‘I do not think there is any solution except the elimination of the communist party. the CNT must keep control of everything.They should have done this from the first’  Ethel Macdonald writing from Barcelona in May 1937. That a young scots woman could clearly see what needed to be done after only a few months in Spain is remarkable. Her analysis was later shared by Jaime Balius of the Friends of Durruti who advocated the forming of a revolutionary junta and elimination of the Communists. All this was of course too late. In Barcelona in July 1936 the anarchists had complete power……by not elimiating the communists they made their defeat inevitable only 9 months later. Could we have grasped this nettle without too much squealing? Revolutions are a dirty business comrades………


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  1. Colin West

    Ethel was spot on – we should actively resist both left and right authoritarians. But Ian weren’t you advocating cuddling up to the SWP (the wannabe Stasi) a few posts back?

  2. Cj

    Grab your gun and bag a swappie!

  3. Is there any point in having a revolution unless you shoot lots of people afterwards?

    • pat

      Whats the betting that the above pussy couldn’t even punch someone for having a differing point of view let alone kill them. Ahhh the intolerant blood thirsty thuggishness of so called anarchists is always highly amusing. Peace and love. x

      • Ben F

        Pat, if you are referring to Paul, I think you’ll find that: a) his comment was largely tongue in cheek; b) he is quite a serious kick-boxer and c) there is nowt wrong with being intolerant of bureaucrats and bosses, even if they wave red flags, rather than union jacks. “[When] people are being beaten with a stick, they are not much happier if it is called ‘the People’s Stick'” (Bakunin).

  4. Dan

    But when implemented properly, socialism wouldn’t be like beating people with a stick, it would be democratic and led by workers, with democracy being implemented bottom up not top down. This is where Stalin, Castro and to an extent Chavez went wrong.
    I appreciate you’ll all have heard this before, but it’s disappointing that people still see socialism as being authoritarian, especially as it will ultimately lead to stateless communism.

  5. Proudhon

    Thank you Ian for posting this, it is what I constantly tell people, there are no bigger back-stabbers than ‘our commie comrades’.

    Can we now encourage more Anarchists to actively tear that Black/Red flag to ribbons and educate our fellow Anarchists in the nefarious ways of the Commissars.

  6. Dirty Squatter

    Of course the CNT should have kept control of the gains they made during the first days and weeks of the revolution. Luis Companys, the president of the Catalan regional government, had told the anarchists:

    “Today you are masters of the city and of Catalonia…You have conquered and everything is in your power. If you do not need me or want me as President of Catalonia…I shall become just another soldier in the struggle against fascism. If, on the other hand, you believe in this post…I and the men of my party…can be useful in this struggle.”

    Should the anarchists have accepted his offer? I think they should have; participation in the government certainly (and perhaps predictably) proved to be counter-productive.

    For many non-revolutionary anti-fascists, Soviet military aid and the perceived organisation of the ‘Red Army’ were important contributory factors in joining the Spanish Communist Party. Prior to the civil war the communists had been largely insignificant in Spain, but during the first year or so the increase in their membership and support rose rapidly.

    Not eliminating the communists did make defeat inevitable for the anarchists. Unfortunately however, the reality that the only outside help the anti-fascists were getting was from Stalin’s Soviet Union (apart from a small contribution from Mexico),, This, coupled with the fact that the capitalist states refused to intervene but the fascist ones obviously did not, means that perhaps defeat was inevitable anyway.

    Nevertheless, I think that it would have been better to continue fighting for the revolution and losing the war as a result. The Stalinist line of separating the revolution from the war, and pursuing the war effort BEFORE the revolution was obviously a complete load of old shite!

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