FAI

War or revolution: The dilemma of the Spanish Civil War – Rudolf De Jong

The war and the revolution are indivisible

A short essay by the former director of the Spanish Section of the International Institute of Social History on the so-called “dilemma” of the Spanish Civil War, in which the author claims that there was no “dilemma” at all for the Republicans and Stalinists, who simply wanted to use the war to stop the revolution, while the Socialist Party (Largo Caballero), riddled with traitors and communist infiltrators, totally failed to even explicitly address the “dilemma”, which was finally suppressed among the libertarians by the “committee-ocracy”, a precursor of the forms of the social democratic welfare state of the postwar period.

The Echo of the Crutches: An Essay on Manuel Escorza del Val – Víctor Malavez

Manuel Escorza del Val

The first installment of a planned series of articles on Manuel Escorza del Val and the espionage and counterespionage agency he directed during the Spanish Civil War (the Investigation and Intelligence Commission of the CNT-FAI), with discussions of the espionage agencies of the Nationalists, the Catalonian government, the Republican parties, the Communists, as well as other anarchist and anarchosyndicalist special operations groups, including the German anarchosyndicalist exiles (DAS), focused for the most part on their activities in Catalonia and on the French border.

Lessons of the Spanish Revolution - Vernon Richards

Collectivised transport during the revolution

A critical account and assessment of the Spanish civil war and revolution, particularly focusing on the successes and failures of the anarchist organisations, written by Vernon Richards.

Manuel Escorza del Val (1912-1968). A biographical note – Agustín Guillamón

A brief biographical sketch of the remarkable life of Manuel Escorza del Val (1912-1968), who, disabled by polio when he was a child, but possessing a formidable intellect and an indomitable will, was an active member of the Libertarian Youth and the Peninsular Committee of the FAI, and then the chief of domestic intelligence for the CNT-FAI during the Spanish Civil War—a ruthless persecutor of fascists, priests and “incontrolados”, and “the most powerful figure in the CNT” in April-May 1937 when he played a decisive role in the outbreak of the May Events—and, after the war, he emigrated to Chile, where he wrote literary and cultural review articles for local newspapers.

The brief summer of anarchy: the life and death of Durruti - Hans Magnus Enzensberger

Hans Magnus Enzensberger’s non-fiction “adventure novel” about Buenaventura Durruti and the Spanish anarchist movement (ca. 1917-1937), first published in Germany in 1972, consisting of a more or less chronological “collage” of “translated, abridged and rearranged” excerpts from “reports and speeches, interviews and proclamations … letters, travel narratives, anecdotes, pamphlets, polemics, newspaper articles, autobiographical texts, flyers and propaganda leaflets” (including extensive selections from the eyewitness accounts of Simone Weil, Ilya Ehrenburg, H. E. Kaminski, Mikhail Koltsov, Ricardo Sanz and Jesús Arnal Pena), punctuated by the author’s “Commentaries”.

Anarchist organisation: the history of the FAI

CNT-FAI militants during the Spanish revolution

The first book-length history of the Iberian Anarchist Federation (FAI) from 1927 until it was repressed at the end of the Spanish Civil War in 1939, written by one of its members, Juan Gómez Casas.

Why We Lost the War – Diego Abad de Santillán

A retrospective on the Spanish Civil War by the FAI leader, Diego Abad de Santillán, published in 1940, in which the former Minister of the Economy of the Generalitat blames foreign (especially Russian) intervention, the farcical “non-intervention” of the western democracies, and the centralism of the (Russian-ruled) Republic for Franco’s victory, citing long passages from official FAI documents, reports from various CNT committees, testimonials of front line soldiers, minutes from meetings of the Popular Front and libertarian plenums, etc., as well as his own wartime suggestions concerning military strategy (guerrilla warfare), and expresses regrets for his pacifying role in May 1937.

Buenaventura Durruti interview - Pierre van Paasen

Buenaventura Durruti

In 1936, after the liberation of Aragon from Franco's forces, leading Spanish anarchist Buenaventura Durruti was interviewed by Pierre van Paasen of the Toronto Star. In this interview he gives his views on Fascism, government and social revolution despite the fact that his remarks have only been reported in English - and were never actually written down by him in his native Spanish - they are worth repeating here.

Views and Comments No. 38 (May 1960)

The No. 38 (May 1960) issue of Views and Comments, an anarcho-syndicalist leaning publication produced out of New York by the Libertarian League from 1955 until 1966.

The anarchist question in the Spanish revolution - Pepe Gutiérrez-Álvarez

A critical, yet sympathetic assessment of the role of the anarchists in the Spanish Revolution and the “circumstantialism” and collaborationism of the CNT-FAI, in which the author portrays the Workers Alliance (a revolutionary insurrection initiated by communist left groups in 1934, largely restricted to Asturias, based on the principle of trade union and proletarian unity) as not just a missed opportunity but also as a possible model for an alternative to the fatal choice between collaboration and an unacceptable “anarchist dictatorship”.