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(en) France, Alternative Libertaire AL #225 - Read: François Guinchard: The International Workers Association - The slow decline (fr) [machine translation]

Date Mon, 08 Apr 2013 14:20:50 +0300


In 1922, Berlin was founded International Association (TIA), second of the name, taking the official title of the First International, disappeared almost 50 years ago. If its nature anti-authoritarian and working was similar, however, the new organization was of a totally different character, since it was purely syndicalist. And after a few years, she would move to a new doctrine: anarcho-syndicalism. ---- In 1913, a first attempt to establish an international office revolutionary trade unions had proved unsuccessful. Then the Great War and the Russian Revolution had changed the situation. ---- In 1921, Moscow is trying to bring under its aegis, a Red Trade Union International (SRI). Confederations revolutionary as important as the ICU Italian, Spanish CNT or soon CGTU French, experience this attraction. Most, however, declined by becoming aware of a police nature of the Soviet government.

SRI held at arm's length from Moscow, will remain an international rump, powerless except in France.

It is on this basis to deny the Bolshevik dictatorship that most of the revolutionary syndicalist movement is its own international: AIT. The book looks at François Guinchard these first fifteen years (1922-1936), which are those of the splendor and the descent into hell. The AIT will indeed see its sections Italian, Portuguese, German, Argentine and Japanese destroyed by fascist regimes.

Guinchard examines a question about this misunderstood: the report of the AIT unity of action with the reformist trade unions and the Communist unions. It reveals a TIA early years pragmatic enough to reach out to other union forces without ever receiving a response ... despite the slogan of "united front" constantly brandished by the Stalinists. After 1933, Spain is the last bastion of the AIT. But the CNT, which was never very involved in international life - animated mainly by Germans, French and Dutch - is not interested in more of a TIA become stunted. We are on the eve of the Spanish Revolution. Following is another story.

Synthetic, François Guinchard book is almost too much to risk falling into the schematic approach. We would have liked some stories of great battles, or a collective portrait of men (rarely women) who have done this story. Trajectories Schapiro, Rocker, Besnard or Lansinck have much informed discussion of the time. But the main shortcoming of the book is also, as its title says " From syndicalism to anarcho-syndicalism "and in fact, the author makes no mention of this shift, how this new doctrine was born, and it was assumed or not in different sections of the AIT.

William Davranche (AL Montreuil)

François Guinchard, The International Association 1922-1936. Revolutionary syndicalism to anarcho-syndicalism , time lost Publishing, 2012. 19 euros
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