Saturday, 10 November 2012

I am 'ignorant' and an 'ideological fanatic'

Apparently, according to one visitor to this site I am 'an ignorant' and an 'ideological fanatic'. Why? Because I referred to the 'Spanish Revolution' instead of the 'Spanish Civil War'.

I admit it, I'm ignorant and an ideological fanatic, just like the people who compiled the Wikipedia entry on the Spanish Revolution, I am an ignorant and an ideological fanatic just like Gaston Leval who wrote:

In Spain during almost three years, despite a civil war that took a million lives, despite the opposition of the political parties (republicans, left and right Catalan separatists, socialists, Communists, Basque and Valencian regionalists, petty bourgeoisie, etc.), this idea of libertarian communism was put into effect. Very quickly more than 60% of the land was collectively cultivated by the peasants themselves, without landlords, without bosses, and without instituting capitalist competition to spur production. In almost all the industries, factories, mills, workshops, transportation services, public services, and utilities, the rank and file workers, their revolutionary committees, and their syndicates reorganized and administered production, distribution, and public services without capitalists, high salaried managers, or the authority of the state. 

Even more: the various agrarian and industrial collectives immediately instituted economic equality in accordance with the essential principle of communism, 'From each according to his ability and to each according to his needs.' They coordinated their efforts through free association in whole regions, created new wealth, increased production (especially in agriculture), built more schools, and bettered public services. They instituted not bourgeois formal democracy but genuine grass roots functional libertarian democracy, where each individual participated directly in the revolutionary reorganization of social life. They replaced the war between men, 'survival of the fittest,' by the universal practice of mutual aid, and replaced rivalry by the principle of solidarity.... 

This experience, in which about eight million people directly or indirectly participated, opened a new way of life to those who sought an alternative to anti-social capitalism on the one hand, and totalitarian state bogus socialism on the other.

and I'm proud to be ignorant and an ideological fanatic just like him. I'm ignorant and an ideological fanatic like Franklin Rosemont at the University of Pennsylvania, and like the authors of Lessons of the Spanish Revolution (Vernon Richards, 1972), The Spanish revolution: the left and the struggle for power during the Civil War (Burnett Bolloten, 1979), The Spanish Revolution (Stanley Payne, 1970), Women in the Spanish revolution (Liz Willis, 1975) - the list goes on and on.

If it is ignorant to subscribe to the established growing trend amongst historians and serious authors that the 1930s saw a revolutionary situation in Spain, then I'm ignorant. If it is ideologically fanatical to want to recover a period of forgotten and suppressed history, then I'm an ideological fanatic. And do you know what? I don't give a damn! Whatever. Guilty as charged.

Emma Goldman dances!

I did not believe that a Cause which stood for a beautiful ideal, for anarchism, for release and freedom from conventions and prejudice, should demand the denial of life and joy. I insisted that our Cause could not expect me to become a nun and that the movement should not be turned into a cloister. If it mean that, I did not want it. “I want freedom, the right to self-expression, everybody’s right to beautiful, radiant things.” Anarchism meant  that to me, and I would live it in spite of the whole world – prisons, persecution, everything. Yes, in spite of the condemnation of my own closest comrades I would live my beautiful ideal
         from Living My Life, vol.1 p.56

This is why I love this woman and honour her memory.