Fighting for ourselves: Anarcho-syndicalism and the class struggle - Solidarity Federation

From Libcom

This excellent book by Solfed aims to recover some of the lost history of the workers' movement, in order to set out a revolutionary strategy for the present conditions. In clear and accessible prose, the book sets out the anarcho-syndicalist criticisms of political parties and trade unions, engages with other radical traditions such as anarchism, syndicalism and dissident Marxisms, explains what anarcho-syndicalism was in the twentieth century, and how it's relevant - indeed, vital - for workers today.

You can buy hard copies of Fighting for ourselves for £6 (including p&p) from Freedom Press (UK - £5 in the shop), and for $10+p&p from Thoughtcrime Ink Books (North America). For other countries please contact Solidarity Federation.

Book information
Publisher: Solidarity Federation and Freedom Press (London, UK)
Publication date: Oct 27, 2012
ISBN: 978-1904491200
Paperback: 124 pages.
Dimensions: 210 x 148 x 8mm

Taken from

Creative Commons Licence
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

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Fighting for ourselves - mobi (Kindle) version 243.57 KB
Fighting for ourselves - ePub version 161.62 KB
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nah. it was good.

Quit yer trolling. What if somebody wasted time on this, misunderstanding you to be serious? Then you'd feel dumb!

In Spanish, the word for union is syndicato! My ex-girlfriend had a cat named Cindy I used to call Cindy Gato!! HAHAHA. Luch yet? As the late great D.L.Roth once said, as well as Chief Broom Stick or something, they both said, those fucking Nazis are fucking with the clocks again.

Can I go to the restroom?

This is awesome ! If you loved the book Black Flame: The Revolutionary Class Politics of Anarchism, you will love Fighting For Ourselves.

"Anarchism won't be complete until the last Anarchist who isn't a Class Struggle Anarchist is hung with the guts of the last Post-Left Anarchist..."

-Lucien van der Walt, Michael Schmidt, Iain McKay, Wayne Price

it's funny because post leftists always act like some persecuted minority, who are victims of sectarian shit slinging, and then as soon as something like this gets posted they jump on it like it's pure heresy. that being said the ideology of anarcho-syndicalism could also be called "remember that shit that used to happen?"

I was being serious. I'm an Anarcho-Marxist and I identify with Anarcho-Syndicalism as well. I was making fun of that awful Bob Black book.

oh you must mean Black's brilliant and hilarious demolition of the self-identified non-anarchist Bookchin's dreary pseudo-critique of "Lifestyle", as opposed to, you know, "real class strugglez". amiright?


Meh. Haters gon hate. Its a good read. I'd recommend it.

Garbage. One word. Seeing the website associated with this post says plenty.

Those morons (i.e., conservative UK anarchists) couldn't do anything when their country was in flames a year and a half ago. I doubt they can do anything but obstruct the possibility of anti-capitalist struggle in the workplace, too.

They don't realise how indoctrinated they are, saturated with, bloated with the class consciousness of the empire, it's even permeated the most radical sections of anarchy in the UK.

Oh come on, I didn't see that any anarchists ("conservative" or otherwise) did anything at all worth noting during the UK riots last year. Surely that would be more of a statement on the failed practice of those who put a large emphasis on urban riots (insurrectionists and the like) than a workplace oriented anarcho-syndicalist organization.

Let's see an examination and critique of this... fuck it, lets trololololololol

Post-Left Anarchism: New paths in Doing Nothing and Taking Yourself Seriously While Doing It.

Anonymous Posting on the Interwebz: New Path in Doing Nothing and Expecting Others to Take You Seriously While Doing It.

There are several discrete tendencies among anarchists that are non- or even anti-syndicalist going back to the beginnings of syndicalism (both before and during the heyday of anarcho-syndicalism), so your attempt to bait post-left @s with your idiotic caricature falls flat. It is true that post-left @s are uninterested in syndicalism, but your equation of being skeptical of the relevance of syndicalism to the 21st century with post-left @ is absurd. It is equally absurd to imply that anarcho-syndicalists Do Something. I guess Something is better than Nothing, innit? Embrace your inner nihilist (and no, nihilism is not post-left either), little anon troll.

uh... syndicalists do a fair amount. From the Seattle Solidarity Network to pretty heavy involvement in the west coast port shutdowns, to re-popularizing the general strike in Wisconsin... plus a fair amount of organizing on the job over the last few years around the U.S.

