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syndicalist
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Mar 26 2015 20:52

'On RailCon15: the Future of Railroads'

By Tom Wetzel

Quote:
More than 120 people attended the Future of Railroads Conference (RailCon15) in
Richmond, California, March 14th, organized by Railroad Workers United, with
support from local environmental groups and others.

Ron Kaminkow of Railroad Workers United talked about the history of railway
worker attempts to build industry wide solidarity and unity, going back to the
American Railway Union of Gene Debs in the 1890s. These efforts were stymied by
the persistence of the conservative craft unions. The railroads are able to play
one craft union off against the other to the detriment of rail workers. Railroad
Workers United is an effort to build solidarity and unity of the workers across
occupations and unions.

You may view the latest post at
http://ideasandaction.info/2015/03/future-railroads/

syndicalist
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Apr 9 2015 15:22

New on ideas and action -

Why solidarity is necessary – but it’s not just about class
By Geoff

Quote:
“An injury to one is an injury to all”. This IWW slogan characterizes the solidarity necessitated by class struggle. It characterizes the idea that it’s necessary for the working class to cooperate and work together towards their individual interests, as these are also class interests. The interests of gaining control over economic, social and work decisions which affect the working class directly is made necessary due to the odious nature of our current global economic conditions.

But this slogan really goes further than just class. It is also an embodiment of the solidarity necessitated by intersecting forms of oppression which divide the working class and hinder their ability to fight back in the global class war. Intersectional, meaning, issues concerned with intersections between forms or systems of oppression, domination or discrimination. These issues also create various social hierarchies which marginalize and disempower people. Examples of these issues include, but are not limited to, racism, sexism, queerphobia and gender essentialism. For instance, sexual harassment in the workplace, workplace discrimination on bounds of race or gender, and gender essentialism when it comes to the dignity of transgender folks who often experience terrible cruelty from others when they need to use public restrooms.

http://ideasandaction.info/2015/04/solidarity-its-class/

syndicalist
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Apr 27 2015 15:21

Reply to ISO on Syndicalism - By Tom Wetzel

The International Socialist Organization’s webzine socialistworker.org recently published a critique of revolutionary syndicalism in the form of a review of Radical Unionism by Ralph Darlington. The review, by Tom Goulet, makes a number of mistaken claims.

The claim that “syndicalist unions broke off from mainstream federations to form ‘purely revolutionary’ unions, cutting themselves off from the mass of workers” doesn’t hold up, though it does conform to the Leninist orthodoxy of Leftwing Communism: An Infantile Disorder. There were many countries where the syndicalist unions were the majority – such as Portugal, Spain, Argentina, Uruguay, Peru, Brazil. Syndicalist unions in South Africa, such as the Industrial Workers of Africa (modeled on the IWW) were the only union that organized native African workers, who were excluded from the white craft unions.

At the time of the mass occupation of the factories in Italy in September, 1920, the USI was claiming 800,000 members, and the factory councils formed throughout Italy in those events were mostly organized by the USI. Moreover, it was the anarcho-syndicalists who initiated a militia movement (arditti del popolo) to fight Mussolini’s fascist squads. But the Communists didn’t cooperate and the Socialist Party capitulated to fascism.

- See more at: http://ideasandaction.info/2015/04/reply-iso-syndicalism/#sthash.PfvgGXpZ.dpuf

syndicalist
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May 31 2015 17:13

The (End) Work Zone: Tales of Spontaneous Rebellion in the Workplace
By Smoker

Quote:
The normal course of a person’s working life typically produces a plethora of stories where the boss got one over on the employees and faced no retribution; countless unfair firings, anomalies with the paycheck, bullying, mistreatment and abuse. Hidden within, and on the periphery of these tales, is evidence of a small scale class-struggle springing into and out of existence in every imaginable kind of workplac.

While many of these instances of rebellion do not result in long-term organization and often include a small number of workers, these events still play an important role in the class struggle. They become major contributions to a person’s constellation of experience in the workplace that reveals the counterpoised interests of the boss, as well as the potential for resistance.

