Spain and the World. Vol. 2, no. 32
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SPAIN AND THE WORLD Vol. 2. No. 32. LONDON, 18th MARCH, 1938 PRICE 2d.—U.S.A. 5 CENTS. FASCIST MORALITY "All the misfortunes of Spain come from the Stupid desire of the government to teach the Spaniard how to read and write. To teach a man how to read and write is tantamount to preparing him to assimilate the poison that will bring about his misfortune and that of his fatherland." — (The Marquis de Lozoya in "El Correo de Espana" of Bilbao, a fascist organ.) FASCISM CAN BE CRUSHED! WHAT was to come, has to come — Germany has brought its regime to Austria. Our "democratic" politicians must know by now that dictators keep their word only when they threaten acts of agression. Hitler in his book wrote: "Common blood should belong to a common Reich. Not till the confines of the Reich include every single German, and it is certain of being able to nourish them, can there be a moral right for Germany to acquire territory abroad while her people are in need. I wanted to have my share of fortune, to be on the spot and play my part in the country where my heart's most burning desire was destined to be fulfilled: the union of my beloved home with the common Fatherland, the German Reich." He has now formed these words into action, and however one may be opposed to his actions few can have been surprised. It is when the totalitarian powers promise to withdraw troops from Spain, or respect the territorial independence of undefended States that one must cease to believe the good faith behind their words. Thus, Hitler has marched triumphantly into defenceless Austria and has proclaimed her to be part of the Reich. Chamberlain was obviously aware of the steps that Hitler was about to take. As early as the 24th February the "News Chronicle" had informed its readers that Germany was massing her troops at three points on the Austro - German frontier, and in spite of Hitler's energetic denials at the time, facts to-day show this report to have been accurate in every detail. Surely then, if the "News Chronicle" reporter was able to give this information, then Chamberlain also must have been aware of it at the time. Besides, Halifax's recent visit to Germany and Ribbentrop's presence in London must indicate some connection between Chamberlain and current events on the Austrian question. In this country, public opinion is shocked that such aggression should pass unchecked by the representatives of the democracies, and the mass protest meetings in London — however mild and good-natured they may be — express public indignation at Chamberlain's attitude. But even if Chamberlain does go, Labour in power will not solve the problems which are at the root of present-day instability in the world. "Democracy" as understood to-day, and towards which the Labour Party aspires (as opposed to Revolutionary Socialism) has proved itself unable to prevent Japan from destroying China, nor Italy from laying waste Abyssinia, nor Franco and his allies from butchering thousands of innocents in Spain, nor Hitler from attacking and threatening Czechoslovakia (in spite of his promises). Further, it is thanks to Social-Democracy that Italy and Germany are today under the heel of Fascism. The Fascist States on the other hand have no truck for peace and Liberty. Mussolini recently declared that Liberty was a thing of the past and that the Italian people did not believe in it. Liberty, under a "dictatorship of the proletariat" the individual is lost, and the dictatorship degenerates into a dictatorship of a group of individuals, as in Russia, whose slogan is "who is not with us is against us" and must be tried (more often not) and found guilty and shot. The basis of the trouble is that whether a "Democracy" or dictatorship control a country, their progress only comes about by the oppression of others. Thus this country's apparent prosperity is acquired by the oppression of the workers in the colonies. Similarly Hitler and Mussolini want to do the same. The latter hoped to fill the Italian coffers with Abyssinian gold, whilst Hitler, once having created his solid bloc of Aryans in central Europe will also demand colonies ... and get them if matters continue as they have been until to-day. To-day no solidarity — or very little — binds the International Proletariat. The tendency is to consider their issue a National one. The Jews who are being oppressed in Europe hope that by having a Nation for the Jews will solve their problems. The Spanish leaders talk of Spanish National Independence. The French communists will be the first to fight for "la patrie." Instead Peace and Goodwill can only be fostered by an Internationally minded proletariat, a proletariat which will refuse to fight against its brothers in other countries. The workers have always been instruments for wars. In the event of war they have the arms with which to revolt against their oppressor's. If this has not been done en masse by the Italian and German workers in Spain, or in China by the Japanese, it does not mean that it is impracticable. It would seem that the workers of these countries have had that sense of solidarity amongst workers knocked out of them; youth has perhaps not had the opportunity to understand what it means because of the spirit of blind devotion to the Party (evidenced in the U.S.S.R. as well) which is taught from early childhood. Spain, owing to the tremendous additional assistance given Franco, since Teruel was captured by the workers, now finds itself in the most precarious position since Madrid was threatened. This fact has not roused the proletariat to action on her behalf. Meetings are still being held and resolutions passed but no real action has accompanied these fine words. Why is this? The general opinion seems to be that this country will not risk war for a dispute which does not concern her. This is not only the opinion put forward by the reactionaries but is shared by the Labour Party, judging by its various statements concerning Non-Intervention. Yet if tomorrow Chamberlain declares that this country is threatened, (and it will not be the threat of Fascism, but simply another capitalist war) the proletariat will flock to protect, not their families, but the politicians and armed barons who have decided to make