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Showing posts with the label industrial workers of the world

The SPGB and the IWW

In regards to the Industrial Workers of the World the Socialist Party of Great Britain has revised its attitudes as a result of changes within the IWW. The official position is that as long as the IWW behaves and acts as a workers union then its up to individual SPGB members  to decide whether or not it is in their interests to join.

Previously, during the formative years of both organisations, the IWW was seen as more of an anti-political i.e. an anarchist organisation, promoting industrial unionism, which the SPGB disavowed as sectional and undemocratic, since it was about industries controlling the means of production and distribution and not society as a whole, those outside the work-place. But the SPGB now accepts that in recent years the IWW can be more accurately described as an a-political organisation, a difference of emphasis, since it itself has changed its approach to the class struggle and for all practical purposes now acts as a democratic and progressive, inspirational…

A football working class hero

Organised sport was originally for the elite with its roots in the English public schools. But taking advantage of the free-time offered by the eight-hour day, workers began to democratize games like soccer and rugby. We enjoyed sport as passive spectators and as active participants. Who can blame someone for enjoying leisure on a day off?

Before long, major social democratic parties across Europe were using sporting clubs and festivals to construct working-class identity and promote solidarity. By 1928, German sports societies had more than two million members, most of whom were affiliated with the Social Democratic Party. These clubs offered escape and a sense of belonging to the masses. Thousands hiked and learned to swim, freeing themselves, however fleetingly, from the grinding indignity of wage slavery. In Austria, during the Red Vienna period (1918-1934), a new stadium was built to host a “Workers’ Olympiad,” which welcomed participants from across the world—a testament to the…