THE BANKRUPTCY OF SYNDICALISM AND ANARCHISM
WORKERS FOR PROLETARIAN AUTONOMY AND SOCIAL REVOLUTION
Does La Bancarotta have any relevance to the year 2004... ?
Although written in Spain in 1979, the following text caused quite a furore at the time it was published. It was notable for attacking anarchism not from its traditional statist party Marxist perspectives but for not being libertarian enough as equally in practise, anarchism often accepted a statist framework staffed by its own elite. In retrospect, perhaps it is possible to say that the text does so from an almost mythical belief in the purity of rebellious (usually industrial) workers who will find the solution to the totality of all our problems. Well, maybe... ..
What the text does reveal is that anarchist theorising and often inconsistent practise in all its 1936-7 Spanish Revolution glory had become largely irrelevant as a theory with a real cutting edge in an often vastly different modern world. In reality what Spain was experiencing in the late 1970s was the nostalgic swansong of an epoch long gone - hence the vitriolic tone and exasperation evident in the text. In the following decades Spain was swept fully into the hideous realities of post-modernism with anarchism more as totem and fashion accessory accompanying the free market. Equally though, the 'pure' workers got grounded, as a contemporary subversive theory - which this text is also a potentially an expression of - also bit the dust.
It is still however a panegyric-like rant worth reading if only for the reason that a vague anarchist disposition influences huge swathes of the anti-globalisation movement whereby local small-scale flavour reaches out to a yet to be created - and hoped for - benign state protecting many varied and interesting projects developing beneath is patronage. That some of these initiatives may turn out to have promise depend however on an unprecedented greater movement that has yet to unfold which will finally overturn the law of value governing capitalist accumulation. But this process is still a gigantic leap into a real unknown and will it ever really take off? Yet it is our only hope. If not, most of these experiments are merely the final, forlorn initiatives as the planet is engulfed in the flames of suicide capitalism. As the song said - and it is a trajectory we clearly and desperately dont want to see: "This is the end my friend, my only friend the end".
This text should also be read in conjunction with the following RAP web text: From the End of Empire, to the Empire of the End which outlines the artistic/media component of the failed Portuguese Revolution of 1974-5 from a somewhat similar perspective though without emphasising the workers as a kind of demiurge of this hideous mess.
(The following intro was written in 1983)
Although written in 1979, the following translation still remains as pointed as ever. It is a valuable contribution to the critique of all the insubstantial nostalgia surrounding anarcho-syndicalism. These ideas are been given a second airing thanks to the growing recognition in many quarters of the obsolescence of trade unionism. The customary approach is to show how anarcho-syndicalism evolved from the limits of traditional trade unionism. What is frequently overlooked is the way in which anarcho-syndicalism reverted back into a more conventional trade unionism. In any case, a through going revolutionary critique of all the complexities and pitfalls of anarcho-syndicalism as it was experienced in the U.S.A., France, Australia, Scandinavia, Argentina, the U.K., Spain etc. is urgently required. Obviously insurgent workers at one point felt a need for it just as sectors of capital sometime later were to seize hold of its weaknesses and weaken it even further. Radical criticism of the State was shelved as anarcho-syndicalism became more unashamedly political.
In fact the crisis of anarcho-syndicalism, and one it was unable to recover from, was earth shatteringly revealed in the May Days of 1937 in Catalunya and Aragon. These days have turned out to be a short lived radical precursor of all revolutionary moments since. The truth of the failure of anarcho-syndicalism was splashed on the pavements in blood for all to see. In exile what remained of the CNT, became a hollow mockery of its former self. It's legalization after Franco's death was also to become its epitaph. The need for libertarians to organize remains as pressing as ever but the hour of revolutionary syndicalism passed along while ago.
