chapter  2
23 Pages

The Socialist Future of the Syndicates 1

Contemporary socialist writers are far from agreeing on the future of professional syndicates. This chapter presents several theoretical points of view and show that Marx's historical materialism greatly illuminates these problems. The history of Christianity has often been compared to the history of modern socialism; there is much truth in this comparison, at least in certain respects. Syndicates can have a great influence on the cooperatives by underwriting them, especially at the time of their formation: it rests with syndicates to infuse the cooperatives with the proletarian spirit, to prevent them from being transformed into simple overseers, to make everything that recalls capitalist association disappear. The syndicate is revealed as one of the strongest pedagogical institutions which can exist, however undeveloped it is. The development of the proletariat includes a powerful moral discipline exerted on its members: it can be exercised through its syndicates, which are supposed to remove all the forms of organization inherited from the bourgeoisie.