Cartoon art

Item no. 28206
October 1912
Collection: Other

"The Toast of the Proletariat" by "K", Industrial Worker October 10, 1912.

IWW opposition to the war was rooted not only in the tradition of anti-capitalism, but also on the grounds of anti-nationalism. The IWW's view of patriotism was often demonstrated in cartoons like this one. Here, a group of bourgeois gentlemen stand around their elegant dining table and propose a toast to their country. Meanwhile, the servant standing to their right acknowledges that he has no country to drink to. The IWW believed that all workers, regardless of nationality, were members of the same class and therefore shared the same interests. Furthermore, IWW philosophy was evidently shaped by the firsthand experiences of its members.

The IWW was an organization composed of the dispossessed and disenfranchised - itinerant hobo farm laborers, immigrant coal miners, southern black lumberjacks, unskilled female textile workers; the dregs of the working class. Workers who had been starved, beaten, and humiliated by virtually every representative of so-called 'law and order' had no reason to be patriotic. Indeed, the establishment appeared to make it very clear to them that they were not considered citizens (that is, except in times of war of course).

See this image in the Solidarity Forever: A Look at Wobbly Culture exhibit.

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