Translated and produced (together with short introduction) by BM BLOB. London 1983
Left: Federica Montseny. "Wretch " I said, "it is well that you come here to whine over the desolation that you have made. You throw a torch into a pile of buildings; and when they are consumed you sit among the ruins and lament the fall. Hypocritical fiend! If he whom you mourn still lived, still would he be the object, again would he become the prey of your accursed vengeance. It is not pity that you feel; you lament only because the victim of your malignality is withdrawn from your power. " (Frankenstein: Mary W. Shelley)
Forty years ago in the revolutionary civil war the collapse occurred of the revolutionary image that the Spanish libertarian movement had presented. It was seized by a military/political statist frenzy and anarchist principles became unexpectedly inverted. Reality gave the lie to them. All that anarchism and anarcho-syndicalism had affirmed throughout their existence was carried into practice and transformed into its opposite. Anarchist and anarcho-syndicalist organization generated a burocratic caste possessing its own interests distinct from those of the working class. It drew closer each day that passed to the Stalinist and republican burocracy. Their ideology was converted into pure opportunism. Their social experiments like the collectivisations - through being made legal and in receipt of state financial help - evolved toward State capitalism. Four months sufficed for the CNT (1) to take over the counter revolutionary management of State power alongside its former enemies and adversaries. Shamelessly the CNT proclaimed:
"As the controlling instrument of State organs, the government has now ceased to be a repressive force exercised against the working class longer just as the State is no longer the organ dividing class society. And both shall cease even more to repress the people because of the intervention of CNT elements in them. "(Solidaridad Obrera, 4.11. 1936)
Nowadays the dissemination and conservation of anarcho-syndicalism amounts to nothing less than the dissemination and conservation of an ideological corpse. Its only purpose is in contributing to, and strengthening, the lies concerning revolutionary struggles. Or what amounts to the same thing: blotting out the memory of history from proletarian minds. But the disintegration of the libertarian image of a second CNT appearing after a parenthesis lasting many years only underlines the fact that this period of time -though lost for revolutionaries - has not been gained for the burocratic lie. The irreversible collapse of the libertarian syndicalist image, which the burocratic lie of the CNT opposed to the whole of Spanish capitalist society as its pseudo negation, has become obvious first of all on the terrain which capitalism and the State has the utmost interest in preserving: the sham of an adversary on the terrain of class struggle.
In its permanent crisis, what was never revolutionary has ceased being syndicalism. The organizational decline is undeniably present in two ways. On the one hand there is a massive desertion of members and the paralysis of its organizational structures;
"...at a time when unions themselves aren't functioning never mind union factory branches. Neither the factory committees and area federations nor the regional committees are functioning. The National Committee scarcely functions at all. .." (L.A. Edo, Viejo Topo, April 1979) (2)
"Solidaridad Obrera has stopped coming out, factory committees have folded and. many workers have left. There have been stormy meetings. Irreconcilable tensions have appeared. The exile (3) has brought intolerable pressures to bear. Local federations have dissolved themselves nationally and union branches have left the federation etc... "(F. Boldu, "El Periodico", 22.5.1979)
This is recognised by an operatic conspirator and a Catalan priest, being furthermore significant CNT burocrats. On the other hand, it is also apparent from the disputes between petty factions squabbling for control of the rest of the organization. Their repugnant character has been aptly described by general secretary, E. Marcos in an article outstanding for its anarcho -syndicalist hypocrisy.
