Passions

Interactive History Publishing - Participatory Social Research and Education - Production and Promotion of Progressive Art - Anarchist Philosophy and Historiography

Investigative History: the IWW, and the Merchant Marine- a Home Outside the Nation-State

One thing I have found in the last few years of wandering about in the Wobblies world in the early twentieth century. A surprising number of significant radicals, later to be very influential in later labour and people's struggles, encountered Wobs during a stint in either the US, or Canadian, merchant marine. Indeed, the IWW as an organised force seems to have been part of the shipping industry well into the 1950s.
This is the kind of information that appears in oral histories, biographies and memoirs. I haven't been concentrating on it till recently. But lately I discovered that Woody Guthrie, who was definitely an IWW adherent, did a stint in the merchant marine. Add this to Harry Bridges, Pat Mackie, Stan Weir, all of whom encountered the IWW method and ethic on board ship, and there's a research project here....