The following is a collection of reactions I received after spamming my last article around Facebook. I hit at least 50 groups and had over 100 notifications once I logged back on to Facebook. This article is a way for other people to gauge the internet consensus I received from posting my article to Facebook while asking the question,
“What do y’all think about Syndicalists?” The Reds were not as responsive as I was hoping they would be, and if they have banned me from their groups I still have others to join. I feel like this article is in some sort of way an act of Anarcho-Syndicalism, because in this scenario the examined population is diverse and most of their opinions are given representation. Whether or not they agree with each other, or the Syndicalist perspective, is up to your interpretation. I’m certainly not going to take a vote on it. If you see any Facebook groups here that you find interesting, I’m sure they would be happy to have you onboard. I hope you enjoy how meta this article is, focusing on Facebook posts that react to an article about Facebook posts on a thread addressing some of the people reacting. It is also worth noting that I’m not trying to pick on or name anyone here. I just wanted their thoughts, however insightful or intriguing, to be featured.

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To refresh Syndicalism can be defined as a movement for transferring the ownership and control of the means of production and distribution to workers’ unions. Influenced by Proudhon and by the French social philosopher Georges Sorel (1847–1922), syndicalism developed in French labor unions during the late 19th century and was at its most vigorous between 1900 and 1914, particularly in France, Italy, Spain, and the US.

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The Question:
What do y’all think about Syndicalists?

I found a good FAQ page right here.

Liberate RVA
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I like them! (While a person might identify as a “syndicalist”, the organization of worker syndicates is seen as a tactic/strategy, not an independent ideology {therefore no “syndicalism”}. Both anarchist-socialists and anarchist-communists might endorse/advocated/support the organization of worker syndicates, yet there are anarchist-socialists and anarchist-communists that do not think that syndicalism is the most effective strategy.)

“they distinguish themselves from anarcho-communists because they believe that vision would also lead to a hierarchical state”

I believe this to be a mistaken.

Tyler Lloyd The organization of worker syndicates within the tradition of anarchism is a tactic/strategy; it’s not seen as an independant ideology. So if you attempt to “figure out their ideology” you will not find a consistent ideology because it is centered on a tactic/strategy.

A relevant analogy is that there are some “anarcho-capitalists” that identify as “agorists” and there are some left-libertarians that also identify as “agorist” and there are probably some minarchists that may identify as “agorist”, because “agorist” is seen as a strategy/tactic rather than an independent ideology (unless one is referencing “agorism” specifically of Konkin).

So within the set of persons advocating the organization of worker syndicates, you are going to have mostly anarchist-socialists, with some anarchist-communists and even a few individualist-anarchists and Marxists thrown in there.

The idea of the organization of workers into syndicates is that it puts bargaining/negotiation power back into the hands of workers (even if the State does everything it can to crush and pacify worker organizations and make unions sycophants of government privilege). Syndicalists see consensus-decision making a primary method for working out agreements between equals without tyranny of the majority, as any one individual can cause a particular motion to be tabled for renegotiation.

A syndicalist is not likely to have much warmth for “AnCap swagger” as they see themselves as attempting to over-throw capitalism; capitalism and capitalists are seen as “the enemy” and if you self-identify as their enemy, then a lack of appreciation for your contribution will likely ensue.

Crossfire: Political Junkies
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They look like socialists with a different set of spots. They make the same mistake anarcho-socialists make, that somehow people are going to act against their own self-interest.

Libertarian Brutalism reboot

What concerns me the most are all these pseudo-intellectual political philosophies… most of them are just a re-hashing of somebody else’s political ideology with a different slant or twist to them… most all of it is bullshit that cannot work for any period of time without the “experiment” failing miserably and devolving into pure anarchy. I don’t give a shit what anyone says… all these Anarcho- (fill in the blank) political ideologies are utter crap shoots at best if they were to be tried in reality.. You can try to change the definition of Anarchy all you want… but Anarchy will ALWAYS be complete and utter chaos with no rule of law, no individual rights, and no property rights. It’s a bloody free for all, until some kind of government or order comes in to control the situation.

I just wish that all these “activists” would stop trying to reinvent the wheel, and START trying to fix the issues that got us so far away from our CONSTITUTION! Our republican form of government, while not perfect, has been the BEST attempt and the most successful attempt ever made in the history of man, at governing a people.

