the westward expansion is like really in full swing at this period of time. Chicago's, you know, kind of in the mid middle of the country. And it. Yeah. That they just coming to the city, I guess it's becoming a central city. Yeah. Yeah. And it's a problem. And to kind of illustrate what a problem it was, I wanna quote from a a passage from the hilariously named website enjoy Illinois. Quote the streets turned to mud, stranding horses, carriages and humans alike. Pools of standing water formed all over the city. The environment caused hygiene and health problems, including an 1854 cholera outbreak which killed one in 20 residents. The marsh on which the city was built was trying to claim back its territory. After a number of failed attempts to fix the problem, including planking the streets with wood, the city decided that only that the only long term solution was to install a sewer and stormwater system. But in Chicago that was no easy feat. Viewers need to go underground, and they drain down. Chicago was barely above the water table, and underground sewers couldn't work at that level. So they got this issue. They they they've suddenly built a lot of Chicago ***** literal ***** flooding everywhere, and they need to build sewers. But Chicago's barely above the water, you know? Sounds like nature is fighting back. We were never meant to be there. We were never meant to have a Chicago. You know, I I think that's fair. You know? I like. It's just it doesn't want us there. Nature's fighting back. It was it was. Yeah. There's a there's a category of cities in the United States and not just in the United States, but specifically in the United States. There's a category of cities that like, are direct affronts to God. Phoenix is another direct affront to God. Like, if we, we built Phoenix, AZ to spit in the eye of the Almighty, it never people were never supposed to live there. No. In any kind of quantity. And it's the same thing with Chicago. I see. Mm-hmm. That's how I feel. Yeah, I agree. Chicago. Phoenix, yeah. I don't know how, though. They're all of Florida. I don't know what the **** we were thinking with that **** like. Dan so Chicago's you know, they're they're trying to figure out how to get a sewer built in a city that is like almost uniquely unsuited to having traditional sewers. And rather than admit that the present location of Chicago wasn't affront to God, they opted to raise every single building and St in town by an average height of 6 feet. They decided we can't ***** flooding everywhere, we can't build a normal underground sewer here. So instead of moving, let's lift the entire city up by 6 feet. That is so bonkers. It's freaking amazing. What I the last thing I ever thought you would say. I thought they were gonna just build them above ground and then make Chicago worse. But. That's that's that's intense to just lift a city. We we really do think we're God. It's it's amazing. I I weirdly enough like the one of the things this reminds me of is the story from the Roman Empire of one of Caesar's conquests. He was laying siege to this Gallic city called Alicia. And the way the Romans would see just city is they would build a wall around the entire city so they could basically like shoot down into the town and like starve it out, essentially. And while they're doing this this huge Gallic army that outnumbers them like 510 to one. Comes up and attacks the Roman army and rather than like break off and retreat, they just build a second wall around themselves. And so they have one big wall around them and one big wall around the city. It's just this like, yeah, no, we we can we can just solve all of our problems by by engineering, by building huge things like never, never. It's amazing. I it's it's it's. But that's how they got to the problem. It is how they got to the problem. But in this case, this is not working. You know what I mean? Why do I just. Yeah, well, The thing is though, it did work for the Romans, Caesar won that battle and it worked in Chicago because they did lift every *** **** building in the city up by sick. Some were raised by as much as 14 feet. OK, maybe I'm dumb. I how does how does that literally physically possible? They're they've got this like screw Jack Winch kind of thing system that just sort of like lifts **** up and wow. Yeah, I don't know. It's it's it's it's a whole thing you can find there's like it's very well documented. You know, this was in the mid 1800s, so they had. People did like talk about how they were doing it. It's not a mystery. And it also provided the fact that they're lifting the entire city up 6 feet by the height of a dude, basically, that that gives the city an opportunity to rebrand because it again, had kind of been like this frontier ramshackle town. And the people who were in charge of things at the time were able to use this to move buildings that didn't look nice to the edges of the city and kind of reorganize Chicago so that when everything was lifted, it looked the way they wanted to. Like a nice. Redlining, but. Yeah. Yeah. No, I mean, kind of was. Yeah. Yeah, it was. Yeah. And of course, the instead of moving the lines, you're moving the actual buildings. Yeah. You could just like move all the buildings around. Yeah. Now, George's firm was not the only one involved in raising the city. He was actually one of a handful of firms all technically competing with each other. But they all kind of agreed to work together to determine who got which bids and to maximize their profitability. It was like price fixing. I don't know if that was illegal at the time. I think it kind of is now, but they they they all these different firms, including. Which is operating a cartel in order to get as much money to lift the **** city of Chicago up as they possibly can. And George is not a small player in this, but he's not a particularly large one either. He had dreams of more. He you know, this is a successful business. He's making a comfortable living. But that was not enough for George Pullman. And kind of after this he winds up on a a train ride from Buffalo to Westfield. Or during this he winds up on a train ride from Buffalo to Westfield. NY negotiate. Yeah well he yeah that that this is where the trains. So he's on a train ride for a business meeting and it's it train rides sucked back then, like that's kind of something that I I didn't wasn't really aware of before this. They were. They didn't have trains that were meant to be like in any way comfortable, like you could get on one. But there was no like that kind of romantic vision of like the fancy, the beautiful pointed train car with the bar and none of that existed yet. It was awful. And to illustrate how awful it was, I want to quote from a write up by Richard Shnurov. From Indiana State University for the Northern Illinois University Digital Library quote as railroad mileage has tripled between 1850 and 1860, the uncomfortable conditions passengers endured on trips longer than a few hours became intolerable. Passenger cars were not built to cushion jolts. Windows constantly rattled. In the winter, wood burning stoves could fill the cars with smoke and caused accidents. And in the summer, riders sweltered. It took 3 1/2 days to travel from Chicago to New York, and a typical traveler resorted to hotels at night. The need for a sleeping car was widely understood, but at the time none were satisfactory. In 1858, Pullman began renovating existing sleeping cars for the Chicago and Alton Railroad. Eventually, he established a small crew and began building cars from scratch. In 1864, his crew built the classic sleeping car he called the Pioneer. With brocaded fabrics, handcrafted window and door frames, plush red carpets, and richly ornamented paneling, the pioneer was a study in luxury. It was also the turning point in Pullman's rise to success. Pullman's luxurious sleeping car appealed to America's fast growing, wealthy class, hungry for status and a new middle class that aspired to the same outward markers of social standing. Pullman shrewdly took advantage of this in his marketing strategy, which relied on quality of service and prestige rather than low prices. So he offers for the first time really, not even just like first class, but just a train ride that wouldn't make you want to die. And it's hugely successful. Trains are blowing up at this point, and he's the first guy to figure out how to make you want to be on a train. Yeah. Very innovative again. Like his father. I guess we also innovative. It's in. Yeah. They're they're smart meter. Yeah. He he gets, he understands, you know that this is a an unfilled need and he fills it ably. I think also like if you don't maybe this is a hot take. I don't know. I don't care. I think if you don't come for money, money, you understand more what the people need and want. It's the same reason got you guys like Bezos and and and Bill Gates. I know there are people who would like consider them rich, but they're they're upper middle class. So it's it's not enough money that they never had to do anything. Like they were gonna need to find out something to do, but it's enough money that they are able to like pursue their dreams from an early age. Like George is right. Like he's, he's, he's he's paid well to work at this family shop at 17. He's able to very easily go follow his dad and you know get involved in this new business. It's a yeah he's working class early enough money that. Yeah right. Yeah. He's in his early 20s right now, mid, mid to late 20s I think. Right now. And this is a big hit. So he has this his his his train business is successful, but it's not as big as as George wants to be like, he's he's doing very well. He's probably what you'd call wealthy, but he's not like a massive industrial magnate and he's he's he feels uncertain at like he he doesn't really believe that his business can expand all that much. He kind of feels like, well, I found a profitable niche, but that's all it's going to be. So he starts looking for other ways to make money. By the late 1850s, the Pikes Peak Gold Rush was well underway. Chicago or