Labor Speaks through Art and Culture – Mr Block (14)

For those just joining us:

The Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), founded in 1905, sought to organize all workers into “one big union” to abolish the wage system, convinced that “the working class and the employing class have nothing in common.” Ernest Riebe’s comic strip about a willfully ignorant and gullible worker appeared in the IWW’s Industrial Worker. The strip conveyed the organization’s attitude toward workers who lacked class consciousness or subscribed to the AFL’s conservative craft unionism, inspiring IWW songwriter Joe Hill’s lyrics: “Oh, Mr. Block, you were born by mistake. / You take the cake. / You make me ache. / Tie a rock to your block and jump in the lake. / Kindly do that for Liberty’s sake.”


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