Politics in Minutes (2016)

Anarcho-syndicalism

One of the better-known schools of anarchism, anarcho-syndicalism is deeply rooted in revolutionary workers’ action – syndicalism – by which workers seek to gain control of the economy. The basic principles are solidarity, direct action and workers’ self-management, and the main strategy is the general strike. Its ultimate aim is to abolish the wage system, which anarcho-syndicalists regard as wage slavery. Originating in the writings of Proudhon, anarcho-syndicalism appeared in Spain as the Confederación Nacional del Trabajo (CNT), later merging with the International Workers’ Association (IWA), and informing the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) in the USA. During the 1920s, mass anarchist unions were created across Latin America and syndicalist-led strikes took place in Germany, Portugal, Spain, Italy and France. The rise of fascism in Europe saw anarcho-syndicalism driven underground almost everywhere except in Spain, where the CNT played a leading role in the Spanish Revolution and Civil War. Today Noam Chomsky is probably the best-known anarcho-syndicalist.

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The black cat emblem of the IWW.