The Anarchist Collectives : Part 1: Background, Chapter 4: The Limitations of the Revolution
(1902 - 1990) ~ Russian Emigre and American Anarchist Activist : He rode the rails for the Wobblies, sometimes as a gandy dancer (or maintenance man), or else hopping boxcars, and he always looked for the chance to stand in front of a crowd and, in that broken cello of a voice. (From : IWW.org.)
• "Society without order (as the word 'society' implies) is inconceivable. But the organization of order is not the exclusive monopoly of the State. For, if the State authority is the sole guarantee of order, who will watch the watchmen?" (From : "The Relevance of Anarchy to Modern Society," by S....)
• "The very fact that autonomy, decentralization and federalism are more practical alternatives to centralism and statism already presupposes that these vast organizational networks now performing the functions of society are prepared to replace the old bankrupt hyper-centralized administrations." (From : "The Relevance of Anarchy to Modern Society," by S....)
• "The increasing complexity of society is making anarchism MORE and NOT LESS relevant to modern life. It is precisely this complexity and diversity, above all their overriding concern for freedom and human values that led the anarchist thinkers to base their ideas on the principles of diffusion of power, self-management and federalism." (From : "The Relevance of Anarchy to Modern Society," by S....)
(1921 - 2006) ~ Father of Social Ecology and Anarcho-Communalism : Growing up in the era of traditional proletarian socialism, with its working-class insurrections and struggles against classical fascism, as an adult he helped start the ecology movement, embraced the feminist movement as antihierarchical, and developed his own democratic, communalist politics. (From : Anarchy Archives.)
• "...Proudhon here appears as a supporter of direct democracy and assembly self- management on a clearly civic level, a form of social organization well worth fighting for in an era of centralization and oligarchy." (From : "The Ghost of Anarcho-Syndicalism," by Murray Book....)
• "...real growth occurs exactly when people have different views and confront each other in order to creatively arrive at more advanced levels of truth -- not adopt a low common denominator of ideas that is 'acceptable' to everyone but actually satisfies no one in the long run. Truth is achieved through dialogue and, yes, harsh disputes -- not by a deadening homogeneity and a bleak silence that ultimately turns bland 'ideas' into rigid dogmas." (From : "The Crisis in the Ecology Movement," by Murray Bo....)
• "We are direly in need not only of 're-enchanting the world' and 'nature' but also of re-enchanting humanity -- of giving itself a sense of wonder over its own capacity as natural beings and a caring product of natural evolution" (From : "The Crisis in the Ecology Movement," by Murray Bo....)
Part 1: Background, Chapter 4: The Limitations of the Revolution
In this selection Gaston Leval sketches the frame of reference for an intelligent assessment of the Spanish Revolution: the prevailing circumstances; the specific obstacles that limited its scope; as well as the extent to which other important factors shaped its character. Leval reminds all of us never to lose sight of the fact that the unfinished libertarian social revolution (aborted by our “friendly” enemies), was--to use his own expression--actually a “semi-revolution”; that this fact, far from detracting, only enhances its spectacular achievements.
Like other responsible historians, Leval graphically portrays the tragic dilemma of the Spanish anarchists. The libertarian movement was hopelessly trapped between the cruel choice of collaborating with its anti-fascist enemies or of accepting--at least partially--the awesome historic responsibility for the fascist victory.
More than thirty years after the tragedy of Spain, what the anarchists should have done under these conditions is still being debated. So far, the so-called “collaborationists” who approved the participation of the anarchists in the Republican government, or the “hard-shell” anarchists who still condemn the CNT-FAI leadership for doing so, have not been able to suggest a satisfactory practical alternative. Irrespective of what the anarchists should or should not have done, one fact is clear: the war against fascism and with it the Spanish Revolution was doomed to certain defeat, as Leval himself foresaw.
But on the constructive achievements of the libertarian agrarian collectives and urban socialization under workers’ self-management, there is no controversy. The lessons to be learned from the mistakes and the triumphs of the Spanish Revolution are of permanent value to new generations seeking new ways to rejuvenate society.
If the constructive achievements of the Spanish Revolution passed almost unnoticed, it was not only because of the tacit conspiracy of silence of our enemies, but even more because it was at one and the same time a civil and international war on the territory of Spain. Everyone was preoccupied with the main overriding problem--the war.
