Steven J. Hirsch and Lucien van der Walt, 2010, “Final Reflections: the vicissitudes of anarchist and syndicalist trajectories, 1940 to the present”,in Steven J. Hirsch and Lucien van der Walt (eds.), (foreword by Benedict Anderson), Anarchism and Syndicalism in the Colonial and Postcolonial World, 1870-1940: the praxis of national liberation, internationalism, and social revolution, Brill Academic Publishers, Leiden, Studies in Global Social History, pp. 395-412. Get the PDF here Concluding chapter to widely-praised edited volume, this tracks anarchism and syndicalism from the 1940s to the present, disputing the notion of eclipse (by drawing attention to a range of important post-1940 anarchist and syndicalist movements, influences and waves of growth), and disputes the notion that there is a “new” anarchism from the 1960s (since most of the “new” features are long extant). It also provides a partial explanation for the relative decline of the movement from the 1940s to the 1990s, and its current revival, stressing both objective factors (repression, the rise of statist forms of capitalism, state funding of Marxist movements etc.) as well as subjective factors (including costly organisational and strategic errors on the part of the anarchists and syndicalists — errors not by any means, it should be noted, inherent in anarchism and syndicalism). Concludes that labour, left and colonial history must give due weight to the contribution of anarchism and syndicalism, **The edited volume included specialist papers by Steven Hirsch, Lucien van der Walt, Luigi Biondi, Arif Dirlik, Anthony Gorman, Dongyoun Hwang, Geoffroy de Laforcade, Emmet O’Connor, Kirk Shaffer, Aleksandr Shubin, Edilene Toledo — and an introduction by the renowned Benedict Anderson. The focus was on movements in the period of classic imperialism, and countries covered included Argentina, Brazil, China, Cuba, Egypt, Korea, Mexico, Panama, Peru, Puerto Rico, South Africa, and the Ukraine. The original edition appeared in 2010, and a paperback, slightly revised and with a new preface, appeared in 2014. You can read more about the volume here and here.
Published by Lucien van der Walt
I teach at Rhodes University, the Eastern Cape. I’m South African, born and bred. I am currently also involved in union education and have a background in social movement and left-wing activism, the Workers’ Library and Museum, the Anti-Privatisation Forum, and the National Health and Allied Workers Union (NEHAWU). I’ve presented papers at more than 120 conferences and workshops, published in key journals like 'Capital and Class' and 'Labor History', have co-edited 3 journal specials (these on global labour history, African labour, and unions in the Global South), and written well over 130 other articles, papers and entries. I was Southern Africa editor for the 2009 'International Encyclopaedia of Revolution and Protest' (Blackwell). My focus has been on South Africa, but I have also done research in Zambia and Zimbabwe. I won the 2008 international 'Labor History' thesis prize, and the 2008/2009 Council for the Development of Social Science Research prize for best African dissertation, for my PhD thesis on South African anarchism, syndicalism and black militants. I have several books, including 'Negro e Vermelho: anarquismo, sindicalismo revolucionário e pessoas de cor na África Meridional nas décadas de 1880-1920,' 'Anarchism and Syndicalism in the Colonial and Postcolonial World, 1880-1940: the praxis of national liberation, internationalism, and social revolution' (co-edited with Steve Hirsch, Brill, 2010/ 2014) and 'Black Flame: the revolutionary class politics of anarchism and syndicalism' (co-written with Michael Schmidt, AK Press 2009). View all posts by Lucien van der Walt