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.
An interview on the Spanish civil war and revolution conducted in 2001 with Abel Paz, former militant of the CNT, resistance fighter and the author of Durruti: The People Armed, in which he discusses, among other things, the collectives, the Moroccan question and technical innovation under self-management in industry under wartime conditions.
Barricades in Barcelona: The CNT from the victory of July 1936 to the necessary defeat of May 1937 - Agustín Guillamón
First published in 2006, this book, focusing on Barcelona in 1936-1937, provides an account of the street battles and victory of July 1936, examines the defense and neighborhood committees that defeated the uprising in the city, and addresses the issue of the decision of the CNT-FAI superior committees to collaborate with counterrevolutionary parties and social groups to preserve anti-fascist unity at any price and how this decision culminated in May 1937 in the defeat of the revolution, with special emphasis on the emerging discontent among the anarchosyndicalist rank and file and the role of The Friends of Durruti Group in crystallizing opposition to official CNT policies.
The Spanish revolution, past and future: grandeur and poverty of anarchism; how the working class takes over (or doesn't), then and now - Loren Goldner
“Solidaridad Obrera” (Workers’ Solidarity), founded in Barcelona in 1907, is the voice of Spain’s Anarcho-syndicalist Confederacion Nacional del Trabajo (CNT: National Confederation of Labour). The following essays were issued to celebrate the hundredth anniversary of “Soli” and together they illustrate the changing fortunes of the Anarcho-syndicalist movement, and its enduring attempt to communicate the anarchist idea. Translated by Paul Sharkey.
Collectivizations: The constructive achievements of the Spanish Revolution. Essays, documents and reports - Augustin Souchy and Paul Folgare
Now available in English for the first time, this survey of industrial and agricultural, urban and rural collectives in libertarian Spain, written by the Foreign Affairs Secretary of the CNT, Augustin (Agustin in Spanish) Souchy, and Paul Folgare (or Polgare, a/k/a Pal Partos), first published in Spanish in 1937 by Tierra y Libertad, complements the more well known works of Gaston Leval and Sam Dolgoff, and despite its blatantly propagandistic purposes, nonetheless frankly acknowledges some of the shortcomings of the collectivization process, which the authors generally characterize at one point as “collective capitalism” and in another instance as “the socialization of poverty”.
In this essay first published in 1922, Galo Díez Fernández, the National Secretary of the CNT, explains the importance of the rationalist education that was such a major part of the CNT’s propaganda at the time, with particular emphasis on the education of women and the moral regeneration of the workers.
Syndicalism and the strike: French and Italian revolutionary syndicalism and their introduction into Spain - Pere Gabriel
An essay on the relative influence exercised by the First International (the Spanish Regional Federation of the IWA), the Second International, French revolutionary syndicalism (the CGT and the Bourses du Travail), and Italian syndicalism (the USI), respectively, on the origin and development of Spanish anarcho-syndicalism, with extensive discussion of the internal debates that took place between 1880 and 1920 in the European anarchist milieu on the general strike and the nature and purpose of trade unionism.