Some reflections on the latest domestic security legislation passed in Spain (July 2015), known as the “Ley Mordaza” (the Gag Law), which the authors see as an attempt on the part of a faction of the Spanish ruling class to forestall a Greek-style crisis by relying, no longer merely on mass conformism (which would facilitate a “Syriza” option), but on the security forces, to preserve “civil security” and the “rights and liberties” of the citizens, i.e., the Orwellian “right to agree with the State’s orders and the liberty to obey them”, because of the “spreading social conflicts” in cities and rural areas, thus imposing a “State of Emergency” without the need for a “coup d’état”.
A timely warning to the libertarians of Spain from the editors of Argelaga concerning an attempt (June 2015), instigated by certain elements in the anarchist camp sympathetic to “Platformism”, to form a citizens’ political party based on civil society slogans (“the people, “society”, and “the majority” vs. “the evil ‘elite’” or “the one percent”), transmitted via the telegraphic text-message-style communications of a “postmodern”, “upbeat” and “trendy” “lexicon”, crafted for an audience composed of “the pauperized and computer-literate middle class, students and local bureaucrats”, fodder for “reformist militantism of the trade union, municipalist, NGO or para-institutional type”.
The Spanish Civil War of 1936-39 was of enormous international as well as national significance. In this gripping volume, Frances Lannon explains how this internal conflict between democracy and its enemies escalated. Featuring specially commissioned full-color artwork, this study depicts the fighting men of the Nationalist, Republican forces and The International Brigades that strove to take control of Spain alongside their German, Russian and Italian allies.
An obituary published in April 2015 on the occasion of the death of Teresa Rebull (1919-2015)—scion of a well-known libertarian family, sister-in-law of David Rey (a/k/a Daniel Rebull, co-founder of the CNT), textile worker at the age of 12, member of the POUM since 1936, volunteer nurse during the Civil War, participant in the May Days of 1937, prisoner of the Stalinists in a “cheka” in Barcelona, exile in France, participant in the French Resistance, and singer-songwriter of the Catalonian folk music revival of the 1960s, among other things—a remarkable woman and one of last survivors of a generation of women who “tried to win the war by carrying out the revolution”.
An essay on political corruption in Spain published in May 2015, its impunity, its roots in the “partiocracy” that emerged from the “Transition”, its penetration of the Judiciary, and the resulting disenchantment of the population—awakened from its apathy regarding such chicanery now that the economic boom that accompanied the construction of the new Spanish State-form has come to an end—which has led to attempts by political opportunists to rehabilitate the party system by forming new, vaguely progressive “civil society” parties and regional separatist movements, rather than recognizing that “corruption is not the exception, but is inscribed in the very nature of the system”.
A vivid biographical sketch of Joaquín Pérez (1907-2006), based on a manuscript he wrote during the last few years of his life, who joined the CNT at the age of sixteen in the early 1920s, and was, successively, a specialist in the CNT’s Defense Committees in Barcelona during the 1930s, a militiaman in the Durruti Column during the first months of the Civil War, one of the original members of The Friends of Durruti, a fugitive, a prisoner in Montjuich, and then, after escaping from Montjuich as Franco’s forces closed in on the citadel, an exile, first in labor camps in France, and then, after stowing away on a British warship during the evacuation of Brest, in London.