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.”
This article from the November issue of the CNT newspaper memorializes 80 years of a militant workers newspaper in Spain. It also focuses on the present and future of the CNT, and provides a decent overview of how the anarcho-syndicalist union has been organizing since the beginning of the crisis in 2008.
80th anniversary of the newspaper CNT
Through more than 100 years of struggle, the CNT continues fighting tirelessly for a free and egalitarian society.
Despite the long path we still have to travel before the CNT once again becomes a reference point for the working class, over the past few years the union has definitely laid some solid ground that justifies optimism in this sense.
An article by former IWA secretariat Pierre Besnard about avoiding the mistakes of the CNT during the Spanish Civil War.
Originally appeared in The Vanguard (May 1939)
Provided by the Workers Solidarity Alliance archives in New York
Theses on the Spanish Civil War and the revolutionary situation created on July 19, 1936 - BALANCE (Agustín Guillamón)
A 2001 text summarizing the results of the research carried out by Agustín Guillamón for the Spanish journal, BALANCE, concerning the lessons of the Spanish Civil War in Catalonia, denying the existence of “dual power” in Catalonia in 1936, discussing the struggles of the CNT rank and file against militarization and in favor of socialization, emphasizing the revolutionary potential of the ubiquitous committees and their neutralization and eventual destruction due to a lack of coordination and centralization, and claiming that the proletarian revolution requires the destruction of the capitalist state and the creation of a centralized workers power based on workers councils.
Theses on the Spanish Civil War and the Revolutionary Situation Created on July 19, 1936 in Catalonia - BALANCE 1
“The working class is revolutionary or it is nothing.”
Karl Marx, Letter to Schweitzer (February 13, 1865)
- 1. BALANCE. Cuadernos de historia del movimiento obrero, Cuaderno No. 21, Barcelona, June 2001 (2nd edition).
In this 2009 interview originally published in Spanish, Noam Chomsky answers questions about military options and international factors in the Spanish Civil War, the role of the Stalinists in suppressing the revolution in Spain, the attitudes of intellectuals with regard to the revolution and their historical role more generally, and the chances for another libertarian revolution.
An Interview with Noam Chomsky on the Spanish Revolution – Jorell A. Meléndez Badillo (2009)
The Spanish Revolution: How It Is Perceived and Depicted in Intellectual Circles
First of all, I would like to express my gratitude for the opportunity to speak with you.
In this article published in June 1937 in the journal, Rätekorrespondenz, the Group of International Communists of Holland harshly criticize the CNT and FAI in the wake of the May Events in Barcelona, condemning the anarchosyndicalist leadership for its collaboration with the government, ideological confusions regarding trade union control of the economy, illusions regarding antifascist unity and the pact with the UGT.
Revolution and Counterrevolution in Spain - Groep van Internationale Communisten (1937)
A complete transcript of a 1977 interview with José Peirats, in which the Spanish historian and former militant of the CNT and FAI reminisces about his youth and discusses many of the controversies that plagued the CNT before as well as during the civil war, including the impact of the Russian Revolution, Angel Pestaña’s mission to Russia in 1920, the Asturian insurrection of October 1934, the CNT’s policy of collaboration with the government during the war, and the role of the Stalinists in the Republican coalition government’s counterrevolution against the anarchist revolutionary achievements of July 1936.
Interview with José Peirats – Josep Alemany
A short article summarizing the history and transformation of the CNT’s Defense Committees in Barcelona during the 1930s from their origins as street fighting units to their reorganization as integrated combat/intelligence formations, to their suppression by the Republic after the working class defeat of May 1937.
From Defense Cadres to Popular Militias – Augustín Guillamón
The defense cadres were formed shortly after the proclamation of the Republic, and were a continuation of the armed defense groups of the years of pistolerismo.
From Shapiro’s report to the Presentation of October 1934