Cartoon art

Item no. 28318
March 23, 1911
Collection: Private

"Organize Where You Are Robbed"

This IWW cartoon asks workers to decide between two courses of action as means of voicing their grievances and having their demands met. On the one hand, they can choose the route of parliamentary politics and vote for a politician who claims to represent their interests. On the other hand, they can join the IWW and take control of their lives through direct action at the point of production. In the view of the IWW, the ballot was a mere capitalist concession which functioned as a safety valve to defuse revolutionary action by and for the workers themselves. Wobblies believed that the true emancipation of the working class could only be achieved through collective, direct action in the shops, mills, and mines. 

Illustration by Machia and Reeder from the IWW publication the Industrial Worker, March 23, 1911.

View the IWW exhibit for more information.

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