On strikes, generally speaking

Luke Evans has written a piece looking at the different ways Marxists and non-Marxists have understood the notion of a general strike. He also discusses how political slogans work, and relates this to the question of how revolutionaries should go about calling for and intervening in general strikes.

For Georges Sorel, the General Strike was a heroic myth that created the simple idea of an inevitable triumph of will by the masses away from the deviations of intellectuals and against the ruling class. For him, the goal of a General Strike was as an act of force, and he was hostile to any intellectual attempt to understand the variations between different forms of General Strikes.

His belief in the General Strike as a heroic myth, and his subsequent failure to root his understanding of the General Strike in the material reality of working class life is what lay behind his shift from being a syndicalist supporter of Lenin to a fascist who sympathised with Mussolini. For Sorel, all that mattered was force.

Read “On strikes, generally speaking” here.


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