Building the rank-and-file

As we get closer to the possibility of coordinated public sector strikes on June 30th, debate continues to rage about how best to build for the event. In particular, on the libertarian left there has been much talk of the need to build a new rank-and-file. In a recent Truth, Reason & Liberty article on … Continue reading

Standing on the picket line

Tom Mann, the syndicalist leader of the Liverpool Transport Strike committee, addresses a mass assembly of workers

During the election campaign that saw Labour sweep to power in 1997, Tony Blair boasted that his government “would leave British law the most restrictive on trade unions in the Western world.” And so it did, not only maintaining the anti-strike laws implemented by Margaret Thatcher and Norman Tebbit but adding to them. Aside from … Continue reading

Where does peaceful protest get us?

Solidarity forever: members of the Polish ZSP picket the German embassy in support of the banned FAU

On 26th March, the Trades Union Congress are calling a march in London against the government’s austerity measures. This has reignited one of the longest-running debates in activist politics: that of peaceful protest versus direct action. In particular, the line is drawn between those worried that a violent minority will hijack the event and distract … Continue reading

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: 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

Charity, mutual aid, and class struggle

The kind of mutual aid that sees community resistance to capitalism, such as rent strikes, is far more revolutionary than a workers' cooperative within a market economy

Charity, defined biblically, is an unlimited loving kindness towards others. It’s a virtue, and one that is recognised far beyond the Christian faith. After all, who could argue that giving to those less fortunate is wrong? Anarchist communism would seem to be precisely the philosophy that encourages charity. The basic mantra of “from each according … Continue reading