defeated anarchists

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vicent
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Mar 27 2013 07:38
defeated anarchists

why is it that regions that were dominated by anarchists such as catalonia, free territories etc , never revolted against their oppressors after being taken over by franco , stalin etc ? and why dont their children carry on their legacy of anarchism now?
were many of the workers ignorant of the general theory of anarchism and were just following the mob?

vicent
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Mar 27 2013 07:39

actually thats a bit harsh, im sure the workers understood the concepts or else the societies wouldnt have functioned under anarchism!

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Ambrose
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Mar 27 2013 09:00

People want to live. As long as life seems worth living, they are willing to submit. I get very frustrated with this and it can be very hard not to criticize their... "Cowardice". But a lot of them have families, children and just want what's best for them.

Battlescarred
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Mar 27 2013 09:35

What is all this elitist infantile shite on her?. The anarchist movement and the workers movement in general were physically crushed by the forces of Franco. Many, many thousands were murdered by the Francoist forces, with many more being imprisoned for lengthy periods, whilst large numbers had to flee into exile. The infantile stuff from these two above, who have the "luxury" of living under bourgeois democracy, accusing the working class of cowardice absolutely sickens me.

NannerNannerNan...
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Mar 27 2013 09:58

Eh, it seems you people are kinda sorta blaming the victims of repression for not being tough enough - vincent claims it must have been some sort of cowardice extending logically from an ignorance of anarchism, Ambrose saying it's a "noble" cowardice.

Frankly, I think that's silly and doesn't resemble reality at all. I think when I first learned about the Spanish Civil War I was thinking "hey, why didn't the working class just all go into the countryside and re-establish their full communism through guerilla warfare?"

Strange, though, because that's exactly what happened. it didn't work.

The only thing I don't like about Marxism is that obscures the every human origins of many, many things - a decrease in living standards always increases the chance of a communist movement popping up out of the ashes, mass movements are intensely logical reactions to that decrease in living-standards, etc. I don't think Marx even wrote anything like that, but regardless this roboticization of the working class persists. I think it's important to re-assert the primacy of human behavior and humanity in general, I think it'll lead to a better practice.

Throughout history, socialism, anarchism and communism - when it becomes a mass, working-class movement - isn't some logically argued, rationally discussed viewpoint but becomes a "political religion" in the Sorelian sense. It becomes a belief that explains the contours of reality and is only "rational" in the most human sense of the world. When a movement faces intense repression, it's "myths", it's ideas, and it's vision becomes farcial and it becomes functionally useless. I'm sure there were plenty of anarchists living in the slums of Barcelona, I just think they couldn't give that much of a damn about it. Not a carelsssness originating from a noble cowardice, but a carelessness originating from utter demoralization.

When I heard about the CIA-backed coup in Chile that overthrew Salvador Allende and installed bloody fascism in his wake, I was sort of wondering why the left - which was incredibly powerful here - didn't immediately react to put down the coup. Call a general strike or take up arms and start making life hard for the regime. In reality however, Chileans were just so shocked by the coup itself that they knew the right-wing just had a dramatic victory and simply quit active involvement in radical politics. They did not logically fall apart in the face of the massive, massive repression - they fell apart the minute american planes slamed into the capitol, an entire democratic government was disapeared, and a military dictatorship was in its place. Pinochet probably was engaging in some massive goddam overkill when he tortured some forty or fifty thousand people - they were already broken.

Please correct me if I'm talking out my ass, I'm just a history-lover and wrote at length about repression and shit.

edit:
also what Battlescarred said. Seriously, this whole thread is "man if I were living under Franco I tell you what I woulda socked h'em in the face I tell you what

batswill
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Mar 27 2013 11:42

Thanks, I would like to buy you a beer.

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Ambrose
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Mar 27 2013 16:59

I concur with demoralization.

People also may not even know how to resist, or they may be isolated from anybody who feels as they do.

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plasmatelly
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Mar 27 2013 19:22

@ Ambrose Or, as has been pointed out, they were crushed by fascists. There was long and persistant guerilla warfare and also large scale resistance that gained momentum in the 60's and 70's. But really, is it for us to decide who are cowards and why they disappoint our romantic ideals? I don't think so. The history of organised working-class in spain should be an inspiration to us all.

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Mar 27 2013 23:17

If you wish to take offense then by all means. My opinions are colored by what I know, and all I know is the typical red-neck American or moaning worker, doing nothing to improve their lives and following the same pointless routine, all while complaining. And then there are keyboard warrior activists...

