solidarity forever and the IWW

Mike Ballard swillsqueal at
Fri Nov 15 01:49:09 MST 2002

--- Ben Courtice <benj at> wrote:
> --- Mike Ballard <swillsqueal at> wrote:
> ...
> ben comments:
> I notice a link to the US ISO website on the IWW
> homepage as one site
>  worth watching for news etc.The IWW website looks
> nice, by the way.

Thanks Ben!  Proud to say that we had our website up
before the AFL-CIO had one. ;D

> But I agree that trying to rebuild the IWW now is a
> bit of an
> excercise in nostalgia...

Well, it's true that "we never forget".  Still, the
concept of organizing a classwide union whose members
have the strategic goal of abolishing wage-slavery is

I think modern day
> wobblies should take a
> leaf out of the book of the (original) Australian
> IWW, who basically
> functioned as a political current vying for
> leadership of struggles,
> within Australia's industrial unions.

We function as class conscious workers wherever we
are---in and out of business unions.  Our political
current is the one which inscribes on its banner
"abolition of the wages system" as opposed to be
satisfied to live with just "a fair day's wage for a
fair day's work".  That's a fundamentally
revolutionary position and one which our fellow
workers need to hear.  The fact is that they don't
hear it from hardly anyone but us.  And the reason?
Well, I reckon it has a lot to do with the mentality
that workers won't be able to understand it so, we
best keep quiet about it and try to drive the herd
towards a revolution led by.......well, you get the

There was less
> need for an
> independent industrially organising union movement
> in Australia,
> because the unions had already to a certain extent
> embraced industrial
> organisation -- which didn't happen on a large scale
> in the US until
> the CIO was formed in the late 1930s.

The declaration of independence from organized
scabbing has a long history in the IWW.  We organized
in 1905 with the intention of making "injury to one an
injury to all".  That kind of solidarity is not
tolerated in the so-called industrial unions which
cater to the notion that they can scab on their fellow
workers by continuing to work within their industries
while their class comrades are on strike.  Hell, they
even sign no-strike clauses to cement their tame
relationship with the bosses.  Believe me, this is not
industrial organization.  It is corralling for the
purposes of keeping the capitalist system
going--albeit on a nicer level.

Wobbly greetings,
Mike B)

"Man first begins to philosophize when the necessitites of life are supplied."  Aristotle

"determinatio est negatio"  Spinoza

"There are no ordinary cats."  Colette

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