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Anarchist Catalonia

FREEDO
Posts: 21,057
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7/23/2012 11:34:47 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
Yesterday was the anniversary of the Anarchist revolution of 1936 in Catalonia, Spain. The society that emerged lasted until 1939, during which it survived continuous attack from multiple armies, both Communist and Fascist, much larger than them. It was the most successful implementation of Libertarian Socialism in an industrialized society to date.

Here was the French historian Gaston Leval wrote about it:

"In Spain during almost three years, despite a civil war that took a million lives, despite the opposition of the political parties (republicans, left and right Catalan separatists, socialists, Communists, Basque and Valencian regionalists, petty bourgeoisie, etc.), this idea of libertarian communism was put into effect. Very quickly more than 60% of the land was collectively cultivated by the peasants themselves, without landlords, without bosses, and without instituting capitalist competition to spur production. In almost all the industries, factories, mills, workshops, transportation services, public services, and utilities, the rank and file workers, their revolutionary committees, and their syndicates reorganized and administered production, distribution, and public services without capitalists, high salaried managers, or the authority of the state.

Even more: the various agrarian and industrial collectives immediately instituted economic equality in accordance with the essential principle of communism, 'From each according to his ability and to each according to his needs.' They coordinated their efforts through free association in whole regions, created new wealth, increased production (especially in agriculture), built more schools, and bettered public services. They instituted not bourgeois formal democracy but genuine grass roots functional libertarian democracy, where each individual participated directly in the revolutionary reorganization of social life. They replaced the war between men, 'survival of the fittest,' by the universal practice of mutual aid, and replaced rivalry by the principle of solidarity....

This experience, in which about eight million people directly or indirectly participated, opened a new way of life to those who sought an alternative to anti-social capitalism on the one hand, and totalitarian state bogus socialism on the other."
GRAND POOBAH OF DDO

fnord
Frederick53
Posts: 1,037
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7/24/2012 12:16:27 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
Damn you Francisco Franco!!!
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NixonianVolkswagen
Posts: 481
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7/24/2012 3:42:15 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
Trade unionists were volunteering to defend Spain from Axis-backed hostility when British conservatives were advancing appeasement and America was too isolationist to be entangled. It's one of the truly valiant things that leftism managed to produce, for a time at-least.
"There is an almost universal tendency, perhaps an inborn tendency, to suspect the good faith of a man who holds opinions that differ from our own opinions."

- Karl "Spartacus" Popper
LaissezFaire
Posts: 2,050
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7/26/2012 11:27:33 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
http://econfaculty.gmu.edu...
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FREEDO
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7/27/2012 3:15:13 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 7/26/2012 11:27:33 PM, LaissezFaire wrote:
http://econfaculty.gmu.edu...

Yes, I have actually been well aware of their actions.
Widespread purges of the upper class. Burning down the churches.

That's as far as I've read the article yet though. Concerning their atrocities. I'll continue reading.
GRAND POOBAH OF DDO

fnord
NixonianVolkswagen
Posts: 481
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7/27/2012 4:04:40 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 7/26/2012 11:27:33 PM, LaissezFaire wrote:
http://econfaculty.gmu.edu...

Don't we have to take the figures of the period with a grain of salt? I mean, firstly, they lost the Civil War, which would affect how things were remembered, secondly, the Anarchists were eventually denounced by those of a more Soviet bent, weren't they? Again, leading to propagandism, thirdly & finally, they were left-wing in orientation, which would , during the Cold War, disincentivize any rehabilitation of their reputation.

Given that they were the losers of the war, the victims of Soviet backed internal division, and the representatives of a subset of an ideology which the West was hostile to for at-least the latter half of the 20th century, objective histories of their actions are unlikely?

I'm not meaning to minimize, I'm sure, like all periods of intense change and uncertainty, they had their fair share of abusers of power. But I wouldn't dismiss the movement as being systematically & uniquely bloodthirsty, based upon decades of potentially distorted historical record.
"There is an almost universal tendency, perhaps an inborn tendency, to suspect the good faith of a man who holds opinions that differ from our own opinions."

- Karl "Spartacus" Popper