Colorado and Chicago. George decided to travel there and see if he might be able to shortcut the route to wealth and power by striking it rich. The Pullman Museum writes that in short order. Quote Pullman realized that the real money in a gold rush is made by supplying other fortune hunters. So he decides very quickly that it's ******* not worth it to go panning for gold. But I can sell **** to the people panning for gold, and he forms a company to do this moving freight and crushing ore and when that did well, he bought 1600. Acres near Central City Co and they turned it. He turns this into a truck stop, basically like the Gilded Age equivalent of a truck stop. He knows ton of people are passing in and out of this specific area. They're going to a place that's that's real primitive, no amenities whatsoever. So they're going to want something that they can head to on their way in and out in order to, like get drunk and eat good food and sleep in a comfortable bed. So he builds, he builds this big truck stop, and for a while he's kind of on this path of, you know. Getting forming little businesses here and there as he sees needs and I don't it doesn't look initially like his train business is going to be huge. But the good news is that from, you know, if your job is making trains more comfortable, then the 1850s is a little bit early for that to be a big business, but the 1860s. That's the ******* like, you know that's where you're gonna make money. Just stick around long enough for. Yeah, yeah. And the Civil War does a lot for this, right? Trains are a huge part of why the Union wins. And the Civil War is further more helpful to his business because on April 15th, 1865, a dude shot Abraham Lincoln right in his head. Now, this was widely seen as terrible for honest Abe. And in the wake of a devastating war, like, people needed a proper send off for a wartime president, right? Like this beloved president gets killed. Everybody's real ******* sad. There's just been a big war. Trains are more famous and, like, prominent than ever. And George looks at the president's death and sees opportunity. So capitalize on this tragedy. Absolutely. Yeah. So he's got some friends in high places and he starts talking to them and being like, hey, you gotta move that president's ******* body. I got these real fancy sleeping cars. You can't just stick his corpse and, like, a ****** car. You gotta put him in something nice, right? That's the point. He has a point, right? Exactly. People don't want to see you. Like, yeah, like you open it and it's like, what, you'd stick like a bunch of logs into or something. There's just a ******* coffin sliding around. Exactly. And even if they didn't want to, if someone presented that and then they said no, that's pretty ****. Like, that's that's an ******* move. You know, if you're presented with a nicer option. You just saw Abraham Lincoln in a an oven. Yeah. It's it's very, yeah. It's very smart of him to just be like, yeah, when I'll, I'll give him one of my, one of my, one of my nice cars to drive the president's **** *** body around in. Yeah. And this actually posed a significant logistical hurdle because a lot of train stations and platforms and bridges weren't wide enough to to to take the car that he had. It could only travel on some tracks. And so they get, like, the government widens a bunch of, like, station platforms and bridges, which actually makes his business even more profitable because now his cars can go more places. Parallel the canal widening. Yeah, this white well, George Pullman, a man made great by widening. No, it's cyclical. Life is cyclical. It's like flat circle, whatever, you know what I mean? Yeah, it all comes back to and a flat circle pretty wide. It is pretty wide. Pretty wide. It's pretty. You know what else is pretty wide, Shereen? I know you're gonna say Raytheon or some **** I just said Ohh. Now, the the variety of products Raytheon makes very wide. Do you need a missile guidance chip for a Hellfire missile? Raytheon's got you. If you need a a software to help target for an assassin drone, Raytheon's got you. If you need to not have any kind of targeting whatsoever because you're just going to carpet bomb an area Raytheon can make the detonators for that carpet bombing. Whatever you need. From Raytheon, as long as it involves killing people from the Sky, Raytheon can do. I'm so happy that was such a long plug. Yeah, well alright, let's go to the ads that paid us. Mint Mobile offers premium wireless starting at just 15 bucks a month. And now for the plot twist. Nope, there isn't one. Mint Mobile just has premium wireless from 15 bucks a month. There's no trapping you into a two year contract. You're opening the bill to find all these nuts fees. There's no luring you in with free subscriptions or streaming services that you'll forget to cancel and then be charged full price for none of that. For anyone who hates their phone Bill, Mint Mobile offers premium wireless for just $15.00 a month. 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A therapist can help you become a better problem solver, which can make it easier to accomplish your goals, no matter how big or small they happen to be. So if you're thinking of giving therapy a try, better help is a great. Option it's convenient, accessible, affordable, and it is entirely online. You can get matched with a therapist after filling out a brief survey, and if the therapist that you get matched with doesn't wind up working out, you can switch therapists at any time. When you want to be a better problem solver, therapy can get you there. Visit today to get 10% off your first month. That's better Hey, it's Rick Schwartz, one of your hosts for San Diego Zoo's Amazing Wildlife podcast. In this special episode, we sit down with Doctor Jane Goodall to hear her inspiring thoughts on how we can create a better future for humans, animals and the environment. If we don't help them find ways of making a living without destroying the environment, we can't save chimps, forests or anything else. And that becomes very clear when you look at poverty around the world. If you're living in poverty, you can't afford to ask as we can. Did this product harm the environment? Was it cruel to animals like, was it factory farmed? Is it cheap because of unfair wages paid to people and so alleviating poverty? Is tremendously important. Listen to amazing wildlife on the iHeartRadio app or wherever you get your podcasts. OK, we're back, and the Lincoln's corpse engine train would go down in history as one of the most popular trains of all time. Slightly underneath the festival express, Ulysses Simpson Grant praised George Pullman for giving a dead man an ice corpse box. After the whole dead person business was concluded, the train car was put on display so that people could gawk at it. Like it's a corpse box. It is a corpse box. It's a nice corpse box. Yeah, I guess that's the. Before coffins, I mean, they probably already had coffins, but I'm sure it wasn't a corpse. Corpse Box is a phrase I wasn't familiar with until right now. And it that's me, I'm gonna start up another. Like, it's gonna be like one of those mattress businesses that ships mattresses to you, but it it'll ship cheap coffins. And we'll call it corpse box. Yeah. You got something going there? You gotta have a box for corpses. Yeah. You're never know when you're going to end up with a corpse. Yeah, exactly. Just follow your dreams, Robert. Follow your dreams. Yep. That's gonna Take Me Out of this. Filthy podcasting business. Well, honestly, you're right though. Like. If you're able to have the luxury to do anything you want to do, you will do it and find a way to make it good. If you're like smart, like decently intelligent, you know what I mean? I think it's all it needs, like luck and basic understanding of humanity or like human instinct or something. Does that make sense? Yeah. I mean, it's one of those things where you you like the people who are most successful under the R system are there's a certain level of money that they have. But also, if you go above that level, I think your odds of doing anything. In your own that that changed the world actually start to drop. Like, you don't tend to hear about like Waltons or whatever, like they perpetuate systems, but it's a guy like Jeff Bezos, who who grows up very comfortable, but not with billions of dollars, who's gonna actually anyway, whatever. Yeah, he has no like a concept of what people are going through or what they need or whatever. I mean, I was just, I mean, this is everyone talks about this, but having enough money to like really improve. Lives of billions of people or like help with world hunger and homelessness and everything and still having left over and not doing anything about it, it blows my mind. You know, all rich people are like that. Pretty or yeah, millionaire. This is actually where the story is building a bit. Great. Great ****. So Lincoln's death incredible for George Pullman and he takes all of the great PR that comes in the wake of this and he approaches several wealthy businessmen with the same pitch. I need more investment money because I want to build enough cars to sell. So luxury rides everywhere, right? I want everyone to be able to use like one of my sleeper cars. But I need like, my business isn't going to grow up fast enough organically in order to get to that point. So I need investment capital. I need to kill people. Yeah, I mean, well, that's where we're building to. But yeah, so he's like, OK, I I need, I need a bunch of money and he's done, you know, well enough. This whole Lincoln thing was a big enough deal that he gets about $1,000,000 of investments into and he uses it to form a new company, the Pullman Palace Car company, throughout the 1880s. Choked out or made deals with anyone who might be competition for his luxury train car business. And by the 1890s, George Pullman had a monopoly. And trains are the biggest thing in the ******* world by the everyone's traveling places by train, and he's the only guy that makes like, the sleeper cars and