“What would society be like under a syndicalist government?”

A Quora reader asked: “What would society be like under a syndicalist government?”
Reply by Tom Wetzel
Syndicalism isn’t a vision of socialism, it’s a strategy for how to build a working class movement that can liberate itself from the oppression and exploitation of the capitalist regime, and thus gain power over our work and workplaces and eliminate the subordinate and exploited condition of the working class
This is based on a strategy of building self-managed unions on a basis of class-wide solidarity, bringing the various grassroots social movements into a class front or alliance for power to fundamentally challenge the dominating classes.
The aim of syndicalism is a form of socialism where all the institutions of the society are rebuilt on the basis of self-management. Thus the other answer here which says the goal is the same as the socalled “Communist” countries is complete nonsense. Those countries had repressive top down bureaucratic states which are anathema to syndicalism.
The aim is to eliminate the top down bureaucratic state and the top down corporations and set up industrial federations controlled by the workers that run all the industries and public services. The old top down bureaucratic state would be broken down and replaced by a system of congresses and councils of delegates elected from the base assemblies in workplaces and neighborhoods. These congresses and councils would have both economic planning roles, working cooperatively and through negotiation with the worker managed industries. The councils and congresses that replace the state would be responsible for the basic rules and their enforcement, via some accountable and democratic system of popular tribunals to replace the old elitist judiciary, and a democratic people’s militia that would be under the control of the mass working class organizations such as unions and worker councils.
The aim is not to put any particular political party into control of a government — and this is where syndicalism differs from the Leninists who want to put a “vanguard party” into control of a top down state. The various ideological tendencies within the working class would continue to be an influence in the workplace assemblies, congresses, and thus would be reflected in the policies adopted. This is especially so since self-management is based on the deliberation and discussion in the assemblies as its basis. Thus freedom of discussion and deliberation is necessary for self-management to exist.”

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