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You ought to be out raising hell. This is the fighting age. Put on your fighting clothes.
-Mother Jones

Friday July 24, 1914
From the Chicago Day Book: Letter to the Editor Confronts Elbert Hubbard's "Publicity"

Charles Edward Russell
Charles Edward Russell
Elbert Hubbard
Elbert Hubbard
Yesterday's Day Book published the following letter to the editor:

"Editor Day Book: Well! Well! Elbertus Hubbubus, Big Business publicity agent, has come out in the Examiner and shown himself up. That he is a scrivener employed by the capitalists. Goodness, how they must have roared when they read his article.

The title of his roar is "Big Business and Publicity by Default." He uses the word default in the sense neglect and he later refers to the attacks on Big Business by the great labor leaders and Socialists of today.

Now Charles Edward Russell in a recent issue of Pearson's Magazine has published an article entitled "Caught With the Goods." In it he proves that the Associated Press is a news trust, censoring and falsifying news for Big Business.

Long-locks Hubbubus endeavors in his squeal to hold up the Socialist party and the laboring class to ridicule by giving the following lists of radicalists to make up the executive power of the U. S.:


     President, William Haywood.
     Vice President, Charles Moyer.
     Secretary of State, Upton Sinclair.
     Secretary of War, "Mother" Jones.
     Secretary of the Navy, Emma Goldman.
     Secretary of the Treasury, Harry Kemp.
     Attorney General, Frank Tannenbaum.
I venture to predict that if this were a reality these people would get together and that the name United States would mean a heaven on earth to live in to every foreign country within two years.

Now let us answer a few rash statements made by Elbertus.

Following the former quote is this paragraph:

And when this comes about do not forget that the gallows tree will bear fruit, and that you can listen anywhere and hear sounds as of men with hammers building a scaffold. And the men who will hang first will be big business men.
Hanging is too good for the owners of mills in which children are made to work 10 and 12 hours a day and sweatshop proprietors.

A little lower down, following some historical high-brow chatter, is this:

Today civilization is sitting on the crust of a crater, dangling its heels and  whistling "Annie Laurie."
Ah, how true.


If big business is a beneficent thing, why not buy pages in the daily press and advertise the fact?
As if they don't. For example:

The telephone company's magazine advertising. Usually about the rottenness of the European service and the excellence of that of the United States.

They will never get a fair deal until they meet the falsehoods of the agitators and give blow for blow.
"Agitators" and "falsehoods," peculiar words to use, very peculiar.
There is no going back to "the rule of the competent few."
Rather say "incompetent few."
Popular government is here. If we are ruled by the worst, we must, through education, evolve that "worst" into the best
"We are ruled by the worst." He admits that his employers are incompetent.
As a matter of self-preservation we must make the "worst" tolerable and tolerant. Also, we must be tolerant.
Quoting the constitution, "All men are equal." According to Elbert they are not.
-D. L. Day.
The Day Book
(Chicago, Illinois)
 -of July 23, 1914

See Also:

Selected Writings of Elbert Hubbard
 -by Elbert Hubbard
Wm. H. Wise, 1922
(search with "Publicity by Default.")

Pearson's Magazine, Volume 32
Pearson Publishing Company, 1914
Pearson's Magazine
 -of July 1914
(search with "Caught With the Goods.")

Elbert Hubbard
Charles Edward Russell

Don't Believe the Hype - Public Enemy


3:20 PM PT: I found the article by Elbert Hubbard in a few different newspapers and magazines (Wall Street Journal, etc) in July and August of 1914. The exact text varies. Putting this source and the source above together seems to cover all of what the letter-to-the editor was responding to:

Chicago Commerce, Volume 10
Chicago Association of Commerce and Industry, 1914
(search with "Elbert Hubbard)

3:37 PM PT: It wasn't long before Rockefeller took Hubbard's advice:

Search= "Ivy Lee" + Rockefeller

3:49 PM PT: The Atlanta Constitution
(Atlanta, Georgia)
 -of Dec, 9, 1914

Ivy Lee, Elbert Hubbard and Other Paid to Write About Colorado Strike"

3:52 PM PT: Sadly, the link to the Atlanta Constitution article is behind a pay wall, but here is the link for those who want it:

Alternately, stay tuned to Hellraisers for further developments.

4:49 PM PT: The Day Book
(Chicago, Illinois)
 -of Dec 9, 1914

"Elbert Hubbard Letters Help Rockefellers"


Originally posted to Hellraisers Journal on Thu Jul 24, 2014 at 11:00 AM PDT.

Also republished by Shamrock American Kossacks, In Support of Labor and Unions, Anti-Capitalist Chat, and History for Kossacks.

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