But we must not forget that this was also the attitude of both the revolutionists and the Spanish people. For the workers, the peasants, the petty bourgeoisie--in short, everybody--the principal thing was to prevent the victory of Franco. The anarchists, too, faced with the fascist peril, the suppression of free speech and the right to organize, faced with the inevitable persecutions of all those who would not submit to dictatorship, realized that everyone must unite against fascism. Problem Number One was to fight the fascists, to whom even the meager reforms of the Republic were monstrous and not to be tolerated.
Durruti’s celebrated phrase, “We renounce all except victory,” summed up the sentiment of a great many militants. The victory he sought was the victory over fascism. But unfortunately the all was the Revolution itself... The Spanish anarchists had suffered many long years of repression. Persecuted, exiled, outlawed under the dictatorship of Primo de Rivera as well as under the monarchy and under the Republic, they knew that under fascism it would be even worse. Their movement, which even in the dark years was at least to some extent able to function, would be altogether suppressed. The syndicates would be obliterated and the anarchists would at best be forced to cling to the slim possibility of coming to life under a liberal or monarchical government. In short, the acute problems of the anarchist movement would be worsened a hundredfold in case of a fascist military victory.
And it was partly, but only partly, for this reason that Garcia Oliver (spokesman for the CNT delegation) on July 20, 1936, accepted (in my opinion a little too eagerly) the offer of the head of the Catalan government, Companys, to organize a solid anti-fascist front. Oliver argued that this was not the time for revolution and that the prime concern of the anarchists was to halt the advance of the fascist troops toward Catalonia by freeing Aragon.
Many Spanish anarchists had a distorted idea of the situation of that time. They said that it was not the “people” of Barcelona who defeated the fascists. More than any other city in Spain, they said, it was primarily the anarchists and with them the Assault Guards. It is true that numerically, and by their example of initiative and daring, the anarchists--politically speaking--were from the beginning masters of Barcelona. They seemed to have the support of the people. Everywhere we heard the cry: Viva la CNT! Viva la FAI! But to what extent did the bourgeoisie, the merchants, the bureaucrats, the employes of the banks and commercial houses, and the whole of the parasitic and semi-parasitic classes (as numerous as the workers) really support the CNT-FAI? It is this question that must be answered.
Their support was purely fictitious and superficial. Most of these elements applauded the CNT-FAI for its great exploits. But this did not mean or even imply that they also accepted the principles, aims, and social conceptions of the anarchist organizations. There was a sentiment of gratitude. But the Republican remained a Republican; the Catalan, a separatist; the liberal, a bourgeois; the Socialist remained a Socialist; and the anti-fascist monarchist continued to hope for a king.
This is a perplexing situation which seems much more complicated than it actually is. At the end of 1936, all those among the anarchists who were preoccupied primarily with the revolutionary question oversimplified and underestimated the political problem. The Social Revolution would sweep away the entrenched powers and institutions. The political parties would disappear. The parasitic classes, no longer able to count on the support of the state, would disintegrate. And all that would remain to be done would be to organize the new anarchist society.
But the necessity of fighting the war against fascism completely upset these expectations. The state continued to exist: the Central Government, the regional government in Catalonia, and another in the Basque provinces. Each of these governments still had its own police and a certain number of military units. The municipalities, together with their local police forces and legal authority, remained. The political parties were still firmly rooted. And the middle classes were still a power to be reckoned with. All these people were more or less anti-fascist. Taken together they added up to most of the population. As compared to any single grouping, the CNT and the anarchist movement were the most powerful in Spain. Yet all these other elements, taken together, constituted an incomparably greater force.
Furthermore, a very important segment of the public was inclined to be indifferent to politics, but being progressive and liberal-minded they supported the government. To them the government was the symbol and guarantee of liberty--the only force capable of creating a solid fighting bloc against fascism. The anarchists could not therefore sweep away the political parties controlling the municipalities, who with equal fervor were fighting with them against fascism. They could not attack the power of the police, who as far as the people were concerned were just as anti-fascist as the militiamen fighting at the front. The general preoccupation being to defeat the fascists, ... the anarchists would, if they came out against the state, provoke the antagonism not only of the political parties and other more or less organized forces, but even of the majority of the people, who would accuse them of collaborating with Franco.
