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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.)

A MATTER OF WORDS The word anarchy is as old as the world. It is derived from two ancient Greek words, av (an), apxn (arkhe), and means something like the absence of authority or government. However, for millennia the presumption has been accepted that man cannot dispense with one or the other, and anarchy has been understood in a pejorative sense, as a synonym for disorder, chaos, and disorganization. Pierre-Joseph Proudhon was famous for his quips (such as "property is theft") and took to himself the word anarchy. As if his purpose were to shock as much as possible, in 1840 he engaged in the following dialogue with the "Philistine." "You are a republican." "Republican, yes; but that means nothing. Res publica is 'the State.' Kings, too, are republicans." "Ah well! You are a democrat?" "No." "What! Perhaps you are a monarchist?" "No." "Constitutionalist then?" "God forbid." "Then you are an aristocrat?" "Not at...


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.)

From the Encyclopedia Britannica
ANARCHISM (from the Gr. ἄν, and αρχος, contrary to authority), the name given to a principle or theory of life and conduct under which society is conceived without government - harmony in such a society being obtained, not by submission to law, or by obedience to any authority, but by free agreements concluded between the various groups, territorial and professional, freely constituted for the sake of production and consumption, as also for the satisfaction of the infinite variety of needs and aspirations of a civilized being. In a society developed on these lines, the voluntary associations which already now begin to cover all the fields of human activity would take a still greater extension so as to s... (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 Practice[Originally published in 1938 by Martin Secker and Warburg Ltd] Anarchism: Its Aims and Purposes; The Proletariat and the Beginning of the Modern Labor Movement; The Forerunners of Syndicalism; The Objectives of Anarcho-Syndicalism; The Methods of Anarcho-Syndicalism; The Evolution of Anarcho-Syndicalism. 1. Anarchism: Its Aims and Purposes Anarchism versus economic monopoly and state power; Forerunners of modern Anarchism; William Godwin and his work on Political Justice; P.J. Proudhon and his ideas of political and economic decentralization; Max Stirner's work, The Ego and Its Own; M. Bakunin the Collectivist and founder of the Anarchist movement; P. Kropotkin the exponent of Anarchist Communism and the philosophy of Mutual Aid; Anarchism and revolution; Anarchism a synthesis of Socialism and Liberalism; Anarchism versus economic materialism and Dictatorship; Anarchism and the state; Anarchism a tendency of h...


Anarchy and Organization appears in Anarchy Archives with the permission of the author. The essay originally was written in reply to an attack by Huey Newton on anarchist forms of organization. ANARCHY AND ORGANIZATION A Letter To The Left Reprinted from NEW LEFT NOTES January 15, 1969 by permission of the author There is a hoary myth that anarchists do not believe in organization to promote revolutionary activity. This myth was raised from its resting place by Marcuse in a L'Express interview some months ago and reiterated again by Huey Newton in his "In Defense of Self-Defense," which New Left Notes decided to reprint in the recent National Convention issue. To argue the question of "organization" versus "non-organization" is ridiculous; ... (From : Anarchy Archives.)

(1901 - 1936) ~ Anarcho-Syndicalist and CNT Militia During the Spanish Civil War : Francisco Ascaso Abadia was part of "Los Solidarios" with Durruti, Gregorio Jover, Juan García Oliver, Antonio Ortiz, Ricardo Sanz, etc. They fought against the "Pistoleros" (hired by cleric employers to assassinate trade unionists). (From : Anarchopedia.)
• "Let no-one doubt that we will not achieve our aims until we create the revolution." (From : "Anarchosyndicalism, Libertarian Communism and the....)
• "The electoral struggle is no more than a simple process whose sole and exclusive aim is the maintenance of a bourgeois regime." (From : "Anarchosyndicalism, Libertarian Communism and the....)
• "Anyone who believes that in depositing a piece of paper in a box he has fulfilled his duty to society is indulging in a crass error." (From : "Anarchosyndicalism, Libertarian Communism and the....)


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.)

STRIKERS CROWDED THE CORIDOR outside the hearing room in the Los Angeles City Hall on October 31, opening day of the arbitration proceedings, ready to testify when called. Vise-President Feinberg and Harry Sherr, attorney for the ILGWU, presented our case. Feinberg told of a whispering campaign against the union, by employers who contended it did not represent the dressmakers for whom it professed to speak. Arthur Booth, executive secretary of the manufacturers' association, asserted that "there has been no clash between the employers and employes in the dress industry on wages, hours, or working conditions." Our witnesses testified that the employers were operating a blacklist; had dismissed workers for discussing unionism and attending union meetings; and had shown marked favoritism to nonunion workers in an effort to break the union's strength. One cited a recent statement by Mrs. Mabel Kinney, chief of the State Industrial Welfare Commission, that...


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...


This article appears in Anarchy Archives with the permission of the author. GREEN PERSPECTIVES Price:$1.00 A LEFT GREEN PUBLICATION Number 23 June 1991 P.O. Box 111 Burlington, VT 05402 A Critique of the Draft Program of the Left Green Network by Murray Bookchin and Janet Biehl Editors note: The Left Green Network is in the process of writing, developing and debating its program. The draft proposal for the program was published in the April/May 1991 issue of the Network's organizing bulletin, Left Green Notes, number 7. The following critique was written in response to that program. The proposed program will be debated at the upcoming continental conference of the Network, over the July 4 weekend in Chicago, Illinois. To receive a copy of t... (From : Anarchy Archives.)