For some. these moments become an important part of their overall development into class-struggle militants, and as such, are of more of novel interest to those seeking to build mass movements. It is with this in mind that Ideas and Action presents a series of short stories reflecting those moments of spontaneous mutiny, impromptu sabotage and most importantly, solidarity. We welcome contributions from our readers; please see our ‘Contact’ page for more information.

This first piece comes to us from a person who goes by Smoker. It recounts a spontaneous work-stoppage at a fast-food restaurant where the workers had previously developed a culture of small-scale resistance and solidarity

See more at: http://ideasandaction.info/2015/05/end-work-zone-tales-spontaneous-rebellion-workplace/#sthash.3Q4ZUGFZ.dpuf

syndicalist
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Jun 11 2015 21:25

Boring from Within Won’t Work
By Tom Wetzel

Quote:
In their reply to my attempts to defend revolutionary syndicalism, Joe Richard and Ty Carroll try to force the debate into an arbitrarily narrow set of choices.

The attack on “dual unionism” seems to be designed to rule out efforts at building new worker-controlled unions outside the bureaucratic framework of the AFL-CIO type unions.

The basic problem today is the glaring need to build a new kind of worker unionism that is directly controlled by the workers, is based on direct participation and practices of powerful disruptive action, recognizes the flat antagonism of interests between workers and the employers, builds solidarity in action between workers in different sectors, and builds solidarity with grassroots social movements and struggles outside the workplace. A workers movement of this kind in the USA would have to be prepared to violate court injunctions and unjust laws that restrict worker action. To do this, alliances and mutual support need to be developed between unions and social movement organizations so that worker action has mass support.

- See more at: http://ideasandaction.info/2015/06/boring-wont-work/#sthash.I60nLZd2.dpuf

syndicalist
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Jan 17 2016 01:38

ideas and action has posted a new item, 'The (End) Work Zone: Tales of
Spontaneous Rebellion in the Workplace - Part III'

The normal course of a person's working life typically produces a plethora of
stories where the boss got one over on the employees and faced no retribution;
countless unfair firings, anomalies with the paycheck, bullying, mistreatment
and abuse. Hidden within, and on the periphery of these tales, is evidence of a
small scale class-struggle springing into and out of existence in every
imaginable kind of workplace. ((See Informal Workgroups by M. Jones and Holding
the Line: Informal Pace Setting in the Workplace by Juan Conatz for further
discussion of small scale, informal and spontaneous resistance.))

While many of these instances of rebellion do not result in long-term
organization and often include a small number of workers, these events still
play an important role in the class struggle. They become major contributions to
a person's constellation of experience in the workplace that reveals the
counterpoised interests of the boss, as well as the potential for resistance.

You may view the latest post at
http://ideasandaction.info/2016/01/end-work-zone-tales-spontaneous-rebellion-workplace-part-iii/

syndicalist
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Aug 3 2016 22:04
Quote:
The following post is authored by WSA member JT and originally posted on their blog Rage Against Capital. While this critique does not represent an official position of the WSA, it did find traction and preexisting sentiment among many members. It is posted on Ideas and Action today in the spirit of comradely debate.
Quote:
Anarchist Critique of PKK

If you consider yourself to be on the radical left side of politics, be it Marxist, Anarchist, what have you, you have probably been bombarded for the last year with talk about things like “The PKK” and “The YPG”, or “The YPJ”. These are all part of the Syrian Kurdish movement that has come to power in a few cantons in the middle east, the canton mentioned the most easily being the region of Kobane witch has been a front for the Kurdish fighters against the forces of Islamic State. The reaction the broad left has given this movement is one of intense support. Any statements critical of the movement are immediately attacked. Afed put out an article in December 2014 heavily criticizing the movement which is now taken down. I don’t know why it was, but I think I am not very far off in guessing that people’s response to that article had something to do with it. Articles entitled “DEAR MR.ANARCHIST, YOU AREN’T LISTENING” and “Mr. Anarchist, We need to have a chat about colonialism” came out denouncing all those critical of the Syrian Kurdish movement as those who held positions that furthered colonialism. At the same time, telling any supporters that you are critical of the Syrian Kurdish movement often provokes outright attack or confused “why”s on the part of said supporters. I have written critically about this movement before, none of the original articles are up on my site anymore, however this is not because I was bullied into submission by accusations of helping colonialism. Rather, I felt I could do a more rigorous and more well thought out critique. This will be my official piece on the subject, dealing with it at length, and taking a critical look at it, while responding to supporters’ counter arguments against nay sayers.

