Another Oldie: ¿Viva la Insurgencía?: The Spanish Civil War and the Legacy of the Totalitarian International Brigades

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Continuing with the oldies, here is another post from July 2007:

The memory of the Spanish Civil War is shaped by multiple and competing narratives. Was it a civil war or a revolution? A struggle between a fledgling liberal democratic republic and reactionary fascists? Or perhaps a righteous struggle waged by the forces of patriotism, nationalism, and religion against communism?

In 1931, the Second Republic-a liberal socialist government-was elected to power in Spain. Known colloquially as la niña bonita (the beautiful child), it was the first time in decades that a change in government occurred without intervention by Spanish military. The government of President Niceto Alcalá Zamora and Prime Minister Manuel Azaña implemented a serious of social, land and labor reforms.

However radical political groups-principally anarcho-syndicalists and anarcho-communists-were not satisfied with the government’s reformist efforts and engaged in a series of strikes and failed attempts at insurrection. In a context of rising social, economic, and political expectations, an anarchist-inspired social revolution sparked by land seizures and factory occupations culminated in the implementation of a variety of semi-democratic, self-managed, worker-based, collectivization schemes.

[read it all here]

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