Abstract World-systems scholars have recently advanced a framework for the analysis of “antisystemic” movements, with one important component of this approach being the integration of global forces into causal accounts of social movement mobilizations. This perspective, both an extension and a critique of existing movement theories such as political opportunity structure and political mediation approaches, is an outgrowth of the long-running trend of constructing larger and more elaborate models of the economic and political structures that bear upon movement outcomes. I elaborate three strategies of antisystemic movement analysis, and go on to combine these strategies with Event Structure Analysis (ESA) in order to investigate episodes of syndicalist mobilization in Argentina in 1917 and Chile in 1923. These cases reveal a set of crucial world-scale determinants at work in each mobilization: the relations between local and foreign capitalists, fluctuations in the world market transmitted through foreign-dominated enclaves, and direct and indirect influence by powerful core states such as Britain and the US. In contrast to the sorts of nationally-bound causality assumed in many social movement theories, I demonstrate that these world-scale forces cannot be included merely as external context; instead, they actively condition ostensibly “local” actors and are crucial determinants of each mobilization’s shape. social movements, antisystemic movements, event-structure analysis, syndicalism, world-systems analysis Social movement research has followed a three-decade long trajectory characterized by the increasing incorporation of surrounding social structures into the theoretical explanations of any particular movement’s history. This general trend can be seen in the progression from studies focused on the internal qualities of movements themselves toward approaches that construct increasingly sophisticated models of the economic and political structures with which movements interact (Amenta, Caren and Olasky 2005; Gamson 1975/99; Halfmann 2013; McAdam 1982; McCarthy and Zald 1977; Meyer 2003; Rothman and Oliver 1999). Meanwhile, scholars working in the traditions of global political economy and world-systems analysis have increasingly included movements as important actors in macrohistorical accounts (Arrighi, Hopkins and Wallerstein 1989; Martin 2008; Smith 2004; Smith and Wiest 2012; Wallerstein 2002). This latter work has coalesced under the umbrella of “antisystemic” movement analysis. Both an extension and a critique of existing approaches, antisystemic analysis serves as one way to remedy what Gabriel Hetland and Jeff Goodwin (2013:83) have called the “strange disappearance of capitalism from social movement studies.” From the antisystemic perspective, even the most structurally-sensitive variants of social movement theory share a limitation; namely, an assumption that the development and outcome of movement struggles can be conceptualized as nationally-bounded phenomena into which global forces enter in as external context, if at all. In contrast, an antisystemic approach to movement analysis is one in which movement qualities are analyzed as to their “degree of fit” with the existing structures of capitalism, and global forces are brought into the narrative of a given mobilization as crucial causal elements. Despite these differences, there is an affinity between the increasing structural sensitivity of existing social movement theory and antisystemic movement analysis. Yet the nature of this relationship and, indeed, the antisystemic approach itself has been somewhat underdeveloped. This is an urgent task; the recent spread of Occupy-style movements has prompted scholars to “bring the political economy back in” and search for ways to capture dynamics that are simultaneously global and regionally-differentiated (Roos and Oikonomakis 2014; Tejerina et al. 2013:381). This paper aims to demonstrate the necessity of the antisystemic approach to social movement research via case studies of two syndicalist mobilizations in Latin America. Syndicalism, a transnational and radically democratic form of labor movement that represents one of the earliest forms of “social movement unionism,” presents a prime example of an antisystemic movement (Hirsch and van der Walt 2010; MacPherson 2014). Using the formal qualitative method of Event Structure Analysis (ESA), two syndicalist upwellings are mapped in such a way as to reveal each case’s overall causal patterning. Once these patterns are laid bare by ESA diagrams it becomes clear that what Immanuel Wallerstein (1986) refers to as “world-scale” forces, here composed of world-economic processes such as the end of the British-sustained gold standard and geopolitical interventions such as the diffusion of US-style business unionism, do much more than merely set the context in which mobilization occurs. Rather, these world-scale forces enter directly into the plot of the struggles themselves, sustaining or modifying the powers of supposedly “national” entities such as movement organizations and state institutions. Sections two, three and four lay out the building blocks of an antisystemic approach, review the long-term context of Argentine and Chilean syndicalism, and introduce the ESA method. Sections five and six provide two process-tracings of syndicalist mobilizations: the 1917 strike wave of the Railway Workers’ Federation (FOF) in Argentina and the 1923 lockout and strike of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) in Chile. Section seven analyzes the specific role of world-scale forces in each case, using portions of the ESA diagrams as a heuristic. This reveals a typology that can help social movement scholars conceptualize varieties of global influence and the way these forces refract through local structures. The final section provides a brief conclusion. ANTISYSTEMIC MOVEMENT ANALYSIS The long-term shift in social movement research toward the incorporation of larger and more structured models of the environment is typified by Doug McAdam and Hilary Boudet’s (2012) recent call for a “Copernican revolution” away from movements themselves and toward the local economic and political matrix within which they operate. However, this is less a revolutionary break than a continuation of a process at work since the early 1980s. Empirical and theoretical developments within the field have encouraged scholars to bring progressively more surrounding structure into their models and to more subtly conceptualize the nature of structures themselves. In the first wave of contemporary movement research, much work was done simply to demonstrate that movements are coherent social phenomena (see Buechler 2004). When analyzing causation, early work often attempted to explain movement development and outcomes as a result of the formal or ideological qualities of social movement organizations (SMOs) (Gamson 1975/1999). Extra-movement factors often entered into the analysis by reference to the resources that movements could accrue or networks in which the organizations were embedded (McCarthy and Zald 1977; Snow et al 1980). By the 1990s, Charles Tilly’s (1978) and McAdam’s (1982) early insights were reworked into tightly-argued models. Much of this coalesced under the rubric of political opportunity structure (POS), with movement activity conditioned by the opening and closing of political opportunities such as changes in policy, institutional stability, and the alignment of elites (Meyer 2004; Meyer and Staggenborg 1996). This was extended spatially through the concept of nested political opportunity structures, focusing on movement interaction with foreign states, allies, and supranational institutions (Meyer 2003; Rothmann and Oliver 1999). Most recently, political mediation models present perhaps the most structurally subtle accounts of movement activity, wherein both long- and short-term features of the surrounding institutional environment make the relationship between SMOs, states, and other organizations subject to path-dependent political history (Amenta 2006; Giugni and Yamasaki 2009; Halfmann 2011).1 Overlaid on these competing theoretical traditions is Edwin Amenta’s (2014) distinction between movement-centric projects, which trace the development of a particular movement or set of movements over time, and projects influenced by historical institutionalism that investigate large-scale social or policy changes in which movements are only one of many causal factors at work. It is significant that both varieties of research evince the tendency to increasingly include movements’ surrounding structure in the analysis. Movement-centered research developed sophisticated accounts of SMO interactions with local institutions, tracked the differential performance of the same movement in different contexts, and compared multiple movements cross-nationally (Andrews 2004; Giugni 2004; Kolb 2007; Luders 2010; McAdam and Boudet 2012). Meanwhile, historical institutionalist research investigated the manner in which movements insert themselves into the process of policy formation and pinpointed the short-, medium-, and long-term political processes with which movements interact (Amenta et al. 2005; Chen 2009; Halfmann 2011; Skocpol 1992, 2003). Taken as a whole, then, there has been a growing trend toward both including larger amounts of surrounding structure, and using wider temporal and spatial lenses through which to view the causal factors bearing on mobilizations and outcomes. In both theory and method, this resembles the development of global political economy since the 1960s, where the move from modernization theory to dependency theory to world-systems analysis represented a similar widening of the analytic lens (So 1990). Despite these advances, these preceding movement approaches are subject to a pair of related weaknesses. First, from a world-historical point of view the social movement lens can and must be pulled back still further; in most POS and political mediation research the structure remains conceptualized as national structure. This nationally-bounded concept of structure is not only a limitation of social movement theories proper, given that labor movement research often implicitly uses a similar nation-state level model (Dixon 2010; Marks 1989; Quadagno 1992). This tacit assumption of a bounded national arena can be found even in labor studies using long-term, relational, and sophisticated class-based approaches (Fantasia and Stepan-Norris 2004; Friedman 1998; Kimmeldorf 1999; Shorter and Tilly 1974). Second, and more fundamentally, even when the analytic lens is widened past the national level, world-scale forces are more often cast as context for rather than actively constitutive of the ostensibly local mobilizations. This can be seen in nested