Sunday, March 16, 2014

More good old anarchist stuff...

The canonization of the anarchists in the Spanish Civil War is an interesting event...not because of the aspirations of those involved but because the reality itself was somewhat different. First of all, in terms of organization, despite being against Leninism, you had the leadership of the movement by the CNT-FAI, with the CNT being the labor union and the FAI, or Federation of Iberian Anarchists, organized to keep the CNT anarchist....despite what the CNT might actually have wanted. The FAI in this case played the same role as the Bolshevik party in Russia with regards to the unions. More radical factions in the FAI, such as the Friends of Durruti, went further by wanting a 'Revolutionary Junta' to organize a dictatorship over Spain at the higher levels while having democracy on the lower ones. Of course, the Friends of Durruti portrayed themselves as the ultra-anarchists, who were seeking to do that to preserve the anarchist content of the movement.

Putting aside for a second the question of why if a group is in favor of the working class they need to appoint themselves the ideological police of that group to ensure that they follow the right line, there's also the anti-Clerical actions of the Spanish anarchists, which were the scandal of Europe after they happened.

They took the idea of hanging the last capitalist from the light pole with the guts of the last priest seriously, and thereby came into towns and committed summary executions of Priests, raped nuns, forced Priests to rape nuns, organized Coliseum like events to put them on trial.

Now, try to put yourself in the feet of a regular guy in Spain, who's a worker but not quite committed to the cause of the anarchists. You have these people come in and take your village priest, who was a decent enough guy, even though you weren't particularly religious, put him up against a wall in a public square and shoot him without trial. What's your response going to be?

Not everyone opposed the anarchists because they were hot on the idea of the oligarchy that had been running the country getting more power, part of it, I would gather, was because they opposed the actions that the anarchists, in implementing their ideology, committed.


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