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Enginemen's Association says: "This walkout is a protest against
the dilatory tactics of the officers of the brotherhoods.....
Their leaders have been playing politics with the federal ad
ministration, and the watchword has been, 'To hell with the rank and file'. Now it's 'To hell with the Grand Lodge.'
Perhaps the prediction of De Leon is coming true; "I venture
the statement, on this 10th day of July, 1905, that the day is nigh when the Working Class of America will courtmartial
the Gomperses, the Mitchells, the Stoneses, whose generalship is sacrificing the army of Labor - courtmartial them for
2 treason to the Working Class.
When the working class unite", said Debs, "there will
be a lot of jobless labor leaders.
In many of these craft
unions...... the rank and file do not count for any more than
if they were so many sheep. In the railroad organizations, for instance, if the whole membership vote to go out on strike, they cannot budge without the official sanction of
the Grand Chief.
His word outweighs that of the entire
Moreover, in many industries, the craft union mem
bership constitutes only an aristocracy of labor, mude up
of skilled workmen who are a smull minority in the industry.
Experience showed, for example, that if cooks went out on
strike, the unskilled workers, the pot-washer, dish-washer,
pantry-man, etc., were pressed into service until "scabs"
1. Ibid, apr. 8, 1920 2. Daniel De Leon, "Socialist Reconstruction of society," 26. 3. Eugene V. Debs, "Industrial Unionism, 13.
were got to take the place of strikers, or hundreds of bus
boys would take the places of striking waiters.
To put it briefly, the "tragedy of craft sovereigntynı
is that "trade unions foster a state of affairs which allows
one set of workers to be pitted against another set of work
ers in the same industry, thereby helping defeat one another
2 in wage wars.
Such a state of affairs may be brought about
by contracts with various crufts in the same industry being
made to expire on different dates.
Or modern machinery and
acute specialization may break down craft barriers until the
skilled workers in an industry can be used to replace skilled
workers on strike.
As if these defects were not enough,
craft unions have been rendered still more inefficient be
cause their officials are not subject to direct control by
the general membership, and are frequently accused of car:
ing more for their salaries and jobs than they do for the
in structure and purpose in order to make it an efficient
instrument of industrial warfare.
The complex and highly
1. Daniel De Leon, "Industrial Unionism", 2. Constitution of W. I. I. U., Preamble.
centralized form of modern production necessitates the Indus
trial Union, whose object is to organize the workers into
units corresponding to the industries in which they work, with
the idea of solidarity.
But before discussing the Industrial Union, it is nec
essary to complete De Leon's analysis of the situation by pre
senting his conception of the State.
"Capitalism is the last expression of Class Rule,"
said De Leon.
"The economic foundation of Class Rule is the
private ownership of the necessaries for production.
cial structure, or garb, of Class Rule is the Political State
that social structure in which government is an organ sep
arate and apart from production, with no vital function other than the maintenance of the supremacy of the ruling class.
Capitalism has created two entirely separate and dis
tinct structures to execute its will, one the economic struc
ture for conducting industry, the other the social structure
for maintaining the supremacy of the capitalist class by
The social structure, the State, uses physical force
to attain its ends. The state is the governmental administration of capitalism, its organized power, which it uses to
2 keep the working class in subjection. Thus the capitalist
class dominates the working class by a dual despotism, on the
one hand economic despotism, on the other political despo
Capitalists use the movernment, and are under the
necessity of owning the government in order to enable it to
3 uphold the capitalist system.
1. Daniel De Leon, "Industrial Unionism, 1. 2. Daniel De Leon, "Socialist reconstruction of Society," 36. 3. Daniel De Leon, "What Means This Strike?" 24.