[CHAPTER] van der Walt, 2019, “Syndicalism” (in ‘The Palgrave Handbook of Anarchism’)

Lucien van der Want, 2019, “Syndicalism,” in Carl Levy and Matthew Adams (eds.), The Palgrave Handbook of Anarchism, Palgrave, pp. 249-263.

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A survey of the core ideas, debates and historical developments in the tradition of syndicalism, taken here as anarcho-syndicalism and revolutionary syndicalism, including De Leonism and the IWW tradition. Contrasts syndicalism with economism, business unionism, political unionism and  ‘social movement unionism’; addresses issues of prefifuration, oligarchy, and the meaning of  ‘working class’; examines debates amongst syndicalists over state elections, political parties and a more ‘Bakuninist’ ‘dual organisationalist’ outlook, as well as over ‘boring-from-within’ versus ‘dual unionism’ versus rank-and-file syndicalism, and the issue of works councils; outlines the link between anarchism and syndicalism, and syndicalism before the 1890s; and provides a summarised world history of the current and its international networks. Overall, it disputes stereotypes and assumptions about the roots, politics and rise and fall and rise of syndicalism.

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