Spain and the World. Vol. 2, no. 31
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SPAIN AND THE WORLD Vol. 2. No. 31. LONDON, 4th MARCH, 1938 PRICE 2d.—U.S.A. 5 CENTS. U.G.T.-C.N.T Unity Proposals and Comments Page 3. WORKERS HAVE BEEN BETRAYED By Their Union Leaders THE National Government has moved one step further away from the "democratic ideals" by which it got into Parliament, and has once more confirmed the words for ever repeated by us that the term "democracy" to-day is just a means of hiding the fascist leanings of this government. Mr. Chamberlain wishes to extend British friendship to Mussolini, seemingly believing that he is a man of his word, in spite of the fact that during the last three years, contrary to his pledge at the League of Nations he attacked Abyssinia (and not because of the Wal Wal incident, which de Bono in his book has proved to be a frame-up); he used poisonous gas on the civilian population thereby breaking another pledge. He was sending shiploads of arms and men to Spain whilst his representative was sitting on the Non Intervention Committee. He was sinking merchant ships whilst discussions were in progress as to the protection that should be offered merchant ships from attacks by "pirate" submarines. And since Chamberlain has extended his friendship to Mussolini, more important shipments of arms and aeroplanes have reached Spain, and in fact the fall of Teruel has been attributed to the sudden increase in the Rebel's artillery and aeroplane strength on that Front. But Mr. Chamberlain can indeed feel proud for his actions have met with some response in Italy. The newspapers no longer attack this country, and the Bari radio station has ceased its anti-English propaganda though it still does broadcast in Arabic! This is the paltry reward for submision to Fascism. Eden's resignation (not to be compared with Hoare's dismissal, for the latter was sacrificed to save the face of the Government, whilst Eden was sacrificed to satisfy the Government's openly pro-fascist policy) has been interpreted by the mass of the English people as representing England's submission to Fascism. It seems a reasonable light in which to view the situation, but the workers should not believe that they have lost a champion of real democracy by Eden's dismissal. For Eden was in office at the outbreak of the Spanish conflict, and he took no stand on behalf of the Spanish people, or for that matter, the legal Spanish Government; nor did he take any active measures to protect merchant ships in the Mediterranean. And have the workers forgotten the British Government's attitude when Franco threatened the Basque people with starvation, or when appeals were made to the British Government to protect ships carrying innocent women and children from Bilbao? It was during Eden's period of office. And was it not Eden who at Geneva declared that sanctions against Italy had proved ineffective, just when they were beginning to have effect? Yet the politicians in the Labour Party and the Communist Party and their respective organs the Daily Herald and the Daily Worker are clamouring for Chamberlain's resignation and for Eden's re-instatement. The co-operatives likewise, flocked to Hyde Park last Sunday with the slogan that Eden must be recalled; whilst the Daily Worker believes that the fate of Spain is at stake on this issue. Both Attlee and Gallacher, embittered critics of Eden, from the day he took office, now see in him the saviour of anti-fascism both here and in Spain! We cannot but repeat what we have said since the day Franco's hordes were let loose on the Spanish workers, namely, that NO AID WILL BE BROUGHT TO THE SPANISH WORKERS FROM THIS COUNTRY OR ELSEWHERE UNTIL THE WORKERS OF THIS COUNTRY DECIDE THEMSELVES TO TAKE ACTION AND SUPPORT THE SPANISH STRUGGLE. The Parliamentary opposition, the Labour Party, is not revolutionary;* nor is the Communist Party, which frustrated in its attempt to gain control in the Labour movement is now turning to all and sundry, from the Labour Party to the Church, fron reformists to down and out reactionaries, to offer them their support. It must be in the Unions, then, the organizations which should control the means of production and the means of * Attlee, Labour Party leader wrote in the "The Labour Party In Perspective" (Gollancz) "The Labour Party has deliberately adopted the method of constitutional action and has rejected the tactics of revolution. transport, that action must come if this country is to be saved from the Fascist aspirations of the Conservatives, and aid be effectively rendered to the Spanish workers. But this aid will not be forthcoming so long as the workers in these organizations wait for the lead to be given them by their leaders. Have they already forgotten the example given them by their Spanish comrades on July 19th, 1936 when, without waiting for instructions from their leaders they went into the streets and defeated fascism in large towns as Barcelona and Madrid as well as in small villages with a few hundred inhabitants. Had they waited for a lead to come from the leaders of the Popular Front. Spain would have been under Franco's heel within a week of the outbreak. It must be the same in this country. The Bevins and the Citrines, who feather their nests at the workers' expense, will never give a lead for effective action. Effective action can come only through DIRECT ACTION and the workers have it in their power to disorganize, to destroy the capitalist machine once everyone of them shoulders his responsibility towards his fellow worker, and ceases to be a mere puppet in the hands of the bureaucrats and traitors within the Unions. The history of the Spanish workers is one of DIRECT ACTION — of strikes — of sabotage and of boycott. The ballot-box, whether it decides between a Conservative or Labour Government will never solve the aspirations of the workers: true Revolutionary Socialism. Direct Action alone will rid society of its parasites, within and outside