. an issue.
July 12, 1919 force the mass action of the industrial proletariat of average labor.
The new conditions of proletarian struggle develop new conceptions of organization, or ideas of organization. The facts of industrial concentration, the decreasing importance of skilled labor, the massing of industrial control in a centralized capitalist autocracy, render more and more futile the econmic struggles of the craft unions, which now engage largely in industrial and political bargaining. But a new and militant forcearises in the unions, composed of the unskilled and those whose skill has been expropriated by the machine process; revolutionary currents develop, and the problem of industrial unionism becomes Industrial unionism, however, is incompatible with the dominant forces in the craft unions; the unskilled are a minority, and industrial unionism is turned into a compromise, a grotesque compromise in the form of aJnalgamations. The concept of industrial, unity and solidarity of action cannot break through the pride and prestige of: craft and property; industrial unionism founders on the rocks of craft disputes and jurisdictional squabbles, which absorb so much of craft union activity. The craft unions are completely destroyed, as in the steel industry, or they become. largely, mere job trusts and instruments of peaceful bargaining and compromise with the employers, supplemented by betrayals of the unskilled.
Industrial unionism becomes an expression of, and develops real strength and influence among, the unskilled workers, in whom common conditions of labor, absence of craft distinctions and the discipline of machine industry develope the necessity and potential ity of the industrial form of organization. The power of this proletariat lies in its mass and numbers, in its lack of artificial distictions of skill and craft. Being a product of the massing of workers in a particular industry, the unskilled strike en um e, act through mass action; being united and disciplined by concentrated industry and its machine process, the unskilled proletariat organizes its unions industrially, in accord with the facts of industry, in accord with the conditions of its work and atistence. Industrial unionism in form is an expression of the integration of industry and the proletariat by the mechanism of capitalist production itself, and it becomes peculiarlythe unionism of the revolutionary proletariat. All groups of workers in an industry are organized and unified into one union, cast in the mold of the industry in which they, work, artificial differences of occupational divisions being swept aside. Strikes become general and acquire political significance, action becomes the action of the mass, the integrated action of an integrated proletariat. Where the craft unions initiated the strike of a single group of workers in an industry, the industrial union initiates a strike of all the workers. The ideology of solidarity becomes the practice of solidarity.
Industrial unionism, as the expression of unskilled workers impelled by objective conditions to subjectively accept class action, acquires a revolutionary concept, consciousness and activity. Instead of the craft union motto of fair day pay for a fair day work,. industrial unionism inscribes upon its banners the revolutionary motto, Abolition of the wages system. The ultimate purpose of, industrial unionism is the organization of all the workers in accord with the facts of production, constructing in this way the struc ture of the new society within the old, as a necessary phase in the overthrow of Capitalism and e establishment of a new society which shallfunction through the industrially organized producers. Not the state, but the Tm: REVOLUTIONARY Aer.
industrial union. is the instrument of revolution, equally the might for the revolutionary act and the norm of thenew society. Industrial unionism is not simply a means, a more effective means than any previously used, to carry on the every day struggle against the employing class: it is Socialism in action and Socialism in the making.
But the dominant conservative Socialism refuses to accept, it cannot accept unless transforming itself, the revolutionary implications of industrial unionism. Organized Socialism persists in rendering stultifying homage to the fetish of parliamentarism. The general defects of parliamentarism are em phasized and multiplied by the conditions of State Capitalism and the developing requirements of the proletariat of average labor: it cannot express the requirements of this proletariat, nor can it successfully wage the struggle against State Capitalism, which means an intensification of class antagonisms and struggles and the development of an emerging proletarian state through industrial unions as against the state of irnperialistic State Capitalism. The new movements of the industrial proletariat engage in a struggle to revolutionize the dominant Socialism; the stru le fails and is relinquished, developing the idea that Socialist politics as such are not and never can become revolutionary; the trend becomes one of severing relations with Socialism, and the revolutionary movements of the proletariat acquire an active or passive non political bias. This development emphasizes the vital defects of the parliamentary policy of Socialism.
This non political policy is temporary, being the product of transitory conditions. As industrial unionism engages more and more in the. general class fight against Capitalism, as parliamentary Socialism weakens under the pressure of revolutionary events, each in itself and even jointly are considered incom plete, and the two means of action become merged in the general action of the proletariat, centralized, dominated and. energized by revolutionary mass action.
