The Spanish Revolution

9992 Words40 Pages
Ever since the fall of 1930 when the Spanish Revolution began there has been no surcease of the struggle in Spain. For a long time there was a deadlock of forces, an equilibrium in the tug of war between the property holders and the destitute. Now the equilibrium is being definitely broken. The issue before Spain is either Communism or Fascism. The matter is being fought out not with ballots but with bullets and ruthless civil war. Slowly the political revolution is being definitively turned into a social revolution. From the very beginning, the mass of workers of Spain, both in the city and in the country were the decisive elements. When the students rioted before the universities in 1930 it was only when the workers joined them with a vast general strike that the regime of the military dictator, Primo de Rivera, fell and the temporary regime of General Berenguer set up. When General Berenguer tried to hold fake elections without extending the franchise to all, it was another general strike that overthrew the regime, compelled new elections, forced the king to flee and established the republic in April 1931. At this point the Syndicalist and Anarchist workers began to miscalculate their forces. Syndicalism and Anarchism, in spite of their revolutionary phraseology were able only to overthrow the old regime and to allow the new democratic republic to be set up; but these movements could not go forward to the positive constructive tasks of setting up the rule of the workers. These antiquated movements were good enough to accomplish the negative and critical tasks of overthrowing an antiquated monarchy; they did not know how to deal with a modern bourgeois republic. In the course of the revolutionary movement there was set up what in fact amounts to a dual power, the masses respecting the authority of the unions and the revolutionary organizations, the government being forced at times to yield to the opinions of these mass organizations on vital questions. At one time the bourgeois government was even forced to declare that Spain was a workers republic and to feign friendliness toward the Soviet Union. The leaders of the toilers' organizations, however, did not know what to do with their power. The lending groups were composed of four principal elements: the Anarchists, the Syndicalists, the Socialists and the Communists. The Anarchists were powerful enough within the trade union movement to exercise decisive influence for a time upon the whole situation.
Open Document