Updated Jan 2006












1. The actors: states, capital and peoples' movements
2. The stage: the world
3. Peoples' movements before the world market system
4. Local communities' defence against the world market system
5. Wage labourers' defence against capital owners
6. System peripheries' defence against the center
7. Agriculturalists' defence against the food markets
8. Marginalized peoples' aspiration for equality
9. The self-defence of civil society
10. The peoples' movement system
In Swedish

The Carriers of Democracy

The global peoples' movement system


Chapter 5: Wage labourers' defence against capital owners


The author will appreciate corrections of language as well as content.

by Jan Wiklund


Mass market and industry

The core and origin of the labour movement

The factory workers and the Internationals

Hegemony of the state and local bargaining power

Labour movements of the system periphery

Labour movements after the state hegemony


Labour movements are together with national liberation movements the classical peoples' movements of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Together, they invented or developed the repertoires that came to be seen as "traditional" during these centuries - the permanent mass organisation with employed functionaries (created by the Irish national movement), the strike, the demonstration and the mass meeting (developed by the English labour movement). The labour movement has moreover been able to create an overarching identity and a tradition, which has grown so strong that all labour movement mobilizations up to 1968 were seen both by themselves and others as parts of the same global mobilizing. This was probably an advantage, a source of common strength for those who have been able to conform to this identity, but it has also created unnecessary gaps to other peoples' movement mobilizations.

Both labour movements and national movements have, thanks to their conflict collectives' key positions in the world market system, and thanks to the effectivity of these social inventions, had strength enough during their mobilizing phases to change the power relationships in the world and contribute to the fact that the living standard of the direct producers at least didn't decrease. Which is unique during the world market system era. Both partly abdicated to the benefit of the state during the first half of the twentieth century, which in due time led to the undermining of their gains at a time when they seemed safe.

The labour movements were born as a mass phenomenon in the world market center, as an attempt to assert the human value of those who had no capital but had to live from selling working power. It was born in the context of the organisation of an industrial mass production of non-agricultural products, and those who started it were the artisans who ousted from the market by the industrial mass production and converted to day-labourers.

Mass market and industry

In the mid eighteenth century, the integration of the West European direct producers had made some progress. The wages had risen considerably above the seventeenth century level. Meanwhile, a sizeable middle class had formed around monopolies and national bureaucracies. The purchase power had increased in the system center, and preconditions for a mass market were under way [1].

The preconditions were commercialization or commodification of food. In the traditional peasant community, the peasant had grown their own food and the opportunities for hoarding wealth had been limited. But when the purchasing power of the urban population and the national bureaucracies grew in England, the Netherlands and northern France, commercial farms appeared with on the one hand commercial agriculturalists, on the other landless and movable workers who could be directed to where manpower was needed for the moment.

Conditions began to appear to exploit for those with a capital. And the capital was accessible in England, which was able to exploit its rule in India and North America and its control of the international trade routes. Thanks to the wealth of cheap capital it was possible to invest in more capital-intensive production plants than before - in factories with complex machinery, high production and low unit costs. Thanks to the high supply of propertyless people, there were also many who could tend the machinery for almost nothing.

A production of a new kind was possible: mass production for a mass market even for other businesses than agriculture. Since a long time, sugar and other cash crops had been raised in plantations with slave labour, and this kind of production was now used as a model.

First, mass production was introduced in the textiles business 1793-1815. Next in the steel- and railway businesses 1848-1873. Then in the electricity and chemistry businesses 1894-1913. And latest in the auto and electronics businesses 1945-1973. Each period of rapidly increasing mass production within a certain business sector animated an immense energy of change; forces of nature were harnessed to production which ran into the sky, power and capital were concentrated to fewer hands, armies of propertyless people were sent to the factories and optimism ruled within politics and culture. Each period was followed by a breakdown of inactivity and remorse when the capital concentrations were broken by new constellations. The years mark the recognized limits for the four Kondratiev A waves of the industrial society, see chapter 2.

In the new mass market production capital owners took a greater part in the organisation of production than they had done before. Earlier, the direct producers usually decided themselves how production should be carried out. They had autonomy. Capital owners bought and sold their products and were, through their monopoly of knowledge, able to lay their hands on the surplus.

But mass production was organised according to lines of command. What was bought was not longer the result of work, but work itself, or rather work during a certain time. During the time the capital owner bought labour, he considered himself as having the right to rule over the worker and his work. And the means of doing this as profitable as possible for the capital owner was to organise the labour process in detail and curtail the autonomy of the worker. The areas of responsibility for the direct producers were parcelled out and contracted, and their movements were directed in detail until, as in the lean production of today, every tenth of a second has been laid under control of a capital owner.

In the new mass market production, an unusual form of employment was applied. Earlier, very long contracts between workers and owners were usual, like leaseholds for life, working contracts for a year, or slavery. But in the world of mass production development was quick. The need for flexibility and market adjustment expelled legally fixed contracts from use and favoured free contracts, i.e. contracts until further notice for short time wages.

About 1815 a new concept was formed in England: Working classes. The direct producers who worked for wages had become so many that a new concept was needed to cover them. But observe the plural form! Culturally and socially, the workers were of many different kinds. There was a great difference between artisan journeymen, factory workers, or day-labourers in the England of the 1810s. And the differences didn't disappear. Here was a great difference between mechanics in England and Russia in 1900, between native-born American workers and immigrant Polish Jews in the same profession 1925, or between miners in Kiruna and miners in Witwatersrand in 1995.

The differences is a product of the fact that the system consists of links of purchase and sale to make it possible to transfer surplus from some links to others. The losing links can only pay low wages; the winning can carry higher but depend on the other hand of a higher labour discipline. The production of the losing links are for that reason manned with newly proletarized people from the countryside who have not yet learnt the secrets of unionism or even how to survive in the town or on the market; in the losing links the production is manned with semiproletarians.

Semiproletarians are people who work for wages but also support themselves more or less informally - with a peace of land, working parts of the year for wages and other parts in agriculture, for example. The point is that the semiproletarian, because of his extra contribution form other sources, can be made to work for lower wages and in this way make peripheral links under hard competition profitable [2].

The winning links employ unionized full proletarians.

As expected, it is not easy for wage earners to unite and act in a common peoples' movement for their material and immaterial interests. Labour movements are not homogeneous. Differences between workers are maintained by social schooling in different roles, with very strong cultural and conscious effects. Differentiation between functions in the system creates groups with different status, like a caste system, which obstructs the ability to build alliances between workers from different sites, see chapter 8. Also, difference follows from the fact that no worker is only a worker; s/he is also a neighbour, family member, consumer etc. During the whole history of labour movement different groups of workers have struggled against eachother; full proletarians against semiproletarians, men against women, qualified against unqualified, resident against migrant, center against periphery.

In spite of these differences, the similarities are so important that you can talk about labour movements when wage earners cooperate to improve their conditions against capital owners and world market system. For the participants in labour movements, it has always been important to stress the similarities, to create alliances and prevent different groups of workers to compete. It has also been important to militate against other identities and bring home that the worker identity is the important one. For the enemies of the labour movement it has been tactically sly to emphasize differences.

The core of the labour movements is the defence against enterprises who rule tyrannically over the work of the workers and take the proceeds from it. The foundation is everyday resistance, the many different methods of the direct producers to shun the control and disciplination of the rulers, take control themselves and satisfy their self-esteem as autonomous human beings. As such, labour movement consists of continuous small battles at every working site, often invisible for outsiders [3].

But as Edwards has emphasized, the defence at the worksites is not enough to create a collective worker identity; the categories that are involved in conflicts there are usually too small. Labour movements are to an equal extent constructed from the defence against the workers' subordinated and discriminated role in society in general. It is from there the workers learn that they have something in common to build an identity from. But it is from the conflicts at the worksite they learn that they have power to oppose.

Labour movements' opportunities to act are primarily defined by what some scholars have called the labour regime or the politics of production. The organisation of the work is what gives the workers the tools they need to obstruct the working process. But the organisation may look very different in different circumstances [4].

Michael Burawoy discerns at least seven kinds of labour regimes, i.e. seven different ways to organise the dominance of the enterprise and/or the state. The change between labour regimes is a consequence of conflicts between workers and enterprises, but the change affects the form the conflict will take in the future.

  • Market despotism implies that all relations in society and in the worksite is commodified. This is very rare, and it gives the workers small opportunities to act. Under market despotism it is likely that conflicts are very tough and that the aim is to replace the regime with one building on a contract of some kind. The example may be the USA today or a hundred years ago.

  • Paternalism is one kind of contract that implies that the enterprise guarantees a certain living standard but also demands the right to govern the lives of the workers. This obstructs collective action from the workers' side but gives also some space for bargains, probably about welfare matters. Paternalist regimes are often brittle, and when they crack there is often an intense movement mobilization. An example may be Swedish countryside factories a hundred years ago.

  • Patriarchal regime implies that the enterprise engages families (through the fathers) or builds up "families" of core workers with fixed contracts surrounded by helpers who tend these under insecure conditions. This gives the core workers good opportunities to struggle for their aims but miserable opportunities for the helpers. Examples may be the Soviet Union and Japan.

  • The company state is Burawoy's term for when the state takes the main responsibility for disciplining the workers at the worksite, for example through prohibiting trade unions. This is often effective as long as it lasts, but the risk, from the perspective of the state, is that successful unionist actions tend to topple the state. Examples may be Russia before 1917 and South Korea before 1988.

  • The bureaucratic despotism has similar results for the workers. This is the term for a kind of parallel to the market despotism where a national plan replaces the market. This regime existed in Eastern Europe and Russia during the more intense periods of global careerism.

  • The bureaucratic regime arises with the assembly line. The assembly line makes it extremely easy for the workers to obstruct the working process, since this had to be smooth. To protect itself to that, enterprises strive for entangling workers in detailed rules and agreements which are difficult to affect for the workers themselves. This is regime that dominates in Scandinavia up to the 1990s.

  • The hegemonic regime is a regime where the workers have kept a high degree of freedom to act in the worksite. The enterprise is then forced to rule by consent, to affect preconditions rather than rule in detail. This may be profitable because of a smoother conflict management and a better mobilization of the workers' competences, but it also costs a lot in the form of constant small conflicts and great material concessions to the workers. This regime was prevalent in England up to Thatcher's legislation.

Burawoy however doesn't rule out other forms of labour regimes.

The different regimes seem to be extreme points in a continuum in a scale of seven dimensions. A regime may be more or less bureaucratic, hegemonic, paternalist etc, but one regime always dominates a worksite, and probably also culture or a country. Differences between regimes may also obstruct the contemporaneousness of movement mobilizations and be another reason for division among the workers.

Changes between regimes reflects, according to Burawoy, changed preconditions like changed technology, changed markets, and changes in the conflict management between the enterprise and the workers about how to meet such changes. Conflicts about the assembly line carried through a transition from a paternalist regime to a bureaucratic one, and conflicts about welfare politics carried through a transition to a hegemonic regime.

Despite all divisive influences, the labour movement succeeded in developing during the period 1848-1968 such a strong identity that they overshadowed all other peoples' movements in the system center. The conditions they tried to affect was the dominating theme in the development of society, and other peoples' movement have had to relate to, or ally with, the labour movements or remain powerless. This chapter relates how the labour movements succeeded in reaching this position.

The core and origin of the labour movement

Labour movements in the form of journeymen's organisations existed from the middle age in Europe, and strikes are documented in the textile industries of Flanders and the mines of Germany at that time. But a labour movement with an aspiration for homogeneity and cooperation was formed in England in 1800-1830, as an aspiration from educated artisans to maintain their autonomy and the control of their trade skills, and to prevent that it was stolen by capital, divided and was built into the machines and the factory hierarchy [5].

The early labour movement built on traditions from artisan guild organisations. In this tradition, employed workers had had their own, semi-illegal but tolerated companionships, which organised journeys, labour exchanges and social insurances, and negotiated with the masters abour employment conditions with strikes as a weapon. The companionships cooperatied with the guilds about maintaing the traditions and status of the profession were as anxious as the masters to attack cheating outsiders, and look down upon unskilled day-labourers. They protected or their "honest" art together and developed a pride for it as the producer of the provisions that kept society alive.

This pride was now threatened by factory discipline and division of work. It was also threatened by a repressive legislation against the workers that set in in England about 1790 and aimed at repressing all sympathies for the French revolution and securing labour for the detested factories. Components of the legislation were forced labour for the poor, sales taxes for necessities, abolishment of labour security, and death penalties for political and trade unionist activities. This repression resulted out of necessity to reduced power of negotiation and increased poverty while the business boom created a wealth unseen upto then for the middle and upper classes. This political apartheid for workers, as E.P. Thompson has called it, resulted for that reason in impoverishment among the workers, but also in a new political-unionist mobilisation of the workers as a particular category.

The pattern for the movement was taken, except from the companionship tradition, from the Puritan tradition, and from the contemporaneous revolutionary Parisian artisan milieu.

Ever since the defeat of the popular side of the Puritan revolution, Baptist congregations had maintained cultural ambitions, collective self-assertion and democratic principles among artisans. In the mid-eighteenth century this rather defensive and secluded movement was challenged by the Methodist movement, allegedly born in a moralist and authoritarian middle-class milieus but turning to factory workers and day-labourers with a message of spiritual equality. It couldn't be avoided that the workers took the equality message literally, wrested large parts of the movement from the hands of the middle class pastors, and took techniques like the mass meeting, battle song and the meeting platform with them - from this time parts of the standard repertoire for peoples' movements.

From the French revolution's Parisian artisan movement, they took the demand for radical democracy. The artisans, threatened by degradation, asserted their human value demanding citizen's rights. After the American pattern, they formed corresponding societies which organised mass meetings to demand "rights of man", after the title of the bible of the movement, written by the ubiquitous Tom Paine, democracy and an end to corruption and anti-labour legislation.

This movement had its center among the artisans of London, and was soon repressed. But not until it had spread its radical culture to the rigorously prohibited trade unions that grew up regionally in deep secrecy. The first outbreak of militant unionism was in the Midlands in 1811 when knitters and weavers attacked capitalists who had employed unskilled people, often children, to do their work with the help of machines.

The demands were union rights, a minimum salary, and abolishment of child labour. The methods were a combination of legal petitions to the parliament and breaking of the machines.

Afterwards, self-appointed progressives have seen these machine-breakers or "Luddites" as the very height of conservatism and anti-enlightenment. In reality, the machine-breaking was unionist measures to strike at specific capitalists to drive home the unionist demands. For two years, the machinery of the most exploitative entrepreneurs was destroyed in a disciplined and well-organised manner over three counties. They were supported by the local communities and were very hard to repress, in spite of mobilized armies and agents provocateurs. Concerning the legislation demands, not an inch was achieved - even death penalty was introduced for machine-breaking. But the capitalists of the Midlands had to negotiate and accept minimum wages.

When the Napoleonic wars ended in 1814, the repressive policy was harder to defend. Unionist organising as well as democratic agitation began to utilize the more open political climate. Local trade uions organised under the cover of "friendly societies" for social insurance, and organised strikes primarily in the crafts. It is about this time strikes for higher wages (which is an old form of struggle) begins to replace bread seizure as the most important method to uphold the material living standard of the direct producers. For in the era of national mass markets it is easier to raise the wage than to reduce the food price [6].

Mass meetings for democratic reform were arranged over all England in a growing movement for five years. There was no national organising; instead it was constructed hazardously around the famous orators who performed at the mass meetings. Their popularity protected them against intervention from the authorities but their vanity created many conflicts and often prevented other initiatives than mass meetings. The organizing was predominately local.

In the struggle, a lush lower class general public was created, with education circles, book cafés, political theatre etc. Faced with the great tasks, the artisans felt a need for self-education. An alternative society of self-produced culture appeared. The leaders were often middle-class people, but the public was artisans, and locally, these dominated completely.

The well ordered and disciplined demonstration was developed by workers in Blackburn in 1819. Demonstrations had to be sure existed as a political means for two generations but often degenerated into street fights against authorities and upper class people. The new disciplined demonstration frightened the authorities more than violence, because it formed association with military power and demand for hegemony. But when the authorities some months later attacked a disciplined demonstration in Manchester and killed eleven people, the whole middle class went over to the opposition. The foundation of the regime floundered; only with the parliament reform in 1832 which let the middle class in, a new alliance of interests was created between upper and middle classes. The workers were left about where the whole thing started.

While the constitutional critique movement, focused on corruption, during the twenties was taken over by the middle class that begun to call itself liberal, the labour movement concentrated on cooperation in two forms, consumer and producer, between which at this time there was difference. The artisans' "friendly societies" ought to work as well as producers as consumers. The journeymen were still educated artisans, and the machinery at this time was not expensive. It was in this era of union organizing the lodestar was "the aim of the trade union is to abolish the wage slavery".

