Review of Tom Wetzel’s Overcoming Capitalism

A Guide to Anarcho-Syndicalism and Libertarian Socialism, Review of Tom Wetzel’s Overcoming Capitalism: Strategy for the Working Class in the 21st Century by Wayne Price

This is an important book. Tom Wetzel presents a vision of a free, equal, and cooperative society, without classes, states, or other forms of oppression. It would be directly managed from below in all areas, including the economy and community. He refers to this program, alternately, as “revolutionary syndicalism” or “libertarian socialism.”

Traditionally “libertarian socialism” is a synonym for “anarchist-socialism” and other views similar to anarchism, such as council-communist Marxism or guild socialism. Yet, although Wetzel occasionally refers to anarchism, he does not identify his program as “anarchist” or “anarcho-syndicalist.” He had done so previously—see his essays in the Anarchist Library—but not now, for reasons he does not explain. In my opinion, this book is an exposition of revolutionary class-struggle anarchism and an expansion of anarcho-syndicalism.

The book covers many topics, mainly divided into three sections. The first analyzes how our society works (chapters 1 through 5). The second, which is the heart of the work, covers strategies for “overcoming capitalism” (chapters 6 to 10). The last considers what a new society (“libertarian ecosocialism”) could be like (chapter 11).


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