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Life imposes strange situations on all of us. For forty-eight years I was considered an extremist in our ranks. One who refused to compromise our ideas or tactics for any purpose whatsoever--one who always insisted that the Anarchist aim and methods must harmonize, or the aim would never be achieved. Yet here I am trying to explain the action of our Spanish comrades to the European opponents, and the criticism of the latter to the comrades of the CNT-FAI. In other words, after a lifetime of an extreme left position I find myself in the center, as it were. I have seen from the moment of my first arrival in Spain in September 1936 that our comrades in Spain are plunging head foremost into the abyss of compromise that will lead them far away f... (From : Anarchy Archives.)


Table of Contents Introduction Inalienable Tenets of Anarchism The Class Struggle Organization and Anarchism The Role of an Anarchist in an Authoritarian Society Bringing About the New Society The Marxist Criticism of Anarchism The Social-Democratic Critique of Anarchism The Liberal-Democratic Objection to Anarchism The Fascist Objection to Anarchism The Average Person's Objection to Anarchism Introduction The Historical Background to Anarchism It is not without interest that what might be called the anarchist approach goes back into antiquity; nor that there is an anarchism of sorts in the peasant movements that struggled against State oppression over the centuries. But the modern anarchist movement could not claim such precursors of revol... (From : Hack.org.)

There has recently been a renewal of interest in anarchism. Books, pamphlets, and anthologies are being devoted to it. It is doubtful whether this literary effort is really very effective. It is difficult to trace the outlines of anarchism. Its master thinkers rarely condensed their ideas into systematic works. If, on occasion, they tried to do so, it was only in thin pamphlets designed for propaganda and popularization in which only fragments of their ideas can be observed. Moreover, there are several kinds of anarchism and many variations within the thought of each of the great libertarians. Rejection of authority and stress on the priority of individual judgment make it natural for libertarians to "profess the faith of anti dogmatism." "Let us not become the leaders of a new religion," Proudhon wrote to Marx, "even were it to be the religion of logic and reason." It follows that the views of the libertarians are more varied, more fluid, and harder to apprehend than thos...


Note: This piece appeared as Vol. 1, No. 6 of Comment: New Perspectives in Libertarian Thought, edited by Murray Bookchin. Anarchism: Past and Present Note: The following issue of COMMENT was presented as a lecture to the Critical Theory Seminar of the University of California at Los Angeles on May 29, 1980. My remarks are intended to emphasize the extreme importance today of viewing Anarchism in terms of the changing social contexts of our era - - not as an ossified doctrine that belongs to one or another set of European thinkers, valuable as their views may have been in their various times and places. Today, more than ever, the viability of Anarchism in America will depend upon its ability to speak directly -- in the language of the Ameri... (From : Anarchy Archives.)


The history of human civilization is not a straight, continuously forward-moving line. Its diagram is a zigzag, now advancing, now retreating. Progress is measured by the distance separating man from his primitive conditions of ignorance and barbarism. At the present time mankind seems to be on the retreat. A wave of reaction is sweeping the countries of Europe; its effects and influence are felt all over the world. There is fascism in Italy, Hitlerism in Germany, despotism in Russia, destructive dictatorship in other countries. Every progressive and radical party, every revolutionary movement has suffered from the present reaction. In some countries they had been entirely crushed; in others their activities are paralyzed for the time being... (From : Anarchy Archives.)


Once I discovered that there were so many of our comrades in prison, I arranged, together with the French syndicalist delegates to make overtures to Dzerzhinsky, the People's Commissar for the Interior, implicitly obedient to Lenin. Being wary of me, my fellow delegates chose Joaquin Maurin to speak on behalf of the CNT delegation. Maurin reported back on their first audience. At the sight of the list of the prisoners whose release was being sought, Dzerzhinsky blanched, then went red with fury, arguing that these men were counterrevolutionaries in cahoots with the White generals: he accused them of having derailed trainloads of Red Army troops and of being responsible for the deaths of thousands of soldiers, in the Ukraine especially. We w... (From : Anarchy Archives.)