Cooperation, launched in 1819 by the dynamic entrepreneur Robert Owen, met an enthusiastic response among the workers. While the radical movement so far had concentrated in abolishing certain abuses, now there was for the first time a proactive, positive program. Instead of the capitalist market society, an alternative was set up, built on exchange of user value. The conception of the world market system as a system possible to change, as "capitalism" as it was later called, was created for the first time.

Instead of the traditional radical rationalism, brotherhood was set at the core. As much as the old ruling class, the bite was against the economist stinginess and narrow utilitarianism of the middle class. Against them, the labour movement maintained that the needs of the workers here and now was much more important than to organise the perfect system and a possible, future, abstractly constructed utility, as the liberal utilitarian ideologues aimed at. Against the utopian market, the labour movement posed the needs and the socially defined rights of the workers and the peoples' majority [7].

Against the middle class, the cooperation also raised class struggle as a concept for the first time. The workers saw how their earlier allies in the middle class didn't mind defending child labour and imprisoning the poor for economic reasons, and realized that workers could only trust themselves. It is during this period, the classic position of the labour movement was formulated by James Bronterre O'Brien, as a program for finally securing the priority of moral economy: political radicalism and cooperation, as leading to expropriation of the capitalists and a classless society.

As early as 1829 the first countrywide trade union was created, Operative Spinners of England, Ireland and Scotland, and it was soon spreading to others than spinners. The first wave of cooperation culminated in the creation of Grand National Consolidated Trades Union (GNCTU), uniting producers' and consumers' cooperatives, with employment exchanges. GNCTU only lasted half a year before it got bankrupt, according to Thompson because the participants had too much confidence in the power of good ideas in themselves. A tremendous enthusiasm for the cooperative ideas didn't lead to much practical organizing. The plans were to great, the means too small. Cooperation worked like salvation, appealing to religious habits and the belief in the automatic victory of reason.

So when the union and cooperative movement was built up anew after the fall of GNCTU, practical steps and small improvements dominated. The trade unions were organized as trades, cooperatives as shop associations. Changing society tended to be located outside union or cooperative movements, in a struggle to reform the state.

The parliamentary reform of 1832 created a unitary worker concept: the disenfranchised. At the same time it was evident that the new middle class regime was not any better for the workers than the old regime: unionists were persecuted, a national police was organised, the government refused to legislate on labour protection, terror laws were introduced in Ireland, and most important: forced labour was introduced for the poor. During an ideological holy war for diligence and strict economy, inspired by liberal utilitarians, workhouses were built all over the country, where the poor were locked up - men, women and children separately. Artisans could not longer keep aloof from day labourers - except in London where the artisan culture was big enough to permit such things until the end of the century.

The struggle against the workhouses demanded a political focus for the labour movement, that could unite all workers for a common aim.

Such a focus was suggested in 1838 by the London Working Men's Association, in the form of a petition for universal suffrage. Despite a certain doubt in a form some believed old-fashioned, this petition - the People's Charter - was adopted by an increasing number of labour organisations as a platform or summary of what the movement stood for. Chartism became the name for the political aims of the labour movement [8].

With Chartism as a platform, a connection was created between four repertoires that became classic during the nineteenth century.

  • Obstruction of the destructive functions of state and capital: Chrtists organised strikes and even tried to occupy towns. The first general strike began in the coal mines in July 1842 and extended over north and middle England during the summer. They were combined with demonstrations - the strike was spread with demonstrations from town to town - and mass meetings, and the demands were both unionist and political, for example demands to free political prisoners. In other actions, workhouses or homes of particularly tyrannical capitalists were pulled down.

  • Alternatives to the repressive organisations of state and capital: Chartists organised everyday life in the industrial towns. They organised insurance offices, schools and agricultural cooperatives, and the still existing form of consumer cooperative was organised by Chartist weavers in Rochdale in 1844.

  • A general public connected the movement with everyday life. The organisations of Chartism worked locally. Its power was concentrated in the small industrial towns and boroughs in north and middle England. They were dominated by Chartists at every level; they consisted in Chartist shops, Chartist taverns, Chartist churches. They organised Chartist festivals and Chartist mass meetings. The local leaders were often women. At the national level, the Chartist press was the organiser, particularly Feargus O'Connor's paper Northern Star was the common publisher where all expressions of the movement got the same generous treatment. For want of admission to the usual parliament, peoples' parliaments were organised twice, to which delegates were elected with universal suffrage to discuss and decide about the strategy of the movement.

  • Infiltration in the repressive apparatus of the state was the direct aim of the charter; in this respect the movement failed almost completely concerning the state. The two petition campaign run in 1839-42 and 1847-48 got three million signatures each but were rejected without trouble from the parliament. On the other hand, the Chartists were successful for a long time at the local level where they could use the universal suffrage and vote in parish meetings which had some power over local police and poor relief.

The local organisation was the strength of Chartism. As a unified campaign, the charter could not meet the demands with its focus on parliamentarism. And it could not create a efficient campaign leadership. The peoples' parliaments in 1839 and 1848 could not lead the movement; they didn't consist of the leading activists but of middle class people who could afford to take part in month-long sessions, and they had not much to say about strategy. An attempt to create a formal membership association in 1840, the National Charter Association, was not successful, and when the strike broke out in 1842 it happened besides of, and despite this organisation. From beginning to end, the Northern Star was the center of the movement, and the newspaper was Feargus O'Connor's private enterprise.

The general strike turned out to be the climax of the movement. After this, the universal suffrage appeared increasingly irrelevant as a focus, while the unions and the cooperative movement showed small successes all the time. When the last peoples' parliament called for a mass demonstration for the People's Charter in 1848 and called it off after an official ban, the charter had been an empty shell for years.

For now, the middle class gave up its unflinching resistance to integrative reforms. The union and cooperative strategy showed themselves effective. But the solidarity and radicalism of the movement faded when conservatives and liberals vied with eachother in offering the ten hour's day and some extensions of suffrage when the business boomed after 1848. For the capitalists learned to buy over the skilled workers with better conditions while the unskilled were left out for the time being; this was reflected with the fact that the skilled workers were content in organising themselves while the unskilled were left out by them also. This treachery, this genuflection to a new patriarchal labour regime, shattered the Chartist egalitarian culture and contributed strongly to the lack of ambition for hegemony which has characterized British labour movements for a hundred and fifty hears.

The partial concessions were supplemented by increased control from the authorities. Local police and social authorities, which were subjects to worker control, were undermined to the advantage of state officials [9].

In countries where industrialization went slower than in England, traditional journeymen's organisations were more important than in England. Such a country was France.

Also in France, artisan workers lost status and economic level with the spreading of labour division. Also there, the workers' security was threatened by the repression of their old organisations. In the case of France, the authorities could even refer to the revolutionary tradition when they did this [10].

So the French journeymen's organisations had obvious difficulty in using the language. The printer workers took initiative to the revolution of 1830 and the journeymen's organisations took an active part in carrying it through with liberal slogans of liberty and equality. But when they asked the new regime about protection for their trades, they were brusquely turned away with the same slogans. For now, the peoples' and particularly the market's freedom from organisation was the order of the day. Therefore, they decided, tired of having to hide behind friendly societies, to take a fight about the liberal ideology and turn it from the grip of the bourgeoisie. The method was the same as the Paris artisans had used during the revolution of 1789-95: they equalled "The people" with "The working people": freedom for the people must be carried through with cooperation of the workers, and a revolution where the people take power over the state and forces equality upon the upper classes. Like in 1789-95, the borders between the trades were opened, and an integrated labour movement begun to grow also in France. A driving force was the printer workers' magazine L'Artisan, where also concepts like "The capital's exploitation of the workers" were seen for the first time.

In this strategy, the journeymen's traditional bargaining about tariffs played a new role. When a bargaining offer from the silk weavers of Lyon, supported by the mayor, was turned down by the factory owners (who also fired the mayor), the weavers called for a demonstration which chased away the military. For three days in November 1831, the silk weavers ruled Lyon, organising collective workshops and planned worker-ruled trading companies, until the state had overcome the shock and sent an army of 20.000 men to take the town back. Three years later, this incredibly well-organised workers repeated the achievement. This is an extreme case. But also during other strikes, carpenters, tailors and glovemakers organised cooperative workshops - "national workshops" - and the shoemakers organised an association for cooperative credits.

Cooperation was the main strategy of the French labour movement. Through self-organising of the production, the workers would avoid capitalist repression. Contrary to the case in England, this strategy was supported by a great part of the middle class. France had no labour chartism; in France, a narrow finance aristocraty ruled, excluding even the middle class. So workers and middle class asssembled in the republican movement where cooperation was a mainstay.

The organised labour movement also played a key role in next revolution in 1848; it organised the demonstration that frightened the government to flee. The new government acknowledged immediately the trade unions as a negotiation partner and agreed to the most important of the workers' demand: work for the unemployed. A particular commission, the Luxembourg commission, with unionist leaders and state officials as participants, would organise national workshops. People talked about "the social republic, i.e. a republic with a social responsibility, as a new formulation of moral economy. On the other side of the Rhine, artisans talked about "Sozialdemokratie".

The concept "social" had originally nothing to do with organised labour. It had been launched by the French charity bourgeoisie in the 1830s, roughly with the meaning "feel pity for the poor" or as a technical opposite to anti-social. Behind this was partly remorse, partly fear of the moral degradation of the poor. The latter was the motive for Louis Blanc, the central figure of French socialism, government member in 1848 and leader of the Luxembourg commission.

The charity bourgeoisie would continue to play a fateful role in the history of the labour movement.

While the Luxembourg commission went on discussing, the trade unions grew during the year of the revolution, and forced through advantageous tariffs. A lot of insurance and other cooperatives were founded. In the center were the trade unions, according to the French artisans "moral associations and political actors". Each trade union was like a republic of its own; it was at this time the term "functionary" begun to be used for popular movement officers; originally it had denoted a state official.

In the elections to the national assembly it showed that the trade isolationism was far from overcome; each trade union supported its own candidate and few of them were elected. The new assembly immediately abolished the Luxembourg commission and rejected the notion of a "right to work". The protest demonstrations of the workers in June 22-26 were repressed by the army leaving 1500 dead as a result. The trade unions were repressed too.

After this sanguinary defeat, the labour movement concentrated again on cooperation; among other things a cooperative bank was started, and the Feminist Jeanne Deroin organised a national cooperative federation. Conflicts with the established society were shunned. Up to 1917, the vision lived on in the French labour movement of a society as a federation of democratic cooperative trade unions which took no other confrontation with the ruling class than the final one, the revolution. The climax of this tradition was the Paris commune in 1871, a defence organisation of the Parisian artisans when the state was enfeebled by the war against Germany, see chapter 9. The Paris commune was a cooperative organising of deserted workshops and of the whole city, an organising that followed the norms of civil society about trust and egalitarian rewards. The experiment was repressed by French and German armies in an even more sanguinary way than 1848.

The revolution of 1848 was the breakthrough of the labour movement in the international public. For the first time, the organisations of the workers appear as a main actor in a grand historical process. The breakthrough occurred in the artisan milieus of Paris, and not in the English industrial districts. For in France, the adversaries of the workers were so much more divided that the labour movement looked stronger than anywhere. The first consequences of the breakthrough were disadvantageous for the labour movement; politics was polarized so that all other forces were posed against it. This was not least a consequence of the inability of the labour movement to make alliances in the countryside. Despite the fact that 60 percent were farmers in France, the labour movement conceived the farmers as an odd minority they didn't have to consider. But in the long run, the strength of the labour movement forced the established power to respect it. The labour movement's demand for citizen's rights and social security would during a hundred and twenty years be met by the established power with extended suffrage and welfare reforms.

The revolution of 1848 was also formative for the labour movements' practice during the twentieth century. From the defeat, both the labour movements and the national movements (which were the main actors east of the Rhine) learnt that revolution is not easy. The old organisational form, the local community, had shown itself insufficient, dissolved by the penetrating world market system. But both movements succeeded in turning this weakness to a strength. The conclusion of both was that long preparations were needed, as was mass organizing. For now, the permanent mass organisation began to be the set feature of the labour movement.

The permanent organisation would be an effective social invention. Only through the permanent organisation, the popular movements would gain an overview over the struggle terrain of the world market system, an ability of mutual aid, and not least an effective collective identity which not only created an authority that could be set up against paternalist labour regimes but also maintain mobilizations over the time and facilitate mobilizations at new sites. Probably, the permanent organisations were the reason why the direct producers were able to turn the average living standard upwards in the late nineteenth century and lay the foundations to a hundred years of success.

The factory workers and the Internationals

During the later nineteenth century, the industrial units grew. A growing number of workers were concentrated in bigger and bigger, more and more capital intensive factories. This raised demands for new strategies. The strategy the labour movement decided on was the government power strategy.

In 1862 there was to be a World Exhibition in London. The industrial society would manifest itself and each country was invited to make a show in the public. The emperor Napoleon III wanted, with a side-glance at the domestic opinion, to show his government as pioneers of social policy and invited representatives of the workers to the official French delegation. They used the free ticket well; they immediately contacted with the trade union federation of London to discuss international worker solidarity. The English thought this was a good idea, they had problems with imported strikebreakers. International cooperation was also natural for artisans of which many had years of learning journeys behind them. A conference was called two years later and workers and radicals were invited from all countries.

In September 28, 1864, English and French worker leaders met in London together with emigrant workers and revolutionaries from Germany, Italy, Poland and Hungary. The meeting decided to form an international organisation, The International Working Men's Association, and elected a board of English trade unionists [11].

Concerning the program, there was immediately a controversy.

The English participants, who worked in big industry, thought trade unions were the most important method. Which the French workers didn't see the point in; to struggle for one penny more an hour wouldn't change society.

The French workers, mostly artisans in small workshops, believed more in cooperation. Which the English workers saw as meaningless; if there was no confrontation with the adversary you couldn't get the better of him.

The emigrant German journalist Karl Marx was the one who solved the controversy, representing eloquently the English experiences of the twenties: the aim of the trade unions is to abolish the wage slavery. In this way even the French would recognize the key role of the trade unions.

The aim of the International was to create sections in all countries.

The International was not the only international cooperation of worker leaders and radicals. But it is the only legendary one. This is closely linked to the practical role of the International.

From the beginning, the English trade unionists saw the clearest practical usefulness of an international organisation: to counter international enlistment of strikebreakers and to support workers' struggle internationally in other ways. The first success was when the activists of the International prevented import of strikebreakers to the English tailors' strike in 1866. This convinced all unionists of the practical usefulness of an international organising. The great breakthrough was in February 1867, when the International in an equal way served the foundry workers of Paris. Thanks to the blockade of strikebreaker enlistment and international economic support this strike was a complete success. This denotes not only the breakthrough of the International, but for the unionist idea in all Europe.

Then followed a three years wave of union organising and energetic striking. Ironworkers of Belgium, miners of Germany and construction workers of Switzerland stroke, often without strike funds or other preparations. They trusted the International. Which could of course not live up to the expectations but turned into a meeting point of frantic tactical conflicts which led to collapse in 1871. This however didn't prevent that labour movements in all Europe had achieved a common identity and ability for planned contemporaneousness which was to be of utmost usefulness in the future.

The most important conflict was whether the labour movement should organise all that shared the aims of the movement or only those who actively supported them. Whether one should build permanent mass organisations or organisations of militants.

Those who took the first view, and later would be called social democrats, thought that this was the best way of mobilising people, and moreover was the best way of pressing the demands.

Their adversaries, who would later be called anarchists, maintained that mass organising would inevitably create bureaucratization, and lead to the takeover of employed functionaries who would choke the organisations.

Both turned out to be right.

The spokesmen of mass organisation also supported the political party as an organisation form and participation in elections as the most important strategic complement to union organisation, instead of cooperation. The reason of this was primarily the growth of big industries [12].

For it appeared impossible to organise big industry as cooperatives without first making a revolution and use the power of the state to support it. "Without revolution, all cooperative associations build on all trade union together will be unable of the capital accumulation needed in big industry", wrote Marx in the French labour paper L'Égalité in February 1878.

Moreover, the skilled artisans, with their autonomy and craft pride, increasingly became a minority within the working class. To the big industry were recruited primarily unskilled workers with no feelings for their trade, and with no competence of organising a complicated industry. To them, cooperatives appeared irrelevant compared to unionist actions for better wages, shorter hours and labour protection, combined with legal guarantees.

But other arguments also supported the social democrat strategy.
Firstly, the proportion of workers within the population grew to make a majority in the elections seem probable - particularly as universal suffrage for men had been accepted in the three greatest industrial countries England, France and Germany.

Secondly, there was a temptation in the notion that the movement would let paid government bureaucrats doing the job for them and confine themselves to giving orders.