What are the limitations of industrial unioniém and parliamentary action in their particularized activity?
Parliamentary action in and of itself cannot realize the militant independence of the proletariat, marshal its forces and organize its revolutionary action. Parliamentary activity is an expression of the proletarian struggle, not the struggle itself; it is a form of expression of class power, but not a fun damental factor in developing this class power. Parliamentarism in itself cannot alter the aetual bases of power in the class struggle, nor develop that force without which the aspirations of the Revolution are unrealizable. All propaganda, all electoral and parliamentary activity are insufficient for the overthrow of Capitalism, impotent when the ultimate test of the class struggle turns into a test of power. The power for the Social Revolution issues out of the actual struggles of the proletariat, Out of its strikes, its industrial unions and mass action. The peaceful parliamentary conquest of the state 15 either sheer utopia or reaction; this conception forgets two important things: the actual power of government resides in industry arid in an administrative autocracy, not in parliaments, and this power must be overthrown by extra parliamentary action; while it is utterly inconceivable that revolutionary Socialism should ever secure ower throu an electoral majority under e forms of ourgeois democracy. Parliamentarism is actually counter revolutionary, as it strengthens the fetish of democracy: bourgeois democracy must be anihilated before the proletarian revolution 13 may function. The revolution is an act of a minority, at first; of the most class conscious section of the industrial proletariat, which, in a test of electoral strength, would be a minority, but which, being a solid, industrially indispensable class, can disperse and defeat all other classes through the annihilation of «the fraudulent deniocracy of the parliamentary system implied in the dictatorship of the pro letariat, imposed upon society by means of revolutionary mass action.
State Capitalism, through its weakening of parliamentary control and its centralized administrative autocracy, emphasizes the insufficiency of parliamentarism. But yet the proletarian movement cannot reject politics. Paradoxical though it may appear, State Capitalism, while it emphasizes the futility of parliamentarism in and of itself, broadens the scope and necessity of politics. In unifying ruling class interests and imposing a drastic regulation upon industry, State Capitalism makes the state a vital issue of the class strug gle in its general aspects. More and more the state concerns itself directly in industrial disputes: the class struggle becomes intensely political. Politics is the field in which all issues of the class struggle are in action. It is not a single issue, but the totality of issues arising out of the antagonisms of bourgeois society that the proletariat must struggle against. It is not through ownership of in. dustry alone that the capitalist maintains his rule; the simple fact of ownership is itself maintained by a large number of means, a large number of issues, social, political. international, all of which are centralized in State Capitalism. The proletariat must interest itself in all these issues, engage in the parliamentary struggle through which capitalist society, as a whole stands forth naked and unashamed.
The parliamentary struggle, waged in a revolutionary spirit and as a phase of the general action of the proletariat, issues a challenge to capitalist supremacy in every issue which insures bourgeois supremacy. It is not through securing better wages and better conditions of labor that the proletariat conquers power, but by weakening Capitalism in all the issues that maintain its ascendancy.
Parliamentary action centers attention on all these issues; if revolutionary, parliamentary action realizes the, futility, however, of solving those issues through politics alone. and it therefore calls to the struggle the industrial and mass action of the proletariat in classpolitical. strikes. This unity of means and action develops class consciousness and class power. By concentrating on all issues that are vital to Capitalism, revolutionary Socialist parliamentarism emphasizes and intensifies the antagonisms between proletariat and bourgeoisie, and inthis sense. awa. kens the consciousness and general action of the proletariat. At one momentpolitics develop into industrial and mass action; at another moment, these develop into politicsrthe two are inseparable phases of the same dynamic process of class action, each dependent upon and developing the other. Socialist parliament.
arism, accordingly, should not be an empty means of protest or a futile means of democratizing the state and growing into Socialism, but a dynamic phase of proletarian action; and, recognizing its limitations and utility, becomes a supreme method of developing revolutionary and class consciousness ideologically, which is transformed into class power by industrial and mass action.
Industrial unionism, in itself, and even if it recognizes and accepts the Socialist parliamentary struggle, has its own limitations. In dustrial unionism, in its dogmatic expression, assumes a general organization of the prolc