Note: This article, from the book "Fragments: a memoir", by Sam Dolgoff (Refract Publications, 1986) recounts a trip to Israel by Sam and his wife Esther, to meet the anarchists there. In the mid-1970s Esther and I embarked on a two-week tour of Israel, not merely to see the sights, but to contact our anarchist comrades publishing their organ Problemen. We also wanted to contact Israeli settlers whom we already knew at home. We felt that the trip was all the more necessary because altogether too many comrades did not even know that there were a few anarchist groups in Israel, much less an anarchist publication there. We immediately contacted the editor of Problemen, Joseph Ludin, a prolific writer, himself an anarchist refugee from Poland. ... (From : Flag.Blackened.net.)


In 1974, or early 1975, I reviewed in the English anarchist paper Freedom a book by Carlos Semprun Maura, Revolution and Counter-Revolution in Catalonia (French edition). In my review I criticized both Semprun Maura and Vernon Richards' book Lessons of the Spanish Revolution for presenting a distorted, over-simplified interpretation of events- a scenario. This provoked a heated rejoinder from Richards (three or four articles in Freedom). Over forty years after the tragic defeat of the Spanish Revolution - 1936 to 1939 - the question of anarchist participation in the Republican government and the role of anarchists in a revolution is a fundamental problem still debated- still relevant. I include my polemic with Richards in these memoirs beca... (From : Flag.Blackened.net.)

Theory and Practice3. The Forerunners of Syndicalism Robert Owen and the English labor movement; The Grand National Consolidated Trade Union; William Benbow and the idea of the General Strike; The period of reaction; Evolution of the labor organizations in France; The International Workingmen's Association; The new conception of trade unionism; The idea of the labor councils; Labor councils versus dictatorships; Bakunin on the economic organization of the workers; The introduction of parliamentary politics by Marx and Engels and the end of the International. The permeation of the labor movement by Socialist ideas early led to tendencies which had an unmistakable relationship to the revolutionary syndicalism of our day. These tendencies developed first in England, the mother country of capitalist big industry, and for a time strongly influenced the advanced sections of the English working class. After the repeal of the Combination Acts, the effort of the workers was...


A CONTRIBUTION TO AN ANARCHIST BIBLIOGRAPHY OF LATIN AMERICA EDITORIAL LA PROTESTA BUENOS AIRES 1926 MAX NETTLAU - A BIOGRAPHY Max Nettlau was born in Neuwaldweg, near Vienna on 30 April 1865 and died on 23 July 1944. His father was descended form old Prussian stock, and had never renounced his nationality, although he lived in Austria. He saw to it that young Max received a very liberal education: after secondary schooling in Vienna, Max read philosophy in a variety of German towns. He secured his doctorate at the age of 23, with a thesis on Celtic languages. Enthused from an early age by the struggles of the Russian revolutionaries, Max joined the socialist movement and his anarchist beliefs took shape: but for them, he might have gone ov... (From : Anarchy Archives.)


Gaston Leval: Social Reconstruction in Spain (London 1938); quoted in Vernon Richards: Lessons of the Spanish Revolution (London 1983) The mechanism of the formation of the Aragonese collectives has been generally the same. After having overcome the local authorities when they were fascist, or having replaced them by Anti-fascist or Revolutionary committees when they were not, an assembly was summoned of all the inhabitants of the locality to decide on their line of action. One of the first steps was to gather in the crop not only in the fields of the small landowners who still remained, but, what was even more important, also on the estates of the large landowners all of whom were conservatives and rural `caciques' or chiefs. Groups were o... (From : Flag.Blackened.net.)


Published by Freedom Press 27 Red Lion Street, London, W.C.1 July 1945 and printed by Express Printers, London. We are reproducing an abridged version of the first part of Gaston Leval's pamphlet "Social Reconstruction in Spain," which was published by Freedom Press in 1938, but which has since gone out of print. Many readers of "War Commentary" have expressed a desire for the reproduction in some form of the contents of this excellent pamphlet. COLLECTIVES IN SPAIN INDUSTRIAL socialization was the first undertaking of the Spanish Revolution, particularly in Barcelona. But obstacles were created from the beginning, which resulted in preventing these experiments from being developed to their logical end. The war was the principal handicap. B... (From : Anarchy Archives.)

