What is anarcho-syndicalism: building the new world within the shell of the old

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The seventh and final part of a series exploring anarcho-syndicalism, its aims and principles, and the practicalities of enacting them in the real world. The basic foundation of anarcho-syndicalism is that ordinary people, through solidarity and direct action, have the power to improve our own lives. We do not need bosses, bureaucrats, or political parties … Continue reading

What is anarcho-syndicalism: a radical vision of community organisation

The sixth part of a series exploring anarcho-syndicalism, its aims and principles, and the practicalities of enacting them in the real world. In part five of this series, I examined how to rebuild the community consciousness and sense of solidarity that once defined the working class. Here, I want to look at building upon that … Continue reading

What is anarcho-syndicalism: forging community consciousness

The succesful occupation of Lewisham Bridge primary school, in order to prevent its closure, is one example of a community taking action for itself in order to oppose the power of those in charge

The fifth part of a series exploring anarcho-syndicalism, its aims and principles, and the practicalities of enacting them in the real world. One of the first things that I pointed out in this series was that anarcho-syndicalism is more than just syndicalism. That is, it is not just concerned with the workplace and with class … Continue reading

What is anarcho-syndicalism: the line you do not cross

Pickets from the United Auto Workers union beat a man for attempting to cross the picket line during a strike

The fourth part of a series exploring anarcho-syndicalism, its aims and principles, and the practicalities of enacting them in the real world. There is one principle that organised workers of different tendencies all agree on. Ask trade unionists, syndicalists, anarcho-syndicalists, communists, and socialists of any stripe, and you’ll get the same answer. Never cross the … Continue reading

What is anarcho-syndicalism: revolutionary unionism

An IWW cartoon which captures how important the general strike is as a tool to bring about revolution

The third part of a series exploring anarcho-syndicalism, its aims and principles, and the practicalities of enacting them in the real world. Although it isn’t limited to workplace struggles as traditional syndicalism is, industry remains an important battleground for anarcho-syndicalism. After all, it is here that the working class create the wealth of the world, … Continue reading

What is anarcho-syndicalism: Not just syndicalism

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The second part of a series exploring anarcho-syndicalism, its aims and principles, and the practicalities of enacting them in the real world. In The Union Makes Us Strong? the Anarchist Communist Federation (ACF, now Anarchist Federation) offered “a critical analysis” of “syndicalism, including its anarcho variety.” In it, they painted anarcho-syndicalists as “dismissive of the … Continue reading

What is anarcho-syndicalism?

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It has been my intention, for some time, to write a series of articles exploring various issues and ideas within anarcho-syndicalism. This is not a purely academic exercise. I am a member of the Solidarity Federation (SolFed) – the British section of the International Workers’ Association (IWA) – and its Liverpool local. Now, anarcho-syndicalism is … Continue reading