Reasons for the decline in membership of the Free Workers’ Union

Submitted by Juan Conatz on December 23, 2010

Alongside the integration of the working class into bourgeois society through the welfare state, internal strife over the course of the FAUD and competition from the much more powerful reformist trade unions, numerous other factors came into play that resulted in the decline of anarcho-syndicalist influence. The FAUD’s agitation and propaganda was relatively limited in its reach while proletarian culture was progressively absorbed into the bourgeois mileu. State repression, most notably the banning of the FAUD in 1923, increasing unemployment and the inability of the union to ideologically and culturally integrate the large numbers of workers that joined during the revolutionary period of 1918-1923 also contributed to this reversal.