user preferences

New Events

Iberia

no event posted in the last week
Recent articles by Julia Doherty
This author has not submitted any other articles.
Recent Articles about Iberia History of anarchism

Η μη επέμβαση &... Sep 04 21 by Camillo Berneri*

Διακήρυξη Αρ ... Aug 05 21 by Dmitri (transl.)

Αναρχικοί εθ ... Jul 29 21 by Γιάννης Καστανάρας*

The Importance of the Spanish Revolution

category iberia | history of anarchism | opinion / analysis author Monday October 09, 2006 18:08author by Julia Doherty - WSM - Workers Solidarity 93 Report this post to the editors

Today a social revolution that took place seventy years ago is remembered by libertarian socialists as an example of how our ideas can work. The Spanish revolution came closer to realising the possibilities of a free stateless society on a huge scale than any other revolution in history.
miliciana.jpg

It was a very successful attempt by workers to re-construct society along new revolutionary lines. The only other revolution as widely known, the Russian one, ended in much bloodshed of innocent workers when the Bolsheviks, led by Lenin, installed a one-party state at the expense of the elected workers’ councils (“soviets”).

The importance of the Spanish revolution to anarchists and socialists today is that it is an example of workers’ self-management and collectivisation which was largely a success. Many factories, both agrarian and urban, were taken over by the workers and successfully run without the need for any hierarchical system. This workers’ self management meant practicing the ideal of “from each according to ability, to each according to need”. In some small village collectives money was even done away with and everything was held in common by the people.

We have little to no freedom in our daily lives and work, we must work to support ourselves and our families in a system that insists we subsidise a class of parasitic employers. And yet if we were to do away with the bosses, the managers, the middlemen and all of those who do not do useful work but merely grow fat off our sweat, we would only have to work half the hours we do now and still be able to support ourselves and each other.

We have it ingrained into us that there is a need for bosses, that we need someone to watch over us and necessary work and yet takes a major cut? We are told by all of those with power that we need them, but they can never quite seem to explain why.

With the Spanish revolution and the idea that there is not a need for bosses comes the more recent example of Argentina‘s occupied factories. Following the massive collapse of their economy in the early 21st century and with their livelihoods threatened by bosses shutting down the factories, the workers decided they had had enough. They re-opened the factories and began producing again, only this time without a boss.

There are many success stories like the Zanon tile factory where all workers are equal and after fighting legal battles to keep the production going they were allowed to keep they workers controlled workplace. If we cannot work right without the bosses then how come they managed it?

For the couple of years that the libertarian revolution in Spain held out it maintained its federalised system of control by the workers. The end of this period did not come about because of any internal flaw. It had to be physically overthrown. It required the military victory of Franco, backed by Italian and German fascists, and the forced exile, imprisonment and murder of thousands of anarchists, socialists and their sympathisers.

The whole period is a working example that it can be done, that those who do the real work can thrive without bosses. We have it ingrained into us that those at the top are the most important and that they are something that we will have to face each and every day for the rest of our lives, so we’d better get used to it!

But imagine breaking free, imagine working with your workmates for the benefit of all rather than just a small minority of owners, imagine getting equal access to the wealth of society. Imagine that and take the idea of a libertarian, collectivised system that sustains all equally to work with you on Monday.
J


From Workers Solidarity 93, Sept/Oct 2005

This page can be viewed in
English Italiano Deutsch

Front page

Reflexiones sobre la situación de Afganistán

Αυτοοργάνωση ή Χάος

South Africa: Historic rupture or warring brothers again?

Declaración Anarquista Internacional: A 85 Años De La Revolución Española. Sus Enseñanzas Y Su Legado.

Death or Renewal: Is the Climate Crisis the Final Crisis?

Gleichheit und Freiheit stehen nicht zur Debatte!

Contre la guerre au Kurdistan irakien, contre la traîtrise du PDK

Meurtre de Clément Méric : l’enjeu politique du procès en appel

Comunicado sobre el Paro Nacional y las Jornadas de Protesta en Colombia

The Broken Promises of Vietnam

Premier Mai : Un coup porté contre l’un·e d’entre nous est un coup porté contre nous tou·tes

Federasyon’a Çağırıyoruz!

Piştgirîye Daxuyanîya Çapemenî ji bo Êrîşek Hatîye li ser Xanîyê Mezopotamya

Les attaques fascistes ne nous arrêteront pas !

Les victoires de l'avenir naîtront des luttes du passé. Vive la Commune de Paris !

Contra la opresión patriarcal y la explotación capitalista: ¡Ninguna está sola!

100 Years Since the Kronstadt Uprising: To Remember Means to Fight!

El Rei està nu. La deriva autoritària de l’estat espanyol

Agroecology and Organized Anarchism: An Interview With the Anarchist Federation of Rio de Janeiro (FARJ)

Es Ley por la Lucha de Las de Abajo

Covid19 Değil Akp19 Yasakları: 14 Maddede Akp19 Krizi

Declaración conjunta internacionalista por la libertad de las y los presos politicos de la revuelta social de la región chilena

[Perú] Crónica de una vacancia anunciada o disputa interburguesa en Perú

Nigeria and the Hope of the #EndSARS Protests

© 2005-2021 Anarkismo.net. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by Anarkismo.net. [ Disclaimer | Privacy ]