Sabotage - PDF book by Emile Pouget


Emile Pouget
Sabotage -  book by Emile Pouget


Of all the words of a more or less esoteric taste which have been purposely denaturalized and twisted by the capitalist press in order to terrify and mystify a gullible public, "Direct Action" and "Sabotage" rank easily next to Anarchy, Nihilism, Free Love, Neo-Malthusianism, etc., in the hierarchy of infernal inventions.

 To be sure, the capitalist class knows full well the exact meaning of these words and the doctrines and purposes behind them, but it is, of course, its most vital interest to throw suspicion on and raise popular contempt and hatred against them as soon as they begin to appear and 'before they are understood, for the purpose of creating an antagonistic environment to them and thus check the growth of their propaganda. American Capitalism having succeeded in making the word Anarchism synonymous with disorder, chaos, violence and murder in the popular mind with the complicity of the cowardly silence of so-called revolutionists it is now the turn of Syndicalism, 

Direct Action and Sabotage to be equally misrepresented, lied about and defamed. This is of no surprise to us but what actually astounds and appals us is that the Socialist Party, itself so much maligned and calumniated up to a few years ago, should now come out to the aid of Capitalism in this ignoble work of prevarication, to the extent of actually taking the initiative in vilifying and discrediting these new theories. 

Thus we find that whilst in the laws of no State in the Union is Sabotage classed amongst felonies or misdemeanours, the Socialist Party, first in its National Convention at Indianapolis and next by referendum vote, finger-printed and Bertillon Sabotage amongst "crimes" and made it a capital offence against its canon laws, punishable by immediate expulsion from the rank and file. Therefore, whilst you cannot be fined or sent to jail for advocating- Sabotage, nor do you risk being excommunicated for heresy by the Catholic Church, you can and will be expelled from the Socialist Party, which claims to be the political wing of the revolutionary labour movement. 

This can have but two explanations. Either that the Socialist Party in its unbridled quest for votes and thirst for power wants to become respectable in the eyes of the bourgeoisie at any price and risk, or that in utter ignorance of what it was judging and condemning it was induced to believe by a clique of unscrupulous politicians that Sabotage is the French translation of bomb-throwing, assassination, in- incendiarism and all-around hell on earth. 

We take the latter view and we are confirmed in our belief by the astounding fact that a committee of five has been selected by the Socialist Party to define Sabotage for the purpose of determining what it is . . . after having damned it on general principles. The aim of this pamphlet being precisely this, we shall make bold to offer our own definition whilst we wait for the response of the Solons aforesaid.

What, then, is Sabotage? Sabotage is

 A. Any conscious and willful act on the part of one or more workers intended to slacken and reduce the output of production in the industrial field or to restrict trade and reduce the profits in the commercial field, in order to secure from their employers better conditions or to enforce those promised or maintain those already prevailing, when no other way of redress is open. 

B. Any skilful operation on the machinery of production intended not to destroy it or permanently render it defective, but only to temporarily disable it and to put it out of running condition in order to make impossible the work of scabs and thus to secure the complete and real stoppage of work during a strike.

the book details :
  • Author: Emile Pouget
  • Publication date: 1913
  • Company: Chicago: C. H. Kerr & company

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