Unit 9: Anarcho-syndicalism in Argentina 1870-1939

This Unit aims to

Give an overview of the conditions that encouraged the growth of anarcho-syndicalism in Argentina. Examine the theory and practice of Argentinean anarcho-syndicalists in the FORA. Look at the main issues that arose within the anarcho-syndicalist movement. Discuss the reasons for the decline of the FORA.

Terms and abbreviations

FOA: Federación Obrera Argentina. The first Argentinean union federation that, initially, contained both socialists and anarcho- syndicalist factions.

FORA: Federación Obrera Regional Argentina. In 1904 the FOA formally adopted anarcho-syndicalist principles and changed its name.

UGT: Union General de Trabajadores. The socialist union federation formed after the split from the FOA.

Unit 8: USA 1886-1930 - The Wobblies

This Unit aims to

  • Look at the development of anarcho-syndicalism in the United States.
  • Give an overview and analysis of the influences tendencies within the IWW.
  • Discuss the IWW attitude to political parties.
  • Examine the conflicts that arose within the IWW over internal democracy.
  • Look at the success of the IWW in creating a distinct ‚working class revolutionary culture.
  • Examine the reasons for its decline.

Terms and abbreviations

AFofL: American Federation Of Labor. Reformist union federation that organized solely amongst the white working class in the United States.

GEB: General Executive Board. Executive of the IWW.

Unit 7: Mexico 1870-1920: Colonialism and Revolution

This Unit aims to

  • Give an overview of the development of capitalism and industrialisation in Mexico
  • Look at the emergence of the anarchist movement at this time.
  • Examine the cultural and political background of the Mexican revolution.
  • Look at the various factions and alliances within the revolution.
  • Analyse the emergence of anarcho-syndicalism as a force within the Mexican working class.
  • Look at the ideas of the Zapatistas and agrarian reform.
  • Examine the split in the anarcho-syndicalist movement over support of the Zapatistas.

Terms and abbreviations

Unit 6: Revolutionary Syndicalism in Britain and Ireland, 1910-17

This Unit aims to:

  • Analyse the tactics and strategy of the British syndicalists from 1910-1917.
  • Look at the extent of syndicalist influence within the working class.
  • Examine the impact of the industrial unrest of 1910 – 1914.
  • Briefly consider the Irish syndicalist movement.
  • Look at the reasons behind the regrouping of the syndicalist movement after 1913.
  • Examine the impact on the syndicalist movement of the outbreak of the Great War in 1914.
  • Discuss the successes and failures of British revolutionary syndicalism, its theory and tactics.

Terms and abbreviations

ISEL: Industrial Syndicalist Education League

SWMF: South Wales Miners’ Federation

URC: Unofficial Reform Committee

Unit 5: Revolutionary Syndicalism in Britain, 1870-1910

This Unit aims to:

  • Outline the social, economic and political changes that took place in Britain round the turn of the last century
  • Explore the arguments that took place within the trade union movement and the rise of ‘New Unionism’
  • Examine the factors in the growth of the syndicalist movement in Britain
  • Explain the differences of approach within the syndicalist movement of the time.

Terms and abbreviations

Fabian Society: Named after a Roman general Fabius Maximus who won his campaigns by slow attrition. The Fabians believed that socialism was best achieved by permeation, gradually reforming existing institutions and through constitutional government rather than through revolutionary upheaval.

Unit 4: France 1870-1918 Early revolutionary unions

This Unit aims to:

  • Outline the social, economic and political conditions in late 19th France and how they contributed to the growth of anarcho- syndicalism
  • Look at the extent to which trade unionism in France was influenced by anarchism
  • Outline the rise of the Bourses du Travail and the formation of the Federation des Bourses du Travail (FBT) and examine the practice, theory and organisational structure of the early French unions
  • Give a brief history of the development, and politics of the CGT and examine the reasons for the changes in outlook
  • Look at the idea of ‘political neutrality’ and the problems it raised.

Terms and abbreviations

Unit 3: The First International

This Unit aims to:

  • Show how the First International developed
  • Examine the differences between the libertarian (anarchist) and authoritarian (Marxist) wings of the International
  • Discuss the development of a coherent anarchist political theory looking at the concepts of equality, freedom, society and organization
  • Analyse the split and eventual demise of the First International.

Terms and abbreviations

Unit 2: Britain: The Radical Period 1750-1840

This Unit aims to:

  • Offer an interpretation of working-class radicalism 1750-1840 from an anarcho-syndicalist perspective
  • Introduce, through case studies, the history of organisation and direct action in working-class movements
  • Look at the social, political and economic context of the formation of early general unions and wage campaigns
  • Suggest some of the reasons why mainstream historical accounts have failed to acknowledge working-class revolutionary aspirations

Terms and abbreviations

Diggers: A communistic movement that flourished during the English Revolution and Civil War. They advocated the abolition of private ownership of land and believed that political revolution must be based on social revolution.

Solidarity Federation at the London Anarchist Bookfair

The Solidarity Federation will be at the London Anarchist Bookfair again this year. It will be the first place you can get your hands on our new pamphlet 'Fighting for ourselves: anarcho-syndicalism and the class struggle'. Our other publications will also be available alongside books, posters and tshirts. 

This year the Solidarity Federation will be presenting the following talks:

Nobody Expects The Solidarity Federation! - Room 318, 11-12