Trotskty & Spanish Revolution - debate ......

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Joined: 22-11-03
Dec 6 2004 09:33
Trotskty & Spanish Revolution - debate ......

My friend (SWP) found this article, WHATS DO THE ANARCHISTS OUT IN CYBER-SPACE THINK OF IT ? ? ?

The Anarchists revealed a fatal lack of understanding of the laws of the revolution and its tasks by seeking to limit themselves to their own trade unions, that is, to organizations permeated with the routine of peaceful times, and by ignoring what went on outside the framework of the trade unions, among the masses, among the political parties, and in the government apparatus. Had the Anarchists been revolutionists, they would first of all have called for the creation of soviets, which unite the representatives of all the toilers of city and country, including the most oppressed strata, who never joined the trade unions. The revolutionary workers would have naturally occupied the dominant position in these soviets. The Stalinists would have remained an insignificant minority. The proletariat would have convinced itself of its own invincible strength. The apparatus of the bourgeois state would have hung suspended in the air. One strong blow would have sufficed to pulverize this apparatus. The socialist revolution would have received a powerful impetus. The French proletariat would not for long permitted Leon Blum to blockade the proletariat revolution beyond the Pyrenees. Neither could the Moscow bureaucracy have permitted itself such a luxury. The most difficult questions would have been solved as they arose.

Instead of this, the anarcho-syndicalists, seeking to hide from “politics” in the trade unions, turned out to be, to the great surprise of the whole world and themselves, a fifth wheel in the cart of bourgeois democracy. But not for long; a fifth wheel is superfluous. After Garcia Oliver and his cohorts helped Stalin and his henchmen to take power away from the workers, the anarchists themselves were driven out of the government of the Popular Front. Even then they found nothing better to do than jump on the victor’s bandwagon and assure him of their devotion. The fear of the petty bourgeois before the big bourgeois, of the petty bureaucrat before the big bureaucrat, they covered up with lachrymose speeches about the sanctity of the united front (between a victim and the executioners) and about the inadmissibility of every kind of dictatorship, including their own. “After all, we could have taken power in July 1936..." “After all, we could have taken power in May 1937...” The Anarchists begged Stalin-Negrin to recognize and reward their treachery to the revolution. A revolting picture!

In and of itself, this self-justification that “we did not seize power not because we were unable but because we did not wish to, because we were against every kind of dictatorship,” and the like, contains an irrevocable condemnation of anarchism as an utterly anti-revolutionary doctrine. To renounce the conquest of power is voluntarily to leave the power with those who wield it, the exploiters. The essence of every revolution consisted and consists in putting a new class in power, thus enabling it to realize its own program in life. It is impossible to wage war and to reject victory. It is impossible to lead the masses towards insurrection without preparing for the conquest power.

No one could have prevented the Anarchists after the conquest of power from establishing the sort of regime they deem necessary, assuming, of course, that their program is realizable. But the Anarchist leaders themselves lost faith in it. They hid from power not because they are against “every kind of dictatorship"—in actuality, grumbling and whining, they supported and still support the dictatorship of Stalin-Negrin—but because they completely lost their principles and courage, if they ever had any. They were afraid of everything: “isolation,” “involvement,” “fascism." They were afraid of France and England. More than anything these phrasemongers feared the revolutionary masses.

The renunciation of the conquest of power inevitably throws every workers’ organization into the swamp of reformism and turns it into a toy of the bourgeoisie; it cannot be otherwise in view of the class structure of society. In opposing the goal, the conquest of power, the Anarchists could not in the end fail to oppose the means, the revolution. The leaders of the CNT and FAI not only helped the bourgeoisie hold on to the shadow of power in July 1936; they also helped it to reestablish bit by bit what it had lost at one stroke. In May 1937, they sabotaged the uprising of the workers and thereby saved the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie. Thus anarchism, which wished merely to be anti-political, proved in reality to be anti-revolutionary and in the more critical moments- counterrevolutionary.

The Anarchist theoreticians, who after the great test of 1931-37 continue to repeat the old reactionary nonsense about Kronstadt, and who affirm that “Stalinism is the inevitable result of Marxism and Bolshevism," simply demonstrate by this they are forever dead for the revolution.

You say that Marxism is in itself depraved and Stalinism is its legitimate progeny? But why are we revolutionary Marxists engaged in mortal combat with Stalinism throughout the world? Why does the Stalinist gang see in Trotskyism it chief enemy? Why does every approach to our views or our methods of action (Durruti, Andres, Nin, Landau, and others) compel the Stalinist gangsters to resort to bloody reprisals. Why, on the other hand, did the leaders of Spanish anarchism serve, during the time of the Moscow and Madrid crimes of the GPU, as ministers under Caballero-Negrin, that is as servants of the bourgeoisie and Stalin? Why even now, under the pretext of fighting fascism, do the Anarchists remain voluntary captives of Stalin-Negrin, the executioners of the revolution, who have demonstrated their incapacity to fight fascism?