Thirdly, there was an increasing tendency that the ruling classes used the state more actively. The free trade liberalism that was the ruling principle of the British power system created increasing conflicts between the system on one hand, and workers and farmers on the other. So it fell increasingly in disrepute. It appeared reasonable to the labour movement to get control over this increasing government activity, if for no other reason to prevent other social forces to use the state as a control against the labour movement [13].

Fourthly, the national revolutionary tradition from the French revolution haunted in the background. To compete about parliamentary power and struggle about government power seemed the most obvious way of struggling about the hegemony in society.

The party strategy was controversial in the beginning, to say the least. In England, France, the Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland, Italy and Spain it was rejected during the 1870s and 1880s by a great majority in the organised labour movement. The artisans still dominated, with their quest for autonomy, and they were not prepared to let themselves be disciplined by parliamentarians.

Instead, the party strategy found a good soil in the new industrial countries, in the capital scarce countries in the European semiperiphery, particularly in Germany.

In England, but also in France, the unionist strategy was relatively successful. The capital owners could afford yielding to the unionist actions of the workers, and raise the employment conditions. They couldn't do that in the semiperiphery. There, they ruled as ruthlessly over their enterprises as their English counterparts had done fifty years earlier, and dismissed all who tried to engage in union organising.

The state also contributed to the authoritarian labour regime in these countries. To the labour movement, the government repression appeared as equally important to oppose as the repression exercised at the worksite, so activities against the government got a more important place in their strategy. In these countries, industry and urbanisation was also a late phenomenon; the kind of citizens' rights movements that had softened up the British and French states were weak and the artisan tradition that would have supported their autonomy was so too.

The party strategy had a spectacular success in Germany. There, the government pursued an authoritarian policy during industrialisation, a conscious effort at "planned economy" to lead the country into the core of the world market system. There was a company state, according to Burawoy's terminology. This found expression in among other things a direct ban on all labour movement activity except parliamentary parties between 1878 and 1890; the party activities for that reason appeared very attractive compared to strikes, demonstrations, mass meetings and boycotts.

Under such circumstances, the German Social Democratic Party, SPD, in a way that arouse admiration in the west European labour movement. As early as 1890, SPD was the biggest party in the German parliament. The party built a gigantic machine that took care of the daily needs of the workers from cradle to grave - which seemed natural in the class-ridden Germany, and seemed even more natural for the many country people who moved into the working-class quarters with no other contacts than what the party could offer. In 1914, SPD had a million members and enough resources to feed four thousand full time officials, trade union officials not counted. It was considered natural that work for the movement should be generously paid. Very soon, the functionaries of the party formed themselves into a particular group, interested primarily in the growth of the organisation, both size and power considered, even if that should be at the expense of the labour movement as a whole [14].

So SPD was early something of a pattern for the parties in the Socialist Worker's International, founded in 1889 to cover some of the needs the breakdown of the First International had left homeless. New parties were organised, with SPD as a lodestar, in Italy, Scandinavia and other new industrial countries in Europe, parties that like the German one saw it as one of their main tasks to organise all workers. In small countries like Holland and Belgium, the labour movement was adjusted to the German pattern. German socialists appeared as the primary spokesmen and representatives of the international labour movement. The old artisan movements in England and France appeared increasingly provincial, small-minded and old-fashioned, unwilling as they were to struggle for hegemony, with parliamentarian overtones, or try to organised the unskilled workers [15].

But despite the new strategy, which supposedly was to the advantage of the unskilled workers, it took a long time until these were drawn into the movement. In most countries, also in Germany, the labour movement remained an artisan movement until the 1930s. This was partly because the unskilled had so many more obstacles than the artisans to be active - they run a greater risk of being fired since they were so much easier to replace, they had less money to put into strike funds, the big industries were able in a more planned way to pursue an anti-union policy through yellow unions, police cooperation etc - but partly it was due to a disinclination on the part of the artisans. The unskilled were not let into the strictly professional trade unions, unionist activities of the unskilled were sometimes thwarted because they didn't follow the patterns of accepted unionist work.

The difference between artisans and unskilled wasn't a disagreement on political or strategic principles. The artisan dominated French CGT belonged to the most radical in Europe between 1900 and 1909 with its general strikes for the eight hours day, while the equally artisan dominated German ADBG was reluctant to struggle at all before 1912. On the other hand there were unskilled workers among the politically most passive as well as among the dockers who took the initiative to organise the non-unionized workers in England 1889, Germany 1896 and France 1902.

During a few decades of labour movement, the artisans had simply captured a place in society, if modest, and they were not prepared to risk it for the mistakes, unsophisticated tactics and inability of the unskilled beginners to pay to the strike funds. For that reason, the mass organising was a slow matter. About 1900, about 5% in France, 10% in Germany, and 20% in England were organized. In 1914, after ten years of intense struggle, the figures had risen to about the double. Still fewer were organised into parties [16].

Participation in the labour movement was not confined to membership in unions however. It also included participation in actions, primarily strikes. The typical organisation of the labour movement in the late nineteenth century was done this way: Workers in an enterprise stroke as a protest against cuts in the wages, against the firing of a mate, or against a particularly brutal foreman. To get some organisational support and experience they turned to the nearest trade union. As a service in return they offered membership, but they would often renounce it after a while. The unions also tried to make workers interested in proactive aims like wage rises or shorter hours, but it took many years until the workers had made these aims their own.

The bigger action, the bigger contribution to the general organising of the labour movement. Each country can point at some action with symbolic significance; in the tradition of the movement it was then the organising got properly going.

These actions is the core of labour movement until this day; the typical external action its peoples' movement cycle leads up to is the strike. The strike is what establishes or rather demonstrates the workers as a power. The immediate aim of the separate strike is often trivial, seen from the outside, and is seemingly repeated decade after decade. But this doesn't matter. For the labour movement, as for any peoples' movement, it is the whole cycle that counts, and the aim of this is not trivial. And the cycle doesn't repeat itself. For while a strike supplies the necessary energy to make the cycle moving, it is the articulation and the organising that is the material the cycle is built from. And they change all the time.

If the social democrat labour movement with its center in Germany saw the organisation as the core of the movement, there were others who focused on activity. They put minimal weight on membership and tried to keep the number and power of employed officials as low as possible, through sharing out duties to local associations and local activists. They also tried to keep activities, in the form of strikes, demonstrations and mass meetings at a high level. They had no respect for parliamentary activities, since it gave the key role to the functionaries. These socalled anarco-syndicalists had, which perhaps is evident from the membership statistics above, its center in France. Both the French central organisation CGT and the Spanish CNT built on a minimum of paid staff, considered the activities of the members to be indispensable for the liberation of the working class, didn't care about strike funds and insurances, and saw the general strike as the decisive tactical goal for the activities. The organising built primarily on the local community, the informal social intercourse on the street, and in the case of France, the movement's own labour exchange, Fernand Pelloutier's genial creation. From the turn of the century, when the workshops had grown big enough to create forceful worker collectives, they too became an organising feature [17].

The tradition still lives on. The French labour movement has today a formal level of organisation below ten percent, but they are able to get millions of people in the streets when it is necessary. The force is still the informal organisation in the local community.

The labour movement in the system center grew stronger all the time and reached a climax of mobilization just after the turn of the century, about 1905-1907. It was extremely successful and turned the living standards sharply upward for the direct producers of the center after 1875. But yet, both the anarco-syndicalist and the social democrat strategies run into troubles that begun to show themselves in connection with the upturn.

The anarco-syndicalist strategy contained three troubles.

The first was that it presumed a high degree of militancy all the time, and for that reason put very high burdens on both activists and sympathisers. The French CGT discovered during the upturn 1905-07 that only a few self-sacrificing, rapidly worn out activists held on. The American anarco-syndicalist movement organised in Industrial Workers of the World, IWW, discovered the same thing ten years later. The mainly Catalan CNT was more skilful to regenerate every fifteen years [18].

The second trouble was that the repudiation of parliamentary politics didn't prevent politicians from appearing as if they represented the labour movement all the same. A shadow movement of "prominent persons", which the movement couldn't direct, took the task upon themselves to define the needs of the labour movement on the political scene. The anarco-syndicalist strategy never found any remedy against this.

The third trouble turned on the difficulty to accumulate successes. The more informal the organisation, the more impossible it appears to patent a victory and use it as a starting-point for a new thrust. Particularly the IWW would experience that scores of bright victories would fade to ashes in their track because the organisation had no resources to administer them with.

The social democrat strategy contained two troubles.

The first was that when "take over the government" was the core of the strategy, this hypothetic event got an unreasonably decisive significance also at the short and middle-long run. The emphasis of the activity was even more shifted to party leaderships and political planners, to the expense of ordinary lay members in workshops and worker communities. Conflicts between the political planners about long-run strategic matters got an extremely overdramatized significance in the movement, which created new divisions and unbridgeable chasms between different factions.

The second trouble was, as the anarchists had anticipated, that the layer of functionaries over time developed their own interests contrary to the interests of the members and the movement. This conflict would be exposed dramatically when the first world war broke out.

During the week when Europe slided into war, the leaders of the labour movements in the different countries met i Brussels to agree about a strategy against the war. In the Second International there was an agreement that under no circumstances support a war, but instead strike to support the lives of the members. But when the demand to oppose the war was actualized, Victor Adler, the Austrian chairman, announced that he wouldn't do this. The government would in such a case illegalize his organisation and make their functionaries unemployed, he said - an argument the other delegates would appreciate during the following weeks. In the German party, all the four thousand functionaries except twenty would support the war, in spite of demonstrations of millions against it in the streets. Only the Russian social democratic party, which was already illegal, would retain its opposition to the war.

In 1919, at the end of the war, there was an even more dramatic outburst of the conflict.

When the German social democratic party swept to power by a wave of war resistance, the workers took initiatives to socalled worker' councils to protect their government against sabotage from the army and the bureaucracy. This autonomous decision frightened the social democratic government so much that it turned to freelancing soldiers, extreme rightist socalled free corps, to shoot down the workers [19].

A year later, the core of these free corps founded the Nazi party. And fourteen years later, nobody moved a finger to save the parliamentary republic the bloodbath was intended to guarantee. Both democracy and labour movement were unable to appeal to the spontaneous expressions of life that is the core of peoples' movements. They were unable to appeal morally on behalf of the direct producers. Nobody wanted to defend them. They were dead.

Hegemony of the state and local bargaining power

The government power strategy the strategists of the nineteenth century had decided on was realized to a high extent during the twentieth century. In many system center countries, worker-supported governments would establish themselves, primarily after 1945, and the system would for a time make substantial concessions. But the successes of the movements had mainly other causes - growing systemic chaos, and that the production technology grew increasingly sensitive to strike actions of the workers.

The first world war was a watershed in the history of labour movements. The war was an obvious manifestation that the world and the world market system couldn't be ruled in the old way and that it needed substantial reforms to survive.

One effect of the war was that the laymen of the movement lost their century-long struggle for autonomy. On the other hand, the war contributed to making the working class more homogeneous. Only because of the war, and its effects on the labour organisation, union organisation became a majority concern [20].

The development had begun some years earlier, but the conversion of Europe into a war economy shattered at once the artisans' power over the labour movement. The mass armies not only disciplined people in the field. They also demanded reorganisation of the production to more disciplined forms. Mass production of standardized war material demanded rationalizations that drastically reduced the dependence of skilled workers. The methods that Ford had been a pioneer for were introduced on a wide front with the national emergency as an excuse: the work was divided in yet smaller pieces and the worker was separated from any intellectual work. Now, engineers and foremen took over the artisans' control of production in the name of a sophisticated technostructure.

But it appeared very soon that this "Fordist" technostructure was sensitive to interruptions, and for that reason vulnerable to strike actions. An assembly line can be stopped by one person. What capital gained in form of liberty from artisan control it lost in form of possible worker control. But this also implied that the semiskilled majority got a decisive weapon in their hands. The new industrial organisation principles with its increasingly homogeneous working class made the labour movement more effective; it engaged the majority the social democrat labour movement in vain had tried to organise before the war. For it is workers in big worksites that have the greatest capacity to assert themselves as a collective.

The systemic chaos caused by the war made the system sensitive to confrontations. Furthermore, the labour shortage caused by the war resulted in an excellent bargaining position for the workers while their causes for discontent were plenty, due to commodity shortage, overtime, and for the artisans lost status. The years 1916-1921 were for that reason an era of forceful strike movements in all Europe.

The influx of new participants into the movement led to a general reappraisal and to the development of a tremendous creativity. The Italian auto workers invented the factory occupation, as a development of the strike. Earlier, the big factories had been seen as a kind of prisons to be left at strikes, and not seldom assailed with stones or fire. The Russian workers invented the workers' council, a kind of local coordination of strike committees, which were spread over Europe. In the countries where government power collapsed at the end of the war, these workers' councils were for a while the only authority left. They took on themselves the administration duties the government left; most often in a not very revolutionary way, but most often competently and disinterestedly [21].

This reappraisal couldn't but cause conflicts within the labour movement milieus. Geary demonstrates how it was the young, new, semiskilled workers in the big industries that maintained the movements of the late tens, while the older artisans of the small industries kept aloof. Since the later dominated the organisations of the labour movement it is no wonder that these movements often displayed lack of understanding and often tried to choke them - generally not going to the lengths they did in Germany however [22].

The functionaries of the labour movement on the other hand got an opportunity to demonstrate their solidarity with the state and their willingness to participate in government on the conditions of the system. Thanks to the loss of prestige suffered by the traditionally ruling classes due to the absurdities of the war, they were forced to let the functionaries of the labour party into the government as junior partners. Great Britain, where the labour movement just some decade before had given up its repugnance to parliamentarization, got its first labour government in 1924. Germany had got one as early as 1917, on the order of the General Staff. In Russia, the biggest semiperipheral country, the utter bankruptcy of the old ruling class had as result that the labour movement could dismiss the whole government and appoint a new one, consisting of the functionaries of the national movement. These examples were emulated in other countries of the system center. Only in the USA, where the organised labour movement was still overwhelmingly dominated by artisans, the movement stuck to its suspicion of the government strategy.

The transition to a more or less downright government power strategy, exercised by an increasingly fraternal corps of functionaries changed the character of the labour movement during the twentieth century.

One result was that the labour movements turned more nationalist. Instead of seeing primarily to the interests of a local or global working class, they began to put their countries' or even their states' interests foremost [23]. Partly, this is a natural consequence of the government power strategy. The role of the state in the world market system is to struggle with other states about a place in the hierarchy. It is even possible that a state manned with labour movement functionaries is more sensitive to this role demand, since their commitment to maximal integration implies very big surpluses to be carried out without too much protests from the capitalists. For that reason, they are forced to speed up commercialization, exploitation and world market competition with all means possible. But it is partially also a natural consequence of the split between semiskilled young workers in big industry and older artisans in the small industry.

For nationalism took one of two forms, either the social democratic or the communist one.

The social democratic or reformist model was to be predominant in the system center. In this model, the movement functionaries used the monopolistic surpluses of the center to force the integration of the direct producers as far as the capitalists would accept, i.e. that as much as possible of the surplus was channeled back to the workers in the form of social insurances social wages, or welfare administered by states and municipalities. In return they got the active cooperation of the labour movement in production and its maximum contribution to the advancement of the "national" capital in the world market system. The role for the state was mainly to provide the welfare; the organisation of production was left to the capital owners, and the auto-organising of the labour movement was blocked as much as possible. This strategy was elaborated in Scandinavia in the thirties and was dispersed with more or less success to other countries in the system center after 1945. The goal was called The welfare state.

The communist form was developed in Russia from 1929 and was dispersed after 1945 to other semiperipheral and peripheral countries. In this model, the labour movement was subordinated completely under the functionaries of the nationalist movements, and these concentrated on advancement in the system using strict state control. The reason for this was that the strategy promised that the workers finally, when the country had arrived, would get the surplus that would permit an integration of the workers. For that aim, the workers accepted that the whole country was organised as an enterprise, i.e. accepted the corporate state according to Burawoy's terminology. The lack of surplus, which would have been used for integration, was compensated with full employment and a lot of cultural flattering. The auto-organising of the movement was repressed ruthlessly, as were all popular movements that demanded anything from the state. The goal was called Socialism in one country.

The core of the communist parties in the system center in the interwar years was the workers who had engaged in strike movements in 1917-20, while the core of the social democratic parties was the artisans and the functionaries. The split between them was biggest where the division had been biggest during the strike wave.

Both strategies built on satisfying some skilled workers more than others. This was most explicit in the communist strategy, where a system of life-employed core workers surrounded by assistant workers was developed as early as in the thirties. The aim was to weaken the worker solidarity and create a fifth coulmn of workers loyal to the functionaries at the worksites [24].