The anarchists were therefore obliged to tolerate the bourgeoisie, the small capitalists, the merchants, the generally reactionary landlords, and all the Catalan bourgeois parties because all these elements were opposing fascism.
Another serious problem was that in all of Eastern Spain (Catalonia, the Levant, Aragon, half of Castile, and part of Andalusia) there were no arms factories. There was no iron, no coal, no raw materials, and no machinery necessary for the making of rifles, machine guns, tanks, and artillery. The principal arms factories were in Asturias or separated from the main part of Republican Spain by the fascist armies...
Now suppose that the anarchists could have succeeded in overthrowing the Central, the Catalan, and the Biscay (Basque) governments (which would have been most unlikely because the Basque government was completely dominated by the Catholics and anti-anarchist monarchical anti-fascists). Suppose the anarchists could have, against the will of the majority, imposed an anarchist dictatorship. The result would have been the instant closing of the frontier and the blockade by sea by both the fascist and the democratic countries. The supply of arms would be completely cut off, and the anarchists would rightfully be held responsible for the disasterous consequences. It is obvious that it would have been extremely difficult, if not altogether impossible, to make the social revolution under these circumstances.
In the beginning, not to antagonize the political parties, only foreign property was expropriated... If libertarian agrarian collectives were successfully established all over anti-fascist Aragon, it was only because the anarchist militias (most numerous in Aragon) protected them from the political parties. Even then the threat was not wholly removed and it was still necessary to create a semblance of government, The Council of Aragon, headed by our comrades. Aragon was the only area in which the revolutionary situation corresponded to the expectations of the anarchists as formulated in the 1870s. But Aragon was only a small part of Spain. In the rest of Spain it became necessary to collaborate loyally with our anti-fascist enemies against the much more dangerous common enemy.
After the Caballero government rejected the proposal of the CNT to establish a joint defense committee to conduct the war, to be composed of a majority of delegates representing the UGT (Socialist) and CNT (anarcho-syndicalist) labor unions and a minority of political party representatives, the CNT in accord with the FAI decided to reinforce the coalition (on the basis of Caballero’s false promises, skillful cajolery, and blackmail) and to enter the government headed by him. On becoming government Ministers or officials in various government departments certain anarchists soon became infected and succumbed to the virus of power.
Fortunately the strength of the Spanish anarchist movement did not depend upon its officials. The Spanish anarchist movement was saved by the rank and file, the thousands and thousands of seasoned militants. In all or almost all the villages of Aragon, the Levant, and Andalusia our CNT militants proved to be experienced and capable organizers within their own syndicates or in the conduct of village affairs. Their initiative and exemplary conduct earned them the unquestioned confidence of the people. These comrades had for many years been promoting the Revolution suffered prison, deportation, torture... Now, despite the war and the sabotage of the politicians, they still continued to work for the Revolution and did the best they could.
But other members of the anti-Franco coalition were in effect representing the interests of property owners and employers and posing as anti-fascists. Be it deliberately or because they were incapable, they turned out to be very unreliable and very poor partners in the anti-fascist struggle. Industry in Barcelona was paralyzed, but the owners were not in the least interested in restoring the economy.
Through their syndicates the CNT and anarchist militants reorganized the economy and got things going again. In the metallurgical workshops it was they who built the first auto tanks. It was the CNT who, to step up production, refused to accept a reduction in working hours ordered by the Catalan government. In a system so disorganized by the Civil War, which paralyzed activity, disoriented the people, and, at first, produced so much chaos, one could not expect perfect results. Certainly mistakes were made--what revolution did not do so? Be that as it may, the fact is that only the CNT had from the very beginning taken upon itself full responsibility to restore services and resume production and all other economic activities.
Where the CNT could not immediately expropriate a firm, it exercised a certain amount of control over the conduct of the employers. Willingly or not, the employers accepted the situation. Industries and other establishments which were not immediately expropriated were then operated by control committees. They forced the employer himself to work and to pay his workers. But when the establishment went bankrupt, which happened often, the business was expropriated under the full control of the workers.
In other cases expropriation took place more rapidly. On various pretexts the workers, inspired and guided by our comrades, expropriated industries from the bosses before they went bankrupt. So vast was this movement for expropriation that the Catalan government (in which we had four ministers, called “councilors”) noted in 1936 The Decree of Collectivization legalizing the expropriations of those factories, offices, yards, and docks employing more than 100 workers that were abandoned by the fascists or other employers. This decree legalizing an already accomplished fact stabilized the situation.