I: The Ideal II: The Men and the Struggles III: Material for a Revolution IV: A Revolutionary Situation CHAPTER 1 THE IDEAL "Now I can die, I have seen my ideal realized." This was said to me in one of the Levante collectives, if my memory servers me well, by one of the men who had struggled throughout their lives for the triumph of social justice, human liberty and brotherhood. His idea was libertarian communism, or anarchy. But the use of this work carried with it the risk in all languages of distorting in people's minds what the great savant and humanist, Elise» Reclus, defined as the "noblest conception of order." More especially because very often, and it was the case in France, the anarchists seems to have done their utmost to agree with their enemies, and to justify to negative and nihilistic interpretation which one already finds in such...


The Death Penalty La Peine de Mort Translated by Natalya Ratan and Virginia Anton. By Elisée Reclus I do not have the honor of being a Swiss Citizen and know only imperfectly the means to petition the removal of an article, but it is an issue of human agitation in all civilized countries As an international citizen I have the right to address this issue. Unfortunately I also am French and my motherland is also a country of executioners and the guillotine, that we have invented and use everyday Enemies of the death penalty. I must try to find their origins. Is if justifiable that it takes away from the right to self defense? If it is, it will be difficult to oppose it because we all have the right to self defense, against beasts and a... (From : Anarchy Archives.)


Published in 1936. Obtained from the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace, Stanford, California. Durruti is Dead, Yet LivingEmma Goldman, 1936 Durruti, whom I saw but a month ago, lost his life in the street-battles of Madrid. My previous knowledge of this stormy petrel of the Anarchist and revolutionary movement in Spain was merely from reading about him. On my arrival in Barcelona I learned many fascinating stories of Durruti and his column. They made me eager to go to the Aragon front, where he was the leading spirit of the brave and valiant militias, fighting against fascism. I arrived at Durruti's headquarters towards evening, completely exhausted from the long drive over a rough road. A few moments with Durruti was like a s... (From : WikiSource.)

The Biography of an Anarchist
A Condensed Sketch of Malatesta from the book written by by Max Nettlau Published by the Jewish Anarchist Federation New York City. 1924 Introduction The short sketch of Malatesta's life is based on the exhaustive study of Max Nettlau, published in Italian translation by "Il Martello" in New York under the title Vita e Pensieri di Errico Malatesta, and in German translation issued at Berlin by the publishers of the "Syndicalist." Max Nettlau, the profound scholar of the Anarchist movement, biographer of Michael Bakunin and author of Bibliographie de l'Anarchie, lives in Vienna, and like so many intellectuals in Europe, in distressing economic condition. May I express here the hope that he will find sufficient encouragement to continue his v... (From : Anarchy Archives.)


The text is from my copy of Emma Goldman's Anarchism and Other Essays. Second Revised Edition. New York & London: Mother Earth Publishing Association, 1911. pp. 151-172. FRANCISCO FERRER AND THE MODERN SCHOOL EXPERIENCE has come to be considered the best school of life. The man or woman who does not learn some vital lesson in that school is looked upon as a dunce indeed. Yet strange to say, that though organized institutions continue perpetuating errors, though they learn nothing from experience, we acquiesce, as a matter of course. There lived and worked in Barcelona a man by the name of Francisco Ferrer. A teacher of children he was, known and loved by his people. Outside of Spain only the cultured few knew of Francisco Ferrer's work.... (From : Anarchy Archives.)


In all unsuccessful social upheavals there are two terrors: the Red--that is, the people, the mob; the White--that is, the reprisal. When a year ago to-day the lightning of the White Terror shot out of that netherest blackness of Social Depth, the Spanish Torture House, and laid in the ditch of Montjuich a human being who but a moment before had been the personification of manhood, in the flower of life, in the strength and pride of a balanced intellect, full of the purpose of a great and growing undertaking,-- that of the Modern Schools,--humanity at large received a blow in the face which it could not understand. Stunned, bewildered, shocked, it recoiled and stood gaping with astonishment. How to explain it ? The average individual--certa... (From : Anarchy Archives.)