Another result of the government power strategy was that the labour movement increasingly defined itself ideologically rather than socially. The development began with the Socialist Workers' International. As is suggested by the name, this was not a cooperation between the organisations of the labour movement based in common activities and all-round struggle within a social community, but cooperation between parliamentarian parties based in an ideology [25].

The overideologization was without doubt partly a consequence of the social stigmatization of the workers, and was a means for them to increase the mutual solidarity. It could also be a way of assertion, as it was for the early Swedish labour movement in its relation to the liberal charity bourgeoisie. But primarily it was a consequence of the social divisions within the movement, the increasingly strong position of the functionaries, and not least an increasing number of middle class adherents. These were simply not able to feel a social solidarity, they had to emphasize ideology. Like what happened within the Christian movement, it was these who were responsible for the ideologization and warred against heretics while the workers tried to keep together the movement on a social base. The concept "socialism" was as stated above coined by the French charity bourgeoisie, and the division of the labour movement into ideological identities like social democrats, communists, syndicalists, anarco-syndicalists, trotskyites and christians resulted to a great extent from professional intellectuals' institutionalization of strategic and tactic discussions, carried out at some time and place, i.e. they made strategic choices into holy things.

The over-ideologized labour movements were polarized around the two national models, to which they displayed more solidarity than they did to their own members [26]. Some obvious examples of going astray in the ideological fog, or perhaps of the interests of the organisation getting the better of that of the members, is when communists and nazists cooperated about toppling the social democratic government of Prussia in 1932, and when social democrats cooperated with the US intelligence service about combating communists in the system peripheries through organising the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions. The authentic labour movement that appeared in spite of this during the era was without troubles integrated into either of the factions, usually into the one that was a minority in the country in question. For example, Ericsson demonstrates how the opposition against the decay of the laymen's role in the Swedish labour movement easily was translated into communist loyalties [27], ant the same thing happened to the forceful factory occupation movement in France in 1936. In the case a labour movement succeeded in keeping aloof from both nationalist factions they could cooperate in repressing it, on the best of terms. This happened in Catalonia in 1936, where the anarco-syndicalist labour movement organised a widely dispersed network of occupied, autonomous industries, in the panic following the military rebellion [28].

Government power strategy, functionary power, and overideologization supported eachother. The strategy presupposed close cooperation between movement and state, i.e. movement and state functionaries. On the other hand, the laymen were increasingly subordinated, increasingly unable to make their own decisions, increasingly subaltern, pressed by the demands for ideological orthodoxy. This frontier guard system fitted both functionaries and charity bourgeoisie excellently.

I will soon try to evaluate if the labour movements nevertheless, despite all handicaps, succeeded in utilizing the opportunities given by the welfare state or by socialism in one country. But first a short summary of the events that led to the relative discarding of both these models [29].

The movement upturn after the first world war collapsed almost everywhere when the long recession of the twenties and thirties reduced the demand for labour. In some places, the collapse was disasters. In others, the labour movements were even able to strengthen their positions.

The most dramatic case was Russia [30].

In Russia, almost all industrial workers worked in the ultra-modern big-enterprise industry in a few cities, most notable St. Peterburg where the Fordist organisation dominated. Some were migrant workers, and most of the permanent workers were born in collectivist villages; the collectivist tradition was strong and many workers even lived in communes in town, based in place of origin or team. With the collectivist living followed an informal organisation, and with the repressive government followed a revolutionary ideology; for the workers it was self-evident that the regime and its anti-labour legislation had to go. Despite legal bans, the workers elected their "aldermen" to represent them to the enterprises, and to the society in general: the determination of the government not to tolerate any unionism guaranteed that the most limited unionist demand quickly carried political overtones. In 1905, the labour movement was so strong and so politicized that a general strike was able to force through parliamentary reforms, which were however soon revoked.

In Russia, the strike wave from 1916 on was strong enough to overthrow the government.

During the chaos of war defeat it was necessary for the workers in the big cities, primarily Petrograd, to control the factories to keep the production going and get food for the day. The control was organized in factory committees coordinated by workers' councils, which took on increasing duties while the government disintegrated, like supervision of the industry and provisioning of food to the cities. Red guards were organised as a police force for the same reason. Since the state had taken on responsibility for disciplining of the workers, the dissolution of the state implied a tremendous relieve for the workers, which they immediately profited from.

During 1917 the raw material and food deliveries to Petrograd were increasingly disorganised, and the program of the radical nationalists in the Bolshevik party, national responsibility for the provisions, appeared as a reasonable rescue from starvation. For that reason they got strong support from the workers, and the Bolsheviks answered with an unconditional support for the workers' councils. It was the red guards which took power in October and left it to the Bolsheviks. But a radical national politics didn't help. The disintegration was a consequence of the war defeat, and of the fact that the industries were gauged to production for a non-existing war. So the Bolshevik government was as unable to solve the problems of the workers as the previous government had been. But the labour movement had no suggestion left of what to do. The growing resistance to the incompetence of the Bolsheviks would be repressed militarily with little trouble in July 1918, after which the workers' councils were gradually abolished [31].

During the struggles betwen different regime pretendents, industrial production became impossible to maintain, due to the breakdown of communications. The whole industry perished, and with it also the working class, and most of the activists died in the armed struggles. In the new nationalised industries, built up afterwards by the nationalist government, the workers were organised militarily and autonomous actions were repressed violently in the name of national development. All union rights were abolished and in 1939 the worker was tied to his job. The state thus took back the disciplining function it had had before the revolution, and forced it further than any government had done so far.

The power of the workers to assert their claims against the national career demands was small, apart from everyday resistance in the form of conscious ineffectivity and other quiet sabotage. Protest strikes against reduced wages and increased labour norms in the textile industry in the Ivanovo area around 1930 were for example effectively quelled [31a]. According to Lewin, their organisation was restrained by the swift inflow of new unskilled workers, by the chaotic conditions in the economy, and by the extreme inequality within a working class where the highest wages were ten times as high as the lowest [32]. But others have pointed at the fact that the chaos created by incompetent planning authorities at least gave the skilled workers the power of knowledge which could be exchanged into concessions [33].

Also in Italy, the mobilization and demobilization of the labour movement was dramatic [34]. Like in Russia the labour movement was dominated by semi-skilled young workers recently immigrated from the countryside and working in big Fordist enterprises in Milano and Torino. During the two "red years" 1919-20 these workers succeeded, with strikes and occupations, take control over production through workers' councils, while they inspired their families in the countryside to occupy the land. But they didn't succeed in taking control over their own trade unions. According to Spriano, the movement was paralysed by cleavages between laymen and functionaries with wholly conflicting views on what strategy would be best for the movement. Moreover, the recession made labour unsaleable a few years afterwards. It was thus easy for armed gangs supported by the bourgeoisie to smash all worker organisation for twenty years.

In Germany, the violence of the social democratic party leadership against its own members had divided the labour movement deeply. The moral breakdown made all claims of hegemony impossible. The two national projects fought eachother more bitterly than they opposed state or capital. On the one side was the communist labour movement, organising the unemployed. On the other hand were the social democrats, organising the employed and passably able to defend the interests of the employed workers, partly at the expense of the unemployed. Despite this mean internal quarrel, it is possible to talk about a labour movement until a social democratic government during the financial crash in 1929 resorted to crisis politics, and let unemployment rise to save the currency. This left the movement so disillusioned that the paramilitary free corps without resistance were able to take government power and dissolve all labour movement organisations in 1933. During fifteen years, the workers were reduced to everyday resistance at the worksite level. But in this they were effective - their go-slows succeeded in raising the wages despite the anti-unionist dictatorship of the thirties.

In France, the labour movement was split in quarrelling nationalist factions when the war-induced boom ended, and working-class power slumped. In 1936 it looked as if it was possible for the workers to unite in a wave of factory occupations and strikes, which followed an anti-fascist election victory. In a few weeks they forced through considerable wage-hikes, 40 hours' week and paid holidays. But after some year the movement had broken down and all gains were taken back.

In Britain, the labour movement was not beaten. It was defeated in a general strike in 1926 and remained weak during the thirties, but it didn't disintegrate as the labour movement on the continent. For example, it was strong enough to throw out its own leadership when it chose to save the pound instead of protecting the workers during the crash of 1929. The membership figures didn't fall either, unlike France, Germany and Italy.

In this gloomy enumeration, there are only two examples of labour movements that were able to strengthen their positions, in Scandinavia and in the USA.

In Scandinavia, there was historically a strong popular tradition and a weak upper class culture; both aristocracy and bourgeoisie were poor and insignificant by continental standards [35]. The peasants had from time immemorial governed themselves, and their self-confidence was inherited by the labour movement and other peoples' movements in the late nineteenth century. Scandinavia was commercialized late and the collectivist life forms were not forgotten in the early twentieth century. The growing peoples' movement traditions, of which the labour movement was the strongest, for that reason had an uncommon legitimacy. In the twenties and thirties, the popular movements had a cultural hegemony in the Scandinavian societies. It was for that reason not against the tradition that an alliance of labour and agrarian movements took care of the government in the thirties in Sweden, Norway and Denmark, and begun a government policy of the fastest possible integration of the direct producers. But the labour movement had also shown a drive of their own - during the twenties and thirties, the Swedish workers had the highest strike frequency in the world.

In this alliance there was, however, a third party: the charity bourgeoisie, middle class people sympathising with some of the aims of the labour movement, but only as a shadow movement, i.e. they had their own interpretation of the aims and they didn't take part in the collective identity of the movement. They were strangely able to make a deal with the movement leaders about a common strategy, which was to be pioneering for the whole system center.

In the USA, the labour movement was for a long time organisatorically weak and divided. Up to the twenties, the huge immigration of European poors had made it difficult to organise the American working class. For the immigrants were more easily drawn into clientelistic networks around previously immigrated countrymen that had grown wealthy. Each time the labour movement had organised and stroke and succeeded in forcing up the wages, a new wave of immigrants was heaped onto the labour market. These had often no other ambitions than working hard for a few years and return home, and were for that reason prepared to work under worse conditions than the natives. After several attempts to organise all workers in the late nineteenth century the organisers gave up, and restricted themselves to organising the skilled artisans, who were least affected by competition from immigrants. They even helped the enterprises to repress union organising among the unskilled, and were thanked with the permission to bargain. Meanwhile, they gave up all ambitions to contribute to broader society changes, and were content with their bargaining rights. As it was expressed by the founder and perennial leader of the American Federation of Labor (AFL), Samuel Gompers: We have just one aim: more [36].

But a series of sitdown strikes in the big industry broke the pattern during the thirties. Without any particularly strong national organisation, and despite recession and unemployment, the unskilled workers at the assembly line forced the traditionally anti-unionist Ford, General Motors and US Steel to agree on collective contracts which raised the salaries, and forced the government to carry through pro-labour legislation to protect industrial peace. Unlike all other countries, the gains remained, and unlike all other countries, the wages increased more than the productivity.

This struggle was accomplished outside and partly counter to AFL. The ideological cement was as vague as always in American labour movement, and the aim was reduced to the immediate demands. It even occurred sometimes that white workers stroke against black and vice versa, but this time all participated, not only the artisans. The core of the movement was the second generation immigrants in the most automatized businesses, auto, machinery, steel and slaughterhouse, and the decisive moment was the two months occupation of the auto body factories in Flint at the new year 1937 [37].

Arrighi and Silver explain the successes of the American and Scandinavian workers in the following way.

Firstly, USA and Sweden were the countries where the Fordist organisation of industry had gone farthest. Therefore, the workers in the USA and in Sweden had most local bargaining power in the world, i.e. they were the countries where it was easiest for a small group of determined workers to obstruct the production of a complete big enterprise. The partial successes in Britain can be explained by the fact that industry in Britain was more Fordist than the one in the European continent.

Secondly, the workers of the USA, Scandinavia, and Britain were less exposed to immigration from the countryside and foreign countries during the period.

The American workers were also unhampered by functionaries and nationalist party strategy to act independently. They actually lost their creativity and fighting spirit when they were organised into unions. This fact has induced some scholars to conclude that workers in the Fordist big industry don't need any unions to support eachother, they are well enough organised by the production process itself [38]. On the other hand, the Scandinavian labour movements were the most creative in the world to utilize the government power strategy, for example they invented Keynesian economics before Keynes. Arrighi and Silver don't tell why the Scandinavian labour movements were so creative; one may assume that it was a result of the self-confidence given by the cultural hegemony, which among other things was expressed in the slogan of their thirties, "We build the country".

The world market system, in the form of state and capital, answered the strength of the American and Scandinavian labour movements in two ways: capital export and bureaucratization.

Firstly, American (and Swedish) industries began to invest abroad to avoid the claims of domestic workers. Thus, modern industries organised in Fordist manners grew in Western Europe and Japan, and the workers' local bargaining power increased in the whole system center (while it of course decreased in the USA and Scandinavia).

Secondly, the relations between enterprise and workers were bureaucratized. The functionaries of the labour movement were given an increasing number of legislated duties. The aim was twofold. It divided the unions in giving the functionaries the duty to prevent the workers from using their bargaining power. And it laid the permission to bargain where it was least disturbing for the capital accumulation. Thus, the construction was begun of the most ambitious integration process so far pursued during the world market system, while the labour movement was subjected to a long-term demobilization which after some generation had made the laymen deeply unfamiliar to their own organisations' project.

This development is initiated through the cooperation between labour movement functionaries, charity bourgeoisie and domestic market industry in Sweden [39].

The foundation of the strategy was partly that some of the most important demands of the labour movement must be met, i.e. full employment, higher material standards, and increased security. But it was also that the democratic autonomy and movement culture of the labour movement had to be curtailed - not least all claims for workers' power over production.

The Swedish welfare state was according to Johansson and Ekdahl possible because of a political alliance, between the labour movement and the domestic market industry of which the latter needed higher purchasing power for its customers and for this reason accepted the demands of the labour movement. But the third party, the charity bourgeoisie, was to a great extent able to use its position as shadow movement to win the hegemony in the alliance.

Bo Rothstein has demonstrated how this charity bourgeoisie effectively succeeded in blocking all changes contrary to its interests, for example a less elitist school, while the labour movement succeeded in forcing through changes which were necessary for its members, for example an active labour market policy [40]. But the two alliance partners of the labour movement also did all they could to break the workers' faculty of mobilization and prospects of asserting themselves in the alliance in the long run.

The business organisations succeeded with their aim through the Saltsjöbaden agreement in 1938. The agreement gave a guaranteed security and wage increases in exchange for a renouncement of political and cultural claims, and giving up of the right to bargain that built on worksite power. Matters of society were defined as matters for the functionaries while the workers were relegated to a role as consumers [41].

The charity bourgeoisie went to the offensive in primarily three fields to wreck the worker culture: housing policy, nationalisation, and eugenics.

Housing policy was used to hit against the continuous working class quarters as a home for a collectively organised life, which the charity bourgeoisie felt threatened by. Instead, they offered peripheral suburbs which should be class-mixed, geographically dispersed, constructed around the family as an alternative to the worker collective, and first of all, planned by the charity bourgeoisie itself [42].

Nationalisation primarily implied that state and municipalities took over activities hitherto organised by worker dominated cooperatives, like education and insurances. This was said to be more "democratic", but the consequence was that they were organised in a more authoritarian way and that the labour movement lost a resource, not least morally, and it contributed to a strengthening of the hierarchies in society [43].

Eugenics implied that the working class was split up by a campaign directed against the poorest, the "not conscientious", who were subjects to verbal condemnations as well as pure terror in the form of for example forced sterilization [44].

A driving force in all these three offensives was the spearhead organisation of the charity bourgeoisie, Centralförbundet för socialt arbete.

All in all, the results of the activities of the two actors are a neat example of conflict institutionalization.

It was difficult for the Swedish labour movement to meet the offensive from its two alliance partners. It was traditionally localist - the laymen were engaged in the local kind of matters the alliance partners hit at, while they delegated the national, central and overarching matters to their own functionaries. These quite natural didn't feel particularly threatened by the plans of their alliance partners, but could even win prestige in actively furthering them. For that reason, the movement could never find a counterstrategy, and discontent could easily be marginalised into communist sectarianism or individualist artistry. For that reason, the bargaining power of the movement was enfeebled successively from the forties on, even if it took many years before the enfeeblement was manifest.

The second world war, like the first, strengthened the bargaining power in the whole world while commodity shortage and overtime produced good reasons for grievance. The time up to 1948 was for that reason filled up with strikes. But as expected, the results were not as dramatic as those after the first world war. The defeats of the thirties, the increasing power of the functionaries, and the quarrels about the national projects had drained the self-esteem of the movements. But as also expected, the labour movements in the two successful regions used the strengthened bargaining power to move up their position further, through strikes for wage rises in the USA and election mobilizing for universal social legislation in Scandinavia. Also in Britain, the movement brought forth a reformist government which begun to introduce social legislation of the Scandinavian model.