whatnot. He got on there if you yeah, if you wanted to take an actual, like comfortable train trip anywhere in the United States. George was getting a piece of that action, and he continued to innovate through every part of this. And his innovations included. The field of racism quote from Richard Smirnoff. In 1867 he rolled out the Delmonaco, the first dining car called a hotel car, with a kitchen at its centre, it could serve 250 meals a day. In 1875 he built a luxurious parlor car, which offered an upscale travelling experience. Meanwhile, his designers continuously improved heating, ventilation and lighting throughout it all the Pullmans appeal to the public rested on meticulous service. Pullman used the existing racial division of labour and hiring white conductors. Collected tickets and sold births in route to perform menial work like carrying luggage, preparing the births for use, cleaning the cars and providing personal services to passengers. He hired African American porters, many of them recently freed slaves. The conductors who supervised the sleeping car porters received white man's wages. The porters received less than 1/6 the wages of conductors. Low wages kept them dependent on the tips and thus the goodwill of white passengers. Despite the servant like position of Porters, Pullman had a good reputation among blacks due to the secure jobs. Relatively high income they provided. He was in this, like mixed space. If he's one of the first people to really figure out, OK, we've got all these newly freed people. How can I exploit them? Yeah, I'm gonna capitalize on. I mean, obviously, I'm not surprised at this point, but I mean, it's just like, sounds like the real life version in the 1800s of, like, the help, you know what I mean? Like, that's what it is, you know? It is. And and he's popular among the OR at least according to this, he's popular among those. But it's also like, well, if you were a recently freed slave, it's not hard to be the best boss they've ever had. Just pay the money and don't own them and split their families up for profit. Yeah, you'll be like. Well, this is this guy's pretty good boss. He's really capitalizing on like desperation and need and like. So it's like a border, it's like a white savoury at the same time as being like evil master. You know what I mean? Yeah, I mean it's one of those things where he is not to give him credit as you always kind of have to in this. He's never, he never uses slave labor in the period, you know before the Civil War, I don't think he was was supportive of it like so he doesn't have that going against him. You know, and a lot of a lot of real rich white dudes who get their start in the 1850s, there's some uncomfortable slavery stuff going on there. So we pay them one 6th, right. That's that's the choice you make sure. And it's it's a choice he makes because it's you can get away with it. And he's not the reason that is because like you know, he's he's, but he is kind of he is one of the very first businessman who's hiring like in white businessmen who is hiring in mass black laborers, right. That is pretty new in this. Because slavery, you know, was around until 1865 in the United States and he is helping to kind of set this idea that like, yeah, you can you can hire black people for jobs that you will and you know, and and pay them less than you would pay white people for the same jobs. And that's that makes that makes good business. He is one of the men establishing that, right. Yeah. No, you're right. We do have to give him credit for that, unfortunately. No, I mean, like he's a good person at for the times. You know what I mean? I don't know that he's a good person for the times. He's just not. A Confederate, like, I don't know that I wanna make that be the bar of good person. I mean, it only takes so yeah, little. He doesn't enslave people when he has the opportunity. So good on you for that money over like, actual humanity, you know? Yeah. But he does choose money over humanity. Yeah, whatever. He's yeah. Yeah. I'm not. I'm not trying to praise him. Relatively high in terms of like the wages for black laborers and pullmans company is a term that has a lot of wiggle room. And I I. Not everyone I've I've seen agrees with the idea that his wages were considered high. I think this passage from a Jacobin article gets across how humiliating this work could be for the black porters who worked on his railroad. And as you listen to this again, remember that these were were considered by a lot of people to be relatively good jobs. OK quote, working for tips. They served passengers and plush surroundings with heads bowed, pride suppressed, swallowing any words of protest at being called George, the catchall name that denoted servility to their employer. George Pullman. So these employees buy the the white people using the train cars just call any black person George because of their boss because we're getting we're real close to slavery is still here, you know? Yeah. That's very interesting to me. I don't yeah. I don't know. It's it's bad. I mean it's ****** **. It's just not as not specifically a racist thing that I'd heard about until this. So, yeah me either. I assume this happened elsewhere. Yeah. I did not know that was a thing. It is, yeah. Very offensive to. It's pretty ****** **. Yeah, Yep, Yep. Now, as we discussed in our Bernarr Macfadden episodes, the late 1800s were a period in which the United States was industrializing rapidly, and the consequences of all that industrialization were becoming obvious. Organizations like the YMCA were created initially in the UK to ameliorate the health and moral consequences of modern life. George Pullman, now riches shift and influential, volunteered his time to help run the YMCA and other organizations that he thought might help provide an answer to the labour question. This is a term that was used at the time. I found an 1886 Atlantic article with this title throughout the Gilded Age. The primary issue was this organized labor had existed at some point for quite a while, but the concept was still being worked out. Remember in the 1880s, the idea that like laborers would organize and form unions is not an old, not a very old idea, you know, right? So by the end of the 1880s, Labour had gotten in the United States had gotten smart and effective enough to actually start putting some major pressure on capital. The 1880s, eighteen 90s is kind of really when the labor movement starts coming together in a way that's actually that's able to to do stuff effectively. And the the what's called the labor question, which is the title of this article I found, but is also this article from the 1880s that I found you. You hear this phrase the labor question a lot in this. And the labor question is this should working men have a right to dictate? In terms of their employment or should capital hold all of society and unquestioned like domination? And it's actually really interesting to read some of the critical arguments people criticizing Labour because often these people who are like, no, I don't think workers have a right to like, organize, are you? You. You get the same tone with them that you get with a lot of like quote UN quote, unbiased, fair minded intellectual, like journalism. People today like folks writing about climate change or like, well, let's talk about the Americans who don't wear masks. And all this nonsense. Don't think it. Because it's my. Yeah. Yeah. Because and because if if I'm criticizing everyone equally, even if the facts aren't equal, then nobody can say that I'm unfair like Bill Maher. Yeah. So this Atlantic columnist that I found writing about the labor question spends a huge chunk of his column ranting about alcohol and basically saying that, like, well, workers spend all of this money on alcohol and do all of these bad things under the influence of alcohol and. Why are they organizing to get more money when they could just stop buying alcohol? Oh, of course. Yeah. It's very funny. Yeah. Today's like, yeah, it's today's avocado. Avocado toast. Yeah, it's like, no, no, there's like that stupid saying where it's like you instead of buying coffee everyday. Like that's that's why we're spending all our money, like millennials or whatever. You know what I mean? There's like this. It's a coffee thing. It's always a drink. I suppose. I I believe that workers should have the right to buy alcohol and also still have enough money. Leftover for things that aren't alcohol? Yeah, of course there's cocaine. Yeah, yeah. Heroin. Fun stuff. GHB, 2CI, all the goodies. I will have to ask you about those off MIC, but yeah, yeah, yeah, they're all they can all be fun. So what? Thank you so much. OK. It's the best. That's why that was so funny, dude. If you were on the show, I would not be able to survive. I mean, Robert's great, but I do need the validation sometimes. You know what I mean? It's OK. Nobody ever appreciates my jokes. Sorry, Robert. We were having a poop. I know you were. That's fine. That's fine. So we're very funny. There's no one. Like, we have a bond. We've bonded. She's the best. I'm the best. Get each other. Yeah. And you know who else is the best? This Atlantic columnist telling people always complaining about workers. Yeah. Like, like being, like, why? Why? Why are they asking for more money from their bosses when they could just stop drinking? It's amazing. It is. Very. Yeah. No, go ahead. Sorry. Yeah, people, when we see on the one side. Yearly waste of between 4 and 500 millions of dollars, and on the other side, a body of men the squanders of this vast fund, complaining that they have not sufficient opportunities. We cannot long be at a loss to comprehend the true nature of the existing satisfaction. Dissatisfaction it is clear that Labour has been incited to seek from without the relief which ought to be sought from within. The socialist theory of a paternal state system which provides everybody with work and wages is a mischievious fallacy. It's simply. Encourages indolence and dependence. The first duty of labour is to demonstrate its capacity for