http://ideasandaction.info/2016/07/anarchist-critique-pkk/

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Devrim
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Aug 3 2016 22:20

I read this. It's really poor in that it has so many factual mistakes.
Devrim

syndicalist
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Aug 3 2016 22:44
Devrim wrote:
I read this. It's really poor in that it has so many factual mistakes.
Devrim

I'm not the author. If you wish too write a specific critique, I'm sure the author would like to hear it.

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Devrim
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Aug 4 2016 05:06

I wrote something on a Facebook thread. He said I was nitpicking, and picking out small factual errors. There are so many factual errors though that you have to think whether the author has any idea what he's talking about at all.

Devrim

syndicalist
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Aug 4 2016 11:50
Devrim wrote:
I wrote something on a Facebook thread. He said I was nitpicking, and picking out small factual errors. There are so many factual errors though that you have to think whether the author has any idea what he's talking about at all.

Devrim

Ok, I've not seen it.

syndicalist
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Aug 10 2016 13:35

Leninist Vanguardism vs. Libertarian Left Militant Minority Organization

By WSA

Quote:
It is not uncommon for class struggle libertarians to hear Leninists equate vanguardism with a libertarian militant minority group, such as the Friends of Durruti in libertarian Spain, yet suggest that the libertarian role is simply lacking in strategy. This shows a poor understanding of the militant libertarian alternative to Leninist vanguardism and why we see it as far more desirable and superior. The phrase “militant minority” was created by anarchosyndicalists to refer to working class people who are class conscious and have an informal influence within their workplaces and unions due to being hard-working or being good at public speaking, being politically knowledgeable, etc. Anarchosyndicalists have also used the term “vanguard” to refer to an active, organized and politically-motivated militant minority.

http://ideasandaction.info/2016/08/leninist-vanguardism-vs-libertarian-left-militant-minority-organization/

syndicalist
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Joined: 15-04-06
Dec 19 2016 02:46

ideas and action has posted a new item,
'Anarcho-syndicalism: A Past Phenomenon,
A Vision for the Future'

By Geoff R

It’s common for many folks familiar with anarcho-syndicalism to look at it as
both a set of ideas and a phenomenon which occurred at a certain period (in the
early 1900s) as a result of certain conditions of capitalism at the time and a
particular response to them. The experiment in libertarian Spain [...]

You may view the latest post at
http://ideasandaction.info/2016/12/anarcho-syndicalism-phenomenon-vision-future/

syndicalist
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Sep 13 2017 02:26

What is Libertarian Socialism?
By Tom Wetzel

Libertarian socialism is a current or tendency in the world socialist movement that first became an organized tendency in the International Workingmen’s Association of the 1860s-70s, based on various grassroots worker unions and the ideas of federalist socialists like Michael Bakunin, and later influencing the various revolutionary syndicalist unions in the period from the 1880s to the 1930s, and reaching its highest form of expression in the worker’s revolution in Spain in 1936–37, and the mass expropriation of agricultural land and industry in Spain. A vast proportion of Spain’s economy was under direct worker management during the revolutionary period.

The word libertarian in this case means a viewpoint that highly values positive liberty. Positive liberty has two parts:

1. Control over the decisions that affect you, being self-governing. This is the idea of self-management.

Continued ..... http://ideasandaction.info/2017/09/libertarian-socialism/