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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 administration, and the watchword has been, 'To hell with the rank and file'. Now it's 'To hell with the Grand Lodge.' " 1 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 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 membership." 3
Moreover, in many industries, the craft union membership constitutes only an aristocracy of labor, müde up of skilled workmen who are a small 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. Ibia, 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 busboys would take the places of striking waiters.
To put it briefly, the "tragedy of craft sovereignty"
is that "trade unions foster a state of affairs which allows one set of workers to be pitted against another set of workers in the same industry, thereby helping defeat one another 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 because 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 interests of the rank and file. Such suspicion, whether justified or not, is destructive of morale. In short, craft unions have proved wholly inadequate to cope with gigantic corporations under the centralized control of powerful boards
Therefore, Trade Unionism must be transformed both 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", 8. 2. Constitution of W. I. I. U., Preamble.
centralized form of modern production necessitates the Industrial 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 necessary to complete De Leon's analysis of the situation by presenting 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. The social structure, or garb, of Class Rule is the Political State - that social structure in which government is an organ separate 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 distinct structures to execute its will, one the economic structure for conducting industry, the other the social structure for maintaining the supremacy of the capitalist class by force. The social structure, the State, uses physical force to attain its ends. The state is the governmental adminis
tration of capitalism, its organized power, which it uses to 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 despotism. Capitalists use the overnment, and are under the
necessity of owning the government in order to enable it to
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.