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Spanish civil war

The Heroic Tragedy: Civil War and Social Revolution in Spain

'Back the revolutionary general strike the very instant anyone [i.e. the military] revolts. We, the people of Catalonia, let us be on a war footing and ready to act. Be valiant. Arm yourselves and do battle. Long Live the CNT! Long Live Libertarian Communism! Launch the revolutionary general strike against fascism.' - CNT statement of 19 July 1936

Eighty years ago this summer, Spain saw an attempted military coup being temporarily defeated by ordinary people in many parts of the country. This was the beginning of what was to be a three year long civil war, resulting in half a million deaths, and followed by the four decade dictatorship of General Franco. This article will aim to describe some of the key features of the conflict, paying close attention to the ‘social revolution’ in Catalonia and Aragon which is of most relevance to socialists.

The Civil War in Spain

The civil war, which began with the revolt of July 18th, is, at the time of writing, still dragging on without either side having gained decisive victory. What the outcome will be it is still impossible to say, for the issue depends to a great extent on the assistance given to the rebels by foreign governments. Before examining the struggle from the Socialist standpoint, we may pay tribute to the conduct of the Spanish workers. Believing that a vital principle was at stake, they rallied to the Government against a powerful revolt backed by the greater part of the armed forces. Workers, with little or no military training, stood up to trained and experienced soldiers. On the one side was all the advantage of organisation and equipment, and on the other the enthusiasm and voluntary discipline of a popular movement.

Book Review: 'To Remember Spain - The Anarchist and Syndicalist Revolution of 1936'

Spanish Anarchism & Libertarianism

'To Remember Spain: The Anarchist and Syndicalist Revolution of 1936'. Essays by Murray Bookchin (AK Press £4.50.)

This pamphlet consists of two essays: "An Overview of the Spanish Libertarian Movement" and "After Fifty Years: the Spanish Civil War".

Book Reviews: 'The Next Revolution', 'The Killing Fields of Inequality', & 'Humanity at the Crossroads - A Political and Humanist Dialogue'

Beyond anarchism

'The Next Revolution', by Murray Bookchin. Verso. 2015.

Murray Bookchin was among the strongest of figures to come out of twentieth century American radicalism. As well as being known for the establishment of ‘social ecology’ (a criticism of social problems coupled with ecological concerns) he also developed a political programme known as ‘libertarian municipalism’ which he saw as a method for getting from our present society of minority control and environmental destruction to a new rational and ecological society of mass democratic control.

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