POS approaches, in which extra-national structure is taken to mean concrete foreign institutions and alliances. These “exogenous factors” can influence local organizations that are tightly connected to international institutions, or else serve as fall-back supporters or opponents of movements when mobilizations overflow their national containers (Meyer 2003; Rothman and Oliver 1999). In political mediation models, global factors are sometimes included in national comparative research. These amount to an external context that is largely static over the course of a mobilization, as when states are grouped within a global typology that is thought to condition the kinds of movement activity occurring within them (Halfmann 2011). Overall, the possible set of world-scale forces are reduced either to specific extra-national institutions or a typology that exerts monotonic influence over the course of a mobilization. In contrast, analyzing syndicalism as an antisystemic movement requires an understanding of the dynamics of capitalism within and against which the movement develops. This goes beyond using the global as a set context into which types of nation-states are slotted, or simply as a larger replica of the national arena in which political institutions can contend. The antisystemic approach is distinctive in that it “presumes an analytic perspective about a system” (Almeida 2015; Arrighi et al. 1989:1; Bergesen and Lizardo 2004; Martin 2008; Moghadam 2012; Reese et al. 2012; Smith 2004; Smith and Wiest 2012). Here, the world-economy is composed of firms and states engaged in the endless accumulation of capital, which through their interactions maintain a worldwide hierarchical division of labor. These macroeconomic processes are sustained by a geopolitical order dominated by a coterie of powerful core states, within which a series of hegemons become the preeminent economic, political and cultural model around which the system is successively reorganized (Arrighi 1994). This understanding of capitalism as a system that is fundamentally global in nature, in which linkages between core states and their dependencies can condition what seem at first glance to be purely local events, becomes the key to antisystemic analysis. These world-systems insights, when seen in light of the division between movement-centric and historical institutionalist approaches to social movement research, suggest three possible types of antisystemic movement analysis (Table 1, below). First, a movement-centric route focuses on the degree to which a specific movement’s tactical repertoire, organizational logic, and prescriptive ideology are compatible with the imperatives of capitalism. A second approach, less focused on the movement’s internal qualities, traces causal linkages backward from a given mobilization in order to reveal the impact of world-scale forces on a movement’s development. The third and least-movement centric approach charts a movement’s recursive impact on world-systemic structures or the role it plays in world-scale processes of social change. A truly world-historical understanding of any given movement might combine all three of these analytic approaches into a holistic understanding of the movement’s long-term development. Table 1. Three Strategies for Antisystemic Movement Analysis Object of Analysis Typical Causal Factors Analytic Goal 1. Analyzing antisystemic movement qualities Most movement-centric: tracks a particular movement over time Tactical repertoires, organizational practices, prescriptive beliefs and frames Identifying how antisystemic qualities changed over time or influenced movement actions 2. Analyzing world-scale determinants of movements Less movement-centric: a specific mobilization or series of mobilizations as cases World-economic processes, changes in global institutional practices, interventions by foreign states Identifying points at which world-scale forces shaped the morphology of a mobilization. 3. Analyzing movement impact on world-systemic processes Least movement-centric: movement is just one of many causal factors, multiple related movements can be analyzed together Movements in key national locations, transnational movements or groups of national movements Identifying the influence of movements on changes in property law, governance, international norms and institutions, and hegemonic eras. Object of Analysis Typical Causal Factors Analytic Goal 1. Analyzing antisystemic movement qualities Most movement-centric: tracks a particular movement over time Tactical repertoires, organizational practices, prescriptive beliefs and frames Identifying how antisystemic qualities changed over time or influenced movement actions 2. Analyzing world-scale determinants of movements Less movement-centric: a specific mobilization or series of mobilizations as cases World-economic processes, changes in global institutional practices, interventions by foreign states Identifying points at which world-scale forces shaped the morphology of a mobilization. 3. Analyzing movement impact on world-systemic processes Least movement-centric: movement is just one of many causal factors, multiple related movements can be analyzed together Movements in key national locations, transnational movements or groups of national movements Identifying the influence of movements on changes in property law, governance, international norms and institutions, and hegemonic eras. Table 1. Three Strategies for Antisystemic Movement Analysis Object of Analysis Typical Causal Factors Analytic Goal 1. Analyzing antisystemic movement qualities Most movement-centric: tracks a particular movement over time Tactical repertoires, organizational practices, prescriptive beliefs and frames Identifying how antisystemic qualities changed over time or influenced movement actions 2. Analyzing world-scale determinants of movements Less movement-centric: a specific mobilization or series of mobilizations as cases World-economic processes, changes in global institutional practices, interventions by foreign states Identifying points at which world-scale forces shaped the morphology of a mobilization. 3. Analyzing movement impact on world-systemic processes Least movement-centric: movement is just one of many causal factors, multiple related movements can be analyzed together Movements in key national locations, transnational movements or groups of national movements Identifying the influence of movements on changes in property law, governance, international norms and institutions, and hegemonic eras. Object of Analysis Typical Causal Factors Analytic Goal 1. Analyzing antisystemic movement qualities Most movement-centric: tracks a particular movement over time Tactical repertoires, organizational practices, prescriptive beliefs and frames Identifying how antisystemic qualities changed over time or influenced movement actions 2. Analyzing world-scale determinants of movements Less movement-centric: a specific mobilization or series of mobilizations as cases World-economic processes, changes in global institutional practices, interventions by foreign states Identifying points at which world-scale forces shaped the morphology of a mobilization. 3. Analyzing movement impact on world-systemic processes Least movement-centric: movement is just one of many causal factors, multiple related movements can be analyzed together Movements in key national locations, transnational movements or groups of national movements Identifying the influence of movements on changes in property law, governance, international norms and institutions, and hegemonic eras. Taken as research strategies, they provide flexibility regarding both objects of analysis and the scope of resulting explanations. The object of analysis can be varied, from single movements examined over time (Approach 1) to multiple mobilizations compared as discrete cases (Approach 2) and finally to aggregated multi-case studies that link sets of movements with world-scale changes (Approach 3). This paper concentrates on the second approach, looking for the effects of world-scale forces on the morphology of our cases and thus sharpening the contrast between the antisystemic and nationally-bounded perspectives. Overall, the antisystemic perspective shares with world-systems analysis a concern with historicity, in line with Wallerstein’s (1991) suggestion that “the whole objective…of sociological analysis is to end up with a historical interpretation of the concrete” (p. 134). This historicist orientation blunts the drive to construct “transhistorical” models of movement activity, a well-known pitfall for structuralist approaches. Instead, world-scale forces should be temporally and regionally specified in line with what even critics of structuralism, such as Jeff Goodwin and James M. Jasper (2003), admit is a fruitful goal: “explor[ing] how organizational forms, repertoires, and consequences of social movements are shaped contingently by historically shifting constellations of political processes” (p. 29).2 Crucially, all antisystemic approaches require that world-scale forces must be considered not only as context, but rather as active conditioning factors that can change the strategies and powers of local organizations even as a mobilization unfolds.3 The following case studies demonstrate that world-economic processes and geopolitical relations shape SMOs, states, and other institutions. These world-scale forces can have long-term conditioning influence but also more immediate impact, at times reaching down directly into a mobilization’s intricate causal narrative. It follows that investigating these cases using conventional POS, political mediation, or path-dependent labor approaches would, thanks to their nationally-bound theoretical foundations, result in distorted or incomplete accountings of the causal influences at work. SYNDICALISM IN ARGENTINA AND CHILE Syndicalism constituted perhaps the bulk of the radical labor movement during what is termed its “glorious era” of the mid-1890s to the 1920s (Anderson 2006; Hirsch and van der Walt 2010). The movement evinced long-standing antisystemic qualities in terms of tactics, organizational logic, and prescriptive goals. Tactically, the movement promoted direct action, in which movement participants acted through general strikes, occupations and sabotage. This tactical repertoire was related to the organizational peculiarities of syndicalist organizations, which were premised on direct democracy where, as much as possible, decisions would devolve to the local branch and centralized authority would be invested in recallable delegates. This organizational logic extended to workplaces; syndicalist unions were not content to be “service unions” but rather aimed to democratize the workplace itself along the lines of their own organization’s participatory