"Practises which we have criticised in others and which we continue to criticise are adopted without scruple. Time after time advantage is taken of the prestige which confused militants impart to us and which is convinced by demagogic posturings. Perspectives can be different going from official agreements to the "CNT of street action" (...) Given the small number of militants in the union, union branches suffer from being manipulated by whatever tendency happens to be the strongest. Positions in the organization owe more to the different theories of tendencies than to union practise. In the CNT a process of disintegration and decomposition is taking place (...) The confederation debates within a sea of confusion provoked by the politics of would be politicians, preliminary negotiations and broad fronts, a lack of clarity and honesty full of pitfalls and serving particular interests and particular groups ". (The Tendencies and the CNT, "Solidaridad Obrera", ( 5.3.1979)
The initial result has been the expulsion of envious chiefs to one of the cliques. The fight will not rest there. It is merely the beginning of a general dissolution from which there is no turning back. Everyone of the CNT hypocrites fear this. "The struggle for dominance in the CNT shall leave nothing left to dominate, In the short term this is what's going to happen " (Marcos. ibid)
The decomposition of the CNT'S burocratic pyramid, particularly pronounced in places where it's reappearance has been evident for some time, had to receive its greatest impetus from its geographical system center: Barcelona. It was there that the reconstituted CNT's second crisis originated. The power struggle present in the organization from the start was incapable of proceeding in silence. Between the insults, acts of aggression and fantastic accusations, it was obvious the CNT had fallen to bits. These extravagant distortions called for a degree of ludicrous accuracy; "at no time has it been proved that expelled comrades belonged to the secret service or were members of the UCD (4) as was publicly stated in the meeting held on May the First. (Declaration put out by the National Committee, 14.5.1979)
Meantime two burocrats who had been kicked out, playing the role of Good Samaritan, stated what everyone knew:
"whether possessing proof or not everyone knows of or suspects the existence of more than one group of one kind or another attached to some banner or revolving around some individuals. Apart from the affinity groups, I would suspect with grounds for doing so, but not having evidence to prove it, there exists in Barcelona five more groups... " (IM Berro, "Solidaridad Obrera", 20.4.1979)
"In fact there are three FAI (5) in existence. One is called the burocratic or the "sindicalero"-FAI, (6) led by people from Valencia, in particular Juan Ferrer. They have some presence pretty close to the exiles and profess a party/union conception. There is also a Catalan FAI (...) But in addition to both there exists other groups theoretically united in a sort of peninsular wide committee, like the one headed by Luis Andres Edo. Although he tries to pass himself off as an independent he belongs to an organization. ." (S. Puigcerver, "Viejo Topo", May 1979)
The burocracy basis its power on the possession of the union apparatus and must obey the logic of its situation according to the particular interests which the growth of unions branches under their control imposes. This two times table of the syndicalist burocracy was profoundly resented by one of the factions, namely the "anarcho-syndicalist affinity groups." For the latter, the organizations future lay in the formation of factory sections. The first step of the burocracy's ladder had to be in the factory. But for this purpose the libertarian phraseology had to be reduced to pure appearance, thus conceding that syndicalism could never provide a concretely revolutionary form -not even a concrete ideology - to the workers. The Jesuit, J .A. Diaz, described it clearly in "Solidaridad Obrera";
"Can an organization of the syndicalist type, like the CNT, be revolutionary and make use of direct action like in the most glorious moments of its history ? It is necessary to find a collective solution to this problem. The reply might possibly be negative". (5.12.1978)
This necessitates then the opening up of contacts with their current trade union counterparts and participating together with the other central unions in negotiating contracts behind the backs of the workers. It also meant going in for some small time hustling with the minority unions in order to avoid being marginalized by the joint UGT/CC.OO (7) consortium. A contemptible burocrat from the provinces even insinuated exploiting the electoral system: "What do you want comrades? A repeat performance of the heroic fight against the union elections? The bosses and the government would thank you." (J. Presas, "Solidaridad Obrera", 20.4.1979)
Finally anarchism was to be relegated to the " Ateneos" (8) the better to hand itself over to typical trade unions practises. But this offended the philistine maidenliness of factions drawing their mandate from being proprietors of ideology. The secret that anarchism in the CNT was only a false declaration at the service of the real interests of a militant burocracy was out. It was, in short, one more ideological justification because a trade union is precisely the inverted organization of proletarian community. What was worse, by staking all on capturing the CNT apparatus, they put at risk the little future that remains to it by exposing it to danger, overstating its ideological positions and stepping up intrigues. For an entire year the CNT's union practice was paralysed - the workers were the gainers in all of this -which unsettled low ranking burocrats and caused a continual stream of desertions. This is how J .A. Diaz, gloomily seeing there was no hope for his fraud, (9) jesuitically described it: "between militants in factories and the CNT of plenums, committees and secretarial posts there exists a wide gulf - nearly every militant, complaining about the same thing, says that discussion in the union does not in general have much to do with their daily problems. Consequently they drop away from the union bit by bit. " ("Solidaridad Obrera", 20.1.1979)
The workerist faction reacted by forcing the Congress to convene in October 1979. Being more expert at issuing declamatory statements it contrived to drag burocrats not belonging to any faction along in their wake. In the short term it spelt the exclusion of factions given to making dreamy-eyed speeches, riven with dissension and incapable of providing a coherent burocratic counter alternative because of the number of errors committed and because they were infiltrated by provocateurs and police and headed by mediocre individuals.