In terms of action methods however, the Japanese labour movement was the most advanced, stimulated by the political bankruptcy of the old ruling classes, in the same way as the Central European labour movements in 1919 [45].

The Japanese workers had been subject to a tougher repression than the workers of any industrial country. The only organisation was the clientelistic one - entrepreneurs who rented out workers to the zaibatsu, the Japanese big enterprises. But at the end of the war, the war prisoners who worked as slaves in the coal mines revolted, and the Japanese coal miners made common cause with them. The complaisance of the American occupation authorities encouraged the miners, who easily reached their aims in the existing power vacuum, and inspired trade unions in the whole industry.

The problem for the trade unions was that strike didn't seem to lead anywhere in the rapidly disintegrating Japanese economy. Those who solved the problem was journalists and graphics at the biggest newspaper, Yomiuri. They throw out the owner, accused him of war crimes, and run the paper of their own.

In enterprise after enterprise, the workers discovered that production control - running the production under their own management - made better effects than striking, while the kickbacks from running the business better than the capitalists provoked the workers to set higher aims. In some places, workers and peasants organised an interchange of goods that built on social needs instead of the profit motive.

The American occupation authorities, which had tolerated the movement because it turned against Japanese war interests, soon reconsidered its policy. After a series of huge demonstrations in May 1946, USA, the zaibatsu and the Japanese government worked out a counterstrategy, built on cooption. The workers' production control would be accepted but subordinated to the normal hierarchy of the enterprises - the origin of the famous Japanese quality circles. Economic demands would be encouraged and met, while political demands would be ruthlessly repressed. The integration process in Japan was the most rapid ever recorded.

During the period 1948 to 1965, the labour movement was rather passive or at least not very much moving forward in the system center. In the USA and Scandinavia it had been encapsulated by labour legislation. In other countries, the local bargaining power was yet under construction. The labour movement was on the whole contented being the junior partner to state and capital.

Despite this, a far-reaching integration process was initiated in the system center during these years. The new hegemony power the USA was able to reorganise the chaos-hit system only by concessions to the strongest peoples' movements, in this case the labour movement and the anti-colonial movements, see chapter 2. The Bretton Woods system, the United Nations and Keynesianism implied that the welfare of the citizens had to be satisfied by the different states, and the labour movement was accordingly a necessary alliance partner. The presence of the Soviet Union as an unpredictable challenger in the system was another whip for the governments to satisfy their citizens lest they not change their loyalties. Even the continental European states introduced ambitious social insurance programs after Scandinavian patterns and accepted wage increases after American.

Only in the mid sixties, the labour movements were able to pull themselves together for a new great wave of mobilization. The setting was excellent. The Fordist organising of the worksites was at its height. The demand for labour was huge, the labour reserves of the countrysides were almost used up, and the workers' bargaining power on the market was for that reason strong. The rulers of the world were pressed hard by anti-colonial movements and peasant rebellions all over the world and appeared weaker than ever, see chapters 6 and 7. It appeared possible again to begin struggling for the hegemony [46].

The movement hit first in France in 1968 when ten million French workers stroke, provoked and inspired by the youth rebellion the same year. But it was in Italy the movement was most versatile. For it was in Italy the development had been fastest from a powerless artisan dominated labour movement to a strong movement dominated by assembly line workers in a growing transnational industry. For that reason, it was in Italy the participants in the movement were least troubled by movement functionaries which in other countries were more or less able to disorganise the members'/laymen's active participation and needs.

It was the young assembly line, first generation workers in the metal industry who were the driving force. From them, the movement was spread to businesses where the unionist tradition had been weak, for example private services businesses.

The action forms were innovative. Instead of heavy-handed business-wide strikes which cost the funds as much as they cost the enterprises, they hit selectively: short selective strikes at strategic points, rolling strikes, overtime blockades, go-slows, factory occupations as an answer to lockouts, combined with taking the managers as hostages. Such forms demanded extremely good organisation at the worksite, which strengthened the power of the laymen at the expense of the union functionaries.
In many places, the workers implemented the demands themselves without waiting for an agreement: hours were shortened, overtime was abolished. Employed in the service businesses carried through actions that didn't hurt the public, for example busdrivers refused to receive fares. In other places workers tried "strike in the reverse" - they tried to run businesses the owners tried to shut down, even if such actions never succeeded. The closest they came to success was the French watch industry LIP which was run by the workers almost a year before they had to give up to the French authorities' obstinate assertion of Roman ownership principles.

The demands were varied. Instead of just claiming higher wages, the workers demanded the same rise for all, which implies reduced differentials. This implied that the unskilled workers egalitarianism won over the artisans' professional pride. As the movement grew, the demands for control over the worksite did so too. The demands were piecework payments should be replaced with monthly salaries, that poisonous stuffs and overtime should be abolished, and that the speed of the assembly lines should be reduced and more workers should be employed. In some places, like Fiat and Olivetti, the management even acknowledged for some years that the workers had right to decide rules, routines and schedules. The power distribution was changed to the benefit of the workers.

Meanwhile, the workers to a great extent took control over the trade unions. The unions began to assert political demands, pressed by the members but also as a way of taking back the hegemony of the movement. They also began to demand social housing, better schools, health care, public transportation and regional development. Autoreduction actions, i.e. actions where users refused to pay increased fares and fees, were supported by trade unions. Since the unions in these cases came into conflict with social democratic and communist parties, what could be called an de-ideologizing politization of the unions was begun; they began to escape the control of parties to be brought more under control of the members. Where unions had been split according to party affiliations they begun to grow together, and where the struggles were most developed, in the Italian metal industry, they even merged. This de-ideologization of the labour movement, this pragmatic politization starting with the needs of the participants, had begun at the workshops, where the activists had insisted in non-partisanship and unity of all participants, beyond all separating ideological identities.

During a decade, this movement wave was successful. The wages increased greatly, in Italy about 13 percent per year on average, in other European countries between 5 and 10 percent. The governments tried to fend off with integrative mechanisms according to the Scandinavian pattern - extension of health care, social housing, higher education for working-class youth, and a strong tendency for democratic and egalitarian treatment within the public service - a direct consequence of the labour movement mobilization.

But the system increasingly succeeded in beating off the movement, in the same way that the American and Scandinavian labour movements had been beaten off a generation before. With capital export and an effective union-government functionary cooperation, the system would neutralize the workers' local bargaining power, local culture and identity as active human beings.

Meanwhile, the long Kondratiev wave ended in the early seventies, which reduced the demand for labour, while an intense immigration to Western Europe raised the supply. For that reason, the market value of labour was reduced as was the workers' market power. Meanwhile, the contributory factors that had helped the workers broke down - the hegemony of the USA and the opposition role of the Soviet Union.

From the early eighties, the labour movements were paralyzed and confused in the greater part of the system center, without either local bargaining power or market power, and their gains from the last fifteen years were taken away. Only at the turn of the century some tendencies at awakening may be perceived, in Europe as one of many strands in the resistance to the convergence terms of the EMU, and in the USA as a conscious break with the cooperation between state and unions.
Instead, the labour movement was strengthened in the parts of the system peripheries where capital was exported to, from the seventies primarily Brazil and South Africa, from the eighties also South Korea and Taiwan.

Labour movements of the system periphery

Within the establishments of the world market system in the periphery - plantations, mines and devices for transport of raw materials to the center - germs of labour movements bred early. The workers of the sugar plantations learnt how to negotiate with the owners despite their legal inferiority, by go-slows, sabotage and marronnage; a slave rebellion at Haiti set up the second American independent republic - see Chapters 4 and 6. The first strikes in West Africa occurred in the 1890s, only some decade after the European occupation. But in most places in the peripheries full time workers remained a small minority until our age, and labour movements remained for that reason small and rather powerless. They have been able to make a name for themselves only as allies to national movements, and had had to pay for that. They have gained some weight only in the late 20th century.

This is connected with the function of peripheries.

The purpose of peripheries is to reduce the cost of labour. In the center of the system, the direct producers forced states and capital owners to begin reducing violence, replacing it with integration after the great rebellion movements of the 17th century. After the French Revolution the development speeded up, and workers got an ever growing part of the economic surplus, in shape of salaries and social security. But somebody had to pay for this, and the somebody was the workers in the periphery. For workers in the periphery had two great handicaps, compared to workers in the center.

Firstly, the system peripheries weren't as politically sensitive as the center. In the center, it was not easy for the rulers to use violence without getting on the wrong side of important middle classes they were dependent on. In the periphery no such groups existed, so violence was more acceptable for the system. In reality, the relations of states/capitals and workers have always been violent in the system peripheries, from the slavery of the 16th and 17th centuries to the dictatorships and prohibited unions of today.

Secondly, and more important, the workers of the system peripheries had an inferior resistance technique and unionisation skill, at least in the beginning. The workers of the peripheries were recruited directly from the countryside and were unused to industrial conditions. Normally a generation was needed before union traditions had been developed and the workers were able to make an effective resistance against exploitation. A generation was needed before new urbans had learnt to survive in urban areas and use their terrain for political purposes.

The first generations of workers in the periphery were also not full time or full life workers, and had little interest in organising defence.

Fully proletarian, urbanised workers, who are completely adjusted to an industrial society have to be salaried so that the salary covers the whole life, including childhood, education, sickness, unemployment, and old age. Their salaries have, for that reason, to be rather high. If the family of the worker can bear the cost for child rearing, sick care, unemployment relief and pension, salaries can be reduced to what the workers need during their active time. But then, they need a base in a self-subsistent household [47].

And workers in the system periphery had this, and they still have in some degree. For few were interested in working in the center owned mines and plantations. To get someone to work there at all the colonial authorities had to use force, in the shape of tax or slave labour. Under such circumstances, work became socially degrading, something the young of the villages could engage in for a few years before they went back home. The turnover of workers was high. And the motivation to organise trade unions was low.

Instead, railwaymen, municipal workers and dockers were pioneers of labour movements in the periphery; their work called for education so the workers had to be permanent. This was the case in Colombia, Nigeria, Tanzania, Argentina and India. In some regions, where land ownership was strongly monopolised and didn't permit work migration, particularly in Latin America, a professional miner craft was also formed, which got a key role in some places [48].

In Chile, for example, the pioneers of labour organising were railwaymen to be sure, but the miners of the nitrate mines were the first to capture a position of power in society. Nitrate was the principal Chilean export product, and in the nitrate districts in the deserts of the north there were no intermediaries between workers and the representatives of the companies. The workers could quickly construct a public identity as "the Chilean people" opposed to the foreign-owned nitrate companies [49].

The mancomunales, or communes, of the nitrate workers - financial, political, and cultural organisations that carried out insurances, edited newspapers and organised theatre plays - were for that reason early respected by the middle class as a possible partner.

This possible partnership with the middle class was from an early date the main strategy of the Chilean labour movement. As early as the at slump of 1919 they spent much energy on getting in teachers and office staff people into street demonstrations and unions, and this strategy paid off. The state begun to yield to the demands in the early 20s, but it also laid down conditions, in the shape of an intriguing labour legislation that made employed union functionaries the key people. These functionaries continued, far beyond the fall of the Union Popular, to carry on the middle class alliance that had given rise to them. The workers themselves were thereby put aside and lost most of their self-esteem.

The Bolivian tin mine workers are more well-known; they followed a similar strategy since the thirties. They were based in isolated mining towns far from urban concentrations, but Bolivia's dependence on tin export made them nevertheless to a dominating political actor. So dominating, in fact, that wide swathes of the middle class out of self-interest saw national development projects according to mine worker ideas as suspect. The miners' strikes have made and deposed governments, and made it necessary for the middle class political parties to vie for the support of the miners or try to buy them. They were the force that for a long time made it impossible to guarantee exploitation with softer means than terrorist military dictatorships, and even that only temporarily [50].


Labour movements as junior partners

With the relocation of textile industries from the system center to the peripheries, primarily to Japan, China and India, from the beginning of the twentieth century, a more extensive labour movement could be born in new industrial countries. In absolute numbers there were not many workers; the labour movement that shook China in the twenties didn't comprise more than one of China's 500 millions. But it was strategically located. Thanks to its ability to strike directly at the system center's/colonial power's exploitation, it was a valuable partner in the anti-colonial movement alliance, see chapter 6 [51].

In China, there were artisan traditions like in Europe, and artisans had been pioneers in the boycott actions against European goods in the 1830s. But the first trade unions were organised in modern industries, primarily railways, textile industry and to some degree mines. It was stimulated by the Fourth of May movement against Chinese complaisance towards the colonial powers, but it was also stimulated by the global strike wave at the end of the first world war. A part of the Fourth of May movement was inspired by the Russian revolution; it organised a communist party, which saw as its most important task to coordinate locally organised trade unions into a stable network over all China.

This was not at all easy; in the chaotic China there would be many dramatic examples during the twenties of successful strikes and energetic organising suddenly repressed by violent warlords. But the principal worker actions were relatively independent of this organising and were centered on sailors and dockers in the main base of the British Empire in East Asia, Hongkong.

In 1922, the sailors went to strike, and were successful since they got support from the dockers. They also got support from the local regime that was set up by nationalists and communists together in Guangzhou not far from there. They saw with satisfaction that the British colonialists were in trouble, and the transport workers thus developed into a kind of spearhead of the Chinese nationalist movement.

The great strike movement in 1925-26 began in the Chinese textile center of Shanghai, when female textile workers were shot at by the colonial police. But it was the sailors and dockers once more that were the backbone of the movement. When a support demonstration there also had been fired at, they declared a general strike in Hongkong. The strike was to be maintained almost a year, and it was to be the biggest strike ever, quantitatively.

The strike was incredibly well organised. It was supported by a network among Chinese emigrants in Asia and the USA; it had a police force of its own that patrolled the town, it organised schools to teach reading and politics to the strikers, it organised a boycott against British goods. It is told that Hongkong was so paralysed that the rich ladies had to buy and cook their own food. After a year it was almost ruined. But at that time, the Chinese merchants had got enough of it; they were also almost ruined from not being able to trade with the British. They got the nationalist Guangzhou government to arrest the strike committee and block the support funds. Then it broke down fast.

The Hongkong strike is a good example of advantages and disadvantages with alliances; if it fits it may bring great benefits - but the risks are obvious.

To find a compromise, nationalists and communists decided on a quick military conquest of China instead of risky union organisation. The socalled Northern Expedition begun in 1926 was very successful. It was so successful that the nationalist party decided that it was able to do without trade unions infiltrated by communists. In April 1927 it attacked the trade unions in Shanghai and annihilated them. Other trade unions were forced underground.

The strike movement which twenty years later undermined the prestige of the Guomindang government had no political goals but aimed at raising the wages to keep up with inflation. For that reason it was easy for the new communist government to make a deal with the workers on higher wages and social policy, at least for the core groups, against a promise of refraining from autonomy.

The price was paid by the casual workers, those without regular job. They have during the whole age of the Peoples' Republic amounted to tens of millions. They were one of the groups that tried to assert themselves during the Cultural Revolution. For example, they organised the shortlived Changhai commune in February 1967. But posed against party functionaries and privileged core workers, their gains were small and shortlived [52].

Sometimes a cooperation between labour movement and national movement would express itself in labour organisations started by anti-colonialist intellectuals. In India, for example, this tradition to this day gives shadow movements from the middle class an odious influence in the trade unions of the workers.

In India, the labour movement never got as strong position in the anti-colonial alliance as in China and Latin America [53]. Actions like the railway strike in Bengal in 1906 and the general strike in Bombay in 1907 would of course emphasize the value of labour movements as an alliance partner, but didn't modify the hegemony of the bourgeoisie. In India, the central government wasn't weak as in China and the bourgeoisie was strong and assembled in the National Congress. The small working class, primarily consisting in textile workers in Bombay and migrant jute workers in Bengal, were easy to lead for politicians in the developmentalist bourgeoisie. This alliance was not too destructive as long as the bourgeoisie itself was marginalised by the colonial rule. But as early as 1930 the Indian workers began to be divided according to party and according to the interest divisions of others. These divisions have remained long after the reasons for it have ceased to be relevant.

The colonial Africa's labour movement had an even brittler base, in migrant mine and plantation workers and a few railway and dock workers. But in colonial Africa, they were almost the only organised force there was [54]. For that reason, the strength of the anti-colonial movements had to come from the labour movements. In Angola, the first independence movement was organised as an answer to the strike of the plantation workers in 1961, in Nigeria in 1945 and Ghana in 1950, general strikes spread the independence movements beyond the small circles of university people, and in Zambia, the coppermine workers played the same role. In the independent African countries, the labour movements have kept its central position and were able to assert the interests of the workers at least up to the IMF seizure of power in the nineties. For example, Van Hear describes the way Nigerian workers successfully were able to oppose the military dictatorships and guard the purchase power of the workers, in spite of recessions and decreasing import yields [55]. And in Zambia, the trade union central ZCTU were, thanks to its democratic legitimacy, able to leading the resistance to the autocratic government and against IMF's adjustment policy during the eighties; it was of no importance that ZCTU in formal terms organised a very small minority [56].