principles. Ideologically, syndicalism looked toward a post-capitalist future in which capitalist firms and the state itself could be replaced by networks of industrial and regional councils. This universalist ideology reflected back on the movement’s organizational and tactical principles, resulting in syndicalist organizations that were seldom content to remain in a single firm, industry or sector. Instead, they often leveraged any structural power to spread their distinctive type of unionism, via social movement tactics, to the surrounding community and workplaces (Schmidt and van der Walt 2009; Van der Linden and Thorpe 1990). While these antisystemic qualities are not this paper’s focus, both the Argentinean FOF and the Chilean IWW shared this bundle of tactical, organizational and ideological qualities. However, the structural similarities and differences between each national case (summarized in Table 2 below) are more salient for our goal of finding world-scale determinants. Table 2. Argentina and Chile during Syndicalist Mobilizations Argentina 1916-1930 Chile 1920-1925 Syndicalist organization Railway Workers Federation (FOF) Industrial Workers of the World Chile (IWW) Peak mobilization June 1917 – February 1918 July – September 1921 Party or alliance in power Radical Civic Union Liberal Alliance Chief Executive Hipolito Yrigoyen Arturo Alessandri Main core influence Britain (deepening link via competition with Dominion) Britain → US (Postwar change from British to US dominance) Dominant Export Sector Grain and beef Nitrates and copper Production type Domestic bourgeoisie (urban-based export firms) Enclave production (foreign-owned mining firms) Argentina 1916-1930 Chile 1920-1925 Syndicalist organization Railway Workers Federation (FOF) Industrial Workers of the World Chile (IWW) Peak mobilization June 1917 – February 1918 July – September 1921 Party or alliance in power Radical Civic Union Liberal Alliance Chief Executive Hipolito Yrigoyen Arturo Alessandri Main core influence Britain (deepening link via competition with Dominion) Britain → US (Postwar change from British to US dominance) Dominant Export Sector Grain and beef Nitrates and copper Production type Domestic bourgeoisie (urban-based export firms) Enclave production (foreign-owned mining firms) Table 2. Argentina and Chile during Syndicalist Mobilizations Argentina 1916-1930 Chile 1920-1925 Syndicalist organization Railway Workers Federation (FOF) Industrial Workers of the World Chile (IWW) Peak mobilization June 1917 – February 1918 July – September 1921 Party or alliance in power Radical Civic Union Liberal Alliance Chief Executive Hipolito Yrigoyen Arturo Alessandri Main core influence Britain (deepening link via competition with Dominion) Britain → US (Postwar change from British to US dominance) Dominant Export Sector Grain and beef Nitrates and copper Production type Domestic bourgeoisie (urban-based export firms) Enclave production (foreign-owned mining firms) Argentina 1916-1930 Chile 1920-1925 Syndicalist organization Railway Workers Federation (FOF) Industrial Workers of the World Chile (IWW) Peak mobilization June 1917 – February 1918 July – September 1921 Party or alliance in power Radical Civic Union Liberal Alliance Chief Executive Hipolito Yrigoyen Arturo Alessandri Main core influence Britain (deepening link via competition with Dominion) Britain → US (Postwar change from British to US dominance) Dominant Export Sector Grain and beef Nitrates and copper Production type Domestic bourgeoisie (urban-based export firms) Enclave production (foreign-owned mining firms) In both regions, the unions and militants involved grew out of a broader anarchist tradition of democratic and decentralized radicalism. Here they typify the movement as a transnational phenomenon. Most syndicalist movements were the result of earlier waves of anarchist militants who, taking to heart Piotr Kropotkin's injunction in the early 1890’s to form “monster unions embracing millions of proletarians,” had begun to construct labor organizations (Guerin 1970:78, Thorpe 1989). Both SMOs were based in the export production and shipping sectors. Sharing a central place in the “informal empire” of British Latin America meant that trade with Britain, as well as British investment inflows, formed the engine of both region’s economies over the preceding decades. Finally, both the IWW and FOF mobilizations occurred under newly elected reformist governments who took the reins from older aristocratic elites (Conde 2009; Rock 1975). Over and above these similarities, it is differences in the way each region was inserted into the world-economy that explains the specific shape of each mobilization. Most important is Fernando Henrique Cardoso and Enzo Faletto’s (1979) distinction between dependent economies controlled by a native capitalist class and those dominated by a foreign-owned production enclave. Argentina’s economy centered on grain and beef exports to Britain, but with considerable room for domestic capitalists to control both the export sector and small-scale manufacture in major cities like Buenos Aires and Rosario. In contrast, Chile’s nitrate sector was overwhelmingly foreign-owned. Nitrate production took place in a Northern enclave largely separate from the urban economy, but the enclave’s export performance dictated state finances, via export fees, and the overall standard of living. From the latter half of World War I, Argentina became even more tightly linked to British trade networks as it competed with formal Dominion territories. In contrast, the same period saw British interests in Chile matched by an increasingly aggressive US presence as nitrate exports were replaced by copper (Albert 1988). As the nascent hegemon, American institutional practices would soon become the new global standard for firms, states, and civil society institutions (Arrighi and Silver 1999). As a result, US influence in the following cases will be seen to come in the form of rapidly changing institutional practices in Chile, while in Argentina the outgoing British intervene more directly through political pressure. This, then, becomes the crucial set of pathways through which world-scale forces affect the morphology of each mobilization: first, whether Argentina and Chile were inserted into the world-economy via a national bourgeoisie or a foreign-owned enclave, and second, whether powerful core states impacted the mobilizations through direct intervention or institutional influence. EVENT-STRUCTURE ANALYSIS Event-structure analysis (ESA) is a method of formally mapping causal patterns, using a form of computer-aided “narrative reasoning” which “has at its core an explanatory logic resting in the event's inherent sequentiality and temporal orderliness” (Griffin and Ragin 1994:13). Beginning with an analyst's narrative of a specific event, ESA's eponymous software constructs a diagram illustrating the event’s internal structure by “relentlessly prob[ing] the analyst's construction, comprehension, and interpretation of the event” (Griffin and Korstad 1998:145). Larry J. Griffin and Robert R. Korstad (1998) explain that: “[ESA’s] basic purpose is to aid the analyst in ‘unpacking’ an event – that is, in breaking it into constituent parts – and analytically reconstituting it as a causal interpretation of what happened and why it happened as it did, ESA focuses on and exploits an event's ‘narrativity’ – its temporal orderliness, connectedness and unfolding – thereby helping historians and social scientists infer causal links between actions in an event, identify its contingencies and follow their consequences, and explore its myriad sequential patterns.” (p. 145) Since the creation of the ESA program in the late 1980s, ESA has been put to use in analyzing episodes of racial violence (Griffin 1992), intra-organizational conflict (Stevenson and Greenberg 1998) and has proven itself especially well-suited to analyzing labor struggles (Boswell and Brueggemann 1998; Brown 2000; Griffin and Korstad 1998; Richardson 2009). The remainder of this paper will consist of case studies of the FOF and IWW mobilizations, focusing on the strongest mobilization push within each organization’s history. For the FOF, this means its fast spread to nationwide prominence during a series of strikes in late 1917 and its eventual dissolution under state repression. The IWW saw its greatest strength in the winter and spring of 1921, when it became the dominant force in several of Chile’s ports before being broken via an employer’s lockout. At the end of each case study the process-tracing is converted into an ESA diagram to reveal each mobilization’s causal patterning. However, it is important to note that each account begins with the previous wave of labor unrest in each region. Many nationally-bounded approaches emphasize path-dependency; movements have to “make their own history” in a context created by a previous cycle of contention. This is common to POS approaches, political mediation models, and many labor movement studies, and remains a powerful way of showing how history shapes mobilizations. In its strongest forms, this approach would imply that this path-dependent national context is the main determinant of the patterning of subsequent struggles. The following analysis agrees that path-dependency is important, even while disagreeing that the “path” in question must be nationally-bound. Tracing the turning-points that changed the morphology of each case allows us to better assess the causal importance of each factor; since ESA tracks long causal chains across the entire mobilization the causal weight of world-scale forces can be seen more starkly (Bennett and Elman 2006; Mahoney 2000). The case selection juxtaposes two instances of a combative antisystemic movement occurring in similar dependent regions in the interwar period. Selecting cases spanning a hegemonic transition, when the leadership of the world-economy was passing from Great Britain to the US, affords a moment when world-scale forces were fluctuating and could be seen more easily. Finally, pairing these cases reveals how similar world-scale forces refract through each case’s local structural differences. The clarity enabled by the ESA diagrams thus helps us “grasp both the particular local form of world historical processes and the world historical character of local events” (Tomich 1990:6). THE GENERAL RAIL STRIKE IN ARGENTINA The Railway Workers in the Previous Wave: 1910-1916 The rise and demise of the Railway Workers’ Federation (FOF) occurred as part of a larger resurgence of social unrest from 1916-19194. Within this wave 1917’s FOF mobilization was an important turning point. The episode would culminate in the first forceful repression of labor since the Radical Party took power, with the Yrigoyen administration repressing the FOF under pressure from domestic export interests, British rail firms, and the British state. This marked a fundamental turn in the initially reformist government’s policy; fierce repressions followed in the “Tragic Week” of 1919 and throughout the next decade. However, to understand this 1916-1919 period we must examine the ways in which the FOF’s foundation was laid in the previous 1910-1916 period of unrest. 