Page:Historical Catechism of American Unionism.pdf/67

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membership regardless of changes of employment and location.

This union has had remarkable success in handling large strikes, such as the textile strike in Lawrence and other Massachusetts towns, and in Patterson and Little Falls, N. Y., It also struck terror into the hearts of the steel kings at McKees Rocks, Pa. The rubber barons of Akron, Ohio, were taught a bitter lesson by the I. W. W. This organization, never strong in numbers until recently, has so strong a working class appeal that it has gone into unorganized territory and stirred whole working class populations into activity on behalf of their interests as workers.
No organization just like the I. W. W. has ever before appeared above the American labor horizon. It embodies all the experiences of American labor and crystallizes all its spirit. It is a purely genuine proletarian type of organization. It tears the sham from the craft unions and exposes them, showing up all their fallacies and weaknesses. It is the terror of the craft union oligarchy, as it is of the capitalists. Both have vilified, slandered, and persecuted it. No other organization has been so grieviously misrepresented and pitilessly persecuted. While its members have, and are yet, selected for victimization in industry and by the legal authorities, the organization itself has gained membership and influence, and is today strategically the most advantageously placed economic organization in America.
Every attack upon the I. W. W. has redounded to its benefit, driving it more securely into the consciousness of the world's workers. For, peculiarly enough, every act of this organization was of proletarian origin and every tactic an adaptation of the workers' experiences in industry. It was enabled to turn attacks upon it to its own advantage with the versatility of that proletariat whom it can truly claim to represent. When a task is to be performed in industry, it is to be performed; there must be no acknowledgement of defeat. The same spirit has dominated the I. W. W. This makes it an enigma to the capitalist class and a thorn in the side of "the Labor Lieutenants of Capitalism," as Mark Hanna aptly termed the craft union officialdom. They do not understand the workers' problem and are only concerned about the cap-