anarcho-syndicalism

Interview with José Peirats – Josep Alemany

A complete transcript of a 1977 interview with José Peirats, in which the Spanish historian and former militant of the CNT and FAI reminisces about his youth and discusses many of the controversies that plagued the CNT before as well as during the civil war, including the impact of the Russian Revolution, Angel Pestaña’s mission to Russia in 1920, the Asturian insurrection of October 1934, the CNT’s policy of collaboration with the government during the war, and the role of the Stalinists in the Republican coalition government’s counterrevolution against the anarchist revolutionary achievements of July 1936.

Means of struggle - Emilio Lopez Arango

A translation of Lopez Arango, theorist of the FORA, on the question of industrial organization and industrial unionism. Here he defends the FORA's position of rejecting unions as vehicles for post-capitalist society, the allegedly progressive nature of capitalist industry, and the organization of workers organization based on industry. This short piece can't make up for the broad and important debate that happened within global anarchosyndicalist circles in the 20-30s, however it represents what may be the only direct source material on the subject in English. Please excuse the flow of the text, his language is quite difficult and the translator is an amateur, resulting in a clunky read.

From defense cadres to popular militias - Augustín Guillamón

A short article summarizing the history and transformation of the CNT’s Defense Committees in Barcelona during the 1930s from their origins as street fighting units to their reorganization as integrated combat/intelligence formations, to their suppression by the Republic after the working class defeat of May 1937.

An interview with Abel Paz - Miguel Riera, El Viejo Topo (2001)

An interview on the Spanish civil war and revolution conducted in 2001 with Abel Paz, former militant of the CNT, resistance fighter and the author of Durruti: The People Armed, in which he discusses, among other things, the collectives, the Moroccan question and technical innovation under self-management in industry under wartime conditions.

The labour movement in Spain : Albert Meltzer on Spanish anarcho-syndicalism

KSL: Albert Meltzer was a long-standing supporter of the anarchist movement in Spain. One of our friends suggested we make this article available as one of the best things he wrote. It’s also representative of many of the things he cared about: anarchism, history, emancipation and class struggle.

Barricades in Barcelona: The CNT from the victory of July 1936 to the necessary defeat of May 1937 - Agustín Guillamón

First published in 2006, this book, focusing on Barcelona in 1936-1937, provides an account of the street battles and victory of July 1936, examines the defense and neighborhood committees that defeated the uprising in the city, and addresses the issue of the decision of the CNT-FAI superior committees to collaborate with counterrevolutionary parties and social groups to preserve anti-fascist unity at any price and how this decision culminated in May 1937 in the defeat of the revolution, with special emphasis on the emerging discontent among the anarchosyndicalist rank and file and the role of The Friends of Durruti Group in crystallizing opposition to official CNT policies.

One hundred years of workers' solidarity : The history of “Solidaridad Obrera”

Solidaridad Obrera - diary of the revolution

“Solidaridad Obrera” (Workers’ Solidarity), founded in Barcelona in 1907, is the voice of Spain’s Anarcho-syndicalist Confederacion Nacional del Trabajo (CNT: National Confederation of Labour). The following essays were issued to celebrate the hundredth anniversary of “Soli” and together they illustrate the changing fortunes of the Anarcho-syndicalist movement, and its enduring attempt to communicate the anarchist idea. Translated by Paul Sharkey.

Anarchism and syndicalism: the CNT model and its dilemma

An article by Vadim Damier from 2012 critiquing the CNT model of anarcho-syndicalism

Collectivizations: The constructive achievements of the Spanish Revolution. Essays, documents and reports - Augustin Souchy and Paul Folgare

Now available in English for the first time, this survey of industrial and agricultural, urban and rural collectives in libertarian Spain, written by the Foreign Affairs Secretary of the CNT, Augustin (Agustin in Spanish) Souchy, and Paul Folgare (or Polgare, a/k/a Pal Partos), first published in Spanish in 1937 by Tierra y Libertad, complements the more well known works of Gaston Leval and Sam Dolgoff, and despite its blatantly propagandistic purposes, nonetheless frankly acknowledges some of the shortcomings of the collectivization process, which the authors generally characterize at one point as “collective capitalism” and in another instance as “the socialization of poverty”.

Anarcho-syndicalism in Japan: 1911 to 1934 - Philippe Pelletier

An essay on the rise and fall of organized anarchism in Japan in the early 20th century, with special emphasis on its anarcho-syndicalist dimension, with interesting details concerning the disputes, splits and controversies that plagued the Japanese movement and which were surprisingly similar in their basic contours to those that affected the anarchist movement in the West during the same period.