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Vivir la utopía

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Vivir la utopía. El anarquismo en espana. (Original 1997). Living Utopia (The Anarchists and the Spanish Revolution) Spanish with english subtitles. Around 95 minutes. This documentary-film by Juan Gamero consists of 30 interviews with survivors of the 1936-1939 Spanish Revolution, and is in our view one of the best documentaries dealing with the theme. The testimony of the anarchist militants are very moving indeed, and are showing the constructive work of the social revolution in Spain. This "Anarchy in Action" meant: on the land around 7 million peasants form collectives, in the city 3000 workplaces collectivised, 150 000 join the anarchist militias to fight fascism, as well as cultural activities and the movement of the Mujeres Libres to free the women from patriarchy.

Interviewed anarcho-syndicalists/anarchist militants: Miguel Alba, Ramon Álvarez, Frederico Arcos, Marcelino Bailo, Maria Batet, Severio Campos, Francisco Carrasquer, Miguel Celma, Valerio Chiné; José Espana, Jose Fortea, Juan Giménez, Antonio Lahuerta, Concha Liano, Fidel Miró, Aurora Molina, Heleno Molina, Conxa Pérez, Suceso Portales, Dolores Prat, Ximo Queirol, Maravilla Rodríguez, Juan Romero, Manuel Sanz, Liberto Sarrau, José Sauces, José Serra Estruch, Antonio Turón, José Urzáiz and Antonio Zapata.


[edit] Direct links to the film in spanish with english subtitles:

[edit] Eyewitness accounts about the Social Revolution in Spain

George Orwell in "Homage to Catalonia": "Above all, there was a belief in the revolution and the future, a feeling of having suddenly emerged into an era of equality and freedom. Human beings were trying to behave as human beings and not as cogs in the capitalist machine".

Gaston Leval comments in ‘The Anarchist Collectives’, Sam Dolgoff (ed.): "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".

Andrea Oltmares, professor in the University of Geneva, in the course of an address of some length, said:

"In the midst of the civil war the Anarchists have proved themselves to be political organisers of the first rank. They kindled in everyone the required sense of responsibility, and knew how, by eloquent appeals, to keep alive the spirit of sacrifice for the general welfare of the people. As a Social Democrat I speak here with inner joy and sincere admiration of my experiences in Catalonia. The anti-capitalist transformation took place here without their having to resort to a dictatorship. The members of the syndicates are their own masters and carry on the production and the distribution of the products of labour under their own management, with the advice of technical experts in whom they have confidence. The enthusiasm of the workers is so great that they scorn any personal advantage and are concerned only for the welfare of all."

The well-known anti-Fascist, Carlo Roselli, who before Mussolini's accession to power was Professor of Economics in the University of Genoa, put his judgement into the following words:

"In three months Catalonia has been able to set up a new social order on the ruins of an ancient system. This is chiefly due to the Anarchists, who have revealed a quite remarkable sense of proportion, realistic understanding, and organising ability...all the revolutionary forces of Catalonia have united in a program of Syndicalist-Socialist character: socialisation of large industry; recognition of the small proprietor, workers' control...Anarcho-Syndicalism, hitherto so despised, has revealed itself as a great constructive force...I am not an Anarchist, but I regard it as my duty to express here my opinion of the Anarchists of Catalonia, who have all too often been represented to the world as a destructive, if not criminal, element. I was with them at the front, in the trenches, and I have learnt to admire them. The Catalonian Anarchists belong to the advance guard of the coming revolution. A new world was born with them, and it is a joy to serve that world."

