The History of Anarchism - Part 3 - Anarcho-Syndicalism

in anarchy •  last year  (edited)

The Dialectics of Liberation: Anarchism, Existentialism, and Decentralism.
The History of Anarchism - Part 3 - Anarcho-Syndicalism

"Anarchy is to think by ourselves" - charlie 777pt


Anarchy is not an organized and planned movement, with identified leaders that make the rules, as well as its historical participation appear in times when social turmoil is very active, but it tends to dissolve in time and when a strong powers take over social order.

Anarchy seems to be a living species that emerges when there is a social whirlwind in which there are many hegemonic political factions fighting for power (gaseous) when it is unstable, where the more extremists usually take it by concentrating it, until it becomes solid and authoritarian and apparently it makes the anarchist activity disappear, or hibernate.

These social unrest situations lead people to feel great political instability, and whenever a fascist emerges that guarantees them stability in exchange for personal freedoms, everyone agrees but does not know the price to pay for bearing such political barbarity in the name of "social order."

An example is Portugal that before 1933 was living in a total political instability, with everyday revolutions, new presidents, fights in street and even mass political assassinations, with great involvement of anarchist movements, that began in 1873 with Eduardo Maia, a doctor, founder of the Proudhonist anarchist chain, contributing later to overthrowing the monarchy.

Then came Salazar and promised total stability if the people provided the autocratic power to implement his New State, so he began a 41 year fascist, colonialist-corporatism regime of bucolic capitalism ( he was against mulinationals and Coca-Cola was forbiden) until it was deposed with the Revolution of the 25th April 1974, when anarchism showed up again.
We must highlight the well-known activist and anarcho-syndicalist Emídio Santana, who in 1937, was the author of the attack on Salazar.

1 - The Fountains of Socialism

The syndicate is the vortex of renovation in society, and syndicalism is a federation of different groups of professionals.

"The syndicate is at the same time the instrument and objective of transformation" - Marcel Prélot

The early theorists and leaders of Worker's Syndicalism advocate a revolutionary unionist state were all from the cradle of the anarchist movement.
Proudhon and Bakunin always opposed to Marx and the ideology of socialism in a centralized authoritarian State, and their aversion was also shared by the anarcho-syndicalists, but Marx was eximious in the art of defamation and deforming his competitor's ideas.

Most of the anarcho-syndicalists were disciples from Proudhon's ideas of an organization of autonomous federations like the "Atelier" that would replace the government.
For Anarcho-Syndicalists, social change is based on action at the political and economic level, consubstantiated in a federation of cells of professionals to replace the State and authority.

2 - Anarcho-Syndicalism

Fernand Pellotier (1867-1901), was the first theorist of syndicalism based in the working class, a French anarchist and labor leader, advvocated Revolutionary Syndicalism by workers organized in unions with libertarian principles of direct democracy and self-management, against the autocratic hegemonic of capitalist relations of production as a way to create an economically democratic society without classless.
Anarcho-Syndicalism is always more tied to a collectivist anarchism or an anarcho-communism economic systems.

"Anarcho-syndicalism and revolutionary syndicalism of workers used direct action, refusing all forms of structural organization or representation, acting as a manipulative force like using syndicates as tool and goal to replace the state and territorial sovereignty.
Two reefs tower in front of the anarchist. The first, the state, must be overcome, especially in a hurricane, when the waves soar.
He ineluctably runs aground on the second one, society, the very image that flickered before hirn."
- Ernst Jünger in "Eumeswil"

Errico Malatesta a friend of Mikhail Bakunin, disliked syndicalists' views of the concentration of power because as an anarchist he wanted to get rid of capitalism and the state, but he refused a communist society desired by anarcho-syndicalists.

"I am against syndicalism, both as a doctrine and a practice, because it strikes me as a hybrid creature."..."Syndicalism is by nature reformist."..."any anarchist who has agreed to become a permanent and salaried official of a trade union is lost to anarchism."- Errico Malatesta

3 - Doctrinal Syndicalism

Doctrinal Syndicalism is also founded by Proudhon's teachings, and it was alive in the magazine "Socialist Movement", managed by Hubert Lagardelle and Edouard Berth, but its most known theorist was Georges Sorel (disciple of Bergson).

“All the future of socialism resides in the autonomous development of workers’ syndicates” ― Georges Sorel

Sorel believed in the class struggle but rejected Marx's determinism of constructive phased progressing reforms.
He also developed the theory of the myths that he thinks is much more important than the planning of strikes.
Myths are the forces arising in the individuals, to generate flows of heroism and mind exaltation with the objective of changing the old society.

Georges Sorel agreed with the use of violence as a normal positive value when it contributes to the "walk of liberations", like for example general strikes.
He believed that the spiritual turbulence of fight was more important than the victory.

“For twenty years I strove to free myself from what I retained of my education; I indulged my curiosity by reading books less to learn than to efface from my memory the ideas that had been thrust upon it.” - Georges Sorel in Reflections on Violence

4 - Constructive Syndicalism

Integrated Constructive Syndicalism is well expressed in the Sorel's ethics and aesthetics of violence, that didn't attract many followers in the working class.
Syndicalism wants to establish a new economic order to enhance the living status of the impoverished French working class.
This neo-syndicalism worries more about economic level, appealing to capacities and technical skills detached from the capital but rejected the violent takeover of Power.
The syndicate based in the "Ateliers" are the replacement of the machinery of the power of the States.

Libertarian anarchists, besides some being big activists, were mostly intellectuals, but Anarcho-syndicalism has its roots in the working class, living in poverty and extreme working conditions.

