Left Wing Unionism: A Study of Radical Policies and Tactics

Left Wing Unionism: A Study of Radical Policies and Tactics

Left Wing Unionism: A Study of Radical Policies and Tactics

Left Wing Unionism: A Study of Radical Policies and Tactics

Excerpt

Internal strife within the labour movement seems to be as eternal as the movement itself. In common with all social institutions, labour organisations are constantly experiencing differing degrees of factional struggles. Those divisions that arise out of the disagreements between the radical and conservative elements naturally centre around ideologic issues. Since the latter are generally in control the task of the radicals is to devise policies and tactics that will enable them to replace the conservatives. Consequently much of the thought and energy of the radicals has been directed towards the study and application of modes of procedure for winning the labour movement to their beliefs. But, as the effective opposition, they have seldom agreed among themselves as to which policies and tactics would best further their cause. Indeed, the chief controversies among the radicals in the labour movement have been as to what methods would most effectively advance the attainment of their objective. And invariably these quarrels have eclipsed principles, finally bringing about their re-adaptation to suit the type of policies and tactics momentarily advocated. Similarly, these differences over modes of procedure have usually been the rock upon which the radicals have split into factions and sects.

This study, therefore, does not concern itself with the numerous radical ideologies. These philosophies are referred to only as they relate to one or the other modes of procedure. Likewise, the usual manipulations and manoeuvres characteristic of mass organisations and resorted to in most social relationships are also touched . . .

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