Some more answers about revolutionary-Syndicalists in France

lundi 2 janvier 2006
par  CSR

Some more answers about revolutionary-Syndicalists in France

(Italics are no-CSR militants)

Monatte knew well Trotsky because trotsky was a refugee in Paris before going back to Russia. Lots of russian revolutionaries were in Paris. Lozovsky who will be the secretary of RILU was also a refugee in Paris and moreover member of french CGT.
Trotsky knew well that Revolutionary-Syndicalists were the majority in French unionist movement. To win support in our country and in most of the countries inthe world, Trotsky and Lenin tried to convince RSs that the russian revolution was the new form of the Syndicalist Revolution.
This operation has succeded in most countries : Monatte in france became member of CP, Tom Mann in UK, Foster in USA...
But RSs soon have been in opposition with the leaders of CP. Monatte wanted "union commissions" of the french CP to be coordination tools in union movement but not a boring from within tool like leninists.
Links with Trotsky remains during years. One member of CSR was trotskyst, Alfred Rosmer who got in reponsability in 3rd International. What it is interesting is that most unionists fighed during years to maintain union independance from CP. They didn’t want that politicians divided the union.
Monatte supported Trotsky as opponent to Stalin but was’nt interested by the trotskyst movement that developped in France with some intellectuals and still remains middle class intellectual movement.
Just after been fired from CP in 1924, Monatte and others created "Syndicalist Ligue" to maintain the links among RSs in CGT and CGTU and also in autonomous unions.
It seems that Monatte did’nt participate to the "Cercle Syndicaliste Lutte de Classe". We think that there has been a loss between generations of militants during 1936 general strike.
New militants appeared and "Syndicalist Ligue" did’nt organise them.
After WW2 Monatte and SRs had still some influence but less. The "communists" were majority and bloked the CGT union working.
The SRs were not enough organised to counter attaked. Anarcho-syndicalists decided to create CNT in 1946 but to sectarian for SRs. SRs were divided between CGT-FO, CGT under CP control, Autonomes unions. The magazine of SRs founded by Monatte became an intellectual and and mostly education workers thing, more and more separated from union reality.

"Class Struggle Syndicalist Circle" is the best translation for the french. Class war is "guerre de classes" in french, not "lutte des classes".
I think it is difficult for us to understand what unionists were thinking in this period. The myth of the russian revolution was very strong. A lots of anarchists were the first to support the russian revolution in 1920s. It seems to be the revolution all the militants were waiting for so long.
It was normal to support. When the RILU was created, lots of unionists accepted the link between CPs and Unions. But the union tactic was at the beginning very intersting : indutrial unionism, revolutionary goals, class union unity...
We think that sectarian anarcho-syndicalists who made the departure for IWA made a mistake. It was possible to organise unionists in RILU and to fight CPs influence in them. Most of the militants in RILU were SRs before. The important fo them is the coordination of revolutionaries not the party.

I’m gonna print it out and read. I suspect the perspective that is advocated is similiar to the US bolshevik- "RS" Wm. Z. Foster (later head of the US CP- (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Z._Foster)in his 1911 pamphlet "Syndicalism". Basically a bore-from (only) with the reformist unions.

I think you can’t mix the two Foster.
One Foster wanted to change AFL and radicalise it.
The later Foster, no more unionist, puppet secretary of the stalinist US CP.
The debate about alternative union or mass union is still a nowadays topic.
IWW accept dual cards to coordinate workers where they are and to work for One big Union.

While the IWW does accept dual carders, it also supports the concept of "dual unionism" which to many members means that revolutionary unions can be built now, and it is not always the best way to try to radicalize workers within the AFL-CIO-CTW organizations to try to make them into revolutionary organizations.
Foster formed the Syndicalist League on his returning to the United States from France, and ultimately left the IWW over this issue. He did not support "dual unionism."

We think, the CSR, that choice must be done by militants of each country as they are better judge of the best tactic.


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