Gerald C. Friedman

Revolutionary unions and French labor: The rebels behind the cause; or, Why did revolutionary syndicalism fail?

Speakers from the C.G.T. at the Meru strike (1909)

Rejecting the conclusions reached by author Peter Stearns that French revolutionary syndicalism never gained worker support and American economists John R. Commons and Selig Perlman that conservative unionism was the only unionism workers would accept, the author provides statistical evidence disproving both. Rather, the author suggests that the failure of the CGT to create cross-class alliances contributed to its isolation and eventually, the decline of revolutionary syndicalism. We do not agree with some of the article, but reproduce for useful information.