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 Заголовок сообщения: M.Bookchin.The Spanish Anarchists;Heroic Years1868-1936
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Murray Bookchin

THE SPANISH ANARCHISTS
THE HEROIC YEARS 1868-1936


«En memoria de Russell Blackwell
-mi amigo y mi companero»


Contents

Introduction
Prologue: Fanelli's Journey
I. The "Idea" and Spain
BACKGROUND
MIKHAIL BAKUNIN
II. The Topography of Revolution
Ill. The Beginning
THE INTERNATIONAL IN SPAIN
THE CONGRESS OF 1870
THE LIBERAL FAILURE
IV. The Early Years
PROLETARIAN ANARCHISM
REBELLION AND REPRESSION
V. The Disinherited
PEASANT ANARCHISM
AGRARIAN UNIONS AND UPRISINGS
VI. Terrorists and "Saints"
Vll. Anarchosyndicalism
THE NEW FERMENT
THE "TRAGIC WEEK"
VIII. The CNT
THE EARLY YEARS
THE POSTWAR YEARS
THE PISTOLEROS
IX. From Dictatorship to Republic
THE PRIMO DE RIVERA DICTATORSHIP
THE AZANA COALITION
X. The Road to Revolution
EL BIENIO NEGRO
FROM FEBRUARY TO JULY
XI. Concluding Remarks
Bibliographical Essay
Index


Introduction

It is not widely known to the general reader that the largest movement in pre-Franco Spain was greatly influenced by Anarchist ideas . In 1936 , on the eve of the Spanish Civil War , approximately a million people were members of the Anarchosyndicalist CNT (Confederacion Nacional del Trabajo , or National Confederation of Labor) - an immense following if one bears in mind that the Spanish population numbered only twenty-four million . Until the victory of Franco , the CNT remained one of the largest labor federations in Spain .
Barcelona , then the largest industrial city in Spain , became an Anarchosyndicalist enclave within the republic . Its working class , overwhelmingly committed to the CNT , established a far-reaching , system of syndicalist self-management .Factories, utilities, transport facilities, even retail and wholesale enterprises, were taken over and administered by workers' committees and unions. The city itself was policed by a part-time guard of workingmen and justice was me ted out by popular revolutionary tribunals. Nor was Barcelona alone in this radical reconstruction of economic and social life; the movement, in varying degrees, embraced Valencia, Malaga, CNT-controlled factories in the large Basque industrial cities, and smaller communities such as Lerida, Alcoy, Granollers, Gerona, and Rubi.
Many of the land laborers and peasants of Andalusia were also Anarchist in outlook. During the first few weeks of the Civil War, before the south of Spain was overrun by fascist armies, these rural people established communal systems of land tenure, in some cases abolishing the use of money for intemal transactions, establishing free, communistic systems of production and distribution, and creating a decision-making procedure based on popular assemblies and direct, face-to-face democracy. Perhaps even more significant were the well-organized Anarchist collectives in Republican-held areas of Aragon, which were grouped into a network under the Council of Aragon, largely under the control of the CNT. Collectives tended to predominate in many areas of Catalonia and the Levant, and were common even in Socialist-controlled Castile.
These experiences alone, so challenging to popular notions of a libertarian society as an unworkable utopia, would warrant a book on Spanish Anarchism. But they also have a certain intrinsic interest. To anyone with a concern for novel social forms, the Anarchist collectives of Spain raise many fascinating questions: how were the collective farms and factories established? How well did they work? Did they create any administrative difficulties? These collectives, moreover, were not mere experiments created by idle dreamers; they emerged from a dramatic social revolution that was to mark the climax - and tragic end - of the traditional workers' movement. High-lighting the reconstructive efforts of the Anarchists was the Spanish Civil War itself, an unforgettable conflict that was to last nearly three bitter years, claim an estimated million lives, and stir the deepest passions of people throughout the world .
No less sig nificant was the development of the Spanish Anarchist movement from the 1870s to the mid-1930s-its forms of organization, its influence on the lives of ordinary workers and peasants, its internal conflicts, and its varied fortunes. For Spanish Anarchism remained above all a peoples' movement, reflecting the cherished ideals, dreams, and values of ordinary individ uals, not an esoteric credo and tightly knit professional party far removed from the everyday experiences of the villager and factory worker. The resiliency and tenacity that kept Spanish Anarchism alive in urban barrios and rural pueblos for nearly seventy years, despite unrelenting persecution, is understandable only if we view this movement as an expression of plebian Spanish society itself rather than as a body of exotic libertarian doctrines.
The present volume (the first of two that will trace the history of the movement up to the current period) is primarily concerned with the organizational and social issues that marked the years of Spanish Anarchism's ascendency and, finally, of its drift toward civil war - a
span of time I have designated as its "heroic period" . Despite the fascination that the collectives of 1936-39 hold for us, I believe it is immensely rewarding to explore how ordinary workers and peasants for nearly three generations managed to build the combative organizations that formed the underpinning of these collectives; how they managed to claim for themselves and incorporate in their everyday lives revolutionary societies and unions that we normally relegate to the work place and the political sphere. Quite as significant in my eyes are the organizational structures, so libertarian in character, that made it possible for workers and peasants to participate in these societies and unions, to exercise extraordinary control over their policies, and to gain for themselves a new sense of personality and inner individual strength . Whatever our views of Spanish Anarchism, it has far too much to teach us to remain so little known to general reader, and it is primarily for this reader that I have written the present volume.
To a certain extent I have been researching the materials for this book since the early 1960s. In 1967 I began systematically to gather data with a view toward writing it during a lengthy trip to Europe, where I interviewed exiled Spanish Anarchists. The present volume was almost entirely completed by 1969. At that time virtually no literature existed in English on Spanish Anarchism except for Gerald Brenan's empathetic but rather incomplete accounts in the Spanish Labyrinth and the largely personal narratives of Franz Borkenau and George Orwell. Apart from these works, the scanty references to the Spanish Anarchists in English seemed appallingly insensitive to the ideals of a very sizable section of the Spanish people. Even today, most of the works on Spain by conservative, liberal, and Marxist writers offer no serious appraisal of the libertarian viewpoint and exhibit shocking malice toward its so-called "extreme" wing as represented by the Anarchist action groups. It may well be felt by many students of Spanish Anarchism that I have gone to another extreme.
Perhaps - but it seemed especially important to me, whatever my personal reservations, that the voices of these groups be expressed with a greater degree of understanding than they have generally received.
The Spanish Civil War, in fact, was very much part of my own life and affected me more deeply than any other conflict in a lifetime that has seen a terrible international war and the decades of nearly chronic warfare that followed it. My sympathies, indeed my utter devotion, lay with the Spanish left, which I initinlly identified as a very young man with the Communist Party and, later, as the Civil War came to its terrible close, with the POUM (Partido Obrero de Unificacion Marxista).
By the late 1950s, however, I had become more informed about Spanish Anarchism, " movement that had been little known to American radicals of the 1930s, and began to study its origins and trajectory. As one who had lived through the Spanish Civil War period, indeed, who vividly recalled the uprising of the Asturian miners in October 1934, I thought it all the more necessary to correct the false image that, if it existed in my mind, almost certainly existed in the minds of my less politically involved contemporaries. Thus this book is in part a rediscovery of a magnificent historic experience that culminated in a deeply moving tragedy. I have tried to offer at least an understanding voice to those liberty-loving people who marched, fought, and died by the thousands under the black-and-red banners of Spanish Anarchosyndicalism, to pay a fair tribute to their idealism without removing their organizations from the light of well-intentioned criticism.
Another, more contemporary factor motivated me to write this book. The appearance of the black flag of Anarchism in the streets of Paris and many American cities during the 1960s, the strong anarchistic sentiments of radical youth during that fervent decade, and the wide in terest in Anarchist theories that exists today, seem to warrant an account and evaluation of the largest organized Anarchist movement to appear in our century. There are many differences, to be sure, between the Anarchist movement of Spain and the anarchistic currents that seemed to flow in the youth revolt of the 1960s. Spanish Anarchism was rooted in an era of material scarcity; its essential thrust was directed against the poverty and exploitation that had reduced millions of Spanish workers and peasants to near-animal squalor. Not surprisingly, the Spanish Anarchists saw the world through puritanical lenses. Uving in a society where little was available for all to enjoy, they excoriated the dissoluteness of the ruling classes as grossly immoral . They reacted to the opulence and idleness of the wealthy with a stern ethical credo that emphasized duty, the responsibility of all to work, and a disdain for the pleasures of the flesh.
The anarchistic youth of the 1960s, on the other hand, held diametrically opposite views. Raised in an era of dazzling advances in technology and productivity, they questioned the need for toil and the renunciation of pleasure.
Their credos were sensuous and hedonistic. Whether they were conscious of tradition or not, their plea for enlarging experience seemed to echo the writings of Sade, Lautreamont, the Dadaists and the surrealists rather than those of the "classical" Anarchists of a century ago.
Yet when I started this book, I could not help feeling that an aging Spanish Anarchist easily could have communicated with the revolutionary youth of the 1960s and with the ecologically oriented young people of today. In contrast to Marxian movements, Spanish Anarchism placed a strong emphasis on life-style: on a total remaking
of the individual along libertarian lines. It deeply valued spontaneity, passion, and initiative from below. And it thoroughly detested authority and hierarchy in any form. Despite its stern moral outlook, Spanish Anarchism opposed the marriage ceremony as a bourgeois sham, advocating instead a free union of partners, and it regarded sexual practices as a private affair, governable only by a respect for the rights of women. One must know the Spain of the 1930s, with its strong patriarchal traditions, to recognize what a bold departure Anarchist practices represented from the norms of even the poorest, most exploited, and most neglected classes in the country.
Above all, Spanish Anarchism was vitally experimental. The Summerhill-type schools of recent memory were the direct heirs of experiments in libertarian education initiated by Spanish intellectuals who had been nourished by Anarchist ideals. The concept of living close to nature lent Spanish Anarchism some of its most unique feature - vegetarian diets, often favoring uncooked foods; ecological horticulture; simplicity of dress; a passion for the countryside; even nudism - but such expressions of "naturalism" also became the subject of much buffoonery in the Spanish press of the time (and of condescending disdain on the part of many present-day academicians). The movement was keenly preoccupied with all the concrete details of a future libertarian society. Spanish Anarchists avidly discussed almost every change a revolution could be expected to make in their daily lives, and many of them immediately translated precept into practice as far as this was humanly possible. Thousands of Spanish Anarchists altered their diets and abandoned such habit-forming "vices" as cigarette-smoking and drinking. Many became proficient in Esperanto in the conviction that, after the revolution, all national barriers would fall away and human beings would speak a
common language and share a common cultural traditional.
This high sense of community and solidarity gave rise to the Anarchist "affinity group," an organizational form based not merely on political or ideological ties, but often on close friendship and deep personal involvement. In a movement that called for the use of direct action, Anarchist groups produced individuals of unusual character and striking boldness. To be sure, I would not want these remarks to create the impression that the Spanish Anarchist movement was a revolutionary crusade of uncompromising, morally unblemished "saints". Like all organizations in Spain, the movement had its fair share of self-seeking opportunists who betrayed its libertarian ideals in critical moments of struggle. But what made it unique, even in a land where courage and dignity have always been highly prized, were those remarkable personalities like Fermin Salvochea, Anselmo Lorenzo, and Buenaventura Durruti, who literally personified different aspects of its temperament and libertarian ideals. It has been my good fortune to meet some of the best living representatives of this movement in their places of exile and to gain their assistance in gathering material for this book.
I do not claim to have written an exhaustive account of Spanish Anarchism.For an author to make such a claim would require the backing of several volumes. The scholarly literature consists of sizable works that deal with periods of a decade or less, a literature that is not likely to command the attention of the general reader. Accordingly, I have chosen to dwell upon the turning points of the movement, especially those moments of social creativity which are Likely to have importance for our own time. I have also tried to tell the story of the more outstanding Spanish Anarchists: the saint-like ascetics and fiery pistoleros, the defiant terrorists and plodding organizers, the scholarly theorists and untutored activists.
The Spanish Civil War came to an end almost forty years ago. The generation that was so deeply involved in its affairs, whether in Spain itself or abroad, is passing away. A real danger exists that the passions aroused by this immense conflict will disappear in the future literature on the subject. And without that passion, it will be difficult
to appraise the largest popular movement in the conflict - the Spanish Anarchists - for it was a movement that made spiritual demands of its adherents that are often incomprehensible today. Leaving aside the changes in life-style I've already noted, I should emphasize that to be an Anarchist in Spain , indeed, to be a radical generally in the 1930s, meant that one was uncompromisingly opposed to the established order. Even Socialists retained this high sence of revolutionary principle, in Spain and in many other countries, despite the reformism of the Communist and Social Democratic parties. To participate in bourgeois cabinets, for example, enrned one the epithet of "Millerandism," a harshly derogatory term which referred to the unprecedented entry of the French Socialist Millerand into a bourgeois cabinet prior to the First World War.
Today, an ecumenical reformism is taken for granted by virtually the entire left. If the word "Millerandism" has been dropped from the political vocabulary of the left, it is not because revolutionary "purity" has been restored in the major workers' parties but, quite to the contrary, because the practice is too widespread to require an opprobrious designation. The term "libertarian" , devised by French Anarchists to deal with the harsh anti-Anarchist legislation at the end of the last century, has lost virtually all its revolutionary meaning. The word "Anarchist" itself becomes meaningless when it is used as a self-
description by political dilettantes so light-minded that they move in and out of authoritarian or reformistic organizations as casually as they change a brand of bread or coffee. Contemporary capitalism, with its "revolutionary" motor vehicles and hand lotions, has subverted not only the time-honored ideals of radicalism, but the language and nomenclature for expressing them.
It is emotionally refreshing as well as intellectually rewarding to look back to a time when these words still had meaning, indeed, when content and conviction as such had definition and reality. People today do not hold ideals; they hold "opinions." The Spanish Anarchists, as well as many other radicals of the pre-Civil War era, still had ideals which they did not lightly discard like the brand names of products. The Anarchists imparted a spiritual meaning, intellectual logic, and dignity to the libertarian ideal which precluded flirtations with their opponents - those not only in the bourgeois world but also in the authoritarian left. However unsophisticated they proved to be in many ideological matters, it would have seemed inconceivable to them that an Anarchist could acknowledge the coexistence of a propertied sector of society with a collective one, ignore or slight differences in class interests and politics, or accept a policy of accommodation with a centralized state or authoritarian party, however "libertarian" their opponents might seem in other respects. Basic diffe rences were meant to be respected, not ignored; indeed, they were meant to be deepened by the logic of dispute and examination, not compromised by emphasizing superficial resemblances and a liberal accommodation to ideological divisions. The slaughter and terror that followed in the wake of Franco's march toward Madrid in the late summer of 1936 and the physical hemorrhage that claimed so many lives in the long course of the Civil War produced a spiritual hemorrhage as well, bringing to the surface all the latent weaknesses of the classica l workers' movement as such, both Anarchist and Socialist. I have pointed to some of these weaknesses in the closing chapter of this volume. But a high sense of revolutionary commitment remained and continued for decades. That events involving the sheer physical survival of people may induce compromises between ideals and realities is no more surprising in the lifetime of a movement than it is in that of an individual. But that these very ideals should be casually dismissed or forgotten, replaced by a flippant ecumenicnlism in which one deals with social goals like fashions, is unforgivable.
My feeling for the Spanish Anarchist sense of commitment to a highly principled libertarian ideal - organizationally as well as ideologically - forms still another part of my motives for writing this book. A decent respect for the memory of the many thousands who perished for their libertarian goals would require that we state these goals clearly and unequivocillly, quite aside from whether we agree with them or not. For surely these dead deserve the minimal tribute of identifying Anarchism with social revolution, not with fashionable concepts of decentralization and self-management that comfortably
coexist with state power, the profit economy, and multinational corporations. Few people today seem concerned to distinguish the Spanish Anarchists' version of revolutionary decentralization and self-management from the liberal ones that are so much in vogue. Anselmo Lorenzo, Fermin Salvochea, and the young faistas of the
1930s would have been appalled at the claim that their ideas had found realization in present-day Chinese "communes" or in the European trade-union leaders who sit as "workers' representatives" on corporate boards of directors. Spanish Anarchist notions of communes, self-management, and technological innovation are totally
incompatible with any system of state power or private property and ullerly opposed to any compromise with bourgeois society.
Contemporaneity alone does not, in my view, establish the need for a book on Spanish Anarchism. I could easily have adduced Franco's death as justification for offering this book to the public, and certainly it could be cited as a good reason for reading such a work, but my motives for writing it are not to be explained by the current interest in Spain. The basic question raised by Spanish Anarchism was whether it is possible for people to gain full, direct, face-to-face control over their everyday lives, to manage society in their own way - not as "masses" guided by professional leaders, but as thoroughly liberated individuals in a world without leaders or led, without masters or slaves. The greatly popular uprising of july 1936, especially in the Anarchist centers of Spain, tried to approximate this goal. That the effort failed at a terrible cost in life and morale does not nullify the inherent truth of the goal itself.
Finally, I would like to remind the reader that Spanish life has changed greatly from the conditions described in this volume. Spain is no longer a predominantly agrarian country and the traditional pueblo is rapidly giving way to the modern town and city. This should be clearly borne in mind at all times while reading the book. The image of "eternal Spain" has always been a reactionary one. Today, when Spain has become one of the most industrialized countries in the world, it is simply absurd. Yet there is much of a preindustrial and precapitalist nature that lingers on in Spain, and it is devoutly to be hoped that the old Anarchist dreamers of melding the solidarity of earlier village lifeways with a fairly advanced technological society will have reality for the Spanish present and future.

Before concluding this introduction, I would like to explain certain unorthodoxies in the writing of the book and extend my acknow-ledgement to individuals who rendered invaluable assistance in its preparation.
Throughout most of their history, the Spanish Anarchists were adherents of a trade-union form of Anarchism which is generally designated as "Anarchosyndicalism"(1*). In contrast to many writers on the subject who see Spanish Anarchosyndicalism as a distinctly twentieth-century development ,one that had its origins in France, I am now quite convinced that the Spanish section of the First International was Anarchosyndicalist from its very inception in the early 1870s. This tradition persisted, I believe, in virtually all libertarian unions up to and into the formation of the CNT. The tradition, moreover, applied as much to the land laborers' unions of Andalusia as to the textile workers' unions of Barcelona. French Anarchosyndicalism mаy have been the source for а comprehensive theory of the syndicalist general strike, but the Spanish Anarchists were practicing Anarchosyndicalist tactics decades earlier and, in many cases, were quite conscious of their revolutionary import before the word "Anarchosyndicalist" itself came into vogue.(*2)
Accordingly, I have used the terms "Anarchist" and " Anarchosyndicalist" almost intuitively, ordinarily combining libertarians of all persuasions under the "Anarchist" rubric when they seemed to confront the Marxists, the state power, and their class opponents as a fairly unified tendency in Spanish society and singling out "Anarchosyndicalists" when they were functioning largely from a syndicalist point of view. The mingling of these terms was not uncommon in many works on Spain during the 1930s, as witness Gerald Brenan's Tire Spanish Labyrinth and Franz Borkenau's Tire Spanish Cockpit.
I should also note that I have abandoned the use of the usual accent that appears in many Spanish words. I fail to see why Lerida and Leon (the latter by no means consistently) have accents, while Andalusia and Aragon do not. For the sake of consistency, I have removed the accents entirely, all the more because this book is written for an English-reading public.
The Spanish Anarchists were given to acronyms like faista, cenetista, and ugetista for members of the FAI, CNT, and the Socialist-controlled UGT. I have retained this vocabulary in the book but have avoided the more familiar diminutives they used for their periodicals, such as "Soli" for Solidaridad Obrera.
Whatever originality this book can claim is due primarily to interviews I have had with Spanish Anarchists and with non-Spaniards who were personally involved with their movement. Although I have consulted a large number of books, periodicals, letters, and reports on the Spanish Anarchist movement, my most rewarding experiences have come from the individuals who knew it at first hand.
Space limitations make it possible for me to list the names of only a few. I am deeply grateful to a very kindly man, Jose Peirats, the historian of Spanish Anarchism in its Inter period, for painstnkingly explaining the structure of the CNT and FAI, and for many facts about the atmosphere in Barcelona during the years of his youth.
Peirats, whom I view as a friend, has done more to convey the mood of the Spanish Anarchist movement in the pre-Civil War period than any text could possibly do. For this sense of personal contact as well as for his invaluable writings on the trajectory of Spanish Anarchism, I owe him an immeasurable debt.
I have also learned a great deal from personal conversations with Gaston Leval. He has been an indispensable source of information about the Anarchist collectives in Spain during the Civil War (a field in which his command of the facts is unparalleled); he has also given me the benefit of his insights and, for the purposes of this first volume, of his experiences in the CNT during the 1920s. Leval, who is no apologist for the CNT and FAI, contributed considerably to my appraisal of the exaggerated emphasis on Anarchist pistolerismo during that critical time and presented me with a more balanced picture of the early 1920s than I have received from the conventional literature on the subject.
To Pablo Ruiz, I owe a truly immense debt for the detailed account he gave me of the founding and activities of the Friends of Durruti, the small but heroic group that did so much to uphold the honor of Spanish Anarchism during the difficult "ministerial" crisis within the movement in 1936-37. The late Cipriano Mera provided me with invaluable details on the structure of the Anarchist militias during the Civil War and on the movement's activities in Madrid during the early 1930s. Although a movement in exile is ordinarily distorted by its isolation and internal connicts, I gained some sense of the life of Spanish Anarchism by attending meetings of the CNT in Paris, visiting the homes of its members, and hearing deeply moving accounts of the solidarity these individuals retained in the years following the defeat of their movement in 1939.
I owe a great deal to two friends, Sam Dolgoff and the late Russell Blackwell, for their assistance in assembling data for this book and giving freely of their personal recollections. That I dedicated this volume to the memory of Russell Blackwell is more than act of friendship. Blackwell had fought with the Friends of Durruti in Barcelona during the May uprising in 1937. In time he came to symbolize the melding of Spanish and American libertarian ideals in a form that seemed unsurpassed by anyone I had known. I must also express my
appreciation to Federico Arcos and Will Watson for making materials available to me that are very difficult to obtain in the United States; to my good friend, Vernon Richards, for his valuable critical insights; to Frank Mintz for sharing many facts drawn from this own researches; to the custodians of the Labadie Collection at the University of Michigan for permission to freely examine documents and unpublished dissertations on various periods of the movement's history; to Susan Harding for sending me additional European material and offering criticisms that have been useful in preparing the text.
In writing a general narrative of this kind, an author must make a decision on where to draw the limits to his research if he is to complete the work in a reasonable period of time. Despite the comparatively improved climate of Franco's Spain a decade ago, my visit to the country in 1967 coincided precisely with the publication of an article in my own name in a leading European Anarchist periodical, and I decided it would be imprudent to continue the research I had planned in that country. In any case, European archives on Spanish Anarchism are so immense that I could foresee many years of research abroad were I to sacrifice my goal of a general narrative for a detailed history based on primary sources. Accordingly, I decided to shift my research back to the United States after visiting various European cities where I was fortuna te to gather much of the material I required to write this book.
Since the late 1960s, a truly voluminous literature has been published on different periods of Spanish Anarchism. Wherever possible I have made use of these new studies to check and modify my own largely completed work. Happily, I have found surprisingly little that required alteration and much that supports generalizations that were partly hypothetical when they were first committed to paper. In so far-reaching a project, it is inevitable that factual errors will occur. I can only hope they will prove to be minimal and insignificant. The
historical interpretations in this volume are my responsibility alone and should not be imputed to the many individuals who so generously aided me in other respects.

