Some people paint the revolutionary and anarcho-syndicalist
unions as solely focussed on wages and conditions; this is just not true.
The anarchist-communist, and later anarcho-syndicalist
, Union of Russian Workers were active in Canada, as was the Federated Anarchist Groups of Canada (and their paper The Awakener), but apart from the IWW, there was never a strong, permanent anarchist organization in Canada.
Although the speech was reported on in several newspapers and parts of it printed in the Anarcho-syndicalist
press, I have always considered it a great loss that this major political document did not survive in its entirety and that the speech could only be vaguely reconstructed on the basis of later and significantly altered versions.
Its most outspoken critics of Soviet Russia's path included leading Russian anarcho-syndicalists
like Maksimov, whose outlook and writings rested largely on the "scientific anarchism" of Bakunin, and Aleksandr Shapiro, who pointed out the connection between the syndicalist International and the anarchist wing of the first International led by Bakunin.
Foster, were both anarcho-syndicalists
before they became Communists.
A recent appeal of the International Workingmen's Association gives a heart-breaking picture of the condition of Anarchists and Anarcho-Syndicalists
in Stalin's stronghold.
Opposing the military rebellion were the forces of the left, including anti-clericals, Communists, Socialists, trade unionists of the UGT (Union General de Trabajadores), and anarcho-syndicalists
of the CNT (Confederacion Nacional de Trabajo).
It was fun to read all the old arguments between the traditional reformers and the revolutionaries, between the anarcho-syndicalists
and the Maoists, between the feminists and the macho types.
Not that the people involved were anything less than anarcho-syndicalists
and laissez-faire activists were fellow nontheists, but their politics differed sharply from the almost monolithic Progressivism of early- and mid-century humanists.
The same "workplace utopianism" that befuddles historians today misled the leaders of the Popular Front in Paris and the anarcho-syndicalists
in Barcelona and resulted, at least in part, in their downfall.
When the first edition of the new series of Now appeared in early 1943 it was published under the auspices of Freedom Press but as Woodcock later recounted 'the anarcho-syndicalists
connected with Freedom Press objected that avant-garde poetry and literary criticism had nothing to do with the workers' struggle' (11) These advocates of 'revolutionary purism' led by anarchists Albert Meltzer and Tom Brown instituted a compromise that continued until the journal's demise in 1947.