Unit 19: Britain, 1930-1950 - The Era of Reform

This Unit aims to

  • Examine the period when reforms and state interventionist policies came to dominate Britain and the rest of the advanced capitalist world.
  • Look at the role of the trade unions during this critical time.
  • Analyse the role of the Communist Party during the inter-war period.

Terms and abbreviations

SWF: Syndicalist Workers’ Federation. Anarcho-syndicalist group formed in 1950.
DAM: Direct Action Movement. Anarcho-syndicalist group formed in 1979.
TUC: Trades Union Congress.
NUWCM: National Unemployed Workers Committee Movement.
CP: Communist Party.
TGWU: Transport and General Workers’ Union.
NUR: National Union of Railwaymen.

Unit 18: Spain - The Collectives

This Unit aims to

  • Give an overview of how the collectives in the Spanish
  • Revolution were organised.
  • Consider the problems faced by the collectives.
  • Describe how the collectives functioned internally.
  • Examine the mechanisms for the production and distribution ofgoods.
  • Indicate how lessons learned from the Spanish collectives are still relevant today.

Terms and abbreviations

CNT: Confederacion Nacional del Trabajo (National Confederation of Labour). Anarcho-syndicalist union.
LEC: Local Economic Council
UGT: Union General de Trabajadores (General Workers’ Union). Reformist trade union controlled by the socialists.

Unit 17: Spain 1936-39: Revolution and Civil War

This Unit aims to

  • Give a short introduction to and provide a chronology and commentary on the political and military events of 1936-39 in Spain.
  • Chart the reasons behind the entry into government by the CNT.
  • Examine the workers’ militias.
  • Discuss the rise in influence of the Communists.

Terms and abbreviations

CNT: Confederacion Nacionaln del Trabajo (National Confederation of Labour). Anarcho-syndicalist union.
PSO: Partido Socialista Obrero (Workers’ Socialist Party)
POUM: Partido Obrero de Unificacion Marxista (United Marxist Workers Party). Dissident revolutionary Communist Party
FAI: Federacion Anarquista Iberica (Iberian Anarchist Federation)

Unit 16 Spain: Culture, education, women and sexuality

This Unit aims to

  • Examine attitudes toward women in 1930s Spain.
  • Look at the approaches of the anarcho-syndicalists to women’s emancipation.
  • Review the anarcho-syndicalist approach to culture, education and sexuality.
  • Highlight the importance of the social dimension to the revolutionary struggle in Spain.

Terms and abbreviations

CNT: Confederacion Nacional del Trabajo (National Confederation of Labour) Anarcho-syndicalist union. 
FRE: Federación Regional Española (Spanish Regional Federation). The Spanish region of the First International
FTRE: Federación del Trabajadores Regional Española (Federation of Workers of the Spanish Region)

Unit 15 Spain, 1868-1936: Build-up to Revolution

This Unit aims to

  • Examine the build up and background to the period of revolution and civil war in 1936-39.
  • Assess the nature, growth and success, as well as the failures, of the CNT.
  • Look at the political and social atmosphere of late 19th Century Spain, starting with the arrival of anarchist ideas in 1868.
  • Look at the changing fortunes of libertarian organisations up to the establishment of the CNT, and the crucial period of the late 1920s and 1930s.
  • Consider the approach of liberal and Marxist academics to the growth of anarchism in Spain.

Terms and abbreviations

CNT: Confederacion Nacionaln del Trabajo (National Confederation of Labour) Anarcho-syndicalist union.

Unit 14: Anarcho-syndicalism in Britain, 1914-30

This Unit aims to

  • Study the development of anarcho-syndicalism during and after the First World War.
  • Provide an in-depth case study of one industrial sector - that of engineering.
  • Trace the rise of the Shop Stewards and Works Committee Movement and the part anarcho-syndicalism played within it.
  • Look at the reasons behind the decline of anarcho-syndicalist influence in the British labour movement.

Terms and abbreviations

Unit 13: Going Global - International Organisation, 1872-1922

This Unit aims to

  • Review the attempts to organise a revolutionary international in the late 19th and early 20th Centuries
  • Briefly examine the reformist internationals
  • Examine the reasons behind the rejection by anarcho-syndicalists of the Bolsheviks ‘Red International’
  • Look at the founding of the IWA

Terms and abbreviations

SPD: Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschlands. German Social Democratic Party

ISNTUC: International Secretariat of National Trade Union Centres, the reformist trade union international

NAS: Nationaal Arbeids-Secretariaat, Dutch syndicalist organisation

ISEL: Industrial Syndicalist Education League

IWW: Industrial Workers of the World

Unit 12 Russia II: 1917-30

This Unit aims to

  • Outline the Russian Revolution (see also Unit 11) and subsequent events.
  • Examine the establishment of the Bolshevik regime under Lenin in the years following 1917.
  • Illustrate the twisted logic and suspect motives of the Bolsheviks during the period.
  • Consider briefly the anarcho-syndicalists in Russia at the time.
  • Trace the steps in the establishment of the Bolshevik dictatorship.

Terms and abbreviations

Left SR: Left wing of the Social Revolutionary Party who supported the Bolsheviks.

Right SR: Right wing of the Social Revolutionary Party, opposed to the Bolsheviks.

CPC: The Council of People’s Commissars

Unit 11: Russia I: 1850-1917

This Unit aims to

  • Examine the economic and social conditions that gave rise to the revolutions of 1905 and 1917.
  • Outline the events in Russia up to 1917.
  • Discuss the positions of the various revolutionary groups within Russia.
  • Illustrate the spread of anarcho-syndicalist ideas during the period.
  • Analyse the development of Marxist-Leninism and the rise, and eventual triumph, of the Bolsheviks.

Terms and abbreviations

Narrodniks: The revolutionary movement in Russia from around 1861.

Russification: The process of suppressing all ethnic and non- Russian national traditions and recognise the supremacy of Russian culture,

The Pale (of Settlement): The area of Jewish settlement in Russia Pogroms: The organised massacre of Jews.

Unit 10: Sweden 1889-1939

This Unit aims to

  • Provide an overview of the development of anarcho-syndicalism in Sweden.
  • Look at how the ideas and tactics of the SAC developed.
  • Examine some of the criticisms made by anarcho-syndicalists of the SAC.

Terms and abbreviations

SAP: Sveriges Socialdemokratiska Arbetarparti, the Swedish Social Democratic Party,

LO: Landsorganisationen, the central trade union confederation.

SUF: Socialistiska Ungdomsforbundet, young socialist league).

SUP: Sveriges Ungsocialistiska Parti, the Young Socialists’ Party).

SAF: Svenska Arbetsgivareforeningen, Swedish employers federation).

SAC: Sveriges Arbetares Centralorganisation, Swedish central labour organisation).