ABSTRACT

It is often assumed that British syndicalism had its roots in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries and, in terms of its organization and institutional expression, that cannot be disputed.1 Yet the articulation of a neo-syndicalist political economy can be found much earlier in a remarkable series of fourteen short pieces entitled Letters on Associated Labour in a working-class paper – The Pioneer; or Grand National Consolidated Trades’ Union Magazine – which ran from March 15 to July 5, 1834.2 The Pioneer itself was published weekly from September 7, 1833 to July 5, 1834 and its peak circulation of c. 20,000 far outstripped that of most stamped and unstamped papers of the period.3