Romantic ideals give way to frustration with people in general. Apologies

vicent
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Mar 28 2013 00:52

woah i didnt mean to insult them, they are definitely heroic people, i just dont understand why they couldnt have organised a revolt... but it turns out they did --

there "was long and persistant guerilla warfare and also large scale resistance that gained momentum in the 60's and 70's"

i also dont understand why after spain had a transition to democracy, they didnt all just go "where were we?" and finish their revolution, but i guess they were so demoralised- similar to what above said about the left in chile.
i didnt mean to offend them i just thought it was an important side to consider in anarchist revolutions as they are always drowned in blood and never seem to make much of a comeback afterwards.
sorry about any offence i caused

vicent
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Mar 28 2013 00:55

i apologise for the statement about ignorance

"actually thats a bit harsh, im sure the workers understood the concepts or else the societies wouldnt have functioned under anarchism! "

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Reddebrek
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Apr 6 2013 22:38

"never revolted against their oppressors after being taken over by franco , stalin etc ?" Err

They kinda sorta did actually
http://libcom.org/history/1951-barcelona-general-strike
http://libcom.org/history/articles/armed-resistance-to-franco
http://libcom.org/history/wildcat-spain-encounters-democracy-1976-1978
http://libcom.org/library/third-revolution-nick-heath

vicent
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Apr 7 2013 02:04

thanks, everyone has made it quite clear to me now that there were indeed revolts in Catalonia, but my question was more that now that Catalonia and east Ukraine are 'democracies' surely there would be strong anarchist movements there, due to their great historic legacies?
the C.N.T is back but i am seeing membership numbers ranging from 5000 to
150 000. and makhno's old area seems to have nothing.

also do you think that catalonias independence from spain will strengthen the power of anarchists in catalonia as there is probably a higher ratio than mot regions?

thanks

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Wiggleston
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Apr 9 2013 10:39

I have no idea about Ukraine now, but after Makhno fled to Romania, the movement was still very much alive throughout the area. I got a great leaflet called "After Makhno", which goes through all of it. Basically they were just continuously infiltrated and exiled/shot until there were none left. They definately gave it their all and didn't give up under any circumstances. The leaflet isn't on here, but I promise I'll scan it into the library when I get the chance

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Reddebrek
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Apr 12 2013 03:16
vicent wrote:
thanks, everyone has made it quite clear to me now that there were indeed revolts in Catalonia, but my question was more that now that Catalonia and east Ukraine are 'democracies' surely there would be strong anarchist movements there, due to their great historic legacies?

Ok I think I see the problem now. I think your letting your convictions blind you a little. Historical legacy does not mean historical continuity. Movements grow and shrink all the time, they also "move" in terms of concentration. Soviet style Communism for example was popular in Europe post 1917 and then declining before making in roads in Asia post WWII till the 70's and then from the 70's to be found making limited headway in Africa and South America. You'll find that ideas spread if they're good (and by that I mean useful in some way to people) but they don't always stick.

As has already been explained in both examples Ukraine and Spain the Anarchists and every other vaguely Libertarian group were actively hunted and broken as much as possible by the authorities. This effectively broke their legacies for the people living in those areas.

Try to think of it as an occupation scene in a war film (because thats kind of what it is), while the groups surviving members remain faithful and try to actively resist the dangers they face even when not fighting keep them clandestine, small and isolated while the rest of the society effectively has to move on trying to get by. Add to that disconnect the indisputable fact that they ultimately failed and were defeated.

The Barcelona of 2006 simply is not the Barcelona of 1936, that doesn't mean a resurgence isn't possible the growth of the CNT is proof of the contrary, it just means that a repeat (which I think is what your asking) of the Spanish revolution isn't going to happen.

freemind
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Apr 12 2013 11:06

Hello Comrades!
Not sure if this is relovent but Russia Today programme Breaking The Set hosted by Abbey Martin has just broadcast an alternative voices half hour programme featuring an Anarchist,Socialist and an ANCAP/Psuedolibertarian.
It's due to be broadcast again at 1.30 pm and maybe again later tonight.
Check RT ON FREEVIEW CHANNEL 85 or RT WEBSITE/ Breaking the set.
The programme dealt with views on topical and hypotheticals and was worth the time.

vicent
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Apr 12 2013 12:33

thanks Reddebrek!

that answers my question perfectly, even though very depressing

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Steven.
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Apr 13 2013 00:59
Wiggleston wrote:
I have no idea about Ukraine now, but after Makhno fled to Romania, the movement was still very much alive throughout the area. I got a great leaflet called "After Makhno", which goes through all of it. Basically they were just continuously infiltrated and exiled/shot until there were none left. They definately gave it their all and didn't give up under any circumstances. The leaflet isn't on here, but I promise I'll scan it into the library when I get the chance

please do scan that leaflet, it sounds very interesting!

klepht
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Apr 16 2013 14:27

this might be it, haven't got the time to read it right now...

http://dwardmac.pitzer.edu/anarchist_archives///bright/makhno/AfterMakhn...

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Wiggleston
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Apr 19 2013 20:05

Yep, thats the one! Good, I don't have a scanner anywhere tongue

NannerNannerNan...
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Apr 22 2013 22:50

Is it a bit weird everyone just sort of glazed over the fact that Ambrose was going on about "rednecks" and "moaning workers"

So no one's going to call him out on that or...?

Spiorad Saor
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Apr 24 2013 03:51

It's east to say that the Spanish Anarchists should have kept fighting but one has to bear in mind that we where not the ones who had to fight the fascists without any guns at all and had the NKVD to deal with as well as the Communist party had declared the Anarchists to be fascists. Without weapons one cannot fight well armed forces even as guerrilla units. You are just going to get slaughtered. It was disastrous enough trying to fight the fascists with mostly guns so old and worn out that they where almost of more danger to the shooter then the enemy but fighting them with no guns at all would have been suicide. By the time the Spanish civil war ended Franco had all the weapons he needed to put down any Anarchist uprisings. The Anarchists left over after the Spanish civil war ended where hunted down and killed by the fascists and also the NKVD.

