Wilshire Gaylord

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JoeMaguire's picture
JoeMaguire
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Apr 4 2007 12:25
Wilshire Gaylord

Terrible name I know, but does anyone know if there is an online version of is "Syndicalis;What it is"?

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gatorojinegro
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Apr 4 2007 16:23

The WSA and IWW websites used to link to an online version, but that page seems to have disappeared. However, you can find it on the anarcho-syndicalism 101 site at:

http://as101.subvert.info/archive/display/178/index.php

Gaylord Wilshire was a student at Harvard from a wealthy family. He became a follower of the authoritarian utopian socialism of Edward Bellamy in the 1880s during his student days. Bellamy was extremely popular within the educated American middle class in that period. When he returned to L.A. he continued in the family business of real estate development. He gave his own name "Wilshire Boulevard" to a street near Westlake Park (now MacArthur Park) in L.A. That street is today the main drag of Los Angeles. L.A. is my hometown and I get a kick out of the fact that the city's main street is named for a revolutionary and a syndicalist.

As he got older, Wilshire's politics became more libertarian. In 1913 when Doug Bowman was put in prison on trumped up grounds, Wilshire became the emergency editor of The Syndicalist, the magazine of the Syndicalist League. The Syndicalist League was founded by ex-IWW members to bring syndicalist ideas into the AFL unions. In the article "Syndicalism: What it is", Wilshire explains why he abandoned parliamentary state socialism for syndicalism, and the goal of workers' management of industry. During WWI Wilshire was living in New York and worked closely with Emma Goldman on the Free Speech League. Goldman published articles of Wilshire in her magazine Mother Earth.

t.

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JoeMaguire
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Apr 4 2007 18:00

Thanks for that, couldnt find it in a google.

Would be good if someone would put in the libcom library

David in Atlanta
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Dec 30 2007 15:49

Found it and in process of submitting to libcom library.

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Steven.
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Dec 30 2007 16:28

nice!

David in Atlanta
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Jan 2 2008 04:05

Looking around for information about him, it appears Wilshire was an odd one to put it mildly. I found a reference to him as the inventor of an electric cure-all "medical" device and complaints from socialist party members about being bilked in investment schemes.
marxisthistory.org calls him

Quote:
the P.T. Barnum of American Socialism, Gaylord Wilshire

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Jan 2 2008 04:52

in regard to the complaints about being bilked, that was an attack by Morris Hillquit, the lawyer leader of the Socialist Party in New York City, and an orthodox Marxist of the social-democratic variety. Wilshire was defended in that instance by Emma Goldman in Mother Earth. Wilshire was always a businessman. And in 1917 he was trying to interest radicals in buying shares in a gold-mining venture. He claimed he was doing them a favor by letting them in on a good investment for their retirement. i have no idea whether anyone was actually bilked.

at the time he ran for city council on the labor/socialist slate in Los Angeles in 1909 he held the billboard monopoly in Los Angeles. in his campaign statement he said that as a businessman he'd try to make the most profit he could, but as a socialist he'd try to do away with the profit system. apparently by 1912 or thereabouts he became disenchanted with state socialism and electoral politics, and joined the Syndicalist League.

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Jan 2 2008 07:11

Thanks for the info syndicalistcat...otherwise Im disappointed at the fundemental lack of jokes regarding this fellows name... neutral

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Steven.
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Jan 3 2008 15:44

Too obvious OL, too obvious...

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the button
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Jan 3 2008 15:51

LOL.... Wilshire Gaylord.... is that what you'd get if Jack moved to Salisbury?

(Is that OK?)

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Steven.
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Jan 3 2008 16:17

hmmm that's pretty good actually

David in Atlanta
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Jan 4 2008 18:11

http://libcom.org/library/syndicalism-what-it
Syndicalism: What It Is by Gaylord Wilshire

desert tin
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Jan 20 2010 23:02

Hi! I have come across a pocket watch,with the inscription..Presented to..N.H.Grout WILSHIRES MAGAZINE 11/3/08 Winner 1st Great socialist party race Group 159. I was wondering if you could give me any information on it.Thanks

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Jan 21 2010 00:50

That would have been during the period when Wilshire was still in Los Angeles. At that time he was still very much involved in the Socialist Party of America. He was involved in free speech fights (over use of Pershing Square, now totally denuded of human use by LAPD) and ran for city council. After about 1912, he ceased to support electoral politics and became more of a syndicalist, was an editor of "The Syndicalist" in 1913. During the 1907-1915 period the Socialist Party was functioning as a sort of mass labor party in L.A., with the support of the AFL unions, and was getting around 35% of the vote. So this Socialist race was probably some sort of event associated with the SP in L.A. in that period. This is the person for whom L.A.'s main street, Wilshire Boulevard, is named.