"A CNT Congress that is going to open the floodgates sweeping away a whole series of reference points and constituent parts is a paramount political matter. It could on this occasion signal an anarchist witch hunt. " (Edo. "Viejo Topo", April 1979)
The convening of the conference exacerbated the internal struggles to such a pitch that the factions given to dreamy eyed phrases, resolving to liquidate the liquidators, were obliged to join forces. What happens in fact in this comedy of "treintistas" (10) and "faistas" (11) is a struggle of factions without principles, both equally contemptible. Gomez Casas, the affected dandy of libertarian historiography and the CNT and former speaker in Falange (12) locals, cleared this up: "in reality there isn't any pure faction (i e. representing "pure" anarchism ,or anarcho-syndicalism). I myself would say that in the CNT, rather than currents or tendencies, there exist groups which -some exceptions apart -don't have any discrepancies between them about essential matters. Really they should be able to get along with each other just fine( ..) The attribution of purity to certain sectors of the CNT makes no sense." ("El Pais", 25 .4.1979)
There aren't currents of different opinions only cliques who square up to one another. The polemic raging between good and evil people, between "secret organizations of an almost mafioso character", against a "parallel organization of people out to capture positions of power", between "lumpenproletarians" and drop outs, (13) against "reformists" and "Marxists" has only to avoid mentioning the fundamental cause: dominant tendency: i.e. the failure of syndicalism, trade unions and the workers' burocracy in their entirety. The Spanish proletarian assembly movement has ruined this pseudo-revolutionary trade unionism as well as conventional trade unionism. And this common ruin was due to doubly good reasons because conventional trade unionism in the capitalist system represents the supercession of pseudo-revolutionary syndicalism. Of course, if a trade union sets out to pursue claims concerning survival, wage increases, improvements in working conditions, defence of jobs etc. -if it can just ensure within the capitalist system a stable market for wage labour and is able to eliminate some going of the hazards affecting workers' physical well being -then obviously a unionism minus all the phrase making is a typical making has obtained, and obtains better results, than a prattling syndicalism. What is at the root of the CNT's internal crisis is its failure to appropriate for itself a portion of the workers` alienated representation and project itself to them as an organizational model. The ideology signifies nothing. In utmost confusion everyone is fighting in the name of the self same saint employing similar phrases to denounce each other. A comic end for this ideological lie: death by ridicule.
Playing the role of Christ by shouldering the CNT cross, the faction that has been expelled try to appear the true syndicalist disciples of Peiro (14) -what a master to follow and what a load of disciples! In fact really it is nothing more than the weakest most cowardly faction having let itself be knocked down and kicked out. The losers in short. In any case their pretensions exposed the deeply reactionary character of modernist workerism turning them into the most foul and obscene unionists. They had looked forward to sitting at the negotiating table at the side of Stalinists and social democrats -at the side of rubbish and they ended up kicked out on the street with the rubbish. In any case the cause was lost from the beginning. Today the CNT is unable to make any burocratic progress because the expansion of the workers burocracy in Spain is at an end. Whoever has read our "New Commentaries around Wildcat Spain"(15) should be aware of that. The cycle of the constitution of the workers` burocracy is finished. In the CNT and other unions what is coming to the fore after two years of burocratic struggle is the joint, general crisis of the burocracy. This is what the philistines dread; "previously there existed the belief that the union was the organ, the instrument of emancipation and organization of society. Today this view is being seriously questioned." (S. Puigcerver, "Viejo Topo" May 1979)
The final stage in the decomposition has now been reached in the CNT. In reality it is the workers rejection of it that has brought it to the brink of collapse: "the internal situation in the CNT is unbearable everywhere. An absolute chaos reigns castrating every attempt to carry out union business " (S. Puigcerver, ibid)
The CNT is absent from nearly all workers struggle and wherever it is to be found it follows the dominant tendency. The failure of its syndicalist brand of politics is obvious and evident from the numbers leaving the union, the extremely low number of workplace branches, the non-payment of dues and the non-existent quality of its militants. But above all the CNT's crisis is a crisis of unionism in general. Just like the rest, the CNT burocracy finds itself torn apart by these attacks and counter attacks that spring, like the obligatory raving language it blankets itself with, from the objective difficulties which beset it.