In the post-colonial countries, the alliance continued to live for a long time. It expressed itself in the way that careerist factions of the bourgeoisies looked to the labour movement for support for struggling against dependence of the system center. The idea behind the strategy was that a relatively wealthy working class would be the base for a domestic consumer goods industry. It was to no disadvantage that the money stayed in the country instead of being regained by foreign businesses. As compensation for the support, the labour movements would have to suffer paternalist rule. This strategy, called the import substitution model, flowered in the whole world until the end of the post war boom in 1973; more about this in chapter 6.

In Brazil, where plantation crops like sugar, coffee, and cacao were the most important export goods, the labour ministry under president Vargas which during the fifties gathered the urban workers into labour unions with the direct aim of being a prop for the government. The direct producers in the export sectors - family farmers, leaseholders or agricultural workers - were not invited, since they had the role to pay for it [57].

The most classical case of a national bourgeoisie trying to liberate themselves from dependence of the system center through cooperation with a labour movement is the Peronist policy in Argentina [58].

The Argentine economy was based since the late nineteenth century in a profitable meat export, luring immigrants from all corners of Europe into Argentina. In Buenos Aires, small industries for domestic demand grew up, with artisan workers organising in an Anarchist movement. But this labour movement remained feeble, for two reasons. Its participants were immigrants, and would for that reason be treated by the Argentine middle class as something irrelevant. But more important was the difficulty to organise a labour movement in the key industry, the slaughter-houses. The workers in the five big slaughter and freezing houses were easily replaceable, as soon as they tried to enter into labour struggles they were fired and replaced with new immigrants from the harbour. For example, their most heroic attempt, the slaughter-house strike in 1918, was repressed by armed gangs which terrorized the working-class quarters for a week and killed thousands.

The meat industry wasn't organised until the second world war. The immigration was stopped by the war, but quite as important was that the slaughter-houses were then bought by North American capital, which introduced Fordist technology. The Argentinian workers soon learned Fordist strike technology as well, and during the first war years communists organised a strong trade union in the meatpacking industry. In 1943, it went out in a strike.

At that time, a nationalist faction of the bourgeoisie had seized power on a program of "national development", i.e. world market career. Since the meat export was foreign controlled, the government saw with some benevolence at the organised labour movement and helped negotiate a favourable agreement. The communist union leadership was eager not to disturb the Allied war efforts and accepted. But the workers didn't. They dismissed the communists and elected a new, non-ideological leadership, and went on with the strike. They were effective - they had discovered that it was enough if the electricity central stroke to bring the whole industry to stop.

During two years of time, the slaughterhouse workers, through north American strike methods and continuous bargaining with the labour minister, colonel Perón, improve their lot. Other unions took advantage of the opportunity. In 1945, Perón was dismissed, accused of being too worker-friendly. The slaughterhouse workers arranged a national insurrection, not too unlike the one in Russia in 1917, and Perón came back as president, as the candidate of the new Labour Party.

Now, the labour movement had given an emphatic support to the developmentalist bourgeoisie. But from then on, the yields were meagre. The center powers were not too happy with the Argentine upstart and invested in Australian meat instead, and the returns diminished. Nationalist experiments were increasingly worthless for the bourgeoisie, while cooption and labour legislation were increasingly worthless for the workers. So the conflicts grew increasingly violent until the industry was simply shut down and the labour movement was annihilated.

Through alliance with ambitious bourgeoisies, and through tying up with a global, European-inspired labour movement identity, the labour movements of the system peripheries have been able to compensate for their small number. This was not without costs. Often, workers were drawn into conflicts that were irrelevant to them, like when the Mexican labour movement let itself be mobilized against the peasants, on a European-modernist program. But an association to a global labour movement identy nevertheless strengthened the labour movements as a collective global force.

According to Charles Bergquist, the following factors decide if a labour movement is strong in a peripheral country [59].

  • When ownership is concentrated in the dominant export industry, the development is favoured of a particular worker identity with a strong self-esteem, which strengthens the labour movement. Examples may be Chile and Venezuela in the forties. If industry is diversified and aimed at domestic consumption, the identity is weaker; an example may be Argentina before 1910.

  • If the dominant export industry is dependent of foreign capital, its workers appear as representatives for the nation and get valuable for a national alliance. Again, Chile may stand out as an example.

  • If there is a great supply of immigrants, from the countryside or other countries, labour movement organising is difficult. Examples are Argentina before 1940, South Africa before 1975, and Kuwait today.

  • If the liberal world market model has a temporary success, the middle class has no reason to ally with the workers, which isolates them politically and impedes its opportunity to act. Examples may be Taiwan in the seventies and Argentina before 1930.

There are also factors not mentioned by Bergquist. Labour organisation and indispensability of domestic elites in the great power game plays a role, as do cultural traditions. Even migrant workers have a political strength that may compensate for unionist feebleness, which has become apparent in Africa for example. For they are their home villages' links to the surrounding world and thus they may command a disproportionate political support. But Bergquist's point is that the strength of a labour movement does not only depend of numbers or market conditions.


Labour movement under export regimes

Monopoly sectors which have lost their monopoly are continuously relocated from the system center to the system peripheries. In the late nineteenth century textiles were relocated, in the mid nineteenth century steel was, and from the seventies it was the auto and electronics industries' turn. Relocation may take different political forms. In the early twentieth century, it was done as import substitution, i.e. the elites of the periphery countries aimed a more space of manoeuvre in order to advance into the system center, and tried to get control over industries producing what the countries needed themselves. In the late twentieth century, when the need for capital has grown so big that few peripheral countries are able to finance a buildup of a comprehensive industry of itself, the form is export orientation, i.e the elites of the peripheral countries try to advance in the system through using profitable niches in the world market. For labour movements these two strategies have offered different working conditions.

Historically, import substitution, with its need for a national consumer market, has favoured more subtle forms of cooptation in national alliances where labour movements have got economic favours but have had small opportunities to initiatives of their own. Export orientation has demanded low wages and miserable working conditions and therefore been connected to authoritarian repression.

From the seventies, the transnational enterprises moved factories from Europe and Japan to "politically stable" countries in the system periphery like Brazil, South Africa, South Korea and Iran. Domestic enterprises and their governments borrowed money from banks in the system center to invest in their own production for export. This was also done in countries which earlier had backed import substitution like for example Argentina, Poland and India.

The end of the postwar Kondratiev wave in 1973 did not have as disastrous results for the labour movements in the periphery as it had in the center. In some sites, labour movements were able to gain impressive successes, because of their mounting numbers and because the new development strategy liberated the movements from the paternalist dependence imposed on them by the anti-colonial movements and by the import substitution strategy.

In Brazil, the labour movement's dependence of the state was broken by a series of strikes in the transnational metal industry in São Paulo in 1978-80 [60]. This movement organized itself in the workers' townships long before it entered the workshops, caring about public transport, electricity and water, see chapter 9.

The Brazilian military regime had during the sixties and seventies bee uniquely successful in attracting transnational businesses with low salaries and a ban on all opposition. The result was a growing number of workers, from two to eleven millions during a period when the wages were cut with two thirds. The government-supported trade unions did nothing to this; from 1974 an opposition began to appear which simultaneously organised an independent network of workers' committees and captured positions in the official unions.

In 1977, the working class womens' movement organised a campaign against falsification of the consumer price statistics that regulated the wages, and was able to shame the shadow labour organisations into militancy. It soon appeared as a national actor with power enough to break the silence about repression, linked to demands for democratization. The year after it begun a strike movement, using all the opportunities given by automation. Within a few weeks it had reached the whole country, but the metal workers in the industrial suburbs of São Paulo appeared increasingly as leaders. The movement ignored more and more the paternalist labour laws and began to bargain directly with the enterprises by force of its local bargaining power, which was great enough to establish the labour movement as the core of a new movement for democracy, coordinating township committees, churches, intellectuals and opposition politicians.

In no country, the system of migrant semiproletarians as dogmatically modelled as in South Africa, where it was the foundation of the society - "apartheid". Long since industry had become the principal business its workers were presupposed to "return" to subsistence agriculture during non-industrial work, despite the fact that this subsistence agriculture wasn't even able to support the full time peasants since the white minority had grabbed almost all agricultural land.

So it was reasonable that labour movements were among the main actors against apartheid during the seventies and eighties [61].

The migrant worker system was introduced for the needs of the mines. But from 1974, these began to rely on permanently employed workers to avoid nationalist contagion from Mozambique. This induced unionist organising and to the foundation of the Mineworkers' Union, NUM, still an important factor in all peoples' movement organising in South Africa. From the seventies, capital import produced results and a manufacturing industry and an industrial working class begun to appear.

In South Africa, the conditions reminded of early nineteenth century England, i.e. worker and disenfranchised was about the same thing. For that reason, the labour movement got an astounding breadth and rooting. In the working-class townships, churches, bars, and shops were parts of the labour movement organising, and rent strikes was a method as useful as mine strikes to assert the workers' rights against capital. The black citizens' rights organisations, ANC as well as UDF, were dominated by union functionaries. And when all other organisation was rendered useless by repression, the unions remained.

About 1990, the labour movement had made apartheid impossible as a principle. The working class townships could only be controlled militarily, which was too expensive. The local elites had to consider cooptation and integration as a more profitable way of staying in power, see chapter 8.

Southeast Asia was the third main receiver of capital export. Labour movement had to wait here until the eighties until they got any force, for two reasons: child work, and the cold war [62].

Industrialization was introduced with production processes that demanded minimum skill. Preferably, teenage girls were employed as workers, rented out by recruitment businesses. They didn't see themselves as workers but just temporarily working until they got married, and they were not likely to engage in labour disputes. As a matter of precaution, they were living under a pseudo-military discipline during working-hours as well as under spare time.

Moreover, Southeast Asia has been very important as anti-communist strongholds, where USA has taken care to maintain and finance authoritarian regimes.

So the South Korean industrialization took place under the most authoritarian conditions possible, with a despotic military dictatorship which applied almost prison camp-like conditions in the worksites. The first who revolted were women in the garment industry - usually small poky worksites. In 1976 the female workers at Dongil took over the yellow trade union and succeeded during a few years to maintain their freedom of organisation despite the hired thugs of the enterprise, primarily through cooperation with students and churches. They were finally silenced with violence and dismissals, but they bequeathed a tradition of cooperation between labour and democracy movements, which sometimes spread through the whole society, particularly after the death of the dictator in 1979.

However, a new military dictatorship took power soon, which repressed all popular movements and stimulated investment in manufacturing industries with assembly lines. After a decade of secret organisation in cultural associations and evening courses, the workers of Hyundai in Ulsan stroke in summer 1987.

They had, also partly in secret, organised prohibited trade unions in each workshop, and in August they elected a joint bargaining delegation which demanded negotiations with the combine about wages and other things - on their list of demand were free choice of hair-style. When Hyundai refused, the workers organised a demonstration of 60.000 to the city center, led by the fire engines and sand-blasting machines. The police had to withdraw, and the labour minister came there and promised to fulfill all the demands of the workers.

Of course, Hyundai's patriarch didn't care about the minister's promises and called for more police - resulting in a general strike in Ulsan and ten days of street fighting. The work begain without any of the parties giving after the slightest - but after a few years of strikes and police attacks, Hyundai in practice yielded to the all the demands, without however recognising this publicly.

Koo considers the strength of the workers had the following causes:

  • the extremely humiliating despotism at the worksite left no other choice,

  • the regime was increasingly isolated against both workers and the middle class, both considering themselves belonging to "the people", or "minjung" in Korean, against the elite, thereby having the same interest to cooperate.

Iran was the most important receiver of capital in West Asia during the sixties and seventies, thanks to its repressive and developmentalist government. But the industrialization was not as radical as in Brazil and Southeast Asia. For that reason, the government terror was able for a long time to prevent a labour movement. Only when the middle class had united with the landless peasants, swept off the land by a kind of land reform, in opposition against the government that labour movements turned effective, see chapter 6. It was the strike of the oilfield workers that toppled the government in 1978, upon which a one-year strike movement caused some trouble for the new Islamist government. But now it seems to have succeeded with the usual nationalist trick - paternalist trade unions [63].

Poland was also a great receiver of capital during the seventies, which was used for modernization of the industry for export reasons. The policy resulted in the early eighties in overcapacity, debts and a Fordist industrial organisation which was sensitive to worker mobilization just at the moment when economic austerity and cuts hit the workers. The result was one of the most powerful but also most ambiguous labour movement mobilization during the twentieth century [64].

Thanks to the centralised ownership in the Polish industry, the new independent base-democratic trade union Solidarity spread over the country in a few weeks. At the base, Solidarity was a worker organisation. But since it within a short time appeared extremely powerful, it became a resort for all kinds of discontent, where after a while the middle class dominated. The demands of the workers were successively marginalized. The military coup facilitated the process. While the repression shattered the organisation of the workers, the middle class discourse developed rather uninterrupted up to the regime change in 1990.

During the nineties, the mobilisations of these "old" New Industrial Countries have faded. The militant KCTU in Korea had not much to offer when the labour code was abolished in 1998. The Brazilian Workers' Party, a creation of the labour movement, has converted itself to a machine in the hands of career politicians. The industry moves away to even newer localities to profit from even lower wages and even lower unionist experience. And the unions are tamed in the same way as European unions were tamed, with bureaucratization of the relations between workers and enterprises. The workers for that reason suffer, like their European and North American colleagues, from a decreasing market value of labour. Moreover, they tend to lose local bargaining power when the enterprise informalizes to production, i.e. buys semi-products from unorganised small businesses rather than produce it themselves in big, easily organised industries.

But what labour movement lose where industry is de-localised, they gain where industry is re-localised. In countries like China, Indonesia and India, the strike frequency increases, and this compensates at least somewhat from the decline in Brazil, South Korea, and South Africa, and even more in Europe and the USA [65].

This development is too new to be fully understood. But there are at least some studies of old party-controlled trde unions in India winning a new independence and suddenly run the most successful struggle so far against economic liberalisation, against the will of their party guardians, and a similar new independence has been observed in other places too [66].

The program for this new labour movement is unclear, so far. The welfare state lost its lustre after 1968, and socialism in one country is almost dead as a project. To abolish exploitation through a Marxist state appeared, despite its temporal successes, as more utopian than anything the utopists of the early nineteenth century aimed at. This is not only due to the fact that such national projects appear impossible in a world increasingly dominated by transnational businesses and supra-national credit institutions. It is also a result of doubtful factors in the national government strategy itself, factors that played a less important part during the long postwar Kondratiev upturn but was brought up again when the boom came to an end, and when the ability of the world market system to integrate the direct producers run across its farther limits.


Distribution of industrial workers in the world 1965 and 1990


Labour movements after the state hegemony

Which are the aims of the labour movements? Which strategies are possible to attain them? How well has the traditional national government strategy satisfied the aims? Are there any alternatives today? How credible are they, and what do they cost?

The social movement scholar Alain Touraine, one of the few that have paid attention to this kind of questions, has noticed four aims for labour movements:

  • to revolt against repression at the worksite,

  • to defend the local communities and culture of the working class, against encroachment of upper class culture and the world market system,

  • to assert the economic demands of the workers against capital and state, and

  • to defend the workers' right to bargain collectively, to abolish competition between workers [67].

These aims may be formulated in a more offensive way if desired: to struggle for autonomy instead of just revolting against repression, or to struggle for the hegemony of working class culture instead of just defend it.

The instruments have also, from the time of the Chartists, been four:

  • to obstruct the destructive functions of the system, primarily in the form of strike,

  • to build cooperative ways of satisfying needs, primarily in the form of insurances,

  • to infiltrate repressive structures, primarily in the form of collective participating in political elections, and

  • to build a working class public, primarily in the form of the permanent organisation.

Labour movements grow out from everyday resistance at the worksite. It is from everyday resistance the workers discover that they have power. It is also at the worksite that labour movements have its greatest power as a movement.

Strike is the classic method, the method that attacks the core of the world market system, accumulation of capital. Strike deals with control of work. The origin of the strike is lost in the proto-history of guilds and journeymen's associations, but it was during the proletarization of the nineteenth century that strike became the standard instrument [68].

