“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.”

Today marks the 70th anniversary of Franco’s coup in Spain, the day the Spanish Civil War began. In 1973, as the situation in Spain moved towards revolution and final overthrow of the hated Franco regime, Ted Grant wrote this document drawing all the lessons from those tumultuous events.

This introduction originally written in 1995 points out that the new generation of young workers and youth should learn the lessons of history. The tragedy of the Spanish revolution is a painful lesson of cynical betrayal. We must learn from the defeats as well as the victories of working people to prepare ourselves for the future.

On the 80th anniversary of the Asturian Commune we are publishing an article originally written ten years ago. During the Commune the mining and industrial region of Asturias in Spain witnessed one of the most fascinating revolutions in the history of the 20th century. During the course of 15 days men and women fought to establish a new society free of exploitation and ruled by the principles of workers’ democracy. This was the beginning of the Asturian Commune.

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