The raised fist, or the clenched fist, is a long-standing image of activism, often a symbol of social revolution and political solidarity. It is also a common symbol of anarchism and communism, but can also be used as a salute to express unity, strength, or resistance. The origin of the raised fist as a symbol is unclear. Its use in trade unionism, anarchism, and the labor movement had begun by the 1910s. William "Big Bill" Haywood, a founding member of the Industrial Workers of the World, used the metaphor of a fist as something greater than the sum of its parts during a speech at the 1913 Paterson silk strike. The raised fist logo may represent unity or solidarity, generally with… Read more
The proletariat is the social class of wage-earners, those members of a society whose only possession of significant economic value is their labour power. A member of such a class is a proletarian. Marxist philosophy considers the proletariat to be exploited under capitalism, forced to accept meager wages in return for operating the means of production, which belong to the class of business owners, the bourgeoisie. Marx argued that this oppression gives the proletariat common economic and political interests that transcend national boundaries, impelling them to unite and take over power from the capitalist class, and eventually to create a communist society free from class distinct… Read more
Syndicalism is a current in the labor movement to establish local, worker-based organizations and advance the demands and rights of workers through strikes. Major syndicalist organizations include the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), the General Confederation of Labor in France, the National Confederation of Labour in Spain, the Italian Syndicalist Union, the Free Workers' Union of Germany, and the Argentine Regional Workers' Federation. A number of syndicalist organizations were and still are to this day linked in the International Workers' Association.
Syndicalists advocate direct action, including working to rule, passive resistance, sabotage, and strikes, p… Read more