In the second place the CNT's crisis is the crisis of the anarchist spectacle. Trying to arouse passions by going on about commonplace statements more threadbare than cast off clothes, this kind of anarchy is a typical limited company in which ambitious fools seek to clamber on the shoulders of a unionised mass they wished were stupid and servile and ready to consume syndicalist libertarian comforts which these purveyors of pseudo anarchist systems dole out. They comprise a solid mass of buffoons and sentimental weirdos and it is with this as a basis that some of these defeated bullies -stage heroes of some farce or other -hope to erect a FAI "with a human face" or a CNT "sympathetic to public opinion" and eligible for interviews by the press and T .V. They want this because they draw their mandate, not from the hatred shown them by all the forces of the old world, but from being acknowledged by the mass media. It is power itself which will never willingly tolerate the self-organized existence of the proletariat, who gives them their citizens rights. "Here there are many that appear to exist and have their being and then they are no more than a name and an appearance" said Quevedo. But how did these short lived unions manage to gain so many members seeing their existence is so artificial and patently without any future? Because being new they were fashionable, lending to their members an air of faint-hearted rebellion which was far from unwelcome. In fact it allowed them to adopt affected mysterious poses and provided them with an opportunity to hide behind empty gestures. At bottom they were ashamed of their individual inertia, because an irrational belief in pitiful fictions does not require any effort. Also the existence of a new organization provided a distraction, which kept the boredom that consumed these barren souls at bay. And it provided a promotional ladder for frustrated burocrats to climb up. Sickness, hygienicists tell us, is an attempt by the body to adapt itself to the bad environmental conditions it is placed in. The fashion for anarchism has been for many a person an attempt to acclimatise themselves to society. This new obscurantism has propagated by professional pedants, rhetoricians of such and such a line, charlatans with an axe to grind and by senile old people who far from being heralds of a new dawn merely point the way to the defeat of 1936. Nevertheless they have not been able to hide the authentic reality of past revolutionary events. It hadn't either proved able to sell itself or identify with the modern workers movement.
"It doesn't surprise me that truth is to you a new language " A, de Valdes, Dialogo de las cosas occurridas en Roma)
Rotating around the anarcho-syndicalist myth, which furnishes them with the excuses backing up their squabbles over the control of the union managerial apparatus, the leaders of cliques are envious and full of hate. Their respective followers are inclined to quarrel over anything and rivalries have an air of intrigue to them. Here the corrupt figures of the future parade. All the old phrases from the confederations scholastic arsenal are wheeled out to hide the truth. But the truth is becoming apparent and this intolerable lie cannot be resurrected. Repeating the ridiculous statement of the Transport section in a letter to "El Periodico" (1.5.1979) they insist, adding to all the falsity, "nothing passes on the nod in the CNT". But the cunning of history ensures that the two opposed parts reveal a portion of the truth at the others expense: "What is happening to the CNT? To my way of looking at it the CNT is falling into the hands of manipulative groupuscules alien to its essence. They continue to blunder on and destroy its prestige, since they know already that even if they should succeed in dominating it, they would be laying their hands on a virtual corpse. " (J. Serra, "CNT" May 1979)
"We have now ascertained the existence of a parallel structure formed by a number of comrades in the CNT. They can go in for a modern type of syndicalism made up of factory wide branches. They are the CNT's social democrats, they support collective agreements and are far more reformist than Angel Pestana's (16) "treintistas".(L.A. Edo, "Viejo Topo", May 1979)
Although the burocracy cannot speak the truth without first shrouding itself with a pack of lies, getting closer to it threatens the fundamental lie - the one lie justifying all the others regarding itself:
"the majority of members including miltants organizing in the factory feel very cut off (...) this gives rise to a caste that is next in line only to itself " (S. Puigcerver, "Viejo Topo", May 1979)
That's exactly it. The CNT is dominated by a virtually hereditary bureaucratic caste. This is now a commonplace truth. Though the philistine Sebas forgot to mention that he himself belonged to this caste, the other side didn't. In the words of Federica Montseny (17) the representative of liberal demagogy in the old burocracy who sold out anarchism and revolution to the State: "it was apparently a matter of locating and expelling an elitist group with a Marxist orientation that wanted to seize influential positions and manipulate to its own ends the Congress to be held in October" ("Cambio 16",27.5.1979)
Competence at decoding the burocracies language of exorcism merely confirms that what one says about the other is true beyond the shadow of a doubt. But what one does is dangerously close to what the other does and to speak plainly about an opponent reveals too much about one's self. When they accuse each other they accuse themselves: "Where were they two years or even a year ago. Up to their necks in shite. And now former trots, former priests, former verticilists, former fascists, former marxists of every type and variety call themselves anarchists... " (X.S.G., ex member of the National Committee in '74, "Solidaridad Obrera", 15.3.1979)
"As for their origins, it is necessary to look for them in independent groups of christian marxists, amongst verticilists belonging to the CNS, former MCL'ers, etc ," (Press statement by the Barcelona federation of locals May 1979)
The two rival gangs expose each others respective origins. What emerges is that these deadly serious comedians of anarchism and syndicalism spring from failed revolutionary rackets. They are burocrats who have been unemployed for a year or two. Despite their joint attacks and counter attacks they cannot hide from a truth they share in common. Both are the sworn enemy of the revolutionary proletariat which shall simply walk all over them. When the catalan priest Boldu, recently elected to serve on the National Committee, wondered in the pages of "El Periodico whether "we'll be a laughing stock to the workers" he supposed rightly. The proletariat is laughing alright but it will laugh all over its face when the last burocrat -the last Boldu -is strangled by the guts of the last capitalist. The born again CNT burocracy had hoped the proletariats memory was short-lived, facilitating thus the deployment of its cosy ideology. But the experience of the assembly movement over the last few years -"the real movement abolishing existing conditions" - has made enough of an impression on the consciousness of the proletariat that it is able to withstand "ideology" in the sense of ideas that serve leaders. The speeding up of the practical de-mystification of ideology and the burocratic organization that goes with it serves to accelerate revolutionary theory: - the strategy of revolution. Whatever 1ts ideologiical masks are, it is the same society of alienation, totalitarian control and spectacular consumption that reigns everywhere. It is impossible to get to grips with this society's indivisibility without a total critique illumined by a project where human beings are in control of their own history at every level. It is quite right to recognise the difficulties and the immense tasks facing a revolution that wishes to set up and perpetuate a society without classes. It might easily start from the autonomous proletarian assemblies that recognise no property or any authority outside of them. Their purpose lies beyond all laws and specialisations abolishing the separation of individuals, the economy and the State. But it will never triumph except by imposing itself universally leaving no stone unturned or form belonging to alienated society upright.
LONG LIVE THE PROLETARIAN ASSEMBLIES
DOWN WITH CLASS SOCIETY
DOWN WITH PARTIES AND UNIONS
UP WITH SOCIAL REVOLUTION
...... 5th June 1979 ........
Workers for proletarian autonomy and social revolution
(translated London/Barcelona/Lisbon. '83/'84)
Footnotes (translation notes)
1. CNT: Confederacion Nacional de Trabajadores. Anarcho-syndicalist union.
2. "Viejo Topo": ("Old Mole") Free floating left wing review which ceased appearing in the winter of 1982/'83.
