The NYT and the IWW

December 29, 2013 at 6:28 pm (Uncategorized)

Reading the New York Times this morning, I stumbled across an article about Socialist Alternative’s new councilor in Seattle, Kshama Sawant. Socialist Alternative, for those who either don’t know or wish they didn’t, is the US section of the Committee for a Workers International, founded by Ted Grant in the 1970s. (SA began it’s life as Labor Militant in 1985) . So if you thought Seattle city council meetings were boring in the past…

I was able to ignore the usual nonsense about the significance of this election (the World Socialist Web Site have already written a fairly convincing demolition),  but the identification of the Wobblies as the International Workers of the World rather than Industrial is one of the most consistently irritating newspaper errors for me. Oh, I’m not saying I’m perfect. I’m pretty sure there’s a typo or two in this piece, but then again I don’t employ professional editors and fact checkers. Now, in the interests of fairness, I should note, it’s already been corrected on the web edition and it pales to an earlier times error listing Leonard Cohen as the late Leonard Cohen, but still.

The thing is that this is not an uncommon error, even on the left. For example,  the AK Press edition of Pannekoek’s Workers Councils makes this error. How long before collective memory renames the IWW?


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