TO OUR COMRADES EVERYWHERE The anarchist movement is passing through a very difficult time. The World War, the Russian Revolution, and the present international reaction have resulted in the disorganization of our movement in the disheartening and disillusionment of many comrades. We are facing a serious task of reorganization; many vital problems are pressing for solution -- problem so grave that they can be solved only by the closest cooperation of the comrades in a spirit of mutual understanding earnestness and responsibility. That at such a momentous time there should develop in our midst the spirit of petty personalities and strife is more than tragic. It is positively criminal. The growing tendency of irresponsible accusations and rec... (From : Anarchy Archives.)

(1896 - 1936) ~ Heart of the Anarchist Soldiers and Anarcho-Syndicalism During the Spanish Civil War : On the 15 Durruti arrived with a force of 1800 men to reinforce the defense of Madrid, where they went immediately to the toughest section and on the 19 he was struck by a bullet as he walked by a supposedly secure area. (From : Communiello Bio.)
• "We have the right and obligation to force the negative to clash with the positive and cause the spark. Is that adventurism? Then I say that all revolutions have been triggered by adventurists." (From : "Durruti," by Abel Paz, part 1, chapter 10.)
• "Socialism is either active or isn't Socialism." (From : "Durruti," by Abel Paz, part 1, chapter 1.)
• "The emancipation of the working class requires the complete destruction of capitalism and we can't stop our revolutionary efforts until that happens." (From : "Durruti," by Abel Paz, part 1, chapter 1.)


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.)


(Anarchist Albert Meltzer writes about British author and anarchist Ethel Edith Mannin.) Ask who is the writer who has contributed most in the English language to the spread of libertarian ideas and you will get some peculiar answers, probably one of them some obscure Canadian professor whom nobody reads except as prescribed in the university curriculum (ed: he probably means George Woodcock, who it would appear Meltzer doesn’t think too highly of!). You might well get the same answer from Ethel Mannin, but for my money it is she who deserves the maximum credit, and seems to have received none that I know of. She was writing on sex and women’s liberation fifty years ago and has introduced anarchist ideas in numerous works of fac... (From : LibCom.org.)

(1859 - 1909) ~ Father of Anarchist Schooling and Martyred Leader of Spanish Freethought : The growth of the Escuela Moderna and the wide distribution of its booklets infuriated the clergy. But for years there was little they could do beyond denouncing the school and pouring vituperation on Ferrer's personal life. (From : Murray Bookchin Bio.)
• "Our teaching has nothing to do with politics. It is our work to form individuals in the full possession of all their faculties while politics would subject their faculties to other men." (From : "The Origin and Ideals of the Modern School," by F....)
• "Those imaginary products of the mind, a priori ideas, and all the absurd and fantastical fictions hitherto regarded as truth and imposed its directive principles of human conduct have for some time past incurred the condemnation of reason and the resentment of conscience. The sun no longer merely touches the tips of the mountains; it floods the valleys, and we enjoy the light of noon." (From : "The Origin and Ideals of the Modern School," by F....)
• "Hence in the Modern School there will be no rewards and no punishments; there will be no examinations to puff up some children withe the flattering title of excellent, to give others the vulgar title of "good", and make others unhappy with a consciousness of incapacity and failure." (From : "The Origin and Ideals of the Modern School," by F....)


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.)

CHAPTER I The Box Scandal; Gypsies and Germans; The Film Scandal; The Road to Salvation: In the Van; Lost Millions; Paradise Lost and Regained The Box Scandal Nellie, who ten years later was to be my grandmother, sat on the pavement in front of her house in a crumbling North London suburb tossing crumbs to the squawking birds, holding court of the cottages around among her chirping friends. Her husband Joe often remarked in reply to her complaints of the time he spent on charitable committees that she ran a more efficient advice center and board of help than anything the guardians of the parish did. Sure as fate Mrs Noel brought her along a hard luck story, a servant girl crying and holding her pinafore over her eyes to conceal her shame. "Her master won’t let her have her box because she left without notice," explained Mrs Noel, who faithfully found and put the lame ducks on proud display for Nellie to get fly...


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.)


A LESSON OF TODAY. THE PAGNY AFFAIR. Last month France and Germany were once more on the brink of war, this time pour les beaux yeux of a French police functionary, who was planning intrigues in Alsace on behalf of his own government. Ultimately the French Government, which, by the way, has been continually violating "international law" by fraudulently entrapping on French soil deserters who had taken refuge in Switzerland, by banding over political refugees to the Italian and Spanish Governments, and lastly by trying and sentencing foreign subjects for "crimes" committed on foreign soil, as readers who remember the Anarchist trial at Lyons are well aware--this same French Government succeeded in snatching M. Schnaebele, its agent, from the... (From : AnarchyArchives.)


Dear comrade Received your letter, for which I thank you. Apologies for the belated reply, but I have been very busy of late. Anyway, eight days ago I sent off my editions of the artwork of Sim and Castelao on the Spanish Revolution. The publications that you sent me from Paris have yet to arrive. I am delighted that you have sent me them. I get the Japanese newspaper regularly and know of the proposal for a Far Eastern Congress. But I don’t reckon a congress is feasible, given current circumstances in Asia. For a start, there is no way of traveling abroad from here without the permission of the government and correspondence destined for Japan is subject to censorship here and over there. I regret that I am not in a position to bring ... (From : Kate Sharpley Library, http://www.katesharpleylibr....)

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