Socialism, anarchism, communism, and syndicalism all emerged in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. What accounts for the rise in these movements and how was Progressivism at odds with these movements?

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The Industrial Revolution was a huge factor in the rise of anarchism, socialism, communism, and syndicalism (which can interact with all three of the above mentioned political ideologies). The industrial revolution led to the sharp rise in wealth disparities, higher populations of disenfranchised people, disillusionment with the "American dream" and...

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The Industrial Revolution was a huge factor in the rise of anarchism, socialism, communism, and syndicalism (which can interact with all three of the above mentioned political ideologies). The industrial revolution led to the sharp rise in wealth disparities, higher populations of disenfranchised people, disillusionment with the "American dream" and other liberal concepts about capitalism, and a higher concentration of people in urban settings who could come together over social, political, and economic oppressions. The working class became a much more solidified and easily defined group of peoples through industrialized labor. While anarchism, socialism, and communism have distinct ideologies, people who identified with any of these ideologies in the above mentioned time period tended to be involved in labor movements, with some movements being more radical than others. This involvement in labor movements by all three ideologies and political practices is how syndicalism was rooted in many aspects of 19th and early-mid 20th centuries anarchism, communism, and socialism. Anarchists, for example, are actively against rulers and hierarchical power relations/systems. Therefore, anarchists responded to the industrial revolution by working to free themselves from the shackles of being used as a source of profit for rich bosses. Anarcho-syndicalists of this time period encouraged wildcat strikes, in which workers participated in strikes regardless of bureaucratic labor union support, and attempted to free themselves from the capitalist system by creating worker-owned collectives, in which no one was the boss/manager. Communists and socialists also strove to improve the conditions of working class through addressing unequal power relations. Socialists tended to look towards building large, bureaucratic labor unions as a solution to labor inequality. Communists tended to form educational political groups that encouraged workers to rise up and take factories over from their bosses. Some communist organizations were comprised of workers who actually organized in work places, while others remained more educational/political clubs that advocated for revolt from the sidelines.

Progressivism was at odds with all of these movements because it is not a radical ideology. Radical means "to the root." To get to the root of oppression and power dynamics, one must be willing to analyze the very fundamental basis of how power is concentrated and how governments and businesses operate. Progressives did not seek to radically transform or shift power relations. They sought to simply make reformist changes to the system without challenging the existence of the system itself. Progressives tended to be apart of the bourgeois middle class who were comfortable, and perhaps held liberal ideals, but were not interested in radically shifting power dynamics by eradicating the very existence of class-based societies.

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