This manuscript was provided to Anarchy Archives by the author. The Ghost of Anarcho-Syndicalism by Murray Bookchin One of the most persistent of human frailties is the tendency of individuals and groups to fall back, in times of a terribly fragmented reality, onto obsolete, even archaic ideologies for a sense of continuity and security. Today we find this not only on the right, where people are evoking the ghosts of Nazism and deadly forms of an embattled nationalism, but also on the "left" (whatever that word may mean anymore), where many people evoke ghosts of their own, be they the Neolithic goddess cults that many feminist and ecological sects celebrate or the generally anti-civilizational ambiance that exists among young middle-class ... (From : Anarchy Archives.)


Godwin, William . The History of the Life of William Pitt, Earl of Chatham. London: Printed for the author, and sold by G. Kearsley. Dublin: Potts, Wilson, Walker and Byrne. pp. i - xvii. THE H I S T O R Y OF THE L I F E OF W I L L I A M P I T T, EARL OF CHATHAM QUANTO MAGIS ADMIRAREMINI, SI AUDISSETIS IPSUM! Cicero D U B L I N: PRINTED FOR MESSRS. POTTS, WILSON, WALKER, AND BYRNE. M,DCC,LXXXIII, TO THE RIGHT HONORABLE CHARLES, Lord CAMDEN, LORD PRESIDENT OF HIS MAJESTY'S MOST HONORABLE PRIVY COUNCIL: AS, TO THE FRIEND OF LORD CHATHA... (From : Anarchy Archives.)

Chapter XV Floodgates; The First Twenty Black Flag Years; Novel Approach; Terrorist Links; The Magic Coat Floodgates Stuart and I wrote a book together, on the basics of anarchism, which we called The Floodgates of Anarchy. On the royalties we were able to continue the Black Cross and also fund Black Flag as a regular publication for several years. Floodgates brought anarcho-syndicalism into modern terms of reference, and ran into several editions, one of them a major paperback (Sphere Books). There was also a Spanish edition by the Argentine publisher, Editorial Proyeccion. Later we did an offset run ourselves to take into Spain. It attracted some interesting reviews, ranging from the leading Sundays to a bizarre review in Chili where a bewildered weekly paper criticized us for failing to conceal our sympathies on the dreaded subject of anarchism. It gave Miguel the idea of writing his experie...


Written: August 1874; Source: Bakunin on Anarchy, translated and edited by Sam Dolgoff, 1971. Bakunin was above all preoccupied with the theory and practice of revolution and wrote very little about how the everyday practical problems of social reconstruction would be handled immediately following a successful revolution. Nevertheless, these problems were intensively discussed in Bakunin’s circle and among the anti-authoritarian sections of the International. In “Ideas on Social Organization”, Guillaume discusses the transition from capitalism to anarchism – a synthesis of “Bakuninist” ideas on how this transition could be effected without the restoration of authoritarian institutions.” Its value li... (From : Marxists.org.)


Note: This piece was printed in Alternative Forum, Vol. 1, No. 1, Fall, 1991 INTELLIGENTSIA AND THE NEW INTELLECTUALS By Murray Bookchin Editorial Introduction: The following lecture was delivered as the opening address at the fourth continental Youth Greens conference that took place on the campus of Goddard College in Vermont on July 27,1990 The social theorist Murray Bookchin, whose work on ecology began with an article on the chemical additives in food in 1952, is a long-standing activist in the ecology movement and the author of several books, including The Ecology of Freedom, Remaking Society and The Philosophy of Social Ecology. In many ways, this confrontational and thought-provoking address expresses some of the most difficult prob... (From : Anarchy Archives.)


VII. --- " VI ET ARMIS." After the death of Henry VIII., the "amiable persuasions of law and reason" were no longer visible even in the State papers. Coercion pure cud simple again came to the fore to continue the policy of the English Government towards Ireland from 1550 to 1887. The sword, the gallows, famine, pestilence, and expatriation each and all were tried, and found most effective when used in combination. The Parliamentary farce was not played during the reign of Edward VI. Dublin officials found the progress hoped for from the administration of the Common law too slow. Martial law was substituted, and "sundry persons" were authorized by the Lord Deputy to execute it where and whensoever it seemed best unto them. The warrant f or ... (From : AnarchyArchives.)