The strike methods have been increasingly refined over time. In the early labour movement a strike implied that you left the worksite, probably you also visited other worksites in the same business in the same town to persuade the workers there to join you in sympathy. Gradually, the method has been supplemented with factory occupations; it has been developed with selective strike, lightning strike, rolling strike, etc. The strikes have also got more participants on average; instead they have been shorter, which is a reflection of the fact that capital intensive industry is sensitive to interruption. The effectivity of strike as an instrument of struggle has made it a subject for extensive legislation, with the purpose to move the control of it away from the workers and give it to the paid functionaries of the movement.

The Achilles' heel of the strike is supposed to be that they are most useful during booms, when the workers are structurally strongest. When the stocks are filled and the industries are quiet all the same, strikes have been supposed to be meaningless. But this was disproved by the American labour movement in the thirties, when the most successful strike movement ever occurred during the deepest slump. Not only the preconditions are important for peoples' movement, a good strategy may achieve a lot too.

Except the strike, other obstructing instruments of struggle like the boycott and the occupation have been less used. This primarily because they have been less effective compared to the effort. But as a supplement to strikes they have often given good results. Occupation of the worksite prevents the use of blacklegs, while it gives control over the valuable machinery. Moreover, the solidarity and organisational power of the workers are of course strengthened because they are able to assemble and discuss possible trouble at once.

As P.K. Edwards has observed, labour movements are, in spite of their strength mainly being at the worksite, completely dependent of organisation outside the worksite. An organisation that is exclusively trade unionist would probably not even develop an identity as workers, he says, because the comprised conflict collective is too small [69]. Labour movements have for that reason been forced to defend workers against all society, the market or the state, to grow together as a movement also perceiving itself as such. This has generally been more difficult than acting only at the worksite.

Cooperation has been a less important instrument during the twentieth century. As Marx pointed out: the more capital intensive the production grows, the more impossible it is to involve oneself in it without owning capital. As consumer cooperation or insurance cooperation, it has been able to play some role to assert the working class culture and maintain some minimum control over the everyday life.

Infiltration has, with the government power strategy, become the principal strategic instrument of the labour movement, relegating the strike to a minor part. Infiltration has historically implied that the functionaries of the labour movement (or allies) have been voted into government or municipal offices, alternatively been placed there by a revolution, to satisfy the aims of the movement from a government position - as suggested with ambiguous results.

The buildup of a movement public has all the time been the most recalcitrant instrument of all.

In small towns, particularly when they have been dominated by one industry, there has been no trouble. And neither has it been any trouble in the Fordist big industry. In these instances the whole local culture, or the labour regime, turned into instruments for the local public of the labour movement, and an instrument for mobilizations and discussions [70]. The problems have occurred at the supralocal level, in the composed society where the workers not automatically have been a part of a dominant majority.

The classic form of public in the labour movement is the permanent organisation. It has typically taken the form of trade union - in the beginning developed to tie together the workers in the small workshop at this age - or political party. Both have had their limitations. They have often been successful in mobilizing to actions and sometimes also to get support from without. But with the predominance of the government power strategy, the public primarily becomes a way of mobilizing a voting support for the actions of the functionaries, not of mobilizing a support for the workers themselves. Partly, this is a result of the permanent organisation's vulnerability for the self-interests of the functionaries. Since they are permanent, the employment of the functionaries are also permanented, and the chasm between laymen and functionaries is given time to grow.

But nevertheless, it is reasonable to see the permanent organisation as the brilliant social invention of the peoples' movements during the nineteenth century. After all, it succeeded in putting a check on the successively deteriorating conditions for the direct producers and turn them to improvements, thanks to its ability to create strong collective identities.

The communication forms developed by the labour movements were primarily the demonstration and the mass meeting. Moreover, it tried with less success to use the newspaper, a technology developed by the citizens' rights movements of the eighteenth century.

The instruments have been combined differently in different strategies within the history of the labour movement. How well have the four aims been favoured by the different strategies?

Let us begin with trying to assess how well they have been achieved by the government power strategy, i.e. the two-step strategy that has laid the main stress on infiltration in the state to reform society afterward, and which has dominated the twentieth century. Have the aims of the labour movements been made easier when the states have been governed by functionaries with origin and support in the labour movements? Or have the efforts of the labour movements to support such governments been wasted?

The right of collective negotiation has been acknowledged in principle by reformist state functionaries, as it has been acknowledged by all system center governments after 1945. But it has not been acknowledged by communist governments, who have seen themselves as the only legitimate representatives of the workers. And also reformist functionaries have refused to acknowledge the right to negotiate about matters which have affected the central functions of the world market system. For example, the workers' right to negotiate about the aims and procedures of production has only been acknowledged during moments of very strong movement mobilization, and the workers' right to negotiate about investments has never been acknowledged anywhere. Furthermore, the right of collective negotiation has been curtailed by governments, even reformist governments, who have had their opinions about who would represent the workers in such negotiations, and generally given right to that exclusively to the employed functionaries of trade unions.

Workers have had even less support from reformist or communist governments when they have tried to defend working class culture and local communities. Governments' attempts to advance in the world market system made them ruthlessly sacrificing cultural patterns and patterns of settlement that were perceived as old-fashioned on the market, even if the workers mobilized for their defence. Labour movement mobilizations for Lorraine, South Wales or Bergslagen, or for working-class districts in big cities threatened by exploitation or gentrification, have not got palpable support from social democratic governments, and the working-class culture has generally been seen as less valuable than middle-class culture. Here, communist governments have appeared most obliging, although they have appropriated the right to define what real working-class culture is, thus putting also that into the hands of functionaries.

Labour movements revolting against repression at work had least support from governments. Such revolts threatened in a direct way the compromises between the labour movement supported governments and the world market system, and was inexorably resisted by both communist and reformist regimes. Labour party governments have in practice been as anxious as any other to tie up the strike faculty in a formalist strait-jacket, making such revolts extremely hard to carry out. But reformist governments have shown greater resistance to use violence than other governments, if revolts have broken out all the same. Successful labour movement mobilizations have been able to change the labour regimes - they have been able to change market despotisms to paternalism in the nineteenth century, or bureaucratic regimes to hegemonic, to use Burawoy's terms. But they have only been able for short periods of mobilization climaxes to break temporarily the subordination of the spontaneous expressions of life to the routines of state and capital.

The economic demands were however well asserted in the system center during the period 1945-1973, and were supported by reformist functionaries of the state. Wages were raised, social security was extended. Labour movement supported government often took initiative to implement old labour movement demands grounded in moral economy, upgraded for world market system realities, like social security systems, paid holidays, and publicly financed health care. Even in those system peripheries where communist governments ruled, or where there was some product that was well paid for on the world market, or/and a bourgeoisie using a career strategy based on import substitution, the economic demands were reasonably well satisfied until the postwar boom ended.

Collective negotiation for better wages accordingly became the strategy that was easiest for the labour movements to pursue within both a social democrat and a communist national policy framework. For that reason, it has been the predominant one. Struggles that have originally begun for other aims have been converted into struggles for higher wages as soon as authorities and union functionaries have intervened. For example, the general strike in France in May-June 1968, originally a struggle for power, was converted by trade union functionaries into a strike for wage rises, promptly granted and promptly eaten up by inflation [71].

The government power strategy has thus been effective on the economic level, but hardly on the political or cultural, and for that reason not at the economic level either in the long run. The strategy built on the premise that the movements should demobilize the participation of laymen and delegate to the functionaries to implement the aims of the movement.

The consequences were particularly clear in Sweden, the model country of the strategy. Lena Hellblom has shown the way the Saltsjöbaden agreement in 1938, which would guarantee wage rises in exchange of the workers giving up their right to exert influence on the aim and direction of the production, not only put the initiative in the hands of the functionaries but also rendered superfuous the labour movement culture and self-confidence. It was not only that new mobilizations would threaten the agreements; the popular movement was converted into a bargaining apparatus and the laymen were converted into clients, whose meddling with articulation and program would make a mess of the bargaining [72].

When the movement demobilized, it lost its social presence and creating power in society. As Shorter and Tilly have called attention to, the most important effect of a strike movement is hardly the economic outcome for the strikers; arguably, it rarely pays off, in proportion to the sacrifices. The most important effect is the political one. When the workers act collectively, they are perceived as strong, and this means that they are strong. Other forces in society, including state and capital, have to pay attention to them in many ways. When the movement delegate all actions to functionaries, the respect for the workers declines and with that also the attention. Not least important, the workers' self-respect declines.

When the movement demobilized, with time the power base of the functionaries disappeared and they grew less effective. They had less to sell, in the form of industrial peace, so they got more dispensable for state and capital, and also for the upper middle class which increasingly dared to assert their interests in an aggressive way. Those who first felt the decreasing ability of functionaries were the peripheral workers like women, youth, service workers and ethnic minorities. Finally in the 1980s it also hit the core, the skilled workers in the manufacturing industries of the system center.

When the movement demobilized, the movement's ability to direct its functionaries decreased, and the functionaries went their own ways according to their group interests. They began to perceive themselves as a new kind of upper middle class, obtain privileges, form a policy to the benefit of themselves and other privileged middle class people. In the end, they turned against what remained of the twentieth century strategy of the labour movement. This was most clearly demonstrated in the countries where the communist government power strategy was applied, and where the social power of the functionaries was the relatively greatest. But also in social democrat strongholds like Scandinavia, the hitmen of liberalization have been state and municipal civil servants rather than capitalists, small entrepreneurs or business managers.

Since 1968, the government power strategy has been increasingly questioned, because these weaknesses have appeared increasingly clear. Results of this have been that ties between labour movements and labour parties have been weakened over the whole world, that the belief in the possibility of attaining benefits through the state has decreased, and that the attraction of the labour movement on peripheral groups have decreased, with declining membership in trade unions as a consequence.

What alternatives are there? What advantages and disadvantages would there be of an alternative strategy?

The alternative most nearly at hand is the strategy building primarily on the local trade union strength of the workers, i.e. the local bargaining power, and emanates from the obstruction/strike as the most important instrument. Historically, such a strategy has been applied most downright in England and France up to about 1910, and in the USA up to today. There is much indicating the workers increasingly rely on the bargaining power emanating from an increasingly integrated production process at the worksite, disregarding business-wise organising in trade unions. This despite that cross-enterprise organising would be quite useful for other aims, for example organising a movement public, or pursuing the kind of political issues that traditionally are pursued by parties.

This strategy has a clear advantage. When the important thing is what the lay people do, their power will exceed the power of the functionaries. But it has also, as for example Lenin pointed out and as Edwards suggests: it isn't easy to struggle for hegemony in society purely through worksite struggles. It is impossible to struggle for hegemony without a focus, and it is impossible to get a focus in a diffusely distributed movement where different initiatives and aims appear at each worksite individually [73]. This strategy is beyond doubt an important reason of the lack of perspective that has characterized primarily the American labour movement, and it is a reason why the West European labour movement seized upon the government power strategy a hundred years ago, as it (with all its ambiguities) yet offered a reasonably common aim in the middle-long run. The aim proved unattainable, to be sure, but it was yet highly mobilizing for a long time, not least because it contributed to a strong, hegemonic identity with enough power to dominated the popular movement scene for a hundred years.

A third alternative may be to let oneself be inspired by the First International and focus on international worker solidarity. In a world where the production is increasingly organised globally, and where the enterprises outsource the production to lesser enterprises with no regard for distances or political borders, nationally organised labour movements are rather powerless. A movement which learns to take up conflicts at the site in the world where capital for the movement is most sensitive will on the other hand have a certain advantage. In the 1880s, the trade unions in Stockholm met immigration of unorganised, unassuming workers from the countryside with active organising in the whole country. In the same way, the labour movement in the system center would counter the present attempts to use unorganised workers in the south with global labour organising and global action support [74].

A fourth alternative may be to consciously build alliances to other peoples' movements for aims concerning the whole society. To rely in a co-operating "family of anti-systemic movements", to quote Immanuel Wallerstein. This is considered further in chapter 10.

An alternative strategy must probably find another reasonable common aim at the middle-long run, to get a focus, to mobilize, to create an identity and a culture that ties the movement together, to give a content to the worker identity that all the time is forced to compete with other identities, and that all the time is threatened by splitting up into full and semi-proletarians, skilled and unskilled, men and women, and workers of different nationality. And the common aim will probably have to pertain to the society outside the worksite to concern all workers, while the instrument must be at the worksite to give the movement the greatest possible power.

Today, when the century-long strategy of the labour movements has failed, the movement appears weak, and is for that reason weaker than before. But which are the conditions for the development of the labour movement in the long run?

The diffusion of wage labour, the proletarization, is a long-run trend in the world market system, a manifestation of its tendency to convert everything into saleable and purchaseable commodities fitting to links in the commodity chains. The proportion of wage labourers increases, even if it has not by a long way reached the majority. The foundation for a labour movement is thus growing. But it grows unevenly. So far, it has grown fastest in the system center. But from 1973 it is stagnating there and grows fast in the periphery. The level of departure is however very low [75].

Marx, the great theorist of the labour movement, imagined that the workers, in a homogeneous world market, would be increasingly stronger as political actors and increasingly weaker as consumers. The workers were presumed to use their strength within production to assert themselves against a system that increasingly would lose its legitimacy because of the misery it caused.

Up to the end of the nineteenth, the model seemed to fit with reality. But then something happened. The homogeneous world market was split up in protectionist blocks whose center states had power to intervene forcefully in their own precincts. Meanwhile, the workers used their political power as producers to exert an influence on the government interventions to their advantage. One of the results they achieved was that the mass misery in the system center was drastically reduced. Another was that the spread of a numerous working class to the periphery was prevented. A third was that the working class was split up into nations, which could be posed against eachothers in "international competition" and war. A fourth was that the strategy of the movements undermined their organisatorical base and mobilization faculty [76].

Today, the faculty of intervention of the states is reduced on the market and the world is again ruled increasingly by market mechanisms. The world is increasingly as Marx saw it. Mass misery grows in the center while the workers' social power grows in the periphery. If Marx's model fits, the workers thus would get a greater motivation to change the world, and also greater independent power to do it than they had during the twentieth century when they have had to subordinate themselves under government functionaries with other aims.

And if Marx's views are true, this implies that labour movements in the South rather soon will dominate. In the twenty-first century, labour movements in China, Indonesia, India and Brazil will shake the transnational enterprises while the workers of Europe will be moved to the periphery of the movement.

Another trend that has strengthened vigorously during the years after 1973 is that the proportion of semiproletarian households has increased. The classic Fordist households of the system center, with male breadwinners and female housekeepers have practically disappeared. Instead, different forms of casual labour are spread, where the workers are presumed to have several incomes. This is the reverse of the broken protectionist center blocks - there are suddenly so many more potential wage labourers to choose among for the enterprises [77].

A third trend is that the Europe-inspired common labour movement identity burst in a world where Europe isn't the center of the movement any longer. The attributes of a global labour movement, if this is possible, is unknowable. There is much to indicate that the identity of the system peripheries is broader than the one of the system center, that it comprises all exploited, not only the formal wage labourers.

A fourth trend, which should promote labour movements, is the long Kondratiev A wave that should come off around 2000 and last until about 2025. So far, the industrial society has gone through four such Kondrative As, each with about 50 years in between. Each has led to a strengthened bargaining position of the workers, since the workers have turned more indispensable, while the following downturns have weakened their movements again.

A fifth trend is that the big, easily organised mass workers sites tend to disappear and be replaced as accumulation sites by subcontracting firms, service industry and finance, not to say pure speculation. Beverly Silver points to the fact that the growing businesses today are education, real estate and transport, of which only the last is easy to obstruct for a militant labour movement [78].

A sixth trend is that the flowchart-ruled just in time production, despite its temporary disorganising effects, in the long run should favour the local bargaining power of the workers.

Three changes to favour the labour movement, two to disfavour it, and one with ambiguous effects. All imply changed strategies, though. Such new strategies usually take a long time to appear - and it is possible that the labour movements don't have it.

There is a risk that the workers let the opportunities of a whole historical era slip through their fingers because they still are emotionally tied to the government power strategy that in certain aspects was so successful during the twentieth century.



[1] The background is concisely depicted in Eric Wolf, Europe and the peoples without history, University of California Press 1982.

[2] Claude Meillassoux, Maidens, meal and money, Cambridge University Press 1981. Immanuel Wallerstein, Historic capitalism, Verso 1983, and Joan Smith & Immanuel Wallerstein (ed), Creating and transforming households, Cambridge University Press 1992, also deals with this.

[3] P.K. Edwards, Conflict at work, Blackwell 1986.

[4] Michael Burawoy, The politics of production, Verso 1985.

[5] The classic account is E.P. Thompson, The making of the English working class, Victor Gollancz 1963. William Sewell, Work and revolution in France - the language of labor from the old regime to 1848, Cambridge University Presss 1980, shows the development from guild system to labour movement. An excellent account of the formative age of the labour movement is Dick Geary, European labour protest 1848-1939, St Martin's Press 1981. Per Forsman, Arbetets arv, Arbetarkultur 1989, describes the ambition of the workers to keep the control of the working process from the hands of capital.

