Forgotten Anarchists Combat Fascism

Posted: December 9, 2008 in Orwell, Spanish Civil War
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Anarchism will never be discussed in the mainstream because its core tenet that authority should be rejected is so completely at odds with every mechanism that puts men and women into power and positions of influence. Anarchism shouts out, “The emperor has no clothes!”, and then proceeds to stick a boot up his bare arse.  Naturally such an attitude is intolerable anywhere that centralized power exists –boardrooms, government bureaus, school boards, editors’ offices, places of worship, and even most employee unions.

Death of a Loyalist Soldier

It is said that anarchism has a violent past. This is quite true –most of it in self defence. In 1936, when the fascists Mussolini, Hitler and Franco were bullying their way around Africa and Europe, more than a million Spanish anarchists galvanized in resistance. Faced with the onslaught of these three dictators, with the purposeful non-support from Britain, France and the US, and with attacks by their “allies”, Stalinist Spaniards, the anarchists were rapidly crushed. We might think that their valour would be hailed across the lands, heroic songs penned for them, movies made, classrooms swelling with their stories: the first Europeans to stand up to fascism! But, alas, they are forgotten.

George Orwell fought the fascists in Spain and, although no anarchist himself, greatly admired them. His famous quote is a vital lesson to us: ‘Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past.’ What does the present dictate to us?

  1. Luke says:

    I thought this was a touching and well-written post. Indeed, anarchism represents the single most threatening and therefore also most heavily propagandised idea to the establishment and elite socio-political classes. It is also fundamentally the only rational (i.e. universal, reciprocal, logically consistent and empirically valid) moral theory of social organization.

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