Mars 15, 2022
Par Monde Nouveau
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Revolutionary syndicalism cannot simply be defined as a form of radical trade unionism : the central concept of this movement lies in the idea of the “embryo”, i.e. the idea that the trade union, today an organ of struggle for the improvement of the living conditions of the working class, will tomorrow be the embryo of the reorganisation of the emancipated society, an idea which is expressed in a limpid manner in the Charter of Amiens voted during the CGT congress of 1906 : “the union, today a resistance group will be, in the future, a group for production and redistribution, the basis of social reorganization.”

This is what fundamentally defines revolutionary syndicalism and it is the acceptance or rejection of this principle that defines a person as a revolutionary syndicalist. Therefore, with regard to the question : was Kropotkin a revolutionary syndicalist, it will be a matter of examining what his views on the matter were. It follows from this precondition that a person who merely calls circumstantially for trade union action cannot be defined as a revolutionary trade unionist. There were indeed many anarchists active in the trade union movement but who did not declare themselves revolutionary syndicalists. Luigi Bertoni, a Swiss activist, is one of the best known examples.