Revolutionary History

The Tragedy of Spain

Posted on Updated on

The Tragedy of Spain - Rudolf RockerAuthor: Rudolf Rocker | File size: 451 KB

Download PDF

German anarcho-syndicalist Rudolf Rocker’s history of the Spanish Civil War and Revolution.

July 19th is the anniversary of the start of the Spanish civil war and revolution, the day on which right-wing army officers rose against the republican regime in Spain and, with the assistance of outside powers and foreign troops, plunged the country into a bloody war. The uprising against the revolt by the army officers turned into a full workers’ social revolution with widespread implementation by the workers of anarchist organizational principles throughout various portions of the country for two to three years, primarily Catalonia, Aragon, Andalusia, and parts of the Levante. Much of Spain’s economy was put under workers’ self-management; in anarchist strongholds like Catalonia, the figure was as high as 75%, but lower in areas with heavy Communist Party influence, as the Soviet Union-controlled party actively tried to crush attempts at worker empowerment. Factories were run through worker committees, agrarian areas became collectivised and run as libertarian communes.

Sam Dolgoff estimated that about eight million people participated directly or at least indirectly in the Spanish Revolution, which he claimed “came closer to realizing the ideal of the free stateless society on a vast scale than any other revolution in history.”

New (Second) Zabalaza Books Edition 06.2014

First published October 1937  | Text from LibCom

Read the rest of this entry »

From Defence Cadres to Popular Militias

Posted on Updated on

From Defence Cadres to Popular Militias - Augustín GuillamónAuthor: Augustín Guillamón  |  File size: 248 KB

Download PDF

A short article summarizing the history and transformation of the CNT’s Defence Committees in Barcelona during the 1930s from their origins as street fighting units to their reorganisation as integrated combat/intelligence formations, to their suppression by the Republic after the working class defeat of May 1937.

Translated from the Spanish original in October 2013. Obtained online, October 2013 at: http://www.lahaine.org/index.php?p=44663

Read the rest of this entry »

Witches, Midwives and Nurses: A History of Women Healers

Posted on Updated on

Witches, Midwives, & Nurses: A History of Women HealersAuthors: Barbara Ehrenreich and Deirdre English  |  PDF file size: 817 KB

Download PDF  |  Read Online

Women have always been healers. They were the unlicensed doctors and anatomists of western history. They were abortionists, nurses and counsellors. They were pharmacists, cultivating healing herbs and exchanging the secrets of their uses. They were midwives, travelling from home to home and village to village. For centuries women were doctors without degrees, barred from books and lectures, learning from each other, and passing on experience from neighbour to neighbour and mother to daughter. They were called “wise women” by the people, witches or charlatans by the authorities. Medicine is part of our heritage as women, our history, our birthright.

Today, however, health care is the property of male professionals. Ninety-three percent of the doctors in the US are men; and almost all the top directors and administrators of health institutions. Women are still in the overall majority — 70 percent of health workers are women — but we have been incorporated as workers into an industry where the bosses are men. We are no longer independent practitioners, known by our own names, for our own work. We are, for the most part, institutional fixtures, filling faceless job slots: clerk, dietary aide, technician, maid….

 “To know our history is to begin to see how
to take up the struggle again!”

“Separate and Equal”?: Mujeres Libres and Anarchist Strategy for Women’s Emancipation

Posted on Updated on

“Separate and Equal”?: Mujeres Libres and Anarchist Strategy for Women’s Emancipation by Martha A. AckelsbergAuthor: Martha A. Ackelsberg  |  PDF file size: 665 KB

Download PDF  |  Read Online

In May 1936, a group of anarchist women founded Mujeres Libres, the first autonomous, proletarian feminist organisation in Spain… Its goal was to end the “triple enslavement of women, to ignorance, to capital, and to men.” While some of the founders were professional or semi-professional women, the vast majority of its members (who numbered approximately 20,000 in July 1937) were working-class women. The women of Mujeres Libres aimed both to overcome the barriers of ignorance and inexperience which prevented women from participating as equals in the struggle for a better society, and to confront the dominance of men within the anarchist movement itself….