And Fenner Brockway, Secretary of the I.L.P. in England who travelled to Spain after the May events in Catalonia (1937), expressed his impressions in the following words:

"I was impressed by the strength of the C.N.T. It was unnecessary to tell me that it was the largest and most vital of the working-class organisations in Spain. The large industries were clearly, in the main, in the hands of the C.N.T.--railways, road transport, shipping, engineering, textiles, electricity, building, agriculture. At Valencia the U.G.T. had a larger share of control than at Barcelona, but generally speaking the mass of manual workers belonged to the C.N.T. The U.G.T. membership was more of the type of the 'white-collar' worker...I was immensely impressed by the constructive revolutionary work which is being done by the C.N.T. Their achievement of workers' control in industry is an inspiration. One could take the example of the railways or engineering or textiles...There are still some Britishers and Americans who regard the Anarchists of Spain as impossible, undisciplined, uncontrollable. This is poles away from the truth. The Anarchists of Spain, through the C.N.T., are doing one of the biggest constructive jobs ever done by the working class. At the front they are fighting Fascism. Behind the front they are actually constructing the new Workers' Society. They see that the war against Fascism and the carrying through of the Social Revolution are inseparable. Those who have seen and understand what they are doing must honour them and be grateful to them. They are resisting Fascism. They are at the same time creating the New Workers' Order which is the only alternative to Fascism. That is surely the biggest things now being done by the workers in any part of the world." And in another place: "The great solidarity that existed amongst the Anarchists was due to each individual relying on his own strength and not depending on leadership. The organisations must, to be successful, be combined with a free-thinking people; not a mass, but free individuals." (the last three cited in Rocker's "Anarcho-syndicalism").

[edit] Obituary

  • Miguel Alba (1900-1999) Lozano, [1]
  • Ramón Álvarez (1913-2003) Palomo [2]
  • Federico Arcos (1920- ) Martinez: Relentless Vision: The legacy of F. Arcos, Emma Goldman and the Spanish Revolution(Video)[3] and [4]
  • Maria Batet (1914-2009) [5]
  • Severino Campos (1905-2006) Campos [6] und [7]
  • Francisco Carrasquer (1917-2012), (Video in memoriam) [8]
  • Miguel Celma (1920-2007) Martín [9]
  • Valerio Chiné (1918-2007) Bagué [10]
  • José Fortea (1916- )Gracia [11]
  • Juan Giménez (1913-1998) Arenas [12]
  • Concha Liaño (1916-2014) [13] und hier: [14], (Video) Anarquista, Mujeres Libres 1936, Interview span. [15]
  • Fidel Miró (1910-1998) Last Interview [16]
  • Aurora Molina (1923-2014) Iturbe [17] kurzes Video: [18]
  • Concha Pérez (1915-2014) Collado [19], Video, Homenatge [20]
  • Maria Suceso Portales (1904-1999) [21]
  • Dolores Prat (1905-2001) Coll [22]
  • José "Pepe" Sauces (1911-2000) [23]
  • Liberto Sarrau(1920-2001) Royes [24]
  • Antonio Turón (1920-2003) Turón [25]
  • José Urzáiz (1918-1998) [26]
  • Antonio Zapata (1908-2000) Córdoba [27]

[edit] Bibliography

  • Sam Dolgoff (1974): The Anarchist Collectives: Workers' Self-Management in the Spanish Revolution, 1936–1939, Montreal; here: [28]
  • Rudolf Rocker (1938): Anarcho-Syndicalism. Theory & Practice, London; here:* [29]
  • Colectivo Solidario, ed.,(2007): "El anarcosindicalismo español. Una historia en imágenes". Confederación Sindical Solidaridad Obrera, Madrid.
  • Jose Peirats (2011,2012): "The CNT in the Spanish Revolution", vol.1, vol.2, vol.3, PM Press, Oakland.
  • Stuart Christie (2010): We, the anarchists! A study of the Iberian Anarchist Federation (FAI) 1927–1937. London.
  • Vernon Richards (1953): Lessons of the Spanish Revolution. Freedom Press, London.
  • Iain McKay, Editor (2012): "An Anarchist FAQ" Vol 2, (esp. Section: I.8 Does revolutionary Spain show that libertarian socialism can work in practice? page 974-1005 [30]). AK Press, Oakland/Edinburgh.
  • "Spain 1936-1939: Social Revolution - Counter Revolution" (1990), (Selections from the anarchist fortnightly 'Spain & the World'), Freedom Press, London.

[edit] Websites

[edit] See also

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