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cast by the economic power of the capitalists.

Capturing the

State would be like catching a shadow.

But after we capture

the factories, I. W. W.'s boast, find the shadow then, and it

will be our shadow.


Industrial Unionism

The structure of the I. W. W. and that of the W.I.I.U.

are almost identical.

The great difference is in the alloca

tion of power.

So radically do they differ in this respect

that the governments they propose to set up would be wholly

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worker must be organized into one big union of his industry.

It does not mean mass unionism.

It does not mean that the

railroad worker, the plumber, the teamster, and the baker

1 will all be in the same local union. That form of organi

zation has been proved a failure.

The I.W.W. and the W.I.I.U.

agree on the necessity of organization according to industry. "The 'one big union" slogan of the I. v. W.," we are

2 tola, "means CLASS organization according to industry. It


"All workers of one industry in one union; all unions

1. Grover H. Perry, "The Revolutionary I...," 3. 2. Ibid.

[blocks in formation]

The structure of local unions of the I. W. W. differs

little from that of the W. I. I. U.

The Industrial Branch

Union of the I. W. W. corresponds to the Local Industrial Un

ion of the W. I. I. U., and both organizations provide for an

Industrial District Council. They differ slightly in the subdivisions of the local union; for the I. W. W. has, in practice


at least, no Trade Branches,

although the constitution speaks

of workers in a given industry being "welded together as the

particular requirements of said industry may render necessary. This is interpreted to mean shop sections primarily, although there may be language sections or department or district sub

3 divisions.

The significant difference is in the power and method

of operation of the local.

In the I. W. W., power resides in

the general membership; officers are only clerks.

During the

present fight against capitalism, "workers, not officials," we

are told, "call strikes on or off. All power thereby remains in the hands of the man on the job.4 This is "a real demo

cracy in action."

Officers transact affairs of general con

cern, maintain communication with other branches of the same

1. "One Big Union," 29.
2. Vincent St. John, "The I.W.W., Its History, Structure, and

Methods," 14-15.
3. Ibid.
4. George Harrison (one of 166 1.w.w.'s indicted in Sept.,

1917), "Is Freedom Dead ?"

industrial union, and attend to all detail work.' So they

will continue to do when the Industrial Branch Union becomes

a unit in the Industrial Co-operative Commonwealth.

But im

portant matters require the attention of the entire local


"Such important matters," we are informed, "are

referred to a general meeting or a general referendum of the local membership.


Although the Industrial Union of the I. W. W. is

identical in structure with that of the b. I. I. U., in the

latter it would be a State in an Industrial Republic, in the

former only a federation of Industrial Branches with a staff

of clerks at the head.

The Industrial Union would have no

such power as under the W. I. I. U. system.

Its oficials

and executive board would transact its affairs, maintain com

munication between branches, etc., but important matters pertaining to the industry would be dealt with through the

3 referendum. The officials are also expected to maintain

unity of action among the branches.

They function as a

committee, selected by actual workers in the various

branches, to facilitate co-operation throughout the in

dustry, and since the industry, under the I. W. Y., would

recognize no national boundaries, such a committee would

be indispensable.

Authority, however, would rest with the

general membership.

1. B. H. Williams, "The Constructive Program of the 1.W.W.,"

in Solidarity, June 7, 1913. 2. Ibid. 3. Ibid.

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