Views & Comments Number 25
Individualist Anarchism: Two Points of View
I. Individualist Perspectives by E. Armand
II. The two Anarchisms by "LYG"
What We Stand For
Two great power blocs struggle for world domination.
Neither of these represents the true interests and welfare of humanity. Their conflict threatens mankind with atomic destruction. Underlying both of these blocs are institutions that breed exploitation, inequality and oppression.
Without trying to legislate for the future we feel that we can indicate the general lines along which a solution to these problems can be found.
The exploitative societies of today must be replaced by a new libertarian world which will proclaim--equal freedom for all in a free socialist society. "freedom" without socialism leads to privilege and injustice; "socialism" without freedom is totalitarian.
The monopoly of power which is the state must be replaced by a world-wide federation of free communities, labor councils and/or cooperatives operating according to the principles of free agreement. The government of men must be replaced by a functional society based on the administration of things.
Centralism, which means regimentation from the top down, must be replaced by federalism, which means cooperation from the bottom up.
The libertarian league will not accept the old socio-political clichés, but will boldly explore new roads while examining anew the old movements, drawing from them all that which time and experience has proven to be valid.
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Views and Comments
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From the Editors
It's time for that old call for money again--in our case it's MONEY in capitals. We hoped to be able to announce the publication of a pamphlet on American unionism this issue, but pamphlets cost money. We do plan to print it ourselves, which means that all labor will be voluntary by the New York group of the League, but even at this we are left with a rather large bill for paper and plates--which we unfortunately don't have. Your help would be most appreciated
Some help has already been forthcoming. Special thanks are due to a group of Spanish comrades and to the IL REFRATARI group in Detroit for recent sizable donations Also to SC of New York.
And a special note of thanks from the composing end of the editorial committee to Comrade J.N. of San Francisco for the extra type faces, which we'll be using in this issue.
We'd also like to note again that letters from our readers are always most welcome We like to hear what you have to say.
Voting: Fight or Farce?
November is here again and once more we are being urged to go to the polls and cast our vote for some sturdy "Champion of the People," thus insuring that our "Democratic Institutions" will remain intact.
But are we really selecting and putting in power men who will represent our interests? Do these democratic institutions really exist?
To answer these questions we must examine the process by which these worthies are selected. Let's look at the method by which the highest office in the land, the presidency, is filled. Theoretically the two candidates are chosen at conventions of the two giant parties which completely dominate American politics. But who doesn't know of the back room conferences by which these candidates are really chosen? Power blocks haggle, deals are made and the "representatives of the people" are chosen. The rest, the "demonstrations" on the floor and the roll call votes, are merely window dressing, as any intelligent observer of these farces called conventions knows.
By these means each party chooses candidates who actually differ only in nonessentials. On basic issues, the armament race, the cold war and, above all, the support of Capitalism by any and all means, the two parties are as one. It could not be otherwise, since the real powers in the United States, our economic overlords, dictate to both parties, and the politicians are only their servants. The only real struggle which takes place is the struggle between the different politicians to see who will get the booty for the next few years.
For any other party to come to power, such as one of the parties which call themselves socialist, it must also come to terms with the powers that be, those who control the economic life of the country, and let their policies be governed by these powers. This has been amply proven in those countries where so-called "Socialist" parties have come to power, as in England, France and Germany.
The English Labour Party has shown its inability to make any fundamental changes in the economy of that country that would tend to produce anything resembling true Socialism. The few changes it did make while in power, Such as the nationalization of the mines, have been rejected by the workers themselves. The English workers realize that nationalization has only enslaved them more.
The same has occurred in France and Germany. In 1936-39 the "Socialist" Leon Blum ably helped International Capitalism to strangle the Spanish workers' revolution, one of the greatest social experiments of modern times. In late years French Socialists have supported the murderous war in Morocco with all their power. The complete bankruptcy of political Socialism in Germany was proven by its inability to effectively oppose Fascism.
So we can see that even if the dissidents were able to come to power in this country the result would be the same state of affairs as exists now, because economic power would continue in the same hands as before, with the additional burden of a completely new class of parasites.
The absolute futility of the vote as a means of bringing about greater democracy and economic equality is obvious. What it really is is a means of maintaining the status quo and giving a democratic coloring to what actually amounts to an economic dictatorship. The only reason that this democratic coloring is given at all to the regimes in the United States and elsewhere is the fear on the part of what has aptly been called the "power elite" of popular revolution. Even the Communist dictatorships see the necessity of giving the people an illusion of participation in their governments.
