Tom Brown's Syndicalism

Tom Brown's Syndicalism

Tom Brown's Synicalism

Published by Phoenix Press in 1990, 111 pages. Paperback (N3400)

Brand New Book

This book is a collection of several of Brown’s most important essays and pamphlets including ‘The British General Strike 1926’, ‘What’s wrong with the unions’ and ‘Principles of Syndicalism’.

Tom Brown, whose writings did much to revive interest in Syndicalism and Workers’ Control, was that rare phenomenon in the British libertarian movement, a theoretician whose ideas had been tested and developed by his own experience in the hard school of working-class struggle.

Born and raised within sight and sound of the Tyneside shipyards, Tom served his engineering apprenticeship there and was quickly drawn into militant industrial activity, and much of his working life was spent as an active shop steward and factory floor activist. Like many others he was fired with enthusiasm by the Russian Revolution, was an early member of the Communist Party and, for a time, became its industrial organizer for the North East. But the double dealing of the Communist Party and the growing repression in Bolshevik Russia quickly brought disillusion and he left the party, though never his natural role as a shop floor militant.

Moving south during the Depression, he worked in the motor industry of the West Midlands and, around this time, was attracted by Anarchist and Syndicalist ideas. The Spanish Revolution of 1936 (and subsequent Civil War), with its takeover of industry and agriculture by the Anarcho-Syndicalist unions of the CNT in anti–fascist territory, especially in Catalonia, reinforced and developed Tom’s own ideas and he became a member of the grouping around the paper, Spain and the World, which was dedicated to supporting the Spanish workers. He spoke at meetings supporting their struggle, several times sharing their platform with Emma Goldman. His Syndicalist writings appeared for the first time in Revolt, which followed Spain and the World after the fascist victory in 1939.

He helped launch Direct Action in 1945 and continued his close association with it for well over 20 years, returning to Tyneside in the late 1960s where he continued to be active on libertarian subjects

Condition New