[6] The first registred strike in Sweden occurred in the copper mine at Falun in 1665 according to Gösta Hultén, Arbetsrätt och klassherravälde, Rabén & Sjögren 1971. The word strike has its origin i hatters' jargon and is found in print from the mid eighteenth century. And the fact that the word has counterparts in many languages - Spanish huelga, French grève etc - suggests that there is a long popular tradition for it.

[7] The struggle of the workers against the market principle and its undermining of the workers' survival is one of the coes of Karl Polanyi, The great transformation, Henry Holt 1944.

[8] This section is based on Dorothy Thompson, The Chartists, Pantheon Books 1984, and John Foster, Class struggle and the industrial revolution, Weidenfeld & Nicolson 1974.

[9] This is described for the town of Oldham in John Foster, Class struggle and the industrial revolution.

[10] The socalled Loi Chapelier from 1791 equalled trade union rights with privileges of nobility, and the post-revolutionary bourgeoisie was of course quick to take advantage of this. William Sewell, Work and revoution in France, and Bernard Moss, The origins of the French labor movement, University of California Press 1976

[11] The story about the First International is told by K. Knudsen, The strike history of the First International, in F van Holthoon & Marcel van der Linden (ed), Internationalism in the labour movement 1830-1940, E.J. Brill 1988.

[12] According to Bernard Moss, The origins of the French labor movement.

[13] Karl Polanyi, The great transformation.

[14] The German labour movement is described in Jürgen Kocka, Problems of working-class formation in Germany: The early years 1800-1875, and Mary Nolan, Economic crisis, state policy and working-class formation in Germany 1870-199, both in Ira Katznelson & Aristide R Zolberg (ed), Working-class formation Nineteenth-century patterns in Western Germany and United States, Princeton University Press 1986. The classic about the bureaucratization of the German labour party is Robert Michels, Political parties. A sociological study of the oligarchical tendencies of modern democracy, Free Press 1962 (first published in 1915).

[15] Overviews of the labour movement during thiese years are Harvey Mitchell & Peter Stearns, Workers and protest, F.E: Peacock Publishers 1971; Walter Kendall, The labour movement in Europe, Allen Lane 1975; Dick Geary (ed), Labour and socialist movements in Europe before 1914, Berg 1989; and Ira Katznelson & Aristied Zolberg, Working-class formation.

[16] The conflict between artisans and unskilled workers was recognized by Friedrich Engels and Vladimir Lenin, who somewhat mistakenly attributed conservative tendencies to the skilled socalled worker aristocracy. Gunnar Olofsson, Mellan klass och stat, Arkiv 1979, has discussed it as has Peter Stearns, Workers and protest, in Katznelson & Zolberg, Hans-Olof Ericsson, mellan dröm och vardag, Arkiv 1991, and Karl-Heinz Roth, Den anden arbejderbevægelse, GMT 1976 - they all have contributed to my relation above. The figures are from Fackföreningsrörelsen, LO 1912 and Walter Kendall, The labour movement in Europe.

[17] Michelle Perrot, The French working class, in Katznelson & Zolberg, Working clas formation.

[18] The Catalan experience is described by Gerald Brenan, The Spanish labyrinth, Cambridge University Press 1960.

[19] Sebastian Haffner, Die deutsche Revolution 1918/1919, Kindler Verlag 1979. There is a scene in the book when the leaders for the Workers' Council of Berlin comes to the party leadership to report that they had just beat off a military attack, but meets the leader of their military adversary who is there to report somewhat embarassedly to his principal about his doubtless casual defeat.

[20] Karl-Heinz Roth, Den anden arbejderbevægelse, and Giovanni Arrighi, Marxist century - American century: The making and remaking of the world labor movement, in Samir Amin et al, Transforming the revolution, Social movements and the world-system, Monthly Review Press 1990.

[21] Michelle Perot, On the formation of the French working class, describes the action types. F. L. Carsten, Revolution in Central Europe, University of California Press 1972, describes the municipal administrations of the workers' councils in Germany and Austria in 1918-19 and the way it was deserted by the labour party officials who saw themselves more loyal to their colleagues in the state than to the workers.

[22] Dick Geary, European labour protests 1848-1939.

[23] Samir Amin et al, Transforming the revolution.

[24] Michael Burawoy, The contours of production politics, in Charles Bergquist (ed), Labor in the capitalist world economy, Sage Publications 1984; Moshe Lewin: The making of the Soviet System, Methuen 1985.

[25] The conflict was clear when the Socialist Workers' International was founded in Paris in Juli 14, 1889. For then, there were two congresses, both allegedly representing the working class, with the aim of creating an international cooperation. The one, convened by French cooperatives, appealed to trade unions. The other, convened by French marxists, appealed to socialist parties. The later was the one that got the hegemony within the labour movement, and the rivalry between them was bitter according to James Joll, The Second International, Routledge and Kegan Paul 1974.

[26] One of the themes in Walter Kendall, The labour movement in Europe.

[27] Hans-Olof Ericsson, Mellan dröm och vardag, Arkiv 1991.

[28] The Catalan labour movement is related in for example Gabriel Jackson, The Spanish republic and the civil war 1931-1939, Princeton University Press 1965, Hugh Thomas, The Spanish civil war, Hamish Hamilton 1977, or Robert Alexander, The Anarchists in the Spanish civil war, Janus 1999.

[29] The description builds primarily on Giovanni Arrighi & Beverly Silver, Labor movement and capital migration: The United States and Western Europe in world historical perspective, in Charles Bergquist (ed), Labor in the capitalist world-economy, Sage Publications 1984.

[30] The Russian labour movement before the revolution is treated by C. Read, Labour and socialism in tsarist Russia, in Dick Geary (ed), Labour and socialist movements in Europe before 1914. The revolution is described by S.A. Smith, Red Petrograd, Cambridge University Press 1983, and in David H. Kaiser (ed), The workers' revolution in Russia 1917, The view from below, Cambridge University Press 1987, in a way that starts with the needs and self-organising of the workers, not from state-building party people. Rex A. Wade, The red guards, in Edith Rogovin Frankel et al (ed), Revolution in Russia; reassessment of 1917, Cambricge University Press 1992, is another source. See also chapter 6.

[31] William Rosenberg, Russian labour and Bolshevik power: social mimensions of protest in Petrograd after October, in David H. Kaiser (ed), The workers' revolution in Russia 1917, The view from below.

[31a] Jeffrey Rossman: Worker resistance under Stalin, Harvard University Press 2005. The Communist's claim to represent the workers is effectively exploded here.

[32] Moshe Lewin, The making of the Soviet system.

[33] Michael Burawoy, The contours of production politics.

[34] Paolo Spriano, The occupation of the factories, Pluto Press 1975, is a classic that appeared in original as early as in the early 60s. Unfortunately it is affected by the old elitist history writing that gives party leaders predominance at the expense of lay members.

[35] So far I know, the Scandinavian societies have never been explored as a diverging path of system center polity and culture. And furthermore, what I know is only available in Scandinavian languages. Knud P. Pedersen, Den nordiske model, Grevas 1984, is a popular but unanalytic sketch. A view from the Swedish labour movement standpoint is Jan Lindhagen, Socialdemokratins program, Tiden 1972. The peoples' movement culture is movingly depicted in Jan Myrdal, Anteckningar från den svenska litterära scenen, i Ord & avsikt, Norstedts 1986.

[36] The growth of the American labour movement is described in Martin Shefter, Trade unions and political machines; The organization and disorganization of the American working class in the late nineteenth century, in Katznelson & Zolberg, Working class formation. The blacklegging of AFL is described in David Gordon, Richard Evans & Michael Reich, Segmented work, divided workers, Cambridge Univeristy Press 1982.

[37] There is a vivid and completely non-academic description of this well-planned occupation, with a great interest in the strategic and tactic decisions of the movement: Walter Linder, The great Flint sit-down strike against GM 1936-37, The Radical Education Project, no year. In occupying the plants, the American workers finally succeeded in finding a method against blacklegging. The occupied factories were fortified against the armed attacks of the enterprise. Nine tenths of the workers had the task of organising solidarity while only on tenth remained at the plant.

[38] For example Lars Lindström, Accumulation, rgulation and political struggles, Stockholm University 1993.

[39] This process has been subject for debate after the overthrow of it. For example Alf Johansson & Lars Ekdahl, Den historiska kompromissen som tillfällig maktallians, i Häften för Kritiska Studier 2/96.

[40] Bo Rothstein, Den socialdemokratiska staten, Arkiv 1986.

[41] Lena Hellblom, Från primitiv till organiserad demokrati, Salamander 1985, describes the way union functionaries increasingly see themselves as the movement while the members are reduced to clients.

[42] Sten O. Karlsson, Arbetarfamiljen och det nya hemmet, Symposion Graduale 1993, deals with the housing policy as a decisive field, where the clinic vision of the charity bourgeoisie could be forced through only when the construction workers had lost an important strike in 1933-34.

[43] Marja Taussi Sjöberg & Tine Vammen (red), På tröskeln till välfärden, Carlsson 1995, demonstrates the welfare background in charity. Within the labour movement there was much anxiety over the eventual result and tried to counter it with recruiting poples' movement activists to the bureaucratic functions. But of course the functions affected their occupiers more than the other way about.

[44] Maija Runcis, Steriliseringar i folkhemmet, Ordfront 1998.

[45] Mark Selden, The proletariat, revolutionary change, and the state in China and Japan 1850-1950, in Immanuel Wallerstein (ed), Labor in the world social structure, Sage 1983; and more exhaustively in Joe Moore, Japanese workers and the struggle for power 1945-1947, University of Wisconsin Press 1983.

[46] Colin Crouch & Alessandro Pizzorno (ed), The resurgence of class conflicts in Western Europe since 1968, The Macmillan Press 1978. The most relevant chapters are Ida Regalia, Marino Regini & Emilio Reyneri, Labour conflicts and indistrial relations in Italy; Pierre Dubois, New forms of industrial conflicts; and Rainer Deppe, Richard Herding & Dietrich Hoss, The relationship between trade union actions and political parties. Lumley, Robert : States of emergency - cultures of revolt in Italy from 1968 to 1978, Verso 1990, is a more thorough relation of the Italian case.

[47] The system has been described in Claude Meillassoux, Maidens, meal and money: capitalism and the domestic community, Cambridge University Press 1981.

[48] Literature on labour movements in the system periphery is scarce - which is lamented by all its authors. About Latin America I warmly recommend Charles Bergquist, Labor in Latin America, Stanford University Press 1986. Sylvia Ann Hewlett & Richard S Weinert, Brazil and Mexico; patterns in late development, Institute for the Study of Human Issues 1982, and Edward Epstein (ed), Labor autonomy and the state in Latin America, Unwin Hyman 1989 may complete. About African movements, Robin Cohen has written or edited some books: Richard Sandbrook & Robin Cohen, The devlopment of an African working class, Longman 1975, Robin Cohen, Labour and politics in Nigeria, Heineman 1974, and William Cobbett & Robin Cohen (ed), Popular struggles in South Africa, Review of African Political Economy 1987. Asia is most scantily documented. There is, for example Mark Selden, The proletariat, revolutionary change and the state in China and Japan 1850-1950, in Immanuel Wallerstein (ed), Labor in the world social structure, Sage 1983, and Jean Chesneaux, The Chinese labor movement 1919-1927, Stanford University Press 1968. There are also two collections edited by Roger Southall, Labour and unions in Asia and Africa, Macmillan 1988, and Trade Unions and the new industrialisation of the Third World, Zed 1988.

[49] Charles Bergquist, Labor in Latin America, Stanford University Press 1986.

[50] James Dunkerley, Rebellion in the veins, Verso 1984.
[51] Mark Selden, The proletariat, revolutionary change and state in China and Japan; Jean Chesneaux, The Chinese labor movement 1919-1927.
[52] Jack Gray, Rebellion and revoltion, China from the 1800s to the 1980s, Oxford University Press 1990.
[53] Jaganath Pathy, The structure of the Indian working class and conventional unions, in Roger Southall (ed), Labour and unions in Africa and Asia. Sukomal Sen, Working class of India, Sout Asia Books 1977 gives some supplementing empiry, but is tiresomely apologetic on behalf of the communist parties.
[54] Robin Cohen, Labour and politics in Nigeria, and Richard Sandbrook & Robin Cohen, The devlopment of an Afraican working class. According to Cohen this is till true - the only alternative organisings are the labour movements and the army.
[55] Nicholas Van Hear, Recession, retrenchment and military rule: Nigerian labour in the 1980s, in Southall (ed), Trade unions and the new industrialization of the third world.
[56]. Paschal Mihyo, Against overwhelming odds, The Zambian trade union movement, in Henk Thomas (ed), Globalization and the third world trade unions, Zed 1995.
[57] Hewlett & Weinert, Brazil and Mexico.
[58] Charles Bergquist, Labor in Latin America.
[59] Ibid.
[60] Gay Seidman: Manufacturing militance, workers' movements in Brazil and South Africa 1970-1985, University of California Press 1994. Maria Helena Moreira Alves, Trade unions in Brazil, A searh for autonomy and organization, in Edward Epstein (ed) Labor autonomy and the state in Latin America, Unwin Hyman 1989.
[61] William Cobbett & Robin Cohen (ed), Popular struggles in South Africa, Review of African Political Economy 1987. Cobbett & Cohen also relate the way the regime has relied on a small layer of black businessmen and "homeland" functionaries, organised in Inkhata.
[62] Hagen Koo, Korean workers, Cornell University Press 2001; Lars Lindström, Accumulation, regulation and political struggles, Manufacturing workers in South Korea, University of Stockholm 1993; Frederic Deyo, Beneath the miracle - labor subordination in the new Asian industrialism, University of California Press 1989, and Walden Bello & Stephanie Rosenfeld, Dragons in distress, Institute for Food and Development Policy 1990.
[63] Asef Bayat, Workers and revolution in Iran, Zed 1987.
[64] Alain Touraine et al, Solidarity, Cambridge University Press 1983.
[65] Beverly Silver, World-scale patterns of labor-capital conflict, in Review xviii, winter 1995.
[66] Some cases are described in Ronaldo Munck & Peter Waterman, Labour worldwide in the era of globalisation, Macmillan 1998; Rocio Londoño Botero, Trade unions and labor policy in Colombia 1974-1987, in Epstein (ed), Labor autonomy and the state in Latin America; and E.J. Goldberg (ed), the social history of labour in the Middle East, Westview 1996.
[67] Alain Touraine, The workers' movement, Cambridge University Press 1987.

[68] Charles Tilly, From mobilization to revolution, Addison Wesley 1978 deals also with strikes. Eric Batstone, Ian Boraston & Stephen Frenkel, The social organizastion of strikes, Blackwell 1978, describes the way strikes are developed out of everyday resistance.

[69] P.K. Edwards, Conflict at work, Blackwell 1986.

[70] Swedish small industrial communities are like English or French mining communities the classical examples. But at least before the commercial publicity shattered the democratic one, labour movements' local public worked also in big towns, see for example Alain Cottereau, The distinctiveness of working clas cultures in France, in Katznelson & Zolberg, Working class formation. Jan Lindhagen & Macke Nilsson, Hotet mot arbetarrörelsen, Tiden 1970 deals with the Swedish example.

[71] Edward Shorter & Charles Tilly, Strikes in France 1830-1968, Cambridge University Press 1974

[72] Lena Hellblom, Från primitiv till organiserad demokrati, Salamander 1985.

[73] Vladimir Lenin, What is to be done, several editions, for example International Publishers 1973; P.K. Edwards, Conflict at work.

[74] Ronaldo Munck, Globalisation and labour - the new "Great Transformation", Zed Books 2002.

[75] Göran Therborn has pointed out that the labour movement in the periphery will probably differ from the one in the system center because there are no centuries-old artisan traditions there, used to autonomous production and intellectual activity (Göran Therborn, Vänstern och den klassiska arbetarrörelsens slut, Socialistisk Debatt 3/1993). The Therborn article sounds pessimistic, but this may be a manifestation of eurocentric arrogance. The South Korean labour movement had successes with no background in an artisan tratition, which seems to sugest that there are other possibilities than the European one.

[76] This argumentation is developed in Giovanni Arrighi, The Marxist century, the American century, in Samir Amin et al: Transforming the revolution - social movements and the world-system, Monthly Review Press 1990.

[77] Faruk Tabak, The world labour force, in Terence Hopkins, Immanuel Wallerstein et al, The age of transition - trajectory of the world-system, 1945-2025, Zed Books & Pluto Press 1996.

[78] Beverly Silver, Forces of labor, Cambridge University Press 2003.


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