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(en) CNT Vitoria-Gasteiz: cnt nº 423 - "BUILDING AN ORGANIZATION BASED ON DIRECT DEMOCRACY IS THE GREAT CHALLENGE" - Interview with Ana Monjo Omedes (ca, it) [machine translation]

Date Fri, 31 Jul 2020 08:38:51 +0300

She has a PhD in Contemporary History from the University of Barcelona / Author of Militants. Democrácia and participation in the CNT als anys trenta, a work that has been translated into Spanish by comrade Sonia Turón / Published by the non-profit publisher 17d elicias.org ---- In the prologue of the book you dedicate "To the militancy, workers, who have helped me understand this difficult and exciting period of our past." Endless interviews with our older colleagues, today almost all of them disappeared. What was that fieldwork like and what did it mean for your study? ---- I was pleased with the good reception I received from the militants, the trust they placed in me when explaining their personal experiences. And, at the same time, I was surprised by the intelligence and critical position regarding their experiences, which denotes a reflective attitude that does not give up in the face of the defeat or failure of the organization, but rather extracts consequences and hopes to achieve a revolutionary transformation in the present and future.

Question. - What was it that made possible in the 1930s that a large nucleus of militants could dedicate themselves almost full time to your Organization?

Answer.- The personal will and the firm belief that it was possible to transform society and create a just, egalitarian and democratic reality. And supported by this attitude, a deep perception of the capacity of the human race to cooperate with others for the benefit of the population as a whole, of the capacity of people to govern themselves without the exploitation of the other.

Q. - How was the union activism in relation to other aspects of society?

R. - The militants were part of a movement that far surpassed the union sphere, the libertarian movement that responded to different areas of social life, constituting a libertarian workers culture, of which the workers took pride and with which they They identified: he participated in neighborhood life, in the Athenaeums and social gatherings in different recreational and cultural activities, he lived with his neighbors creating community and belonging to a way of conceiving society.

Q. - As you well know, the book of Militants is having a great reception among the readers of our newspaper. How do you value the good reception that the book is having in its Spanish version?

R. - With great joy, especially since my research has attempted to capture what really happened and to what extent the desired direct democracy and self-management were achieved. Readers' valuation shows their interest in knowing while avoiding preconceived visions. Reality is always revolutionary because it allows us to correct and transform.

Q. - Why do you think the current CNT militant hopes to find in the pages of this book some answers to his way of understanding the union today almost 90 years later?

A. - I think this study addresses a great question, still valid and unanswered: what obstacles exist when trying to build an organization based on direct democracy and a relationship of equals. And why the militancy, which holds these objectives, generates, however, a structure that reproduces power relations that subordinate the majority. What hinders the full participation of the majority in decisions. These difficulties and limits in achieving a truly participative organization constitutes a huge challenge at present in the face of the demands of society.

Interview | Ana Monjo Omedes | Writer and editor at Icaria

Posted in CNT .

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