SYNDICALISM - MOVEMENT AND DOCTRINE BEFORE WORD WAR I (Syndykalizm - ruch i doktryna przed I wojna swiatowa)
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The term syndicalism appeared at the end of the nineteenth century and was assimilated by the revolutionary fraction of the union movement in France. With time it also became popular in other countries, especially in Italy and Spain. The characteristic features of the syndicalistic doctrine in the discussed period are as follows: 1) anticapitalistic attitude combined with the belief that the unions will play the basic role not only in the rebuilding of the political system but also in the society of the future; 2) the thesis that the future of the world depends on the results of the class struggle conveyed on economic grounds; 3) activism, voluntarism, glorification of spontaneous activities; 4) rejection of the party model in political activities, criticism of the liberal-democratic system. Contrary to the widely spread - also nowadays - opinions, syndicalism has never been a homogeneous movement. Side by side with the dominating revolutionary stream, aiming at the liquidation of the state, with time the movement gave rise to a reformist current. The 'golden years' of syndicalism ended with the outbreak of World War I. The causes of such a state of affairs are complex and they should not be explained by the simple statement that the movement was losing its impact for the benefit of the growing influence of communism and fascism.
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