So it can be seen that the vote is not only useless, but it is a positive evil in that it supports a shameful state of affairs and gives the illusion of popular participation in government where in reality none exists. A healthy distrust of the vote must be built up in this country leading to an eventual boycott of the polls.
In the next issue: How to Fight the Vote
"The ballot is nothing more or less than a paper representative of the bayonet, the billy, and the bullet. It is a labor-saving device for ascertaining on which side force lies, and bowing to the inevitable.
-- Benjamin Tucker
The name of this otherwise quiet Arkansas town has become the symbol of the shame of the United States of America, just as Hungary has become the symbol of the shame of the U.S.S.R.
"So this is the true face of the inhabitants of the Citadel of Democracy," peoples around the world have said to themselves. This is another in the long series of incidents which have been showing these peoples the real gap between words and reality within the domains of the two competing powers,
While students riot for freedom in Poland, Spain and elsewhere, students in Little Rock riot against the admission of nine Negro children to their school, and burn a Negro in effigy.
Mothers in Cuba demonstrate against a tyrannous government which is murdering their children. Mothers in Little Rock begged Governor Faubus to prevent by any means the "pollution" of their children by the nine little Negroes.
Little Rock has become the symbol of the miserable failure of Capitalism to truly educate the people and instill in them even the most elemental notions of justice and brotherhood.
Little Rock also provided an excellent excuse for the Federal Government to further concentrate power in its hands and push us closer to the already near totalitarian state.
Although Eisenhower's step in sending Federal troops into Little Rock obviously set an extremely dangerous precedent and set the stage for future Federal military intervention into, say, local labor disputes, no one, even among the radical movements, protested. Why? Because Eisenhower was able to take this step on the side of outraged popular opinion, revolted by the acts of the bigoted inhabitants of Little Rock. It seemed that to oppose Eisenhower's action would be to support the segregationists. Although it really was a step toward fascism the fact that Faubus used this same term to attack Eisenhower made it unpopular for anyone else to do so.
And yet, it is still true and it still must be said. Anything which tends to increase the already enormous power of the central government is a step toward complete state control, toward fascism. However, it must also be said that Faubus' mad racist policies and his initial use of the State Guard to prevent integration in the Little Rock High School was also fascism. The city administration and the board of education of Little Rock had prepared and favored peaceful integration in that city, and it was only Faubus' intervention which kept it from taking place as it has taken place in a peaceful fashion in other parts of the South. Faubus also deliberately created an atmosphere in which racists will be much better equipped to oppose integration elsewhere.
Therefore, we of the Libertarian League oppose and condemn both actions: that of the Arkansas racists and that of the central government. We condemn the racists for their breeding of fascism, and because their cry for a defense of "State's Rights" is merely a smokescreen which distracts the attention of the people of both the North and the South from what should be their real concern: the emancipation of the people as a whole, both black and white. The racists are effectively hiding the real enemies of the people, their economic exploiters and the political lackeys of these exploiters in both the State and Federal governments. "Divide and Conquer" has always been the slogan of our overlords, and the situation in Little Rock was manufactured and is being skillfully used by them for their own ends.
We oppose the intervention of the Federal Government, as we have already said, because it is a further concentration of power in its hands, and also because it Solves nothing. The only possible excuse for Federal intervention would be that it helped the cause of integration. But Eisenhower himself did not give this reason for sending in the troops; he said it was done to uphold the power of the Federal courts. Why? Because it is obvious that the intervention, if anything, hurt the cause of integration by uniting the Little Rock community and the whole of the South solidly behind the racists. If the Federal troops had not gone into Little Rock, it is possible that the sane majority of the community would have imposed itself and frustrated the plans of the racists, as other communities had done in the South. But that reaction was made impossible when the paratroopers landed in Little Rock, doing the cause of integration incalculable harm there and in the rest of the South.
In the last analysis, the only cure for the problem of race discrimination, both in the South and in the North, is true education of the people, making them see that all who are economically exploited should unite firmly in the struggle against their common enemies. This can best be effected through militant unionism. The color bar falls on the picket line. But when we say unionism, we mean real, militant, democratic unionism, which is the very antithesis of the shameful racketeering and low "politicking" of those who dictate to the AFL-CIO. We have discussed this problem of revitalizing unionism in past issues of VIEWS AND COMMENTS and we will continue to do so since we see in unionism the instrument of solving not only the problem of race discrimination, but of many other problems as well.