The decree had the baneful effect of preventing the workers’ syndicates from extending their gains. It set back the revolution in industry. The CNT was further curbed. Being by force of circumstances compelled to enter into a sacred anti-fascist union with the bourgeoisie, it had to repress its anger and tolerate the outrageous maneuvers of our unfriendly collaborators.
The necessity of taking into account the owners, the petty bourgeoisie, and the political parties led to a paradoxical situation. Because the workers expropriated and fully controlled the various enterprises, they came to look upon the plants as their private property. They began to think and act like their ousted former employers. The factory committees even went so far as to go into business for themselves, often in competition with similar committees. To some extent the war situation contributed to this situation. (This practice was quickly stopped and the whole system drastically reorganized.)
In many cases our syndicates succeeded in getting control by applying double-play tactics. On the one hand the CNT seemed to collaborate with the non-proletarian groupings to win the war, but on the other hand, on the pretext that war production must be increased (it was already stretched to the limit), the CNT moved into and exercised de facto control over many other industries.
This control became more and more necessary as the employers became more and more passive. Faced with a semi-revolution, they would have preferred the victory of fascism. And at the same time the UGT became increasingly unfriendly in their relations with us. For example, the Republican government decreed obligatory unionization. All those living on wages, salaries, or other remuneration had to join either the CNT or the UGT. All the counter- and anti-revolutionary elements rushed to join the UGT only because it was against the revolution: small Catalan peasant proprietors, state bureaucrats (employes), prison guards, the police, unexpropriated shopkeepers, professionals, and reformist or conservative-minded manual workers. And all these elements allowed themselves to be taken in by the growing Stalinist propaganda.
The Stalinists in Catalonia organized the PSUC (Catalan Party of Socialist Unity). Many workers and others who did not know its true nature joined the party in good faith. And most of them were induced to join the UGT of Catalonia (which the Stalinists succeeded in colonizing).
On the other hand, those socialists who still controlled their unions were inveterate reformists who opposed the revolutionary aims and measures of the CNT. Many of the union leaders preferred a Franco victory to the triumph of the semi-revolution. Many rank and file UGT workers continued, as always, to cooperate with us. Others would have liked to do so but lacked the courage to antagonize their leaders. They were immobilized by their leaders.
This became all too evident in the “unionization of production” decree--particularly in the textile industry (the most important in Spain and in Catalonia where it was centered). The decree stipulated that collectivization, expropriation, and control of an enterprise by the workers must be unanimously approved by the union members. The textile industry was partly organized by the UGT. While in such cases the UGT almost always voted for joint UGT-CNT control and socialization, at the general membership meeting of the unions called to decide on socialization of the textile industry the UGT workers reversed themselves. This time the membership, under pressure from their leaders, voted against socialization. Although most of the members favored partnership with the CNT, they were too fainthearted and could not overcome the habit of obedience to the commands of their phony leaders. The pretext for this betrayal? “The time was not ripe for socialization,” “It might provoke foreign intervention to protect the investments of foreign capitalists,” and similar excuses. In industries where UGT, socialist, and Communist influence was weak, it was easier to carry through anarchist measures...
While the state was severely crippled immediately after the fascist attack of July 19 (1936) it was by no means as impotent as is generally assumed. All the machinery of the state was still intact; ministries and their officials, a police force in all its ramifications, an army, though weakened, and an entrenched bureaucracy still survived. Notwithstanding the over optimism of the revolutionaries, the state still constituted an effective force in many provinces and cities. It was only in three or four cities (Barcelona was the most important) that the anarchists dominated the situation, and then only for three or four weeks. Even in Barcelona, where our situation was particularly favorable, the support of the public (aside from our members and sympathizers) went no further than a vague sentiment of gratitude.
In three other provincial capitals in Catalonia, namely Tarragona, Gerona, and Lerida, (although our forces patrolled the streets) we were not in control. And in Castellon de la Plana, Valencia, and Murcia the republican authorities, supported by the municipal police and a part of the Civil Guards, together with agencies of the National Valencia government, were firmly in control and accepted the collaboration of our comrades only because it was not to their advantage to refuse it. This was also the case in Albacete, Almeria, and in all eastern and northeastern provincial capitals (San Sebastian, Bilbao, and Santander) and in the cities of the Asturias.
