Adolfo reveals his true allegiance

hariette spierings hariette at easynet.co.uk
Fri Apr 5 11:09:55 MST 1996


>On Fri, 5 Apr 1996, Rahul Mahajan wrote:
>
>[clip]
>>
>> Well, it looks like Adolfo's true views have reared their ugly head. So a
>> criticism of the Popular Front would be "workerist rubbish." Well, what was
>> a major element of the left criticism? The fact that the Stalinists and
>> bourgeois consistently opposed land reform and collectivization, allowing
>> only expropriation of the land of explicit fascists. So we see that Adolfo
>> can't justify the Popular Front policies on the basis of the interests of
>> the peasantry, a group that would have come over massively to the Republic
>> had they been allowed the land. What were the other interests besides those
>> of the workers and peasants? The big capitalists, the feudal landed
>> elements, and the foreign imperialists. Now we see whose long-term
>> interests Adolfo wanted the proletariat to subordinate its interests to.
>>
>I agree with Rahul, but let's just be a bit more explicit: Adolfo argues
>that the popular front was the only means to support the bourgeois
>democratic revolution. As a means in concretizing this popular front, he
>applauds the extremely *un*democratic use of violence against what were
>supporters of the Spanish revolution during the civil war--the POUM, the
>anarchists, etc.--thereby weakening immeasurably the forces of the
>revolution itself.
>
>It can also be very clearly argued that, like in Russia in 1917, the
>bourgeois democrats, in the face of the resistance of Franco et al, were
>*incapable* of fulfilling their own bourgeois democratic dreams. The only
>force capable of doing this was the working class leading the peasantry.
>And the only way that they had any *real* stake in doing so was through,
>in extending and defending the democratic revolution, extending and
>defending the socialist one as well.
>
>It was this that the USSR, quite ironically and mistakenly, crushed.
>
>It's true that the USSR was the only force on a world scale that supported
>the Spanish government. It's also true that they failed to apply the
>positive lessons of October, and trust the class that they supposedly
>represented rather than the representatives of bourgeois democracy.
>
>C2
>


Well Chris 2 here is "putting the national interest of the Spanish
proletariat" above the long term interests of the world revolution.  The
logic of subordinating the Party and class immediate interests to the
"national interest" in the oppressed countries, is precisely predicated on
the fact that the liberation of nation advances the anti-imperialist
struggle, advances the struggle against capital and therefore advances the
world revolution.

That is how the question of Spain has to be approached. Taking into
consideration the concrete conditions, what kind of revolution was possible
in Spain.  And here, Spain being a semi-feudal country (at the time), but
also a country in the European continent with quite a few modern (for the
time) capitalist sectors, as well as the condition of mainly independent
country (unlike in the colonial and semi-colonial world), the consequences
of a premature seizure of power in the framework of the looming war world
can not be left out of the equation. The ultra-lefts make a big noise about
betrayal of the revolution, and many hindsight strategies for the seizure of
power are put forth, as well as sheer mis-representation of the political facts.

The questions of the Spanish Civil War are complex and I do not want to
enter into details in here - I am not an historiographer.  However, I just
want to posit the question about the possibility of survival of a "Red
Republic" (i.e. The Commune, because that is what we would have had if the
proletariat had seized power in Spain (and that also had to be seen from the
angle of whether that seizure could have in fact been possible without the
immediate victory of the fascists) without triggering a general
anti-communist war with ALL imperialists lined up against Red Spain and the
USSSR?  How long Red Spain (possibly reduced at just about parts of
Catalonia and the City of Madrid - the rest would have fallen to Franco just
about immediately should a political earthquake as the one that would have
resulted from the installation of a proletarian dictatorship had broken out)
could have lasted against the armies of germany, Franco, Italy, France and
Britain, and even possibly Japan and the USA?

Would Russia also not have been defeated?  It is possible to envision such a
result.  So, for those who jump up and down without having at any time had
any responsibility in any strategic considerations which actually have
something to do with living problems of a war or a revolution, I recommed a
bit of objective thinking.

Could more have been done - and better - for aiding the Spanish Republic?,
possibly yes, in hindsight, although not very much more either.  Revolutions
stand on the strenght of their own internal forces, and in Spain, neither
the internal situation, and even more the international one, was in any way
conducive for a complete people's victory.  That much can be said from a
cool and dispassionate analysis of the history of the period and the degree
of conciousness and unity of the forces involved, the enemy's strenghts and
weaknesses, etc.  Most people, on the contrary, would actually think that it
was a great tribute to the fighting spirit of the Spanish people that this
war actually lasted that long.

Another question is if the Republic could have held longer, delaying the
war, or even merging into the general war?  That is what the
historiographers could provide clues for.  I, myself stand by my opinion
that it was in fact remarkable that given the circunstances, the war lasted
that long.  Maybe if the Communist party had prepared better for passing
over to a People's war type of situation - but then the theory of People's
War was still not completely elaborated and the consciousness of the
European proletarian movement was not geared for that sort of action yet,
although later in Italy towards the end of the war, guerilla warfar proved
invaluable against the Mussolini regime, and in other countries of Eastern
Europe. In Spain, it was never tried beyond an auxiliary role. But such was
the orthodoxy at the time, and no one ever advocated or tried to put in
practice such course of action as the main aspect of the war.

I think to study the Spanish civil war, it is really childish to come out
with grand schemes which ignore the basic problems of that revolution. But
then, a scientific approach would not serve to blame everything on Uncle
Joe, isn't it?  So why not just carry on being ludicrous and partisan in
judging recent history?

C2 does, and even has the gall to call that Marxism.


Adolfo Olaechea



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