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the Detroit wing adopted the present W. I. I. U. name and
Daniel De Leon was the first to work out a philosophy of industrial unionism. The W. I. I. v. is the orthodox embodiment of his principles, the I. W. W. merely a variation. The two differ in their conception of the political state - and therefore in tactics - and in the
allocation of power within the industrial organization,
Instead of looking upon the political State as the organized might of capitalism, the collective expression of the tremendous power of the capitalists for the coercion of the working class, the I. v. W. regard the State as merely a tool of capitalism, an incidental factor in the industrial struggle. It is "a committee acting for the economically powerful."" To De Leonites, the State is a power worthy of a foeman's steel; they invariably speak of it with due respect. But I. W. W.'s scorn it as the paid servant of capitalism. There is no I. W. W. "So poor to do it reverence."
Haywood voiced his opinion in these words:
"Morgan and his associates on Wall Street use the govern
ment at Washington as a tool to serve their ends. They rightly despise the President, the members of the supreme Court and Congress, for these politicians are far beneath them in power and importance. What laws Wall Street wants
1. One Big Union Monthly, August, 1919, p. 25.
are passed. In case of a strike, the governor of a state is used to control the militia and crush the strike. The federal and state judges issue injunctions, that is, they make such new laws as the trusts want...... All the Democratic and Republican officials, from dog-catcher to President, are but the hired agents of the empire of industry." In the same way, the trusts control the schools, the press, the church, and even theaters."
Why, then, should they honor the flag? "As workers," they say, "we have no country. The flags and symbols that once meant great things to us have been seized by our employers. Today they mean naught to us but oppression and tyranny..3
Political government is to them only the flimsy mask of capitalism, an illusion over which it is futile to waste time and energy. "With the camouflage government, the 1.w.w. has no fight," they say haughtily. "We don't fight windmills, mirages, or paste governments. We only take this opportunity to accuse them of not fulfilling their part of the contract which calls for the protection of the citizens and bringing to justice of the criminals.
"Our fight is with the secret and invisible government which is to us) neither secret nor invisible. We know Where that government is located, and we know of what persons it is composed. Its capital is in Wall Street, and its officials are the defenders of the private ownership of the means of production throughout the country.......
1. Wm. D. Haywood and Frank Bohn, "Industrial Socialism," 38-9.
Ibid. 3. Grover H. Perry, "The Revolutionary I.W.N.," 7.
That government, we frankly confess, we intend to overthrow."
Their position is tersely stated by another writer as follows: "The I. W. W. recognizes but one enemy - capitalist ownership of industry. It has but one goal - workers' possession of industry. It takes but one road to reach that goal unionism on the basis of industry. We are on the solid ground
of Marxian science when we totally reject any other program of
action. We see in political government, as in every other social institution, nothing but the reflex of the dominant ECONOMIC forces. A reflex is a shadow, and the I. W. W. has no time to fight shadows. It would not lift a finger to upset reform or participate in any political government. We organize in industry; we fight in industry; to achieve a revolution in industry.nl
Toward the existing State they maintain an attitude of strict neutrality. We have no set political program," they explain, "but leave the individual to choose his own course politically. However, let it be clearly understood that we are neither anti-political nor pro-political. We are a labor union and in a sphere of activity that is extra (outside)-political."" To carry on propoganda either for or against political action would, they think, be equally useless. Individual members of the I. W. W. may engage in political action if they wish. In fact, Haywood himself was
1. The One Big Union Monthly, August, 1919, p. 7. 2. Editorial in the New Solidarity, January 24, 1920. 3. George Hardy, "An Address to American Workers," 4.
Vincent St. John, "The I.W.W. and Political Parties."