«Murray Bookchin
November, 1976
Ramapo College of New Jersey
Mahwah, New Jersey

Goddard College
Plainfield, Vermont

Notes
(*1) For an explanation of the different forms of Anarchism, see pages 17-31
below.
(*2) Engels, it is worth noting, clearly showed an understanding of the
Anarchosyndicalist nature of the Spanish section in his article ''Bakuninists at Work." Surprisingly, this fact has yet to be adequately reflected in many current works on the Spanish Anarchist movement.


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Prologue:
Fanelli's Journey


In late October 1868, Giuseppi Fanelli, a tall, heavily bearded Italian of about forty, arrived at Barcelona after a railroad journey from Geneva. It was Fanelli's first visit to Spain. He had reached the city without incident and he would leave it, a few months later, without any interference by the Spanish authorities. There was nothing in his appearance that would have distinguished him from any other visiting Italian, except perhaps for his height and his intense prepossessing stature.
But Giuseppi Fanelli was not an ordinary visitor to Spain. His brief journey was to have a far-reaching influence, providing the catalyst for what was not only the most widespread workers' and peasants' movement in modern Spain, but the largest Anarchist movement in modern Europe. For Fanelli was an experienced Italian revolutionary, a supporter of the Russian Anarchist Mikhail Bakunin, and a highly gifted propagandist. His journey had been organized by Bakunin in order to gain Spanish adherents to the International Workingmen's Association, the famous "First International" established by European workers a few years earlier.
Fanelli's trip should have been a complete fiasco. Financially, it was conducted on a shoestring. Bakunin had raised barely enough money to pay for the fare, with the result that Fanelli, chronically short of funds, was constantly pressed for time. His knowledge of Spain was limited and he could speak scarcely a sentence in Spanish.
In Barcelona, he managed after some difficulty to find Elie Redus, the distinguished French anthropologist and a firm Bakuninist, who was visiting the Catalan port for journalistic reasons. Otherwise, Fanelli knew no one in the city. Apparently, the two men quarreled over Reclus's accommodating attitude toward his Spanish Republican
friends, for Fanelli, much to his host's embarrassment, tried to win them over to Anarchism. After borrowing some money from Reclus to continue his journey, the Italian went on to Madrid where he met Jose Guisascola, the owner of the periodical La Igualdad. He put Fanelli in touch with a group of workers with "very advanced ideas",
and a small, intimate meeting was arranged in the guest room of one Rubau Donadeu. Fanelli could only address them in Italian or French, and the workers, most of whom knew only Spanish, had neglected to bring along an interpreter. But once the tall, lean Italian began to speak, his rapport with the audience was so complete that all barriers of language were quickly swept away. Using a wealth of Latin gestures and tonal expressions, Fanelli managed to convey with electric effect the richness of his libertarian visions and the bitterness of his anger toward human suffering and exploitation. The workers, accustomed to the moderate expressions of Spanish liberals, were stunned.
Decades later, Anselmo Lorenzo, who attended the meeting as a young man, describes the talk with a vividness of memory that time seems to have left undimmed. Fanelli's "black expressive eyes," he recalls, "flashed like lightning or took on the appearance of kindly
compassion according to the sentiments that dominated him. His voice had a metallic tone and was susceptible to all the inflections ^propriate to what he was saying, passing rapidly from accents of anger and menace against tyrants and exploiters to take on those of
suffering, regret, and consolation, when he spoke of the pains of the exploited, either as one who without suffering them himself understands them, or as one who through his altruistic feelings delights in presenting an ultra-revolutionary ideal of peace and fraternity. He spoke in French and Italian, but we could understand his expressive mimicry and follow his speech."
Fanelli scored a complete triumph. All those present declared themselves for the International. He extended his stay in Madrid for several weeks, cultivating his newly won adherents; together they had three or four "propaganda sessions," alternating with intimate conversations on walks and in cafes. Lorenzo recalls that he was "especially favored" with Fanelli's confidences. If this is so, Fanelli
showed excellent judgment: Anselmo Lorenzo was to live for many years, and he remained a dedicated revolutionary, earning the sobriquet "the grandfather of Spanish Anarchism." His contribution to the spread of Anarchist ideas in Barcelona and Andalusia over the
decades ahead was enormous.
On January 24, 1869, Fanelli met with his Madrid converts for the last time. Although the small group, composed mostly of printing workers, house painters, and shoemakers, numbered little more than twenty, it officially declared itself the Madrid section of the International Workingmen's Association. Lorenzo tried to persuade Fanelli to remain longer, but he declined. The Italian explained that he had to leave because it was necessary for individuals and groups to develop "by their own efforts, with their own values," so that the "great common work will not lack the individual and local characteristics
which make for a kind of variety that does not endanger unity," but in fact yields a "whole that is the sum of many different elements." In these few remarks, summarized by Lorenzo, Fanelli touches upon the organizational principle and practice so basic to Anarchism, that order reaches its most harmonious form through the spontaneous, unhampered development of individuality and variety. Ultimately, the vitality of the Spanish Anarchist movement was to depend on the extent to which it made this principle a living force in its social and
organizational activites.
Before leaving Spain, Fanelli stopped again in Barcelona. This time he had a letter of introduction from Jose Rubau Donadeu, one of his Madrid converts, to the painter Jose Luis Pellicer, a radical democrat with strong Federalist convictions. Pellicer arranged a meeting in his studio that attracted some twenty Republicans, most of whom were individuals with established professional backgrounds. This sophisticated, middle-class audience was more skeptical of Fanelli's impassioned oratory than the Madrilenos. Probably no more than a handful of young men, mostly students, were inclined to commit themselves to the Italian's Anarchist ideas, but they included Rafael Farga Pellicer, the nephew of Jose Luis, who was to play an important role in establishing the International in Barcelona. By this time, Fanelli was almost out of funds, and after a brief stay in the Catalan seaport, he departed for Marseilles.
Guiseppi Fanelli never returned to Spain. He died only eight years later, a victim of tuberculosis at the age of forty-eight. Like so many young Italians of his day, Fanelli had given up a promising career as an architect and engineer to work for the revolution, at first serving under Garibaldi and later as an emissary of Mazzini. With the victory of the national cause in 1861, he became a deputy in the Italian parliament. His official position earned him the traditional free railway pass to travel all over Italy, and the government provided him with a modest pension for the loss of his health as a political prisoner of the Bourbons. He met Bakunin in 1866 at Ischia, only two years before his journey to Spain, and fell completely under the charismatic spell of the Russian revolutionary. For Fanelli, revolution was a way of life, not merely a distant theoretical goal, and his latter years as a
deputy were spent on the railways, preaching social revolution during the day in peasant villages throughout Italy, later returning to sleep in the train at night.
It is doubtful that he fully recognized the scope of his achievement in Spain. Previous attempts to implant Anarchist ideas there go as far back as 1845, when Ramon de la Sagra, a disciple of Proudhon, founded a libertarian journal in Coruna. But the paper. El Porvenir, was soon suppressed by the authorities and Sagra died in exile without exerting any influence in his native country.
Fanelli's achievement was unique and prophetic. Perhaps there is hyperbole in this story as it has come down to us. But even that is important because it shows the passionately imaginative elements that enter into the Spanish yearnings for freedom. And, we shall see, Spain was uniquely susceptible to Anarchist visions of liberation.


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Chapter One: The "Idea" and Spain


Background .


What was the "Idea" , as it was destined to be called, that Guiseppi Fanelli brought to Madrid and Barcelona ? Why did it sink such deep and lasting roots in Spain ?
Few visions of a free society resented than Anarchism . Strictly speaking , anarchy means without authority , rulerless—hence, a stateless society based on self-administration. In the popular mind , the word is invariably equated with chaos , disorder , and terrorist bombings . This could not be more incorrect . Violence and terror are not intrinsic features of Anarchism . There are some Anarchists who have turned to terrorist actions , just as there are others who object to the use of violence as a matter of principle .
Unlike Marxism , with its founders , distinct body of texts , and clearly definable ideology, anarchistic ideals are difficult to fix into a hard and fast credo. Anarchism is a great libidinal movement of humanity to shake off the repressive apparatus created by hierarchical society .It originates in the age-old drive of the oppossed to assert the spirit of freedom, equality, and spontaneity over values and institutions based on authority .This accounts for the enormous atiquity of anarchistic visions , their irrepressibility and continual reemergence in history , particularly in periods of social transition and revolution .The multitude of creeds that surface from this great movement of the social depths are essentially concrete adaptations to a given historical period of more diffuse underlying sentiments , not of eternally fixed doctrines . Just as the values and institiitions of hierarchy have changed over the ages , so too have the anarchic creeds that attempted to dislodge them .
In antiquity , these creeds were articulated by a number of highly sophisticated philosophers, but all the theories were pale reflections of mass upheavals that began with the breakup of the village economy and culminated in millenarian Christianity. Indeed, for cen­ turies, the church fathers were to be occupied with mass heresies that emphasized freedom, equality, and at times, a wild hedonism. The slaves and poor who flocked to Christianity saw the second coming of Christ as a time when "a grain of wheat would bear ten thousand ears," when hunger, illness, coercion, and hierarchy would be banished forever from the earth.
These heresies, which had never ceased to percolate through medieval society, boiled up toward its end in great peasant move­ ments and wildly ecstatic visions of freedom and equality. Some of the medival anarchistic sects were astonishingly modern and affirmed a freedom "so reckless and unqualified," writes Norman Cohn, "that it amounted to a total denial of every kind of restraint." (The specific heresy to which Cohn refers here is the Free Spirit, a hedonistic sect which spread throughout southern Germany during the fourteenth century.) "These people," Cohn emphasizes "could be regarded as remote precursors of Bakunin and Nietzsche—or rather of that Bohemian intelligentsia which during the last half-century has been living from ideas once expressed by Bakunin and Nietzsche in their wilder moments." More typical, however, were the revolutionary peasant move­ ments of the late Middle Ages which demanded village autonomy, the preservation of the communal lands, and in some cases, outright communism. Although these movements reached their apogee in the Reformation, they never disappeared completely; indeed, as late as the twentieth century, Ukranian peasant milifias, led by Nestor Makhno, were to fight White Guards and Bolsheviks alike in the Russian Civil War under Anarchist black flags inscribed with the traditional demand of "Liberty and Land." Anarchistic theories found entirely new forms as revolutionary passions began to surge up in the towns and cities. The word "Anarchist" was first used widely as an epithet against the Enrages, the street orators of Paris, during the Great French Revolution. Al­ though the Enrages did not make demands that would be regarded today as a basic departure from radical democratism, the use of the epithet was not entirely unjustified. The fiery nature of their oratory, their egalitarianism, their appeals to direct action, and their implaca­ ble hatred of the upper classes, menaced the new hierarchy of wealth and privilege reared by the revolution. They were crushed by Robes­ pierre shortly before his downfall, but one of the most able Enrages, Jean Varlet, who managed to escape the guillotine, was to draw the ultimate conclusion from his experiences. "For any reasonable being," he wrote years afterward, "Government and Revolution are incompatible. . . ." The plebian Anarchism of the towns directed its energies against disparities in wealth, but like the peasant Anarchism of the coun­ tryside, its social outlook was diffuse and inchoate. With the emergence of the nineteenth century, these diffuse sentiments and ideas of the past were solidified by the new spirit of scientific rationalism that swept Europe. And for the first time, systematic works on Anarchist theory began to appear.
Perhaps the first man to call himself publicly an "Anarchist" and to present his ideas in a methodical manner was Pierre Joseph Proudhon, whose writings were to exercise a great deal of influence in the Latin countries. Proudhon's use of the word "Anarchist" to designate his views must be taken with reservations. Personally, he was an industrious man with fixed habits and a strong taste for the quietude and pleasantries of domestic life. He was raised in a small town and trained as a printer. The views of this paterfamilias were often limited by the social barriers of a craftsman and provincial, despite his long stays in Paris and other large cities.
This is clearly evident in his writings and correspondence.
Proudhon envisions a free society as one in which small craftsmen, peasants, and collectively owned industrial enterprises negotiate and contract with each other to satisfy their material needs. Exploitation is brought to an end, and people simply claim the rewards of their labor, freely working and exchanging their produce without any compulsion to compete or seek profit. Although these views involve a break with capitalism, by no means can they be regarded as com­ munist ideas, a body of views emphasizing publicly owned property and a goal in which human needs are satisfied without regard to the contribution of each individual's labor.
Despite the considerable influence Spanish Anarchists have attri­ buted to Proudhon, his mutualist views were the target of many attacks by the early Spanish labor movement. The cooperativist movement, perhaps more authentically Proudhonian than Anarchist, raised many obstacles to the revolutionary trajectory of the Spanish Anarchist movement. As "cooperativists," the mutualists were to seek a peaceful and piecemeal erosion of capitalism. The Anarchists, in turn, were to stress the need for militant struggle, general strike, and insurrection.
Nevertheless, Proudhon, more than any writer in his day, was responsible for the popularity of federalism in the Socialist and Anarchist movements of the last century. In his vision of a federal society, the different municipalities join together into local and re­ gional federations, delegating little if any "power to a central government .They deal with common administrative problems and fay to adjudicate their differences in an amicable manner. Proudhon, in fact, sees no need for a centralized administration and at times seems to be calling for the total abolition of the state.
Although his style is vigorous and often ringing, Proudhon's temperament, methods, and his emphasis on contractiial relations can hardly be called revolutionary, much less anarchistic. Nevertheless, his theories were to have enormous influence in France and on the Iberian Peninsula.
Mutiialism and Proudhon's ideas became firmly rooted in Spain through the work of a young Catalan, Francisco Pi y Margall. In 1854 Pi published Reaction y Revolution, a work that was to exersice a pro­ found influence on radical thought in Spain. Pi had been a bank clerk in Madrid who, in his spare hours, combined occasional ventures into journalism with the authoring of several books on art. Although he was not an Anarchist and was never to become one, his book contains thrusts against centralized authority and power that could have easily come from Bakunin's pen. "Every man who has power over anoth­ er " writes the young Catalan, "is a tyrant." Further: "I shall divide and subdivide power; I shall make it changeable and go on destroying it." The similarity between these statements and Proudhon s views has led some writers to regard Pi as a disciple of the Frenchman .
Actually, it was Hegel who initially exercised the greatest influence on Pi's thought in the early 1850s. The Hegelian notion of lawful social development and "unity in variety" were the guiding concepts in Pi's early federalist ideas. It was not until later that the Catalan tiimed increasingly to Proudhon and shed many of his Hegelian ideas. Although keenly sympathetic to the wretchedness of Spain's poor. Pi shunned the use of revolutionary violence. Their living con­ ditions, he argued, could best be improved by reformistic and gradualistic measures. .. The book caused a great stir among the Spanish radical intelligentsia. To many. Federalism seemed like the ideal solution to Spain's mounting social problems. The men whom Fanelli addresse in Madrid and Barcelona were largely Federalists, as were most of the Republicans in the two cities. Federalist ideas had become so wide­ spread in Spain, in fact, that its supporters were to provide the most important intellectual recruits to the Anarchist movement.
Mutiialism became the dominant social philosophy both of the radical Spanish Republicans of the 1860s and of the Parisian Com­ munards of 1871. But it was largely due to the work of a famous revolutionary exile—the "Garibaldi of Socialism," as Gerald Brenan calls him—that the collectivist and Federalist elements in Proudhon's theories were given a revolutionary thrust—and were carried into Spain as a fiery anarchistic ideal