Revolutionary Communism
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Anarcho-syndicalism is generally a tactic, by which libertarian communism (anarchist communism) is achieved through radical industrial unionism; its philosophy and aims are relatively indistinguishable from AnComs, but its tactics are generally more limited to the use of revolutionary union activity.

Libertarian Party of Canada
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They’re an even more extreme subset of Communists… I remember walking away pretty flabbergasted after a conversation with one as he believed that for every dollar you earn, you are literally stealing it from somebody else.

(ie- wealth can’t be created from raw materials – we’re all just chomping away at the same economic pie, and it’s impossible for someone to become richer w/o someone else becoming poorer. Total BS.)

Freedomain Radio
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Person #1:
Capitalists don’t care if they run their communes by themselves. Most of them want to use violence on an-caps for owning buildings, machines, or land. Some of them don’t but aren’t very vocal.

Person #2:
I’m fine with them as long as they are not going to raise their hands in aggression against people engaged in voluntary relationships. If they start dissembling when faced with this direct question, they really aren’t worth my time.

Discussions On Economics
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Person #1:
Unions homogenize labor, creating adverse selection among the higher-skilled (higher MRP) members. The whole thing falls apart in a race to the bottom.

Person #2:
The AnComs would have a very similar society to the AnCaps. Without the state you would find that lots of capitalist ideas are just not possible. For example the corporation couldn’t be granted the privilege of limited liability.

Person #3:
Syndicalism, or the formation of labor syndicates/cartels/monopolies to raise prices above their market levels, is just as silly as a nationalistic policy to keep foreign goods out and raise domestic wages. It inherently causes shortages.

Libertarian Brutalism vs Thick Libertarianism Debate Forum

I think they don´t even adhere to the libertarianism because they are extremely collectivist, being that is not compatible: we are individualistic, we trust in private contracts etc, they can easily turn to a party or a “legal person”

MAKING FRIENDS THROUGH LIBERTY!!!!!
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Person #1:
I don’t believe that libertarianism and any form of communism are inherently compatible-non hierarchical communism is still communism. Syndicalists seek to limit private property and operate by consensus. Isn’t consensus just another tyranny of the masses like democracy? Limits to private property? No thanks.

Person #2:
Commie scum finding a new label to hide behind! They keep reinventing themselves, trolls, agent provocateurs, and collectivists are the lowest of the low. These An-Cyndies are the latest incarnation of anti humanists. Starve em off!

Union Members International Solidarity Forum for Democratic Expression
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Interesting concept but it seems as if they busy fighting themselves and trying to keep out the version of themselves on the right horning in on the name.

Austro-Libertarian Link Exchange

Person #1:
They have their own brand of institutionalized injustice based on subjective moral judgment. This makes them only differing in details from Progressives or religious conservatives.

Person #2:
So they are kind of like a socialist Taliban?

Person #1:
Not as tyrannical. They respect property rights to a certain point. The rich can be looted, which of course is not only unethical, but economically impoverishing for society at large.

Person #3:
Syndicalism is what Mussolini based his form of Fascism on. It was first attempted in Spain and France. It is where the economy is syndicated or ordered into sectors or professions and then controlled by a large domineering regulatory bureaucracy.

Democratic Socialists (Discussion Group)
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Person #1:
They’re economic Moderates, they’re super-Libertarian & anarchist, & their way of doing things just wouldn’t work?

Person #2:
Wankers, the lot of them.

Anarchists Only

Original Poster:
Wow I’m so flattered that someone took my post and talked about it on a website.

I’m like semi famous now.

But he should know I’m not a woman, and I’m not on the fence.

Me:
Awesome!!! Better Red than Dead, right?
(I wish he got back to me, but I did kind of make him look stupid. BTW, Kamy can go both ways.)

The Great Political Debate: Republicans, Democrats, Libertarians, Socialist
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Another, inherently totalitarian Socialist rhetoric.

Libertarian Furries
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Person #1:
They exist?

Me:
Anarchy has a lot of subsets.

Person #2:
Most of those subsets are actually more authoritarian than statism.

Technolibertarians
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Person #1:
Just as damaging as any heavily managed economy

Which is a better indicator of opinion, voting based on a preselected list, or given a choice to buy what you want and how much you want it?

Person #2:
“A group is comprised of Anarcho-Syndicalists that view revolutionary unionism and self-managed struggle as the means to achieving libertarian communism.”

Nope! Not interested.

