Anarchism and Syndicalism in the Colonial and Postcolonial World, 1870-1940

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Anarchism and Syndicalism in the Colonial and Postcolonial World, 1870-1940
Editors Steven Hirsch and Lucien van der Walt
Authors Steven Hirsch, Lucien van der Walt, Benedict Anderson, Luigi Biondi, Arif Dirlik, Anthony Gorman, Dongyoun Hwang, Geoffroy de Laforcade, Emmet O'Connor, Kirk Shaffer, Aleksandr Shubin, Edilene Toledo
Country international
Language English
Subject Anarcho communism/ Anarcho syndicalism/ Collectivist anarchism/ Social anarchism/ Libertarian socialism/ Platformism/ Syndicalism/ De Leonism/ Especifismo
Genre Politics, History
Publisher Brill Publishers
Publication date
2010, 2014
ISBN 978-9004188-49-5

Anarchism and Syndicalism in the Colonial and Postcolonial World, 1870-1940: The Praxis of National Liberation, Internationalism, and Social Revolution is a book edited by Steven Hirsch and Lucien van der Walt, with a foreword by Benedict Anderson. Contributors include Steven Hirsch, Lucien van der Walt, Benedict Anderson, Luigi Biondi, Arif Dirlik, Anthony Gorman, Dongyoun Hwang, Geoffroy de Laforcade, Emmet O'Connor, Kirk Shaffer, Aleksandr Shubin, Edilene Toledo. The original edition appeared in 2010, and a paperback, slightly revised and with a new preface, appeared in 2014.[1]

The book examines social anarchist, anarcho communist, anarcho syndicalist, and revolutionary syndicalist movements in Africa, Asia, East Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean, as well as Ireland, in the period of classic imperialism. Countries covered include Argentina, Brazil, China, Cuba, Egypt, Korea, Mexico, Panama, Peru, Puerto Rico, South Africa, and the Ukraine.

It argues that narratives of global anarchist and syndicalist history have effaced the contemporaneous existence of large and influential libertarian movements in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and Eastern Europe. It is therefore essential to recognize that major anarchist movements, like Spanish anarchism and syndicalism, were not isolated exceptions but part of a powerful global current that was often far larger than Marxism in its influence.[2]

(This argument is similar to that in co-author Lucien van der Walt's (and Michael Schmidt's) well-known book Black Flame: The Revolutionary Class Politics of Anarchism and Syndicalism (Counter-Power vol. 1)).

Anarchism and Syndicalism in the Colonial and Postcolonial World, 1870-1940 also highlights the transnational as well as the internationalist character of anarchist and syndicalist movements. Noting that these straddled imperialist and colonial/ semi-colonial countries, it insists that attempts to "speak of discrete 'Northern' and 'Southern' anarchist and syndicalist movements" is "misleading and inaccurate".[3]

Finally, the book stresses the role of anarchist and syndicalist movements in anti-colonial, anti-imperialist,and anti-racist struggles in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Europe and Latin America from the 1870s into the 1940s. This role, the editors argue, has been ignored by many sources to an extent quite "indefensible".[3] Anarchists and syndicalists sometimes worked with, but often challenged, nationalists, aiming to transform national liberation struggles into struggles for social revolution; they also promoted working class and peasant internationalism, uniting working and poor people across the boundaries of race and nationality.

The book has been well-received, described by reviewers as an "academic masterpiece",[4] "superb",[5] "an incredibly valuable addition to existing postcolonial theory",[6] and as offering "deep insights into society and history" as well as highlighting "relevant historical experiences that could benefit social movements worldwide" today.[7]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.brill.com/products/book/anarchism-and-syndicalism-colonial-and-postcolonial-world-1870-1940
  2. ^ http://www.brill.com/anarchism-and-syndicalism-colonial-and-postcolonial-world-1870-1940
  3. ^ a b Steven Hirsch and Lucien van der Walt, 2010, Anarchism and Syndicalism in the Colonial and Postcolonial World, 1870–1940: the praxis of national liberation, internationalism, and social revolution. Amsterdam: Brill Press, 2010, p. lv.
  4. ^ Constance Bantman, Anarchist Studies, Vol. 20 No. 1 (2012), pp. 106-108
  5. ^ * Wayne Price, "Anarchism in the Oppressed Nations"
  6. ^ Ole Birk Laursen, Journal of Postcolonial Writing, Vol. 48, No. 55, pp. 573-575
  7. ^ Mandisi Majavu, Journal of Asian and African Studies, Vol. 47, No. 122, 2012, pp. 122-124