Front Page Titles (by Subject) The Army and Social Control - Literature of Liberty, July/September 1978, vol. 1, No. 3
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The Army and Social Control - Leonard P. Liggio, Literature of Liberty, July/September 1978, vol. 1, No. 3 
Literature of Liberty: A Review of Contemporary Liberal Thought was published first by the Cato Institute (1978-1979) and later by the Institute for Humane Studies (1980-1982) under the editorial direction of Leonard P. Liggio.
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The Army and Social Control
“The Army As Strikebreaker—The Railroad Strikes of 1877 and 1894.” Labor History 18 (1977): 179–190.
Was the United States Army merely a nonpartisan force to restore order or was it, in effect, a strikebreaker siding with management against organized labor in the late nineteenth century?
This question is difficult to answer since the army's actions during the two periods of greatest labor disorder (the railroad strikes of 1877 and 1894) point in both directions. For example, in the Pullman strike organized by Eugene Debs's American Railway Union in 1894, it could be argued that the army was merely following the lawful orders of President Cleveland, but a great deal of partisan communication also occurred between army officers and the railway officials. Military leaders were more deferential to railroad managers, even to the point of maintaining intimidating troops in strike areas after civil order was restored. Also, Cleveland's Attorney General Richard Olney's background as a railroad attorney may have prejudiced his treatment of labor.
The army's job was to restore order, but in restoring order it often decisively favored the corporate side. It thus became unwittingly enmeshed in larger economic, political, and social issues that it did not comprehend. Labor's perception of army partiality is significant: “Army officers openly and frequently collaborating with railroad officials could hardly appear as disinterested restorers of order....”
The attitude of the army officer class was also highly partial to management. Imbued with middle class respect for the sanctity of property, it tended both to identify social order with the hegemony of men of property and to fear social decay from the “radical” ideas of the labor unions.
Overall, the men in the army, even the officers, interpreted their functions as following the orders of the President, and if that included strikebreaking, so be it. As Lieutenant William Wallace phrased this sentiment in 1895: “... the army is on the side of constituted authority, and is in all things merely a reflection of that power, which is essential to its existence....” It seems the men who held greater sway with constituted authorities in 1877 and 1894 were corporate interests.