Author: Georges Fontenis
PDF File Size: 529 KB
The Spanish anarchist organisation ‘The Friends of Durruti’ was formed by members of the CNT in 1937 in opposition to the collaboration of the CNT leadership in the government of Republican Spain. The first heavily censored issue of their paper ‘Friend of the People’ appeared just after the Maydays in Barcelona, sections of it are reproduced for the first time in English in this pamphlet. The Mayday defence of the revolution in Barcelona was crushed at the cost of 500 lives, including the disappearance, torture and murder of key anarchist organisers by the Stalinists. The Friends of Durruti outlined an alternative path for Spanish anarchists, one intended to not only protect but to expand the revolution and bring it to victory…
Alternative Libertaire pamphlet, translated from French by Chekov Feeney
Georges Fontenis’ analysis of the Friends of Durruti,
from a pamphlet translated by the Workers’ Solidarity Movement.
Sources: the Struggle site, LibCom
Continue reading “The Revolutionary Message of the ‘Friends of Durruti’”
Author: Friends of Durruti
PDF File Size: 497 KB
Revolutions without theory fail to make progress. We of the ‘Friends Of Durruti’ have outlined our thinking, which may be amended as appropriate in great social upheavals but which hinges upon two essential points which cannot be avoided. A program, and rifles.”
— El Amigo del Pueblo,
No. 5, July 20, 1937.
Towards a Fresh Revolution is the highly influential pamphlet written by anarchist CNT militants during the Spanish revolution who opposed the co-option of their organisation into the Republican government.
The introduction to the 1978 edition of Towards a Fresh Revolution was written by Jaime Balius, former secretary of the Friends of Durruti and director of its paper.
Continue reading “Towards a Fresh Revolution”
Author: Lucien van der Walt
File Size: 1.7 MB
This is a book about the history of anarchism. It is a history of nearly 120 years of unbroken workers struggle. It is a history of sacrifice and bravery by ordinary people fighting for a world without bosses and oppression.
First issued by Workers Solidarity Federation, 1998
This Zabalaza Books edition, July 2019
Continue reading “Breaking the Chains: A History of Anarchism”
Authors: Jonathan Payn, Jakes Factoria, Tina Sizovuka and Warren McGregor
File Size: 443 KB
This pamphlet is a collection of articles exploring the concept, history and anarchist/syndicalist approaches to United Fronts – and their relevance and potential for building working class unity in South Africa – written in the context of the National Union of Metalworkers (Numsa)’s resolution, following its historic 2013 Special National Congress, to break with the ANC-led Alliance and form a ‘United Front against neoliberalism’
First Zabalaza Books edition, July 2019
Continue reading “Building Working Class Unity in South Africa: Lessons from United Fronts in Germany, Italy and Russia”
Author: Joe Licentia
File size: 650 KB
The Russian Revolution was one of the most important events of the 20th century. It had a massive impact on the world and revolutionary movements, especially in the period after world war two when many groups seeking to imitate the Bolshevik triumph in Russia came to power. The revolution itself shows two main things. Firstly, the revolution validates anarchist critiques of the “workers state” or “dictatorship of the proletariat” advocated by Marxists and other authoritarian socialists. Anarchists have long predicted that these schemes would inevitably result in the creation of a new bureaucratic ruling class that dominated and exploited the proletariat, a prediction that was proven correct in Russia and subsequent state socialist revolutions. Second, the early phases of the revolution provide an example of how society might be run in an anarchistic manner without capitalism, the state or other authoritarian systems.
Continue reading “Russia: Revolution, Counter-Revolution: An Anarchist-Communist Analysis of the Russian Revolution”
Author: Ajamu Nangwaya
File size: 288 KB
The collapse of the Grenadian Revolution on Oct. 19, 1983 should be carefully examined for the lessons that it might offer to organisers in the Caribbean who are currently organising with the labouring classes. If the working class shall be the architect of its liberation, the process of revolution-making should enable them to fulfil that role. Fundamental change should not be the outcome of a vanguard force that usurps the initiative of the people.
What the Grenada Revolution Can Teach Us About People’s
Power published 19 October 2016
The Grenada Revolution and Women’s Struggle for
Liberation published 13 March 2016
Both texts from:
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Author: Temma E. Kaplan | File size: 291 KB
One of the chief ideological disputes between the Spanish anarchists and communists during the Civil War was the anarchists’ insistence that social revolution should not be postponed until the war was won; without the social revolution (by which they meant the defeat of authoritarianism and the transformation of all social and economic relations and institutions to permit maximum individual freedom, self-expression, and spontaneity), the war would be just another changing of the guard, so familiar in Spanish history.
Source: Journal of Contemporary History,
Vol. 6, No. 2 (1971), pp. 101-110.
Originally found at: the Zine Library, http://zinelibrary.info/
(attempted access on 12 September 2015, showed the site to be down)
Continue reading “Spanish Anarchism and Women’s Liberation”
Author: Dek Keenan | File size: 330 KB
This paper will introduce syndicalism both as an historical international phenomenon and as a contemporary international model and movement. It presupposes very little knowledge of, but hopefully some substantial interest in, the subject on the part of the reader.
What does Syndicalism mean to us as labour movement activists? It may mean the million workers in the Spanish CNT fighting with a new world in their hearts during the Spanish Civil War. It may mean the legendary Industrial Workers of the World organising the One Big Union across craft and trade, race and gender lines. It may mean a vast movement of workers across Latin America during the first half of the 20th Century. It may mean Starbucks baristas fighting today to build unions in coffee houses in New York and Santiago. But it very possibly means none of these things.
Because syndicalism constitutes one of the least understood currents in the workers movement. And yet syndicalism was the driving force of immense and powerful labour movements across the globe in the first decades of the 20th Century; from Argentina to Japan and from Australia to Portugal workers gathered under its flag. And today it represents a small, but growing, part of the international labour movement; albeit one that remains unduly obscure and marginal.
Continue reading “Syndicalism: An International and Historical Perspective”
Author: Rudolf Rocker | File size: 451 KB
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
Continue reading “The Tragedy of Spain”
Author: Augustín Guillamón | File size: 248 KB
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
Continue reading “From Defence Cadres to Popular Militias”
Authors: Barbara Ehrenreich and Deirdre English | PDF file size: 817 KB
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!”
Author: Martha A. Ackelsberg | PDF file size: 665 KB
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….
Author: Shawn Hattingh (ZACF) | PDF file size: 360 KB
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.