What are the criticism against Principles of Syndicalism?

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Criticism:

1. Critics point out that it is doubtful that a General Strike can be achieved in the way Sorel expected. It is said that if the workers are firm in their stand, and if they are able to resist the armed attack that will be launched against them by the organized force of the state, they might use the same force for winning the battle at the polls. There are many ‘Ifs’ in this strategy.

There are not many countries where the workers are so united that they can go into action simultaneously when the call for a General Strike is given. Nowhere does the world.™ class enjoy the leadership that could plan and execute a revolution by launching a General Strike. Moreover, the General Strike is also difficult to succeed particularly in a country where there are small scale industries.

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2. The critics point out that Sorel was a perverted moralist. He had perverted, reactionary and potentially dangerous ideas of the age. For formulating his ideology, he drew inspiration from Bergson and Neitzsche who hated common man and democracy.

From Marx he got his belief in decay of the bourgeois society and from anarchism the cult of violence. He tried to combine all these in a singular resultant which came out to be extremely unreliable.

3. While giving a call for General Strike, appeal is to be made to workers and not the general masses as a whole. During the General Strike when all the activities are paralyzed, the general public would suffer, and will in no case support the action of the working class.

4. It is doubtful how according to Sorel’s theory of myth the workers would struggle and starve themselves for a goal which is not clear before their eyes. Only a positive and definite goal can urge them to action. Once the myth is exploded, those who believe in it will feel completely demoralized.

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5. According to McGovem, Sorel’s doctrine was taken over by the Fascists and Nazis and made an integral part of their philosophy. Mussolini and Hitler created the myth of the greatness of their nations, which created in the people a hope, a faith and a passion.

The Fascist and Nazi parties assumed the role of the elite in their respective countries with a distinctive ideology. Laidler is of the view that the actual influence of Sorel on the syndicalist movement has often been over-estimated. Most his philosophy, notably his interpretation of general strike received scant consideration among the rank and file of the movement. Later he himself broke off relations with this movement.

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