1910 marked the peak of a previous cycle of labor contention, largely at the hands of anarchist-led trade and neighborhood federations and the strands of the labor movement that would later coalesce under the syndicalist umbrella. A wave of anarchist and syndicalist unrest peaked in 1910 and petered out over the next two years, with a failed general strike attempt leading to severe repression by the last of Argentina’s aristocratic regimes. The Railway Workers’ Federation (Federación Obrera Ferroviaria, FOF) was born in the final moment of this conflict, when in 1912 the elite footplatemen railway union, La Fraternidad, went out on a 52 day strike. The FOF formed during the strike in an attempt to organize the railway support staff that La Fraternidad excluded. Still, after the strike the FOF’s numbers stagnated, reaching only 5,500 at the time of its first congress in 1913. Despite being an urgently needed solution for the lack of organization among railway support personnel, whose number far outweighed the elite Fraternidad footplatemen, after the strike the FOF’s numbers stagnated as the 1912-16 period of nationwide labor quiescence dampened its growth. This quiescence was in part due to the repressive policies of the outgoing administration. Previous attempts at suppression had only invited fierce movement fightbacks, but now state repression was greatly strengthened by the crisis in the world market in 1913. Foreign investment flows to Argentina, overwhelmingly British, dried up as the British state and firms began to liquidate foreign assets. As the political events in Europe dragged the continent closer to World War I, tensions mounted and foreign investors, under the demands of the gold standard, scrambled to swap investment capital for gold. The combination of repression and British investment pullback formed a national context in which new syndicalist initiatives like the FOF would remain paralyzed. This condition persisted even after capital began to return in 1915. Toward the end of World War 1, however, the easing of these pressures would allow the syndicalists to revive their struggle at an unprecedented level of ferocity. The Formation of the State's Concessionary Policy The Radical party's ascension to power with the election of President Hipolito Yrigoyen in 1916 acted as the short-term stimulus to a militant labor resurgence. The Radicals had not yet established their bona fides as protectors of property, despite Yrigoyen’s cabinet including members of the Union Rural, a Buenos Aires-based association of export elites who owned grain and beef production land outside the capital. The Radicals, as one might expect from a fringe party rapidly moving toward the center, embarked on a policy of detente with various labor organizations as the best way of moderating between elite and popular demands. Relaxing the repressive apparatus precisely when growth rebounded touched off a strike wave in 1917-1921, with annual strikes double or triple what had been seen in 1912-16. After 1916 “wage levels began to creep upward, and unemployment to drop…workers seized the opportunity to vent their pent-up claims” (Adelman 1992:20). The Radicals’ concessionary stance toward the unions was signaled by their support of a strike by the most powerful syndicalist union of the era, the Maritime Workers’ Federation (FOM), where Yrigoyen’s support led to a massive success against the shipping companies. Meanwhile, on the railways, the skilled footplatemen of La Fraternidad, banking on Yrigoyen’s pro-labor sentiments, began strategizing with the support staff organized by the FOF and eventually opted to build toward a general railway strike at the end of 1917. In response the Minister of Public Works, Pablo Torello, rushed to a conciliatory meeting; the state's paternalistic stance seemed to be paying dividends to the unions. Despite the gradualist inclinations of La Fraternidad and the state, the FOF rank-and-file faced the prospect of immediate wage cuts and loss of workplace control to apprentices. Their syndicalist orientation meant these grievances were quickly translated into action. A fierce strike in June and July on the Central Argentine Railway in the city of Rosario ensued, with anarchist militants rising to prominence in FOF workshops and implementing direct action tactics. Yrigoyen made it known he was holding back dispatching troops to the area, while ministerial staff threatened the railway company with sanctions. The result in Rosario was a victory for the unions and a perceived victory for the state, accompanied by a backlash from the British-owned railway companies. Local directors of the railway companies began a concerted effort to propagandize against both the FOF and the administration, though without rural Argentine elite or British state support these efforts went nowhere. The National Railway Strike At this point, both Yrigoyen and La Fraternidad were content to consolidate the gains won over the past year. Unlike the bureaucratic organization of La Fraternidad, the FOF’s commitment to worker’s control meant that cautious plans imposed from above would function only to the extent that the workers themselves agreed with them. It quickly became apparent that the FOF’s antisystemic organizational principles would keep the union responsive to member’s demands, even if that meant pressing the strike wave. The Rosario victory increased the FOF’s cachet among railway workers; by September “it found itself with self-elected representatives in all the major branches of the railway system. This was an endorsement for direct action and for an immediate general strike” (Rock 1975:144). A second series of strikes occurred in Rosario's province of Santa Fe in early September, despite the objections of the Fraternidad leadership. Rock (1975) notes that “La Fraternidad was still hoping to defer any major action till the end of the year. But the FOF was continually being pushed into supporting the strike by Anarchist-influenced rank and file pressure” (p. 143). The split between the FOF and La Fraternidad widened even as the national rail strike began on September 22nd, involving an estimated 12,000 workers. The strike was tumultuous from the start, with direct action tactics on the part of the FOF including derailing and burning freight trains, workers and their families laying on the rails, and eventually plans for the union to “run the trains itself” (Bergquist 1986: 116). After 25 days out, having lost the support of the Fraternidad and facing increasingly hostile troop repression and use of strikebreakers, the FOF was forced back to work and given moderate wage increases and an improved work regulatory scheme; far short of the democratizing demands advanced during the strike. The end of September's national strike was the opening phase of the FOF's collapse, caused by a clear shift in the relation between the Radical state, the British rail firms, the domestic bourgeoisie, and the syndicalists. Two important events opened the way for the decisive British intervention that would follow several months later in early 1918. First, in mid-September 1917 the American State Department released intercepted cables containing scandalous comments made by the German minister in Buenos Aires about members of the Argentine government. This cable, originally leaked by the Americans in an attempt to pressure Argentina out of its war neutrality, was leveraged throughout the fall by the rail firms via a series of newspaper editorials. The companies began to claim that strikers and Radicals were working to weaken British interests to aid the German Empire. This tactic contributed directly to the second major change presaging British intervention, an alliance between the British rail directors and the domestic bourgeoisie. The prospect of the general strike paralyzing all exports had galvanized Argentine capital and brought into stark relief its dependence on both the British market and the railways. The national strike, then, left “no doubt that the domestic business groups were now united in opposition to the strikes, and in complete loyalty to the [railway] companies” (Rock 1975:146). The “German conspiracy” propaganda of the British rail directors and their subsequent alliance with domestic capital began to weaken the Radical's unsteady neutrality with regard to the unions. Over the next few months the FOF initiated several more strikes, and in February of 1918 the British Minister in Buenos Aires, Sir Reginald Tower, delivered an ultimatum to Yrigoyen. Argentina had recently negotiated the sale of its entire grain harvest to the Allied troops in Europe; Tower made it clear that that deal would be killed and Argentine exports would be boycotted unless the FOF was stopped. 5 By now, the Radicals had lost any semblance of support from domestic elites and were now in no position to grant the syndicalists any shelter. The state quickly capitulated; police and troops were used to violently crush the strikes and the FOF ceased to have any meaningful presence on the rails by the middle of 1918. Wildcat strikes continued throughout 1918 and 1919, but the intense repression meant that most were total defeats. The rail personnel outside of La Fraternidad would remain unorganized until 1922. Figure 1 illustrates the rise and fall of the FOF with an event structure diagram of the event, while Table 3 lists the events making up the diagram in temporal order. Table 3. Event List for 1917 Rail Strike British investment curbed Export contraction Profit squeeze FOF and Frat join Radicals support FOM Frat/FOF mobilization Torello meeting FOF and Frat strike plan Rosario strikes State supports labor Brit prop campaign Domestics against Brits Santa Fe strikes 14. FOF and Frat split begins 15. Anarch push from below 16. FOF expands to G. strike 17. Worker's control raised 18. Sociedad Rural support 19. German cable release 20. Brit and domestics unite 21. Radicals middle path 22. February strikes 23. Brit ultimatum 24. Radicals repress FOF 25. Collapse of FOF British investment curbed Export contraction Profit squeeze FOF and Frat join Radicals support FOM Frat/FOF mobilization Torello meeting FOF and Frat strike plan Rosario strikes State supports labor Brit prop campaign Domestics against Brits Santa Fe strikes 14. FOF and Frat split begins 15. Anarch push from below 16. FOF expands to G. strike 17. Worker's control