A very short pamphlet written jointly by the Belgian LCI (League of Communist Internationalists) and IARV (Union of International Council Workers), and the Dutch GIK (Group of International Communists) and Proletenstemmen (Proletarian Voice), a 'working group' linked to the latter, about the developments of the Spanish civil war.
The Class War in Spain
In Barcelona the forces of the Companys and Largo Caballero governments have initiated the attack on the armed workers.
Before us, the capitalist press and the press of the social democratic and Stalinist parties jointly proclaim, "In Spain there is a struggle between fascism and bourgeois democracy."
We are told, "democratic capitalists and the working masses there have one interest, forming the Popular Front. Among them there is no difference!"
Now, hundreds dead and wounded, and two armed classes set to go head to head in Catalonia and Aragon tell another tale. The lie about the unity between capitalists and workers is sunk. The harsh truth rises before us.
Between capital and labor there is a struggle for life or death!
WHAT HAPPENED IN CATALONIA?
When the clique of officers — with the support of the Church and of the great landowners — revolted to take power on July ‘36, the workers stormed barracks and arsenals spontaneously, taking up arms and going on the hunt for all the fascist gangs.
The Spanish bourgeoisie and its allies, the French and British ruling classes, were delighted here, because their goal was the building and strengthening of a bourgeois state power, and because the benefits and the profits extracted from squeezing the industrial and field workers was added to their coffers and those of their friends, the great French and English exploiters, which until now had been largely in the hands of the nobles and princes of the Church.
But their joy was mixed with fear! Because the working masses are not surrendering the lives of hundreds and thousands of their comrades to place a layer of parasites over themselves. The workers kept their weapons, and in Catalonia and Aragon they have kept the factory owners outside, forming workers’ councils; as well the armed workers, the militiamen, elect their soldiers’ councils.
This is what the capitalist cliques fear, in Spain and abroad, they fear! This is what they hate like the plague!
All this means that the day that Franco would be defeated, the armed working class as a whole, organized and united in their councils of workers and soldiers, would not tolerate a clique of democratic exploiters.
This means the consolidation of its own class power in Catalonia would spread throughout Spain, and like the initial spark of a fire, the workers of France and Western Europe would be put into motion thanks to their example and their revolutionary propaganda.
WHAT DID THE BOURGEOISIE DO TO MITIGATE THIS THREAT?
The organs of their governments, and especially their collaborators, the leaders of the bourgeois parties, both social democratic and Stalinist, tell workers "We are with you, but without a difference, together we must honor freedom and together we must build a free and prosperous Spain. We first need to defeat Franco and then everything will be fine.”
BUT BENEATH THE SHADE OF NICE WORDS THERE ARE HIDDEN MOTIVES!
Governments and Parties decided that the councils of workers and soldiers must be dissolved, that armed workers must never choose their representatives. They have assembled a strong army of police, comprised of the capitalist youth, former army officers, and a section of the workers who remain under the control of their party leaders. This assault guard, which is heavily armed, was not dispatched to the front but remained to the side of the workers, awaiting their chance to dissolve the workers' councils, to disarm the workers, and crush their resistance with gunfire.
This is what the unity between the bourgeoisie and the bureaucrats of the party amounts to!
Under the screen of siren songs about unity and freedom, the Spanish Noskists have gone on the attack, beginning from the 4th of May.
But they had not calculated the forceful resistance of the workers, who have stopped the blow from the bands of capital. A few of the assault guards went over to the workers. A section of the base of the Social Democratic and Stalinist parties has emptied thereby.
According to reports from the French border, the Government has requested the intervention of troops from the French navy to help preserve ports.
Now both powers stand face to face, the workers still armed, organized in their councils and committees, against the armed might of the Spanish capitalists and everyone that props them up firmly.
Spanish workers rise up in a violent and difficult fight!
The entire joint force of England, France, and Russia supports the capitalist "democratic" government.
THE HOPE AND STRENGTH OF WORKERS CONSISTS OF TWO THINGS!
The first is to extend and strengthen the proletarian councils at the posts of work and combat, purifying them from all connection with the existing parties that speak of disarmament. This requires a break with the ruling apparatus of the Syndicalist Confederation (CNT) which functions as an acolyte and collaborator with the capitalists. These are the lessons of two revolutions, the Russian and German: All power to the revolutionary workers' councils!
The second is that workers here, in France, Belgium, Holland, in England, and in Germany must destroy the web of lies extended throughout the entire parasitic press.
This is how we can attack the class enemy, dismantling the apparatus of lies and misinformation of the parties, and forming autonomous action committees of struggle to develop the agitation and the movement of the workers.
THE SPANISH WORKERS FIGHT FOR THEIR LIVES!
Whatever happens to them, will be our own destiny tomorrow. We have one enemy: international capitalism.
We must work towards the formation of a class front, so that the enemies of our Spanish comrades become paralyzed with fear, and so that the solidarity and unity between us and our fellow proletarians is a matter of fact!