The anarchist tradition – including syndicalism,anarchist trade unionism – provides a coherent approach to issues of strategy, tactics and principle. It is a rich set of resources of the working class today, not least the black working class in South Africa, which remains, in important ways, not just subject to capitalist exploitation and state repression, but also racial/national oppression.Continue reading #Anarchism’s relevance to black and working class strategy: Dispelling ten myths
A contribution to the debate
Continue reading Rebuilding the workers’ movement for counter-power, justice and self-management
Don’t abandon the unions, or take sides in inter-union rivalries. Build a serious, organised, non-sectarian project of democratic reform and political discussion that spans the unions, including a rank-and-file movement that fosters debate, and opens the treasure-chest of union and left history and theory. Recover the politics of disconnecting from the state as raised by, for example, Occupy and the Rojava Revolution. Replace reliance on the state and parties with struggle, and destructive inter-union rivalry with a serious project of working class counter-power.
In the face of fiercely expanding inequality and anti-unionism in the US there is a great deal of discussion across the left of how to revitalize unions. While we see glimmers of hope in the recent strike wave of teachers and innovative forms of unionism such as with Burgerville fast food workers, what would a holistic rethinking of what is possible within unionism look like? This piece by a South African writer thinks through “how unions can provide a space for collective action, class identity, unity across divides of race, ethnicity, and country, and self-activity” and looks to the tradition of anarchosyndicalism.Continue reading From Union Renewal to a Self-Managed Society
The remarkable “recovered factories” (fábricas recuperadas) movement saw hundreds of closed factories reopened by the workers, run democratically, creating jobs and helping working class and poor communities. It showed that there is only so much protesting can accomplish – at some point you have to create something new. But it also shows it is essential that such alternative sites of production form alliances with, and become embedded, in other movements of the working class, poor and peasantry, including unions and unemployed movements. This assists them in building larger struggles, and provides them with some protection from the capitalist market and the state. It is meanwhile important for unions and social movements to start to systematically develop alternatives to capitalist- and state- run social services and media. However, it is simply impossible to escape capitalism by creating cooperatives, social centres or alternative spaces –almost all means of production remain in ruling class hands, secured by force and backed by huge bureaucracies. It is essential to build a mass revolutionary front of unions and other movements, embracing popularly-run social services, media and production, and aiming at complete socialisation of the economy and of decision-making through a revolutionary rupture.
Continue reading Resist-Occupy-Produce: What can Anarchists and Syndicalists Learn from Factory Take-Overs and Worker Cooperatives in Argentina?
Globalization school input on anarchism/syndicalism and (black) working class self-emancipation in post-apartheid South Africa.