raised 18. Sociedad Rural support 19. German cable release 20. Brit and domestics unite 21. Radicals middle path 22. February strikes 23. Brit ultimatum 24. Radicals repress FOF 25. Collapse of FOF Table 3. Event List for 1917 Rail Strike British investment curbed Export contraction Profit squeeze FOF and Frat join Radicals support FOM Frat/FOF mobilization Torello meeting FOF and Frat strike plan Rosario strikes State supports labor Brit prop campaign Domestics against Brits Santa Fe strikes 14. FOF and Frat split begins 15. Anarch push from below 16. FOF expands to G. strike 17. Worker's control raised 18. Sociedad Rural support 19. German cable release 20. Brit and domestics unite 21. Radicals middle path 22. February strikes 23. Brit ultimatum 24. Radicals repress FOF 25. Collapse of FOF British investment curbed Export contraction Profit squeeze FOF and Frat join Radicals support FOM Frat/FOF mobilization Torello meeting FOF and Frat strike plan Rosario strikes State supports labor Brit prop campaign Domestics against Brits Santa Fe strikes 14. FOF and Frat split begins 15. Anarch push from below 16. FOF expands to G. strike 17. Worker's control raised 18. Sociedad Rural support 19. German cable release 20. Brit and domestics unite 21. Radicals middle path 22. February strikes 23. Brit ultimatum 24. Radicals repress FOF 25. Collapse of FOF Figure 1. View largeDownload slide ESA Diagram of the 1917 Rail Strike Figure 1. View largeDownload slide ESA Diagram of the 1917 Rail Strike THE 1922 IWW LOCKOUT AND GENERAL STRIKE IN CHILE The Building of Syndicalist Power in the Ports: 1917-1920 The Chilean branch of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) formed in Valparaiso in 19196. Valparaiso had been Chile's dominant export port since the mid-19th century, and it became a center of working class power as the Chilean economy entered its “Nitrate Era” in the 1890s. As the economy became dominated by the export trade in nitrates, Valparaiso saw its population grow and urban manufacturing and shipping markets rapidly expand. In the first two decades of the century a multitude of anarchist “resistance societies” sprang up in Chilean port cities; the last years of WW I saw several grow into large, organized syndicalist federations. Increased contact with US ships brought contacts with the American IWW, and in 1917 Chilean stevedores on the docks of Valparaiso formed the Chilean IWW. By 1920 the IWW had grown to encompass lightermen, stevedores, teamsters, steam crane operators, and railroad cargo handlers in Valparaiso and was spreading to other large cities such as Talcahuano and the vital nitrate handling port of Iquique. Meanwhile, 1920 also proved to be the final year of the last overtly aristocratic President, San Fuentes, and June’s highly contested election brought the reformist and populist Arturo Alessandri to power. The Chilean state, dependent on nitrate export taxes for more than half of its revenue, was headed by an unending series of transitory political coalitions instead of stable parties. Alessandri, the candidate of the “Liberal Alliance,” appealed to the urban working class with promises to solve “the social question” in an equitable manner. The outgoing San Fuentes regime had been riven with labor unrest and “[u]nder Wobbly influence, the focus of the labor movement on the docks of Chile expanded beyond wage demands to include control over the workplace” (Breslin 1980:134). In June and July of 1920 the IWW had coordinated a series of “lightning strikes” that won their demand to institute a work-sharing system on the docks overseen by the workers themselves (the redondilla). Winning the redondilla was a major blow to the power of merchants in the port cities; maritime firms had used their control of the hiring process via local recruiters as crucial leverage against radical portworkers. Just as importantly, during the struggles the IWW had hit upon a new tactic: the boycott. Boycotting a shipping contractor that would not recognize an IWW delegate suggested a means for the IWW to extend its power beyond the firms and sectors it had already organized. These victories resulted in a wave of suppression directed against the IWW, but this merely set the stage for the organization’s bounceback in 1921. The Lockout and Strike of 1921 In 1919, nitrate production entered a decade of terminal crisis. This disintegrating industry, still the central pole around which the Chilean economy revolved, would prove pivotal in the IWW mobilization of 1921. Two factors converged to cause this signal crisis of the nitrate enclave. First, extraction technology in the British-dominated nitrate fields had been allowed to stagnate for decades. When initially capturing the industry in the 1880s the British made large investments in equipment. Yet the cartelized nitrate sector, controlling the only major worldwide source of nitrates before the advent of artificial substitutes, led to a monopolistic complacency. By restricting the amounts mined, the price could be inflated to make up for yield losses, resulting in a production process that needed huge numbers of readily available seasonal laborers. Even the most powerful firm, Anthony Gibbs & Co., was loathe to update the process by bringing in steam shovels and a technically trained labor force: “The creation of a pool of such workers would require higher pay levels. Increased wages, however, would violate the tacit alliance among hacendados, mine owners and nitrate refiners. Substantially higher wages, as one Gibbs official put it, ‘would inevitably give birth to yet another grudge against the industry, which can be better imagined than described.’” (O’Brien 1996: 175) A second contributor was the development of synthetic nitrate in Germany in 1917. Despite the desperate formation of a powerful price-fixing “Pool” composed of the Nitrate Producer’s Association, trading firms, and the state, the rigidity of its price fixing pushed the market further into the arms of synthetics. In addition to a sharp slide in nitrate exports starting in 1919, the nitrate workforce shrank from 57,000 to 25,000 over the next two years. The result was mass unemployment in 1921, with an estimated 55,000 people jobless and 12,000 in Valparaiso alone. Urban manufacturing, a bastion of smaller syndicalist unions, saw a relatively small drop in the 1920-22 period when compared with the precipitous decline in nitrate production; “[u]rban workers do not appear to have been as dramatically affected as nitrate miners by economic fluctuation” (DeShazo 1983:47). Instead, it was this layer of foreign enclave unemployment that would tip the balance of power in the coming fight between the IWW and the employers. The IWW had come roaring back from the previous repression, using their boycott ability to support a multi-union bakery strike and organize the prominent Hucke candy factory. The control over hiring afforded by the redondilla solidified IWW structural power at the docks and made the boycott possible. In response, the newly formed Valparaiso Merchant’s Association resolved to break the syndicalist’s hiring system and the union itself. When the nitrate crisis hit, “[t]housands of unemployed nitrate workers were streaming into the central cities, aggravating the dismal outlook for jobs and wages” and the Association saw its chance (Deutsch 1999:71). The Merchant’s Association declared a general lockout of marine transport on August 18th, and made rehiring contingent on workers signing a “registry” that banned employees from joining the IWW. Drawing on the huge pool of desperate former nitrate workers, the Association found it far easier to fill the registry’s rolls than would have been possible just a few months earlier. Only a week later the Association claimed that 30% of the maritime workforce (1,500 workers) had signed and the port reopened. Two days later, on August 28th, the IWW declared a general strike. Quickly spreading to other ports including Antofagasta and the important coal nexus at Talcahuano, the Merchant’s Association dug in for a protracted battle. Realizing the danger, the IWW uncharacteristically tried to appeal to the state by allowing coal for the State Railways through and requesting that Alessandri order the Association to close its yellow dog registry. By mid-September, Alessandri was desperately hoping to settle the strike in Talcahuano before the nearby coal areas of Lota and Coronel joined in solidarity. On September 17th Alessandri’s fears were realized when coal miners joined the strike. Relying on his fading populist image, Alessandri put forth guarantees that the redondilla would be protected and the strike ended after two days of negotiation. Employer Counterattack and the End of the Redondilla The Merchant Associations in Valparaiso and other port cities had severely weakened the IWW, but Alessandri’s protection of the redondilla remained a problem. In previous cycles of labor unrest, employer’s associations were short-lived entities that melted away after each conflict and proved unable to compete with the structural power of the syndicalists. The rise of the Merchant’s Associations represented a new stage of class unity between Chilean and foreign capitalists. In September, a regional director of the Labor Office was reporting to the bureau that the Valparaiso Merchant Association had become a “business entity of resistance” aiming to dominate labor relations and small business across the city (Yanez 2010:15). This trend culminated in the first week of October when a powerful new employer’s organization was formed. The Asociación del Trabajo (AdT) linked the Merchant Associations with sympathetic elites and coordinated paternalistic anti-union initiatives in both urban and rural areas. The organization began a propaganda campaign pushing a two-pronged strategy: using lockout tactics to ensure “freedom of work” while recommending corporatist solutions to the grievances at the root of worker militancy. The AdT put forth the country’s first comprehensive plans for workers clinics, placement agencies, and welfare provisions at workplaces under the control of large firms to destroy what they called “dissolvent and anarchical elements” (Deutsch 1999:70). The AdT was the first nationwide organization to call for these measures, but they had a precedent in the US-dominated copper sector. The Guggenheim brothers, the era’s preeminent mining magnates, expanded into Chile in 1912 and soon operated the largest US-owned mines in Latin America. Their mines soon accounted for 90% of Chile’s copper output just as copper replaced nitrates as the country’s primary export. All of this meant that the Guggenheims wielded immense influence with the Chilean state. They collaborated with domestic elites when after the War they “moved beyond the rigid managerial