William Haywood and the Syndicalist Faith
CARL E. HEIN
He is the embodiment of the Sorel philosophy, roughened by the American industrial and civic climate, a bundle of primitive instincts, a master of direct statement. He is useless on committee; he is a torch amongst a crowd of uncritical and credulous workmen. I saw him at Copenhagen, amidst the leaders of the working-class movements drawn from the whole world, and there he was dumb and unnoticed; I saw him addressing a crowd in England, and there his crude appeals moved his listeners to wild applause. He made them see things, and their hearts bounded to be up and doing.1
THIS UNEMBELLISHED COMMENTARY on Haywood by someone who viewed him in the perspective of international socialism is one that Haywood himself, with qualifications, might have accepted. Like Debs, "Big Bill" always felt closer to the workers than to their formal leaders. He disliked the need for the "pie-cards" of payment for union office, and his faith in an untrammeled industrial democracy led him to deny on occasion that any leadership prevailed in a strike except
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Publication information: Book title: American Radicals Some Problems and Personalities. Contributors: Harvey Goldberg - Editor. Publisher: Monthly Review Press. Place of publication: New York. Publication year: 1957. Page number: 179.