anarcho-syndicalism

The International Working Mens Association I.W.M.A: Its policy, it aims, its principles

An IWA-AIT position paper from 1933 addressing its principles, positions, and speaking to relations with the IWW.

General principles and means of struggle of the American Continental Association of Workers

This is an excerpt from the declarations of the American Continental Association of Workers IWA-AIT from 1929. It consists of the principles and tactics adopted by the constitutive organizations drawn from Latin America at that time, and is translated into English with an introduction by the translator, SN Nappalos.

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