By hiding behind Kronstadt and Makhno, the attorneys of anarchism will deceive nobody. In the Kronstadt episode and the struggle with Makhno, we defended the proletarian from the peasant counterrevolution. The Spanish Anarchists defended and continue to defend bourgeois counterrevolution from the proletariat revolution. No sophistry will delete from the annals of history the fact that anarchism and Stalinism in the Spanish revolution were on one side of the barricades while the working masses with the revolutionary Marxists were on the other. Such is the truth which will forever remain in the consciousness of the proletariat!

Steven.'s picture
Joined: 27-06-06
Dec 6 2004 11:13

Trotsky knew next to nothing about what was happening in Spain at the time...

Joined: 4-11-04
Dec 6 2004 12:26

Hilarious. They call the anarchist bourgiouse and they are the ones who want to build a strong state. They call the anarchists counter-revolutionary while they are the ones who want to exchange an old class system with what would most likley be a permanent stalinistic dictatorship with a new upperclass of rich leaders.

This sums up this statement and most bolshevik critique of anarchism. Its also shows realy got the bolshevik view of the people. Lenin looked at people like stupid sheep that had to be controlled. They want to be the god dictator and give the people what they realy need. The syndicalists created unions instead to give the power over thier life to the people instead. And that is bourgiouse and counterrevolutionary? grin

I can understand the Bolsheviks to some degree since fascism is the most effective system and the capitalism is fascistic so they already have a superior position in the way they are organised. There are some good sides in the unorganised resistance as Marcos and Naomi Klein to mention a few has pointed out but in general a realy authorial organised group like Al Quaida has a better chance to do simultanous effective actions of resistance. The spanish anarcho-syndicalists or the Zapatistas has beacuse of their unefective but anarchstic organisation a better chance to reach out to people. What is even more important is that any revolution or reform must be shaped in such a way that it will be able to evolve to the final goal of the classless capitalist-free society and not a dead end. The dictatorship of the proletiariat is absolutly that sort of a cul de sac.

the button's picture
the button
Joined: 7-07-04
Dec 6 2004 12:57

Shows one piece of wilful misunderstanding & other piece of bare-faced cheek: -

1. Talks consistently about anarchists burying themselves in or not seeing past trade unions. Now, lots of anarchists are in trade unions (I would be if we had one where I work), but nonetheless as an red n black star , I see trade unions as fundamentally flawed and compromised. What I'm about as an red n black star is trying to build a new kind of union -- call it an industrial union, or whatever -- that organises all workers in an industry, whether they're permanent, temporary, casual, paid, unpaid. And a kind of union with no heirarchy of paid, self-interested full-time officials.

2. And as for the references to Kronstadt.... FFS! I think we know what Trotsky did about the uprising at Kronstadt!

Mike Harman
Joined: 7-02-06
Dec 6 2004 16:03

Had the ocean boiled in 1936 there would've been lots of cooked fish.

Joined: 22-11-03
Dec 10 2004 00:24

Reply 2 this post off:;act=ST;f=5;t=115

I think it is clear, although anarchists would reject this, that the FOD were the 'vanguard' of the workers in Spain. Their tactics were exactly the same as the Bolsheviks in 1917. In 1937, their aims were -

1. Immediate establishment of a Revolutionary Junta made up of workers of city and countryside and of combatants.

2. Family wage. Ration cards. Trade union direction of the economy and supervision of distribution.

3. Liquidation of the counterrevolution.

4. Creation of a revolutionary army.

5. Absolute working class control of public order.

6. Steadfast opposition to any armistice.

7. Proletarian justice.

8. Abolition of personnel changes.

Although the language is different, isn't the FOD a 'revolutionary party'? They had a steering committee (which was appointed).


We of the 'Friends of Durruti' have outlined our thinking, which may be amended as appropriate in great social upheaval but which hinges upon two essential points which cannot be avoided: a program, and rifles,"

One anarchist has written - Quote

The use of the word "vanguard" is provocative. It doesn't mean the word in the sense of a vanguardist political party like the Communist party, Instead it means it in the more general sense of the most advanced sections of the working class-the people who actually took the lead in launching a revolutionary uprising

Isn't that what vanguard means to Marxists?


"Religion is excellent stuff for keeping common people quiet."

Napoleon Bonaparte

Jason Cortez
Joined: 14-11-04
Dec 10 2004 14:49

FOD did not believe in a revoluntionary vanguard party. So no their tactics were not the same as Bolsheviks. The FOD remained committed to the founding princples of the CNT, and viewed themsleves as members of the CNT who were worried that the leadership were taking the wrong course, like many other groups inside the CNT. Junta just means council in spanish and their program was well within anachism. Leninists like the Bolsheviks use the term vanguard to mean the party, very few other marxists use the term. To suggest that the FOD were anything like close to the politcs of the Bolsheviks is a sad distortion of history. There are some similarities between some marxtists groups and FOD, but not Lenninist ones.