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Constructing Syndicalism And Anarchism Globally: The Transnational Making Of The Syndicalist Movement In São Paulo, Brazil, 1895–1935

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Chapter Summary

This chapter examines the manner in which anarchists and revolutionary syndicalists confronted the national question in South Africa, particularly during the 1910s, the period of unquestioned syndicalist hegemony on the revolutionary left. The national question has been perhaps the single most important issue facing labour and the left in South Africa. It centres on two main elements: the deep racial and national divisions in the country, and the national oppression of the African, Coloured and Indian majority. Both elements were deeply rooted in its colonial history, but also tightly entangled in its modern economy. The author argues that the local anarchists and syndicalists maintained a principled opposition to racial discrimination and oppression, and a principled commitment to the creation of a multiracial anti-capitalist, anti-statist movement. These two positions constituted the core of the libertarians' approach to the national question-a distinctive approach that differed in significant ways from Communist, national-democratic approach.

Keywords:anarchists; racial discrimination; revolutionary syndicalist; South Africa



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