Franco - Public Domain - WikipediaEighty years after the beginning of the Spanish Civil War and 40 years after the end of the Franco dictatorship which followed it, this is an issue which in Spain raises white hot passions. Far from this being an historical question, it is a burning one today. As a new revolutionary upswing is starting, the new generation is attempting to come to terms with the lessons of the past.

asturian communeToday marks the 80th anniversary of the beginning of the Spanish Civil War. On 17 and 18 July, 1936, General Franco began his military uprising in Morocco, a prelude to the fascist uprising throughout Spain. The Popular Front government, elected in February, was suspended in mid-air. The landlords and capitalists went over to Franco. The workers, however, responded in a spontaneous fashion. Had the revolutionary upsurge been successful, it could have changed the whole course of history.

asturian-building-workers-strike-1977The acute crisis of the political regime that emerged in 1978 has focussed general attention once more on the so-called “Democratic Transition”, a process that spanned the period from the death of the dictator, Franco, in November 1975 through to the historic victory of PSOE (the Socialist Workers’ Party of Spain) in the elections of October 1982. The current regime, the monarchy and the ruling class, conscious of their crumbling prestige, are now attempting to regain their lost credibility and authority by means of the most scandalous historical distortion

image1Recently the Spanish Marxist Tendency Lucha de Clases published a new edition of Felix Morrow's classic Revolution and counterrevolution in Spain with a new introduction by Alan Woods. The launch meetings in Spain have been a great success and the book has already been sold out and a second edition is in preparation. Today we are publishing the introduction by Alan Woods which provides a brief analysis of the reasons for the defeat of the Spanish Revolution of 1931-37 while also dealing with the resurgence of the Spanish workers' movement in the 1960s and 70s and drawing the lessons for today.

Santiago Carrillo (1915-2012): The man who betrayed two Socialist Revolutions. Photo: BundesarchivOn September 19th Spain woke up to the news of the death of Santiago Carrillo, General Secretary of the Spanish Communist Party (PCE) in the crucial years 1960-82. He passed away at the age of 97 in his home in Madrid. Usually the death of a leader of the workers’ movement would only get limited press coverage and perhaps some official statement from trade unions, Socialist and Communist Party local branches, and so on. But this was completely different. All newspapers reserved their front page for the news. El País, the mouthpiece of the liberal bourgeoisie, paid fulsome homage to Carrillo with long tributes from prominent celebrities. King Juan Carlos came to Carrillo’s deathbed just two hours after he had died. He was quoted as saying that Carrillo had played a “fundamental role” in the establishing of democracy in Spain.

For many of us older comrades who were politically active in the Labour Party Young Socialists in Coventry in the late 1960s and 1970s, Fernandez Montes was the living embodiment of the Spanish Civil War.

The year 2001 marks the 70th anniversary of the proclamation of the Spanish Republic in 1931, an event which was the opening shot in the Spanish Revolution. Also 65 years ago, on July 18th 1936, we saw the uprising of Franco, once the Spanish ruling class understood that they could no longer rule through 'democratic' means. We are publishing here an article by Alan Woods which deals with the last period of the spanish Revolution. This article was first published in 1986 as a concluding part of a series of articles on the Spanish Revolution 1931-37.

Trotsky and the Spanish RevolutionThis article was written as an introduction to a Spanish language edition of Trotsky’s writings on the Spanish Revolution. This English translation was published in 1967. Broué outlines the main lessons that Trotsky drew from the experience of the Spanish revolution, lessons that need to be taken on board today.

This week marks the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Jarama during the Spanish Civil War. Ten years ago, celebrating the 60th anniversary, some of the British volunteers who fought in that battle went to Madrid University. Here a comrade who was present at meetings where they spoke expresses his gratitude to those working class heroes.

“The tragic experience of Spain is a terrible - perhaps final - warning before still greater events, a warning addressed to all the advanced workers of the world. ‘Revolutions,’ Marx said, ‘are the locomotives of history.’ They move faster than the thought of semi-revolutionary or quarter-revolutionary parties. Whoever lags behind falls under the wheels of the locomotive, and consequently - and this is the chief danger - the locomotive itself is also not infrequently wrecked.”

Join us!

Help build the forces of Marxism worldwide!

Join the IMT!