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Anarchism and Anarcho-Syndicalism [Paperback]

Rudolph Rocker , Rob Ray
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Product details

  • Paperback: 48 pages
  • Publisher: Freedom Press (15 Mar 2014)
  • ISBN-10: 1904491227
  • ISBN-13: 978-1904491224
  • Product Dimensions: 21 x 14.8 x 0.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,461,234 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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ANARCHISM IS A DEFINITE INTELLECTUAL current of social thought, whose adherents advocate the abolition of economic monopolies and of all political and social coercive institutions within society. Read the first page
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Anarcho-syndicalism 9 Feb 2010
By Top Cat
Rudolf Rocker left Germany in 1892 to escape police harrassment, eventually settling in the East End of London. Here he organised the immigrant workers, and soon rose to prominance as one of the best-known and best-informed European anarchists. This book is considered to be Rudolf Rocker's most accessible work.
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Amazon.com: 3.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting overview of anarcho-syndicalism. 13 Oct 2008
By Quickhappy - Published on Amazon.com
Rudolf Rocker's work exemplifies the realization of anarchism: Rocker is a self-made intellectual, who learned lessons in his tireless activism. In this sense, Anarchism & Anarcho-Syndicalism is an artifact of DIY (Do-it-Yourself). Rocker assembled this work on his own, sought no profits, and wrote the book only to give others an informed perspective.

Thus, there's a homespun sort of character to the book: it feels a bit like a college paper in some ways, though well-edited. And, like a college thesis, the stilted organization of chapters forces the book into some rather formulaic and clunkly logics. Still, the book does manage to convey a good deal about anarchism and particularly the sydicalist position.

Rocker locates labor unions at the center of anarcho-syndicalism. He sees these groups as aptly sized to make all key decisions: at this scale economic and political organization can complement one another. At this scale, laborers can build a world for themselves: a world based on their own decisions, efforts, and creativity. And labor unions, for Rocker, have the capacity to educate others in the making of a harmonious society. Rocker also shows how labor unions could function in an integrated network, so as to form larger--but non-coercive--political bodies.

Published in 1938, the book is a record of its time. Rocker is breathless about the anarchists of Spain, and speaks out repeatedly against the rise of Nazism in Germany. Indeed, the rise of fascism in Europe is, for Rocker, an important lesson: it shows how labor and socialism are diluted by the parliamentary state. He also speaks out against the evils of the tyranical USSR. In contrast, Rocker sees anarcho-syndicalism and labor unions as means to create a "socialist" society, in which the profits of labor are shared by all, and in which one's life belongs fundamentally to oneself.

Other editions have a nice little 4 page introduction by Chomsky and a wordier one by Chris Walter. Neither are really needed.

The book, though occasionally dated and boring, remains an important voice for anarchist philosophy. The creativity and autonomy that Rocker brought to his authorship are themselves models for a better way of life.
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