Principles of Revolutionary Unionism
Adopted December 1922 by the Berlin Congress of the International Workers’ Association (Extracts)
i. Revolutionary Syndicalism, basing itself on the class struggle, seeks to establish the unity and solidarity of all manual and intellectual workers into economic organizations fighting for the abolition of both the wage system and the State. Neither the State nor political parties can achieve the economic organization and emancipation of labor.
ii. Revolutionary Syndicalism maintains that economic and social monopolies must be replaced by free, self-managing federations of agricultural and industrial workers united in a system of councils.
iii. The twofold task of Revolutionary Syndicalism is to carry on the struggle for economic, social and intellectual improvement in the existing society, and to achieve independent self-managed production and distribution by taking possession of the earth and the means of production. Instead of the State and political parties, the economic organization of labor. Instead of government over people, the administration of things.
iv. Revolutionary Syndicalism is based on the principles of federalism, free agreement and grassroots organization from the base upwards into local, district, regional and international federations united by shared aspirations and common interests. Under federalism, each unit enjoys full autonomy and independence in its own sphere, while enjoying all the advantages of association.
v. Revolutionary Syndicalism rejects nationalism, the religion of the State and all arbitrary frontiers, recognizing only the self-rule of natural communities freely enjoying their own way of life, constantly enriched by the benefits of free association with other federated communities.
vi. Revolutionary Syndicalism, basing itself on economic direct action, supports all struggles not in contradiction with its principles – the abolition of economic monopoly and the domination of the State. The means of direct action are the strike, the boycott, the sit-in, and other forms of direct action developed by workers in the course of their struggles leading to labor’s most effective weapon, the General Strike, prelude to Social Revolution.