[Marxism] Anti-Imperialism and the IWW

Calvin Broadbent calvinbroadbent at hotmail.com
Mon Aug 15 08:56:42 MDT 2005

Magon probably refers to the average white worker, whom the IWW so 
militantly represented the class interests of. Not that the IWW was national 
chauvinist or openly white supremacist; it most certainly was not. However, 
part of the reason for the decline and rollback of wobblie unionism, 
according to J. Sakai, was that it did not properly tackle the imperialism 
of the US government and link its trade union agitations and victories to 
the political struggles of oppressed nationalities in the US and in its 
wider imperial environs. "If the WW had fought colonialism and national 
oppression, it would have lost much of its white support. What it did 
instead- laying out a path that the CIO would follow in the 1930s- was to 
convince some white workers that their immediate self-interest called for a 
limited, tactical cooperation with the colonial proletariats" (Sakai, p. 
67). When the US ruling class established that it could afford to sustain 
this same section of white workers in jobs and security from imperialist 
expansion, just as the latter were slaughtering and ethnically cleansing 
black workers from amongst their occupational and residential ranks, 
industrial militancy amongst the US immigrant workers that formed the IWW's 
support base, tailed off accordingly.


>But was Magon referring to the IWW or to the average worker?

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