Spanish Revolution

POUM

The first Republican government came to power in 1931 replacing the Bourbon monarchy. During its first three years both the workers and peasants as well as the ruling class realised that bourgeois democracy could not guarantee their interests. When the masses began to take matters into their own hands the ruling class defended their system with fascism.

Franco declared a coup in July 1936. The workers rallied to organise and arm themselves to run the economy and effectively confront the fascist rebellion. The Republican bourgeois government were more afraid of the workers than they were of the fascists. They tried to prevent any movement of the workers which emptied the struggle of any real meaning.

The Spanish working class lacked a genuinely revolutionary party and leadership. Their leaders entered the bourgeois popular front government and became the main obstacle in the path of the revolution. The deep wounds of the conflict are still keenly felt today as the contradictions remain unresolved in Spanish society.

The following letters, originally in Russian, were only recently found in the police files on Andres Nin in the National Historical Archives in Madrid (Ministerio de gobernación, policía [histórico], h.394). This material represents a significant historical discovery. Most importantly, Trotsky’s correspondence is an important political weapon for today’s revolutionary movement.

This in depth article deals with the horrors that capitalism has inflicted on humanity. In the first part of this article we see the real face of the capitalist class, both its predatory nature on a global scale and its capacity for violent suppression of any mass popular revolt that challenges its right to rule. Some will say, yes but this was in the past; now the system has become more civilised and humane. Recent history shows that this is utterly false.

Eighty years after the beginning of the Spanish Civil War and 40 years after the end of the Franco dictatorship which followed it, this is an issue which in Spain raises white hot passions. Far from this being an historical question, it is a burning one today. As a new revolutionary upswing is starting, the new generation is attempting to come to terms with the lessons of the past.

Today marks the 80th anniversary of the beginning of the Spanish Civil War. On 17 and 18 July, 1936, General Franco began his military uprising in Morocco, a prelude to the fascist uprising throughout Spain. The Popular Front government, elected in February, was suspended in mid-air. The landlords and capitalists went over to Franco. The workers, however, responded in a spontaneous fashion. Had the revolutionary upsurge been successful, it could have changed the whole course of history.

In this recording from the Red October 2015 weekend school, Jorge Martin discusses the lessons of the Spanish Revolution of 1931-37, and explains their relevance to the situation in Spain today.

The acute crisis of the political regime that emerged in 1978 has focused general attention once more on the so-called “Democratic Transition”, a process that spanned the period from the death of the dictator, Franco, in November 1975 through to the historic victory of PSOE (the Socialist Workers’ Party of Spain) in the elections of October 1982. The current regime, the monarchy and the ruling class, conscious of their crumbling prestige, are now attempting to regain their lost credibility and authority by means of the most scandalous historical distortion

Recently the Spanish Marxist Tendency published a new edition of Felix Morrow's classic Revolution and counterrevolution in Spain with a new introduction by Alan Woods. and the book has already been sold out and a second edition is in preparation. Today we are publishing the introduction by Alan Woods which provides a brief analysis of the reasons for the defeat of the Spanish Revolution of 1931-37 while also dealing with the resurgence of the Spanish workers' movement in the 1960s and 70s and drawing the lessons for today.

On September 19th Spain woke up to the news of the death of Santiago Carrillo, General Secretary of the Spanish Communist Party (PCE) in the crucial years 1960-82. He passed away at the age of 97 in his home in Madrid. Usually the death of a leader of the workers’ movement would only get limited press coverage and perhaps some official statement from trade unions, Socialist and Communist Party local branches, and so on. But this was completely different. All newspapers reserved their front page for the news. El País, the mouthpiece of the liberal bourgeoisie, paid fulsome homage to Carrillo with long tributes from prominent celebrities. King Juan Carlos came to Carrillo’s

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For many of us older comrades who were politically active in the Labour Party Young Socialists in Coventry in the late 1960s and 1970s, Fernandez Montes was the living embodiment of the Spanish Civil War.

The year 2001 marks the 70th anniversary of the proclamation of the Spanish Republic in 1931, an event which was the opening shot in the Spanish Revolution. Also 65 years ago, on July 18th 1936, we saw the uprising of Franco, once the Spanish ruling class understood that they could no longer rule through 'democratic' means. We are publishing here an article by Alan Woods which deals with the last period of the spanish Revolution. This article was first published in 1986 as a concluding part of a series of articles on the Spanish Revolution 1931-37.

Alan Woods, of the International Marxist Tendency, speaks to University of Arts' London students at the Whitechapel Gallery, London, where a replica of Picasso's great painting of the massacre at Guernica is on display. Using this powerful masterpiece as a starting point, Alan explores what makes great art; to what extent is great art a reflection of the period from which it comes; and can propaganda be great art?

This article was written as an introduction to a Spanish language edition of Trotsky’s writings on the Spanish Revolution. This English translation was published in 1967. Broué outlines the main lessons that Trotsky drew from the experience of the Spanish revolution, lessons that need to be taken on board today.

The part played by the Bolsheviks in the history of the Russian revolution of 1917 proves the importance of the role of leadership. The history of the Spanish revolution proves the same thing, but in a negative sense. In September Alan Woods spoke to the Socialist Appeal Northern Weekend School in Britain, which had as its general theme 'The Class, the Party and the Leadership', on those events which took place in Spain 70 years ago.

John Peterson, National Secretary of the Workers International League in the U.S., presenting at a forum on the Spanish Revolution at May Day Books in Minneapolis, MN on November 13th, 2008.

The prophetic description of anonymous warfare, the blankets of darkness and death dropped over civilian populations still resonate. To the degree we realise the truth expressed in this work, Guernica stands as possibly the greatest painting of the 20th Century.

This week marks the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Jarama during the Spanish Civil War. Ten years ago, celebrating the 60th anniversary, some of the British volunteers who fought in that battle went to Madrid University. Here a comrade who was present at meetings where they spoke expresses his gratitude to those working class heroes.