It is therefore altogether fallacious to assume that the anarchists were masters of the situation. When some of our comrades still insist that we were in full control, they base themselves only on the euphoric atmosphere that prevailed for a few weeks in Barcelona and two or three smaller cities. However, under more peaceful circumstances we exercised considerable influence. In the streets patrolled by us traffic flowed smoothly. The red and black flag flew from many buildings, installations, and public places. We occupied the factories and the offices. Although hampered by insufficient preparation and the necessity of coexisting with our unfriendly allies who did everything they could to sabotage our efforts, we succeeded in administrating and coordinating economic and commercial operations and benefiting from the advice of experienced former administrators who cooperated and joined the committees that managed our commercial enterprises.
The political parties, men of the state who could not tolerate so bold a violation of their cherished conceptions and principles, could only look with disfavor on what to us was an insufficient and uncompleted revolution. They could not bear to see their authority questioned and their institutions flouted, reduced to inferior status.
But our enemies could not at that time come out prematurely against the CNT-FAI. It was the hour of sacred union and concentration against fascism. Neither we nor they could risk a civil war between anti-fascists which could benefit only Franco, who in repressing and obliterating all opposition would make no distinction between republican or anarchist “leaders.” To regain lost ground, such an offensive against the revolution needed time for the secret reorganization of the counter-revolutionary forces. It had to be done carefully and skillfully. While we could not be altogether certain if the collectivization decree of the Catalonian government was deliberately enacted for that purpose, it nevertheless constituted a first step in the campaign to crush the revolution. The fact is that in the process of legalizing collectivization (which was already an accomplished fact that the government could not hope to reverse) the state, in arrogating to itself the exclusive right to enforce the decree, would sooner or later inevitably abuse and broaden its powers for its own sinister purposes.
As usual, the government began by reorganizing and augmenting as much as possible its police force. Four months after the 19th of July, mounted municipal guards patrolled the streets, ostensibly to help our comrades of the CNT-FAI, but gradually to retake from our comrades--who kept perfect order--the control of the streets. It was the Minister of the Interior of the Central Government in Valencia (moved from Madrid) who came to Barcelona purposely to reestablish the police and increase the number of Assault and Civil Guards. These forces were supposed to reinforce the fighting troops at the front, but actually they remained in the rear. In addition to the police, and Assault and Civil Guards, the best armed and disciplined rearguard élite military corps was the Carabineros. And this force, often in collusion with unscrupulous individuals and political parties, manifested a growing hostility towards us.
In January, 1937, while on a trip to France, I was amazed to see the road from Barcelona to the frontier crowded with long lines of ambulances and small cars bearing in big letters the insignia Carabineros: eight months after the Revolution, there were already twenty thousand Carabineros in Catalonia, testimony to the growing power of the state.
But Catalonia was much less statified than was central Spain. And while our comrades were battling without arms on the Aragon front, the twenty thousand arms and rifles of the Carabineros would have been sufficient to disrupt and pierce the fascist front. At the same time the Central Government continued to consolidate its power for a twofold purpose: fight at the front against Franco, and in the rear against the Revolution (doubtlessly more to crush the Revolution than to defeat Franco). Carefully weighing every word, I am convinced that if half the intelligence used to combat the Revolution had been turned against Franco, the Caudillo would never have triumphed.
But it is necessary to stress this conclusion: not only was the power of the state and authoritarian institutions restored through the initiative of the government (made easier by war circumstances), but also by the pressure of the propertied classes and the political parties (both reformist and conservative), who could under no circumstances accept the idea of economic equality, as well as those who for other reasons feared the Social Revolution.
On the other hand, many individuals cooperated with us even though they did not agree with our ideas. We mean not only manual workers but even professionals, intellectuals, and small land owners. For example, almost all the doctors in Barcelona saw in the CNT the only organization seriously concerned with creating new and better health services. Almost all non-exploiting professionals refused to join the UGT, which was the refuge for all the conservatives and those more or less sympathetic to fascism. There are many other examples. But there were also others, among them not only those who had always been anti-anarchists, but ostensibly “radical” neutrals who, when faced with new events, became virulent outright counter-revolutionists.