From: Bakunin on Anarchy, translated and edited by Sam Dolgoff, 1971. Letter to the Comrades of the Jura Federation Mikhail Bakunin 1873 October 12, 1873 October 12, 1873 I cannot retire from public life without addressing to you .these few parting words of appreciation and sympathy. ... in spite of all the tricks of our enemies and the infamous slanders they have spread about me, your esteem, your friendship, and your confidence in me have never wavered. Nor have you allowed yourselves to be intimidated when they brazenly accused you of being "Bakuninists," hero-worshipers, mindless followers... You have to the highest degree always conscientiously maintained the independence of your opinions and the spontaneity of your acts; the perfidiou... (From : Anarchy Archives.)


(From our Spanish Correspondent). Although rather late, from causes beyond my power, I wish to speak to you of the 11th of November. This date is in Spain a workers! holy, day, and also an occasion for Anarchist demonstrations and propaganda. In all the great cities, and in many country towns, the people commemorate the death of the noble workers, whose martyrdom instead of ,degrading them, glorified the instrument, at the same time that they, view with horror the disgusting and untimely social institutions which now exist. At Barcelona this holy day has had a special solemnity. The great hall of the Palace of Fine Arts, which is estimated to be large enough to contain 12,000 people, was packed with workers and their families, for the annou... (From : AnarchyArchives.)


Dear Comrades Carbó and Pestaña! Convey to our Spanish friends and comrades and, through them, to all the workers in general my encouragement to them not to let their resolution falter in the revolutionary process which has been launched, as well as to make haste in uniting around a practical program drafted of a specific ideological direction. At all costs there must be no let up in the pace of the masses' revolutionary action. On the contrary, we must rush to help them compel (by force if there is no other way, no other means) the acting republican government which is hindering and distracting the revolution with its absurd decrees to desist from such harmful endeavors. The Spanish toilers - workers, peasants and working int... (From : NestorMakhno.info.)


Before going further, let us sum up the conclusions at which we have arrived in our preceding articles. They are two, and each of them is of importance in enabling us to see what we brave to do. We have established -- and if space permitted we might do so with a much greater display of arguments -- that we must rely for the accomplishment of the Social Revolution which we feel approaching all over the civilized world, neither on the present parliaments, nor on any representative bodies which might be summoned during a more disturbed period than the present. A mere change of Government would not necessarily be a revolution, even though the overthrow of the Government might be accompanied by acts of violence. European society is in need of a ... (From : AnarchyArchives.)


This article appears in Anarchy Archives with the permission of the author. Originally published in The Raven: Anarchist Quarterly, vol. 7, no. 4 (Winter 1994), pp. 328-46. A Meditation on Anarchist Ethics Ulrike Heider, Anarchism: Left, Right, and Green (San Francisco: City Lights Books, 1994; 153 pages) by Murray Bookchin In the late winter of 1989, one Ulrike Heider appeared at my home in Burlington, Vermont, for an interview, armed with a tape recorder, clothing for a weekend visit--and apparently a butcher's cleaver, looking for as much blood as she could draw from an unsuspecting victim. Citing an old anarchosyndicalist whom I knew as a reference and her plan to write a book on American anarchists as her aim, she was housed, fed, kept... (From : Anarchy Archives.)


Written: August 1907; Source: Bakunin on Anarchy, translated and edited by Sam Dolgoff, 1971. James Guillaume, Bakunin’s friend and comrade-in-arms, edited the last five volumes of the six-volume French edition of his collected works. Guillaume’s biographical sketch of Bakunin, originally appeared in his introduction to Volume II of that edition. This sketch is a primary source not only on the life of Bakunin, but also on the most significant events in the socialist movement of that period. It incidentally contributes valuable background information for many of the other selections in the present volume. Guillaume, who did not limit himself to recording events but also took part in shaping them, had been inclined toward anarchis... (From : Marxists.org.)

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