Libertarian Anthology III: Trade Unionism, Councilism and Revolutionary Syndicalism

Via Andy:

Black and Red Star of Anarcho-Syndicalism

Libertarian Anthology III: Trade Unionism, Councilism and Revolutionary Syndicalism is edited, published and produced by Acracia with the co-operation of Grupo Cultural de Estudios Sociales de Melbourne, November 2012. The anthology is comprised of five essays:

• ‘The basis of Trade Unionism’ by Emile Pouget;
• ‘The origins of anarcho-syndicalism’ by Rudolf Rocker;
• ‘Fernand Pelloutier and the dilemma of revolutionary syndicalism’ by Alan Spitzer;
• ‘Councilism and Syndicalism: a historical perspective’ by Andrew Giles-Peters and;
• ‘Anarchism and Trade Unionism’ by Gaston Gerard.

From the Foreword:

This third issue of Libertarian Anthology is devoted to the topic of trade unionism and the evolvement by one of the groupings within it to revolutionary ideals; whom ever has taken the patience to study both the economic and political development of society over the past two centuries will come to realise that the goals of anarcho-syndicalism did not evolve from unachievable utopic concepts conveyed by a few lunatic innovative goodhearted individuals, instead, these goals are the outcome of constant struggles within the maladjusted social conditions. As a result we have the pleasure in presenting the reader with a collection of articles which we hope will demystify the misunderstanding of anarcho-syndicalism…

Download here.

For more infos write to exiliolibertario[at]gmail[dot]com.

1911

Phil Dickens again:

As I noted on Thursday, yesterday I attended Near To Revolution? The 1911 Liverpool General Transport Strike Centenary Conference.
This was only the latest in a strong line-up of events to commemorate 1911. First, there was Steve Higginson, Tony Wailey and Ian Morris’s Rhythms That Carry, which has been put on now at a number of venues. Then, on the anniversary of Bloody Sunday, we had a commemoration on the steps of St George’s Hall. Liverpool Solidarity Federation hosted Liverpool in Revolt: 1911-2011, with local historian Frank Carlyle among the speakers.
At all of these meetings and events, we were reminded of the strong syndicalist and anarchist currents that underpinned the events of the Liverpool General Transport Strike. In the midst of the Great Unrest of 1910-1914, it was defined by a rank-and-file revolt against trade union officialdom and an upsurge in militant class struggle.
This, indeed, was the point made by Ralph Darlington, in the workshop on Syndicalism and Trade Union Officialdom. His talk focused on the British syndicalist movement, and its successes and failures in addressing the problems of officialdom. Though he appeared to have far more time for the idea that unions could be de-bureaucratised or “moved left” than I, his analysis of the “boring from within” strategy and its limitations was interesting – particularly in how Tom Mann’s Industrial Syndicalist Education League, despite a scathing analysis of union officialdom in general, tempered criticism of specific leaders in the name of “unity.”
Some of Darlington’s analysis is similar to what I’ve said myself, whilst some was radically different. Though he contrasted the establishment of syndicalist unions in Europe with the looser networks of activists in Britain, and mentioned the CNT, CGT, and USI as specific examples of this, he didn’t touch upon anarcho-syndicalism and how it developed syndicalist methods alongside a more explicitly revolutionary anarchist philosophy. He approached it from the point of view that a party was the best vehicle to address the problem of syndicalism being almost apolitical. Nonetheless, he hit the mark with reference to traditional syndicalism’s flaws, and I was able to pick up on this during the open floor to argue – as Durruti did – that the problem of bureaucracy in fact stems from unions taking on the representative function and removing decision-making power from the mass of the rank-and-file.
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Published in: on October 20, 2011 at 9:15 pm  Comments (1)  
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Poumuccino

AKcal_02February
Today’s post is mainly anarchist.
History notes: E

xchange on Black Flame between Spencer Sunshine and the authors, in recent Anarchist Studies. /

George Fontenis RIP.Anarchist Publications of the May Fourth Era by Daniel S. S. Cairns / Guy Alfred Aldred (1886 – 1963) by Martin Robb (more on Aldred to come soon at Poumista) / Wayne Price: the Korean war 60 years on. / Frank Mintz on Bakunin, Kropotkin and the Spanish libertarian workers movement (in Spanish).

New site: Libertarian Communist Webzine. Includes: Durutti: A New World in Our Hearts / Cool photo of Freedom Press, London / AF North: Why we are not on the LeftThe Proletarian ConditionThe IWW by David BaileyNestor Makhno 1889 – 1934 /  In memory of Leah Feldman / Rosa Luxemburg on Living MarxismMay Day by Grethe Christensen / YouTube music Spain in 1936.

AKcal_07July

Consumerism: New books and stuff to buy: WORK: A 2011 Calendar by Justseeds and AK Press (see images to the right). / Dancing with Dynamite: States and Social Movements in Latin America. / Argentina’s anarchist past: Paradoxes of Utopia. / Anarchism and the City: Revolution and Counter-revolution in Barcelona, 1898–1937. / Black Flame: the revolutionary class politics of anarchism and syndicalism. / The Third Revolution?: Peasant and worker resistance to the Bolshevik government. Loads more.

