Spanish Civil War and Revolution: Circled A History Series

International anarchism was in decline in the decades following the first the First World War. Massive repression of anarchist organizations, the rise of Bolshevism in the global socialist movement, and internecine tensions combined to all but decimate the “Beautiful Ideal” in many countries. But in Spain, with its semi-autonomous regions, multi-cultural make-up, and strong libertarian traditions, anarchism remained a dominant ideology amongst the working classes. When fascist generals (supported by Hitler and Mussolini) rose up against the recently elected left-leaning government, it was the anarchists (primarily the [email protected] CNT) that jumped into action, arming workers and halting the fascist advance. During the 3 years of bloody civil war that followed, some of the largest experiments in conscious anarchism were carried out both behind the lines and at the front, carried out by millions of people (including thousands of international participants) as the state fell into turmoil and disarray in large parts of the country. A social revolution of astounding scope and energy flourished, even as the war against encroaching fascism raged.
The successes and failures of those experiments continue to both inspire and inform us today as we are facing a new round of fascist resurgence, while still fighting for the “new world in our hearts.”
Thurs, July 26