Alphonse Merrheim: The Emergence of Reformism in by N. Papayanis

By N. Papayanis

this is often apoliticalbiography ofAlphonseMerrheim, asignificant chief of the Conf6d6ration G6n6raledu Travail(CGT)intheyears among 1904 and 1923 and crucial member of the Federation of Metalworkers through the sameperiod. Hewas born inthe Nord in 1871 and becameaworkeratanearlyage, firstinmetallurgythanintextiles and eventually once again in metalworking. In his ideologicalevolution hepassed via asocialistpoliticalpartyandthenconvertedtorevolutionarys- dicalism. In his bizarre fusion of idea and perform, Merrheim represented a kind of progressive syndicalism that is helping outline the features of that flow. He believed, alongwithother revo- tionary syndicalists, that someday a staff' common strike might ov- throw capitalism. however the syndicalist move wouldpreparethat ev- tualitybystrengtheningtheworkersthrough socialreformsandbycreating their type attention via schooling. Merrheim, even if, p- ticipatedsothoroughly intradeunionactivityandstudiedtheorganization of capitalistindustry so carefullythat he cametoemphasizetheprepa- tions for the sort of generalstrike even more than thestrikeitself. The attempt of his perspective cameon theeve of, in the course of, and instantly afterWorld battle I; for opposite tothe calls for of definite militant and innovative workerswhobelievedthatthethreatofwar andthenthedislocationcaused via the conflict demanded a progressive reaction, Merrheim many times stressedthe risks ofsuch anaction sooner than the adequatepreparation of the staff. Hissteadfast refusaleventorespondtothestrikeactions of a few ofhisown metalworkers in 1919 shows the imperative contradiction among hisrevolutionary conception and reformistpractice. This ebook examinesindetailMerrheim'sevolution fromarevolutionary to areformer. Insodoingit alsoshedslightonanequallysubstantialtopic, particularly, howacertaintypeofworkerrespondedtoindustrializationinthe overdue 19th and earlytwentiethcenturies. Merrheim is a fascinating determine, too, becauseofhispositioninthelabormovement, foritrepresents a distinct focalpoint forthestudy oflaborhistory. Merrheim enteredthe Frenchlabormovement within the Eighteen Nineties and remainedactiveinituntil 1923. in the course of that periodhewas, successively, alocalunion chief, co-secretary xii of a nationallaborfederation, and animportant figurewithinthe CGT. by no means thesecretary-generaloftheCGT, hewasneverthelesstheconfident of thesecretary-generalfrom 1909, L6on Jouhaux.

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