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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.
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
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
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.