The International Workingmen's Association, 1872

Resolutions on the split in the U.S. Federation

Written: (in English) before March 5, 1872;
Published: in La Emancipacion, April 6; Woodhull and Claflin's Weekly, May 4; Der Volksstaat, May 8.

I. The Two Federal Councils

Article 1.

Considering that central councils are but instituted in order to secure, in every country, to the workingmen's movement the power of union and combination (Article 7 of the General Rules); that, consequently, the existence of two rival central councils for the same federation is an open infraction of the General Rules;

The General Council calls upon the two professional federal councils at New York to reunite and to act as one and the same provisional Federal Council for the United States until the meeting of an American General Congress.

Article 2.

Considering that the efficiency of the Provisional Federal Council would be impaired if it contained too many members who have only recently joined the International Working Men's Association;

The General Council recommends that such new-formed sections as are numerically weak should combine among each other for the appointment of a few common delegates.

II. General Congress of the United States Federation

Article 1.

The General Council recommends the convocation, for July 1, 1872, of a General Congress of the delegates of sections and affiliated societies of the United States.

Article 2.

To this Congress will belong the appointment of the members of the Federal Council for the United States. It may, if convenient, empower the Federal Council thus appointed to add to itself a certain limited number of members.

Article 3.

This Congress will have the sole power of determining the bylaws and regulations for the organization of the I.W.A. in the United States, "but such bylaws and regulations must not contain anything contrary to the General Rules and Regulations of the Association" (Administrative Regulation V, Article 1).

III. Sections

Article 1.

Considering that Section No. 12 at New York has not only passed a formal resolution by virtue of which "each section" possess "the independent right" to construe, according to its fancy, "the proceedings of the several congresses" and the "General Rules and Regulations", but moreover has fully acted up to this doctrine, which, if generally adopted, would leave nothing of the I.W.A. but its name;

That the same section has never ceased to make the I.W.A. the vehicle of issues some of which are foreign to, while other are directly opposed to, the aims and purposes of the I.W.A.;

For these reasons, the General Council considers it its duty to put in force Administrative Resolution VI of the Basel Congress and to declare Section No. 12 suspended till the meeting of the next General Congress of the I.W.A., which is to take place in September 1872.

Article 2.

Considering that the I.W.A., according to the General Rules, is to consist exclusively of "workingmen's societies" (see Article 1, Article 7, and Article 11 of the General Rules);

That, consequently, Article 9 of the General Rules to this effect: "Everybody who acknowledges and defends the principles of the I.W.A. is eligible to become a member", although it confers upon the active adherents of the International who are not workingmen the right either of individual membership or of admission to workingmen's sections, does in no way legitimate the foundation of sections exclusively or principally composed to members not belonging to the working class;

That, for this very reason, the General Council was some months ago precluded from recognizing a Slavonian section exclusively composed of students;

That according to the General Regulations V, I, the General Rules and Regulations are to be adapted "to local circumstances of each country";

That the social conditions of the United States, though in many other aspects most favorable to the success of the working-class movement, peculiarly facilitate the intrusion into the International of bogus reformers, middle-class quacks, and trading politicians.

For these reasons, the General Council recommends that in future there be admitted no new American section of which two-thirds at least do not consist of wage laborers.

Article 3.

The General Council calls the attention of the American Federation to Resolution 11, 3, of the London Conference relating to "sectarian sections" or "separatist bodies pretending to accomplish special missions" distinct from the common aim of the Association -- viz., to emancipate the man of labor from his "economical subjection to the monopolizer of the means of labor", which "lies at the bottom of servitude in all its forms, of all social misery, mental degradation, and political dependence" (see Preamble to the General Rules).