American Syndicalism: The I. W. W

By John Graham Brooks | Go to book overview

XI

"DIRECT ACTION"

NEITHER sabotage nor "direct action" is quite fairly explained apart from certain economic beliefs of those who now adopt them. The struggle of labor against capitalism is consciously directed by Syndicalism to gain control at the centers and sources of economic power. In the most popular literature attention is perpetually called to the "concentration of industrial forces" which is believed to change the whole method of warfare. There is no denial that the older trade unions were fighting intelligently with "contracts" and "agreements" but combination and the modern trust are said to have wrought a revolution which requires other means.

When Monsieur Pataud three years ago found himself at an electric center of such power in Paris, when he realized that he had only to "make a gesture" and the great city was at his mercy, he furnished one of many illustrations of what these new agencies may enable syndicalists to accomplish. "We have," he said, "to teach labor that the lever to lift the world is already in its hand.""Make labor conscious of its place and power and the battle is won." Behind this belief is much reasoned explanation meant to justify "direct action." Capitalism from the beginning has known and practiced every form of "indirect action" over labor. With the help of others in the upper

-129-

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American Syndicalism: The I. W. W
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page i
  • Prefatory Note iii
  • Contents v
  • I- The Socialist Invasion 1
  • II - The More Immediate Danger 12
  • III - The Enlargement of the Problem 25
  • IV - The Plague of Misconceptions 33
  • V - A History of Disappointment 47
  • VI - Forerunners of the I. W. W. 61
  • VII - The I. W. W. 73
  • VIII - General Characteristics 92
  • IX - The War of the Classes 107
  • X - The General Strike 115
  • XI - "Direct Action" 129
  • XII - Sabotage 139
  • XIII - Violence 158
  • XIV - Anarchism 168
  • XV - The Disappearance of the Capitalist 179
  • XVI - Constructive Suggestion 194
  • XVII - Some Effects of Responsibility 215
  • XIX - Some Duties of Our Own 239
  • Literature 253
  • Index 257
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