THE PRINCIPLES OF REVOLUTIONARY UNIONISM
(International Workers Association - IWA)
1.- Revolutionary unionism, basing itself on the class struggle, aims to unite all workers in combative economic organizations, that fight to free themselves from the double yoke of capital and the State. Its goal is the reorganization
of social life on the basis of Libertarian Communism via the revolutionary action of the working class. Since only the economic organizations of the proletariat
are capable of achieving this objective, revolutionary unionism addresses itself to workers in their capacity as producers, creators of social wealth, to take
root and develop amongst them, in opposition to the modern workers parties, which it declares are incapable of the economic reorganization of society.
2.- Revolutionary unionism is the staunch enemy of all social and economic monopoly, and aims at its abolition by the establishment of economic communities and administrative organs run by the workers in the field and factories, forming a system of free councils without subordination to any authority or political party, bar none.
As an alternative to the politics of State and parties, revolutionary unionism posits the economic reorganization of production, replacing the rule of man over man with the administrative management of things. Consequently, the goal of revolutionary unionism is not the conquest of political power, but the abolition of all state functions in the life of society. Revolutionary unionism considers that along with the disappearance of the monopoly of property, must come the disappearance of the monopoly of domination; and that no form of State, however camouflaged, can ever be an instrument for human liberation, but that on the contrary, it will always be the creator of new monopolies and new privileges.
3.- Revolutionary unionism has a two-fold function: to carry on the day-to-day
revolutionary struggle for the economic, social and intellectual advancement of
the working class within the limits of present-day society, and to educate the
masses so that they will be ready to independently manage the processes of production
and distribution when the time comes to take possession of all the elements of
social life. Revolutionary unionism does not accept the idea that the organization
of a social system based exclusively on the producing class can be ordered by
simple governmental decrees and maintains that it can only be obtained through
the common action of all manual and intellectual workers, in every branch of industry,
by self-management of the workers, such that every group, factory or branch of
industry is an autonomous member of the greater economic organism and sistematically
runs the production and distribution processes according to the interests of the
comunity, on an agreed upon plan and on the basis of mutual accord.
4.- Revolutionary unionism is opposed to all organizational tendencies inspired
by the centralism of State and Church, because these can only serve to prolong
the survival of the State and authority and to sistematically stifle the spirit
of initiative and the independence of thought. Centralism is and artificial organization
that subjects the so-called lower classes to those who claim to be superior, and
that leaves in the hands of the few the affairs of the whole comunity -the individual
being turned into a robot with controlled gestures and movements. In the centralized
organization, societys good is subordinated to the interests of the few,
variety is replaced by uniformity and personal responsability is replaced by rigid
discipline. Consequently, revolutionary unionism bases its social vision on a
broad federalist organization; i.e., an organization organised from the botttom
up, the uniting of all forces in the defense of common ideas and interests.
5.- Revolutionary unionism rejects all parliamentary activity and all collaboration
with legislative bodies; because it knows that even the freest voting system cannot
bring about the disappearance of the clear contradictions at the core of present-day
society and because the parliamentary system has only one goal: to lend a pretense
of legitimacy to the reign of falsehood and social injustice.
6.- Revolutionary Unionism rejects all political and national frontiers, which
are arbitrarily created, and declares that so-called nationalism is just the religion
of the modern state, behind which is concealed the material interests of the propertied
classes. Revolutionary unionism recognizes only economic differences, whether
regional or national, that produce hierarchies, privileges and every kind of oppressions
(because of race, sex and any false or real difference), and in the spirit of
solidarity claims the right to self-determination for all economic groups.
7.- For the identical reason, revolutionary unionism fights against militarism
and war. Revolutionary unionism advocates anti-war propaganda and the replacement
of standing armies, which are only the instruments of counter-revolution at the
service of the capitalism, by workers militias, which, during the revolution,
will be controlled by the workers unions; it demands, as well, the boycott
and embargo of all raw materials and products necessary to war, with the exception
of a country where the workers are in the midst of social revolution, in which
case we should help them defend the revolution. Finally, revolutionary unionism
advocates the preventive and revolutionary general strike as a means of opposing
war and militarism.