culture of [earlier US operations] and were rapidly adopting the techniques of industrial welfare and labor control of their American operations” (O’Brien 1996:178). The corporation created a two-million-dollar “welfare department” and opened a series of hospitals, educational facilities and housing assistance programs with the aim of, in the words of the company’s general manager, “getting the workmen themselves to cooperate with the management in the solution of difficulties as they arise in a liberal modern spirit and so preventing them from assuming serious proportions” (O’Brien 1996:180). The AdT was clearly the child of Guggenheim’s business unionism, coming into its own when “periodic repression and ineffectual reform would no longer suffice to maintain stability in Chile” and “the elite…turned to American corporations in search of a solution to the crises which gripped their society” (O’Brien 1996:177). The AdT brought immediate pressure on the Alessandri administration with its nationwide propaganda efforts and provided cover to the lockout and registry tactics used to tamp down on unrest throughout the following decade. On October 24th, a Presidential decree was issued abolishing the redondilla despite Alessandri’s earlier guarantees. The end of the redondilla removed the lynchpin of worker power at the ports, and IWW membership collapsed from an estimated 10-15,000 members to only 3,000. In Valparaiso, thousands of IWW members were blacklisted and the Wobblies’ power in the largest ports was broken. In the following years “employers did, in fact, establish many company unions at the expense of independent labor organizations” (DeShazo 1983:192). While the IWW did experience a brief resurgence in 1925, it was unable to reestablish its leading role among urban syndicalist organizations. Figure 2 below illustrates the event structure of the IWW mobilization, while table 2 gives the temporal event listing. Figure 2. View largeDownload slide ESA Diagram of the 1922 IWW Mobilization Figure 2. View largeDownload slide ESA Diagram of the 1922 IWW Mobilization WORLD-SCALE FACTORS IN SYNDICALIST PATTERNS OF MOBILIZATION The ESA software interrogates temporal ordering by asking which events are prerequisites of later events, and in a stepwise fashion builds a clear account of causal influences. Using the ESA diagrams we can then extract the set of operative world-scale forces and identify commonalities among them. Comparing our cases yields two dimensions of world-scale forces, each comprising two possible variants (detailed below in Table 4). First is the manner in which each national economy is inserted into the world-economy, either via a domestic bourgeoisie or a foreign-dominated enclave. The second dimension encompasses how core state influence occurs: whether powerful states intervened directly as in Argentina, or whether the influence was felt via institutional channels as in Chile. When these two overarching types are considered in the abstract, as the structure of dependence and the type of core state intervention, they provide the beginnings of a typology of world-scale determinants. Table 4. Event List for 1921 Port Strike Guggenheim mines Intensive nitrate IWW boycotts General P strike IWW wins redondilla IWW suppressed L.O. vacillates Synthetics enter Nitrate Pool formed Nitrate crisis Northern layoffs Unemployed fill cities Multi-org bakery strike Hucke candy organized Merchants lockout 16. Registry opens 17. Workers enroll 18. Work resumes 19. General strike 20. Strike spreads 21. IWW appeals to state 22. Lockout spreads 23. Alessandri attempts 24. Coal strikes 25. Pres back redondilla 26. Dockworkers return 27. AdT forms 28. Pressure from Adt 29. Pres abolishes redondilla Guggenheim mines Intensive nitrate IWW boycotts General P strike IWW wins redondilla IWW suppressed L.O. vacillates Synthetics enter Nitrate Pool formed Nitrate crisis Northern layoffs Unemployed fill cities Multi-org bakery strike Hucke candy organized Merchants lockout 16. Registry opens 17. Workers enroll 18. Work resumes 19. General strike 20. Strike spreads 21. IWW appeals to state 22. Lockout spreads 23. Alessandri attempts 24. Coal strikes 25. Pres back redondilla 26. Dockworkers return 27. AdT forms 28. Pressure from Adt 29. Pres abolishes redondilla Table 4. Event List for 1921 Port Strike Guggenheim mines Intensive nitrate IWW boycotts General P strike IWW wins redondilla IWW suppressed L.O. vacillates Synthetics enter Nitrate Pool formed Nitrate crisis Northern layoffs Unemployed fill cities Multi-org bakery strike Hucke candy organized Merchants lockout 16. Registry opens 17. Workers enroll 18. Work resumes 19. General strike 20. Strike spreads 21. IWW appeals to state 22. Lockout spreads 23. Alessandri attempts 24. Coal strikes 25. Pres back redondilla 26. Dockworkers return 27. AdT forms 28. Pressure from Adt 29. Pres abolishes redondilla Guggenheim mines Intensive nitrate IWW boycotts General P strike IWW wins redondilla IWW suppressed L.O. vacillates Synthetics enter Nitrate Pool formed Nitrate crisis Northern layoffs Unemployed fill cities Multi-org bakery strike Hucke candy organized Merchants lockout 16. Registry opens 17. Workers enroll 18. Work resumes 19. General strike 20. Strike spreads 21. IWW appeals to state 22. Lockout spreads 23. Alessandri attempts 24. Coal strikes 25. Pres back redondilla 26. Dockworkers return 27. AdT forms 28. Pressure from Adt 29. Pres abolishes redondilla At the same time, the antisystemic approach’s concern for historicity implies that this typology must be given substantive content and analyzed in light of the particular history of the era (cf. McMichael 1990). Setting out the historical specifics of the institutional arrangements of the Interwar-era gold standard or of US-backed business institutions becomes essential for understanding how world-scale factors made their way downstream into the Argentine and Chilean mobilizations. The start of WWI and the turbulence of the interwar period marked the breakdown of the economic and political supports underpinning British dominance since the early 19th century. A hegemonic position in the interstate system requires a fusion of state and capital interests, such that the “territorialist” logic of state actors serves to support and condition the “economic” interests of the largest firms (Arrighi 1994). It was just such a coordinated combination that enabled the British to lead the world-economy, built on the three pillars emphasized by Karl Polanyi (2001): the spread of free wage labor, the international imposition of the gold standard, and the ideology of free trade. The latter two elements are important when characterizing British hegemony outside of the home market. Controlling international finance flows allowed London-based investment capital to regulate the Pax Brittanica such that a diffuse network of competing, often family-owned British firms could establish themselves throughout the world (Arrighi and Silver 1999:125-27). In our period, the breakdown of these essential mechanisms was apparent as British hegemony faded (Cain and Hopkins 1993). WWI was, of course, the sharpest break with the previous hundred-year European peace. The war reversed the financial position of the US vis-à-vis Britain and thus enabled the rise of the US as a new hegemonic power even as it kicked off an unprecedented global wave of worker unrest (Arrighi 1994; Silver 2003). Just as significant as the war, however, was the wave of institutional reaction against the gold standard which began in 1914 before the start of the conflict (Vernengo 2003). The slow death of gold convertibility policy was the most prominent signal of the overall crisis and decline of British dominance in the world-economy. While gold convertibility formally ended in many peripheral areas (Argentina but also Brazil, India, and Egypt) in that year, portions of the policy persisted in many of these areas until the standard’s final collapse in 1931; it thus contributed to chaotic swings in the world market throughout the interwar period. Table 5. World-Scale Factors in Non-Core Movements Insertion into the World-Economy National Bourgeoisie (Argentina) Internal-External Class Alignment Movements face more than one capitalist class faction, which may collaborate or interfere with each other. Enclave Production (Chile) Foreign Production Enclaves Mobilizations shaped by pressure from enclaves, causal effects coming about through structural impact enclaves have on growth and employment. Core State Impact Direct (Argentina) Direct Geopolitical Intervention Intervention affects state policy toward movements and modifies states’ economic or political capacity during conflicts with movements. Indirect (Chile) Institutional Influence from the Incoming Hegemon Globally diffusing institutional forms lead to new tactical options for movements and their opponents. Insertion into the World-Economy National Bourgeoisie (Argentina) Internal-External Class Alignment Movements face more than one capitalist class faction, which may collaborate or interfere with each other. Enclave Production (Chile) Foreign Production Enclaves Mobilizations shaped by pressure from enclaves, causal effects coming about through structural impact enclaves have on growth and employment. Core State Impact Direct (Argentina) Direct Geopolitical Intervention Intervention affects state policy toward movements and modifies states’ economic or political capacity during conflicts with movements. Indirect (Chile) Institutional Influence from the Incoming Hegemon Globally diffusing institutional forms lead to new tactical options for movements and their opponents. Table 5. World-Scale Factors in Non-Core Movements Insertion into the World-Economy National Bourgeoisie (Argentina) Internal-External Class Alignment Movements face more than one capitalist class faction, which may collaborate or interfere with each other. Enclave Production (Chile) Foreign Production Enclaves Mobilizations shaped by pressure from enclaves, causal effects coming about through structural impact enclaves have on growth and employment. Core State Impact Direct (Argentina) Direct Geopolitical Intervention Intervention affects state policy toward movements and modifies states’ economic or political capacity during conflicts with movements. Indirect (Chile) Institutional Influence from the Incoming Hegemon Globally diffusing institutional forms lead to new tactical options for movements and their opponents. Insertion into the World-Economy National Bourgeoisie (Argentina) Internal-External Class Alignment Movements face more than one capitalist class faction, which may collaborate or interfere with each other. Enclave Production (Chile) Foreign Production Enclaves Mobilizations shaped by pressure from enclaves, causal effects coming about through