of the workers organisations, its upstarts and its budding dictators, red or black. A Conscious workers' movement! A Workers' movement which actively defends the workers of other countries in their struggle against reaction! A Workers' movement ready to use DIRECT ACTION in its own struggle against reaction! "Who Can Represent Us ?" asks TIERRA Y LIBERTAD IT IS asserted on all hands with a severity that is truly frightening, that the Popular Front and its members, represent everybody. It follows, accordingly, that wherever the Popular Front is, there our Leaders are gathered together, and furthermore, that we are all in duty bound to see in such and such an organisation the genuine manifestation of our ovn will in operation. In the days of electoral representation the politicians tired us with their games. For were we not all, every Spaniard of us, really represented by party X, which addressed us through the medium of its most distinguished orators, and offered, in exchange for our support, the miraculous solution of all our troubles? And although we live in a new period of history, in which we all profess to know each other, and nobody can deceive himself with frivolous unrealities and catchwords, those parties who are unable to respond to the insistent demand for a full anti-fascist front, go on repeating the old cry: The Popular Front represents the entire people and interprets the will of all Anti-fascist Spaniards. The grand old days of election crisis have gone. If we are to win, we can only do so on the basis of realities and positive facts, using solutions and formulas that are in direct line with the tragedy that affects us every day. We put it to the heralds of the so-called Popular Front, that they are wasting their energies in trying to spread the conviction that we are all gathered together under the flags of a few political parties, very respectable doubtless, but in a hopeless minority, in the midst of the great mass of workers in whose hands is the destiny of our county. Nobody can lay claim to universal representation. Be where he may, nobody can set up as interpreter of the will of the whole people. There may be play and counterplay in certain political and sindicalist spheres. It may happen, unfortunately, that Party A represents the Workers' Syndicate B. But it is totally absurd to generalize to the point of forgetting that there are in Spain three Libertarian organisations which hold the balance in the scale of events. No one can claim to represent the FAI, the CNT or the Juventudes Libertarias, but their own representatives. However high a position he may occupy, nobody can claim to express the will and the longings of two million revolutionary workers, with their own outlook, their own ideology and aspirations. And so long as there are not men whose talk and action does not arise from the very heart of our organization, there will be vast numbers of anti-fascists who will be unprotected by the mantle of a political party. The revolutionary proletariat is not to be satisfied with set phrases and tub-thumping catchwords. It has organizations of its own, with full rights, for taking part in the Life of Spain at a time when it can offer any sacrifice that may be called for. Enough of tactical manouevres. We have spoken clearly. We have always stood for the unity of all anti-fascist parties, but it must be on the firm basis of equal duties and rights for all. We reject the gratituous patronage of the political front and the men in it. We prefer to be represented everywhere by our own appointees. We are not under age, nor are we living in times which lend themselves to jest. Who can represent the revolutionary proletariat? Who can speak for the millions of anti-fascists who are outside the parties which compose the so-called Popular Front? Who can represent the CNT, the FAI and the Juventudes Libertaries? Our reply is clear, and those who value truth above mere party consideration, should understand and take note of it; THE C.N.T.-F.A.I. AND JUVENTUDES LIBERTARIAS, (LIBERTARIAN YOUTH), REGARD AND ALWAYS WILL REGARD THEMSELVES AS REPRESENTED ONLY BY THOSE WHO ARE DIRECTLY OF THEM, AND WHOSE BEHAVIOUR IS PLAINLY DERIVATIVE OF THEIR IDEOLOGY. (Tierra y Libertad) Revolutionary Economy Tailoring Industry In Barcelona WHEN the war broke out, Barcelona immediately sent over 13,000 ment to the front, mostly from the CNT-FAI ranks. The workers took over the industries left abandoned by the fleeing fascist owners, running them collectively. New industries were developed to meet the demands of the war. Among the new ones is the men's tailoring industry, which furnishes clothing for the soldiers. This collectivized industry now employing over 900 workers, started with two tables and two cutters furnished by the Commission of War Industries. Very soon the enthusiasm and energy of the workers raised the production to as high as 3,500 to 4,000 outfits a day. At one time they worked 36 hours straight through, and after a rest period of six hours, they renewed their work for 24 additional hours, without stopping. It was very cold at the front and the soldiers needed The Febus News Agency, interviewing the Manager of the Collectivized Men's Clothing Industry, has the following figures: from January 9 to May 11, 56,498 pairs of corduroy trousers were made; from March 4 until May 29, 11,780 "pescadoras"; from March 18 to June 8, 22,131 khaki suits and 800 trousers. The Barcelona industry supplied mainly the Aragon front, but it also worked for the armies of Vizcaya, Asturias, etc. This is an entirely new industry, which the workers developed during the war.
|Archive collection||Publications from the archive of Henry Sara and Frank Maitland|
|Archive folder||Journal of the Anarcho-Syndicalist Union : Spain and the World|
|Document title||Spain and the World. Vol. 2, no. 31|
|Issuing organisation||Anarcho-Syndicalist-Union (Shepherd's Bush (London, England))|
|Author||Goldman, Emma, 1869-1940|
|Document date||4 March 1938|