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(5) European Labor Politics Short­circuited Russian Revolution

The political inclination of European labor we believe to be responsible for the unreadiness of your continental movements to rally to the support of the Russian revolution. Without such support the Russian workers were condemned to realize less than they set out to achieve. From the American labor movement, under reactionary leadership and influences, nothing less than the antagonism which was experienced was to be expected.

Revolutionary Russia has always had a sincere friend in the I.W.W. Unfortunately, those who speak in America for Russia are listed among the most pronounced enemies of the I.W.W. When, with a shortsightedness unworthy an international labor body, and apparently responding to influences hostile to this organization, the R.I.L.U. discriminated against the I.W.W. in the matter of representation at the Moscow congress, a breach was opened out of which has grown an antagonism which the I.W.W. can but regret, and for which responsibilities lies with the R.I.L.U.

Opening The Breach

The delegate from the I.W.W. to the congress represented a real tangible membership, while others seated as American delegates represented nothing but undetermined and undeterminable minorities ideals and hopes, rather than the qualifications generally demanded of delegates to such assemblies.

You will pardon us for remarking that your credentials committee made a bad and a sad mess of things and, in the acceptance of its report -- in that portion covering American representation -- the congress condoned its offense and aligned the R.I.L.U. with the enemies of the I.W.W.

The mistaken policy adopted by your body, dictated no doubt by a misconception derived from misrepresentative and deceitful declarations, we can only regard as your responsibility.

Using R.I.L.U. As Bait

When you, now again, permit yourselves to be used by those who are much more interested in destroying the I.W.W. than they are in overthrowing capitalism we must refuse to aid them by refusing to allow you to use us. We do not believe that you, of the R.I.L.U., conceived this disruptive scheme. We are satisfied that your eagerness to serve labor is being exploited, and your credulity has been imposed upon. You are once again being deceived.

Even before we received your communication we had been informed of its existence by some of our "contacts" in "the militant minorities," and of the use that it was proposed to make of it in this country.

I.W.W. Essentially International

The importance of international connection is well understood. and fully appreciated by the I.W.W. No one who reads its preamble and literature can doubt that the I.W.W. realizes that necessity more than any other existing labor organization. The I.W.W. is an international rather than a national movement. It has often been referred to as "the first real international of the proletariat." Industrial Workers of the World -­ not of the United States, or America.

We have faith in the ultimate realization for a world-wide united front of the proletariat, for which we have worked, and shall continue to. work without ceasing.

Your invitation to the I.W.W. to be represented at the Second Congress will be referred to the Convention.

We remain,

Yours for Industrial Solidarity of the workers of the world, General Executive Board of the Industrial Workers of the World.


Arthur Boose, H. G. Clarke, J.Johnson, Joe Miller, T. C. Smith, Norman Weir, and E. W. Latchem, Chair