The Spanish Revolution. Vol. 1, no. 9
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Vol.1 N.o 9 Barcelona, December 23, 1936 Please reprint THE SPANISH REVOLUTION WEEKLY BULLETIN OF THE WORKERS' PARTY OF MARXIST UNIFICATION OF SPAIN P.O.U.M. AGENTS FOR ENGLAND: The I.L.P. The Marxist League. PRICE IN ENGLAND: 2d. AGENTS FOR U.S.A. : Y.P.S.L. The Labor Book Shop PRICE IN U.S.A. .05 EDITORIAL OFFICE: "THE SPANISH REVOLUTION" 10, Rambla de los Estudios BARCELONA CONTENTS Our Right to Speak the Truth.- Nin's Message to the Workers.- Towards a Clear Agrarian Policy.- Towards a Revolutionary International.- Morocco and Our Revolution.- Trade Union Discipline and Unity.- The Amalgamation of Industry OUR RIGHT TO SPEAK THE TRUTH One of the most fervent demands of the working class has always been the right to free speech, free criticism and inquiry and a plain statement of facts. This is a progresive human right. The capitalist bourgeois class triumphed over feudalism by using free speech, and the working class obtained power in Russia by fostering independant opinion whenever circumstances allowed. We must know what we want and where we are going and express our ideas on the subject. When the fascists organised the military rising, which brought as its consequence the civil war throughout the length and breadth of Spain — a war for which they must bear the full responsibility — they had a definite aim in mind. They meant to defeat the working class. They meant to establish the counter revolution by setting up the dictatorship of their class. The fascists know exactly what they are fighting for. We, the workers, must not allow ourselves to be placed in an inferior position through muddle headedness or indecision. We must state our aims clearly and demand the right to put forward plainly the objects of our struggle, in spite of those reformist elements who would be only too willing to silence us, and indeed are trying their best to do so. How can we limit our struggle to the negative formula of "antifascism", as they would have us do? Against the specific, counter revolutionary class objective of the fascists the workers must oppose a specific revolutionary class objective. There is no way to escape the dilemma of our times: socialism or fascism. Whoever does not struggle openly and decidedly for socialism plays unwittingly into the hands of fascism. But there are further and stronger arguments even than this in favour af a revolutionary position for the workers and a plain statement of the facts. A civil war as prolonged and hard as the one which we are now fighting requires a firm economic basis. The old capitalist economy is not suited to the special needs of the civil war. It cannot supply the necessary basis for two good reasons. The first of these is that the former economy has been disorganised and put out of action by recent events. It cannot serve now. The second and better reason is that a revolutionary civil war cannot be fought out with capitalist economic forms. It requires a new economy upon a new basis. That basis can be none other than a socialist foundation of collectivist tendencies. Our war economy must be a revolutionary economy. Of course this is necessarily a transition stage —war communism, they called it in Russia — but it contains and must establish the basis for the future socialist economy. One of the most serious criticisms which we have to make against the Spanish Governments is that they have failed to adapt the economic and financial resources of the country - Banks, transport and heavy industry - to the necessities of a long and costly war with the required speed and revolutionary energy. Our economy has been unhinged by the war so that a return to the old social regime is in any case impossible. Under these conditions, how can anyone fail to see that it is useless to speak of winning the war unless we speak of making a sucess of the revolution at the same time? To oppose the revolution is to oppose the civil war itself. However, whenever we try to express this point of view, the followers of Stalin and his bureaucracy treat us as "agents of fascism". Yet the truth which we claim the right to express is a defence of the revolutionary position which Marx and Lenin defended under similar circumstances. The triumph of the Russian revolution was possible because Lenin and Trotsky stood absolutely and uncompromisingly against all kinds of opportunism. By pushing forward the revolution tirelessly from the very begining, by opposing all compromise with class enemies and thus acting at all times in line with the interests of the working and peasant masses it was possible to achieve the total triumph of the workers' cause. Only by following the same tactics can the Spanish proletariat succeed completely with their present movement. Those who have inherited the Russian revolution are precisey those who wish to stop the Spanish workers from following the same path today. Russia has suffered a bureaucratic degeneration that puts the essentials of the revolution in danger. Apart from the incorrect political line pursued by Stalin, there is also the damning fact that day after day, under the pretext of plots which no one in his right mind can believe, the old Bolshevik guard are shot. The very chiefs of the party who led the revolution at the time of the heroic struggle against Tzarism and who shared the triumph of the proletariath together whith Lenin and Trotsky are daily being executed. Trotsky himself is an exile in a foreign land, a prisoner in all but name, and a dead man if ever again he steps inside the bureaucratic meshes of Stalinist control. It is a moral as well as a political obligation to raise our voices against such acts. We must not only raise our voices in a protest against the harm which is being done to the Russian revolution, but in a warning against what may happen to our own revolution unless the workingclass holds fast to the right to free critcism and free speech and the plain statement of revolutionary truth. The working class is an international class and what happens to the workers in one country directly concerns the workers of every land The right to disagree is a guarantee for the future. We demand the right of free expression in the interests of the world proletariat and the society of the future.
|Archive collection||Publications from the archive of Henry Sara and Frank Maitland|
|Archive folder||Journal of the Friends of the Spanish Republic : Journal of Partido Obrero de Unificacion Marxista [Workers Party of Marxist Unification]: The Spanish Revolution|
|Document title||The Spanish Revolution. Vol. 1, no. 9|
|Issuing organisation||Partido Obrero de Unificación Marxista|
|Author||Nin, Andrés, 1892-1937|
|Document date||23 December 1936|
|Copyright status||""Please reprint"".|
|Contributors||Fábregas, Juan P.|