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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
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.
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.
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.
capitalism they organize industrial unions, which are
1. "The American Socialist Labor Party." (Official Pamphlet)