"Now a federated, decentralized system of free associations, incorporating economic as well asother social institutions, would be what I refer to as anarcho-syndicalism; and it seems to me thatthis is the appropriate form of social organization for an advanced technological society in whichhuman beings do
have to be forced into the position of tools, of cogs in the machine. There isno longer any social necessity for human beings to be treated as mechanical elements in the productive process; that can be overcome and we must overcome it to be a society of freedomand free association, in which the creative urge that I consider intrinsic to human nature will infact be able to realize itself in whatever way it will." -
The belief that the state and private capital should be abolished in favor of a societydemocratically run by workers through horizontal rather than vertical power structures. Isopposed to social hierarchies of all kinds, envisioning a society free of coercion where values of community and equality will replace competition.
Anarcho-syndicalism stresses the importance of labor movements and their protections of workers rights. The state is seen as an institution that protects the private property of the wealthyrather than the rights and wellbeing of workers. Rather than a society run by the wealthy,anarcho-syndicalist envision a society run by democratic workers councils and labor unions. TheIndustrial Workers of the World (IWW) are an example of a revolutionary labor organization.
While socialism proposes that the state rather than private owners should control the means of production, anarcho-syndicalism proposes that both are institutions of oppression and serve theinterests of the powerful. Anarcho-syndicalism is also known as libertarian socialism andanarcho-communism. Some consider that actual socialism is synonymous with anarchism.
Anarchist prefer direct action to traditional channels of social change such as electing arepresentative. Rather than hoping an elected member of a political office will bring aboutneeded change, direction actions aim to directly engage a corrupt institution. Direction actioncan be non-violent; an examples includes sit-ins during the civil rights movement and workersstrikes.
Anarchists of all types see centralized authority as an enemy of human rights and autonomy.Power is seen as a corrupting force and authoritarian power structures are seen as the reason for most human suffering. It is believed that centralized authority is not necessary to keep order and