Useful IWW Documents & Literature
The working class and the employing class have nothing in common. There can be no peace so long as hunger and want are found among millions of the working people and the few, who make up the employing class, have all the good things of life. Between these two classes a struggle must go on until the workers of the world organise as a class, take possession of the means of production, abolish the wage system, and live in harmony with the earth.
The union’s source of strength is its members. The more directly we are involved in union business, the stronger we are. Our liberation won’t be won by paying dues into a union treasury. While money helps the union function, we can’t purchase our freedom. What makes the union win for us all is the eff ort and enthusiasm of its members—something that can’t be bought. Our efficiency is the result of our democratic structure, empowering the rank-andfile.
The IWW believes that by acting in solidarity, in union, we are building a new world in the shell of the old. Through solidarity we will create a free world with the good things of life available for all. Yes, the IWW is radical. It is as radical as a scientist in her laboratory, as radical as a surgeon planning the removal of a diseased growth, as radical as a teacher must be to tell the truth.
At the very beginning, members of the IWW carried cards from other unions. Today, we retain those ties. Unionists who choose to carry two cards have many reasons but there is a fundamental connection between them. Business unions often have unresponsive and undemocratic bureaucracies. They frequently take the position that the union is a partner with management and that capitalism or at best, state socialism, is the ideal economic system. Members of these traditional unions join the IWW in part because it gives them another vision of what a union could and should be.
Working people have only one real option in today’s economy. We have to resist, with all our might, the big-business program of further and deeper poverty for working people. Together we can win. Together we can make this world a better place to live, to raise our children, to spend our old age.
Good meeting procedure is probably the most basic tool in the organizer’s kit and the building block for any form of collective action. A good meeting helps a group of people—small or large—to accomplish more than they could as individuals. Without a democratic and efficient way to make decisions, people can do little more than burn themselves out and reinforce the idea that fighting the boss and authorities is impossible and that the labour movement is nothing more than one useless meeting after another