Marxists as syndicalists

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syndicalist
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Aug 28 2019 17:46
Marxists as syndicalists

Looking for any on-line (or other) articles, etc on the general topic of 20th century "marxists as syndicalists".

Recognizing this is prolly for a short period from, say, 1900 to end of 1920s.

Thanks for any info.

BigFluffyTail
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Aug 28 2019 19:23

Most of it is in French but here you go

https://bataillesocialiste.wordpress.com/le-syndicalisme-revolutionnaire...

syndicalist
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Aug 28 2019 23:35

My interest in this has been, though not exclusively, sparked in reading "Radical Unionism: The Rise & Fall of Revolutionary Syndicalism"" by Ralph Darlington (Chicago, 2013 --https://www.haymarketbooks.org/books/559-radical-unionism?fbclid=IwAR2yb... )

syndicalist
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Aug 28 2019 23:35
BigFluffyTail wrote:
Most of it is in French but here you go

https://bataillesocialiste.wordpress.com/le-syndicalisme-revolutionnaire...

Thanks

Spikymike
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Aug 29 2019 09:23

syndicalist, You have presumably seen in relation to the UK Bob Holton's 'British Syndicalism, 1900-1904 - Myths and Realities' in which both Marxist and anarchists of various strains were influential?

syndicalist
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Aug 29 2019 13:07
Spikymike wrote:
syndicalist, You have presumably seen in relation to the UK Bob Holton's 'British Syndicalism, 1900-1904 - Myths and Realities' in which both Marxist and anarchists of various strains were influential?

Yes and thanks.

this was prolly one of the first mixed oriented books I read in the late 1970s. Seemingly the old British IS/SWP has provided the most written material in English on this. Ralph Darlington seems to also come from this tradition.

Anarcho
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Aug 31 2019 20:02
syndicalist wrote:
My interest in this has been, though not exclusively, sparked in reading "Radical Unionism: The Rise & Fall of Revolutionary Syndicalism"" by Ralph Darlington (Chicago, 2013 --https://www.haymarketbooks.org/books/559-radical-unionism?fbclid=IwAR2yb... )

Darlington's book is pretty poor -- I've reviewed it here: Syndicalism, Marxist Myth and Anarchist Reality

I should also note my response in Anarchist Studies to an earlier article of his in that journal -- he was given the chance to respond, but declined. Make of that what you will.

Anarcho
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Aug 31 2019 20:10
syndicalist wrote:
Looking for any on-line (or other) articles, etc on the general topic of 20th century "marxists as syndicalists".

Recognizing this is prolly for a short period from, say, 1900 to end of 1920s.

Well, the de Leonists would be of note in this -- they took an industrial unionist position along with organising a political party (a "shield" to defend the unions). This would include James Connolly, as he was associated with both syndicalism and the Socialist Labor Party.

Bill Haywood was in the Socialist Party and the IWW (although some claim him an anarchist, he was not) -- before they expelled those who advocated direct action and syndicalism.

The Italian Syndicalism had a lot of Marxists in it, particularly before the war. Many of these became national-syndicalists during the war and, later, fascists (so those who talk about Italian syndicalists becoming fascists forget to mention these were Marxist-syndicalists...)

Not sure of any on-line articles -- on the Italians, I mention them here.

Hope that helps

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Sep 1 2019 00:08
Anarcho wrote:
Well, the de Leonists would be of note in this -- they took an industrial unionist position along with organising a political party (a "shield" to defend the unions). This would include James Connolly, as he was associated with both syndicalism and the Socialist Labor Party.

Daniel De Leon and his followers weren't syndicalists. They have written quite a bit about syndicalism and direct action (some of which is probably useful) but their advocacy of organising political parties for the capture of state power pretty much excludes them from that tradition. They are not unlike many marxists, leninists even, who advocate a two pronged approach to bringing about revolutionary change - essentially activism in both the economic and political terrains. And even then, I've heard that historically they have mostly been preoccupied with the latter, and pretty hostile to anything that has to do with the former. I wonder how much different they are from leninists in practical terms.

Some people present De Leon's ideas as a fusion between syndicalism and "orthodox" marxism, arguing that it's a type of syndicalism. That's just plain wrong though; you can't lack essential principals of syndicalism or have other principals that contradict syndicalism, and still be considered a form of syndicalism.

Connolly is not a syndicalist as well - considering his views, as is discussed in another thread. All in all, I have found that there aren't many marxist syndicalists, let alone ones that have provided interesting writings on the topic of syndicalism itself.

syndicalist
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Sep 1 2019 21:46

Was early to mid- 1900s syndicalism inherently anti-state?

