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.
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:
Continue reading “What the Grenada Revolution Can Teach Us”
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!”