As a concession to the progressive revolutionary sentiments of a section of their membership, the political parties modified their policies to some extent. But they did all they could to save the state. Others, because it could supply arms and aid from Russia, worked with or joined the Communist Party. To fight the CNT on the labor front they joined the counter-revolutionary UGT.
If the government of Catalonia (embracing four of the most industrialized provinces in Spain) against its own principles was forced to legalize the collectivization of industry, it did so only because it was already a fact and the government had at that time no other alternative. But the Central Valencia government did not do so. It refused to make concessions because it was confident that the government would eventually legally intervene and restore the collectivized property to the former owners. If the Valencia government was for the time being obliged to tolerate collectivization, it did so only because the employers, who secretly admired Franco, were not at all inclined to cooperate in the anti-fascist war against Franco.
There was yet another statist opposition to the Revolution: the Communist Party. This party, at the beginning of the Revolution, had very little influence. Afterwards, in some cities in the war zone, the Communists exerted a preponderent influence. The arrival of Russian arms earned the sympathy of the people, who saw Franco troops at the gates of Madrid. The Communists skillfully exploited this favorable situation to the limit. Intelligently directed by a select general staff of skilled and unscrupulous connivers, they constituted a major political power which no other party could rival. They actually commanded all military operations (to his credit General Miaja, a brave but incapable officer, refused to knuckle under). The prestige of the International Brigade, whose members were ignobly sacrificed to the propaganda line of the party, heightened their popularity. These skillful tactics succeeded...
Even the POUM (Workers’ Party of Marxist Unification), whom the Stalinists hated even more than they did the anarchists, opposed our constructive revolutionary achievements (in Aragon I saw and read their publications against collectives), not on principled grounds ... but that the time was not ripe for socialization. In respect to the necessity for a party and the state they did not differ fundamentally from the other authoritarian political parties. The POUM could not understand how socialization was possible without the exclusive or preponderent direction of the state. In different ways the state always interfered. The political parties and grouplets (bourgeois, proletarian, dictatorial, and democratic), in spite of all their quarrels and their differing ideas, all agreed on one thing: the necessity for the state. For that reason alone they opposed libertarian socialization.
Even some of our own comrades, bewildered by the complexity of the situation as well as the paucity of their constructive ideas, lost their bearings and, seeing no other alternative, joined the government. And once again history has decisively demonstrated the pernicious influence that the exercise of power (particularly the power of the state) exerts to alter the character of men. Most of our comrades occupying official positions came to see our problems only from the angle of the state and lost sight of the anti- or non-state organizational alternatives and measures. And often the spirit of governmental collaboration and compromise proved to be stronger than the need for common, direct action, leading them to act like opponents of libertarian socialization. Finally in Catalonia the about-face of Companys indicated that the long brewing showdown between the Catalonian government and the anarchists was imminent. The government could no longer tolerate a situation in which it had to share power with anyone. The anarchists had to be dumped and conflict was inevitable. The decisive struggle took place during the tragic days of May, 1937, after which we were practically excluded from power. The pretext? The Catalan government wanted to take possession of the Central Telephone Exchange which had been in the hands of our comrades since the end of July, 1936. But the conflict would have broken out anyhow, whatever the pretext. Although our comrades, aided by the POUM, in three days of fighting completely controlled four-fifths of Barcelona, the conflict was halted by the stupid intervention of our government ministers, Garcia Oliver and Federica Montseny.
But fortunately the anarchist movement was very strong. It had a sense of reality, excellent organizational ability, and, despite severe setbacks, the movement continued to function. An orator could stampede a plenum into accepting collaboration with the state, but after thinking it over the rank and file CNT and FAI members would reaffirm their deeply felt convictions and continue to work for the Revolution. These militants were able to administer a collective, work on the land, use a hammer, or guide a local assembly or syndicate with their sensible ideas on how to solve practical problems.
It is because the Spanish libertarian movement was based on this kind of concrete practical activity (particularly the militants who had acquired in the CNT through long years of struggle the experience and know-how) that the libertarian organizations were able to flourish in spite of the increasing power of the state and the growth of governmental political parties. Even when Camorera, the Communist economic minister of Catalonia, sabotaged industrial collectivization ... our influence continued to grow. It grew because the bourgeois-capitalist machine was half paralyzed, the state proved incapable of administering production, and the UGT syndicates lacked audacity and initiative.
From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org
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