self government. At this moment its drink bill is an impeachment of that capacity. No man who spends half his earnings at a saloon can get on in the world, or has the least right to expect to get on. Nor can anybody of men follow the same course with better results. Well, yeah, man, like rich. None of that half a billion dollars a year is spent on alcohol is rich people. Not? Not any of it. Just poor guys. Yeah, just stop drinking and get. For if you stop drinking, you'll have more time to work and help us in a capitalist society. You know what I was actually pondering earlier today when it comes to, like, medication that, like, helps your brain, whether it's Adderall or whatever, or like things to make you more active? It kind of feels like society is making us like we. It's all ends up like you have to for work. Like it makes you work better. It makes you, like, provide. Obviously, brains need it. It really helps me. But I was thinking about it in a more like sinister capitalistic way, where it's like, these wants to be better workers, you know what I mean? More efficient, actually. Just like, I don't know, does that make sense? Yeah. No, it it does. And you know what else makes sense? I don't know why I keep doing this. This is not. You're so early. I I I my brain's been broken by capitalism, and now all I can do is pivot to ads. I mean, the last cycle I thought was not bad to be. Thank you the most. Very good at it was. I'm an expert. So, America be an artist. You can't. So capitalism off the brain. You keep needing to go to an ad. I I want to keep reading from this Atlantic article. It's very funny. Another weird ad transition that we're not gonna just talk about the author of this Atlantic article. George Frederick Parsons and in this next part of the article he ties his irritation about American drunkenness with a rant about how capitalists have a right to expect that profits increase forever. And it's just the most American paragraph I've ever read. Prosperity is the reward of persevering temperate ungrudging work in these days. There is, however, a great wind of new doctrine. We are asked to believe that it is possible to succeed in a very different ways, that the less a man works, for example, the more he ought to receive. That national prosperity can be advanced by diminishing production and many other equally hard sayings. But it may be confidently affirmed that these new theories are destined to be short lived, and that the world will have to be managed eventually upon pretty much the old lines. Yeah, it's it's good. Very American, honestly. Now, for the record, George Parsons died in 1893, and I found his obituary, and it blamed his death on the fact that he hadn't. Lifted enough. It's very funny. Wait, lifted? Like, yeah, that he hadn't worked out enough? Yeah. What the ****? It's very funny. Damn. That is like subtweeting and death, you know, like, like you direct insults. Not even a sub. It's just like you can't fight back. George Parsons, the author of that Atlantic article, and George Pullman, the subject of our episode today, both seem to have come at the problem of Labor from the same point of view. It was foolish for workers to organize rather than seek to ascend. The upper class. That's what Parsons is saying, right? Why are you organizing for more money when you should just stop spending any money on alcohol and invest it all into a business and, like, improve your own circumstances? Traps. Yeah. Yeah. And the way to do this, and this is this is what George Pullman believes, too. Workers shouldn't organize. They should seek to improve their own individual lots so they can raise up to the middle class and the upper class. And the way you do this is you scrimp and save, and you work yourself to the bone. You don't drink, you don't have fun, you don't hang out with, see your family. You don't spend any time for you. You do nothing but work and sock away money so that you can join the middle class. Wow. Or get rich. Sounds too, too relevant to our current times and how people talk about, like, homelessness and, yeah, like our unhoused. It's a disease that's existed in the United States for a very long time and we need to it needs to not happen. It's bad. I think the the that view of how life should be is something. That should be opposed with force if necessary. Of course. It's it's a a sin to the miracle of life. Yeah, it is. It's it's. I find it very unsettling. And this happens all the time when, like, you hear like a terrible quote like that, or you read something and it looks exactly like today it just proves that, like, do we ever actually change? Are we always the same just like a different, like vessel or like a different, like, trimmings on this world? You know, like, humane doesn't actually change for always, just, like, keeps doing these terrible things. I don't know, it's just, it's kind of sad. And yeah, it's great. No, it's good, it's good. Everything's fine. So George was of the opinion that if his workers had nicer lives and lived in more comfortable surroundings, ones that at least mimicked middle class life, they wouldn't complain. So he was like, well, if I can just, if I can build a place for my workers to live that looks like an ideal middle class town, then they won't need to organize for anything because that's all anyone could ever want. Is is a comfortable, clean middle class. American town. And he figures if I can build a town for them, I can make it so that they can't drink because I just won't allow there to be bars there. So like, I can control them and make sure they don't do any of the things. Because the only reason workers are unhappy is that they do things that make them unhappy and waste their money. I don't need to pay them anymore. I don't need to treat them better. All I need to do is make a place that I like, make a place for them to live where they won't be able to do any of the things that they're going to do. Otherwise, because they're just, they're just not as smart as I am. They can't stop themselves from from doing bad things. So if I can build a place for them to live, then they they won't ruin their own lives. Dude, sounds like a bad time to me. Yeah, it's just like, how? I don't know. Every rich man I feel like has a God complex. And this is a very firm example of that. Oh yeah. Yeah. Yeah. I mean, I think you could probably, I think probably if you were to get Elon Musk to talk honestly about what, how he'd want life. Organised in his Mars colony, you would get some similar vibes. Yeah, of course. Yeah. I feel you already feels that way. He's like, I've given all these sheep cars to drive. I've changed the world. It's like, that may be true, but you're still and I am, man. Yeah, not a lot of that anyway. Whatever. So to to kind of put George Pullman and his attitudes towards his workers, this kind of paternalist attitude that he has towards building a place for them and and moderating their behavior, to put that in context and want to quote. Then from Richard shnurov. By the 1880s, many reformers had shifted from personal reform through revivalism, education, and public exhortation to an environmental emphasis. They believe that by changing the social environment in which the worker lived and worked, they could induce habits of respectability, uplift workers character, and change social attitudes. In 1879, Pullman followed closely the movement in New York to create model tenements that would offer working class families clean and ventilated room to reduce sickness and disease and promote. And morals, by inducing men to stay at home rather than escape to saloons. In return, investors would receive a reasonable 7% return. So this is his. His idea is I'm going to build, he's looking at these kind of like model tenants going up in New York, and he's like, well, I'm gonna build a town of my own, and not only will it be clean and keep workers away from vices like drinking, but it'll be profitable, right? I'm going to get, I'm going to get a positive return on this, as an investment has to be good for me, too. I have to benefit in some way. And, and like all dudes like him, when he wrote about this, Pullman phrased that as if it was like a rule of the universe. Quote Right, capital will not invest in sentiment, nor for sentimental considerations for the labouring classes. But let it once be proved that enterprises of this kind are safe and profitable, and we shall see great manufacturing corporations developing similar enterprises. And thus a new era will be introduced into the history of Labor. It's like, literally, I won't do anything if I don't make money off of it. Yeah, I will open the door for you. If you capitalist, of course, won't don't care. Like, capitalists have no interest in workers living comfortably or cleanly. But if you show them it's a profitable business, then then everyone's on board. Yeah. So it looks very sinister because on the surface, if you don't dig any deeper, it's kind of nice. You know what I mean? Yeah, yeah, fine. He's Loki helping them and, like, it's clean and whatever, but it's just so it's just so insidious, I think. And that's unsettling if you're, if you're starting position, is that the only reason you would help your workers and and. And give the and build a nice place for them to live is that it would profit you. Well then as soon as it's not profitable, what are you going to do? Very good point. Yeah, exactly. Going. OK. So today the town of Pullman, Illinois is a neighborhood on Chicago's South side, which I am very reliably informed is the baddest part of town. But in the early 1880s, it was a 150 acre town to the South of the Pullman car work. So it's not part of Chicago yet like it's a separate town. In and of itself, right outside of the big factory where the Pullman cars are built. The factory took up 9 buildings on 30 acres and Pullman. The town was exhaustively planned around it to be as modern as possible. Sewer and gas lines were added first so that every home would enjoy heating and water. This had the benefit of ensuring the city itself would not flood like Chicago