Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The Spirit of the Wobblies

The Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) was formed to fight the harden, brutal corporations in the Twentieth century. There was a big difference in the way the unions fought against the giant corporations.

The AF of L called for a fair day’s wage for a fair day’s work. This sounds good but the AF of L had to get a contract with the employer. This usually ended up in courts and with lots of lawyers. You can see how this is working for us (membership down). Now the IWW Wobblies played for keeps. They wrote in their preamble to their constitution:

The working class and the employing class have nothing in common. There can be no peace so long as hunger and want are found among millions of working people and the few, who make up the employing class, have all the good things in life. Between these two classes a struggle must go on until the workers of the world organize as a class.

The Wobblies (IWW) never had more than 60,000 members, but it shook up the nation as had no other organization of it’s time for they were Machiavellian realistic. Machiavelli believed that wars are going to be fought. The only question was how to win them. Machiavelli then wrote the Art of War.

The Wobblies fought the GOP and corporations with the belief that the bottom line in war and hence in political warfare is who get buried and who gets to walk in the sun. This philosophy is what made the Wobblies feared by the government, corporations and the GOP.

There now seems to be some small signs these days that the Wobbly spirit is still alive. A good book on this is Rebel Voices by Joyce Kornbluh.