In Episode 132 of the CounterVortex podcast, Bill Weinberg expounds on the legacy of anarchist heroism in the Spanish Civil War and Spanish Revolution, which both began on July 19, 1936. Interestingly, that same date also marks the victory of the Nicaraguan Revolution in 1979 and the beginning of the Rojava Revolution in Syria in 2012. There was an anarchist element to all these revolutions—but it was strongest by far in Spain. The betrayal of the Spanish anarchists holds lessons for these later struggles, as a counter-revolutionary dictatorship is established in Nicaragua, and the Kurdish revolutionaries of Rojava face growing contradictions in the context of Syria’s ongoing civil war.
Books discussed: The Spanish Anarchists: The Heroic Years 1868-1936 by Murray Bookchin; The Anarchist Collectives: Workers’ Self-Management in the Spanish Revolution, 1936–1939 by Sam Dolgoff; The Spanish Civil War by Hugh Thomas; The Next Revolution: Popular Assemblies and the Promise of Direct Democracy by Murray Bookchin
Production by Chris Rywalt