had. Most descriptions of the Pullman Town will acknowledge that it was a much nicer place to live than many of the tenements working people had endured at the time. It's unclear how accurate. This is and it it seems in some parts to be a measure of opinion Pullman. The town was organized hierarchically, and the people with higher paying and more prestigious jobs lived at the center of town, close to the hotel, the school, the libraries, and the parks, in Nice spacious modern houses but low paid grunt laborers. The actual rank and file workers still lived in claustrophobic tenement blocks. These were they just had a nice outside. They were done up so on the outside it looked like a nice block of houses, but it was tenements on the inside. And they were newer and cleaner tenements with more amenities than a lot of stuff in the city itself. But they were still cramped and not high quality dwellings. This passage from a write up by the University of Virginia lays out the conditions inside. Quote The workers house is humble in appearance. Both inside and out were monotonous and gave the impression of soldiers barracks. They were said to be cleaned with an abundance of air. Most were two stories with five rooms in addition to Cellars, pantries and closets. There was indeed water from a faucet used by five families. Often located in one of the small closets, there were no yards and for those families living upstairs, no front door. Most of the buildings were constructed with brick. Made in the Pullman brickyards. These same brick yards contained the eyesore of the town, 4 rows of little 16 by 20 foot wooden shanties that had a sitting room, 2 bedrooms and a kitchen and a lean to compare all of this to the arcade and library. Despite Mr Pullman's intentions and his desirability for the commercial value of beauty, his model town was not a real home for workers who lived there. One woman compared it to living in a great hotel. We call it camping out. Wow, so it's not. Really, all that great. I think, like the most casual descriptions will say, like, well, it was, you know, there were problems with it, but it was a lot nicer than other. It's like, no, like maybe it was cleaner a bit, but it was not like a lot of the people who lived there were not living in great conditions. Just sounds like slavery 2.0 where it's like, well, that's kind of where we're building too, so. Yeah, it was it. It looked nice on the outside. That is something that it had in the movie set, you know? Yeah, just yeah. Massage and and and that's that's what a lot of people say about it is like, it's not a home. It's a place you can sleep. There's things about it that are nice, but it's not really a home. And I found a write up from the Pullman Museum that makes it very clear why people might not have been happy to live in Pullman. Quote, in 1880, Pullman bought 4000 acres near Lake Calumet, some 14 miles South of Chicago. In the Illinois Central Railroad for $800,000, he hired Solon Spencer Beeman to design his new plant there, and in an effort to solve the issue of Labor unrest and poverty. He also built a town adjacent to his factory with a Joan Housing, shopping, theaters, shopping areas, churches, theaters, parks, hotel, and library. The 1300 original structures were entirely designed by Beaman. The centerpiece of the complex was the administration building and its man made lake. The Hotel Florence, named for Pullman's favorite daughter, was built nearby. Pullman believed that the country air and fine facilities. Without agitators, saloons and city vice districts would result in a happy, loyal workplace. The model planned community became a leading attraction during the World's Columbian Exposition of 1893 and caused a national sensation. Pullman was praised by the national press for his benevolence and vision. As pleasant as this community may have been, Pullman expected the town to make money by 1892. The community, profitable in its own right, was valued at over $5 million. Pullman ruled the town like a feudal Baron. He prohibited independent newspapers, public speeches, town meetings, or open. Discussion his inspectors regularly entered homes to inspect for cleanliness and could terminate leases on 10 days. Notice the church stood empty since no approved denomination would pay rent and no other congregation was allowed. Private charitable organizations were prohibited. Pullman employees declared. We are born in a Pullman house, fed from the Pullman shops, taught in the Pullman School, catechized in the Pullman Church, and when we die we shall go to Pullman. Hell, wow. Yeah, that's an ending to a sentence first of all. But it's isn't it ironic because you said he didn't necessarily support slavery when it actually was happening. You know what I mean? Yeah. So I feel like he found a loop. Like, in my head, he doesn't think this is slavery, right? No, of course not. I mean, it's not slavery. It is not like there are aspects of it that do eventually kind of verge on slavery parallel to exploiting people and, yes, like acting like their master and all that stuff. Yeah. And there's some of the some of the white people who protest later will compare themselves to slaves. I want to. I don't want to do that because I don't think that's fair and in part I think why the white people at the time we're doing that is that like, they're pretty ******* racist? Of course it's not that bad. Yeah, no, I mean, yeah. Why why victimization. It's a tales all those time. He he's a more of a he's more of a he's more of a of a dictator than he is a slave owner. Right. Like that's more of the attitude is like like they live here and they they could technically leave most of them, but if they live here. Then he's going to control every aspect of their life that he can, right? Like there's no discussion on it. I know what's best for you, and I'm going to ensure you do it. Do we actually. Sorry, did we take an ad break or did we just talk about taking it out? No, we took one ad break. We didn't take a second, did we? Ohh, sorry. No, no, we talked about it. I just wanna make sure. I I don't know because we usually do like 20 producing. It's great. I'm. You know what else is producing. I'm sorry. No, no, no. Continue. Go for it. Ratheon is making new things to kill people. They are. Yep. That's everyday producing. Yeah. So stay tuned to find out what those are. Very proud of you, Shereen. Thank you, Robert. Sorry that I I just like thought we just talked about. I just wanted. I wanted to make sure. Sorry. I was being. I was being a producer in that moment. I was crushed it. All right, here's ads. Mint Mobile offers premium wireless starting at just 15 bucks a month. And now for the plot twist. Nope, there isn't one. Mint Mobile just has premium wireless from 15 bucks a month. There's no trapping you into a two year contract. 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In this special episode, we sit down with Doctor Jane Goodall to hear her inspiring thoughts on how we can create a better future for humans, animals and the environment. Anything, particularly young children out into nature so that they can experience it and take time off from this virtual world of being always on your cell phones and so on. And get the feel of nature so that you come to be fascinated, then you come to want to understand it, and then you come to love it, and at that point you want to protect it. And then we'll come to the sort of healthy world that I envision as a good future for us. And the rest of life on this planet. Listen to amazing wildlife on the iHeartRadio app or wherever you get your podcasts. Alright, we're back. So Pullmans builds this town, moves a bunch of people in, and I should note, the only people allowed to live in the Pullman town are white people. You, you you cannot live there. He has black workers. They're not allowed to live in his town because, again, it's his idealized version of society which does not have any black people. The town eventually had a population of about 1200 Pullman workers, and things chugged along well enough until 1893 when the entire Gilded Age. Collectively shat its pants. The basic problem was this international capital got addicted to gambling on the IPO of countries like Argentina. A bunch of these bets went badly in the early 1890s. This spooked European investors, and those investors started hoarding gold from the US Treasury. This coincided with the collapse of a massive railway company and a general contraction for the whole railway industry, which had been flooded with far more money than it could ever hope to absorb and been grossly overbuilt. Grover Cleveland, who started off as in 1893. Responded to all this by ******* around with silver, which didn't do much to allay people's currency fears. As more Americans lost their jobs, others panicked and withdrew their money in mosques from banks. The economies of the Western world, such as they existed back then, fell apart. George Pullman had to fire 1/4 of his workforce. Those who remained faced dwindling hours. This might have been a situation where Pullman scheme to reduce worker unrest by building them a nice place to live. Could have come in handy if he had examples set for example said, hey guys, I'm going to have to cut everybody's hours. But you know what? And cancelling rent while this economic crisis goes on or something. Or it could have at least prorated, whatever. He would have had options that he probably would have been more popular than ever, and his workers would have been like, well, **** this is the benefit of letting a guy like Pullman be your boss and run your life is when times are hard. He takes care of you, you know? But George Pullman could not stand the thought that one of his endeavors might not turn a profit. And so he kept rent and utilities at the same rates they'd been before the depression while he was cutting everybody's pay. Now he actually parallel that happen. That's happening now. Well, here's the thing. ****** **. I guess you could argue if you were looking at this from a pro capitalist standpoint, like, well, he