In these (January 2016) draft notes for a lecture on the “partiocracy” and its crisis—pertaining for the most part to Spain and Southern Europe—Miguel Amorós points out that, while the “professional politicians” continue to betray their former constituencies (relatively privileged layers of the middle class), and the civil society movement (the “left wing of capitalism”, “led for the most part by professors and lawyers”) tries to rally those same constituencies to support illusory “reforms”, a revolutionary response must involve at least in part the pursuit of a kind of “restoration” that takes its “inspiration from historical examples of non-capitalist ways of living together”.
Spanish Marxism vs Soviet Communism: A History of the P.O.U.M. in the Spanish Civil War - Victor Alba
Spanish Marxism Versus Soviet Communism is the first historical study of the P.O.U.M. to appear in English. Drawing from his multi-volume work on the subject, which was published in Spanish and Catalan, Victor Alba has collaborated with Stephen Schwartz to produce a condensed and amplified study that is far more than a translation.
Published by Victor Alba, a former member of the POUM, in 2001, just before his death, this text addresses problems that the author believes will be faced by any resurgence of collectives of the kind formed in Spain during the Civil War, specifically problems of a “psychological” kind, warning that any future attempts to form collectives—in a society that has become an “amorphous mesocratic miasma” that has suppressed working class culture and militant traditions—will be dominated by a desire for more money and possessions rather than concerns about the environment, natural resources, and energy, for instance, which require the acceptance of “austerity”, and quality rather than quantity.
Interesting book written by Nicolas Dueñas, writing as Martin Selby, with recollections of the coalmining communities in the Welsh valleys at the beginning of the 20th century at a time of an influx of miners from Spain.
Considerations on the political situation in Spain in 2015, with a brief historical survey of the origins of the civil society movement in the aftermath of the defeat of the workers movement in the eighties, the rise of postmodernism, the impact of the economic crisis, the sources of middle class discontent that gave rise to the civil society movement during the nineties, the new social democratic nostalgia and renascent regional nationalism, and the need to break out of the constraints imposed by the civil society movement in order to really fight for “an egalitarian social transformation of society”.