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

The role of unemployment in capitalism

Unemployment in Britain currently stands at roughly two and a half million. This is not far from the three million mark of the Thatcher era, which became a watermark for social discontent. With public sector job losses – and the private sector fallout – expected to claim another million people, it is unsurprising that people … 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

On participation in mainstream trade unions

Anarchists, particularly anarcho-syndicalists, are often highly critical of both the form and function of mainstream trade unions. Perhaps the most incisive critique comes from a postal worker, reflecting on the sell-out by the Communication Worker’s Union (CWU) for The Other Campaign; Because the leaders of the CWU are so remote from the daily lives of … Continue reading

Whither class consciousness?

“The class war is over.” So declared former British Prime Minister Tony Blair in 1999. Of course, Blair was speaking from the perspective of a most zealous convert to centre-right neo-liberalism, but his words held a ring of truth. Over perhaps the last twenty years, and certainly the past decade, there has been a marked … Continue reading

Trade unions, worker militancy, and communism from below

One of the basic rights of workers in the industrialised world is the right to organise. Under the Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organise Convention, 1948,workers “have the right to establish and, subject only to the rules of the organisation concerned, to join organisations of their own choosing without previous authorisation.” … Continue reading