3. The Exile: Refers to the old Spanish anarchist "leaders" mainly in France who pretended to be the exclusive representatives of the CNT. (e.g. the "Intercontinental Secretariat of the Spanish Libertarian Movement" in Toulouse).
4. UCD: Union de Centro Democratica. Formed in 1977 as a center right electoral coalition of several parties. The coalition was to completely collapse in the 1982 General Election as the more rightist AP ("Federacion de Alianza Popular") took over some of the ground the UCD had previously occupied.
5. FAI: Federacion Anarchista Iberica: Aimed to be the elite political organization of the proletariat prior to 1936 with the purpose of propagandizing the anarchist idea among the masses.
6. "Sindicalero-FAI": A modern day Spanish slang which referred to a specific tendency within the CNT which aspired to a kind of hard-line unionism or workerism, as opposed to the more legalistic syndicalists, as well as to the more ideologically pure anarchists, counter-cultural tendencies etc.
7. UGT: Union Generale de Trabajadores. Socialist Party Union. CC.OO: Commissiones Obreras. Communist Party Union.
8. " Ateneos": Mainly libertarian cultural centers set up by Spanish workers. Somewhat comparable to the Italian communists "Peoples houses" or the "bourse du travail" of the French syndicalists.
9. A play on words from a quite well known book, "Entre el fraude y la esperanza" ("Between fraud and hope"), the autobiography of a militant worker during the last years of the Franco regime, describing the beginnings of the Commissiones Obreras and how they eventually came under the control of the CP burocracy.
10. "treintistas": so called because there were 30 signers of a manifesto issued by moderates in favour of co-operation with the Republic in August '31. The "treintistas" split with the CNT in 1933. Reunited with the CNT at the Zaragossa Congress in 1936.
11. "faistas": militants of the FAI.
12. The Falange: A fascist workers party desiring a National Socialist regime such as existed in Germany and Italy. They wanted agrarian reform, nationalization of the banks and railways, paid holidays for workers, profit sharing, protection against the "abuses of capitalism ", compulsory fascist closed shops embracing employers and workers (one of their slogans affirmed: "outside the trade union there is nothing"). In the years following the civil war the Falange ideal lost ground to the Church and the landed oligarchy -the real power in the early years of Franco's reign. However the Falange played a major part in the verticalist union structure of the CNS after Franco's victory.
13. Drop Outs: "pasotas" in Spanish. A current of youth counter-culture, appearing at the end of the Franco era. Vaguely anarchist, they are into dope, music and living in the countryside, avoid work whenever possible but who don't go much farther than this. The word literally mean somebody who "pasa de todo" who doesn't want anything to do with work, politics, the family or anything else.
14. Juan Peiro: Syndicalist theoretician who was several times General Secretary of the clandestine CNT. One of the "treintistas" who became Minister of Industry in the Catalan Government in 1936-37. Fled to France after Franco's victory but was deported to Spain by the German Nazis. He refused to co-operate with Franco's verticalist unions and was shot.
15. C/f "Wildcat Spain Encounters Democracy 1976/78" (available from BM BLOB LONDON WClN 3XX) for the first "Commentaries". The "New Commentaries" have never been translated.
16. Angel Pestana: First publisher of "Solidaridad Obrera " in 1916. In 1920 was the first delegate of the CNT to the Comintern Congress and returned to Spain disillusioned with the Bolshevikh regime whereupon the CNT broke with them. Later Pestana, moving more reformist, became the inspiration behind the "treintistas". Formed a syndicalist party which contested elections and won Parliamentary seats in 1936. Died in 1937.
17. Federica Montseny: CNT inspired militant, although not a member as she had no boss. One of the governmental anarchists who called on the revolutionary workers of Catalunya and Aragon in May 1937 -as well as those opposing them which included duped UGT workers -to lay down their arms. In exile published the weekly CNT, in Toulouse. Now living in Spain: still can't see what was utterly traitorous in her actions.
Maybe take a look a the following on the Revolt Against Plenty web: