Page:Historical Catechism of American Unionism.pdf/66

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197. What other factor helped to kill unionism?
Cooperative enterprises. Many of the attempts of the earliest American unions were co-operative, and either through a lack of business capacity, or the dishonesty of those directing them, they invariably had the effect of losing out and ruining the economic organizations that relied upon them. The opposition of both Catholic and Protestant influences to co-operation as a labor policy no doubt prevented to some extent the financing of such enterprises. The Catholic churchmen opposed it as a "first step to Socialism," and a writer in the Christian Advocate denounced "the attempt to improve on the divine law (which) is not ridiculous simply; it is absurd and blasphemous. If men cannot live and get along as God has arranged and ordained, they can get along in no other way."
The stove molders had at one time eleven co-operative foundries. One at Troy, N. Y. was very successful. So much so that the co-operators adopted the capitalist view that "the fewer the stockholders in the company the greater its success." While these co-operators still held to membership in the Moulder's Union they said: "but the trades unions are of no use now, really." Co-operation in successful enterprises felt the restriction of union rules and interference.
198. What conclusion may we draw?
We are justified in drawing the conclusion that whenever a union tries to operate outside its sphere—job regulation—it only defeats its purpose and destroys itself.
199. What is the Industrial Workers of the World?
A working class organization with the revolutionary aim of overthrowing capitalism. The unit of organization is an industry. All the industrial unions are united in the general organization. All laws originate in the General Convention and become effective only when passed upon by majority vote of the membership. Its aim is toward inclusiveness, and with this end in view its policy favors low initiation fees and dues. It has a universal card system so that a member can transfer from one industrial union to another without extra charge; thus making it possible for its members to hold continuous