Anarchosyndicalism and the conflict with communism...

Mint Message

When I was writing about the Neozapatistas - a group of anarchists living in Mexico fighting drug cartels for a free libertarian society - there were some people who referred to the society as 'communist'. This made me laugh my butt off and realize how much communism is used to insult people to the point where it nearly loses all meaning. For one, the Neozapatismo are not communist - they subscribe to an ideology that actually has a long history of opposing communists and fascists, and statists called anarcho-syndicalism.What is anarcho-syndicalism? It is an anarchist ideology that has a society run by a series of trade unions. The name comes from the french word syndicalisme, which basically means “trade unionism”. Each trade union would be a local syndicat, a free association of self-governing “producers.”

What separates this from communism is two things: for one, some syndicalists adopt the part of other anarchist ideologies like anarcho-mutualism and anarcho-distributism where the property can be owned if it is occupied as described in The American Historical Review by J.F. Jameson. On top of that, additional means of production are owned by a series of local associated trade unions and in certain cases, if enough people are discontent with the current labor union, they can form a new union/ local association at almost any time. For anyone who does not know what communism is, it is based on collective ownership of all property and all of the means of production. The idea is to have a single worker's union or organization own all property and means of production on behalf of the people. Since anarcho-syndicalism has a bunch of different labor unions deciding how things work - not just a single organization - and some allowing you to own property as long as you occupy it, you can see how this can lead to conflict with actual communists.

This is exactly what happened during the Spanish Civil War from 1936 to 1939 when the anarcho-syndicalists of Revolutionary Catalonia fought against both fascists and the Unified Socialist Party of Catalonia - a communist political party - at the same time. After three years, Revolutionary Catalonia was sadly crushed and a fascist government was established in Spain, but this shows a part of the history of syndicalism working to fight against fascism and the ideology that people seem to mistake it for...

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A person working in cybersecurity and living in the United States who loves to write about topics like U.S. history, technology news, and a bit of philosophy.

Wingate, NC

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