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International Workers Organization

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The following passages are excerpted from the “Principles, Goals & Statutes of the International Workers Association.” They were adopted at the first Congress in Berlin 1922, amended at subsequent Congresses, and reaffirmed at the Congress in Paris in 1979. What sort of propaganda techniques or logical fallacies, if any, can you detect?

The age-old battle between the exploiters and the exploited has taken on a forbidding dimension. Omnipotent capital once again raises its monstrous head. Despite the internal struggles that tear apart the managerial and bourgeois classes, these forces have created a powerful relationship that enables them to throw themselves with more strength and unity against the proletariat and chain it to the capital’s triumphant chariot.

Capitalism is organizing and is moving from the defensive position it found itself in to an offensive strategy of attacking the working class on all fronts. This offensive has its origins in specific causes: in the confusion of ideas and principles in the ranks of the workers’ movement, in the lack of clarity and agreement on the present and future goals of the working class, and in the division of the working class into innumerable factions; in short, in the weakness and disorganization of the workers’ movement.

There can be only one answer to this relentless international attack by every kind of exploiter: the immediate organization of a proletarian army into a fighting structure that gathers to its breast all the revolutionary workers of all countries; forming with them a granite block against which every capitalist maneuver will be smashed and eventually overwhelmed due to our crushing weight.

This movement for emancipation cannot accept the line of action urged by those currents of the workers’ movement that aspire to a harmony between capital and labor; desiring an international peace with capitalism and incorporation into the bourgeois state. Neither can it accept those currents that propagate the principles of the dictatorship of the proletariat, which is contrary to the goal for a society based upon the greatest possible liberty and well-being for all, which after all is the goal of all conscientious workers.

Against the offensive of capital and politicians of all hues, all the revolutionary workers of the world must build a real International Association of Workers, in which, each member will know that the emancipation of the working class will only be possible when the workers themselves, in their capacities as producers, manage to prepare themselves in their economic organizations to take possession of the land and the factories and enable themselves to administer them jointly, in such a way that they will be able to continue production and social life.

Considering this perspective and this goal before it, the duty of the workers is to participate in all actions that lead towards a revolutionary transformation of society, always striving to move towards our final goals. We must make our strength felt through this participation, always striving to give our movement, through propaganda and organization, the necessary means to supplant our adversaries. Similarly, wherever possible, we must realize our social system through the means of model and example, and our organizations must exert, to the limits of their possibilities, the greatest possible influence on other tendencies in order that they may be incorporated into our struggle, which is the common struggle against all statist and capitalist adversaries, always keeping in mind the circumstances of place and time, but remaining faithful to the goals of the movement for workers’ emancipation.

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