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Mikhail Bakunin

The man who was most successful in providing the vast plebian elements of Spanish Anarchism with a coherent body of ideas was neither a Spaniard nor a plebian, but a Russian aristocrat, Mikhail Bakunin. Although a century has passed since his death, he remains one of the most controversial, littie known, and maligned figures in the history of the nineteenth-century revolutionary movements. He enjoys none of the posthumous honors that are heaped on Marx. To this day, nearly all accounts of his life and ideas by non-Anarchist writers are streaked with malice and hostility. His name still conjures up images of violence, rapine, terrorism, and flaming rebellion. In an age that has made the cooptation of dead revolutionaries into a fine art, Bakunin enjoys the unique distinction of being the most deni­ grated revolutionary of his time.
That the mere appearance of Bakunin would have evoked a sense of menace is attested by every description his contemporaries hand down to us. All portray him in massive strokes: an immensely tall, heavy man (Marx described him as a "bullock"), with a tousled, leonine mane, shaggy eyebrows, a broad forehead, and a heavily bearded face with thick Slavic features. These gargantuan traits were matched by an ebullient personality and an extraordinary amount of energy. The urbane Russian exile, Alexander Herzen, leaves us with a priceless description of the time when Bakunin, already approach­ing fifty, stayed at his home in London. Bakunin, he tells us, argued, preached, gave orders, shouted, decided, arranged, organized, exhorted, the whole day, the whole night, the whole twenty-four hours on end. In the brief moments which remained, he would throw himself down on his desk, sweep a small space clear of tobacco ash, and begin to write five, ten, fifteen letters to Semipalatinsk and Arad, to Belgrade, Moldavia, and White Russia. In the middle of a letter he would throw down his pen in order to refute some reactionary Dalmatian; then, with­ out finishing his speech, he would seize his pen and go on writing. . . .
His activity, his appetite, like all his other characteristics—even his gigantic size and continual sweat — were of superhuman propor­tions. . . .
This was written after the weary, politically disillusioned Herzen had parted company with the exuberant revolutionary. Nevertheless the description gives us an image of the sheer elemental force that emanated from Bakunin, qualities which were to carry him through trials that would have easily crushed ordinary men. Bakunin's force-fulness, overbearing as it was to Herzen, was softened by a natural simplicity and an absence of pretension and malice which verged on
childlike innocence. Like so many Russian exiles at the time, Bakunin was kindly and generous to a fault. There were some who exploited these traits for dubious ends, but there were others (among them, young Italian, Spanish, and Russian revolutionaries) who, strongly attracted by the warmth of his personality, were to turn to him for moral inspiration throughout his life.
He was born in May 1814, in Premukhina, a moderately large estate 150 miles northwest of Moscow. A nobleman whose mother was connected by lineage to the ruling circles of Russia, Bakunin abandoned a distasteful military career and the prospect of genteel stagnation on his family estate for a life of wandering and revolution­ ary activity in Europe. The year 1848 found him in Paris, later in Prague, and finally in Dresden, where he literally journeyed from one insurrection to another in his appetite for action. From May 1849 he was bandied about from one prison to another—Saxon, Austrian, and Russian—before escaping from Siberia to arrive in London in 1863.
Up to the 1860s Bakunin had essentially been a revolutionary ac­tivist, loosely adhering to the radical democratic and nationalist views of the day. It was in London, and especially during a long stay in Italy, that he began to formulate his Anarchist views. In the thirteen years of life remaining before him, he never ceased to be the barricade fighter of 1848 and was involved repeatedly in revolutionary plots, but it was also in this period that he developed the most mature of his theoretical ideas.
Bakunin's Anarchism converges toward a single point: unre­stricted freedom. He brooks no compromise with this goal, and it permeates all of his mature writings. "I have in mind the only liberty worthy of that name," he writes, liberty consisting in the full development of all the material, intellectual, and moral powers latent in every man; a liberty which does not recognize any other restrictions but those which are traced by the laws of our nature, which, properly speaking, is tantamount to saying that there are no restrictions at all, since these laws are not imposed upon us by some outside legislator standing above us or alongside us. These laws are immanent, inherent in us; they constitute the very basis of our being, material as well as intellectual and moral; and instead of finding in them a limit to our liberty we should regard them as its effective reason.
The "immanent" and "inherent" laws that form the basis of human nature, however, do not lead to a rabid individualism that sees social life as a restriction; Bakunin emphatically denies that indi­viduals can live as asocial "egos." People want to be free in order to fulfill themselves, he argues, and to fulfill themselves they must live
with others in communities. If these communities are not distorted by property, exploitation, and authority, they tend to approach a cooperative and humanistic equilibrium out of sheer common in­terest.
Bakunin's criticism of capitalism leans heavily on the writings of Marx. He never ceased to praise Marx for his theoretical contributions to revolutionary theory, even during their bitter conflicts within the International. The basic disagreement between Marx and Bakunin centers around the social role of the state and the effects of centralism on society and on revolutionary organizations. Although Marx shared the Anarchist vision of a stateless society—the "ultimate goal" of Marxian communism,in fact, is a form of anarchy—he regards the historical role of the state as "progressive" and sees centralization as an advance over localism and regionalism. Bakunin emphatically dis­ agrees with this viewpoint. The state, he admits, may be "historically necessary" in the sense that its development was unavoidable during humanity's emergence from barbarism, but it is an "historically necessary evil, as necessary in the past as its complete extinction will be necessary sooner or later, just as necessary as primitive bestiality and theological divagations were necessary in the past." The point is that Bakunin, in contrast to Marx, continually em­phasizes the negative aspects of the state:
Even when it commands the good, it makes this valueless by command­ ing it; for every command slaps liberty in the face; as soon as this good is commanded, it is transformed into an evil in the eyes of true (that is, human, by no means divine) morality, of the dignity of man, of lib­erty. . . .
This intensely moral judgment plays an important role in Baku­nin's outlook, indeed, in Anarchism generally. Human beings, to Bakunin, are not "instruments" of an abstraction called "history";
they are ends in themselves, for which there are no abstract substi­tutes. If people begin to conceive themselves as "instruments" of any kind, they may well become a means rather than an end, and modify the course of events in such a way that they never achieve freedom.
In erroneously prejudging themselves and their "function," they may ignore opportunities that could lead directly to liberation or that could create favorable social conditions for freedom later.
With this existential emphasis, Bakunin departs radically from Marxism, which continually stresses the economic preconditions for freedom and often smuggles in intensely authoritarian methods and institutions for advancing economic development. Bakunin does not ignore the important role of technology in ripening the conditions for freedom, but he feels that we cannot say in advance when these conditions are ripe or not. Hence we must continually strive for com­plete freedom lest we miss opportunities to achieve it or, at least, prepare the conditions for its achievement.
These seemingly abstract theoretical differences between Marx and Bakunin lead to opposing conclusions of a very concrete and practical nature. For Marx, whose concept of freedom is vitiated by preconditions and abstractions, the immediate goal of revolution is to seize political power and replace the bourgeois state by a highly cen­tralized "proletarian" dictatorship. The proletariat must thus or­ganize a mass centralized political party and use every means, includ­ing parliamentary and electoral methods, to enlarge its control over society. For Bakunin, on the other hand, the immediate goal of re­volution is to extend the individual's control over his or her own life;
hence revolution must be directed not toward the "seizure of power" but its dissolution. A revolutionary group that turns into a political party, structuring itself along hierarchical lines and participating in elections, Bakunin warns, will eventually abandon its revolutionary goals. It will become denatured by the needs of political life and finally become coopted by the very society it seeks to overthrow.
From the outset, then, the revolution must destroy the state ap­paratus: the police, the army, the bureaucracy. If violence is neces­sary, it must be exercised by the armed revolutionary people, or­ganized in popular militias. The revolutionary movement, in turn, must try to reflect the society it is trying to create. If the movement is to avoid turning into an end in itself, into another state, complete conformity must exist between its means and ends, between form and content. Writing on the structure of the International, Bakunin insists that it must differ essentially from state organization. Just as much as the state is authoritarian, artificial, and violent, alien, and hostile to the natural development of the people's interests and instincts, so must the organi­zation of the International be free and natural, conforming in every re­spect to those interests and instincts.
Accordingly, in the last years of the International, Bakunin was to oppose Marx's efforts to centralize the movement and invest virtually commanding powers in its General Council (*1) .
Bakunin places strong emphasis on the role of spontaneity in the revolution and in revolutionary activity. If people are to achieve free­dom, if they are to be revolutionized by the revolution, they must make the revolution themselves, not under the tutelage of an all-knowing political party. Bakunin also recognizes, however, that a revolutionary movement is needed to (Stalyze revolutionary possibilities into realities, to foster a revolutionary development by means of propaganda, ideas, and programs. The revolutionary movement, he believes, should be organized in small groups of dedi­cated "brothers" (the word recurs often in his discussion of organiza­tion) who single-mindedly pursue the task of fomenting revolution.
His emphasis on smallness is motivated partly by the need for secrecy that existed in the southern European countries of his day, partly also by his desire to foster intimacy within the revolutionary movement.
For Bakunin, a revolutionary organization is a community of per­sonally involved brothers and sisters, not an apparatus based on bureaucracy, hierarchy, and programmatic agreement. More so than any of the great revolutionaries of his day, Bakunin sought a concor­dance between the life-style and goals of the revolutionary movement . He was unique in his appreciation of revolution as a festival.
Kecalling his experiences in Paris, shortiy after the 1848 revolution he writes :"I breathed through all my senses and through all my pores the intoxica­tion of the revolutionary atmosphere. It was a festival without beginning nor end; I saw everyone and I saw no one, for each individual was lost in the same innumerable and wandering crowd; I spoke to everyone with­ out remembering either my own words or those of others, for my atten­tion was absorbed by new events and objects and by unexpected news.
Bakunin's emphasis on conspiracy and secrecy can be under­stood only against the social background of Italy, Spain, and Russia the three countries in Europe where conspiracy and secrecy were matters of sheer survival. In contrast to Marx, who greatly ad­mired the well-disciplined, centralized German proletariat, Bakunin placed his greatest hopes for social revolution on the Latin countries.
He foresaw the danger of the embourgeoisement of the industrial proletariat and warned of its consequences. Following a predisposition to mistrust stable, complacent, institiitionalized classes in society, Bakunin turned increasingly to decomposing, precapitalist classes of the kind that prevailed in Russia and southern Europe; landless peas­ants, workers with no stake in society, artisans faced by ruin, foot­ loose declasse intellectuals and students. Marx regarded the formation of a stable industrial working class as a precondition for social revolu­tion. Bakunin, however, saw in this process the ruin of all hopes for a genuinely revolutionary movement—and in this respect he proved deeply prophetic.
Bakunin was not a communist. He may have recognized that economic development in his day did not admit of the communist precept, "From each according to his ability; to each according to his needs." In any case he accepted Proudhon's notion that the satisfac­tion of material needs would have to be tied to the labor contributed by each individual. Bakunin also closely followed Proudhon's federalist approach to social organization. But in contrast to the French mutualist, he regarded the collective, and not the indepen­dent artisan, as the basic social unit. He was sharply critical of Proudhonian mutualists who conceive society as the result of the free contract of individuals absolutely independent of one another and entering into mutual rela­tions only because of the convention drawn up among them. As if these men had dropped from the skies, bringing with them speech, will, origi­nal thought, and as if they were alien to anything of the earth, that is, anything having social origins.
In time this view acquired the name "Collectivist Anarchism" to distinguish it both from Proudhonian mutualism and, later, from the "Anarchist Communism" propounded by Peter Kropotkin. (For a discussion of Kropotkin's Communist views, see pp. 115-116 below.) A mere sketch of Bakunin's theories does not capture the flavor of his writings, the animating spirit that catapulted his personality into the foreground of nineteenth-century radical history. Although a deeply humane and kindly man (indeed because of his intrinsic humanity and kindness) Bakunin did not shrink from violence. He faced the problem with disarming candor and refused to dilute the need for violence—and the reality of the violence which the ruling classes practiced daily in their relations with the oppressed—with a hypocritical stance of moral outrage. "The urge to destroy," he wrote as a young man, "is also a creative urge." His writings exude a sense of violent rebellion against authority, of unrestrained anger against in­ justice, of fiery militancy on behalf of the exploited and oppressed.
There can be little question that he lived this spirit with consistency and great personal daring.
Beneath the surface of Bakunin's theories lies the more basic revolt of the community principle against the state principle, of the social principle against the political principle. Bakuninism, in this respect, can be traced back to those subterranean currents in humanity that have tried at all times to restore community as the structural unit of social life. Bakunin deeply admired the traditional collectivistic as­pects of the Russian village, not out of any atavistic illusions about the past, but because he wished to see industrial society pervaded by its atmosphere of mutual aid and solidarity. Like virtually all the intellec­tuals of his day, he acknowledged the importance of science as a means of promoting eventual human betterment; hence the embat­tled atheism and anticlericalism that pervades all his writings. By the same token, he demanded that the scientific and technological re­sources of sodety be mobilized in support of social cooperation, free­ dom, and community, instead of being abused for profit, competitive advantage, and war. In this respect, Mikhail Bakunin was not behind his times, but a century or more ahead of them.
To the young revolutionary Spaniards of the 1860s, to the militant workers of Barcelona and the restive land laborers of Andalusia, the ideas propounded by Bakunin seemed to crystallize all their vague feelings and thoughts into an inspired vision of truth. He provided them with a coherent body of ideas that answered admirably to their needs: a vigorous federalism revolutionary in its methods, and a radi­cal collectivism rooted in local initiative and decentralist social forms.
Even his militant atheism seemed to satisfy the strong wave of anti­clerical feeling that was surging through Spain. The prospect of participating in the work of the International held the promise of linking their destinies to a worldwide cause of historic dimensions. Finally, Spain had been prepared for Bakunin's theories not only sodally, but also intellectually. If Bakuninist Anarchism was new to Fanelli's audi­ence, some of its elements, such as federalism, were familiar topics of discussion in Madrid and Barcelona.
No less important than Bakunin's federalist ideas were his atheis­tic views and his attacks on clericalism. We shall see that the Spanish church had become the strongest single prop of absolutism and reac­tion in the early nineteenth century, later rallying around the Carlist line (the reactionary pretenders to the Spanish throne) and the most conservative trends in political life. The collusion between the Catholic hierarchy and the Spanish ruling classes had completely "undermined the prestige of fhe clergy among the working classes," writes Elena de La Souchere, "and brought about a de-Christianization of the masses which is in fact the essential phenomenon of the history of Spain in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The Spanish bourgeoisie had constructed a per­fect city from which the plebians, kept beyond the walls, enveloped the clergy in the hate they bore the institutions and castes which were admitted to that closed city." Accordingly, as early as 1835, anger against Carlist atrocities in the north had led to church burnings in many large towns of Spain.
The monks were detested as parasites and the higher echelons of the hierarchy were seen as simply the clerical equivalents of wealthy secular landowners and bourgeois. They were hated all the more fervently because of their religious pretensions and their invocations of humility and the virtues of poverty.
Bakunin's emphasis on collectivism, so much stronger than Proudhon's, had a particularly wide appeal to the dispossessed rural classes. It conformed admirably to their sense of the patria chica, the autonomous village world that had been deserted by the ruling clas­ses for a comfortable life in the larger provincial cities.
Similarly, the Robin Hood mentality that permeates so much of Bakunin's thought and, in its own way, forms a conspicuous trait of his own life, doubtless had a strong appeal in areas like Andalusia where the peasantry had come to venerate the social bandit as an avenger of injustice. In this land of the "permanent guerrilla"—a figure that reaches as far back as the Moorish invasion—the lonely band, striking a blow for freedom, had become especially dear to the rural poor and nourished a multitude of local myths and legends.
Finally, Bakunin's appeal to direct action found a wealth of prece­dents in village and urban uprisings. Lacking even a modicum of protection by the law, the Spanish people increasingly relied on their own action for the redress of grievances. We shall see that the use of the ballot in Spain was to become meaningless, even after universal suffrage had been introduced. In many Spanish villages, local politi­cal bosses, the caciques (generally, landowners, but often lawyers and priests) held absolute control over political life. Using their econorhic power and, where necessary, outright coercion, the caciques appointed all the local officials of their districts and "delivered the vote" to polit­ical parties of their choice. This scandalous system of undisguised political manipulation, combined with the repeated coups d'etat—the notorious pronunciamientos—of Spanish military officers, created an atmosphere of widespread cynicism toward electoral activity. The Spanish people did not have to be convinced by a Russian aristocrat that the state was the private domain of the ruling classes; their edu­cation came directly from the arrogant land magnates and bourgeoisie of their own country.
Thus, the fact that Guiseppi Fanelli could have scored an im­ mediate triumph in Madrid may have been unique, but it need hardly seem too surprising. The views he brought with him did not require elaborate theoretical explanation. It sufficed for his audience to grasp mere shreds of Bakunin's ideas to feel a living affinity between their sodal problems in Spain and the passionate ideas of the Russian exile in Geneva.

Note (*1) Perhaps the greatest single failing of Bakunin is his inconsistency in translating his avowed organizational precepts into practice. For a discussion of this problem, see pp. 46-50 below.


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Chapter Two:
The Topography of Revolution


We must now try to see how remarkably well Bakunin's ideas suited the needs of a revolutionary workers' and peasants' movement in Spain.
To nineteenth-century liberalism, the problems of Spain could be reduced to a classic formula: a backward agrarian country, faced with the tasks of land reform, industrial development, and the creation of a middle-class democratic state. The parallel with France on the eve of the Great Revolution is unmistakable: a liberal bourgeoisie, demand­ing a governing voice in the state; an absolute monarchy, passing into an advanced state of decomposition; a stagnant nobility, lost in dar­kening memories of its past grandeur; a reactionary church, steeped in medievalism; and a savagely exploited working class and im­ poverished, land-hungry peasantry. The consciousness of this paral­lel, almost bordering on fatalism, was so strong that Spanish political factions often modeled themselves on Jacobins, Girondins, Royalists, and Bonapartists.
But there were many profound differences between Spain in the nineteenth century and France in the eighteenth. Some of them, such as the emergence of a modern industrial proletariat, could be explained by the passage of time. Others, however, were peculiar to Spain, and had few historical precedents. It is these differences that account for the extraordinary popularity of Bakunin's Anarchism below the Pyrenees.
The most striking characteristic of the Iberian Peninsula is its startling variety—its variety of landscapes, land tenure, cultural fea­tures, and social forms. It is the sudden changes in topography that catch the attention of a traveler in Spain. Within a few hours, one can pass from green, rolling country, with well-watered soil and abun­dant crops, to baked, arid plains, more reminiscent of North Africa than of Europe. "The north western provinces," observed an English traveler a century ago, "are more rainy than Devonshire, while the centre plains are more calcined than those of the deserts of Arabia, and the littoral south or eastern coasts altogether Algerian." For Spain, this has meant not only different forms of land tenure, but different types of agrarian unrest. In the well-watered mountain­ ous north, the agricultural economy had long solidified around small, well-tended farms, based on mixed crops and dairy produce. Here, the democratic traditions of pre-Moslem Spain were firmly rooted, and independent peasants, tenants, and rentiers mixed on an easy, almost egalitarian basis. The long heritage of communal life, almost neolithic in origin, had produced a deeply conservative outlook whose spiritual focus was the church and whose anti-Christ was the emerging industrial world with its unsettling values, its startling pro­ducts, and its invasive claims on village autonomy. The small, duncolored villages of this great northern region, each hugging its hilltop or mountain ledge like a fortress, lived out their fixed cycles of daily life by the incantations of dogmatic, often fanatical priests and by codes that often went beyond the memory of the most venerable myths.
By the nineteenth century, these villages had emerged from lethargy and isolation to face a world of social and economic upheav­ al. In their volatile response, revolt took the anachronistic form of permanent counterrevolution. United by a passionate Catholicism, by an embattled sense of local independence, and by deeply rooted communal and patriarchal traditions, the peasantry of the northern mountains provided the largest single reservoir of political reaction in Spain. In the years to follow, these parochial villages produced wave after wave of peasant militia—fearsome men armed with scythes, cudgels, and antique guns—led by village priests with a sinister repu­tation for butchery. The first of these waves rolled against Napoleon, who personified not only the traditional French invader but also the detested French Revolution. Later, in two bloody civil wars, the northern peasantry took up arms in support of the Carlist line. We shall see that as the nineteenth century drew to a close, new social forces were to dilute this reservoir of reaction with liberal, even Socialist, ideals; nevertheless, it was from the small landowners of the mountains of Navarre and nearby areas that General Franco was to recruit the most enthusiastic domestic masses for his infantry in 1936.
If the north could be regarded as the reactionary Vendee of the French Revolution, the Meseta could be regarded as its moderate Gironde. On this great, treeless, windswept plateau of central Spain, reaction shaded into a cautious liberalism. From the time of the Reconquest, when the Moors were driven from the Iberian Peninsula, the Castilians of the central Meseta have regarded themselves as the wellsprings of Spanish culture and the indisputable heirs of the Spanish state. All other inhabitants of Spain are viewed as social inferiors. Yet rarely in history has a "master race" been confined to a more inhospitable region of the country under its control. The Meseta has a harsh, erratic climate. Its soil, in the absence of irrigation works, is poor and demanding. During Fanelli's day, a traveler would have found all the conditions for chronic agrarian revolts: large estates, owned by absentee aristocrats and newly rich bourgeois, existing side by side with small, wretched farms. Usury and land speculation bur­ dened the plateau to a point where many of the lesser nobility were reduced to the material status of a peasant. A larp population of tenant families, working the land under precarious, short-term leases, eked out a miserable subsistence livelihood and were totally indifferent to the needs of the soil.
But this potential for agrarian revolt rarely exploded mto a major uprising. In contrast to the north, where the church had shrewdly deflected peasant dissatisfaction into reactionary channels, on the Meseta, chauvinism served more as a political instrument of the cent­ral government in Madrid (and here any comparisons with the French Girondins end) than as the foundations of a coherent reactionary ideology. Nearly all social classes, wealthy and poor, upheld the supremacy of the central government over Carlism and regionalism, but beyond this chauvinistic umbrella, allegiances tended to follow economic lines. The landed aristocracy of the Meseta,like its peers elsewhere in Spain, remained Catholic and conservative, the rural bourgeoisie tended to support the policies of moderate liberalism, when social unrest did not stampede it into reactionary causes. The great mass of peasants and tenants were politically inert throughout most of the nineteenth century, the objects of manipulation by the large landowners; eventually, however, they drifted into orderly, bureaucratic Socialist unions.
All further analogies with the French Revolution come to an end the moment one passes southward through the Sierra Morena, one of the most important mountain barriers in Spain. North of the Morena lies classical Spain: stern, morally rigid, obsessed by an unyieldmg sense of responsibility and duty. To the south lies Andalusia: easy­ going, pleasure-loving, and delightfully impulsive. This large, populous region had been successively colonized by Phoenicians, Greeks, Carthaginians, Romans, German barbarian tribes, and Moors. The Moors held Andalusia for nearly five centuries and left behind a hedonistic tradition that survived the Holy Inquisition, the auto-da-fe, and the rule of sullen Castilian bureaucrats. The Romans, who held the region even longer than the Moors, left behind the latifundium, a plantation economy based on gang labor and bestial conditions of exploitation.
The latifundium could well be described as the agrarian ulcer of the Mediterranean world and in many respects bears comparison with the plantation economy of the antebellum American South. His­ torically rooted in slavery, the two shared identical traditions of labor management and common forms of land tenure. In the cotton dis­tricts around Seville, even the crops were the same. Most of the Andalusian latifundia cultivated olives, grapes, and grain—the typi­cal crop pattern of Mediterranean agriculture. The long rainless summers of the region posed formidable problems of moisture con­servation. In the absence of agricultural machinery, specially adapted to dry farming, large tracts of land had to be left fallow and sown for crops every second or third year. The largest estates tended to con­gregate in the Guadalquiver valley, the huge triangular basin that lies between the Sierra Morena and the mountain chains of the southern coast. It was here, in the best lands of the most fertile districts of Andalusia, that one found the largest holdings, the immense masses of gang labor, and those grotesque economic contrasts that gave the region its reputation for misery and agrarian rebellion.
In Andalusia, as far back as Roman times, two classes stood op­posed to each other: the land magnates and a huge population of landless laborers. If the land magnate lived on his estate, his presence was feared by all. If he liyed in the cities, as was so often the case, the task of managing his properties was left to stewards who mercilessly extracted every bit of labor from the gang workers beneath them.
Between this handful of land magnates and the great mass of landless there existed a chasm that few of the institutions of official Spain could bridge. The church alone had been capable of doing so, but with its declining influence in the latter part of the nineteenth cen­tury, the last links were broken. It was here, on these immense es­tates of the south, that Spanish Anarchism was to find massive popu­lar support.
To the west of the Meseta, in Estremadura, a traveler found a wild arid region stretching from the central plateau to the Portuguese fron­tier. Most of the land was held by a few absentee owners and culti­vated by the yunteros, a class of rural proletarians who owned nothing but their mule teams. Work was seasonal, often uncertain, and re­warded by pittances. Further northward in Galicia, Spain's wes­ternmost province, rural life had sunk to an incredibly low material level. If Andalusia was the land of the latifundium, Galicia could be called the land of the minifundium, of plots so small that they could scarcely support a single family. Turning to the east, along the
Mediterranean coastal region, the provinces of Valencia and Murcia (the Spanish Levant) included irrigated vegas (plains) which were parceled into small prosperous holdings of orange growers and in­ land mountain areas stricken by bitter poverty. Politically, the land­ lords of the vegas vacillated between the Liberal and Conservative parties. The peasants of the mountain region were destined to pro­vide some of the most militant Anarchists in Spain.
The uniformity of these major agricultural regions, however, is more apparent than real. Within Andalusia, for example, mountain districts contained mostly small holdings and communally owned pasture. In the lowlands there were many small farmsteads, worked by peasant owners and tenants. In the mountainous north, the high­ lands of Aragon, supported the impoverished sheepherders of the Maestrazzo—people who were to be drawn to Carlism not because they shared the material prosperity of their northern brethren, but on the contrary, because they did not. In the steppe country of Aragon, the hronic material poverty generated by a combination of large estates, usury, and land hunger provided a hospitable climate for Anarchism. In the vegas of the south, Granada was to form an enclave of socialism, despite the surrounding Anarchist sentiment of the rural laborers, while in the reactionary mountainous north, islands of Anarchists and Anarchosyndicalist unions were to emerge in distant Galicia, in Asturias, and in the wine-growing districts of the upper Ebro valley. . .
Spain, however, is a land of startling contrasts not only in its geography and land tenure. The contrasts extend also to cultures which, in the case of the Basques and Catalans, verge on fairly dis­tinct nations. The Basques occupy the Atlantic area of the north form­ing a corner with France, in which live another sizeable portion of their people. Basque is an ancient language unrelated to any other in Europe. A deeply pious, outwardly stern people, whose sense of self-discipline is relaxed in buoyant songs and satiric pantomines, the Basques succeeded in holding firmly to their independence and unique ways of life for centuries. Economically oriented toward Atlantic Europe, they managed to resist Latinization and only nominally fell under Roman rule. During the Middle Ages, they successfully kept Visigothic, Frankish, and Moorish invaders from occupying their an­ cestral lands. For two centuries, between the tenth and thirteenth, nearly all the Basques of Spain were united in the Navarrese kingdom—the Christian kingdom that played so large a part in the reconquest of the Iberian Peninsula from the Moors.
The advance of the Castilian state in the Meseta gradually pared away their liberties, driving them into unsuccessful revolts and finally into the Carlist camp. In the meantime, their ports began to grow and their trade with Europe expanded steadily. Bilboa, owing to its pro­ximity to high-grade iron-ore mines and the Asturian coal fields, soon became the most important steel-producing city in Spain. Basque financiers played a leading role in all phases of the Spanish economy and Basque shipping magnates succeeded in gathering the bulk of Spanish merchant tonnage into their hands. This industrial and fi­nancial bourgeoisie, one of the most modern and businesslike in Spain, soon began to subsidize a moderate nationalist movement— devoutly Catholic in religion, liberal in economic policy, reformist in social program and politics. The Basque working class, recruited largely from the conservative peasantry of the coastal mountains, was never infused with the kind of revolutionary fervor that emanated from Barcelona. Although some steel workers turned to Anarchosyn­dicalism, the majority of the Basque workers divided their loyalties between Catholic and Sodalist unions.
Traditionally oriented toward the north, beyond the Pyrenees, Catalonia was never an organic part of Spain. Rather, it belonged to the vigorous, progressive langue d'oc civilization of southern France, and northern Italy. The Catalan language is akin to Provencal, not to Spanish, although both are Latin tongues. The "crusade" against the Albigensian heresy in the thirteenth century shattered this colorful world but left many of its cultural roots intact. Definitively separated from France, their trade ruined by the Turkish conquest of Constan­tinople, the Catalans were compelled to turn away from the north and look toward the Iberian Peninsula. They never liked what they saw. A sophisticated merchant people, with an urbane cultural lineage of their own, the Catalans never ceased to harbor separatist tendencies. By the early nineteenth century, the centrifugal forces created by culture were reinforced by industrial development. At a point in history when all the institutions of the Castilian state in Madrid were in visible decomposition, a viable industrial bourgeoisie and proletariat had emerged not in the center of Spain, but on its periphery. The Basque country and Catalonia each presented economic, political, and cultural demands that threatened to under­ mine the entire traditional structure of Spain as it had been known since the Reconquest.
Even more threatening to the centralized state than regional nationalism is the intense localism of Spanish social life: the patria chica (literally, "small fatherland"), an almost untranslatable term that denotes the. village and its immediate region—in short, the living arena of the rural Spaniard's world.
The Spanish word for village is pueblo. Pueblo also means "people," and this is by no means accidental. J.A. Pitt-Rivers, who devoted years of study to Spanish village life in Andalusia, notes that "the Greek word (orpolis far more nearly translates 'pueblo' than any English word, for the community is not merely a geographical or political unit, but the unit of society in every context. The pueblo furnishes a completeness of human relations which make it the prime concept of all social thought.(*1)"
For the traditional pueblo, this completeness involved not only a deep sense of moral unity, common purpose, and mutual aid, but also a body of rights, orfueros, which defined the community's au­tonomy in local affairs and protected it from the encroachment of outside authority. Many fueros were born from the needs of the Reconquest, when the kings of Spain granted local privileges for milit­ ary aid against the Moors. Others were granted by the monarchy in order to gain municipal support against intractable nobles and milit­ ary orders. But there were fueros, such as those of the Basques, which were never "granted" at all, indeed, which go back to a far-distant time when chiefs and later monarchs were democratically elected by popuftr village assemblies. Elena de La Souchere observes that the Moorish invasion, by shattering the Romano-Germanic state, indi­ rectly fostered the resurrection of these very early social forms. The Iberians of the northern mountains who had successfully resisted Roman, German, and Moorish influence were destined not only to spearhead the Reconquest, "but to perfect and even bring back to other parts of the country their peculiar institutions and customs.
That the fueros retained their vitality after the Reconquest was due, ironically, to the nature of the Spanish monarchy and to its impact on economic life. The immense wealth that Spain had acquired from her empire did not go to the Spanish middle classes. It filled the coffers of the absolutist monarchy (perhaps the earliest of its kind in modern times) and was eventually dissipated in imperial adventures to con­trol Europe and the peninsula. This steady drain of potential capital, of resources that might have been invested in industrial develop­ment, led to the contraction of domestic trade and the decay of the Spanish bourgeoisie.
Marx, who understood Spain better than many of his Spanish disciples, notes that as commerce and industry declined and as the early bourgeois towns began to stagnate, "internal exchanges became rare the mingling of different provinces less frequent, and the great roads gradually deserted." This sweeping economic decline in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries greatly strengthened the local life of the pueblos and regions. Spain and the Spanish state began to acquire inefiable qualities. Although the monarchy had all the trap­pings of absolutism, its control over the country was often nominal or nonexistent. Spain could be defined with geographic exactitude on a map in periods of peace, but an invader soon found, much to his chagrin, that it dissolved into many Spains in times of war. Marx shrewdly observes that Napoleon, who regarded Spain "as an inani­mate corpse," was astonished to find "that when the Spanish State was dead, Spanish society was full of life, and every part of it over­ flowing with powers of resistance." The fueros, which this unique development fostered, helped to provide a sturdiness to the pueblo that no amount of bureaucratic structuring could possibly match. They also generated those cen­trifugal forces that continually threatened the central power, or at least challenged the validity of its functions. What need had Spaniards for a distant, bureaucratic, anonymous state when their pueblos, human in scale, intimate in cohesion, with a comforting sol­idarity and spirit of mutual aid, could meet most of their social and material needs? What need was there for a remote political entity, for vague legal generalities, when the fueros provided Spaniards with highly democratic guidelines for social management? Spaniards graded their allegiances from below to above, from pueblo to locality, from locality to region, and from region to province, reserving the least loyalty, if any still remained, for the centralized state in Madrid.
This intense feeling for community, for the human scale, for self-management, made the Spaniard highly susceptible to libertarian ideas and methods. Transported into an urban environment, this propensity for localism turned the city into a composite oipueblos, the trade union into a patria chica, the factory into a community.