i think the best way to propagate anarchism thru action and ideas to the so called "masses" ... we have to leave syndicalism and libertarian socialism. The so called anarcho-marxist for me is a joke, because person who've understood marx ideas, at least read his: German Ideology, Grundrisse, Civil War in France, Capital .... would find that nothing in Marx theory and praxis are anarchist. Its only some part of his writing that some post-marxist / or the libertarian marxist tried to forced it as a libertarian ideas. Because one thing for sure, although Marx said that the "only science is science of history"..the whole essence of marxism is statist. The so called post-marxist is mere philosophical development which cant be practical. Here in Indonesia, the so called syndicalism is obselete. Most of the workers union are controlled by leninist social democrats. The worst thing about marxism here is the adaption of its ideas to nationalism and moralism, in which nationalism itself in Indonesia is a big problem--Papua, Aceh. I dont see any positive outcome of anarcho-syndicalism in everything they done except--of course-in Spain 1936, which conditions are different than now concerning revolutionary method. In here, there's no anarcho syndicalist, not because its ideas amd history were never translated. In fact most of published books about anarchism is anarcho-syndicalism and libertarian socialism, but very little are these ideas inspired people. There are also many literatures of it. Even the peasant struggles are more related to insurrectionary anarchism because it provide them an uncomprimising method of struggle, and a flexibility concerning organization. Im wasting my time to write this just to say to you people, to abandon the past, because present are different and as anarchist flexibility are our privilege. Every struggle need different method, and anarcho-syndicalism is a thing of a past that can never ever revived. Workers have to found new methodes in organizing their own struggle and comprehend aspects of their acitivities in workplaces related to technological infrastructure and ecological degradation.

love and anarchy -

some indonesian anarchist

If every struggle needs a different method, then there are obviously some struggles that could benefit from an anarcho-syndicalist method. You're absolutely right in that anarcho-syndicalism is a method, just as anarcho-insurrectionalism is. They are not all-encompassing ideologies. I'd argue also that anarho-primitivism is not a method but a theoretical framework that needs a method that can be either syndicalist or insurrectionist or maybe even platformist (if we can strip platformism from blatant vanguardism and exclusivism). So instead of saying that some of the anarchist methods are of no use anymore, we should analyse on what in those methods are still relevant (as authors of the Fighting for Our Lives seem to be doing) and then apply the correct tool for the problem at hand.

Small Efforts To Contribute To Working Class Resistance In Today's United States

Since the early 1990's, actions in the San Francisco Bay Area around mass transit, described here,

the initial impetus behind this,

efforts to disseminate this among US military personnel,

and the anti-gentrification Mission Yuppie Eradication Project

have been part of an ongoing effort to establish a new kind of anti-state/anti-market, autonomous class struggle praxis among mainstream working people in the contemporary United States.

1. These efforts take place "on the terrain of everyday life" of the wage-earning class, where we confront what market relations do to our lives, and where the market system's antagonism to human needs gives rise to the possibility of an organized, conscious, mass collective response. These efforts have not been directed towards the left-liberal protest ghetto, or toward academic, anarchist or self-styled Marxist subcultures.

2. Mass collective class struggle includes the fight against the boss in the workplace, but is not limited to the workplace.

3. The methods used to help create a new politics of working class resistance to capital and it's political apparatus have to be qualitatively different from the politics of the left. In all its statist, populist and directly democratic flavors the left is simply the left-wing of capital.

4. Authentic enemies of capitalism in the 21st century cannot use strategies, tactics or communication methods used by pro-wage labor leftists in the 20th century.

5. The armed forces are themselves vulnerable to social forces at work in the larger society that spawns them. Revolt in civilian society bleeds through the apparent hermetic separation of the military from mainstream civilian life into the ranks of enlisted people. The relationship between officers and enlisted people mirrors the relationship between bosses and employees, and similar dynamics of class conflict emerge in the military and civilian versions of the workplace.

6. With the virtual disappearance of the conventional left, and the accelerating decline of the United States as a world power, the way is now open for the creation of a new type of autonomous working class oppositional praxis. We can borrow from the best insights of authentic revolutionary working class tendencies in the past. We can use these insights as a point of departure, but not as an end-point. Anarcho-syndicalism and council communism were both useful in their day. That day has passed. Everything has to be recreated fom scratch.

Efforts like the ones around mass transit described in the articles above have a much greater future subversive potential than the Mission District anti-gentrification efforts of the late 1990's. They have the potential to directly involve a larger number of working people over an entire urban area, and under the right circumstances these actions can also have a "bleed-through" effect, spreading resistance in other areas of contemporary life. What's being examined here is mostly a method of communication. These methods can be a template for similar anti-state/anti-capitalist proletarian actions elsewhere, including but not limited to fights around housing, social space and against austerity measures targeting employees and passengers of mass transit systems.

Keating gonna Keat. You forgot to call SolFed hipsters, btw.

Excellent book, required reading.

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