Salvoechea
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Apr 24 2013 06:34

as for the post-war Spain, you should have to bear in mind that around 1/10 of CNT membership was killed during the war and the immediate post-war. The rest was underground or in the exile. Between 1939 and 1945 fell 14 underground national secretariats, which usually led to the arrest of all the members of regional, local and newspapers, youth, etc. The numbers were around 5400 arrested. However in 1945-47 there was a relaxation of repression (Franco thought Spain could be invaded by the Allies) that was taken to reorganise. In that years there were several congresses. Speaking in numbers, in Barcelona Solidaridad Obrera printed 25000 copies. Guerrillas in the mountains were usually led by the communists, though anarchists also participated. However CNT never had a politics of armed insurrection. Armed struggle in spain was always an individual (or small groups) iniciative.

In 1975 Franco dies, CNT is reconstructed and quickly attracts for 1977 around 300.000 people, around 130.000 of those in Barcelona. In one year and a half that number falls to 30.000 with a widespread decepcion.

Salvoechea
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Apr 24 2013 06:34

as for the post-war Spain, you should have to bear in mind that around 1/10 of CNT membership was killed during the war and the immediate post-war. The rest was underground or in the exile. Between 1939 and 1945 fell 14 underground national secretariats, which usually led to the arrest of all the members of regional, local and newspapers, youth, etc. The numbers were around 5400 arrested. However in 1945-47 there was a relaxation of repression (Franco thought Spain could be invaded by the Allies) that was taken to reorganise. In that years there were several congresses. Speaking in numbers, in Barcelona Solidaridad Obrera printed 25000 copies. Guerrillas in the mountains were usually led by the communists, though anarchists also participated. However CNT never had a politics of armed insurrection. Armed struggle in spain was always an individual (or small groups) iniciative.

In 1975 Franco dies, CNT is reconstructed and quickly attracts by 1977 around 300.000 people, around 130.000 of those in Barcelona. In one year and a half that number falls to 30.000 with a widespread decepcion.

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Kureigo-San
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Apr 24 2013 07:06

The three stages of any hardship or stress of life are: alarm, resistance and exhaustion.

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Kate Sharpley
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Apr 24 2013 19:46
Quote:
I got a great leaflet called "After Makhno"

The two articles from this pamphlet are online at After Makhno : The Anarchist underground in the Ukraine in the 1920s and 1930s: Outlines of history & The Story of a Leaflet and the Fate of Anarchist Varshavskiy

When it goes in the library, would one of you like to link to the 'donate to the Kate Sharpley Library' page http://www.katesharpleylibrary.net/doc/donations ?

vicent
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Apr 25 2013 02:20

thankyou thats very interesting

"In 1975 Franco dies, CNT is reconstructed and quickly attracts by 1977 around 300.000 people, around 130.000 of those in Barcelona. In one year and a half that number falls to 30.000 with a widespread decepcion"

could you elaborate on how the numbers fell so dramatically? thanks!

Salvoechea
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Apr 26 2013 16:53

The answer is long.

To sum it up, let's say that the numbers fell so dramatically owed to several convergent causes. One was that the new members of CNT were young workers, buy more influenced by counterculture than for a proper class struggle tradition (which had been capitalized by CCOO). A tipical member of CNT was a 20er mixed up with retired exiled in their 60s or 70s, while CCOO was more inter-generational.

Another point is social. In Spain, after Franco's death, many people believed that things really would change. As the process called "Transition" (the change of power between elites) was being consolidated, people lost faith in further social changes. That, mixed up with an economic crisis, turned the initial (1975-78) enthusiasm into a delusion (1978-83). Also in those years appeared the heroin in the streets of spain. It swept a generation of youngsters.

Another point would be internal. Inside CNT there were different currents that competed for control of the organisation. This competition turned harsh and even violent sometimes. This led to unions and people being expelled or to the scission of 1979 between two CNTs: CNT-AIT and CNT Congreso de Valencia (the future CGT).

The last point would be the state repression. The government used the secret services to infiltrate agents in the revolutionary movements (not only in CNT). I think it was something similar to Italy. In the case of CNT it was know the presence of a number of agents acting as affiliates. One of those manipulated some youngsters in a demo to go and burn an elitist discotheque. The disco burned, and inside there were 4 workers who died (2 of them even were members of cnt). The mediatic and political hysteria caught the organisation in its worst moment, and they couldn't handle the case. Thousands of workers disaffilated by this in the next weeks. Another cause was that there were about 70 arrests. Just the people who could have countered the Media attacks.

So, by the 80s the anarchism had lost its opportunity in Spain.

vicent
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Oct 7 2013 10:41

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_dy7SOwMeUw

Francoists stole the children from revolutionaries to prevent a generational legacy, similar things must have occured in the ukraine