Note (*1).
Which is not to say that Ihe pueblo did not harbor the petty tyrannies of rigid custom, parochialism, superstition, and the more overt tyrannies of the caciques, clergy, and nobility. As we shall see, Spanish Anarchism tried to sift the more positive features of the pueblo from its reactionary social characteris­ tics and rear its concept of the future on the mutualism of village life.


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Chapter Three: The Beginning


The International in Spain

As for the nuclei Fanelli left behind in Spain in 1869, little was heard from them for a time.
Before his departure from Madrid, the Italian had given his admir­ing group of workers a small miscellaneous legacy of written matenal: the statutes of the International, the program and regulations of the Bakuninist Alliance of Social Democracy, the rules of a Swiss workingmen's society, and several radical periodicals which included arti­cles and speeches by Bakunin. These precious texts were carefully studied, discussed, and passed around (presumably in translation), until the fledgling Madrid Anarchists began to feel assured and confident of their views. They called themselves "Internationalists", and were to do so for years, basking in the mounting prestige of the great workers' International north of the Pyrenees.
They also began to write letters to the International's General Council in London, but rarely received a reply. It may have been that i the General Council, dominated by Bakunin's opponent, Karl Marx, was suspicious of the new "official section in Madrid, or it may have been sheer negligence; in any event, the Madrid Internationalists maintained close des with Bakunin and his friends m Geneva, and they began to cast around for support in their own city.
But this raised a difficult question: what could a revolutionary group, oriented toward the working class, hope to achieve m the Spanish capital? Madrid, the administrative center of the Spanish crown, had no proletariat in any modern sense of the word. A new city by Iberian standards, Philip II had turned it into a capital in order to provide the country with a sorely needed geographic and political center. It was not until the eighteenth century, under the Bourbon kings, that Madrid reached sizable proportions. At the time of Fanelli's visit, the capital city of Spain had no industry to speak of. Its proletariat consisted of craftsmen, working by traditional standards in small shops, and its market was composed of petty government officials, courtiers, soldiers, an emerging commerical middle class, and a large number of intellectuals attracted by the University of Madrid and by the city's burgeoning cultural life. Anarchism in the Spanish capital was largely to reflect these social traits. The Madrid organization eventually attracted many intellectuals and became one of the major theoretical centers of the Anarchist movement in Spain.
The early Internationalists in the capital, however, began in con­fusion over their aims and methods. A substantial number of the original group, those who were actually Republicans, Masons, and cooperativists, simply dropped away. The remainder, after sorting out their ideas and the material Fanelli had left behind, began to hold public meetings and attract local attention. The first of these meetings was held in a barn-like warehouse on Valencia Street which the janitor, a newly won supporter by the name of Jalvo, had opened to the Internationalists. Typical of the early enthusiasm and reckless­ness that marked the movement, Jalvo's gesture could have easily jeopardized his job, possibly exposing him to arrest, for the warehouse was a municipal building used to store materials for public festivals. Fortunately, the authorities did not take the movement too seriously, and Jalvo suffered no reprisals.
The Madrid section of the International expanded rapidly. The early meetings also attracted a number of canny Republican orators who were looking for a base in the labor movement and tried to take over the newly formed section. But Fanelli had done his work well, and they were firmly resisted. Faced with these well-attended meet­ings, Lorenzo and his comrades now began the difficult task of giving their movement some organizational coherence. They threw their net far, reaching out to the Masons (whom Lorenzo describes sympathet­ically as "auxiliaries" of the International), cultural groups, mutualaid societies, and even economic liberals. By early 1870—a year after Fanelli's departure—the Madrid section of the International claimed a membership of two thousand and had started publishing a local periodical. La Solidaridad, to propagate its views. This membership figure was probably inflated by the inclusion of many individuals and groups with a very tenuous relationship to the section and with no clear understanding of its revolutionary goals. Yet it is clear that by 1870 the Anarchist movement was firmly rooted in Madrid.
If success is to be gauged by numerical following, the new move­ ment was even more successful in Barcelona. In contrast to Madrid, the great Catalan seaport was a major textile center, the biggest in Spain, with a large industrial working class. Although Barcelona had been renowned for its cloth products for centuries the industrial de­ velopment of the city in any modern sense of the word did not begin until the late 1840s, when steam-powered cotton factories were widely established. A decade later, engravings show the old port district surrounded by factory chimneys. Most of these concerns were not large; they normally employed between ten and twenty workers and were owned by moderately well-to-do bourgeois families. But there were also spectacular industrial dynasties, such as the Guells, the Muntada brothers, and the Serra brothers, employing thousands of unskilled workers and producing cheap cotton cloth for the villages and towns of Spain.
The average Barcelona factory operative worked long hours and at near-subsistence wages (see pp. 51-52 below), living with his or her family in hovels that often lacked adequate ventilation and sanitary facilities. This degraded way of life, scarred by toil and poverty, was menaced continually by technological unemployment and by lay-offs due to economic slumps. Reduced to an animal level of existence, the Barcelona proletariat seethed with a futile outrage that found partial outlet in "Luddism": the destruction of machinery and factory build­ings. In 1836, during an upsurge of working-class unrest, a Barcelona crowd burned down the Bonaplata factory, a new steam-powered enterprise that produced not only fabrics but textile machinery. Fac­tory burnings and the destruction of self-acting spindles also opened the labor struggles of 1854, but this time Barcelona was swept by a general strike in which workers marched under the slogan, "Associa­tion or Death." The right to form trade unions, denied by law under nearly all the regimes of that period, had now become a paramount demand of the Catalan working class.
Despite the failure of the strike, the movement toward association was irrepressible. This became evident in the mid-1860s when, under the tolerant administration of a Liberal government, underground workers' organizations suddenly surfaced, established two success­ful, widely read newspapers, and in 1865 held an impressive con­gress. The movement was suppressed a year later with the fall of the Liberals, but it thrived below the surface, publicly appearing in such forms as cultural circles and educational societies. Around the time of Fanelli's last visit to Barcelona, the most militant workers' groups were organized around the Federal Center of Workers' Societies (Cen­tra Federal de las Sociedades Obreras). Politically, the Federal Center made common cause with the Republicans, supporting their demand for a federal republic. Economically, it favored privately financed cooperatives. A workers' Congress of over sixty societies, held in Barcelona on December 12-13, 1868, declared its support for these moderate forms and circumspectly avoided any demands that might alienate their Republican allies.
It was on this diffuse labor movement, committed to a bourgeois political alliance, that the Barcelona nucleus of the International went to work. The moving spirit of the nucleus was unquestionably Rafael Farga Pellicer, who had been deeply impressed by Fanelli's speech in his uncle's study. The group of Internationalists formed after the Italian's departure was soon reinforced by new, extremely able people: the physican Caspar Sentinon; Jose Garcia Vinas, a medical student from Malaga; Trinidad Soriano, a technical student; and An­tonio Gonzalez Meneses, an engineering student from Cadiz. By May 1869, the nucleus felt strong enough to constitute itself officially as the Barcelona section of the International Workingmen's Association.
To the call for a "federal democratic republic," issued by the Workers' Congress, the new group replied with a demand for "Socialism," firmly declaring its dissatisfaction with mere reforms and change in government.
Despite this strong expression of intransigence, the Inter­nationalists proceeded slowly and cautiously. A printer by trade, Farga Pellicer attended the Workers' Congress in December, two months prior to Fanelli's second trip to Barcelona; there, he had openly congratulated the delegates on their support for a federal republic and their plan to establish a newspaper! His relations with the Federal Center were excellent and the pages of its newly estab­lished organ. La Federation, were open to the expression of Inter­nationalist opinions. In a letter to Bakunin he describes the basic strategy of the Barcelona nucleus as a threefold approach: to defend Socialism in "a prudent manner" in La Federation, to bring the regula­tions of the Federal Center into accord with the spirit of the Interna­tional, and to strengthen the organizational influence of the nucleus on the workers' societies.
Within a few months, this strategy succeeded. Internationalists were elected presidents of several workers' societies and La Federation essentially became an Internationalist organ, the Barcelona counter­ part of Madrid's La Solidaridad. By 1870, the Federal Center and pre­sumably most of its affiliates declared for the International, bringing thousands of industrial workers into an Anarchist-influenced move­ment. This influence, it should be stressed, was exercised with care.
The great majority of the workers and their leaders were not con­scious Anarchists, certainly not in any revolutionary sense of the word. Indeed, as we shall see later, the entry of the Federal Center into the International was an alliance, not an act of organic unity, between a small group of Anarchist militants and a numerically larger trade-union apparatus. But it foreshadowed a time when Anarchist ideas were to saturate the Spanish labor movement and produce a genuinely revolutionary mass organization based on Anarchosyndicalism.
From Madrid and Barcelona, the ideas of the International began to spread into the provinces of Spain. Newspapers and propagan­dists began to appear in Andalusia, Aragon, the Levant, and in rural areas of Catalonia, the two Castiles, and Galicia. Gradually the movement took hold outside of the two great cities. In February 1870, La Solidaridad issued a call for a national congress of all sections of the International in Spain. After consultations with the Catalans over a suitable place, it was decided to convene at Barcelona in late June.
During those few months before the congress the Anarchists did a great deal of careful planning and preparation. After Fanelli's final departure from Barcelona in the winter of 1869, Farga and Sentinon had carried on a lively correspondence with Bakunin. About a half year later, in September, the two Spaniards attended the worldwide congress of the International in Basel, where Bakunin scored a short­ lived triumph over Marx and his supporters. There, Bakunin not only solidified their adherence to Anarchism but initiated them into a sec­ret group, originally named the "International Brotherhood," which the Russian had formed years earlier during his long sojourn in the heady, conspiratorial atmosphere of Italy. (Although the original "In­ternational Brotherhood" (Fraternit'e Internationale) was formally dis­solved early in 1869, I have retained this name in quotation marks to designate the small group of confidantes who surrounded Bakunin during the later years of his life.) The key role played the various Bakuninist organizations—the "International Brotherhood" and its successor, the Alliance of Social Democracy—in the development of the International in Spain re­quires examination here before proceeding with our account of the planned congress in Barcelona.
Bakunin's "International Brotherhood" has been dealt with deri­sively as a hierarchical, elitist organization which stands in blatant contradiction to his libertarian principles. This contradiction in my view is very real. Bakunin had intended the "International Brother­hood" to be a secret organization of Anarchist militants, led in tightly disciplined fashion by a highly centralized group of initiates—indeed, by what amounted to a revolutionary general staff. The Russian never resolved the need to bring his organizational theories and practices into complete accord with his libertarian social ideals. He seemed quite sincerely to regard both his followers and himself as highly moral and dedicated individuals who could survive the sordid as­pects of organizational life without becoming authoritarians, perhaps even shielding weaker individuals and less committed organizations from the temptations of power and authority. Bakunin's followers often rebelled against this obvious contradiction between theory and practice, forcing the Russian to accede to a looser, more libertarian type of organization. The result is that the "Brotherhood" and its
organizational heirs remained nebulous, shadowy, and never de­veloped a hierarchy; indeed, it is doubtful if its numbers ever ex­ceeded a few score individuals.
The "Brotherhood" was expected to play a guiding role another organization, the Alliance of Social Democracy which Baku­nin's comrades had formed over his objections in 1868, shortly before Fanelli's journey to Spain. Farga Pellicer and Sentinon, in fact, had helped form the Spanish section of the Alliance months before they knew anything about the "Brotherhood." In contrast to the "Brother­hood," this organization was to be an open, public movement and was clearly Anarchist in program despite the apparent innocence of its name. Declaring itself for the abolition of classes, property, and the right of inheritance, the Alliance recognized "no form of state and demanded that "all the political and authoritarian states at pre­sent should be reduced to mere administrative functions of public services."
To Marx, the presiding spirit of the International's General Coun­cil in London, this amounted to a de facto rejection of electoral and political activity, a position he strongly opposed. When the Alliance applied for membership in the International late in 1868, its rejection by the General Council was almost preordained. In order to circum­vent the Council's decision, the Alliance officially dissolved itself , calling upon its sections to become sections of the International. In reality these sections continued to exist as secret Bakuninist nuclei . In Spain, the Alliance essentially became a small underground organiza­tion within the larger, open arena provided by the Spanish sections of the International. By the early summer of 1870, the sections num­bered between twenty and thirty thousand members, with scores of groups in different parts of the country.
In the sixty years following Fanelli's visit, the fortunes of Spanish Anarchism were destined to fluctuate sharply and dramatically. Dur­ing periods of repression, the movement was to contract to a few isolated nuclei of dedicated militants, only to surge forward and em­brace ever larger masses of oppressed. Gradually, Anarchist groups were to take root in a multitude of Andalusian villages as well as in major cities and industrial centers. They were to establish tendrils in the mountain communities of Murcia, in the towns of the Ebro valley , in the remote fishing villages of the Galician coast. Long after the Anarchist movement had waned in the rest of Europe, it was to find a rich soil below the Pyrenees, nourished by the devotion of thousands of workers and peasants. Only the scythe of fascism could remove this wild luxuriant growth from the Iberian Peninsula - and with it the revolutionary passion of Spain.


