Section I The Economy: Chapter 1 The Manufacturing Industry

Submitted by Juan Conatz on December 21, 2010

The experiences of the Imperialist war and the unsuccessful social Revolution in Russia have proved that Capitalist society is not as rich as had formely been theoretically assumed.

The experience of the Russian Revolution has further demonstrated the economic truth that the social Revolution increases demand and diminishes production; it has also shown that the country which raises the banner of revolution will inevitably find itself faced by an aggressively-intentioned bourgeois encirclement.

The circumstances described above result in shortage and hunger. Hence it is essential to prepare in advance the practical measures which can prevent or considerably diminish such unfortunate consequences. These measures are concerned with how, by whom and on what principles production and the protection (if the Revolution are to be organized.

The experience of the Russian Revolution has definitely emphasized the dangerous and harmful character of the compulsory principle in production; the Anarcho-Syndicalists sharply reject compulsory industrial mobilization, labor battalions, or any other similar undertakings. The main principle of syndicalized production is the freedom of labor, i.e. everybody's right to choose freely the type of activity most attractive to hiin, and the right to change freely from one type of work to another. The new society, resulting from the social Revolution, will from the first day of its existence seek ways and means to assure the integration of labor, so that monotony may not cripple man both spiritually and physically. In Capitalist society one sees a complete separation between industrial and agricultural labor, while our Syndicalist society will steadfastly endeavor to bring about ever closer < o-ordination of industry and agriculture and will seek means by which to allow workers to alternate and combine work in the factory and on the land.

The experience of the organization of industry in Russia has shown that the principle of centralization in production leads to bureaucratization of the entire industrial apparatus, to the emergence of an official class, to the removal of the producers from / the administration of the social economy, to the strangling of independent activity on the part of the workers, and to economic crisis. In view of .his experience, the Anarcho-Syndicalists will construct the process of production on the basis of technical concentration and administrative decentralization.

In this way the Russian Revolution has given us the opportunity to avoid its own errors and to solve the problems of the organization of production in harmony with the interests of the working masses. Its experience proves, as Kropotkin said, that: "No State is capable of organizing production as long as the workers do not take it in hand through the medium of their Trade Unions." But to convince the working masses of the need to increase the production of consumers' goods, to induce them to direct their efforts and energies from the very beginning towards (bis goal, it is essential that "all public consideration of the national economy, which from old habit is now left to a flock of all kinds of ministers and committees, should be presented in simple form to every community, village and city, to every factory and plant, as their own personal affair, and should be left lor the workers to administer themselves" in the interests of the entire working population.

On the basis of the above considerations, Anarcho-Syndicalists believe it essential to instil into the consciousness of the working masses as a whole the need for "the organization of production according to the principles of socialization and decentralization, on the basis of social labor control over the socialized means of production. All this will be possible only with the substitution of a Syndicalist organization for the present industrial structure, i.e. the syndicalization of production, involving its transfer into the hands of the workers in the Trade Unions, united on straight industrial lines and conceding full autonomy to each link of the organizational chain while transforming them gradually into producer-consumer communes."

In accordance with Revolutionary experience in Russia, the organizational apparatus of syndicalized production must rely on the simplest forms of association, which are intimate and intelligible to the workers; associations rooted in the Revolution and ready to leave production to the direct administration of the workers themselves, e.g. factory-management committees charged with organizing the workers' control of, plants in each locality.

In the interests of the successful realization of Communism in industry, arid of the smooth functioning and efficiency of each production process, as well as to prevent the chance of seizure of individual enterprises for the exclusive private use of those who work there, a system of unification will have to be established. This unification, without destroying the freedom of individual sections, will provide the necessary technical, statistical and administrative links to join all industries and production into one organic whole. (Kropotkin, page 23).

This system has the following categories:

1. The Self-Administered Factory -- producers' commune.
2. The Production Associations of factory communes.
3. The Union of Productive Associations.
4. The General Congress of Labor (Council of People's Economy and Culture).

Production, organized along these lines, will be administered on the principles of committee direction, of broad public control through the general utilization of the principle of the right to recall delegates. As to internal order, the principle of self-discipline will remove the need for all manner of disciplinary institutions.

As the experience of Russia has shown, the task of increasing productivity and the scientific organization of production will demand, as long as the working masses lack scientific and technical knowledge, a broadminded and comprehensive utilization of the technical intelligentsia who will remain as a legacy of the Capitalist structure. Even though the majority of this intelligentsia is immersed in bourgeois tendencies, the interests of the Revo-, lution nevertheless demand that their rights should in no way be limited: equality for all is necessary from the first day of the social upheaval.

Since there is no possibility of immediately establishing full Communism in consumption on the principle: "'to each according to his needs," a number of practical steps will be necessary to lead to its realization.

The first of these is the establishment of the principle: "equal shares for all." Equal sharing, in accordance with increasing production in Syndicalist industry must, little by little, become the normal rule, and gradually facilitate the approach to realizing the axiom: to each according to his needs.

The criterion of the equal share must be the minimum necessary for subsistence, with supplementary allowances for dependents. The size of the ration will grow with the increase in wealth of the national commune. As for handicraft, home industries and small scale industry, the Anarcho-Syndicalists, rejecting the idea of their compulsory integration into large-scale production, will implement the principle of co-operation, granting them full opportunity and freedom of initiative. The Anarcho-Syndicalists strive only for the association of the scattered efforts of individual craftsmen and small enterprises through free cooperatives adapted to their needs, so that they may utilize all the advantages of science and technology.