couldn't stop their rent because he couldn't afford to. He had like this. This was a business. And like he he can't pay for everybody's rent forever. It costs him money to upkeep the town, but he was actually willing to lose money, just not that way. So he wasn't willing to cancel people's rent, but he did take on contracts that at a loss so that he took on contracts and he charged so little that the company lost money on the contracts. In order to get workers back into the office working. So he wouldn't lower their renter bills, but he would actually lose money in order to make sure that people were still working for him. That's twisted. Yeah. Barked up. Right. Yeah. It's more about the ego than about the money in that in that in that sense, you know, I wanna yeah. It's it's not I wanna take care of my workers. It's I want my workers to still be working, you know, for me. For me, you know. Yeah. That's yeah. Very interesting and sociopathic. Pullman hid this fact, the fact that he was taking. And contracts at a loss from his labor force. His employees did not know that the company was losing money to employ them, but by 1894 it had become fairly popular knowledge due to some leaks, and this led to a burst of additional unrest from Pullman employees. They were also angry that Pullman had increasingly made them pay a substantial premium for things like water and gas in the Pullman Town, which water and gas. The local government provided those to Pullman like it was a town they should have. Been available for a pretty low fee to the people living there, but the Pullman Company charged employees for a thing that was being provided by the government that those employees were paying taxes for. Did that come again? That's a. I have no response to that. I'm not gonna pretend to be funny. I I have. No, it's no power at this. It's dope. Yeah, so that was not the end of the grift. As writes, his one giant church was too expensive for most congregations to afford his its rent and his ill conceived attempt to convince all the local denominations to merge into one generic Mega Church failed. His library charged a membership fee to foster his notion of personal responsibility. Workers avoided the hotel bar and the ever watchful eye of off duty supervisors limiting their public carousing. From a neighboring village colloquially known as Bum Town, the housing too was for rent only. His aim was to ensure that housing remained in good repair and attractive, and he charged higher rents to maintain them here. Pullman applied his usual belief that the public would pay more for a higher quality, ignoring the fact that this particular public, his employees, had little choice when his was the only housing in town. Umm. So touch. He's out of touch at that point, you know, I mean it's a, it's a smart gun, it's a smart grift. But he is like, he is grifting though, you know, he's robbing them, basically. They're paying more, vastly more than they need to. And because they're living in this Pullman town, they can't go out and find other work, right? Yeah, like they're they're out in the bulman down. Yeah yeah. Very twisted and just yeah. So he's cutting strange way. He cuts wages while maintaining rent and continuing to charge. People additionally, for water and gas, he cuts wages by an average of 28% across the board, which means employees all start to fall behind on their rent. Now you can go in debt to the company right Ohio and if you're in debt to the company and you can also get go in debt to the company if like there's a building code violation, which you know how landlords work, right? Everything's building code violation and those things are taken automatically out of the workers paycheck as are things if they go in debt to the company for food. So workers would go negative to the company, which means they can't quit without need suddenly owing all that money, right? Like the bill immediately comes due if you stop working for Pullman. So whatever. Tied to its name forever. Quite slavery. But it is not as far away from slavery. Yeah, it's not as far away from slavery as it ought to be, you know? Yeah, that's that's that's a grift if it when you start having employees in debt to the company and unable to quit, because then they would. You know, potentially get into legal trouble for that, then you're in a real uncomfortable territory, you know, like you're making a problem that only you can solve, and you're consciously making that problem. You know what I mean? Like, it's they he controls too much and there's no way. I don't know. It just it's kind of like almost backwards the way he's doing in my head. But I don't know what I mean. Like, he's making a problem, only he can solve it, and he knows that, and probably they know that, too. And just like a. I'm gonna stop God complex. Yeah, yeah, it's fun. It's all good. Everything's fine. So for a look at how bleak this situation could be for the workers, I wanna read a quote from a Pullman worker named Jenny Curtis. And this is her telling her story of working for Pullman. My father worked for the Pullman Company for 10 years. Last summer he was sick for three months and in September he died. At the time of his death, we owed the Pullman Company about $60.00 for rent. I was working at the time and they told me I would have to pay that rent. If I could every payday until it was paid, I did not say I would not pay, but thought rather than be thrown out of work I would pay it many a time. I have drawn 9 and $10.00 for two weeks work, paid $7.00 for my board, and given the company my remaining two or three dollars on the rents and I still owe them $15. Sometimes, when I could not possibly give them anything because her wage was cut from $0.90 to $0.20 per section of carpet, I would receive slurs and insults from the clerks in the bank because Mr Pullman would not give me enough in return for my hard labor to pay the rent for one of his houses. And live. Wow. So, like employees, it's often a family business. You're all living in town. If your dad dies with debts, you take on those debts in addition to, like, what you have to pay to keep. It's yeah, wow, that's ****** **. That is ****** **. It's like forever branding people again. 2.0 with, like, being like, like, at your Mercy in a way. Yeah. So in May of 1894, the Pullman workers decided to strike for a better deal. They were not yet unionized, so they set their sights on a man who at the time embodied the hope for the power of labour. And this brings us to a dude ivory like Eugene Victor Debs, more commonly just called Eugene V Debs. He was born in Terra Haute, Indiana in 1855. He was the son of a fairly well off family they owned a couple of small businesses might have even had a little bit more money than than Pullman's family. Like Pullman, Debs dropped out of school, although he made it to 14 and he got a job cleaning. Train cars for $0.50 a day. It's worth noting that Pullman quit school even earlier than debts in the 4th grade and got a job paying $40.00 a month, which is about $25.00 a month more than what young Debs could expect to earn. So that's interesting to me, like from the beginning. I don't know, I I guess Pullman's family probably had more money because. Yeah, debt is like up in the way there's. Yeah, Debs is making like 15 bucks a month, something like that. And Pullman's making 40 bucks a month in their in their first gigs out the door. Which I guess you know, Pullman's hired by his family. So that does help. That makes sense, that that answer yeah. Debt eventually quit doing this job, and he returned home to work as an accountant for his father's business. Again, neither of these are like poor kids. By age 19, Eugene had joined his first union for locomotive firefighters. He was the secretary, and he also edited their magazine, which he used as a platform to urge sobriety and patriotic citizenship. He was not a radical at this stage, and his trade union membership did not cause him to identify as a socialist. He did get increasingly political. And was elected city clerk in 1879 and state representative in 1884. Debs was a Democrat, and he urged modest reforms from a broadly pro worker platform. So Debs was a Democrat, and he urged modest reforms from a broadly pro worker platform. And I'm going to quote from Jacobin for this next part. Here. By the late 1880s, stepson started his trek away from conservative unionism. A railroad walkout in 1888 convinced Debs, who served as strike leader, that a harmonious relationship with massive corporations was impossible without the counterweight. Organized workers. He also began to criticize the craft unionism that dominated the labor movement rather than self balkanized according to job tasks. Federationists like Debs, insisted that workers, whether conductor or fireman, engineer or brakeman, organized under one common fold, as Debs explained in May 1893. That same year he co-founded the American Railway Union, putting his vision of a fighting industrial unionism into practice. So the early unions are like we're all of the guys who do breaking for the train. We're all of the conductors. And, like, you don't have as much power when you're that kind of atomized, you know, unless you're able to work together to some extent. And Debs is one of the people who's really pushing. No, everyone who works for the railroad should be in the same union, and we all fight together, you know? Wow. And the ARPU was kind of his, his attempt to do that. So larger workers organizations had existed before. Debs isn't the first person to do this. The American Federation of Labor was founded in 1886, the Knights of Labor Back in 1869. But the idea that workers within a specific industry would organize based on that industry rather than job type was pretty novel. Debs was convinced that bosses were playing different specialties off of 1 another, trying to get workers to kind of compete with each other rather than working together, and that this artificial competition was to stop workers from actually organizing together for their shared interests. When he resigned from his job