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The Congress of 1870

On the morning of Sunday, June 18, 1870, about one hundred delegates representing 150 workers' societies in thirty-six localities of Spain convened in the Teatro del Circo of Barcelona for the first congress of the Spanish section of the International. The congress proposed five months earlier by La Solidaridad, the Madrid organ of the International, had now become a reality.
The Teatro was filled to overflowing. The first rows of seats were reserved for delegates, but workers had come in large groups to ex­press their solidarity, occupying every seat, filling the hallways, and spilling out beyond the entrance. A tribune occupied the center of the stage. In the background there was an array of red flags, and over­ head, a large red banner proclaiming in gold letters—"No rights without duties, no duties without rights!"(1*) Tools were decoratively arranged on both wings to symbolize labor and tables were placed on the extremes of the stage for pro tem secretaries of the congress.
The congress was opened by Rafael Farga Pellicer, who appeared suddenly on the deserted stage, rang a hand bell, and extended the following greetings:
"Comrade delegates: those of you who gather here to affirm the great work of the International Workingmen's Association, which contains within itself the complete emancipation of the proletariat and the absolute extirpation of all injustices which have ruled and still rule over the face of the earth; those of you who come to fraternize with the millions of workers, white slaves and black slaves, under the red banner which covers us; dear brothers, in the name of the workers of Barcelona, peace and greetings!"(2*) The hortatory style with its use of superlatives, its largeness of perspective, its intense internationalism, and its high-minded tone, all sincere and very deeply felt, was to be characteristic of Anarchist speeches in Spain. Farga made no attempt to conceal or subdue his radical views. "The state," he declared, "is the guardian and defen­der of the privileges that the Church makes divine. . . . We wish to end the rule of the capital, of the state and of the Church by construct­ing on their ruins Anarchy—the free federation of free associations of workers." The speaker, we are told, was interrupted continually by "formid­ able thunderclaps" and the audience was "visibly moved." An at­ mosphere of "felicity" and enthusiasm pervaded the Teatro, to which greetings from the Swiss and Belgian sections of the International added a sense of historic purpose and worldwide fraternity. In the afternoon, the delegates rose one by one to report on the conditions in their factories. Their accounts leave us a bitter picture of the misery that pervaded the lives of the Spanish workers during the 1870s. The report of Bove, a Barcelona textile worker, is typical. The workers, he tells us, are exploited from five in the morning to late at night.
Women work from ten to fifteen hours for less than a dollar, and in some factories, for as much as eighteen hours for little more than a dollar. Other delegates report that eleven, sixteen, and eighteen hours of daily work are typical in the textile enterprises around Bar­celona and Tarragona. Farres, a delegate of the steam workers, speaks for "a sad and lamentable group in which the capitalists have declared men useless for work and replaced them with women and children. Take this into consideration, for only the man is useful for this [heavy] work and not the women. The men do not know what to do because they were not born to steal but to work.
These harsh realities contrasted starkly with the glowing hopes that opened and animated the congress. Each session moved along smoothly, often in an atmosphere of spontaneous, even tumuluous enthusiasm, and no restraints were placed on controversy or the free expression of opinion. But as we have seen, the proceedings had been carefully planned and prepared by a conscious, well-organized group of Anarchists, members of Bakunin's Alliance of Social Democracy. . . „ .
It was these Aliancistas—this hidden Anarchist faction in Spam, known perhaps to only a few hundred initiates that guided the proceedings at the Teatro del Circo. They prepared the agenda of the congress, staffed its key commissions, and provided the most articu­late and informed speakers at its sessions. The Aliancistas had little need of manipulation for they enjoyed enormous prestige among the delegates to the congress. They were the actual founders of the Inter­national in Spain. So closely were the origins of the International linked to the Alliance that Fanelli's disciples had initially adopted the Alliance's program for the Madrid and Barcelona sections. It was not until the spring of 1870, when the Alliance was formally established in Spain as an independent body, that the two organizations became ideologically distinguishable. At the congress of 1870, the Aliancistas set about to give the Spanish section of the International a broader program, one that would be more in accord with the needs of a loose federation of workers' and peasants trade unions.
This new program, however, was not foisted on the confess. It developed out of controversies in the "commissions" on various so­cial issues and in debates on the floor of the Teatro del Circo. In addition to the Anarchists, at least three tendencies surfaced at the congress: an ineffectual miscellany of "associatarians,'' who were mainly interested in fostering producers' and consumers cooperative associations within the existing social order; a "political" group which was occupied with mobilizing labor support for the Republican par­ties; and finally, the most important and enduring tendency of all, the trade unionists "pure-and-simple," a group concerned largely with immediate economic struggles over wages, hours, and working conditions—and a group, as we shall see, that was to function in later periods as a restraining force on the more militant and revolutionary Anarchists. Virtually all of these tendencies employed an expansive revolutionary rhetoric, giving lip-service to a distant egalitarian fu­ture, but they divided sharply with the Anarchists on the critical issues of the specifics needed to achieve this new society.
The views of the "associatarians" seem to have evoked very little interest from the congress. A report by a "commission on the theme of cooperation," obviously Anarchist-inspired, dismissed the impor­tance of producers' cooperatives under capitalism: they would repre­sent simply one more institution within the bourgeois framework.
But the report did emphasize the practical role consumers' coopera­tives could play in promoting "cooperative habits" and a spirit of mutual aid among the workers. In dealing with cooperatives as an educational means, rather than as a social end that could achieve a new society within capitalism, the report scaled down the entire is­ sue, boxing the "associatarians" into a faddist social limbo. On this issue, the congress of 1870 represented a turning point, marking the decline of the Proudhonian tradition which had once been so impor­tant in the Spanish labor movement. Henceforth, any discussion of cooperatives was to be tied to problems of social revolution, not piecemeal reform.
Perhaps the sharpest conflict within the congress centered around the attitude of the Spanish section toward politics. The Aliancistas advocated political abstention. This position, as Casimiro Marti ob­serves in his study on early Catalan Anarchism, "pointed up in a clear manner the immediate consequences of the new orientation adopted by the workers' movement. It was not now a question of a simple complaint, of a protest, more or less violent, against particular injus­tices, but of refusing to participate in political activity by virtue of a total and unconditional break with the constituted society." Absten­tion from politics amounted to unconditional support for "direct ac­tion oriented toward the suppression of the State. . . ." An overstatement, perhaps, but essentially true. Although the non-Anarchist tendencies at the congress were prepared to concede such abstractions as cooperative or communal visions of the future society to their Aliancista opponents, they rallied against a strict policy of political abstention and direct action. After much dispute, a com­promise was worked out in which the congress, while committing itself organizationally to an antistatist and abstentionist stand, left individual members free to act as they chose in the political arena.
This was a serious setback for the Anarchists. They were not try­ing to make the International's program identical to that of the Al­liance, for that would have confined the International exclusively to revolutionary forms of action. On the contrary, they were eager for the two organizations to be differentiated in many important re­spects, both programmatically and structurally. But they knew that any compromise on the issue of political abstention threatened to open the International to a reformist perspective, involving it largely in the amelioration of existing economic and political abuses. The compromise, in fact, was to have serious implications for the future, for it provided a formula by which the International and its heirs in Spain were to make theoretical acknowledgments to principle but function opportunistically in practice. Although the compromise was carried by the congress, it was scarcely hailed with enthusiasm:
nearly 40 percent of the delegates either voted against it or abstained.
Most-of these negative votes and abstentions came from delegates of the Barcelona working class.
The most important single achievement of the congress was in the realm of organization. The "commission on the theme of the social organization of the workers" proposed a structure which was to re­main the framework of the Spanish section for several years after­ward and which the Aliancistas hoped to advance as a model for the International as a whole at its next conference in London in 1871. This structure is worth examining in some detail. It anticipates in many respects the syndicalist form of organization adopted by the French labor movement in the 1890s, a form that later spread to other Euro­pean countries and surfaced again in Spain.
The commission proposed a dual structure for the Spanish section of the International (or as it was henceforth to be called, the Spanish Regional Federation): organization by trade and organization by local­ity. On the one hand, local trade organizations (Secciones de oficio) grouped together all workers from a common enterprise and vocation into a large occupational federation {Uniones de oficio) whose primary function was to struggle around economic grievances and working conditions. A local organization of miscellaneous trades (Secciones de oficio varios) gathered up all those workers from different vocations whose numbers were too small to constitute effective organizations along vocational lines. On the other hand, in every community and region where the International was represented, the different local Secciones were grouped together, irrespective of vocation, into bodies (Federaciones locales) whose function was avowedly revolutionary—the administration of social and economic life on a decentralized, libertar­ian basis.
This dual structure forms the bedrock of all syndicalist organiza­tion. In Spain, as elsewhere, the structure was knitted together by workers' committees, which originated in individual shops, factories, and agricultural communities. Gathering togethet in assemblies, the workers elected from their midst the committees that presided over the affairs of the Secciones de oficio and the Federaciones locales; these were federated into regional, or comarcal, committees for nearly every geographic area of Spain. The workers, moreover, elected the dele­gates to the annual congresses of the Spanish Regional Federation, which in turn elected a Federal Council.
Although all committees were directly accountable to the as­semblies that elected them, bureaucratization was a constant possibil­ity and concern. The danger of bureaucracy, manipulation, and cen­tralized control exists in any system of indirect representation. It is not very difficult for an elaborate network of committees, building up to regional and national bodies, to circumvent the wishes of the workers' assemblies at the base of the structure. This actually hap­pened in France, when a corps of opportunistic syndicalists.
Socialists, and later. Communists acquired control of the French General Confederation of Labor (CGT).
A bureaucracy never really solidified in the Spanish Regional Fed­eration or its syndicalist heirs, at least not before the Civil War of 1936. Fortunately or not, the periodic waves of government or employer persecution that broke over the Spanish syndicalist unions made a union leader's position an unenviable one. Moreover, the Anarchists functioned as a steady and unsettling counterweight to bureaucratization (despite their own occasional tendencies to man­ipulate the unions under their control). They kept the labor move­ment in a state of continual ferment and-never ceased to emphasize the need for decentralization, control from below, and direct action.
Ultimately, it was their influence on the Spanish labor movement which proved decisive. In the decades to follow, they were to give it a depth of passion and an intensity of revolutionary idealism which has never been equaled by workers' unions elsewhere in the world.
We must look closely at these men and women, these Spanish Anarchists, and try to gain an understanding of their lives, their fervor, and their dedication to the "Idea." Although the founding nuclei of Spanish Anarchism included many intellectuals and stu­dents (such figures as Caspar Sentinon, Trinidad Soriano, Antonio Gonzalez Meneses, and Fermin Salvochea), most of the individuals entering the growing libertarian groups of the cities were ordinary workers. Even the journalists, theoreticians, and historians of this movement were largely self-educated people of proletarian origin who often taught themselves to read and write or attended union and libertarian schools, acquiring their learning by sheer doggedness in the nighttime hours after work. The majority of them Had been sent into factory jobs early in life. And later came the responsibilities of family life, of rearing children and maintaining a home. These Anarchists took great pride in their vocational skills and were viewed with immense respect by their fellow workers. Most of them were intensely serious and high-minded individuals. They were also open, candid, and like most Spaniards, passionately devoted to their friends and comrades.
They were individuals with very strong personalities. For exam­ple, more dedicated men, once having decided to embrace the "Idea," abjured smoking and drinking, avoided brothels, and purged their talk of "foul" language. They believed these traits to be "vices"—demeaning to free people and fostered deliberately by rul­ing classes to corrupt and enslave the workers spiritually. It was the duty of every obrera consciente, of every conscious' worker and especially of an Anarchist, to live by his or her principles, not merely to avow them. By the example of the probity and dignity of their daily lives, such workers would help uplift the rest of their class. Without this moral regeneration of the proletariat, the revolution would even­tually be vitiated by all the corruptive realities of bourgeois society.
What these Spanish Anarchists aimed for, in effect, was a "countersociety" to the old one. It is easy to mistake this for an "alternate society," one that would coexist with capitalism as an enclave of purity and freedom, but nothing could be further from the truth. The Spanish Anarchists expressly rejected the concept of an "alternate society," with its hope of peaceful reconstruction and its privileged position in a world of general misery. They regarded the cooperativist movement as a diversion from the main task of overthrowing capitalism and the state. Since social or personal freedom could not be acquired within the established order, they viewed a "countersociety" as a terrain in which to remake themselves into revolutionaries and remove their interests from any stake in bourgeois society. But this terrain was a completely embattled one. Eventually, Anarchist groups formulated their own revolutionary codes, their own concepts of freedom, and created a world of intimate comradeship and solidar­ity that proved almost impregnable to repression.
The most dedicated Spanish Anarchists not only denied the laws, values, and morality of the existing society, but set out to translate precept into practice. They did not enter into legal marriages. They refused to register the births of their children or to baptize them. The bureaucracy, state, and church were the Anarchists' mortal enemies;
any voluntary dealings with these institutions were to be avoided.
Children were sent to libertarian or union schools. If these were not available, they went to nonclerical institutions or were taught at home.
Parents would often give their children names like "Libertaria" (a favorite for the daughters of Anarchist militants) or "Emancipacion"; they might even exchange their own first names for those of Anarchist heroes or martyrs. They disdained the accumulation of money, and if in later years there was much bank-robbing by Anarch­ists, the funds went entirely to the movement or to libertarian schools and publishing projects. They did not hesitate to use weapons in defending their own rights or in acts of retribution against official violence.
I shall take up the question of Anarchist violence in its proper context. At this point it might be more appropriate to give attention to the humaneness that permeated the outlook and ideals of Spanish Anarchism. The organized, official violence that the Spanish worker encountered almost daily, even in the form of entertainment, genuinely horrified these earnest libertarians. Shocked by the cruelty and brutalizing effect of the bullfight, for example, the Spanish Anarchists waged a persisent campaign to discourage attendance at the corrida and to arouse in the workers and peasants an interest in books, culture, and the serious discussion of ideas. Accordingly, wherever the Spanish Regional Federation had a substantial follow­ing it established cenlros obreros, which functioned not merely as union headquarters but as cultural centers. Depending upon its re­sources, the centra obrera might provide literature, books, classes, and meeting halls for discussions on a wide variety of subjects. This in­stitution exercised a profound influence on the personal life of the worker who belonged to Anarchist-influenced unions. Ricardo Mella, one of the most able Anarchist theorists and essayists of that period, recalls that in Seville "with its enormous centra obrera, capable of holding thousands of people, morality in the customs [of workers] took hold to such a degree that drunkenness was banished. No worker would have dared or have been permitted to appear drunk at the door of the great popular building." Anarchist-influenced unions gave higher priority to leisure and free time for self-development than to high wages and economic gains. The expansive humanism of these Anarchists is probably best indicated by the actions they undertook to protest the persecution of revolutionaries abroad, whenever or wherever they might be. Great public rallies and bitter strikes were conducted not only on behalf of their own foreign comrades, such as the Chicago Anarchists of the 1880s and Sacco and Vanzetti decades later, but in support of men who would have strongly opposed their movement and ideas, such as Ernst Thalmann, the German Communist leader imprisoned by the Nazis.
Their generosity of sentiment reached into the most intimate de­ tails of personal and family life. A male Spanish Anarchist, for exam­ple, rarely wavered in his loyalty to his companera. He genuinely respected her dignity, an attitude he extended to his dealings with his children and comrades. The "Idea" was his passion. If he was a committeeman or occupied a union post, he regularly attended meet­ings and occupied himself with all the details of the movement, for the movement gave meaning and purpose to his life, removing it from the mediocre world of humdrum routine, vulgar self-interest, and banality.
This devotion, however, did not reduce him to an organizational robot. He controlled the movement like everyone else in it and, de­spite the complexity of its structure at times, it was usually scaled to human dimensions. If this structure threatened to become too com­plex, he as an Anarchist threw the full weight of his prestige against the development and together with his comrades would rescale it to meaningful, comprehensible dimensions.
Anarchism, moreover, gave his mind a profoundly experimental turn. Spanish Anarchism is rooted in the belief in a "natural man," corrupted by propertied society and the state, who will be regener­ated by a libertarian revolution. To many individual Anarchists, this corruption was ubiquitous; it debased not only people's instincts and moral integrity, but also their diet, tastes, and behavior. Hence Anarchists experimented with a wide variety of ideas. They impro­vised new diets (many turning to vegetarianism), flirted with naturopathy, studied Esperanto, and in some cases practiced nudism. Extolling spontaneity in behavior, they had a fascination for libertarian forms of education and for techniques of child-rearing that promoted the natural proclivities of the young. Their emphasis on freedom became the most serious challenge to the rigid mores and medieval fanaticism of the time.
Many liberal and Marxian writers have described Spanish Anarch­ism as an atavistic attempt to turn back the historical clock. But in fact, the Anarchists placed a high premium on scientific knowledge and technological advance; they devoured the available scientific litera­ture of their day and expounded continually on such themes as evolu­tion, rationalist cosmolpgies, and the value of technology in liberating humanity. A very compelling case, in fact, can be made for the argu­ment that Spanish Anarchism refracted the spirit of Enlightenment Europe through an Iberian prism, breaking up its components and then reorganizing them to suit Spain's distinctive needs.
The Spanish Anarchists certainly were eager to preserve the rich, preindustrial tapestry of their country's communal traditions—the emphasis on individuality and dignity, the high spirit of mutual aid ,
localism, the patria chica, and the pueblo. But they also realized that Spain needed the technological resources of the advanced capitalist world to create the material bases for a classless society and genuine freedom.
The problem that confronted the Spanish Anarchists was crucial;
how to industrialize Spain without destroying her communal herit­age, debasing her working class, and rearing the soul-destroying monstrosity that the Industrial Revolution had inflicted on England.
The attempt to deal with this problem accounts in part for their puri­tanical morality(3*). The Spanish Anarchists could not help but absorb the traditional puritanical atmosphere of Catholic, agrarian Spain; but simply to regard their movement as religious, to view it in Brenan's terms as a nineteenth-century Reformation, is a crude oversimplifica­tion. In the latter half of the nineteenth century Spain began to undergo an industrial revolution of her own, with many of the de­moralizing effects of the Industrial Revolution in England. Technolog­ical change and the erosion of traditional social relations began to undermine the family structure and the old system of morality. The demoralization of newly urbanized rural folk who were flocking in great numbers into the cities looking for work and relief from chronic hunger was a visible feature of social life. Drunkenness, prostitution, broken families, and beggary had reached appalling proportions. Not only traditional society but the proletariat itself was in a state of decay.
The Spanish Anarchists were determined to eliminate these de­moralizing features from working-class life. They were intent on restoring the moral fiber of the proletariat, on giving it inner solidity and firmness. In a society of scarce resources, where a life of idleness and dissipation was a function of exploitation and privilege, it was inconceivable that a revolution could occur without emphasizing the duty to work. The struggle of the Spanish Anarchists against al­coholism, dissoluteness, and irresponsibility became a struggle for the integrity of the working class, a validation of its moral capacity to reorganize society and manage it on a libertarian basis in an era of material scarcity.
It was individuals of this moral caliber and social outlook who competed with cooperativists, trade unionists, political opportunists, and Socialists for influence in the congress of 1870. And they won this competition, at least until the next congress a year later. By the time Francisco Tomas declared the proceedings closed with "feeling and enthusiastic phrases," the congress had elected a Federal Council of five members; Tomas Gonzalez Morago, Enrique Borrel, Francisco Mora, Anselmo Lorenzo, and Angel Mora. All of these men were Madrid Anarchists who had met Fanelli early in 1869 and were now members of Bakunin's Alliance of Social Democracy. Aliancistas also occupied key positions in all leading sections of the Federation and played a decisive role in the forming of their policies. The Spanish labor movement had been founded on essentially libertarian lines and was soon to be plunged into a series of stormy upheavals.


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The Liberal Failure

A large gathering of a revolutionary labor organization could not have occurred at a more favorable time than the summer of 1870. The founding congress of the Spanish Federation was held toward the end of an interregnum, when the entire country was in a state of confusion over its political future and its ruling classes were uncertain and faltering. For nearly two years the Spanish throne had been vacant while Madrid afforded the spectacle of politicians quarreling among themselves over the choice of a monarch. This humiliating interregnum revealed with startling clarity the extent to which a per­manent crisis had settled into Spanish society. The hurried flight of Isabella II from Spain in September 1868 marks the climax of a historic conflict between an absolutist monarchy and the liberal middle clas­ses, to be succeeded by a duel between the church and the army—the latter being guardian, for a time, of all elements that feared a theocra­tic government. Each of these conflicts rolled one upon the other like waves, loosening the traditional structure of the Spanish state. The monarchy had failed completely to restore the "old Spain" of the ancien regime; the church, to straitjacket the country in a theocracy;
the bourgeoisie, to follow in the steps of its predecessors north of the Pyrenees and create the institutional, economic, and cultural bases of a constitutional, democratic state. And now the plebians were begin­ning to enter the arena in force: the radical middle class, the peasants, and the growing working-class movement.
The details of this succession of failures are too complex to explore in the space of a few pages, but the very fact of their complexity is evidence of the nervous twitching, followed by periodic collapse, that marked Spanish political life from the opening decades of the nineteenth century to Isabella's removal from the throne.
The occupation of Madrid by Napoleon's armies in 1808 com­pletely exploded the last remaining myths of the "Golden Age" when Spain aspired to hegemony in Europe and her empire encompassed vast territories in the New World. For the first time since the Recon­quest, her people acquired a vibrant sense of national identity. Every part of the country took up arms against the French invader, each region and locality acting independently under its own juntas and commanders. As noted by Charles Oman, the English chronicler of the peninsular war, "The movement was spontaneous, unselfish, and reckless; in its wounded pride, the nation challenged Napoleon to combat, without any thought of the consequences, without count­ing up its own resources or those of the enemy." Despite the divi­sions that pitted juntas, regions, and classes against each other, the long conflict with Napoleon could have created the point of departure for a national renaissance and the reentry of Spain into European society.
It was not to be so. These hopes vanished with the return of Ferdinand VII from captivity in France. Supine before Napoleon, Ferdinand proved to be unrelenting in his efforts to crush the Liberals of Spain. The Constitution of 1812, which the Extraordinary Cortes had promulgated from Cadiz in the midst of the national war, was repudiated. Its provisions for a constitutional monarchy, universal suffrage, a single legislative chamber, and civil liberties were replaced by a harsh absolutism. For nearly six years, Ferdinand's rule lay upon Spain like a shroud. Although the country began to regain its momentum with the successful pronunciamiento of Riego and Quiroga in January 1820, the ghost of absolutism was not consigned to its historic mausoleum until Ferdinand's death in 1833. With the demise of absolutist rule, however, Spain now came face to face with the menace of a theocracy. The outbreak of the first Carlist War in Oc­tober 1833 marked the first blow in the church's attempt to gain mastery over Spanish political life. When violence failed to bring Ferdinand's reactionary brother Don Carlos to the throne, the church turned to systematic penetration of the state. By the late 1860s, the court camarilla was riddled with priests and clerical craftiness seemed on the point of achieving what had remained beyond the reach of insurgent peasant militias in years of bloody fighting.
However, neither the church, the army which contested its ambi­tions, nor the bourgeoisie were to gain lasting control of the Spanish state. The thirty years that followed Ferdinand's death read like the temperature chart of a man in deathly fever. Ministries changed with bewildering frequency, carried away by political maneuvers, civil wars, and above all, by military pronunciamientos. The army, initially the defender of Liberalism against absolutism and clerical reaction, began to act alternately as a political master in its own right. Even the word "Liberalism" began to lose its meaning. The bloc that lay claim to this name divided into the Moderates, a reactionary grouping based on the landed bourgeoisie, and the Progressives, a prudent cabal of anticlerical "Europeanizers," who leaned for support on the well-to-do urban middle classes. Welling up from the depths of the disillusioned petty bourgeoisie came the Republicans—a conglomer­ ate of radicals and Federalists, the latter adhering to Pi y Margall's doctrine of a Swiss-like, cantonal state.
There was one thing that united this flotsam of Monarchists, clerics, "liberals," landed oligarchs, and army officers as they scram­ bled for control of the state. It was fear: a fear of the masses. Franz Borkenau notes that "in Britain, in America, and in Germany, every popular movement originated in the upper stratum of society and then permeated the masses." In Spain, on the other hand, no movement in the higher classes ever penetrated deeply the masses.
Spain is the country where the spontaneity of the "people" as against the aristocracy, the bourgeoisie, the intelligentsia, and, in the last decades, the clergy, is most conspicuous. Such a deep severance of the people from the ruling groups; such a passing of the initiative to the lowest stratum of society, is always a symptom of deep decay and disintegration of the old civilization.
Sensing their own weakness and decadence, the ruling classes responded to the people with a combination of Olympian contempt and sheer panic. It is reported that after a terrifying experience with a riot, Charles III never overcame his fear of the Madrid "mob"; even street noises frightened him. Although national tradition credits "the people" with driving Napoleon's armies from Spain, a contemporary of the period recalls the panic that seized the middle classes when the ragged militia of the "Valencian Army" entered Madrid.
The job of dealing with the masses, of cultivating a watchful eye and a restraining hand, was left to the Spanish church. The historic isolation of the church from the people in the nineteenth century, a product partly of the Liberals' agrarian policy, completed the isolation of the Spanish ruling classes from Spain.
There had been a time, though, when the popular prestige of the church was enormous. The church bells of Spain had been the tocsins of the Reconquest, rallying the villages to war against the Moorish invaders. Clerics not only blessed the Christian armies but often led them into battle. During the "Golden Age," the clergy provided Spain with its only social conscience, raising its voice on behalf of the exploited peasantry at home and the decimated Indians in the col­onies abroad. Inveighing against the ravages of usury, privilege, and greed, it stood foremost among the ruling classes in defense of the communal institutions of Spain and the tribal institutions of the New World.
Despite its imposing hierarchy, the Spanish church probably re­mained the most democratic institution in a society anchored in polit­ical absolutism. To a French nobleman visiting Spain in the early nineteenth century, the structure of the Spanish clergy was virtually republican ("tout a fait republicaine"). Raymond Carr, in a perceptive account of modern Spanish history, reminds us that "one eighteenth-century primate was the son of a charcoal burner, a situa­tion inconceivable in France," and most of the bishops were recruited from "the obscurity of the minor provincial nobility." Nor was there a visible display of clerical luxury and opulence. A bishop, Carr adds, was expected to give all his surplus income to charity once his simple houshold needs were satisfied. The average parish priest was poor and remained so throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries; he earned less than a well-paid laborer and was often dependent, in rural parishes, on the sale of eggs and on other minor agricultural pursuits.
Lest this trait be overdrawn, however, the fact remains that with the passage of time, the church began to age and fatten, much like the courtiers whose lean, warrior ancestors had helped expel the Moors.
By the close of the eighteenth century, the church had become the largest landowner and wealthiest institution in Spain, indissolubly linked with the monarchy and nobility. The gap between what bishops were "expected" to do and what they in fact did widened considerably, but the church's prestige among the masses had not diminished. To the immense number of beggars—los miserables—who formed the recruits for "mob" riots and near-insurrections in the streets of Spanish cities, the church provided not only religious cir­cuses but material sustenance. In Madrid, for example, the convents alone provided los miserables with 30,000 bowls of soup daily. In Valladolid, according to Carr's estimate, a twentieth of the population depended on the church, "while soup and bread doles from episcopal palaces and monasteries were an important element in the budget of the urban poor."
But ties of this kind could exist only if the church retained the agrarian roots of a feudal estate, roots which nourished the medieval spectacle of public humility and charity toward the poor. When the Liberal premier Mendizabal initiated the confiscation of church lands on a major scale, these traditional roots were pulled up. Ostensibly, the confiscation was undertaken for two purposes: to finance the war against the Carlists and to create an agrarian middle-class base for the Liberals. Actually, the sale of the church lands did not achieve any­thing near the result intended. The confiscated estates became the object of crass bourgeois speculation, nourishing a new class of lay land magnates. The land hunger of the peasantry, satisfied in France by the Great Revolution and by Napoleon, was to remain an endemic feature of Spanish society.
Having lost its lands and its agrarian roots, the church shifted all its resources to speculation and business. The higher clergy began to neglect its pastoral duties for the more lucrative realms of industry, commerce, urban real estate, and according to the gossip of the day, brothels. The new investments transformed the Catholic Church from the largest landowner in Spain into the largest capitalist; its ideology, the most medieval and atavistic in Western Europe, trans­formed it from the social conscience of the ruling class into the most reactionary force in social life.
The decline of the church's popular prestige left only one effective institution that could function politically without a popular base—the army. Initially, the army had been a bulwark of Liberalism and its early pronunciamientos enforced middle-class interests in Spanish poli­tics. But a half century of meddling and manipulation had made it increasingly suspect as a corps of Praetorians, even to the Moderates.
Having exhausted its alliance with the Liberals, embroiled in im­perialist adventures in Morocco, the Spanish officer caste began its slow, fatal drift to the right. If the Liberals, who still had illusions of acquiring popular support, regarded the army as an embarrassing and dangerous liability, the reactionaries in later years were only too glad to use it as a lever for social power. The history of the army after 1870 is a numbing account of its growing sense of isolation, its preoc­cupation with pay, promotion, and graft, and its arrogance toward the canaille.
The canaille, of course, were the masses of Spain—peasants, farm laborers, craftsmen, industrial workers, los miserables—the majority of whom lived in desperate poverty. Thousands of beggars filled the city slums or wandered the country roads. To the ruling classes, the" Spanish people were a faceless, anonymous lot, volatile but inchoate, threatening but politically inert; and all the quarreling factions on the summits of society were united in the need to exclude their participa­tion in the processes of institutional change.
But if the word "mass" is meant to convey anything more than sheer numbers, it becomes meaningless in Spain. From the Spanish pueblo, with its remarkable sense of community, had emerged a people in which self-assurance, dignity, and a striking individuality seemed like inborn traits. Dignidad has a fierceness of meaning in Spanish that has no parallel in any other European language, indeed, a fierceness that the Anarchists were to cultivate in every nuance of behavior and action. They were not unique in this respect. Brenan reminds us that, north of the Sierra Morena at least, the preoccupa­tion with dignity is deeply rooted in Spanish history the peasant ploughing with a sword dangling from his waist, the cobbler and mason treating the grandee as their equal, the beggars expecting fo be addressed as "Your Worship" are images that will be found centuries ago .
It was this people whom the ruling classes finally divested of any meaningful relations with the institutions and values of official Spain.
By the late 1860s, a cultural, religious, political, and economic vac­uum had been created for the Spanish masses. The church had bet­rayed its responsibilities and the politicians their promises. There was no way even to faintly reconcile the interests of rural laborers, landhungry peasants, and bitterly exploited workers with those of the propertied classes. Caciques ran the villages with a firm hand. The Civil Guard patrolled the roads, railway stations, and streets. The workers, denied all recognition of their rights to organize, faced an almost solid phalanx of rapacious manufacturers. The guardians of the state, occupied with their narrow political interests, cast a blank stare on the frustrated masses below. For the great bulk of the Spanish people, civil life was as empty as the vacated throne in Mad­rid. Henceforth, after 1870, all that could fill this vacuum were the Republican politics of the petty bourgeoisie, the Socialist doctrines of the radical intelligentsia, and Anarchist ideals of a proletarian or peasant variety.