Person #3:
I think if people want to form a Syndicalist organization on their territory then that’s their concern. It’s not for me, but the nice part of being libertarian is never assuming that what is best for me is best for everyone else too.

Person #4:
Syndicalism, in denying non-aggression principles, and regarding property as theft, is an inherently violent movement that violates NAP and is an aggressor by its ideology that cannot exist in its form in a true anarchist world.

Person #5:
I know a professional troll who was once an advocate of syndicalism. now he’s an advocate of Christian conservatism. You never know what he really believes though, being a professional troll.

Anarchists for Ron Paul 2012
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Person 1:
Doublepasta. Fuck syndicalists.

Person 2:
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Person 3:
Syndicalists don’t accept value subjectivism. They believe workers are good and employers are bad. Just like racists think blacks are good and whites are bad, or vice versa.

Communism 101 and the Stalin Question
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In my opinion syndicalism is a flawed ideology that has failed, it ruined the Paris Commune and the Spanish Republic forces in the civil war. Marx criticized the Paris commune for being Syndicalists.

Anarcho-Capitalist Think Tank
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Person #1:
No actual arguments on the page, just them saying that it’s bad without backing up their arguments.

Person #2:
I think I have the death knell to Syndicalism…In fact I know I do, barring genetically altering our species, or horrendous social conditioning circa North Korea on a global scale…This one article puts Syndicalism to bed. At least until we live in a post scarcity world, which isn’t ever going to happen, even if we mine space. http://www.fastcoexist.com/…/what-would-happen-if-the…

LP Radical Caucus
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Only comment:
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“Republicans, Libertarians, Democrats, Political Debate Arena.”
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Person #1:
It has its roots in fascism, so I’m skeptical.

“Production based on human needs”. I’ll put it this way. I do not want to eat millet for three meals a day and barely survive

Me:
Yeah, who should get to choose what you “need?”

Libertarian

Person #1:
Socialism with a different name, I see no difference except for what they call it.

Person #2:
* It’s not universal in that it does not allow individual ownership of a company, but does allow group ownership.

* It does not recognize consensual contracts. So every contract has to be reviewed. So if you, say, hire someone to build a fence around your house, the relationship you have with the employee has to be reviewed to make sure you’re not exploiting the employee.

* It seems to be contradictory since it does not recognize a government, but does see a need to ensure that contracts are reviewed, and private ownership be stopped.

Libertarians Opposing LINOs
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Any AnRed is a fucking moron.

They’re all idiot commies.

Libertarian Brutalism
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Everyone will be totally free to do what they wish so long as what they wish is what we think they should do.

I am reminded of…
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Christian Anarchists

What happens if an entrepreneur doesn’t want to be part of the individual syndicate? Wouldn’t they have to violate the entrepreneur’s property rights?

The School Sucks Project
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Person #1:
I think competitive free market unions would be a welcome addition to any economy. These people, by the way, are the ones at protests who will shout over people with different opinions to drown them out. This is “consensus”, which means anyone can speak if they agree and anyone who doesn’t is a bad person making consensus impossible… it hilariously childish. They’re socialists without showers, inactive activists, and political anarchist. Its an outgrowth of all the violence you see in communist countries, it is a way of saying, “we’re different,” without actually being different.
Fortunately, they’re marginal and incapable of achieving any change. Every once in awhile you’ll hear about some factory in Portugal or something that’s turned syndicalist… those poor people just work their asses off managing the business for little to no extra pay, and fundamentally nothing changes whatsoever as a result.

Person #2:
I typically don’t think of them. And considering the incoherentness of that article, I will continue to not think of them.

Anarcho-Capitalism
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Syndicalists are welcome to form co-ops’ or communes or whatever they want in an ancap world, as long as they don’t hit or steal. The problem is that syndicalists think that all personal property is necessarily hierarchical, so they don’t want to let ancaps do their thing. Essentially, syndicalists are closet fascists.

Voluntary Virtues Network Show Hosts
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Person #1:
They’re economically confused individuals.

Person #2:
Economically mislead but in certain cases i think their business model work better than the traditional pyramid structure

Person #3:
You know what is kinda awesome, but also totally gooberish about Anarcho-Syndicalists? The system which they support wouldn’t be all that different from entrepreneurial anarcho-capitalism, and the two ways of doing things could totally work and benefit one another, but AnSynd’s absolutely hate ancaps because of a dedication to semantic warfare. Ancaps can totally get on board with the kind of socialism they support, a voluntary libertarian kind, but they will never get on board with the kind of capitalism ancaps are suggesting.

