Page:Historical Catechism of American Unionism.pdf/68

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italist side of the problem. Consequently, anything genuinely labor is to both a profound mystery.

If the I. W. W. had been controlled by "intellectuals," or dominated by professional labor leaders, it would have gone the way of all previous efforts to supply labor with an effective instrument. Having been wrested from the control of these elements at an early stage of its career, and having been controlled by purely proletarian elements, it has weathered all the heavy seas and kept its course despite cyclonic storms of persecution. The bludgeon, the bullet, the penitentiary, lynchings, and tar-pots—every outrage, every scurrilous attack has added a new leaflet to its propaganda, put a new tone into every new appeal. The I. W. W. has demonstrated that capitalism can recruit no force to smash or to deter it. The I. W. W. has nothing to fear from the outside; it can only be destroyed from the inside, and its proletarian character makes that unlikely.
200. What is an "intellectual"?
This term is applied to those who are not experienced as wage workers and who attempt to play a more or less important part in the labor movement. This term should not be used loosely to include all those who do not perform manual labor. The class-conscious labor movement is a target for all kinds of so-called "intellectuals." Preachers, physicians, college men, lawyers, etc., are the main offenders. They are usually obsessed with the idea that they are born leaders of the workers. They seem to feel that the workers will "go to the dogs" unless they be allowed to control the workers' destiny. As a matter of fact, the "intellectual" is, more often than not, a nuissance and a detriment to the class-conscious labor movement.
201. When was the I. W. W. organized?
In Chicago, June 27, 1905, with an initial membership of somewhere about 50,000.
202. Is it purely economic organization?
Yes. Originally it declared for political as well as economic action by the workers, but at the fourth convention, (1908), the idea of political action was discarded, and the I. W. W. decided to devote itself exclusively to industrial action. This won for it the hostility of the