Notes
(*1). In later years, the Anarchists were to adopt the black flag as a symbol of the workers' misery and as an expression of their anger and bitterness. The presence of black flags together with red ones became a feature of Anarchist demonstrations throughout Europe and the Americas. With the establish­ ment of the CNT, a single flag on which black and red were separated diagonally, was adopted and used mainly in Spain.
(*2). The first and last of the words in this passage—companeros and salud— have been translated here as "comrades" and "greetings." They became the typical forms of address between Spanish Anarchists in personal encounters and at public meetings. Companero has a more endearing and familiar mean­ing than the formal word camarada, which was to be used by the Spanish Socialists and Communists. Companero connotes a "mate," a "com­panion"—one who shares not only common ideas but also a personal relationship. Salud could be translated as "your health," "your welfare." It was adopted to replace the usual farewell address, adios (literally: "to god"), a reference to the deity that the Anarchists regarded as an invasion by supersti­tion of ordinary discourse. In later years, a gathering of the Spanish Anarch­ists was to be called una asemblea de las tribus—"a gathering of the tribes"—a phrase that anticipates the sense of comnlunity sought by the youth culture in our own time. The Spanish Anarchists tended to use more personal, sen­timental, and cognatic expressions than those employed by their stolid Marx­ian opponents.
(*3). This point should be emphasized. Nearly everyone who comments on the moral emphasis of the Spanish Anarchists treats it as a form of quasireligious ascetism. Perhaps this was the case among the rural Anarchists, particularly those who lived in pueblos, but my own feeling (after discussing the issue with exiled Spanish Anarchists from the industrial cities) is that in the north at least, this moral emphasis was similar to the efforts of black radicals in the United States to elevate their people from the influence of a degrading and enslaving culture.


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Chapter Four : The Early Years

Proletarian Anarchism


The founding of the Spanish Regional Federation opened an en­tirely new period in the modern history of Spain. Since the respecta­ble Liberal parties had shut themselves off from the masses of Spain the lower classes would try to form organizations of their own. The political polarization of rulers and ruled merely paralleled one that had long since developed on an economic and cultural level, but it was to lead to increasingly bitter confrontations in the years to come.
The earliest of these were mild. The founding congress had evoked press attacks throughout Spain, particularly in Madrid where the Liberals and Republicans viewed the antipolitical stance of the new Federation as a threat to their waning influence on the working class. Fortunately, the most immediate practical result of the Bar­celona congress was to furnish the Federation with the nucleus of its own national press; in addition to La Federacion in Barcelona and La Solidaridad in Madrid, the Internationalists acquired El Obrera and Revolucion in Palma and La Voz del Trabajador in the key industrial city of Bilboa. The propaganda of the Spanish Federation probably repre­sents the most important achievement of its first six months of exis­tence. Its literature reached thousands, eyoking an additional press response that gave it wide and continual publicity. The Federation began to acquire larger dimensions in the public mind than it actually possessed in fact, an image which the Federal Council in Madrid and the sections shrewdly reinforced with numerous leaflets, statements, arid public meetings.
But other areas of the Federation's activities were less satisfactory. The enormous enthusiasm generated by the founding congress soon gave way to lassitude. The Federal Council's attempt to achieve a working unity between the various sections throughout the country met with a disillusioning lack of response. Letters sent into the hinter­ lands of Spain went unanswered, responses were often delayed, and a chronic shortage of funds created difficulties for the Madrid organi­zation and severe hardships for members of the Council, most of whom gave generously of their time and resources. This in turn exacerbated relations between some of the Aliancistas who constituted the Federation's center and were to lead to serious personal and political frictions.
Even more serious were the problems that faced the Barcelona movement. Although Catalonia provided the largest single bloc of working-class recruits to the Spanish Federation, the Internationalists constituted a very small proportion of the Barcelona proletariat.
Perhaps 9 percent of the working class in the city adhered to the new movement. Small as this figure is, it declined drastically when a yel­low fever epidemic swept through the Catalan seaport, claiming many lives and stampeding thousands, into the countryside. Of the 10,000 members who belonged to the Barcelona movement in July 1870, only 1,800 remained in January 1871, and scarcely more than 2,500 in August, a full year after the founding congress. The com­monly repeated notion that the International in Spain enjoyed a spec­tacular growth during the first year of its existence is a myth, certainly as far as Barcelona—its center of proletarian support is concerned.
Nominally, the Barcelona organization was controlled by Anarch­ists. Actually, the number of Anarchists in the sections was very small. In fact many outstanding figures in the Barcelona labor move­ment were pragmatic trade unionists whose social idealism was shal­low at best. The International in the Catalan seaport was based on an alliance between a handful of Anarchists and a larger group of oppor­tunistic unionists who had been driven into an antipolitical, direct-actionist position by the intransigence of the Barcelona textile man­ufacturers. Between these two tendencies of the Catalan trade-union movement existed an uneasy, even distrustful relationship which was to snap, reknit, and snap again in later years. The nature of this alliance and the maneuvering it entailed disturbed the gallant, honest Anselmo Lorenzo. Lorenzo had never forgotten Fanelli's words on libertarian organization. "How much more beneficial it would have been," he opined, years later, "if instead of finding agreements and solutions by surprise, the Alliance [of Social Democracy] had engaged in a work of education and instruction to show the way of obtaining agreements and solutions as a conscious sum of wills. Instead, the tensions in the fusion of trade-unionist demands with social rev­olutionary ideals was to have serious consequences throughout the history of the Spanish workers' movement.
Had the Catalan Anarchists rested their hopes solely on an al­liance with an opportunistic union leadership, they surely would have lost the Barcelona labor movement to syndicalism of a reformist, French variety. Even the most dense, unreconstructed class of em­ployers could not have deflected this development. What eventually gave Catalan Anarchism a mass following were the hordes of rural folk, the landless peasants and laborers, who streamed into Barcelona looking for work. Each year they came by the thousands, the great majority from the Catalan countryside itself, the next largest group from the Levant (Murcia, Valencia, Alicante, Castellon), followed by Aragonese from Saragossa, Huesca, and Teruel. Contrary to popular myth, only a small fraction of this inflowing labor force came from Andalusia. To the urbane Barcelonese, these destitute emigrants from the hungry Levant, vidth their country ways and course manners, were indiscriminately lumped together under' the name Murcianos, in Barcelona a word equivalent to "nigger." Pariahs in a strange, hostile urban world, the Murcianos encamped by the tens of thousands in squalid, miserable shacks. Their hovels ringed the great seaport and penetrated its suburbs, providing a huge reservoir of unskilled, menial labor exploited by the Catalan bourgeoisie. Disdained by nearly all the factions of the Liberals, later manipulated by such Radical demagogues as Lerroux, the Murcianos also provided a reservoir for the most volatile recruits to the liberta­rian movement in Catalonia. Without this transitional proletariat Anarchism would have lost its mass base in a broadly syndicalist labor organization, and it would have been impossible to reorient the reformist tendencies of the skilled and established Barcelona factory workers towards Anarchosyndicalism.
The role of the Murcianos in rooting proletarian Anarchism in Spain's largest industrial city, and the near-insurrectionary atmos­phere they created, raises many fascinating problems. To Marx, the more the proletariat advanced from a craft to an industrial estate, and the more this class was "disciplined, united and organized by the process of capitalist production itself"—by the factory—the more of a revolutionary force it became. Marx's theory viewed the craft worker as a backward and undeveloped proletarian, a member of a transi­tional Saggiike the peasantry. It is certain he would have regarded the rural Murctanos, not to speak of los miserables of the Spanish cities generally, with disdain—as a declasse flotsam, a lumpen proletariat.
This contemptuous attitude toward decaying classes at the base of society is evinced most clearly in his remarks on the Franco-Prussian War. "The French need a thrashing," he wrote to Engels a day after the outbreak of hostilities.
If the Prussians win, then centralization of the state power is useful to the centralization of the German working class. Furthermore, German pre­dominance in Europe would transfer the center of gravity of the West European labor movement from France to Germany, and one need only compare the movement from 1866 to the present in the two lands to see that the German working class is superior to the French in theory and organization. Its predominance 'over the French on the world stage would at the same time be the predominance of our theory over that of Proudhon. . . .
As it turned out, Marx was wrong—not only in prospect but also in retrospect. The classes that gave the cutting edge to the revolutions of 1848 were not primarily factory workers, but craftsmen and work­ers in small shops, precisely those decomposing, preindustrial strata whom Marx viewed with such contempt. The factory workers of Ber­lin, centered largely in the newly emerging locomotive industry, played a reactionary role in the insurrectionary movement of the period, even by comparison with petty-bourgeois democrats. Later, a year after Marx's letter to Engels, the d'eclasses of Montmartre and the craftsmen and workers in small industry (the "luxury goods work­ers," as Marx disdainfully called them) raised red flags and died by the thousands on the barricades in defense of the Paris Commune of 1871. And some sixty years afterward, it was not the sophisticated, highly centralized, and well-disciplined labor movement of Germany that was to take up arms against fascism, but the working class and peasants of Spain—both of which were unique in having retained the most preindustrial outlook in Western Europe.
Ironically, the "process of capitalist production itself," which Marx commended in Capital, served not-only to unite, discipline, and centralize the proletariat, but to vitiate its revolutionary attitudes. The more workers were conditioned to accept the factory routine, to bend their heads before the demands of its overseers, the more they tended to accept hierarchy, authority, and obedience as an unchallengable destiny. And the more the working class acquired a hereditary status in society, knowing no other way of life but the industrial routine, the less revolutionary were its descendants. It was precisely the continual flow of Murcianos into Catalan industry, the continual leavening ac­ tion of decomposing classes from the preindustrial pueblos, that re­ newed the revolutionary fervor of the Barcelona proletariat. These rural folk, uprooted from a precapitalist culture and life-style, imbued with values, codes, and tastes completely antithetical to the enervat­ing culture of the cities, prevented the more stable and coopted sec­tors of the Catalan working class from hardening into settled social forms. The Murcianos were an immense social stratum that had abso­ lutely nothing to lose. Accustomed to illegality, ebullient and riotous almost by nature, they added an electricity to the atmosphere of Barcelona that was to make it the most exciting, unruly, and re­volutionary city in Europe.
In the early 1870s, however, these large masses of semiproletarians had yet to be won to Anarchism. The most dedicated early supporters of the Spanish Federation were craftsmen, not d'eclasses or unskilled factory workers. As late as 1872, more than half of the delegates to the Cordoba congress of the Federation were printers, typographers, master masons, shoemakers, and bakers— in short, skilled or fairly skilled craftsmen who worked in small shops. Only one out of five delegates was a factory hand, and an even smaller proportion were peasants. The unruly miserables of Madrid, for in­ stance, were by no means uniformly friendly to the Federation. On May 2,1871, a day which Spain celebrates in honor of the first popu­lar uprising against Napoleon's armies, the Internationalists held a public meeting to counter the chauvinistic, anti-French spirit engen­dered by the holiday. It was mobbed and broken up by the local poor.
A howling crowd laid siege to the Internationalists in a cafe well into the night.
Time was on the side of the Federation, however, and it soon began to make headway among the workers and urban poor. A few successful strikes in Barcelona, coupled with the growing notoriety of the International at home and abroad, brought new, dedicated adher­ents into the movement. The prospects of rapid growth seemed , highly promising. In Barcelona, membership figures began to rise sharply from the low of January 1871; new periodicals were started or planned; and agitation began to spread in earnest beyond the cities into distant reaches of the countryside.
But time was precisely what the Spanish Federation was to lack.
When in March 1871, the Parisian workers rose and established the commune, tremors of fear shook all the palaces and chancellories of Europe. In Madrid these fears were compounded by the increasing instability of the government. In December 1870, Amadeo of Savoy had arrived from Italy to occupy the vacant Spanish throne, but in­ stead of bringing peace to the warring political factions, his presence reopened all the infighting and intrigues that had led to the isolation and flight of Isabella. The new regime, high-strung and unsure of itself, became increasingly sensitive to the agitation initiated by the Internationalists. Soon press attacks began to give way to police rep­ression. Internationalists were harrassed and jailed in growing num­bers, and the Federal Council, alarmed by the turn in events, decided to emigrate to the less troubled atmosphere of Portugal. In June 1871, on Corpus Christi Day, Lorenzo, Morago, and Francisco Mora de­ parted for Lisbon with the records of the Spanish Federation, leaving Borrel and Angel Mora behind to keep an eye on events.
This flight was probably premature. The government was still too weak and divided to crush the labor organization, and the pressure began to lift. After three months, the Internationalists returned to Madrid. During this brief exile, they went through another bitter round of material hardships and internal friction, but their stay in Lisbon had not been a complete loss. There they met two young intellectuals, Jose Fontana and Antero do Quantal, who helped them establish the first stable nucleus of the International (and Bakuninist Alliance) in Portugal. A year later, the new Portuguese Federation claimed a membership of 10,000 in Lisbon and thousands more elsewligre in the country.
The Spanish Federation, on the other hand, was badly in need of repair. The Federal Council had suffered the loss of two members;
Borrel, who had dropped out of activity, and Francisco Mora, who remained behind in Lisbon, nursing personal and political grievances that were later to bring him into the Marxian-inspired Spanish Socialist Party. Most of the work in the Council fell on the shoulders of Angel Mora and the indefatigable Anselmo Lorenzo. Although the membership had held its own and La Solidaridad in Madrid had been augmented by a new periodical. La Emancipacion, the ties between the Federal Council and the various sections in Spain were looser than ever. The very life of the Federation as a national movement seemed in the balance.
To meet this crisis, fifty-four delegates of the Spanish Federation convened in Valencia on September 10, 1871 for a week of intensive organizational work. The conference met in secret owing to the at­ mosphere of repression that still lingered on from the spring. To firm up the organization, the conference divided the International in Spain into five large regional federations or comarca (north, south, east, west, and center). The trade sections or Secciones de oficio, which existed in a very decentralized form, were federated on an occupa­tional basis and still further centralized into craft unions. Finally, the powers of the higher committees which knitted the craft unions to­ gether were greatly amplified, giving them considerable authority over the local sections.
In time, the new structure was to become so elaborate as to be virtually inoperable. By the end of 1872, the Spanish Regional Federa­tion had turned into a bulky, complex organization composed of five hundred Secciones de oficio and oficio varios, 236 Federaciones locales, and ten Uniones de oficio. Each of these bodies had a committee, sub­ divided into commissions for administration, correspondence, or­ganization, and propaganda. Anselmo Lorenzo estimates that it would have required nearly 7,500 people to staff all of the committees and local councils—a grave potential for bureaucracy, especially if one bears in mind that many Spanish workers were illiterate. Indeed, many committees could not find a single worker to keep the minutes of the meetings and often had to call upon friendly students and intellectuals for aid.
Had the members of the sections taken the structure and its re­quirements seriously (which they probably did not do), it would have been virutally impossible to have any concerted action and solidarity on any level beyond the locality. If a group of strikers wished to get support from sections outside their community or tried to draw on the strike funds of the organization, they were required to follow an elaborate procedure of "petitioning" the trade federation to which they belonged. It might easily have taken two months or more before the trade federation responded with some kind of decisive action. If the strike were strictly economic, it probably would have been de­feated; if it were the opening act in a revolution, it almost certainly would have been crushed.
Following the return of the Federal Council from Lisbon then, heroic measures were certainly necessary to prevent the Federation from dissolving as a national movement. But the structure adopted at Valencia went far beyond what was needed to preserve the unity of the labor organization. Whence, then, came the impulse for the cen­tralization of the Spanish Regional Federation? Frankly, the Federal Council was not composed entirely of Anarchists. In fact, it included the very men who in later years were to found the Spanish Socialist Party: Francisco Mora, Jose Mesa, and Pablo Iglesias. Within a few months of the Valencia conference, these men—the Autoritarios (Autoritarians), as they were called by the Anarchists—were locked in a furious conflict with the so-called Anti-Autoritarios. Neither side emerged very creditably.
Although the conflict had obviously been simmering for some time, it was sparked into an open war by events and interference from abroad. In the same month that the Valencia conference was held, Anselmo Lorenzo had gone to London to attend a world con­ference of the International. There he not only saw Marx, but ob­served at first hand the bitter infighting that was to culminate in the expulsion of Bakunin at the Hague congress a year later. From the stormy discussions in London it was clear that a split was unavoidable. Two months later, in December 1871, Marx's son-in-law Paul Lafargue appeared in Madrid, a refugee from the repression of the Paris Commune. Lafargue had been raised in Cuba and could speak Spanish fluently. Through Mesa and Iglesias he acquired control over La Emancipacion and began to press his attack against the Bakuninists in Madrid.
The conflict, dragging well into the summer of 1872, ended shab­bily. The London conference had prohibited the existence of secret organizations within the International. Accordingly, the mam thrust of Lafargue's attack was to demonstrate that the Alliance of Social Democracy had never been dissolved and still played a hidden role in guiding the affairs of the Spanish Federation. Lafargue, of course, was correct. The Aliancistas, embarrassed by the attacks, dissolved their organization, at least formally. The dispute, however, did not center merely on organizational issues. Lafargue had come to Madrid not only to recover the Spanish Regional Federation for Marx but also to reqrient it toward political action. He favored an alliance with the Republicans and the formation of a workers' party. In Madrid, the dispute over these issues assumed a particularly bitter form when, in March 1872, the Marxian editors of La Emancipacion, representing vir­tually no one but themselves, proceeded to use the periodical in the name of the Federal Council to make a rapprochement with the Re­publicans. The editors were expelled, and the Madrid Federation was faced with the prospect of an open split.
One month later at Saragossa, the Spanish Regional Federation held its second national congress, where an attempt was made to heal the differences between the two factions. The editors of La Emancipa­cion were taken back into the organization. The congress prudently elected a Bakuninist Federal Council, with Lorenzo as secretary gen­eral, and transferred its headquarters from Madrid to Valenda. De­ spite the compromise, within weeks the battle was resumed in full fury—and this time it was waged on both sides without scruple. By publicly casting doubts on the sources of Bakunin's income, for example, the editors of La Emancipacion tried to revive the rumor that Bakunin was a police spy. The character assault occurred in Sep­tember, well after they were expelled from the Madrid Federation, but it affords a glimpse of the murky depths to which the discus­sion" had descended. The Anarchists on the Federal Council, on the other hand, were not immune to dishonorable tactics of their own.
Suspidops of Lorenzo's personal friendship with Lafargue, they sur­reptitiously opened his mail from Madrid and surrounded him in an atmosphere of intrigue. Such tactics by his own comrades so in­ furiated Lorenzo that he resigned from the Federal Council and left Valencia. But he never gave up his Anarchist principles and soon returned to the Federation.
The serious political differences between the two groups were increasingly obscured by gossip, slander, organizational maneuver­ing, and bitter invective. The climax of the sordid conflict was reached on June 3,1872, when the Autoritarios were expelled from the Madrid Federation. A month later, they established a "New Madrid Federa­tion" of their own and in reprisal for their expulsion they maliciously published the names of the Aliancistas in La Emancipacion Quly 27), exposing their former comrades to police reprisals. In the end, the conflict achieved virtually nothing for Lafargue, Mesa, Francisco Mora, and Iglesias. The overwhelming majority of the Madrid Feder­ation, indeed of the entire Spanish Regional Federation, supported the Aliancistas.
But the skirmishes in Madrid presaged a more historic conflict internationally, one which was to have a profound effect on the re­volutionary movement for decades to come. On September 2,1872, in a memorable congress at The Hague, Mikhail Bakunin and his young Swiss associate, James Cuillaume, were expelled from the Interna­tional for creating a secret organizatiori. The evidence for the charge came from Paul Lafargue. To be certain of his vittory over Bakunin, Marx had packed the congress with his supporters, dispatched dele­gates with highly questionable credentials, made unprincipled deals with men who were soon to become his bitter opponents, and per­sonally participated in the proceedings. He had even charged Baku­nin with "swindling" for failing to return a modest publisher's ad­vance for an unfinished Russian translation of Capital. "This attempt to rob a famous rebel of his good name, an act of character assassina­tion now condemned, apologetically, by most Marxist historians," observes Max Nettlau, "was to poison well-nigh forever the anarch­ists' personal feeling toward Marx." Thereafter, Marx had the Gen­eral Council transferred from London to New York, a move that virtually assured the death of the International.
Two weeks later, the Anarchist delegates to the Hague congress, representing primarily Switzerland, Italy, and Spain, met at St. Imier in the Swiss Jura and formed an International of their own. The delegates from Spain included Farga Pellicer and Gonzalez Morago.
After conferring with Bakunin, they hurried home and made plans to affiliate the Spanish Federation with the new International. With all restraints removed by the isolation of the Madrid Autoritarios and the split in the International, the Aliancistas decided to act boldly. They convened a new congress, four months earlier than the date stipu­lated by the Saragossa conference of April 1872. On December 25, 1872 , fifty-four delegates representing 20,000 workers in 236 local
federations and 516 trade sections convened in the Teatro Moratin at Cordoba for the third congress of the Spanish Federation . This was to be the last public national gathering of the original International in Spain for the next nine years . In many respects , it was also the most important one .
The Cordoba congress created what is generally regarded as the "typical" form of Anarchist organization in Spain . Although it is hard to speak of "typicality" with respect to the Spanish Anarchist movement , the congress basically abandoned the unwieldly structure created by the Valencia conference of the previous year . The Federal Council was shorn of its authority over local organizations and reduced to a mere "Federal Comission for Correspondence and Statistics".The trade sections and local federations were elevated to "sovereignly independent" bodies , free at any time to renounce their affiliation to the national
organization . All restraints were removed from acts of solidarity for local strikes and uprisings . By the same token , no trade section and/or local federation could be coerced into initiating or supporting any actions . Henceforth , the Spanish Federation was to be a formally decentrallized organization and its success as a movement was to depend largely upon initiatives from below .
Neverthelless , some kind of cohesion was necessary . The resposibility for
knitting the organization together was undertaken by the Anarchists , who , despite the formal dissolution of the Alliance , continued to retain close personal and organizational ties with each other . The Alliance , in effect , continued to exist , which now meant that the Spanish Federation had a de facto leadership , albeit a libertarian one . With his tipycal honesty , Anselmo Lorenzo , refuced to sugar - coat this fact . In the late years of his life , he wrote : "When a bourgeois expresses admiration for the working class organizations for not having a president who assumes the responsibility of leadership , the Internationals (Anarchists) smile with superior pride , as though they possess a secret that can not be penetrated by the short reach of the bourgeois interlocutor". This pretension irritated the old Anarchist and he added :"There was no such secret nor was it true that we had a total lack of authority . What we did have was a convention that deceived the very workers who employed it".
Yet in a sence , both Lorenzo and the complacent Anarchists he takes to task miss an essential point . The great bulk of Internationalists worked their jobs for long hours and low wages . They were burdened by the need to make ends meet for themselves and their hungry families . Ordinarily, these workers had little time or energy to give to their organization . Only the most high-minded working-men could play a routinely active role in the movement ,
which they did at enormous personal sacrifice. In these circumstances some kind of guidance was both unavoidable and necessary; to deny this fact would have been self-deception or hypocrisy.
Certainly the Spanish Anarchists deceived themselves often enough and it would have been miraculous if they were free of hypocrytes . What deserves emphasis is that they tned to create an organization in which guidance could exercised without coercion and a leadership, such as it was, removed easily when it was necessary or harmful. They also tried to encourage initiative from below and foster revolutionary elan in the sections, federations, indeed, in the factories and villages themselves. On this score, they were emi­nently successful, for until the outbreak of the Civil War, the Spanish libertarian movement never developed a bureaucracy. It had its share of those bureaucratic types and authoritarian personalities who are prone to flock into any effective mass movement. These people posed continuous problems for the original International and for its heirs. But their effect was neutralized by a structural flexibility, organizational looseness , and an atmosphere of freedom that has rarely been equaled by a mass labor movement in the history of our time. They had read their Bakunin well .
Brenan gives us a superb account of how well their movement suited Spanish conditions. "The first need", he writes , was to get hold of the half-starving, uneducated field laborers and factory workmen and fill them with a consciousness of their own grievances and their own power. These men could not, as a rule, afford to pay a regular subscription and they were suspicious of outside which might embroil them with their employers. Any reguIar trade-union organization with a paid secretariat, acting on orders from Barcelona or Madrid and leading its adherents like a bourgeois Republican party to the polling booths, would have been doomed to failure . But the Anarchist leaders were never paid—in 1936, when their trade union , the C.N.T. contained over a million members, it had only one paid secretary . Travelling about from place to place, on foot or mule back or on the hard seats of third-class railway carriages, or even like tramps or ambulant bullfighters under the tarpaulins of good wagons , whilst they organized new groups or carried on propagandist campaigns , these "apostles of the idea" as they were called , lived like mendicant friars on the hospitality of the more prosperous workmen .
Their first object was simply to enroll groups of poor workers , what - ever their political or religious opinions might be , for mutual protection against employers : now and then there would be a small strike , which , if it was successful , would at once double the membership of the section and lead to other small strikes in neighbouring districts . Then gradually the leaders would unfold their anarchist creed with its hatred of the church, its wild idealism, its generous and humane outlook, and the imagination of the hearers would be kindled. Thus it happened' that, at moments of enthusiasm, the number of the workers controlled by the Anarchists would double and treble themselves and, when the inevitable reaction came, would shrink back to a small kernel of convinced milit­ants. This plasticity of the Anarchist movement enabled it to survive persecutions and, soon as they were over, to reappear stronger than ever.
The organizational plasticity created by the Cordoba congress was soon to receive a critical test. The political instability that had led to Isabella's exile and the enthronement of Amadeo was now reach­ing serious proportions. In this mounting crisis, the agitation and strikes conducted by Spanish Federation did not pass unnoticed.
Throughout the closing months of 1871, the Federation, its activities, and the fact of its affiliation to the "sinister" International beyond the Pyrenees had become the subject of increasing discussion within the Cortes. In January 1872, the Federation was officially ordered to dis­solve by reason of its ties to a "foreign organization." But the gov­ernment was too weak to enforce its order and the Federation con­tinued to function as publicly as ever, even calling large rallies to protest the ban. But its days as an open movement were numbered, for if Spain was in upheaval and faced with revolution, she was also faced with a reactionary military pronunciamiento that would decide her future for decades to come.


