This site is a static archive. Visit the current IWW website at ▸
Skip to main content

We, the Workers

By Arthur J Miller

Since the beginning of civilization, workers have slaved under one master after another; we, the workers, have produced all the goods for society. We have fought all the wars and made all the sacrifices that the masters' economic system has required.

Whether under capitalism, state communism, monarchism, or fascism, we, the workers, have been forced to produce, and never have we had a say in what we made, how it is made, or what it is used for.

We have been slaves to them all, be it by wages or chains. To them we are a commodity, to produce at their bidding. And what do we, the workers of the world, have to show for these years of toil? They have given us as little as they can get away with! They work us as hard and fast as they can. They make us produce goods that they turn around and sell back to us at high prices. They make us produce cheaply, with no regard to quality or possible hazards from the products. They make us build dams, bridges, homes, cars, ships, etc., out of inferior material and work us in such a way that we cannot make our work of best quality. They make us produce things that are a hazard to our world. They make us destroy food when there are thousands of people dying of starvation.

Low wages, inflation, shortages, unemployment, war and hunger are some of the problems we, as workers, have had to face all of our lives and throughout history. Is this also the life we doom our children to?

In any time of crisis, who are they that are told to make the needed sacrifices? We, the workers, have always carried this load in time of need. Have you ever heard of the rich helping? Have they ever been willing to use their great wealth (which they got from our labor) to relieve suffering? Do they not always use these times of crisis to add to their wealth? Do they not even hold back food from the hungry to drive up prices?

Inequality has existed in our economic wage system since its development. On top there are the masters who own and rule industry, and below are the slaves, the workers, who produced all the goods. Wages are paid to workers for this production, which is only a small portion of the market value of the goods that we the working class produce. The greatest part of the wealth we create goes to our masters in the form of profit.

As long as there are masters, the workers are no more than a commodity, to be bought when needed and cast away when not. Because of this, a class war has gone on through the ages of civilized history. Every strike, boycott, or any job action is a battle in this class war and it shall continue until we, the workers of the world, take industry into our own hands use it for the benefit of all.