50 Years Ago: Industrial Unionism

“Industrial Unionism” is merely a pleasant name for Anarchism and “Direct Action.” It is one of those almost inevitable elements of confusion and disorganisation which beset the working class in its advance. Every dog has its day: and every freak idea its boom, as though the workers were prepared to traverse every avenue of error before keeping steadily to the right road. The freak idea that the workers can, without the conquest of political power and by means of an industrial organisation alone, “take and hold” the means of life from the capitalists, is one that has just enjoyed its brief boom: but its hollowness has been quickly seen, and its followers have, in consequence, been rapidly dropping away.
(From the Socialist Standard, April, 1909.)