working for the Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen, Debs wrote quote it has been my life's desire to unify railroad employees and to eliminate the aristocracy. Labour, which unfortunately exists and organize them so all will be on an equality now. The ARPU was founded for him to strike back at what was effectively a Union of railroad managers which had organized to set standard job classifications and wages between different railroad companies as well as to build a common pool of strike Breakers and even an inter industry strike fund of sorts to help railroads outlast in a union strikes. So Deb sees that like workers are splitting themselves up too much while the actual railroad companies are all organizing together they effectively. Have a union. Yeah. In 1893, immediately after he founds the ARPU, he wins a substantial victory over the Great Northern Pacific Railroad during like a A real landmark strike. And this is the first time something like this happens that like this this broad cross section of railroad workers organize and win a fight against a major railroad. This brings new members and dues flooding into the ARPU. He's, he's the, he's the talk of kind of the union movement after this by June of 1894, just weeks after. Women workers made their decision to strike. The ARPU had reached its greatest extent, 150,000 members. Now roughly 1/3 of George Pullman's employees were ARPU members. And when the Union held its first convention, George Pullman's employees like the subset of the ARPU that worked for. Pullman, came to the union gathering with a plan. The Pullman workers asked the entire ARPU to join their boycott, stopping all trains from carrying Pullman cars across parts of the nation represented by the ARU. So these these workers for Pullman. Or in the air. You were like, hey, we're going on strike, but that's not gonna be enough. Like, we want you to go on strike too. We want you to refuse to service Pullman cars anywhere in the country, even if you're not an Pullman employee. Because that's going to put more. Yes. Solidarity. It's going to put a lot more stress on the bosses. Hell yeah. Hmm. I like where this is going. I wanna read from a quote from their plea to the ARU. Polman, both the man and the town is an ulcer on the body politic. He owns the houses, the schoolhouses, the churches of God, and the town he gave his once humble name. And thus the merry war. The dance of skeletons bathed in human tears goes on, and it will go on, brothers, forever, unless you, the American Railway union, stop it. End it. Crush it out. People used to write more colourfully back then. Yeah, so after visiting with workers and hearing their stories of privation, Debs decided that not only did they deserve the ARPU solidarity, but that this could be a chance to start to pull together the kind of national labour coalition that he thought was necessary to push back against the forces of capital. Still, he attempted to negotiate first. George Pullman, however, was not a negotiator. He believed he was defending his and everyone else's inherent right to private property. Workers had no right to demand better conditions from him. As the factories and drain cars they labored in were his personal property, local civic institutions in Chicago jumped in to try and urge some kind of accord, but compromise proved impossible. Eugene V Debs and the delegates of the ARU decided to strike. Debs declared that all shall March together and fight together until working men shall receive and enjoy the fruits of their toil. Strike Leader Thomas Heathcote explained to the position of the Pullman men. Thusly. We do not know what the outcome will be, and in fact we do not care much. We do know that we are working for less. Teachers then will maintain ourselves and our families and the necessities of life. And on that one proposition we absolutely refuse to work any longer. The ARPU sympathy strike was the largest declaration of Labor solidarity up to that point. It still is one of like the largest examples of anything like this ever happening, and it's completely unprecedented. But there were however like. You limits to the kind of solidarity these people will really to express. And those limits mostly landed on racial lines. So Debs, for his part, begged strikers to accept black workers as part of their sympathy boycott. He was like, if if we don't take these people into and represent them too, then they're going, they're going to be used as scabs. And why, why wouldn't they be scabs if we won't let them, if we won't like link arms with them? Why wouldn't they go work for money somewhere else? We're not gonna help him do anything. I was going to be my next question about like if so, the Union at this point is all white. Oh yes, yes. And Debs is. Debs is kind of pushing and there's a lot of argument about whether, how hard he really pushes, but he's kind of pushing for that to maybe be opened up. But they the, the Union does not agree to do that. So it's the same thing like, you can criticize Pullman for saying, like, black employees aren't allowed to live in my Pullman town. But, you know, it's worth noting also that the white Pullman unionized employees were not willing to let black people join their union. Like it's the basically, well, it's 1894. Yeah, you know. Of course they're racist, of course, I mean, but every I mean, what's his face? Debs sounds like, like he's trying to improve society, but it's not possible at that point. He's, he's trying. He does. He does a lot over the course of his life. So Debs puts forward a motion to include 2000 Black Pullman workers in the strike. It was voted on at a union meeting, but the majority of those present voted against it. So again, in his credit, he does. He does try the motion. Fails and the strikes. So the strike is only going to consist of white workers. This is deeply unfortunate as and also kind of ironic because workers, when talked to by the press, kept saying things like this quote, the only difference between slavery and Pullman and what it was down South before the war is that they're the owners took care of their slaves when they were sick and here they don't. Which, God, I don't think it's entirely fair, but yeah, you you know, slavery there. It's like you're not gonna find it. You're not going to find a large mass of white dudes. Are not problematic. In 1894, where did they fare so? Initially, the Pullman Strikers enjoyed enormous support from the University of Illinois after being elected mayor in December 1893, Hopkins made the cause of the Pullman workers his own, allowed Chicago police to collect charity for them, and kept police from interfering in the strike while it remained peaceful. Indeed, support for the strikers was widespread in the city. Jane Adams, founder of the Whole House, remembered returning to Chicago on July 9th to find almost everyone on Halsted St Wearing a White Ribbon. The emblem of the striker side. Now the strike also benefited from the neutrality of Illinois Governor John Peter Altgeld, who would have been elected in 1892 with strong labor support. Alt Gill had pardoned 3 Haymarket anarchists. Four others had been hanged in 1887 and issued an accompanying message in which he declared the trial in which they had been convicted. In an injustice during the early part of the strike, Altgeld refused to send militia into Chicago. So the strikers have a lot of benefits, including the fact that a lot of local elected leaders are on their side, and in some case, one case at least pretty radical. Themselves, which helps, I think, also because it's all white. That helps you too. Yeah, it's it's all they're all white, right? Yeah, yeah. By the end of June, more than 150,000 railroad workers in 27 states had joined the sympathy strike, refusing to service any trains with a Pullman car, which was most strains. So the whole American railroad system grinds to a halt. As the Chicago Times wrote. Quote, some roads are absolutely and utterly blockaded, others only feel the embargo slightly, but it grows in strength with every hour. So this raises panic to a fever pitch among national elites, with a writer at the nation declaring the boycott. An attempt to starve out society. So the Pullman strike had grown to be the sort of thing that actually did put the whole system at risk. Bosses grasping for a way to destroy this threat to their supremacy landed on a tactic that is familiar to all of us today, hyping up acts of violence from protesting workers from a write up in Lapham's quarterly quote. The effects of the strike were felt most intensely in Chicago itself, particularly as public transportation came to a halt after streetcar workers joined the strike. Violence broke out, as presidents, Cleveland later wrote, almost in a night. It grew to full proportions of malevolence and anger, rioting and violence whereas early accompaniments. And it spreads so swiftly that within a few days it had reached nearly the entire western and southwestern sections of our country. He wasn't wrong. Freight cars were derailed, engineers were assaulted, tracks were blocked, and train cars and buildings were set on fire. Now, the worst thing that happened during this riot was that a mail truck was damaged, which gave President Cleveland the excuse he'd been looking forward to intervene. The president claimed interference with the post was a federal issue, which it is, and used that to justify deploying 14,000 soldiers to crack heads, which is more legally questionable. But this is the justification, right? They're ******* with the mail now. I'm gonna send in troops. Yeah, yeah, yeah. And this is in spite of the fact that, as a general rule, the strikers would actually let mail trucks buy. Because they didn't want to stop people from getting their cost. They're also, this is just like, **** gets heated, right? People are fighting in the street, like, yeah, there's a mail truck gets damaged, you know, the national media, obviously, as soon as there's violence goes all culture warrior on the strike, calling it debs's rebellion and framing it