It is like an anarcho version of copyrighted terms, followed by a pissing contest to see who owns “capitalism” and what it means.

Person #4:
I read about 1/3 of that and my IQ decreased by at least 10.

Committees of Correspondence for Democracy & Socialism
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Person #1:
I used to been one, until I learned that you couldn’t defend any gains it might win without an organized armed force with good political leadership–and the latter is the core of any definition of a state power.

Person #2:
^ Indeed. Also, it’s not clear how well its principles translate from their 19th century origins to today. Would definitely need some tuning (I’m sure someone is clever enough to make a decent attempt).

Person #3:
..but why would anyone bother to have a “perspective” on something that cannot exist?

Debate & Exchange
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I think the United States constitution, with very minor tweaks, is all that we need to live very happy lives. This is just another faction to throw people off. Sure, what they want sounds great, it sounds a whole lot like what most people want, to be free and treated fairly. To be properly compensated for their contributions. This can’t be accomplished without a government that truly serves its people.

The constitution just needs a few safeguards put in to ensure the power stays in the hands of the general public, and not in the hands of those who buy politicians.

Right off the top, make it completely illegal, and fiercely enforced, that any private contributions be made to any candidate for public office.

Setup a system where campaign financing comes without bias from a general taxpayer fund. It would be difficult to implement and make it work efficiently, but it could definitely happen.

There are so many simple fixes for the problems we face, but what makes sense for all, doesn’t serve the interest of the few who pull the strings. We’re living under a total oligarchy, with zero say in the policy making in this country. Our government does not serve us, our government feeds off of us, not like a child, but like a parasite.

ZERO STATE
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Admin:
Hey Tyler, thanks for the post – I’m going to offer a careful response, since there are people of various political persuasions in here who have been known to blow a gasket over discussions re: Socialism & Libertarianism. If anyone’s going to get all het up, I’d at least like it to be with a clear understanding of a couple of key things!

Firstly I’d like to distinguish very carefully between the official Zero State position, and my own personal opinion. Those are (1) and (2) below, respectively:

(1) The golden rule within ZS and the broader WAVE network of which it is part ( http://wavism.net) is that anything goes, as long as it is arguably compatible with the WAVE Principles. That means we deliberately allow for a diversity of views, within reasonable bounds. The emphasis is on balance and constructive effort to build bridges where possible.

That noted, our official viewpoint is Social Futurist ( http://socialfuturism.net) which automatically implies that Left Libertarianism is our kind of thing. That is to say the entire broad space of social-values policy that pointedly eschews too much centralized control and authoritarianism. That view has been deliberately crafted to be in line with our Principles, so anyone who has views compatible with our Principles but who strongly disagrees with the Social Futurist idea would have to have an interesting point of view, I think. I haven’t had a conversation like that with anyone, yet.

I have come to feel that so-called Anarcho-Capitalism is *not* compatible with our Principles, or certainly not in its untempered form, at least. AnCaps defend things that our Principles clearly state to be unacceptable, and oppose things that our Principles require. I personally believe that they are not truly Anarchists at all, because they advocate Capitalism above all else, and Capitalism may be a lot of things – both good and bad – but prone to fostering Anarchism is not one of them. Anyone here who felt that their AnCap views were in fact compatible with the WAVE Principles… well, let’s just say that I’d be very interested to have that conversation with such a person, but would start out inclined to argue that if their views *are* compatible, then they’re not really AnCap at all but rather some flavour of moderate economic Libertarian.

(2) Beyond that, the official stance doesn’t have much to say, but I do have strong personal views (which people are more than free to vocally disagree with and remain members, of course!). But here we also have to carefully distinguish between two slightly different things – my personal view of Syndicalism / Anarcho-Syndicalist ideas, and my personal view of people who tend to identify with such ideas. (A) and (B) respectively, below:

(A) I like Anarcho-Syndicalist ideas. In fact, I think that as Social Futurism develops it will probably incorporate quite a few of them. To my mind their great strength is that they offer a way to approach worker ownership of means of production (not to mention related questions such as how to support people in an increasingly automated world), while avoiding the perils of an ultra-centralised Stalinist or Maoist state.

