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The use of political methods puts the organization un

der the protection of the law.

The bare idea of conspiracy



Said De Leon: "The Industrial Union connects with

the achievements of the Revolutionary Fathers of the country,

the first to frame a constitution that denies the perpetuity

of their own social system, and that, by its amendment clause, legalizes Revolution."


And again he said, "The Constitution

of the United States was the first to provide for its own


The time has come for the oppressed in this coun

try to make use of that constitution's amendment clause, and

put an end to the capitalist social system. ....... As men who

recognize that the Political state is rotten-ripe for over

throw, we organize the Industrial Unions to seize the reins

of future government, and enforce the fiat of the ballot

should the reactionists, the Bourbon-Copperheads of this

2 generation, rise against it.

They propose to try peaceful, civilized" methods


Then, if the capitalists refuse to abide by the vote

of the people, they will bring the economic power of the in

dustrial unions into action.

They will say, "We are in pos

session of the means of producing wealth, and we are going to stay in possession. You will have to go to work."

De Leon pictured the transition thus: "As the slough

shed by the serpent that immediately reappears in its new

skin, the political State will have been shed, and society will simultaneously appear in its new administrative garb.53

1. Daniel De Leon, "Industrial Unionism," 3. 2. Quoted in The Weekly People, January 10, 1920. 3. Clarence Hotson, in Industrial Tnion News, January 17,1920.

While strikes are at present necessary, the necessity

for their use is deplored.

"The arbitrary stoppage of the gi

gantic forces of production and distribution which in a moment

endangers the life, health, and general well-being of millions

of people, constitutes a social crime," declares the official

organ of the W. I. I. U....... "That the actual workers, in or

der to receive enough to exist and raise future wage-slaves

are periodically forced practically to declare war on produc

tion itself, because of the private and irresponsible ownership

of the productive forces, constitutes the modern social out

rage, not against the nation as a whole, part of which is the capitalist class, but against the working class as a whole. That these same irresponsible owners may, at any moment and

by consulting their own sweet will and interest only, effect a stoppage of production, for reasons such as a desire for

greater profits, a desire to freeze out competition, a desire

to create a stronger market, or to punish of break the backbone of recalcitrant labor, is what constitutes the great

social crime of today..... The workers' interest lies in the

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of common sense, an expression of the insanity engendered

1 the insane system of capitalism itself."

And the general strike is absolutely rejected as a weapon of revolution.

'.....We absolutely discard the


strike, general or local, as a weapon of revolution.


1. Industrial Union News, November 29, 1919.
2. By revolution they do not mean a violent revolution, but

only a fundamental, internal change in government.

we do, in the first place, because great strikes easily become movements of disorder hungry masses, mass meetings, pa

rades, perhaps riots, all are incentives to disorder,


attacks from above.

Hunger, starvation, and lack of employ

ment are all elements of weakness which the workers should

avoid as nearly as possible.

On the other hand, we hold that

the workers in a revolutionary period must remain in the in

dustry, the shop, the factory, and the mine, in order to take

possession of same. The workers must continue to produce and take and hold that which they produce.


They look upon industries as their heritage.


fore they are opposed to any tactics which would destroy in

dustry or break down the morale of working men.

They will

strike in order to get a living, but they propose to accom

plish the transition to the new social order by political


Until this goal is attained there may be lulls in

the battle but there can be no peace.

Members of the

W. I. I. U. will sign no contracts.

Accepting the theory of the class struggle in the

ardent spirit of Crusaders, Daniel De Leon and his follow

ers marshall their forces at the point of production.


pit their indispensability as laborers against the capital

ist ownership of the means of production.

To overthrow

capitalism they organize industrial unions, which are

1. "The American Socialist Labor Party." (Official Pamphlet)

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