as an attack on civilization itself. Now, the strike had gotten off to a strong start, but from this point it gets hammered from a number of factors. For one thing, the AFL, the American Federation of Labor, never supported the Pullman strike. Its head, Samuel Gompers, was a very conservative man and very hostile to socialism. He believed that only skilled craft workers ought to unionize. And the fact that he and the AFL delegates didn't vote to support the RU strike really no, like narrowed the scope of a the scope of a sympathy strike. It's why there's a potential to the beginning. Maybe other unions could get involved, other industries could get involved, like laborers all around the country could organize for railroad workers. And this be a precedent. But that's not what Gompers wants, that's not what the NFL wants, and so it doesn't happen now. That said, well Gompers, get some blame for the strikes failure, the fact that these strikers. Themselves are pretty racist. Also gets a lot of blame, because Pullman is able to bring in black workers as strike Breakers, and the Union had already told these guys. **** you. You're not welcome in. Why shouldn't they SCAP, right? Normally that's a clear moral choice. In this case. Like what? What do you expect me to do? You're not organizing the former. You're not doing you're not willing to do **** for me. You don't even think I'm a person. So this guy's offering me money. **** you. Like, I I can't blame in this instance. I can't blame you for scabbing, right? Yeah, like 2 enemies. Yeah. Yeah. Like what? Yeah. What? What were they supposed to do? You know? Yeah. Yeah. No, it's fair. Very fair. Yeah. Yeah, labor historian Tom Gilpin told Lapham's quarterly quote. It's not clear that he even had Samuel Gompers weighed in on the side of the AU that the strike could have been won. Clearly, a fractured labor movement will be overcome by a united business class, especially one that has the military might of the federal government behind it, which is an important lesson there. The power of the bayonet was braced, as it always is, by the perception of profound legality. Cleveland's attorney general got an injunction from a. Circuit Court ruled on by two anti union judges which prohibited ARPU leaders for compelling or inducing employees from railroads to refuse to perform their duties. Debs and other ARPU heads were also forbidden from communicating with subordinates, which meant Debs could no longer send telegrams to try and calm strikers down and avoid violence. Because again, that's kind of what they want in this situation is for things to go so like these. These injunctions reduce the ability of Debs and other folks at the ARPU to actually like organize things, which means it gets more chaotic. More bad **** happens, yeah. And then in early July, the troops entered the field from the Encyclopedia Britannica quote, worried that given the terms of the injunction, he could no longer exercise any control over the strikers. Debs at first welcomed the troops, thinking that they might maintain order and allow the strike and boycott to proceed peacefully. But it soon became clear that the troops were not neutral peacekeepers. They were there to make sure that the trains moved, which would inevitably undermine the boycott. The Strikers reacted with fury to the appearance of the troops on July 4th. And their sympathizers overturned rail cars and erected barricades to prevent troops from reaching the yards. ARPU leaders could do nothing, prevented by the injunction from any communication with the workers. On July 6th, some 6000 rioters destroyed hundreds of rail cars in the South Chicago Panhandle yards. On July 7th National Guardsmen, after having been assaulted, fired into a mob, killing between 4 and 30 people and wounding many others. Debs then tried to call off the strike, urging that all workers accept those convicted of crimes be rehired without prejudice. But the General Managers Association, the Federation of railroads that had overseen the response to the strike, refused and instead began hiring non union workers. The strike dwindled and trains began to move with increasing frequency until normal schedules had been restored. Federal troops were recalled on July 20th. The Pullman Company, which reopened on August 2nd, agreed to rehire the striking workers on the condition that they signed a pledge never to join a union. By the time it ended, the ordeal had cost the railroads millions of dollars in lost revenue and included and damaged. Property and the strikers had lost more than $1,000,000 in wages. Wow. So that's wow. Yeah, and in the end, it's one of those things, Debs definitely like panics, but also a dozen, possibly dozens of people just got shot dead. Like, yeah, can't blame him. Like, you know, nobody's number one. This was all new. He was not on well trod ground here. And I think any responsible person, when a bunch of people get killed and you're the one in charge, might rethink things, you know, whatever else we think about what he decided to do. Like, I don't know, what else are you going to do? Eugene V Debs was jailed on July 17th. That he was sentenced to six months behind bars for his role in supposedly inciting illegal behavior. The time locked up was good for him. He read Marks and while he studied inside outside, his role in the strike was mythologized by the budding US left. When he was released in November 1895, more than 100,000 people swarmed Battery Park to hear him give a speech wherein he told them, I greet you tonight as lovers of liberty and as despisers of despotism. Debs was not a committed socialist quite yet, but as the months. Passed, he became convinced that the labour movement could win nothing but temporary victories until socialism unseated the barons at the very top. Two years after his release, he wrote in an essay, the issue was socialism versus capitalism. I am for socialism because I am for humanity. We have been cursed with the reign of gold long enough. Money constitutes no proper basis of civilization. The time has come to regenerate society. We are on the eve of a universal change. Hmm, yeah, I wish that had been the case. Yeah, but I, you know, a National Commission was established in 1894 to determine the causes of the strike. It blamed Pullman's paternalism, his need to totally control the lives of his many employees, as being unamerican. In 1898, the Illinois Supreme Court took Pullman, the town, away from Pullman the man, and it was incorporated into Chicago. George Pullman died of a heart attack in 1897. Funeral services were held at his mansion and with Pullman's death. Coming so near to the end of the strike, it's perhaps not surprising that tempers were high. George seems to have been aware of how much people hated him prior to his death, and as a result, extreme measures were taken to protect his corpse. And I'm going to quote one last time from the Pullman Center carbs box. Sorry, go ahead. That's what we're getting to. A pit the size of an average room had been dug in the family plot, its base and walls reinforced concrete 18 inches thick. Into this, the lead lined mahogany casket was lowered and covered with tar paper and asphalt. The pit was filled with concrete, on top of which a series of steel rails were laid at right angles to each other and bolted together. These rails were embedded in another layer of concrete. It took two days to complete and then sod was put down. These precautions were taken to prevent any desecration of the body, an unfortunate price Pullman paid for his victory in the Pullman strike. Ambrose Bierce said it is clear the family in their bereavement was making sure the *** ** * ***** wasn't going to get up and come back. Well that's just so funny to just. You know people hate you. You know what I mean? And just be like, OK, look, yeah, it's not the best, but it's at least some victory that despite winning at the end of it all, George Pullman knew he had to bury his corpse in a ******* pit like iron and and concrete box because otherwise people would **** with it. At least there's that. I mean, yeah, that's a it's comical at that point to just think about the way his life ended. It's all it all comes back to. Corpse box. But yeah, I mean, if anything, if I've learned anything from this episode, Robert, is that humans don't change. Everything you said basically has happened in the last several years. And that makes me sad, because people forget what they go through and history gets forgotten and rewritten until we do it again. Because we're dumb little sheep. And this always happens. Every episode of ******** that I'm on. I just become my existential dread has it becomes an endless void thanks to you. So, yeah. Excellent. Yeah, we did it. Yeah, it is this the end or should I. This is the end. We're done. Ohh, could you plug your pluggable? Yeah, you have some pluggable. Ohh, this is the end. OK, I got it. Sorry. So we're still going. We're rolling, rolling into the rooms. We never associating more. This is how our brain works now. I'm Shereen and I'm on Twitter at Shiro hero 666 SHEROHERO. And on Instagram, Mr Shira hero. And thanks for listening. Follow along if you want to. I don't care. Well, I do. I mean, I mean, I don't know. Have fun Reddit. I know someone will have fun with this. Yeah, have fun Reddit. Have fun Reddit. I don't know. Have a have a good day everybody. **** ** a railroad. You have some time and just find the railroad and just just get your anger out. **** all over the tracks, you know? Yeah. Don't get caught. Yeah. Yeah. Don't get caught. If if you get caught, we don't know. You don't know? Yeah. You did not hear from this. And this is not going to be just on the Internet forever and ever. Nope. Hello, I'm Erica Kelly from the podcast Southern Fried True crime and if you want to go from podcast fan to podcast host, do what I did and check out spreaker from iheart. I was working in accounting and hating it. Then after just 18 months of podcasting with Speaker, I was able to quit my day job. 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