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International Working Men's Association (IWMA)

Website: www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1864/iwma/

Category: Labour

Year of Foundation: 1864

Year of Dissolution: 1876

Location of Foundation: London, UK

Location of Headquarters: London, UK

Brief Description: The International Working Men's Association was described in 1864 by Karl Marx as 'an "intermediary" between the workers' societies in Germany, Italy, France, and England' (source: Marx to Engels, 4 Nov. 1864, at www.marxists.org - accessed 21 April 2010).

Founding Rationales:

The International Working Men's Association was 'established to afford a central medium of communication and co-operation between workingmen's societies existing in different countries and aiming at the same end; viz., the protection, advancement, and complete emancipation of the working classes. ... The General Council shall form an international agency between the different and local groups of the Association, so that the workingmen in one country be consistently informed of the movements of their class in every other country; that an inquiry into the social state of the different countries of Europe be made simultaneously, and under a common direction; that the questions of general interest mooted in one society be ventilated by all; and that when immediate practical steps should be needed — as, for instance, in case of international quarrels — the action of the associated societies be simultaneous and uniform. Whenever it seems opportune, the General Council shall take the initiative of proposals to be laid before the different national or local societies. To facilitate the communications, the General Council shall publish periodical reports.' It was noted at the organization's foundation 'that the economical emancipation of the working classes is ... the great end to which every political movement ought to be subordinate as a means ... all efforts aiming at the great end hitherto failed from the want of solidarity between the manifold divisions of labor in each country, and from the absence of a fraternal bond of union between the working classes of different countries ... the emancipation of labor is neither a local nor a national, but a social problem, embracing all countries in which modern society exists, and depending for its solution on the concurrence, practical and theoretical, of the most advanced countries'.

Source: 'General Rules, October 1864' - at www.marxists.org (accessed 21 April 2010).

Evolution of Membership:

Data unavailable.