"Hence also the endless squabbles between anarchists, syndicalists, and socialists of all stripes-between Babeuf and Robespierre, Marx and Bakunin, Sorel and Jaures, along with all the others whose names, but for the luminar, would have been effaced like footprints in sand." - Ernst Jünger in "Eumeswil"

5 - Juridic Syndicalism

Paul-Boncour in 1936 made a study about compulsory syndicalism, showing the new ties between the individual and the professional membership group, like in corporations and workers associations transformed the contract into authority, creating a total dependency of being a member and obey to its decisions.

Leon Duguit (1859-1928) comes with the same ideas but he stresses that he didn't want to dissolve the state but to transform it to fight the omnipotence of Government, and he organizes the council of workers' associations (Bourses du Travail)
In his old age, Duguit starts to get away from socialism, making juridic syndicalism a constitutional reform instead of the state overthrowning deposition.

In the 30's Leon Blum brings the idea of the "installment and division of the centralized classic State, in a certain number of small technical states, whose base would be necessarily formed by professional organizations".
As we have seen Syndicalism as a kind of utopian communism always tried to be rooted in the working class.

"The syndical group is typical of the organized group that becomes institutional and sovereign. Even anarcho-syndicalism demands a workers' elite. The working class at moments of its greatest possible 'solidarity' involves groups-in-fusion, pledged groups of reciprocal loyalty, and inert seriality, in certain sectors profoundly penetrated by the haunted unity of pledged groupings, institutionalized organization, and even institutions." - Ronald D. Laing in Reason And Violence

6 - The History of Anarchy in Comics

For those who like comic strip, here is a great way to understand Anarchism using words, humor and images.

Anarchy Comics is an excellent cartoon series from San Francisco's Last Gasp, published from 1978 to 1987, which can be downloaded or read in Anarchy comics .Made by anarchist or socialist artists.

Nome do Ficheiro Tamanho
Anarchy Comics No.1 (1978) 16.79 MB
Anarchy Comics No.2 (1979) 15.89 MB
Anarchy Comics No.3 (1981) 22.74 MB
Anarchy Comics No.4 (1987) 18.59 MB

Big further Reading:

The Anarchis librarythanks to @anarchyhasnogods
Pëtr Kropotkin - Syndicalism and Anarchism
Vadim Damier - Anarcho-syndicalism in the 20th Century
Fernand Pelloutier - Anarchism and the Workers' Unions
Errico Malatesta - On Syndicalism
Anarcho-syndicalism: Theory and Practice An Introduction to a Subject Which the Spanish War Has Brought into Overwhelming Prominence

The Dialectics of Liberation: Anarchism, Existentialism and Decentralism.
Published Posts:

Introduction to the Dialectics of Liberation: Anarchism, Existentialism and Decentralism

I - Anarchism

Next posts on the Series:
I - Anarchism (cont.)

  • The History of Anarchism
    • Anarchy: Revolution Against The State(cont)
      • Part 4 - Anarcho-Syndicalism - this post
  • Anarchy Today
    • Part 1 - The Era of Extremisms
    • Part 2 - Contemporary Anarchism

II - Existentialism

  • What is Existentialism ?
  • The "Existentialims"
  • Humanism and Existentialism
  • Existentialism and Anarchism

III - Decentralism

  • What is Decentralism?
  • The Philosophy of decentralism
  • Blockchain and Decentralization
  • Anarchism, Existentialism ,and Decentralism

IV - Dialectic for Self-Liberation

  • The Dialectics of Liberation Congress
  • Psychoanalysis and Existentialism
  • The Anti-psychiatry movement


- charlie777pt on Steemit:
Collectivism vs. Individualism
Prince Pyotr Alexeyevich Kropotkin - The Emergence of Anarchism
Social Reality: Index of the series about Social Reality: Power, Violence and change
Bey, Hakim (1991) 7:A.Z.: the Temporary Autonomous Zone, Ontological Anarchy, Poetic Terrorism, Brooklyn, NY: Autonomedia.
Byas, Jason Lee, Toward an Anarchy of Production - Parts I and II
Marshall, Peter, Demanding the Impossible A History of Anarchism, Fontana Press (1992 )
Oizerman, Teodor.O Existencialismo e a Sociedade. Em: Oizerman, Teodor; Sève, Lucien; Gedoe, Andreas, Problemas Filosóficos.2a edição, Lisboa, Prelo, 1974.
Rothbard, Murray N., The Ethics of Liberty (1982)
Rothbard, Murray N., For a New Liberty The Libertarian Manifesto, Revised Edition
Tucker, Benjamin, Individual Liberty, Selections From the Writings
Pierre-Joseph Proudhon , What Is Property?
Bakunin, Michael , Bakuninon Anarchy: Selected Works by the Activist-Founder of World Anarchism
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Your quote at the start says it all: "thinking for ourselves"

I am again and again surprised at how much this is ignored these days. And of course we energetically radiate this all the time.

So it doesn't need any words at all to feel this. When we think by ourselves, we in a way say we do our inner work, "and so should you". Those who like to not think for themselves feel this immediately the moment they see us by means of their subconscious antennas, hence they avoid us because we remind them of their inner work which they don't want to face. Escape is the only way for them.

Very cool that you also come up with Anarchism in Comics. I will have a look at them :)

Thanks a lot for following this long series.
Anarchy is inner work, that seems to enlight many people when political turmoil emerges in society.
The Revolution will be over when everybody gets rid of the chains of thought society build in their minds.
There are many ways in people finding their own spirit but at the end of the journey, all the paths lead to anarchy.
People think they are happy when they can avoid the dark corners society implanted in their heads.

I hope you don´t mind sharing your profile on Portugal telegram steemit group..Already done it...So if i can´t...It´s done :)