The Unfinished Revolution: The Battle for Americas Soul

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Gil Robles, graduate of the College of the Salesian Fathers at Salamanca, had gone to the staff of El Debate, married the daughter of the Count of Revillagigedo, one of the wealthiest men in Spain, and all-in-all pleased his masters so much that he was chosen to head the new Catholic Party. On a honeymoon in Germany he became entranced by the Wagnerian mystique of the first great Nuremburg Rally. He became entranced with Hitler too; but not with Adolfs pagan renunciation of the true cross. He settled on the idea of a clerical party as embodied in that of Engelburt Dolfuss of Austria.

Like the Falange, the membership and leaders of the new party were heavily influenced by Hitler, Mussolini, Salazar, Horthy, and any Rightist credo that gave evidence of a plausible plan and program for the seizure and maintenance of power in the face of the rabble. In its early days the C. Democracy for us is not an end in itself, but the medium to launch us in the conquest of a new state. The moment is coming! The Parliament will either submit, or we will see that it disappears! Leaders of the government coalition, socialist and republican, were hit with the full weight of a now quite purposeful reactionary offensive.

Simultaneously with this punitive campaign of vituperation and deceit, terror was unleashed in the streets. The Falangists of Jose Antonio joined with the J. Juventud de Accion Popular , the young shock troops of the C. Hundreds of Socialists, Communists, Anarchists, Moderate Republicans, workers, judges, military men of the Left and journalists met their death by Fascist bullets. Lerroux accepted with alacrity.

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The elections were held on November 19, The Monarchists — Carlist and Bourbon — took forty seats between them. Together with the Radicals of Lerroux, who won a hundred, they swept the Cortes. The Party of Manuel Azana was virtually wiped out, while the Socialist representation was halved. The Communists had increased their total vote at this early date to , But, according to Dolores Ibarruri of the P. Because of its provisions. The overwhelming mandate given the Socialist-Republican coalition in had ceased to exist True, the Right as opposed to the Center-Left was still a minority.

It had less than half the delegates to the Cortes. The Monarchist-turned-Republican President however, was quick to remedy that little problem. Alcala Zamora now appointed Alejandro Lerroux as Premier. The obvious question here is: How could such a reversal of popular sentiment take place? In terms of the popular vote the Rights had won no victory. Lists of candidates and parties could, by combining in a united front, obtain a certain advantage over those who did not The victorious slate would then be given additional representation in the Cortes out of all proportion to the votes received.

In the U. Their refusal to unite with the Republicans put them once more in the good graces of their constituents. As stated, their popular vote rose, though they lost half their seats. An additional cause for the disastrous losses of the Azana Republicans was a complete Anarchist abstention from the polls. Abad de Santillan, a member of the executive of the F. And that without them, no regime could be established more-or-less-liberal; and no one could govern them in the name of reaction. In , their policy of No Votad! Their principles, it would seem, were certainly not at stake since they had already seriously compromised them by voting for republicans.

The fact that the Anarchists did neither is clearly an example of opportunism to the nth degree. Their watchword remained: No unity! No joint effort to stave off the now dangerously rising tide of organized reaction and fascism. No front for the betterment of the conditions of the workers and peasants. What would be done, would be done their way — or not at all. But then, again, if they had done this, they would not have been Anarchists. Other than the Anarchist bands of Makhno in the Soviet Union and the tendency behind the Kronstadt revolt of , the only 20th century evidences of Anarchist strength has been in Spain, and to a far lesser degree, in Italy and Cuba; this last resulting from Spanish worker immigration.

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But syndicalism is a far cry from the thinking of Bakunin. It is, specifically, a form of trade-unionism originating in France.

Other than having created the great French Alliance of Trade Unions, the COT Confederation General du Travail the movement as such, aimed at the possession of the means of production and distribution; and ultimately at the control of society by federated bodies of industrial workers. Anarchism, in terms of its quite simplistic-idealist, and extremely limited theory, regards the absence of all direct or coercive government as a political ideal, and proposes the cooperative and voluntary association of individuals and groups as the principle mode of organized society.

Given an ideal situation Anarchist concepts could very easily suit the syndicalist structure.

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But, in the process of creating such a halcyon state of affairs one must, from a Marxist point of view, first engage in tedious battle. Bakunin split with Marx in the First International over precisely this contradiction in Anarchist thinking.

Bakunin believed, briefly, and correctly so, that the chief oppressor of man was the State. He denied the need to prepare for revolution, and was completely unable to grasp the significance of the application of scientific method to the theory of society. Marx, quite realistically, wished to conquer political power for the people.

Bakunin wished only to destroy all political power. The facts show otherwise. Indeed, it is perhaps here that the mythos of Anarchist organizational prowess first began. Malaga, Granada, Seville, Cordoba, Valencia, Cartagena and many other cities were seized by Republican-Federalists of the Cantonalist movement in the period, In most cases they held out for many months against the regular army. There is not the least truth in this.

Compared to the petite bourgeoisie with its long insurrectionaiy tradition Republican , who formed the bulk of the Federal Party, they were quite insignificant For another, it had been decided at the two assemblies held at Barcelona and Alcoy on the eve of the general elections, not to take part as a body in any political action, though individual members would be allowed to cooperate with the Federals, if they wished to do so.

The Federals — despised bourgeois that they were — proved themselves a thousand times more revolutionary. So much so that 'it would not regain a commensurate prestige and power, until the advent of the new concepts of Syndicalism at the turn of the century. Historically then, in terms of influence in Spain, it can rightly be said that the period to belonged to the Socialists.

The split between Marx and Bakunin also proved internationally disastrous for the Anarchists. The attempts to impose Bakunin doctrine upon the already quite sophisticated European unions likewise met with little success. In fact, the Anarchist loss of control of the great Jura watchmaking unions sounded a death-knell to their efforts.

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The concept of a natural Anarchist mystique is further dispelled when we see that the Italian factory workers, in their majority, also spurned Anarchism. The contradictions in Anarchist doctrine were all too apparent The workers demanded organization now! Political action now! Food for hungry mouths would not wait for the millenia; nor would decent wages, housing, education and suffrage. The decades between and early saw a degeneration of the Anarchist movement into simple frenzied acts of pure and self- defeating terrorism — born of frustration and a sense of defeat The greater port of Spain continued as an arena of the contending factions of Socialists and Rightists; with but here and there small islands of Anarchist influenced workers and peasants.

It was not until October of that a Congress of Anarchist groups and certain independent federations of workers met in Seville. Of this Congress was born the C. The syndicates would be organized on a local basis — no national craft or trade unions.

The dues would be little, or nothing; with Andalusian peasants required to pay nothing at all. There would also be no social insurance and no strike funds, nor would any secretaries or officials be paid. And thus would Anarchist doctrine be infused into syndicalist structure. For these had a considerable paid secretariat The actual key to worker support, however, was not so much the loose knit catch-all approach, but rather the fact that across the monopoly years of Socialist control, the unions of the UGT had, in many cases, fallen victim to the reformist trap — and the workers knew it Many of them were, therefore, quite willing to try something else.

For at no time has syndicalism essentially opposed participation by its members or its organization in bourgeois parliaments. Such men as Salvador Segue, who was largely responsible for the forging of the C.