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Anarcho-syndicalism: Theory and Practice (Working Classics): Theory and Practise Paperback – 1 Jun 2004


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Product details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: AK Press; 6th Ed edition (1 Jun. 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1902593928
  • ISBN-13: 978-1902593920
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 1.5 x 21.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 56,574 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Synopsis

At the behest of Emma Goldman, Rocker wrote this book in 1937 to introduce the world to the ideas fuelling the Spanish Revolution and resistance to both capitalism and Russian-state communism. It was then, and remains now, a political and philosophical masterpiece.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Operation Washtub on 24 Jun. 2009
Format: Paperback
Noam Chomsky, no less, has professed sympathies with anarchism & in particular the concept of Anarcho-Syndicalism. Actually, Chomsky has written a preface for this reprint.

Although many would argue that this book is a bit dated, it's presents an inspired early explanation of how syndicalists can create a peaceful revolution & gives excellent accounts of how anarchists & true socialists were betrayed after the Bolshevik revolution.

You will understand the REAL reasons Thatcher & Reagan wanted to crush the unions after reading this Rocker classic.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Chris on 21 Mar. 2011
Format: Paperback
A brilliant book, whether used as an introduction to Anarchism and Anarcho-Syndicalism or a more advanced text to deeper understanding; with specific cases such as the Spanish Anarchists during the Spanish civil war and a solid analysis of those events.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By J. Griffiths on 16 Feb. 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Great read. I recommend this book for anyone with an interest in anarchism and its history. A great companion to;
That Holy Anarchist: Reflections on Christianity & Anarchism,
The Kingdom of God is Within You
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 6 reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Sounds great 27 Feb. 2006
By calmly - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Rocker writes lucidly and forcefully. He presents a clear alternative to political socialism, including Marxism. Anarcho-syndicalism seems well-grounded ethically and as if it would avoid the problems of concentrating power inherent in both capitalism and socialism.

But can it work? The biggest argument that it can seems to be CNT in Spain in the 1930's. As Rocker described it, they were highly effective and fully anarcho-syndicalist. They were defeated largely due to the involvement of powerful foreign powers. In the U.S. before World War I, the IWW (similar to the anarcho-syndicalists in Europe) grew in influence but were suppressed by the government.

Today in the U.S. the only sizable organized anarcho-syndicalist activity appears to a mucher smaller IWW. They continue to support unionization efforts and refrain from political activity.

If people can organize around trade unions, as Rocker describes and as the IWW does on a small scale, with sufficient involvement as to be able to run industries themselves, then anarcho-syndicalism as Rocker describes it seems wonderful. There would, however, many practical issues to work out. Rocker says that the CNT in Spain did that. However, if people prefer to be led, then anarcho-syndicalism won't work, as someone will undoubtedly step in to lead and, in doing so, enforce preferences for themselves.

For over 70 years, anarcho-syndicalism seems not to have been won over many people. Will conditions change so that people embrace it? Would educational efforts help revive it? Or has capitalism adapted and won? Is self-government just too much effort for most people? This work by Rocker seems about the best place to start in exploring such questions.
8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Hope for Socialists 23 Mar. 2009
By Ryan - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
While the fall of the Soviet Union was seen by some as proof that socialism is untenable, Rocker shows in this text how the revolution was doomed from the start, and offers an attractive alternative to the party-led style of statist socialism attempted there. Synidcalism seems to me to be a slightly more "realistic" way in which to achieve socialism, that doesn't depend on the benevolence of a centralized authority. Rocker also relates some of the history of the labor movement in general in Europe, and of syndicalism in particular. I would like to have seen a bit more detail regarding syndicalist government structure and economics, the practical aspects, but he gives a very good overview of the movement in not many pages.
16 of 27 people found the following review helpful
Good Overview 17 July 2007
By Steiner - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
How can a society progress to a level of legitimate egalitarian communization without the creation of a hierarchical structure of leadership or vanguard? For anarchists, the answer often lies in anarcho-communism or anarcho-syndaclism. This text by Rudolph Rocker, is perhaps the definitive work on the latter theory. Anarcho-syndaclism eliminates the apparatus of the state as a means to socialism, whereas classical Marxist theory insists that the state will wither away once the proletarian has seized control of the means of production. Anarcho-syndaclism values the use of direct action as a means to control the forces of production, and the utility of unions and defederated workers councils as the proper structures for social planning. Rocker points to the syndaclists of the Spanish Revolution as the primary example of the theory in action, though there seem to be few cases in history of such socialization without centralized planning. Perhaps this mode of revolution is more legitimate and effective than classical Marxism or Marxist-Leninism, though I suspect that anarchism will always suffer from the fact of its inefficiency and inability to mobilize populations democratically. Nevertheless, Rocker's analysis and background history (aside from several cavalier uses of `human nature) is provocative alternative to state capitalism and state socialism.
0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Great overview of the history of socialism 30 Dec. 2012
By Rory Winter Flaherty - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Great overview of the history of socialism and the debates within socialism that led to the various schools within it. A great guide for anyone interested in learning more about the history of socialism and anarchism.
0 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Amazon is a benefit 30 Jan. 2014
By Ron - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Amazon delivers. I was pleased to find this book readily available. I will not comment on the subject matter as I am at the start of reading about this political position.
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