8.- Revolutionary unionism recognizes the need of a production that does not damage
the environment, and that tries to minimize the use of non-renewable resources
and uses, whenever possible, renewable alternatives. It does not admit the ignorance
as the origin of the present-day environmental crisis, but the thirst for earnings.
Capitalist production always seeks to minimize the costs in order to get more
earnings to survive, and it is unable to protect the environment. To sum up, the
world debt crisis has speeded up the tendency to commercial harvest to the detriment
of the subsistence agriculture. This fact has produced the destruction of the
tropical forest, starvation and disease. The fight for saving our planet and the
fight for destroying capitalism must be joint or both of them will fail.
9.- Revolutionary unionism asserts itself to be a supporter of the method of direct
action, and aids and encourages all struggles that are not in contradiction to
its own goals. Its methods of struggle are: strikes, boycotts, sabotage, etc.
Direct action reaches its deepest expression in the general strike, which should
also be, from the point of view of revolutionary unionism, the prelude to the
10.- While revolutionary unionism is opposed to all organised violence regardless
of the kind of government, it realizes that there will be extremely violence clashes
during the decisive struggles between the capitalism of today and the free communism
of tomorrow. Consequently, it recognizes as valid that violence that may be used
as a means of defense against the violent methods used by the ruling classes during
the struggles that lead up to the revolutionary populace expropiating the lands
and means of production. As this expropiation can only be carried out and brought
to a successful conclusion by the direct intervention of the workers revolutionary
economic organizations, defense of the revolution must also be the task of these
economic organizations and not of a military or quasi-military body developing
independently of them.
11.- Only in the economic and revolutionary organizations of the working class
are there forces capable of bringing about its liberation and the necessary creative
energy for the reorganization of society on the basis of libertarian communism.
III. NAME OF THE INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATION.
The international bond of struggle and solidarity that unites the revolutionary
unionist organizations of the world is called the International Workers
IV. GOALS AND OBJECTIVES OF THE I.W.A.
The IWA has the following objectives:
a) To organize and press for revolutionary struggle in all countries with the
aim of destroying once and for all the present political and economic régimes
and to establish Libertarian Communism.
b) To give the economic unionist organizations a national and industrial base
and, where that already exists, to strengthen those organizations which are
determined to fight for the destruction of capitalism and the State.
c) To prevent the infiltration of any political parties into the economic unionist
organizations and to resolutely fight every attempt by political parties to
d) Where circumstances demand it, to establish through a course of action that
is not in contradiction with a), b), and c), provisional alliances with other
proletarian, union and revolutionary organizations, with the objective of planning
and carrying out common international actions in the interest of the working
class. Such alliances must never be with political parties, i.e., with organizations
that accept the state as system of social organization. Revolutionary Unionism
rejects the class collaboration that is characterized by the participation in
committees organized under state corporate schemes (for example, in union elections
for enterprise committees) and by the acceptance of subsidies, paid union professionals
and other practices that can spoil the anarchosyndicalism.
e) To unmask and fight the arbitrary violence of all governments against revolutionaries
dedicated to the cause of the Social Revolution.
f) To examine all problems of concern to the world proletariat in order to strengthen
and develop movements, in one country or several, which help to defend the rights
and new conquests of the working class or to organize the revolution for emancipation
g) To undertake actions of mutual aid in the event of important economic struggles
or critical struggles against the overt or covert enemies of the working class.
h) To give moral and material help to the working class movements in each country
in which the leadership of the struggle is in the hands of the national economic
organization of the proletariat.
The International intervenes in the union affairs of a country only when its
affiliated organization in that country requests it or when the affiliate violates
the general principles of the International.