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Rebellion and Repression

On February 11, 1873, Amadeo of Savoy abdicated the Spanish throne and returned to Italy. After a reign of little more than two years, the "gentleirian king," as the Spaniards called him, had run through six ministerial changes and three general elections without bringing political stability to the country. From the start, Amadeo had never gained the popularity of his subjects. The aristocracy treated him with disdain, Madrid theater audiences openly insulted him, and in the last months of his reign he was virtually isolated in the Cortes.
Faced with the choices of completely antagonizing the officer corps, provoking a Republican rebellion, or ruling by decree, this civilized monarch abandoned the throne, opening the way to a bloodless Re­publican victory.
The declaration of a republic found its adherents as divided as the constitutional monarchists. The Unitarians, a cautious wing led by Garcia Ruiz, favored a centralized republic modeled essentially on French lines. This group found its greatest support in the center of Spain, especially among the radical middle classes of Madrid. Oppos­ing the centralist Republicans were the Federalists, inspired by Pi y Margall's theories of a decentralized, Swiss-like republic based on the autonomy of the provinces. Not surprisingly, the Federalists acquired the bulk of their adherents from the petty-bourgeois radicals in the provincial cities and towns.
But the Federalists were far from united. The immediate suppor­ters of Pi were prudent men who, echoing his maxim that "force is legitimate only when right fails," believed in achieving a republic by legal means. Together with the Unitarians, they had developed their forces around parliamentary and electoral contests, throwing their support to the more liberal constitutional monarchists in common battles against "reactionaries" in the Cortes. This parliamentary "be­nevolence" toward supporters of a liberal monarchy earned them the contemptuous sobriquet of benevelos. By the end of Amadeo's reign, their tactics had thoroughly infuriated the more militant elements in the Federalist camp—the so-called Intransigents—who now veered toward an antiparlimentary policy of revolutionary action from be­low.
The Federalists did not have a majority of the country behind them, yet everything favored their success. The anti-Federalist forces had exhausted all the alternatives in their political armory and, after an aborted attempt at a coup in Madrid, sank into complete demorali­zation. The workers and the great mass of land laborers were highly combustible. A meaningful Federalist program, responsive to their needs, might have easily kindled their support. Reassured by the anticonscription policy of the Federalists, rank-and-file soldiers de­serted their regiments in droves, leaving the officer corps with in­ adequate forces to back up a pronunciamiento. The radical petty bourgeoisie of the provincial cities and towns were collecting into paramilitary groups. Only the Carlists were sufficiently armed and cohesive to uphold the interests of reaction, but except for the threat they posed in Catalonia, they were boxed into the northern moun­tains.
It seemed for a time that the Federalists would succeed. A Con­stituent Cortes elected a few weeks after Amadeo's abdication pro­vided them with a working majority and the legality necessary to establish a decentralized, cantonal republic. E. Figueras, a cautious Federalist benevelo who had functioned as caretaker president since February, was succeeded by Pi y Margall, the father of the Federalist doctrine in Spain. On April 24, 1873, Pi took over the presidency of the new republic. The government and the fate of the Federalist movement he had helped to create lay in his hands. Looking back" years later, he recalled that "after April 23 I wielded immense power. . . ." This "immense power" was to melt from his hands like ice under a blazing sun.
In 1873, Francisco Pi y Margall had reached the age of forty-nine.
The young, earnest Catalan who had threatened to "divide and sub­divide power until it was destroyed now found himself ensnared by the very system of power he was pledged to destroy. Nearly twenty years had passed since the publication of La Reacdon y La Revolucion.
The Federalist cause had grown from a heretical sect into a large movement embracing thousands of enraptured petty bourgeois. The severe repression initiated by Ramon Narvaez after 1856 had convulsed the lower middle classes, alienating them from the Liberal parties. From that point on, the Federalist movement began to grow and in 1869 Pi was elected to the Cortes, where he began to leam the techniques of parlimentary maneuvering.
Having acquired the presidency. Pi began to maneuver with the factions of his own movement. The Intransigents embarrassed him by their "puerile impatience" and were treated cavalieriy. This devotee of legality of whom Friedrich Engels offered the curious description, "the only socialist in the Republican camp," could offer the lower classes little more than social abstractions. Although Pi probably had the broadest vision of all the politicians in the Federalist movement, his "socialism," as Raymond Carr has observed, "did not get beyond wage arbitration, a minimum of state action to improve working con­ditions, agricultural credit, and a 'generalization of property' which would extend the liberal land revolution beyond the 'new feudalism' to the agrarian poor." Thus, if the legal etiquette involved in estab­lishing a federal republic goaded the Intransigents into action, the anemic Federalist program for social reform reduced the working glass and peasantry to passivity.
In no sense could Pi be regarded as a revolutionary. His "socialism," consisted of a hash of undeveloped notions, more akin to cooperativism than Anarchism or Marxian Socialism. Although the pressure exercised by the Intransigents was largely responsible for bringing him to power (a fact he well understood and used to advan­tage), Pi tended to rely on right-wing and centrist Federalists. He was quite prepared to use troops against Intransigent insurrectionaries and abhorred labor strikes. His "conciliatory" policies consisted largely of trying to cajole the Intransigents into making concessions to the moderate wings of the Cortes.(*1)
The denouement came on July 12, when armed Cantonalists (as the Intransigents and their allies were known) took over the munici­pal government of Cartegena and declared themselves autonomous.
The Cartegena revolt doomed Pi's legalist "conciliatory" policy. The father of Spanish Federalism" was now mistrusted by every faction
in the movement. The right regarded him as too "socialistic" and "conciliatory"; the Intransigents, as treacherous and lacking in re­volutionary zeal, although their deputies in the Cortes were prepared to support him against other tendencies. The Federalist center on which he relied for parlimentary support had divided between the right and the Intransigents, leaving him isolated. On July 18, not three months after taking the presidency. Pi resigned his office and was replaced by Salmeron, who lacked Pi's scruples and was pre­pared to jettison the federal republic for a more centralized state.(*1)
With Pi's resignation, the Cantonalist revolt that had started in Cartagena now spread throughout the south. In a matter of days, July 19 to 22, armed Cantonalists took over the municipal governments of Seville, Cadiz, Valencia, Almansa, Terrevieja, Castellon, Granada, Malaga, Salamanca, Bailen, Andujar, Tarifa, Algeciras, and other smaller communities. The greatest support for the uprising came from Andalusia and the Levant. Madrid and Barcelona remained in the government's handsi The Cantonalist revolt in the south was abetted by the outbreaks of a Carlist revolt in the Pyrenean passes and by disturbances in Madrid, which compelled the government to dispatch its best remaining troops to the north, leaving the key cities in Andalusia virtually unguarded.
What role did the Spanish Federation play in these events? In reality, only a minor one. The Federation had anticipated that the political crisis in Spain would approach an acute stage and took steps to prepare for any contingency. In the spring of 1872, the Federal Council in Madrid sent Francisco Mora and Anselmo Lorenzo on tours of the sections—Mora to the eastern region, Lorenzo to Andalusia—with the aim of establishing an underground organiza­tion. The two men asked trusted militants in each section to form a special clandestine group called "Defenders of the International" whose function was to spearhead an insurrection or, in the event of repression, to engage in underground activity. These "Defenders" were the precursors of many other defense organizations that the Spanish Anarchists were to establish in the future.
In the event of a successful insurrection, the "Defenders" were also expected to establish local revolutionary juntas that excluded bourgeois elements "if possible" (to use Lorenzo's words).
"Bourgeois elements," of course, included Federalists as well as Lib­erals. But Lorenzo's qualifying phrase is significant; it reveals the ambiguity that had begun to permeate the Federation's attitude to­ward the Federalist movement. Clearly, the Federation was nursing hopes for a Federalist victory in Spain, which it believed would pro­vide the labor movement with a politically hospitable atmosphere.
But since Anarchist principles required a resolutely antipolitical , class-oriented position, this dilemma was solved by a calculated form of "irresolution." On the eve of the elections to the Constituent Cortes, the Federation affirmed its antipolitical line by refusing to stand candidates. But it allowed the sections and individual Inter­ nationalists, if they so wished, to vote for the Federalists and cooper­ate with them.
In practice, of course the Federation was too weak to follow an independent policy of its own except for Internationalist uprisings in Alcoy, San Lucar, and a few scattered communities in Andalusia. In Barcelona, the proletariat responded to the Federation's plea for a general strike-but refused to follow it along the path of social revolu­tion. Intransigents and Internationalists worked together in establishing a Committee of Public Safety in Barcelona's municipal govern­ment. The Seville revolutionary junta was headed by the Inter­ nationalist, Mignorance. The Cartegena section may have played a role in winning the sailors over to the Cantonalist uprising, and In­ternationalists cooperated with Intransigents in Granada and Valen­cia. For the most part, however, the Cantonalist uprisings were fol­lowed by sharp recriminations between Anarchists and Federalists of all factions.
The Cantonalists, although capable of mobilizing a much larger following than the Internationalists, were not strong enough to with­ stand a serious military assault by Madrid. With some three thousand troops. General Pavia captured Seville after two days of heavy fight­ing and quickly reduced the rebellion in most Andalusian cities. Val­encia held out for nearly two weeks against General Campos's forces, and Cartegena, its landside protected by powerful ramparts and the naval base in Cantonalist hands, was enveloped by a long siege. But the city's cause was doomed after the rest of the country had been subdued. After four months it was taken owing to treachery by the officers of a key fortress.
Generally, the Cantonalists dominated the struggle. But in Alcoy a community of thirty thousand people to the south of Valencia, the Spanish Federation managed to etch its own mark on the events of 1873. This old industrial town, a center of paper-making for cen­turies, and been penetrated and strongly influenced by Inter­nationalists, and by early 1873 already enjoyed the distinction of fur­nishing outstanding Anarchist militants to the Spanish Federation.
The Cordoba congress had decided to locate the Federal Commission at Alcoy because five of the Commission's members came from the town. As a result, the relatively small industrial community became the center of the Spanish Federation on the eve of this nationwide rebellion.
The street fighting in Alcoy preceded by several days the Cantonalist uprising at Cartegena and almost stands out as a precursor of the insurrections that were to follow. Yet Alcoy exploded into insur­rection not because of political or regional antagonisms, but as the result of an economic dispute between the paper workers and their employers.
For some time there had been a vigorous agitation for an eight-hour day in the factories of Alcoy. The agitation, conducted by the local Internationalists, reached its climax on July 7, when an assembly of workers decided on a general strike to enforce its demands. On the following day, a delegation of factory employees appeared before the mayor at the City Hall, demanding that he summon the employers and present them with the workers' demands. The mayor, a stolid Federalist by the name of Augustin Albors, decided to play for time.
Assuring the workers of his neutrality in the strike, Albors treacher­ously urged the employers to stand firm and barricade themselves in their homes until military aid could be summoned. After dispatching a request for troops, he reversed his neutral stand and publicly denounced the strikers.
It is doutbful if the Internationalists were really eager to foment an insurrection in Alcoy. They must have realized the vulnerability of an uprising in an isolated and patently indefensible town. Accordingly, they tried to negotiate with the municipal government. The next day a second delegation appeared at the City Hall with the warning that the mayor and his council must either maintain their neutrality or resign if they wished to avoid a conflict. As the delegation was leav­ing, the police opened fire on an unarmed crowd in the square. It was this stupid provocation rather than any "sinister" Internationalist de­sign that triggered the Alcoy uprising. The senseless shootings in­ furiated the workers, who quickly gathered arms and besieged the City Hall. The police (numbering little more than thirty) finally sur­rendered after enduring a siege of twenty hours. They had simply run out of ammunition. Albors, adamant and stupid to the last, was shot and killed after firing his pistol point-blank at the workers who were arresting him.
The Alcoy uprising occurred on July 9, and its chances of enduring were far smaller than those of the later Cantonalist insurrections in the cities. The Internationalists established a Welfare Committee to manage the town, but its most pressing task was to negotiate favora­ble surrender terms from General Velarde, who was approaching from Alicante. Fortunately the committee received a promise of com­plete amnesty through the good offices of a Federalist deputy, Cervera, and on July 12, Velarde entered Alcoy without meeting armed opposition.
Many writers have dealt with the Alcoy uprising as a trivial episode that was submerged by the Cantonalist insurrections. In terms of its scope, they are correct. The entire event lasted little more than five days. By comparison with an historic event like the Paris Commune, Alcoy seems like a skirmish. That it occurred at all was due more to the dilatoriness of the military in Alicante than to the revolutionary fervor of the workers in Alcoy. Yet this brief episode created a sensation in Spain. Almost all shades of opinion, including Federalist, joined in condemning it. Doubtless, the well-to-do classes of Spain were haunted by images of the Paris Commune and the possibility of its recurrence in Spain. But there were also internal reasons for the fears Alcoy had aroused. For the first time in Spanish history, an armed uprising had occurred that was orchestrated not by predictable elements such as the military, the church, or the Liberals, but by an avowedly revolutionary working-class organization. For the first time, the industrial proletariat in Spain had acted as an inde­pendent insurrectionary force.
The uprising, coupled with the fall of Pi, guaranteed that the Spanish Federation would be physically suppressed. The organiza­tion, however, continued to maintain a public, if harrassed, existence for another half year while the bourgeois politicians in Madrid con­summated the burial rites of the First Republic. Salmeron, who had taken over the presidency from Pi in July 1873, was replaced in less than two months by Castelar, a Federalist whom the conservative classes and generals regarded as more pliable than his predecessors.
Having strengthened the army's position in Spanish politics, neither Salmeron nor Castelar could put it to rest. When it seemed that Caste­ lar would not be able to stem a parlimentary drift back to the Federalists, the generals decided to act openly; In January 1874, Gen­eral Pavia, the "savior of Spain" from a Cantonalist republic, pro­nounced against Castelar and installed General Serrano, a conserva­tive military politician. Within a year it was clear that Serrano's gov­ernment could be little more than a transition to a restoration of the Bourbon monarchy. When a bloodless pronunciamiento by Martinez Campos brought Alfonso XII, Isabella's son, to the throne a year later, it surprised no one in Spain or abroad. Even a substantial number of Carlists defected to the new monarch.
The Federalist movement, split irreparably by the Cantonalist up­risings, was to disappear under the Bourbon Restoration. Yet its im­portance for Spanish Anarchism can hardly be overestimated. De­spite the sharp differences that were to emerge between the two movements during the revolt, they overlapped in many key areas.
Both sought to weaken the central government (the Anarchists, of course, to abolish it) and to foster a vital regional and community life.
The Intransigents, like the Anarchists, were prepared to use the most
desperate insurrectionary methods to achieve their decentralized goals. Anarchists and Cantonalists fought together behind the same barricades in July 1873, and sat on the same revolutionary juntas in the provincial cities and towns. Later, many Federalists were to turn to Anarchism as the logical development of their decentralist aims.
The Anarchists, in turn, were to elevate Pi y Margall to the status of a precursor of the libertarian movement in Spain.(*2) No sooner had Serrano become president of the faltering republic in the early months of 1874, when he ruthlessly undertook the sup­pression not only of the more extreme Federalist groups, but also of the International. The meeting halls and workers' centers of the Spanish Federation were closed down, its militants jailed by the hun­dreds, and its newspapers outlawed. At its high point in September 1873, the Federation probably numbered no more than 60,000 mem­bers, an insignificant fraction of the popular following the Federalists could muster. Even more telling than the arrests of Internationalists were the blows Serrano and the Restoration politicians struck at the movement's base, the working class. Strikes were crushed at gun­point and the right of workers to form labor unions was prohibited by law. In effect the workers' movement was thrown back nearly twenty years, when the cry "Association or Death" had rung in the streets of Barcelona. Nor did the persecution relent with the passing years. At La Carraca, as late as March 1877, the police placed sixty-six Inter­nationalists in weighted sacks and threw them into the sea. A doud, thick with fear and repression, had descended on Spain. It would last for nearly eight years.
Somehow the Federation survived these persecutions. National congresses were abandoned for secret regional, or comarcal, confer­ences. Local underground presses replaced the editorial offices of widely distributed public newspapers. Economic strikes were aban­doned for revolutionary strikes—which essentially meant no strikes at all. Having drunk heavily from the fount of revolution, the Spanish Federation reorganized itself once again, this time into a small insur­rectionary organization.
A new structure geared almost entirely to armed revolt replaced the loose, informal public structure established by the Cordoba con­gress. In the cities, where it could once count on thousands of adher­ents and numerous sections, the International was reduced to a few dedicated Anarchists. The "Defenders of the International" were re­named the "Avenging Executive Nucleus," a more aggressive title that accorded writh the embattled and violent mood of Anarchism at the time.
The fact is, of course, that the Internationalists in the cities were living on a myth. No revolution was in the offing; indeed, the first signs of mass urban revolutionary unrest were not to reappear in Spain until the turn of the century. Lacking the power to conduct strikes for higher wages and better working conditions, the Interna­tional had been deserted by the Spanish proletariat; hence it could feed only on ideology, hope, and conspiracy. Many native Catalan workers had never accepted the violent Anarchist theories of the Federation with enthusiasm. They might have entered typical reformistic labor unions in droves were it not for the continual influx of Murcianos and the intransigence of the Catalan factory owners. In any case, with the increasing repression, the balance within the Interna­tional began to shift from the north to the south. By February 1873, when the Spanish Federation's membership had reached a peak of 60,000,two thirds were in Andalusia. It was in the agrarian south, in the mountain pueblos, the sun-drenched towns and cities, and on the ancient latifundia of Andalusia and the Levant, that Spanish Anarch­ism was to survive and grow during the early years of the Bourbon Restoration.

