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Syndicalism is a political and economic ideology which advocates giving control of both industry and government to labor union federations. Syndicalisme is a French word meaning "trade unionism". This milder version of syndicalism was overshadowed by revolutionary anarcho-syndicalism in the early 20th century, which was most powerful in Spain, but appeared in other parts of the world as well.
A model syndicalist community is as follows. The local unit, the syndicat, would communicate with other syndicats through the bourse de travail (labour exchange). The bourse would handle management and the transfer of commodities.
Syndicalism forms one of the three most common theories of a pre-managed economic and labor structure. It believes, on an ethical basis, that all participants in each organized trade internally share equal ownership of its output and therefore deserve equal earnings and benefits within that particular trade, regardless of position or duty. This contrasts socialism's emphasis on the distribution of output from all different trades to one another as required by each trade, not necessarily considering how those trades organize themselves internally. Both these systems of pre-organized economic structure can theoretically include variations on privatism, unlike the third such pre-arranged egalitarian strand, namely communism. Communism supports the abolition of government-sanctioned private ownership and private earnings in favor of making all property legally public, and therefore solely the responsibility of the state and/or the community.
Instances of syndicalism in power, during the Spanish Revolution or the 1956 Hungarian Revolution rapidly approach the economic organisation of communism, often within weeks of syndicalists seizing control of social production.
- Alceste de Ambrus
- Michele Bianche
- Arturo Labrado
- Agostino Lanzello
- Robert Michels Though he was German, he moved to Italy and became a revolutionary syndicalist.
- Sergio Pananzio
- Rudolf Rocker, a major proponent of anarcho-syndicalism
- General Strikes, maps with locations where strikes have occurred; includes resource links
- Anarcho-Syndicalism, Rudolf Rocker, London, l989.
- Liberalism and The Challenge of Fascism, Social Forces in England and France (1815-1870), J. Salwyn Schapiro, McGraw-Hill Book Co., NY, l949.
- The Anarchists, James Joll, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, 1980.
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