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(en) France, Alternative Libertaire AL #237 - Classic subversion: Gaston Leval, "Libertarian Spain, 1936-1939" (fr, pt) [machine translation]

Date Tue, 22 Apr 2014 14:41:43 +0300


Gaston Leval (Pierre Robert Piller), was born in 1895. Libertarian activist, he was a manual laborer, teacher, photographer, journalist in France, Spain and Latin America. ---- Fervent participant in the Spanish Revolution, it is very early aware of the unfavorable balance of power antifascist camp. He then began to "collect for the future results of this unique experience" , examines "on the spot, in collectivized villages, in the factories and socialized factories, the constructive work of the Spanish Revolution" , based on the self-management and direct democracy. ---- The achievements of the era are not only the result of spontaneous collective tendencies. They were also encouraged by the popular appropriation of anarchist theories, by building a libertarian movement in 1870: local groups, newspapers, schools, support, revolts. The million members of the CNT in 1936 demonstrates the strength of the Spanish libertarian milieu, from which the French anarchist of the time seems indecisive and little concrete in the eyes of the author.

So at the time of Franco's coup, when institutions falter, it is the libertarian workers, accustomed to act without instructions, which are able to effectively reorganize society in an emergency.

This is both under the pressure of necessity - supply the war effort, and popular aspirations - equal sharing of wealth-that occurs takeover of the production and trade. Can evoke the agrarian communities in Aragon, the textile industry in Alcoy, management of water, gas, electricity, transport in Catalonia, "socialization" in which the unions took a large share. The author recalls attention to training, focuses particularly on the reorganization of the health system. "plants turned, workshops, factories produced without bosses, without capitalists, without shareholders, without top managerial staff".

The experience is not provided free of errors. Thus, in communities where the money was kept, sometimes attended more to the construction of a "self capitalism" than to a true egalitarian society. And acting principles and tactics, Gaston Leval deplores the participation of anarchists governments, and regrets that the links between union the CNT and UGT were not closer. He also notes that when the state system and self-management system coexist, the first tends to engulf the second.

Patrick (AL Montpellier)

Gaston Leval, Spain libertarian 1936-1939 , Tops Trinquier Eds H., 2013, 406 p., 23 euros.
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