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2. Structure and Functions of the Industrial Union

The goal of the proletariat is the overthrow of Class


The overthrow of Class Rule means two things: (1)


abolition of the capitalist system of private ownership in

the machinery of production, which must be collectively owned

and operated by the people.


The wrenching of the control

of government from the clutches of the capitalist class, after

which the political State will either wither away by disuse, or be amputated, and in its place will arise an Industrial


The ultimate goal is, therefore, the substitution

of Industrial Government for the Political State.

The problem, then, is to organize the working class

in a way to attain this goal.

Gouls determine methods.


since the capitalist class is intrenched in an economic cit

adel i. e., its ownership of the socially necessary means of production, which are absolutely indispensable to society

what economic power can be marshalled for its overthrow?

The W. I. I. U. answers:

The power of the capitalists must

be met with the superior economic power of the workers.


what does that economic power consist?

"The working class,

being toolless and stripped of every vestige of property,

cannot organize its economic forces along the lines of owner


The economic power of the proletariat rests not......

in the power of ownership, but in.......its actual indispensability as a producing class. .1 Experiences during the war

1. Dannenberg, Karl, "The Road to Power",


made labor realize its importance, and it comes to this conclu

sion: "The present war has shown that the workers are the most

indispensable class in society today.

Appeals are made to them

to cease their struggles in order to save the State.

Labor must

see to it that, having seved the State, it claims the right to

mould it in accordance with what is known to be best for social

2.1 progress as a whole. The physical and intellectual produc

tive faculties of the workers must be organized on a class-con

scious basis, in line with the dictates of economic development.

Economic solidarity, it has been shown, is the supreme need of the working class; and solidarity is best attained,

De Leon asserted, by organizing the workers at the point of

production into units corresponding to the industries in which

they work.

Locally, the unit of organization is the Local In

dustrial Union, which presents to the employer a class alignment on the job. Although the Local is merely a cell

[blocks in formation]

electrical apparatus, coal, or postal service, the product,

not the tool,

fixes the boundary.

All the wage-earn

ers in a given locality who are engaged in the same industry,

which turns out a particular product, would belong to one

1. Industrial Union News, May 17, 1919.

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