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A political doctrine advocating worker's ownership and control of the productive resources of a society. Syndicalism emerges in France in the late 19th century and was influential in much of Europe. Syndicalism ( ‘syndicat’ is a Latin-French term for ‘union’) was founded on the idea that organizations of workers within any particular industry or service provided the organizational basis for the direction and administration of the means of production on collective and co-operative principles. Syndicalists envisaged a revolutionary, but largely non-violent, overthrow of private property and the workers seizing ownership and control. The resulting power structure would be highly decentralized with each industry and service being owned and directed by the workers involved within it. Syndicalism envisaged social revolution being achieved by the complete unification of workers within each sector of the economy and thus they opposed the craft-specific structure of traditional labour unions and advocated industrial unionism that would bring all workers within each industry into a one collective organization . See: CRAFT UNIONS / ONE BIG UNION / .

Last updated 2002--0-9-

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Athabaca University ICAAP

© Robert Drislane, Ph.D. and Gary Parkinson, Ph.D.
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