The Kronstadt Rebellion: Still Significant 90 Years On

Posted on Updated on

The Kronstadt Rebellion: Still Significant 90 Years OnAuthor: Shawn Hattingh (ZACF)  |  PDF file size: 360 KB

Download PDF  |  Read Online

Over the last few years, many on the left have been trying to formulate a vision of socialism based on democracy. As a consequence countless papers and talks have been produced internationally about how socialism needs to be participatory if true freedom is to be achieved. Some have given this search for a form of democratic socialism evocative names, such as ‘Twenty-First Century socialism’, ‘socialism-from-below’ and ‘ecosocialism’. In South Africa the desire for a democratic socialism has also inspired initiatives such as the Conference for a Democratic Left (CDL); while even the South African Communist Party has outlined a need for a more participatory socialist agenda.

Revolutionary History

Posted on Updated on

Spain


Russia


Various

Witches, Midwives and Nurses: A History of Women Healers (web)

Posted on Updated on

Download PDFby Barbara Ehrenreich and Deirdre English

An early 1970s left feminist interpretation of Malleus Maleficarum * is the centrepiece of this essay by Barbara Ehrenreich and Deidre English. Witches, Midwives and Nurses explains how the American medical profession came to be dominated by rich, white men. It sets the tone for a dark story of the co-optation by men of medicine as practiced by women from the earliest times and the subsequent alienation, persecution, and subjugation of such women with the rise of the male-dominated “medical profession.” The tragic irony of this tale is that all the good about that profession came from the independent “wise women” of olde.

Originally published by The Feminist Press at CUNY.

 “To know our history is to begin to see how
to take up the struggle again!”


Introduction

Women have always been healers. They were the unlicensed doctors and anatomists of western history. They were abortionists, nurses and counsellors. They were pharmacists, cultivating healing herbs and exchanging the secrets of their uses. They were midwives, travelling from home to home and village to village. For centuries women were doctors without degrees, barred from books and lectures, learning from each other, and passing on experience from neighbour to neighbour and mother to daughter. They were called “wise women” by the people, witches or charlatans by the authorities. Medicine is part of our heritage as women, our history, our birthright.

Today, however, health care is the property of male professionals. Ninety-three percent of the doctors in the US are men; and almost all the top directors and administrators of health institutions. Women are still in the overall majority — 70 percent of health workers are women — but we have been incorporated as workers into an industry where the bosses are men. We are no longer independent practitioners, known by our own names, for our own work. We are, for the most part, institutional fixtures, filling faceless job slots: clerk, dietary aide, technician, maid.

Read the rest of this entry »

“Separate and Equal”?: Mujeres Libres and Anarchist Strategy for Women’s Emancipation (web)

Posted on Updated on

Download PDFMartha A. Ackelsberg

Anarchist insistence that revolutionary movements can develop effectively only if they speak to the specific realities of people’s lives leads logically to the conclusion that a truly revolutionary movement must accommodate itself to diversity. It must reflect an understanding of the life experiences of those who participate in it as a first step to engaging them in the revolutionary process. The need is particularly acute, and the strategic issues especially complex, in the case of women, whose daily life experiences in many societies have been, and continue to be, different from those of men.

In the early years of this century, Spanish anarchists – male and female – articulated a vision of a non-hierarchical, communitarian, society in which women and men would participate equally. And yet, in pre-Civil War Spain, most women were far from “ready” to participate equally with men in the struggle to realize that vision. Although the organised anarcho-syndicalist movement (the Confederación National del Trabajo [CNT]) oriented itself primarily to workplace struggles, the majority of Spanish women were not engaged in factory work. Many of those who did engage in paid labour – mostly in the textile industry – worked at home, for piece rate wages, and were not unionised. Women who worked and had families continued to do “double duty” as housewives and mothers. The particular forms women’s oppression took in Spain kept women effectively subordinated to men even within the context of the revolutionary anarchist movement.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Kronstadt Rebellion: Still Significant 90 Years On (web)

Posted on Updated on

Download PDFby Shawn Hattingh (ZACF)

Over the last few years, many on the left have been trying to formulate a vision of socialism based on democracy. As a consequence countless papers and talks have been produced internationally about how socialism needs to be participatory if true freedom is to be achieved. Some have given this search for a form of democratic socialism evocative names, such as ‘Twenty-First Century socialism’, ‘socialism-from-below’ and ‘eco-socialism’. In South Africa the desire for a democratic socialism has also inspired initiatives such as the Conference for a Democratic Left (CDL); while even the South African Communist Party has outlined a need for a more participatory socialist agenda. (For a further elaboration on the CDL, and its resultant formation of the Democratic Left Front see the Zabalaza Anarchist Communist Front’s statement at www.anarkismo.net/article/18858)

Read the rest of this entry »