The Socialist Party

Socialists, of course, supported the workers and their efforts at empowerment. However, true socialists differed from union leaders in their approach. The Socialist Party was committed to political action, that is, achieving change (and ultimately revolution) through electing socialist officials and working within the established American political system. Unionists, on the other hand, preferred to concentrate on the workplace as the arena for change and revolution. Union leaders advocated industrial action as opposed to political action.

Socialists were vocal in denouncing the "pat conservatism" of Samuel Gompers and the American Federation of Labor.  Even IWW leaders and Socialist Party leaders, for the most part, constituted two separate groups and were often frustrated with each other. The Left, then, was not wholly united as it approached the election of 1912.

The Socialist Party and the Labor Problem