cannon fodder of them. Why this readiness to sacrifice life and limb for capitalism and yet an obvious reluctance to act energetically against the ruling of a Government - in defence of a country which is struggling valiantly to shake off Capitalism in the shape of Fascism? It has now resolved itself into a question of individual consciences. No real action will come from those large organisations, ridden with bureaucratic and demagogic officials who must needs keep within the so-called boundaries of "law and order," namely the "law and order" which makes it virtually impossible for the workers of this country from actively supporting the Spanish proletariat. In the words of Kropotkin, "it is by action that minorities suceed in arousing the sense of independence and audacity without which no revolution can be won." The Orators of the Popular Front to Say.. ... That the electoral triumph of February 16th was due to the decision of the Libertarian Movement, and its resolve not to make a campaign against politics, showing thus an historical insight which was effective in defeating the rights. ...That the motive power that brought in the Lefts, was Liberty for the political prisoners. ... That two parties figured in the Popular Front, who are today on the fringe of the new(?) "Popular Front": The Syndicalist Party and the POUM. ... That when in Power, the "Popular Front" was incapable of fighting Fascism at close quarters, of destroying its breeding grounds and parlyzing its weapons. ...That the July rebellion was prepared by the rights with the utmost attention to every detail, and without hindrance. ... That the Fascist outbreak achieved an easy triumph in half of Spain. ...That the other half of Spain was saved — and one must be bold to deny it — thanks to the decisive action of the CNT and the FAI. .. That in the critical days of July, the "Popular Front" was buried by the avalanche of workers, and the arms of the people. ... That the war against Fascism was begun without bothering about "Popular Front" slogans. ...That the revolution constitu- (Continued on page 2) TOSCANINI-Champion of Liberty "TOSCANINI, the famous conductor, has once more shown his abhorrence for dictatorships. Several years have passed since he last conducted in Italy and since Hitler came into power in Germany he has refused to conduct at the Beyreuth festival. Now one reads that Toscanini has refused to conduct in Salzburg during the coming season and that the money he was to have given for the reconstruction of the opera house in Salzburg will be given to other funds. This firm attitude — he confirmed it after Schuschnigg's plebiscite declaration — has earned for him the ire of the Fascist press in Italy. In "Regime Fascista" of March 9th, Roberto Farinacci, former Secretary of the Fascist party and intimate friend of Mussolini wrote: "We have always hoped that Toscanini would be reconciled to the Fatherland which made him famous. But no, he allows no opportunity to pass of insulting his country by his behaviour. After the recent political developments in Austria he hastened to announce that he would go no more to Salzburg. "Toscanini makes use of his art to conduct his idiotic anti-Fascist propaganda. We ask the Government how long he is to be allowed to enter or leave Italy as he pleases. The time has come to say that we have the right to strike him as he deserves." Besides containing a definite threat, the remark that the Fatherland made him famous is false, for Toscanini's rise to fame came when he was in an orchestra touring in South America. There he was given an opportunity to conduct owing to the indisposition of the regular conductor. He amazed everybody by his complete understanding of the music and by the fact that he conducted from memory. This was the beginning of one of the world's greatest artists. Since the day when Toscanini was "beaten up" by young hooligans in Milan for having refused to bow to the Fascists' will and play the Fascist hymn, he has not conducted in Italy, and the Fascist press has seized every opportunity to attack him and incite hooligans to further attacks on the maestro. When, for instance, he conducted in London and played the National anthem at the beginning of the first concert (as is customary at the beginning of a series of concerts) the Italian press thought that he should have also played the Fascist hymn, and for not having done so he deserved to have the same treatment as on the previous occasion when he refused to play Giovinezza! The Editor of the "Evening Standard's" "Londoner's Diary" commenting on Toscanini's attitude towards the Austrian situation thinks it wrong that the famous conductor should mix politics with music. But the obvious answer to that remark is that Toscanini did not mix politics and art until the complete freedom which he required for the expression of his art were interfered with, and when dictators decided to ban his colleagues from conducting in countries under their domination because of racial prejudice. It would be as well to remind the Editor of the "Londoner's Diary" that Hitler has banned Mendelsohn's music in Germany and has forbidden Bruno Walter to conduct in the name of racial purity! When this state of affairs exists, that is, when dictators use music and art for their political ends, then it is time, as Paul Robeson so rightly said, that artists took sides, sides." Toscanini belongs to no political party. All he wants is complete freedom for the expression of his art. And complete freedom is needed not only in art but also for every form of self-expression and development. R. OUR COLONY. As we go to Press we receive the following telegram; from Barcelona: COLONY MASNOU FIXED PUTTING URGENT ARAGON REFUGEES. This news must surely be an incentive to all comrades to contribute generously. We hope to give details in the next issue.
|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. 32|
|Issuing organisation||Anarcho-Syndicalist-Union (Shepherd's Bush (London, England))|
|Author||Serge, Victor, 1890-1947|
|Document date||18 March 1938|
|Copyright status||Copyright expired. With the exception of the articles by Victor Serge, Reginald Reynolds and Augustin Souchy: current copyright holders unknown.|
|Contributors||Goldman, Emma, 1869-1940 ; Reynolds, Reginald, 1905-1958 ; Souchy, Agustín, 1892-|