(B) The thing is, my direct experience of hardcore Syndicalists is more or less non-existent, I think. But often I’ll notice that I can like a set of ideas but loathe the people usually attracted to them and the cultural baggage they add to the equation. And vice versa. So I’m *slightly* wary about endorsing the ideas without first being sure that Syndicalists aren’t a bunch of colossal dicks and that I wouldn’t be unintentionally endorsing an implicitly dickish subculture (to coin a technical term . I doubt it sincerely in this case to be honest, but I’ve got these things wrong before… so information / opinions / confessions of being-liking-hating Anarcho-Syndicalists more than welcome!

The Online Freedom Academy Discussions
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Person #1:
Looks like (very) thinly disguised collectivism to me.

So they want a stateless state? From some of the commentary it looks like whoever came up with this is collectivist to the core. He/she seems to believe that he/she knows what kind of life is best for the rest of us and has no qualms about imposing those opinions in some manner. Just one more wannabe ruler, for our own good, of course.

Person #2:
According to Wikipedia, Anarcho-Syndicalists want to abolish the wage system. Same goal as the Communists, and I’m certain just as illogical.

Libertarian Anti-Racist Alliance Discussion Group
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Well, if the Syndicalists have a particular perspective on how they as an ideology DEAL with racism, I really want to hear what they have to say. And I’m not as convinced the Brutalism/Humanist comparison is entirely a waste of time, but I agree it’s only to be brought up here in the context of our mission statement.

For example, from the get-go Libertarianism has rejected racism, at least within the Party platform. Major thinkers grouped in the libertarian family, including von Mises, Hayek, and Rand all rejected racism and had thorough reasons for doing so. So I’m not opposed to discussing how various libertarian/an-cap/syndicalist or even socialist groups confront racism as an ideology and a systemic problem. There’s a lot we can learn. After all, we are the *libertarian* anti racist alliance

Anarchism
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Person #1:
Hold leftist economic theory therefore not anarchist.

Person #2:
Isn’t that gaining power through unions line a bit dated in the 21st century?

Ok, so I have a problem. I don’t like calling people out, and I usually try to avoid doing it but this guy has called me out already. Jeff Peterson II commented on my last article, “Tyler, what is the anarcho-syndicalist solution to the economic calculation problem?” To which I responded, “You tell me.” I can tell by how specific his question is that he already knew an answer, but instead of providing a perspective on Syndicalism, like everyone else did, he decided to put me on the spot. The truth is I don’t know, and don’t really care. I spend more of my time reading for school work, than reading about the ends-and-outs of every political philosophy. I would be happy for anyone to answer this question, but I’m upset about how it was imposed on me. If you want to get a better idea of who Jeff Peterson II is, here is his interview on Anarchast. He seems sketchy to me, and my Dad taught me early on to not trust a man whose eyes I couldn’t see. I’d like to apologize if I reading this situation wrong, but Jeff also posted in the “Serious Stuff” chat, “Tyler, I asked a question regarding anarcho-syndicalism on your article.” To which I replied, “That’s really pretentious guy, answer it yourself.” The thing that’s bothering me the most about this guy is that I don’t know him, and he just comes at me imposing a question that I believe he already knows the answer to. What’s your game Mr. Peterson? It could be that he just wanted me to reply and hasn’t seen my comments yet, because this all happened yesterday. Even if that is the case, people can still appreciate my articles if they want to criticize me. Whenever I see an article with more comments than appreciates I feel bad for its author. I had sent Jeff a Friend Request through Liberty.me a few weeks ago, to which he never responded, so I’ve now retracted it.

My point was not to give an in-depth perspective of Syndicalism, but to gather a bunch of perspectives to present on it. I don’t want to in-fight more anarchists than I have to, and Jeff and I both probably agree on most of the aspects of Anarcho-Capitalism. However, here is a person I don’t agree with at all, and this is the voice I was trying to expose.
The AnComs are among the AnSyns, don’t kid yourself otherwise.

So that pretty much represents the barrage of comments I got by putting my article all over Facebook. If we did vote on the best comment I think that task would have been daunting and irrelevant. By the tone of all these comments I felt like AnCaps and Libertarians reject Syndicalism, but some will probably greet their ideas with the same healthy curiosity they would have toward Communism, Socialism, or Democracy. The order in which most of the posts are listed is random, so please don’t try to find any symbolic meaning behind how these comments are arranged. Putting this all together was actually a good amount of work, so I would appreciate it if you could tell me if this kind of thing is worth doing in the future. Also, I hope you have found some new perspective about Anarchism, or maybe a new Facebook group to join.

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