Notes

(*1). Only after Pi was removed from power did he try to establish a work­ing relationship with the Intransigents, but by this time it was too late. With the collapse of the federal republic and the restoration of the Bourbons, Pi was largely ignored by his erstwhile followers and essentially became a theorist and a Proudhonian ideologue.
(*2). It was Pi who ordered Velarde to march on Alcoy after the Inter­nationalist uprising. On the other hand, the repression would have been very severe had he not been the president of the republic. In later years, when Anarchist terrorists were to turn public opinion against the libertarian move­ment, he courageously spoke up on its behalf. As Hennessy points out. Pi was admired by the Anarchists not only because of his moral probity. Pi died in 1901. Generalizing from his life, an obituary in the Anarchist journal La Revista Blanca emphasized that "integrity in a corrupting society has a value which only those can appreciate who have wanted and succeeded in maintaining their public and private life untarnished."—a characteristic conclu­sion for a movement that insisted on a complete unity between the two.


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Chapter Five: The Disinherited

Peasant Anarchism


To claim as some writers have done that Anarchism was im­ported into Andalusia and the Levant would not be entirely true.
Perhaps it would be more appropriate to say that Anarchism was latent there, and the Internationalists evoked it. If the Anarchists of the cities had to build their own countersociety to an inhospitable and corrosive comihercial world, the Anarchists of the countryside found one in their very midst. They had only to reshape some of its ele­ments in order to create a living social milieu for libertarian ideas and ways of life.(*1)
The International had no difficulty in winning over the braceros, the great mass of exploited gang workers who cultivated the latifun­dia of the Guadalquivir basin. But the real strength lay in the moun­tain pueblos, of Andalusia and the Levant—the "people of the sierra," as J. A. Pitt-Rivers calls them. Here, where a few hundred families lived in compact towns surrounded by bare, jagged peaks.
Anarchism struck its deepest and most lasting roots. Tenacity and continuity are among the most striking features of these communities and reveal themselves in many ways. The squat buildings of white­-washed granite boulders and uncut stone, so common in the moun­tains, are made to last, and village traditions often reach back for centuries of embattied Spanish history. The beginnings of some of these pueblos can be traced back to the Moorish invasions.
In contrast to the rich Guadalquivir basin, the soil of the sierras is poor and marginal. Fighting an intractable land, the mountain pea­sants must coax out a mixed crop of vegetables and maize—this by hand labor, for machinery is not only costly but almost useless on the sloping, rocky soil. Olives, fruit, and stock-raising play a key role in the agricultural economy. Most of the mountain peasants own their own land, generally in plots of less than five acres. To compensate for the small size of these holdings, grazing is done on common land. A large pueblo of three thousand inhabitants or more, for instance, may own thousands of acres of forest and pasture. A substantial minority, of peasants have larger holdings (in excess of five acres). Still another minority are essentially landless laborers who must contract for work in the pueblo or on large estates in the valley. The pueblo's money is acquired mainly by selling fattened pigs for slaughter, but eggs, poul­ try, and a large part of the crop also find their way to the market.
Taken as a whole, the mountain pueblo is remarkably self-sufficient economically and almost wondrously self-contained cultur­ ally. The essential means of life—food, shelter, fuel, and in times past, clothing—come from within the pueblo itself; with the result that the mountain peasants are less vulnerable to economic vicissitudes than the braceros and industrial workers. The biggest problem they face is drought. In the arid lands of the south, rainfall and access to water are as close as one can come to an agricultural "mystique." In other respects, mountain peasants have no love of nature, no mysti­cal attitude toward the soil, no feeling for agriculture.
Their deepest passion is social life: the joys of talk, argument, and companionship. Hence, houses cluster together, even if this means that peasants may have to walk long distances to their holdings. The virtues that are prized most highly are mutual aid, hospitality, loyal­ty, and honesty in dealings. So strong is this social cohesiveness that the pueblo answers for each of its members as a single community, and each in turn tends to value the good name of the pueblo over his or her own petty interests and concerns. Lope de Vega's play Fuenteovejuna is based on the real story of a pueblo of the fifteenth century that rose against a tyrannical knight and killed him. When the royal judges arrived and tried to determine who was responsible for his death, the only answer they could get was "Fuenteovejuna." It was inconceivable that responsibility for an act by one of its members, which had the approval of the pueblo, should be regarded as anything but an act by the pueblo as a whole.
This solidarity, reinforced by a harsh environment of sparse means and a common destiny of hard work, produces a fierce egalitarianism. The preferred form of transaction between peasants and laborers is aperceria, or partnership, rather than wages. Although they own the land and work as hard as the laborers, the peasants may give as much as half the crop to their temporary "partners." This type of relationship is preferred not only because it is wiser to share what one has in hand rather than to speculate on monetary returns, but also owing to a rich sense of fraternity and a disdain for possessive values. In the life of the pueblo, poverty confers absolutely no inferior­ity; wealth, unless it is spent in behalf of the community, confers absolutely no prestige. The rich who own ,property in or near the pueblo are generally regarded as a wicked breed whose power and ambitions corrupt society. Not only is the pueblo immune to their influence, but in reaction, tends to organize its values around the dignity of work and the importance of moral and spiritual goals.
Before the 1870s the more energetic of these peasants might have turned to brigandage in their youth. The mountains were infested with bandits whose exploits as champions of the poor acquired, in some cases, larger-than-life proportions. But after the 1870s, the more capable of the mountain villagers became "los que tenian ideas" ("those who had ideas"). They embraced Anarchism with a devotion that was to survive every persecution but the meticulous execution squads of the fascist Falange.
To be an Anarchist in the mountain pueblos involved adopting all the personal standards of the Anarchists in the cities. A man did not smoke, drink, or go to prostitutes, but lived a sober, exemplary life in a stable free union with a companera. The church and state were anathema, to be shunned completely. Children were to be raised and educated by libertarian standards and dealt with respectfully as sovereign human beings.
But there were also marked differences between the Anarchism of the industrial cities and the Anarchism of the countryside. As proleta­rian Anarchism drifted increasingly toward syndicalism, it gave a strong emphasis to organizational expediency. Peasant Anarchism retained its intertsely moral elements, often conflicting with the val­ues and demands of the cities. As Pitt-Rivers observes, "the tele­grams to the congress of 1882 which came from Catalonia and the north ring with phrases like "anarco-sindicalistas". Those from the sierra talk only of justice and the cause of the people." Such differ­ences were to reemerge in every major dispute that divided the Spanish Anarchists. City and country were to conflict on the merits of national over local organization, on the value of libertarian com­munism as against Bakunin's collectivism, on agrarian communes versus the division of the land into individual holdings (the reparto).
But these disputes belong to later years, when peasant Anarchism began to give way to Anarchosyndicalism.
Living in a world that demanded fewer of the compromises facing their urban comrades, the Anarchists of the sierra walked like un­blemished prophets among their people. Their ascendancy was based on no authority or social position. As targets of the clergy. Civil Guard, and large landowners, the Anarchists of the sierra could command no resources other than a respect earned by the exemplary nature of their behavior and the relevancy of their ideas. Lacking any formal influence, they were utterly vulnerable. The Civil Guard often made its own law in the rural hinterland of Spain. That the village
Anarchists could survive the mobilized institutions of the state and church is compelling evidence of the popular support they acquired.
True, they were semi-educated men, and their ideas often seem crude to the more literate and sophisticated mind. But it is easy to forget that during the late nineteenth century in Spain, the village Anarchists were virtually the sole voices of science and modernism in the sierra. Only from the Anarchists could the peasants hope to learn of such men as Darwin, Helmholtz, Laplace—or, for that matter; Galileo and Copernicus. Always ready to expound upon their views, they formed the center of all discussions on religion, politics, science, morality, and education. Many children in the pueblos acquired the rudiments of reading and writing from these conscientious "apostles of the Idea." And they were the only voices of protest against injus­tices by the local notables, bringing the complaints of the villagers to the outside world in the form of letters and articles to the Anarchist press. The people of the sierra, in turn, consulted them endlessly on all the petty details of village life. They were the arbiters of personal disputes and of malfeasances perpetrated by one villager on another - the source of advice on endless practical questions.
The majority of villagers, to be sure, were never actively occupied with the Anarchist movement. Although aroused to action in periods of distress or hope, in ordinary times they went about their daily business with very little interest in anarchistic tenets. On the other hand, the convinced Anarchist militants formed a tight nucleus within the larger arena of the pueblo. They became, in effect, a clan, even "intermarrying" and establishing blood ties. E.J. Hobsbawm, who made a close study of the Casas Viejas uprising , found that Maria ("La Liberteria"), the daughter of Curro Cruz, the old Anarch­ist militant who sparked the uprising, was "engaged" to Jose Cabanas Silva, the most outstanding of the younger militants.
Another member of the Silva family was the secretary of the Laborers's union. The Cruz and Silva families were united not only by the relationship of Maria and Jose, but by the tragedy of the uprising itself.
In the valleys, and at lower elevations in the basin of the Guadal­quivir, the smaller farms of the mountain peasants give way to large estates and finally to the latifundia, the great plantations that charac­terize the Andalusian countryside. It is here that one encounters the most glaring extremes of rural wealth and poverty, of extravagant opulence and chronic hunger. And it is here too, among the landless, rural proletarians—the braceros—that Anarchism found another kind of mass support, as shifting and changeable as the volatile moods of the Andalusian poor.
If the tenacity of the Anarchist movement in the sierra can be explained by the solidity of the pueblo, the instability of this move­ment on the latifundia can be explained by the poverty of social forms among the braceros. Brought together and then scattered by the sea­sonal demands of plantation agriculture, these great masses of rural laborers lacked any definable social outlines or institutions. They did not live on the landlord's estate like serfs, or in villages like peasants, or even in large cities as did the industrial workers, but rather in the slums of dismal Andalusian towns of 15,000 inhabitants or more.
These towns were too large and formless to provide the solidarity of a sierra pueblo and too small to afford the stimulation of a Barcelona.
Drab and purposeless, the lives of the braceros were completely unstable. Hired by the season, the week, or the day (they were, in fact, commonly called jornaleros, or day laborers), they worked, with occasional smoking breaks, for twelve or more hours daily at consid­ erable distances from home. During the plowing and harvesting sea­sons, when several months of continuous work could be guaranteed, the bracero would be expected to leave his family and live in the landlord's ganania, a shabby, barn-like barracks, where his bed was some straw on the floor and his companions were lonely, miserable wretches like himself, torn from their home and families by the need to work.
Their misery beggars description. The landlord fed them gazpacho, a soup of water, oil, vinegar, bread, and some beans or chick peas.
Bread, eaten as a substitute for virtually all the alimentary staples, formed the basic diet of the Andalusian poor. A landlord who added other ingredients to this impoverishing and stunting diet could be expected to deduct his additional costs from the bracero's wages. The inhuman neglect these people suffered as late as the 1930s is con­veyed in an account by E.H.G. Dobby, an English geographer who spent two years engaged in fieldwork in Spain:
I recall an incident during a visit to an experimental pig farm in an out-of-the-way part of Andalusia. From the darkness at one end of the building came a red glow. I went along and found a laborer's family crouched on the floor around a twig fire with smoke so thick that breath­ing was difficult. The malodorous squalor contrasted with the carefully washed sties that l had been seeing. To my query an old woman mum­bled: "Yes, we live here. Worse than the pigs." At which the owner beside me exclaimed indignantly: "You have a roof over your head. What more do you want?"
The response of the owner sums up, with priceless clarity, the attitude of the Andalusian landed classes toward the braceros: they were regarded as less than animals. And to form a complete picture of life in the gananias during sowing or harvesting time, one must add to this description twenty or more people of all ages. If a family was present, every member worked, including the children, often to the point of sheer exhaustion.
Economically, the impoverished braceros were at the mercy of the landlord, who could lower their wages and break their strikes by hiring scab labor from the mountain villages or by simply cultivating the best land and letting the rest lie fallow. Indeed, large tracts of land were not placed under cultivation: some were returned to game for hunting, others to pasture for breeding fighting bulls. Owing to their extreme poverty, the braceros could rarely conduct long attritive strikes; hence the violent, near-insurrectionary dimensions of labor conflicts in Andalusia. Indeed, the strikes had virtually no staying power without support from peasants who owned or leased land in the latifundia regions. If the landowners were not panicked into con­cessions by the fear of a widespread jacquerie or peasant war, the strikers usually lost out. Occasionally, public opinion shifted to their side and the less inhumane landowners made concessions on their own.
To starving, landless proletarians who worked a half year or less for a pittance, the sight of large areas of untilled land could generate only one kind of feeling: a searing hatred for the landlord an the stewards who executed his orders. Their antagonism might have been contained in 1835, when Mendizabal and his Liberal ministry initiated the confiscation of the church lands. In the following years, immense tracts of ecclesiastical and common land were put up for sale in Andalusia. As noted earlier, this enormous legacy was snatched up by the bourgeoisie and turned, for the most part, into latifundia. The braceros acquired nothing. Agrarian unrest was answered not by land reform but by the use of the Civil Guard—the detested Guardia—against the peasantry and landless laborers.
Historically, the role of this special police force in promoting re­volutionary unrest in the countryside has been so important that it must be discussed as a distinct factor in the development of peasant Anarchism. An elite constabulary, carefully selected and well-disciplined, the Civil Guard was established in 1844 to deal with the growing banditry in the south. By this time, the great bulk of Andalu­sian bandits no longer even remotely approximated the heroic image they had acquired in popular legend. They had become the tools of the caciques. They were used to defend property against the upsurge of peasant unrest and intimidate the opponents of their corrupt polit­ical bosses in local elections. The alliance between the caciques and bandits served not to abate brigandage, but to expand it. Shielded from imprisonment by the patronage of their new employers, the bandits began to raid with impunity. A point was finally reached where travel between Andalusian towns was virtually impossible without an armed escort.
To restore the security of the roads by using the local militia and police would have been useless. Like the bandits, they too had been largely taken over by the caciques. Thus, when the Civil Guard was formed, strict measures had to be taken to insulate the new force from local influence. Its men were never recruited from the districts in which they served, and they were expressly forbidden to intermarry or establish familiar relations with the local population. Civil Guards occupied special fortified barrracks within the village. They invariably walked in pairs, fully armed, and exuded a mistrust toward the com­munity that soon enveloped them in hostility. A force apart, increas­ ingly detested, the Guardia became easily unnerved and trigger-happy, escalating minor protests into riots and riots into insurrec­tions. Whatever support the revolutionary groups could not mobilize with their literature and oratory, the Guardia eventually gained for them with its carbines. Narvaez, who organized this force and sent it on its way into the countryside, deserves to be enshrined as one of the ablest propagandists of the Anarchist and Socialist movements in Spain.
Frustrated by the disposition of the church lands, prodded by the carbines of the Guardia, and threatened by the values of a crassly egoistic business civilization, the peasantry and braceros of the south were to create their own unique form of social revolt. By the late 1860s, a new kind of restlessness began to stir the pueblos, gananias, and drab towns of the south: a sense of mounting exaltation that was to surge up at various points, suddenly enveloping the rural masses in hope and sweeping them into local insurrections. Often they oc­curred not merely for narrow economic gains, but to achieve comunismo libertario: the libertarian communism described in Anarchist pamphlets. Writers on the Andalusian uprisings—including the Anarchists themselves—tend to emphasize the millenarian quality of these outbursts; and it is true that in the naive and simple directness of their visions, the insurgent peasants and braceros of Andalusia seemed to parallel the rural folk of the late middle ages with their enraptured dreams of a "second coming." Evil and wickedness would be banished from the earth. Rich and poor, enlightened by the bright reality of a new world, would embrace in a spirit of reconcilia­tion and mutual aid. It would be an ascetic world—"a just sharing of austerity rather than a dream of riches," as Hobsbawm notes—but peace, freedom, and equality would reign. Not only would money, wealth, and differences in social rank disappear, but to the more austere adherents, people would cease to partake of tobacco, alcohol, coffee, and other "vice-promoting" luxuries.
This vision would percolate in the gananias of the latifundia and the mountain pueblos, gradually building up until it seemed that no­thing was worth discussing but its merits and possibilities. Then it would boil up, precipitated by a strike or a stupid act by the au­thorities. There would be a brief period of fighting, followed by a period of repression in which the dream would seem to evaporate.
Elation and hope would be succeeded by sullen despair and fatalism.
Ricardo Mella, the sensitive Anarchist essayist who lived in An­dalusia for many years, recalls the volatile temperament of the people, so quick to rise in boundless enthusiasm and then sink into dejection, lacking doggedness and staying power. Later, however, passions would begin to surge up again, and the dream would reap­pear. The cycle would be repeated with the same fervor, as though a regeneration had occurred without a background of past defeats.
But granting the cycles of periodic uprising and decline, the agra­rian movement in the south had a solid economic core that accounts for its continual revival in the face of unfavorable odds. For many peasants and braceros, comunismo libertario was equated with the reparto—the redivision of the land. In Andalusia, where a vast acreage was needlessly left uncultivated or used with gross inefficiency, a rational redivision of the land would have raised the standard of living enormously and provided a powerful spur to Spain's economic development. In the 1870s and early 1880s, the reparto meant the division of the land into individual holdings, not collective farms.
Even the peasant Anarchists adhered to this view. Later, with the growth of Anarchosyndicalist unions, the braceros and, to a lesser degree, the peasants were won over to a communal system of land tenure.
What doomed the agrarian movement of the period was not the impracticability of its visions but its isolation. The upsurges were usually limited to a few localities, each following the other like fire­ crackers on a string. Rarely was there an explosion throughout the entire region. The pueblos had yet to be linked with the gananias.
Periodicals were needed to bring tidings of the social movement in one district to the attention of others. Organization was necessary to coordinate the insurrections into a common movement. Finally, and most importantly of all, the barriers separating the industrial cities from the countryside had to be demolished and the workers' move­ment joined with that of the peasants.


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