The Kate Sharpley Library team discuss Guillamón's work on the CNT's Defence Committees in relation to what we know about the start of the Spanish Revolution and why it's important.
The photographic images of the Spanish revolution are implanted in our memories and too often taken for granted. Iconic figures like Durruti blinking at a notebook or standing smiling in a circle of comrades, Ascaso, rifle on his shoulder, enjoying a chat and a smoke in the bright Barcelona sun shortly before he is killed. Most of all, though, there are the crowds.
A 2010 essay in which the author attributes the defeat of the Spanish Revolution not to its betrayal at the hands of a naïve and incompetent leadership, but to the fact that “If the Spanish proletariat valued acronyms and leaders more than their own interests this was because objective and subjective difficulties stood in the way of their potential to attain a level of class autonomy sufficient to do without such mediations”.
A Critical Look at the Spanish Revolution – Ricardo Fuego
A critique of Roi Ferreiro’s critique of Andrés Devesa’s essay on the Spanish civil war and revolution, in which Guillamon derides Ferreiro for idealism and the use of elitist jargon, and for his failure to “perceive that the battle for revolutionary history is not just a bookish, theoretical and abstract question, but another battlefield in the class war between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat”.
The Theorization of Historical Experiences – Agustín Guillamón
History is one more battlefield among the many that exist in the class war. We must learn the lessons of the defeats of the proletariat, because they are the milestones of victory.
Critical notes on the text, "Spain, 1936. The exorcism of the ghost of the revolution", by Andrés Devesa - Roi Ferreiro
A critique of Andrés Devesa’s essay on the “domestication of memory” with respect to the events of the Spanish civil war and revolution, which is faulted for having placed too much emphasis on the failure of leadership of the CNT-FAI as the reason for the failure of the revolution, which Ferreiro traces to the subjective disposition of the rank and file of anarchosyndicalism, who were too dependent on “their organization”, with which they strongly identified, to break free of its tutelage and their “conformist and passive attitude” towards its collaboration.
Critical Notes on the Text, “Spain, 1936. The Exorcism of the Ghost of the Revolution”, by Andrés Devesa – Roi Ferreiro
A brief 2006 essay on the topic of the “domestication of memory” perpetrated by the mainstream Spanish historians with regard to the Spanish Civil War, with particular emphasis on the whitewashing of the role of the Stalinists in the counterrevolution.
Spain, 1936 – The Exorcism of the Ghost of the Revolution – Andrés Devesa
“Human memory is a marvelous but fallacious instrument.”