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Syndicalism is a type of economic system proposed as a replacement for capitalism and state socialism which uses federations of collectivised trade unions or industrial unions. It is a form of economic corporatism that advocates interest aggregation of multiple non-competitive categorised units to negotiate and manage an economy.[1]

For adherents, labor unions are the potential means of both overcoming economic aristocracy and running society fairly in the interest of the majority, through union democracy. Industry in a syndicalist system would be run through co-operative confederations and mutual aid. Local syndicates would communicate with other syndicates through the Bourse du Travail (labor exchange) which would manage and transfer commodities.

Syndicalism is also used to refer to the tactic of bringing about this social arrangement, typically expounded by anarcho-syndicalism and De Leonism, in which a general strike begins and workers seize their means of production and organise in a federation of trade unionism, such as the CNT[2] Throughout its history, the reformist section of syndicalism has been overshadowed by its revolutionary section, typified by the IWW or the Federación Anarquista Ibérica section of the CNT.[3]



Syndicalisme is a French word meaning "trade unionism". More moderate versions of syndicalism were overshadowed by revolutionary anarcho-syndicalism in the early 20th century, which advocated the abolition of the state in addition to capitalism, feeling that syndicalist economics would replace the need for one. Anarcho-syndicalism was most powerful in Spain in and around the time of the Spanish Civil War, but also appeared in other parts of the world, such as in the US-based Industrial Workers of the World or the Unione Sindacale Italiana - the Italian Syndicalist Union.

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