Using the concept of the intermediate level, an exploration of what a new workers movement in the US might entail.
It’s a tired truism that the workers movement in the US is floundering without a real base or path forward. A new generation of experimentation, struggle, and militants emerged from the ashes of the union’s most recent collaborationist strategy of labor-management partnership, contractualism, and labor’s historical parochialism of our-jobs-for-us.
This piece looks at Malatesta's anti-syndicalist arguments, and critiques them for not having a perspective that looks at workers struggle across time. Looking at the role of struggle in cognition, it argues for seeing workplace struggle as a shifting plane of social action and the construction of proletarian subjectivities.
There is an old argument amongst anarchists. The argument starts with the nature of unions, and ends with the conclusion that revolutionaries shouldn't attempt to build libertarian alternatives outside the unions, and instead should enter into the established unions and agitate for anarchism there.
A response to a debate on unions in the United States today started between a number of groups and individuals including Unity & Struggle and Advance the Struggle. This piece attempts to argue against militant reformism growing in the union movements towards a politic of ruptures and revolutionary workplace organizing drawing from the concept of equilibrium.
Recently a debate has arisen around the nature of workers, workers’ struggles, and unions amongst the broad libertarian or autonomist left. The aftermath of Occupy in the United States has corresponded to a number of happenings that have pushed unions to the center of debate.
Benjamin Fogel on the attempt by the South African Communist Party to take over the trade union movement in South Africa.
COSATU is in the midst of the biggest crisis in its 27-year history. This crisis has arisen from an SACP-driven attempt to oust democratically elected COSATU General Secretary Zwelinzima Vavi, under the guise of corruption charges. The conflict’s roots are in longstanding political contradictions and ideological tensions between COSATU and its Alliance partners – the ANC and the SACP.
Syndicalism and the strike: French and Italian revolutionary syndicalism and their introduction into Spain - Pere Gabriel
An essay on the relative influence exercised by the First International (the Spanish Regional Federation of the IWA), the Second International, French revolutionary syndicalism (the CGT and the Bourses du Travail), and Italian syndicalism (the USI), respectively, on the origin and development of Spanish anarcho-syndicalism, with extensive discussion of the internal debates that took place between 1880 and 1920 in the European anarchist milieu on the general strike and the nature and purpose of trade unionism.
Syndicalism and the Strike: French and Italian Revolutionary Syndicalism and their Introduction into Spain – Pere Gabriel
1. The Idea of the General Strike
In possibly the best book on the American working class movement ever written, Jeremy Brecher narrates the hidden history of mass strikes from 1877 to 1970 from the point of view of the workers themselves.
Attached in PDF format is the 1972 version of this book. We heartily recommend readers buy this book - a revised version was published in 1999.
This is a translation of a piece by Emilio Lopez Arango on the issue of the orientation and leadership of the unions. Lopez Arango explores the roles of revolutionaries, and at the center of his argument is how the process of struggling, and all the elements created therein, should drive our political perspective.
What worries supporters of the workers organization, whatever their political or ideological tendency is the problem of the leadership of the unions.
A call for autonomous struggle, and to smash the National Union of Students.
In a recent twitter post, Sussex University Student Union President Kelly McBride wrote of the NUS conference, ‘Most draining and disappointing 3 days of my entire time involved in student ‘politics’ – where on earth is this movement heading?!’ Indeed, the NUS conference is draining.