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HIRSCH, Steven Jay. " The Anarcho-Syndicalist Roots of A Multi-Class Alliance: Organized Labor and The Peruvian Aprista Party, 1900-1933 "
Article published on 6 June 2004
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228 p. Ph. D. The George Washington University, 1997. Director: Peter Flindell Klaren

DAI, VOL. 57-12A, Page 5270

"Peru’s American Popular Revolutionary Alliance (APRA) has traditionally been interpreted by scholars and observers alike as a prototypical populist party. This study challenges the assumption on which the prevailing interpretation is based. It gainsays the notion that the political culture of Peruvian workers was distinctly susceptible to these methods of control. Analyzing the development of workers’ political culture in Lima-Callao, the study argues that anarchism and anarcho-syndicalism were powerful cultural influences.

Although anarchist and anarcho-syndicalist groups constituted a minority fraction of the working class, they played an instrumental role in the foundation and expansion of the urban trade union movement in the 1900s and 1910s. In fact, they transmitted to organized labor a counter-hegemonic culture. Anti-capitalist, anti-clerical, and anti-paternalistic beliefs predominated within the union movement. Anarchist and anarcho-syndicalist groups infused organized labor with an ethos that stressed self-emancipation and autonomy from non-workers groups. In addition, they helped formulate an anarcho-syndicalist political project that included such goals as a national labor union, union liberty and recognition, collective bargaining rights, the right to strike, the eight-hour day, and social security.

In the 1920s, state repression prevented the emergence of any viable political alternative for workers and the labor movement. Hence, organized labor continued to adhere to an anarcho-syndicalist line. Union workers ultimately brought their anarcho-syndicalist values and project with them when they allied with APRA in the 1930s."


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