[PN: Suppose, in the example given, ‘Pompelonia’ is Catalonia, one of the most industrialised parts of Spain in the 1930s; and “C” is Madrid (run by Franco and his supporters). Why then, instead of everything returning to normal as the video says, did Catalonia lose its autonomy and Spain endured 40 years of fascism? Ian Curr, Jan 2015]
Why did Anarchism fail in Spain?
The main weakness of anarchism lies not in ideas but in the struggle itself which becomes a contest for power against the state. The author of the video alludes to this when he states that anarchism does not seem possible. One of the best accounts of what happened in Spain is given in ‘The Communist Movement: From Comintern to Cominform‘ by Fernando Claudín. [Claudín was a Spanish communist who devoted his life to the revolution. He was expelled from the Spanish Communist party in 1964.]
What is the state?
Modern nation states came about through the decline of feudalism … however in 1922, when the Reds defeated the White armies, the Soviet Union was formed. The Reds had wrested control of ‘the state’ previously controlled by the Tsar before 1917 and under siege by imperialists from 1917-1922. [But then, what do i know – my history lecturer, Mrs Cribb, only gave me a credit for my essay on the 1917 Revolution.]
Why voting changes nothing
The modern democratic republic, the freest and most progressive form of the bourgeois state, with universal suffrage, is still an instrument of exploitation of wage labour by capital. The capitalist state is organised coercion and oppression achieved by splitting society into irreconcilable classes.
Monty Python said it best in their satirical Communist Quiz [World Forum]:
Eric Idle: The contestant is Karl Marx and the prize this week is a beautiful lounge suite. (curtains behind Eric sweep open to reveal a beautiful lounge suite; terrific audience applause; Karl comes out and stands in front of this display)
Eric: Now Karl has elected to answer questions on the workers control of factories so here we go with question number one. Are you nervous? (Karl nods his head; Eric reads from a card)
Eric: The development of the industrial proletariat is conditioned by what other development?
Karl: The development of the industrial bourgeoisie.
Eric: Yes, yes, it is indeed. You’re on your way to the lounge suite, Karl. Question number two. The struggle of class against class is a what struggle? A what struggle?
Karl: A political struggle.
Eric: Yes, yes! One final question Karl and the beautiful lounge suite will be yours… Are you going to have a go? (Karl nods) You’re a brave man. Karl Marx, your final question, who won the Cup Final in 1949?
Karl: The workers’ control of the means of production? The struggle of the urban proletariat?
Eric: No. It was in fact, Wolverhampton Wanderers who beat Leicester 3-1. Sorry you miss out on the lounge suite.
Eric: No one leaves the show empty handed, so we are going to cut off his hands.