Theory: Sam Haraway on Kropotkin and capitalism.

Cuba: A letter to those who still look to Cuba.

Below the fold, From the Archive of Struggle no.54 (more…)

Published in: on November 27, 2010 at 3:47 pm  Comments (1)  
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Poumly

Bella ciao, Iran: a song of freedom.

“Revolutionary syndicalism serves the proletariat, whereas anarchism is one brand of humanism”: Juan García Oliver interviewed.

The Politics of Saint-Making: Jacopedia on the Catholic Church and the Spanish civil war.

The Neoconservative Père et Fils: Michael Signer on Bill Kristol Sr and Jr.

Baudelaire, Benjamin, Gramsci: Blackdaffodil on three dead men.

Dirty rotten commies: the Slackster continues his tour of the “Marxist-Leninist” swamp.

The Death of Anna LoPizzo: the subversive historian on America’s hidden labour histories.

Debunking Ramparts: Ron Radosh on 60s New Left neo-Stalinism.

Flame On The Snow: Victor Serge on the Russian revolution.

Zinn’s legacy: David Adler on a leftist icon.

Endless blues: Stanley Crouch on Ralph Ellison.

Not a hero: Red Maria on Stepan Bandera.

Strange days indeed: Andrew Coates reviews Francis Wheen.

Anarchist reading room

I. Especifismo

From Machete 408:

Mujer20Zapatista2.jpg picture by adam_freedom

An informal reader has been put together on especifismo, the anachist tradition and practice from Latin America that speaks for the need to form specifically anarchist orgnaization and for ’social insertion’ within social movements. With similarities to the currents of Anarchist-Communism and Platformism, the especifists argue for a particular understanding of the charactor of anarchist organization and relationships with social movements. With roots going back to the period of dictatorships in the 1980’s, knowledge of the especifist tradition has only reached North America within the last several years.

The reader can be found here and begins with introductory articles (though I think the second one it could do without) and is followed with a series of interviews and translated documents and theory peices. Other projects to translate and gather documents and history related to this tradition are underway.

Contents:

Introductions

  1. Especifismo: The anarchist praxis of building popular movements and revolution organization in Latin America – Adam Weaver

  2. Building a Revolutionary Movement: Why Anarchist Communist Organization? – Adam Weaver

The organizations

  1. The Social Question: Latin American Anarchism and “Social Insertion” – Michael Schmidt (Zabalaza Anarchist Communist Federation, South Africa)

  2. NEFAC Interviews The Federacao Anarquista Gaucha (FAG Brazil) – Red Sonja (North Eastern Federation of Anarchist Communists-Boston)

  3. Who We Are, What We Want, The Path We Follow – Coletivo Comunista Anarquista (Brazil)

  4. Anarchist Advances in Uruguay and Brazil -from Rojo y Negro (CGT, Spain)

  5. The Principles of the Forum of Organized Anarchism -Fórum do Anarquismo Organizado (Brazil)

Theoretical discussions

  1. The Need of Our Own Project – Libertarian Socialist Organization (Argentina)

  2. The Specific Organization – Jaime Cubero (Centro de Cultura Social, Sao Paulo)

  3. Materialism and Idealism – Anarchist Collective of “Zumbi dos Palmares” Forum of Organized Anarchism (Brazil)

Theory, Ideology, and Historical Materialism - Internal Education Secretary of Libertarian Socialist Organization (Brazil)

II. Anarcho-syndicalism

I’ve been poking around the website of the anarcho-syndicalist Workers Solidarity Alliance. They’ve got quite a good library, with some classic stuff, although mostly available elsewhere:

Assembly
Members of the IWW Agricultural Workers Organization take a vote in the early ’20s.

Abel Paz

Coatesy:

A Great of the Workers’ Movement: Abel Paz (1921 – 2009).

Abel Paz, pen name of Diego Camacho, has died.

Brought to politics in the 1930s as a  member of the Confederación Nacional del Trabajo (CNT) (CNT Obituary) Diego fought in Spain against Franco and the counter-revolution. A member of the legendary Durruti column he took part in some of the most violent batttles.  As a supporter of the libertarian syndicalist side he participated in the – failed – 1937 Barcelona combat against the Stalinist take-over. At the end of the war, when Catalonia finally had gone down in 1939,  Paz survived and fled to France. The author of a number of important histories of the Spanish war, he remained a committed anarchist all his life, saying that,

El anarquismo invoca una vida completamente diferente. Trata de vivir esta utopía un poco cada día.

Anarchism means a completely different  form of life. Try to live a little of  this utopia every day.

If anyone on the left dismisses anarchism,  one should contemplate the life of this hero of the international workers’ movement.

Hat-tip to Entdinglichung (here), some more details (in French) of his initial internment in France, and  later war-time armed opposition in the Spanish maquis to Franco (here.)

Read “Barcelona in Flames”, an extract from his Durruti book, here.

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