I would say not really. In some respects it was almost "neutral". And this is where those in the marxian tradition, though not exclusively, sorta slotted in. Seemingly mainly in the US, Britain and Ireland.

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Sep 2 2019 20:35
syndicalist wrote:
Was early to mid- 1900s syndicalism inherently anti-state?

I would say not really. In some respects it was almost "neutral". And this is where those in the marxian tradition, though not exclusively, sorta slotted in. Seemingly mainly in the US, Britain and Ireland.

It all depends on what you mean by the term 'syndicalism'. There are folks on the Left, including some historians, who seem to employ that term to refer to any union movement based on rank and file control and commitment to direct action. Wayne Thorpe and Marcel van der Linden, for example, define it loosely to encompass "all revolutionary, direct-actionist organisations", and they have received criticism from other writers for that approach. So then anyone, including marxists, who participate in such movements are seen as part of the syndicalist tradition. This is the source for the inclusion of the likes of Daniel De Leon and others similar to him.

But you can also (and perhaps better) understand 'syndicalism' as a distinct political tendency, from say 'marxist leninism' or even 'anarcho-syndicalism'. It is a revolutionary union politics, and anti-statism is part of it as a defining feature. That is how I think it is treated in it's libcom introduction, as something that is not just a particular kind of union movement.

By the way, I'm curious to know who were those marxists who "sorta slotted in"? Who do you have in mind? Also, could you point to any works on the movements in the US, Britain and Ireland?

syndicalist
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Sep 2 2019 15:56

Some of the links above will give you a taste of what I'm referring to.

This might be instructive as well: https://www.marxists.org/archive/pribicevic/1959/shop-stewards/ch01.htm [Branko Pribićević 1959, "The Shop Stewards’ Movement and
Workers’ Control 1910-1922 ---- Chapter I: Introduction
The Movement for Workers’ Control" ]

syndicalist
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Sep 2 2019 16:30
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Agent of the International:

But you can also (and perhaps better) understand 'syndicalism' has a distinct politcal tendency, from say 'marxist leninism' or even 'anarcho-syndicalism'. It is a revolutionary union politics, and anti-statism is part of it as a defining feature.

As an anarcho-syndicalist, I tend to agree. But I am not historically convinced that in the early days of "syndicalism" that all who accepted their own form of syndicalism were necessarily anti-state.

I guess what I have found over the past number of years, is that how we view "syndicalism" was not always the view of all syndicalists, particularly pre-WWI. That "syndicalism" was much more nuanced, more mixed with other ideas, other senses of what "syndicalism" should be. Hence my curiosity about all the tendencies and forms which became to be known as "syndicalism" (broadly speaking) early on.

syndicalist
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Sep 2 2019 16:07

I don't think this book is on-line, but worth the read. Clearly an example of a marxian and anti-state neutral early 20th century Irish form of syndicalism.

[b]Syndicalism in Ireland 1917-1923[/b] by Emmet O'Connor (1988)

syndicalist
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Sep 2 2019 16:22
Anarcho wrote:
syndicalist wrote:
My interest in this has been, though not exclusively, sparked in reading "Radical Unionism: The Rise & Fall of Revolutionary Syndicalism"" by Ralph Darlington (Chicago, 2013 --https://www.haymarketbooks.org/books/559-radical-unionism?fbclid=IwAR2yb... )

Darlington's book is pretty poor -- I've reviewed it here: Syndicalism, Marxist Myth and Anarchist Reality

I should also note my response in Anarchist Studies to an earlier article of his in that journal -- he was given the chance to respond, but declined. Make of that what you will.

Ive read your reviews of the book, its anarchist ideological criticism of his book. And marxism in general.I get that.

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Sep 2 2019 20:48
syndicalist wrote:
Anarcho wrote:
syndicalist wrote:
My interest in this has been, though not exclusively, sparked in reading "Radical Unionism: The Rise & Fall of Revolutionary Syndicalism"" by Ralph Darlington (Chicago, 2013 --https://www.haymarketbooks.org/books/559-radical-unionism?fbclid=IwAR2yb... )

Darlington's book is pretty poor -- I've reviewed it here: Syndicalism, Marxist Myth and Anarchist Reality

It seems that blog post is a review of Syndicalism and the Transition to Communism, a book apparently written by Ralph Darlington before his Radical Unionism: The Rise & Fall of Revolutionary Syndicalism. Or maybe I'm mistaken and the latter is really a reprint of the former under a new title? If not, I wonder what differences Radical Unionism may have from the first book. It was published after anarcho's review linked above, so maybe he took into account some criticisms.

syndicalist
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Sep 2 2019 20:49

It's actually (pretty much) the same book. Different publishers. Different titles.