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National syndicalism is a variant of syndicalism typically associated with the labour movement in Italy which would later become a basis of Benito Mussolini’s National Fascist Party.

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Unlike anarcho-syndicalists, trade unionists, and Marxist elements of the Italian labor movement, the national syndicalists supported Italy’s involvement in World War I. They also rejected the internationalism of the anarchists and Marxists in favor of militarism and nationalism.

National syndicalists imagined that the liberal democratic political system would be destroyed in a massive general strike, at which point the nation’s economy would be transformed into a corporatist model based on class collaboration, contrasted with Marxist class struggle. (see the Nazi model of Volksgemeinschaft). But national syndicalists also publicly declared their opposition to bourgeoisie-class rule and instead supported a strong "proletarian nation" which would rid itself of class-based society and convert it to a national society. National syndicalists typically opposed communism, capitalism, liberalism, and any other internationalist movement which was deemed to be threatening the strength and/or unity of the nation.

Some famous advocates of National Syndicalism are the Italian Alceste De Ambris, British Union of Fascists leader Sir Oswald Mosley, and Italian Fascist Party member Sergio Panunzio.

Iberian context

National syndicalism in the Iberian Peninsula is a political theory very different from the fascist idea of corporatism, inspired by Integralism and the Action Française (for a French parallel, see Cercle Proudhon). It was formulated in Spain by Ramiro Ledesma Ramos in a manifesto published in his periodical La Conquista del Estado on March 14, 1931.

National syndicalism was intended to win over the anarcho-syndicalist Confederación Nacional del Trabajo (CNT) to a corporatist nationalism. Ledesma's manifesto was discussed in the CNT congress of 1931. However, the National Syndicalist movement effectively emerged as a separate political tendency. Later the same year, Juntas de Ofensiva Nacional-Sindicalista was formed, and subsequently voluntarily fused with Falange Española. In 1936 Franco forced a further less voluntary merger with traditionalist Carlism, to create a single party on the Nationalist side of the Spanish Civil War. It was one of the ideological bases of Francoist Spain, especially in the early years.

The ideology was present in Portugal with the Movimento Nacional-Sindicalista (active in the early 1930s), its leader Francisco Rolão Preto being a collaborator of Falange ideologue José Antonio Primo de Rivera.

The Spanish version theory has influenced the Kataeb Party in Lebanon and various Falangist groups in Latin America.

The Unidad Falangista Montañesa a maintains a trade union wing, called the Association of National-Syndicalist Workers

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