Anarcho-Syndicalism Since the First World War Ideology of Anarchism Anarchism is a definite intellectual current of social thought, whose adherents advocate the abolition of economic monopolies and of all political and social coercive institutions within society. In place of the capitalist economic order, Anarchists would have a free association of all productive forces based upon cooperative labour, which would have for its sole purpose the satisfying of the necessary requirements of every member of society. In place of the present national states with their lifeless machinery of political and bureaucratic institutions, Anarchists desire a federation of free communities which shall be bound to one another by their common economic and social interests and arrange their affairs by mutual agreement and free contract. Anyone who studies profoundly the economic and political development of the present social system will recognise that these objectives do not spring from the utopian ideas of a few imaginative innovators, but that they are the logical outcome of a thorough examination of existing social maladjustments, which, with every new phase of the present social conditions, manifest themselves more plainly and more unwholesomely.
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The CNT started small, counting 26, members represented through several trade unions and other confederations. Also in , the trade union adopted its name formally. These pistoleros are credited with killing 21 union leaders in 48 hours. At its founding congress in , influential members with strong anarchist or anarcho-syndicalist sympathies like Thomas J. It was characterized by mass strikes, worker manifestations as well as self-management experiments through land and factories occupations.
The agitations also extended to the agricultural areas of the Padan plain and were accompanied by peasant strikes, rural unrests and guerilla conflicts between left-wing and right-wing militias. According to libcom. From , the anarchist movement there lost most of its membership, exacerbated by further splits, most notably around the Severino Di Giovanni affair.
Karl Windhoff, delegate to the IWA Madrid congress of , was driven out of his mind and also died in a Nazi death camp. There were also mass trials of FAUD members held in Wuppertal and Rhenanie, many of these never survived the death camps. By , its leading activists had been arrested or exiled. It survived underground with 15,—20, members until January , when it called a general revolutionary strike against plans to replace trade unions with fascist corporations, which failed.
It was able to continue in a much reduced state until World War II, but was effectively finished as a fighting union. By the end of the s, legal anarcho-syndicalist trade unions existed only in Chile, Bolivia, Sweden and Uruguay. The sixth IWA congress took place in , shortly after the Spanish Revolution had begun, but was unable to provide serious material support for the section.
The IWA held its last pre-war congress in Paris in , with months to go before the German invasion of Poland it received an application from ZZZ,  a syndicalist union in the country claiming up to , workers—ZZZ members went on to form a core part of the resistance against the Nazis and participated in the Warsaw uprising. A demonstration was held, 70, workers strong. Members of the Falange attacked the strikers.
The strikers responded by looting shops, and the police reacted by attempting to suppress the strike. In theory it was perfect equality, and even in practice it was not far from it. There is a sense in which it would be true to say that one was experiencing a foretaste of Socialism, by which I mean that the prevailing mental atmosphere was that of Socialism.
Many of the normal motives of civilised life— snobbishness, money-grubbing, fear of the boss, etc. The ordinary class-division of society had disappeared to an extent that is almost unthinkable in the money-tainted air of England; there was no one there except the peasants and ourselves, and no one owned anyone else as his master.
These institutions would be destroyed by the Nationalist troops during the war. The Committee held an extraordinary regional plenary session to protect the new rural organization, gathering all the union representatives from the supporting villages and backed by Buenaventura Durruti.
When this proposal was declined, the CNT decided not to join the government. For the first time, three members of the CNT were also members of the government. The leadership of the CNT requested the finance and war ministries as well as three others, but were given four posts, the ministries of health, justice, industry and commerce.
Federica Montseny became Minister of Health, the first female minister in Spain. Shortly afterwards, despite the disapproval of the anarchist ministers the capital was moved from Madrid to Valencia. It was a revolutionary body that represented anarchists as much as socialists and republicans.
Halfway through February , a congress took place in Caspe with the purpose of creating the Regional Federation of Collectives of Aragon. The Aragonese regional committee threatened to resign, which thwarted the censure effort. Although there had always been disagreements, that spring also saw a great escalation in confrontations between the CNT-FAI and the Communists. CNT militias disarmed more than members of the security forces at their barricades, allowing only CNT vehicles to pass through.
On 5 May, the Friends of Durruti issued a pamphlet calling for "disarming of the paramilitary police… dissolution of the political parties…" and declared "Long live the social revolution!
However, neither the PSUC nor the Assault Guards gave up their positions and according to historian Antony Beevor "carried out violent reprisals against libertarians". The offices of the CNT were destroyed and all the equipment belonging to its collectives was redistributed to landowners. At this point, many in the CNT leadership were critical of participation in the government, seeing it as dominated by the Communists.
Anarcho-syndicalism - Rudolf Rocker
To the extent that I thought it opposed the authority of the State, I assumed that it was accountable to no authority at all. Therefore, I inferred that no individual would be accountable to any group or collective. I was wrong in drawing this inference. However, to understand why, I needed to understand that the term "Anarchism" is a roof over many different, competing ideologies. However, even this inference might be wrong.
Anarcho-Syndicalism: Theory and Practice
While the party leaders viewed the parliament as a means of social change, Die Jungen thought it could at best be used to spread the socialist message. Unwilling to wait for the collapse of capitalist society which Marxism predicted, they wanted to start a revolution as soon as possible. Although this wing was strongest in Berlin , Magdeburg , and Dresden , it also had a few adherents in Mainz, among them Rudolf Rocker. In May , he started a reading circle, named Freiheit Freedom , to study theoretical topics more intensively.