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It's Up To Us

We can run industry and thereby solve the problem of power, for all the power that runs this world comes from our own efforts. Our class has only to stop doing what it is told to do and start doing what it collectively decides to do, to deprive its opposition of all the power they ever had and to acquire for itself all the power it will ever need.

Management of industry by workers organized to do the job is not a mere dream. It is the historic trend. It is the pole toward which every forward move of labor has pointed, whether intended that way or not, but it cannot be achieved without deliberately planning for it. If that job is not done, the counter trend wins out--regimentation of everything either by all kinds of business, by all kinds of government, or most likely, by their unholy alliance, fascism.

Industrial democracy is the answer to many problems. It can keep alive the democracy that cannot survive when practiced only on election day. It can free us from want and fear, waste and war. With modern production methods it can enable ordinary people to get all the material goods they can use, by working about as much as they want to.

It can give us security and freedom, those two most desirable ends, neither of which is possible without the other, for a person driven by want cannot be free, and the puppet is never secure. It can make organized society a harmonious whole, intelligently working for the good of all--for it is only when the all of humankind can decide what is to be produced and what is to become of the product that it can know what it is doing.

Industrial democracy can be built only by an organized working class that is aware as a class of what it wants and how to get it, rather than giving decision-making power to .friends of labor. in political parties or to controlling cliques and vanguards within its own ranks.

Working class organization must serve two purposes:

  • It must provide the most efficient structure for carrying on our daily struggle for better conditions and better pay;
  • It must provide a comprehensive and flexible solution to the issues regarding the production and distribution of goods in an equitable and ecologically sustainable manner by making possible the efficient management of modern industry by organized labor.

Fortunately, but not by coincidence, the same type of organization best serves both purposes; for by organizing the way we work, so that we have the same relations in our unions as we have in the process of production, we are lined up so as to have the most strategic advantage in our everyday struggle, and the necessary coordination for assuming the responsibility for industrial production.

How to organize right is thus the immediate question. It is with that question that we are concerned. In organizing, the I.W.W. uses to the facts of the future we want because how we organize will define what the future will be.

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