structural impact enclaves have on growth and employment. Core State Impact Direct (Argentina) Direct Geopolitical Intervention Intervention affects state policy toward movements and modifies states’ economic or political capacity during conflicts with movements. Indirect (Chile) Institutional Influence from the Incoming Hegemon Globally diffusing institutional forms lead to new tactical options for movements and their opponents. Internal-External Class Alignments and Hegemonic Intervention in Argentina Argentina was perhaps the country most thoroughly enmeshed in networks of British investment capital, save for formal Dominion territories such as Australia and South Africa. Indeed, from the early 1900s Argentina was drawn further into the British orbit precisely via competition with such Dominion territories. There was constant tension between conservative forces in London, pushing to accord preferential import treatment to the Dominions, and the liberals that were reaping windfall profits from sending British liquidity abroad (Darwin 1980; Offer 1983). Argentina, as the single largest destination for British investment outside of the Dominions, was caught in a trap. The Argentine export bourgeoisie that were the real power behind Yrigoyen made the reasonable choice to protect and enlarge their links with London but were in constant danger of being edged out by British political preference for the Dominion. Thus even after the Argentine Congress passed a law relaxing the level of gold reserves required to back currency issues, ending formal gold convertibility, banking practice in the country held to an informal gold standard until 1927 (Conde 2009:46-51). Barry Eichengreen (1992) has shown how currencies tied to gold can exacerbate world market slumps, and Matias Vernengo (2003) has found that this effect was worse in the periphery than in Europe. This explains why the investment pullback (“Brit investment curb”) detailed below in Figure 3(a) should be considered a world-systemic event. The economic policies of British hegemony made the pullback of British investment from Argentina in 1913 short and sharp, leading to a recession that “primed the pump” for the resurgence of labor unrest in 1916-17. This world market fluctuation affected the course of the FOF’s 1917 mobilization in a more immediate way as well, as the subsequent profit squeeze on the Argentine rail network led to rate hikes which alienated domestic exporters from the British rail firms and prevented them from joining together in an early alliance against the combined Fraternidad/FOF (“Domestics against Brits”). This world-scale factor had a double effect: a long-term, conditioning influence through the gold standard strictures that contributed to the lull and rebound of labor unrest, as well as an immediate causal influence via the British-domestic split. Without the latter, it is doubtful that the FOF’s cycle of increasingly daring actions would have progressed past the initial strikes in Rosario. Figure 3. View largeDownload slide World-Scale Factors in Argentina Figure 3. View largeDownload slide World-Scale Factors in Argentina If the economic conjuncture at the start of the FOF’s mobilization was tied to the world-market, the final defeat of the FOF was tied to a more direct form of “external” influence. The British Foreign Office’s ultimatum on pain of abandoning Argentina’s entire grain harvest (“Brit ultimatum”) in figure 3(b) was an obvious form of direct intervention by a hegemonic state. Both of these world-scale determinants were mediated through Argentina’s particular dependency structure in which a domestic class of export producers formed the strongest power bloc behind the state and linked the domestic economy with foreign markets and investment. In this period the domestic bourgeoisie’s alliance with the rail firms, predicated on foreign direct investment and control, was beginning to erode. The growth of nationalist sentiment among the urban-based service classes (which provided a second, albeit lesser, source of support for the Radicals) had begun to appear in the ranks of the large export capitalists themselves. This new sentiment, combined with the economic fluctuations detailed above, grounded the cool relations between domestic elites and British rail companies that held through 1917. Analytically, this brings to the fore the importance of the changing levels of foreign-domestic capitalist class unity in determining the shape of the FOF’s mobilization, even as this unity itself was partially dependent upon world-scale forces. In sum, we might characterize the local form of world-scale forces in the Argentine mobilization as internal-external class alignment and direct geopolitical intervention. Enclave Effects and Institutional Influence in Chile In contrast to the class-coalitions affecting the Argentine mobilization, in Chile world-scale forces made their impact largely through the nitrate and copper enclave sectors. Further, the much stronger US presence in Chile meant that, in lieu of direct geopolitical intervention, the syndicalist demise came at the hands of an institutional innovation that later formed the basis for US hegemony: paternalistic business unionism. The impact of the nitrate enclave is illustrated in figure 4(a). Here we see the importance of Cardoso and Faletto’s (1979) distinction between dependency relations situated in a foreign-controlled enclave (Chile) and those mediated by a domestic but dependent capitalist class (Argentina). The continued reliance on the labor-intensive Shanks system (“Intensive nitrate”) combined with sharp fluctuations in nitrate sales after the Pool attempted to control world market prices (“Nitrate Pool formed”) to flood Valparaiso with unemployed workers (“Unemployed fill cities”). This unemployed population became the essential ingredient in the Merchant’s Association lockout. The technologically moribund situation of many nitrate producers was not uncommon in British-dominated industries in the early 20th century. This persisted even as US and German firms broke with the family-owned, horizontally integrated style of enterprise structure that had characterized the 19th century, moving quickly toward the vertically-integrated models that would predominate in the 20th. However, due to their oligopolistic market dominance, “[t]he entire British system of enterprise was trapped in a particular path of development, which it could not abandon except at costs that far exceeded calculable benefits….the capacity of British business to move toward the kind of reorganization that was sustaining rapid industrial expansion in Germany and the United States was strictly limited by the highly decentralized and specialized structure inherited from its earlier industrial expansion…British industry in general…showed a strong tendency toward the fission rather than fusion of sequential sub-processes of production and exchange.” (Arrighi and Silver 1999:126) If the nitrate sector had been kept up-to-date and not sheltered in a monopolized enclave, the industry would have been far less labor intensive by 1921. While the Nitrate Pool’s manipulations caused the wild price fluctuations of the 1920s, it was the state of monopolized production that turned an industry and state-revenue crisis into an employment crisis. Without the surge of unemployed workers, the IWW could have used their strongly entrenched position and ties to the city’s multitude of independent syndicalist organizations to resist employer attempts at a lockout. Indeed, this had happened several times in the past. Figure 4. View largeDownload slide World-Scale Factors in Chile Figure 4. View largeDownload slide World-Scale Factors in Chile The second decisive entry of world-scale forces was the manner in which the Guggenheim’s introduction of US-style paternalism to Chile (“Guggenheim mines”) contributed to the rise of the Asociación del Trabajo as captured in Fig 4(b). The AdT’s pressure campaign was pivotal in pushing President Alessandri to abolish the redondilla (“Pressure from AdT”). This illustrates how an incoming hegemon’s novel institutional practices can generate new capabilities for a movement’s opponents. US-style vertically-integrated firms had lower transaction costs than the previous fissile model, and thus were able to support not only the increased managerial staff needed for “scientific management” but the worker welfare measures that typified business unionism. The Guggenheims were able to garner state support for their paternalistic system thanks to the massive amount of investment capital they could offer and the cutting edge technology of their large mines. This outsize influence, in turn, made possible the birth and growth of the domestic paternalism popularized by the AdT. The Chilean patterns thus yield an additional pair of possible conduits for world-scale forces: the state of foreign capital enclaves and institutional influence from the incoming hegemon. The Antisystemic Approach and Nationally-bounded Models Reviewing the ESA diagrams demonstrates the importance of world-scale determinants, but the strengths of the antisystemic approach can be seen most clearly when compared to existing structural theories. Limiting ourselves to a brief sketch, our cases could be coded with POS terminology such that Yrigoyen’s and Alessandri’s pro-labor overtures are “openings” in the political structure leading to increased mobilization. Then the IWW and FOF met their demise when these openings were closed by changes in elite alliances; here, the relation between each state and the Union Rural or Merchant’s Association. One could also plausibly swap these labels for political mediation concepts. This offers the advantage of distinguishing slow building processes, such as state centralization, from the momentary spur to mobilization provided by Yrigoyen and Alessandri’s “partisan shifts” which energized both pro- and anti-labor actors. When viewed in light of the criteria for abductive justification (cf. Lipton 2004) the antisystemic approach improves on these explanations in two ways: following causal chains backward toward world-scale factors yields gains in explanatory scope, and tracking how these world-scale factors intervene even in the short-term gives greater explanatory power. First, while “openings” or “partisan regimes” provide useful conceptual handles for a middle-term mobilization narrative they remain silent regarding the long-term factors that helped create, sustain or initiate local conditions. Linking these local occurrences with their global antecedents thus expands the explanatory scope of our accounts. Importantly, it does this in a historically concrete manner rather than only via the universalizing of abstract categories drawn from the local case. For example, we can not only more precisely recast Argentina’s “opening” as internal-external class misalignment; we can also link it to particular mechanisms of a temporally specific global process, the breakdown of the gold standard. Tracing these links can inform research on other mobilizations occurring under late British hegemony, or perhaps under similar dysfunctional monetary unions. Moreover, recognizing that seemingly national processes such as centralization, patronage decline, and the formation of populist alliances were occurring simultaneously over much of Latin America and the colonial world sets the stage for future multiple-case analyses in a manner akin to the third approach in Table 1, with local changes in multiple countries recast as portions of larger processes. Second, antisystemic analysis gives world-scale forces an immediate causal role in the fine-grained pattern of each case and results in greater explanatory power. One important aim of process-tracing a mobilization is apportioning causal weight between SMOs, state institutions, and other salient organizations. Here a nationally-bound approach is at risk of missing world-scale causes entirely or misspecifying the globally-mediated powers available to local actors. Hegemonic intervention provides an example of the former risk, such as when British officials intervened to pressure the Yrigoyen administration. Even when putatively local “openings” and “closings” can be identified these may be interspersed or overlaid with specific interventions which require world-systemic context to understand. By entering the causal pattern, they form “critical junctures” whose inclusion in the pattern is essential for understanding its subsequent shape (Mahoney 2000). An antisystemic approach is well-positioned to uncover such crucial causal nodes thanks to its emphasis on linking each case with concurrent world-economic and geopolitical developments. Without the British intervention node in our ESA one can imagine explaining Yrigoyen’s about-face and the demise of the FOF as entirely a result of the realignment of state, rail, and export sector elites. These distortions are compounded when this risk of missing world-scale causal nodes is combined with the limited explanatory scope of nationally-bounded models. Not only might the resulting analysis miss the hegemonic intervention and settle on domestic class realignment as the prime factor behind FOF suppression, but the fact that the initial 1914 split between elites was itself a result of world-scale forces would be lost. The antisystemic perspective boosts explanatory power in a second way. It suggests that even when local and foreign actors are not concretely linked, the changing powers (and thus strategies) of local organizations and institutions are often dependent on world-scale factors. The Valparaiso Merchants Association’s transformation from an organization unable to lockout the IWW to one that could is only explicable if the relations between British nitrate monopolists, the world market, and the Chilean state are understood. In the same manner, the Argentine state’s margin of tolerance for the FOF was not simply a result of qualities internal to the state itself. Its ability to accommodate syndicalist demands and mediate between competing classes was, in part, a function of the world-economic crisis that alienated British rail companies from Argentine elites as well as the sufferance of the British state. This leads to an important methodological injunction: when setting out the cast of interacting entities within each mobilization and listing their capacities, scholars must also consider the way that world-scale forces may be sustaining or undermining the powers of these entities. CONCLUSION This project has elaborated the theoretical foundation of antisystemic movement analysis by constructing a threefold model of possible approaches: a movement-centric focus on antisystemic qualities, an approach focused on tracing world-level factors as they affect movements, and a recursive approach that looks for the effects of movement activity on the world-system itself. The second approach was used to identify several types of global influence on syndicalist mobilizations in Argentina and Chile. Two lines of differentiation proved decisive. First, differences in each region’s structure of dependency meant that world-scale forces impacted events either by affecting the state of internal-external class alignments or by transmitting economic fluctuations through a foreign-dominated enclave. A second difference centered on whether hegemonic states influenced the region via direct geopolitical intervention or institutional diffusion. These remain only some of a multiplicity of possible world-scale forces. The point here is not only to extract this typology, but to demonstrate the need for taking the world-systemic influence on movements seriously. The final shape of these patterns of syndicalist mobilization cannot be explicated without taking into account the four varieties of world-scale forces outlined above. Indeed, even the most structurally aware variants of movement analysis, the POS and political mediation approaches, would misconstrue these causal patterns. This constitutes a strong argument for the antisystemic approach, and a warning for scholars who are too quick to apply the nationally-bound assumptions of conventional social movement theories. Further research on antisystemic movements can go beyond the limitations of this study. One concern are the differences between core and peripheral regions. While this study demonstrated the efficacy of antisystemic analysis in a dependent region, there are good reasons to suppose that this approach can apply more broadly. Global political economy has revealed that core regions, despite seeming more insulated from global forces than the flimsier institutions of peripheral areas, are still affected by world-economic processes and shaped by geopolitical concerns (Boswell and Chase-Dunn 2000; Silver 2003). The level of social movement activity in all regions has been shown to take on shared wave-like patterns, and recent core movements such as Occupy evince clear global linkages (Almeida 2015; Oikonomakis and Roos 2014; Tejerina et al 2013). At this point, scholars should move forward and apply antisystemic analysis to core movements, provided we remain aware that the specific pathways mediating world-scale forces may be quite different. In similar fashion, research can proceed on various types of “institutional insulation,” whether in core or peripheral regions, that might cause world-scale factors to be more or less salient. Much could be gleaned from comparisons of relatively open periods, such as Latin America in the early 20th century, to more autarchic periods such as the import-substitution industrialization era.7 In addition, the analytic method itself can be further developed. The three lines of antisystemic analysis in Table 1 can be used in conjunction with existing social movement approaches. Political mediation models often focus on the role movements play in the process of policy formation, and such outcome-focused research can benefit from specification of the “degree of fit” between a movement’s ideological, organizational or tactical qualities and the structural requisites of capitalism. POS and political mediation mechanisms can be investigated as possible “connection points” between the local and global. Most generally, comparative strategies such as Tilly’s (1984) “universalizing” or “encompassing” comparisons, alongside other formal comparative techniques such as qualitative comparative analysis (QCA), can be undertaken to tackle multiple cases while specifically including world-scale factors as variables. At the least, re-analyzing movements from multiple “levels of abstraction” (Smith 1996; Ollman 2003) should become standard, so that it becomes a matter of course to search for the world-scale determinants of even the most localized mobilizations and the effects of local contingency even on transnational mobilizations. Footnotes 1 This conceptual sharpening was accomplished at a cost. Early political process work such as McAdam (1982) incorporated geopolitical pressures and domestic development, though often only as historical particularities. As structural theories became more abstract and codified, national political structure came to predominate and any concern with a specifically capitalist political economy faded away (Hetland and Goodwin 2013; Tejerina et al 2013). 2 Still, scholars should remain conscious of the limitations of even historicized structuralism and look for ways to incorporate the cognitive, ideational and cultural aspects that critics have emphasized. See the extensive debate in 1999’s Sociological Forum on the risk of unreflective structuralism and the need to engage with cognitive and cultural aspects of movements (collected, with responses, in Goodwin and Jasper 2003). One point all participants in this debate might agree to is that researchers should take care to be explicit about which “slice” of movement activity is being addressed in any given project (I am indebted to an anonymous referee for emphasizing this point). While this paper focuses on syndicalism’s macrostructural influences, one can imagine future research exploring the movement’s ideational aspects using the first approach in Table 1, or perhaps using this paper’s globalized structural account to inform a history of anarchism and syndicalism as cultural forms. 3 One particular type of world-scale factor has received a good deal of attention in social movement research: the spread of transnational movements and the networks of transnational activists that found and populate such movements (e.g. Della Porta et al 2006). This process is left to one side in this analysis. It is important to note, however, that this world-scale factor is usually addressed as a component of explicitly transnational movements; this narrowness of application has served to insulate nationally-bound approaches from the critique leveled here. 4 This case study draws on Adelman 1992, 1993; Alexander 2003; Bergquist 1986; Conde 2000, 2009; De Laforcade 2010; Di Tella 1981; Etchenique 2000; Halperin 1986; Horowitz 1995, 2008; James 1956; Korzeniewicz 1995; Lobato 2003; Munck 1987; Munck, Falcón and Galitelli 1987; Palermo 2008; Pianetto 1984; Rock 1975; Suriano 2009. 5 The British, for their part, knew this to be an idle threat and had ships already en route to Buenos Aires to pick up the shipment. Still, Britain’s position at the confluence of the world’s trade routes allowed it to make the 1917 ultimatum credible. 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Social Problems – Oxford University Press
Published: Nov 1, 2018
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