Individualist Anarchism: Two Points of View
from Bulletin de S.I.A. (Toulouse) 2nd semester, 1957 translated by Richard DeHaan
I. Individualist Perspectives by E. Armand
The anarchist individualists do not present themselves as proletarians, absorbed only in the search for material amelioration, tied to a class determined to transform the world and to substitute a new society for the actual one. They place themselves in the present; they disdain to orient the coming generations towards a form of society allegedly destined to assure their happiness, for the simple reason that from the individualist point of view happiness is a conquest, an individual's internal realization.
Even if I believed in the efficacy of a universal social transformation, according to a well-defined system, without direction, sanction or obligation, I do not see by what right I could persuade others that it is the best. For example, I want to live in a society from which the last vestige of authority has disappeared; but, to speak frankly, I am not certain that the "mass," to call it what it is, is capable of dispensing with authority. I want to live in a society in which the members think by and for themselves; but the attraction which is exercised on the mass by publicity, the press, frivolous reading and by the State-subsidized distractions is such that I ask myself whether men will ever be able to reflect and judge with an independent mind.
I may be told in reply that the solution of the social question will transform every man into a sage. This is a gratuitous affirmation, the more so as there have been sages under all regimes. Since I do not know the social form which is most likely to create internal harmony and equilibrium in social unity, I refrain from theorizing.
When "voluntary association" is spoken of, voluntary adhesion to a plan, a project, as given action, this implies the possibility of refusing the association, adhesion or action. Let us imagine the planet submitted to a single social or economic life; how would I exist if this system did not please me? There remains to me only one expedient: to integrate or to perish. It is held that, "the social question" having been solved, there is no longer a place for non-conformism, recalcitrance, etc..." but it is precisely when a question has been resolved that it is important to pose new ones or to return to an old solution, if only to avoid stagnation.
If there is a "Freedom" standing over and above all individuals, it is surely nothing more than the expression of their thoughts, the manifestation and diffusion of their opinions. The existence of a social organization founded on a single ideological unity interdicts all exercise of freedom of speech and of ideologically contrary thought. How would I be able to oppose the dominant system, proposing another, supporting a return to an older system, if the means of making my viewpoint known or of publicizing my critiques were in the possession of the agents of the regime in power? This regime must either accept reproach when compared with other social' solutions superior to its own or, despite its termination in "ist," it is no better than any other regime. Either it will admit opposition, secession, schism, fractionalism, competition; or nothing will distinguish it significantly from 3 dictatorship. This "ist" regime would undoubtedly claim that it has been invested with its power by the masses, that it does not exercise its power or control except by the delegation of assemblies or congresses; but while it did not allow the intransigents and refractories to express the reasons for their attitude and for their corresponding behavior, it would be only a totalitarian system. The material benefits on which a dictatorship prides itself are of no importance, Regardless of whether there is scarcity or abundance, a dictatorship is always a dictatorship.
It is asked of me why I call My individualism "anarchist individualism"? Simply because the State concretizes the best organized form of resistance to individual affirmation. What is the State? An organism which bills itself as representative of the social body, to which power is allegedly delegated, this power expressing the will of an autocrat or of popular sovereignty. This power has no reason for existing other than the maintenance of the extant social structure. But individual aspirations must be able to come to terms with the existence of the State, personification of Society, for, as Palante says: "All society is and will be exploitative, usurpacious, dominating and tyrannical. Thus it is not by accident but by essence." Yet the individualist would be neither exploited, usurped, dominated, tyrannized nor dispossessed of his sovereignty. On the other hand, Society is able to exercise its constraint on the individual only thanks to the support of the State, administrator and director of the affairs of Society. No matter which way he turns the individual encounters the State or its agents of execution who do not care in the slightest whether the regulations which they enforce concur or not with the diversity of temperaments of the subjects upon whom they are administered. From their aspirations as from their demands, the individualists of our school have eliminated the State. That is why they call themselves "an-archists."
But we deceive ourselves if we imagine that the individualists of our school are an-archists (AN-ARCHY, etymologically, means only negation of the state, and does not pertain to other matters) only in relation to the State--such as the western democracies or the totalitarian systems. This point cannot be overemphasized. Against all that which is power, that is, economic as well as political domination, esthetic as well as intellectual, scientific as well as ethical, the individualists of our school rebel and form such fronts as they are able, isolated or in voluntary association. In effect, a group or federation can exercise a power as absolute as any State if it accepts in a given field all the possibilities of activities and realizations.
The only social body in which it is possible for an individual to evolve and develop is that which admits a concurrent plurality of experiences and realizations, to which is opposed all groupings founded on an ideological exclusiveness, which, well-meant though they may be, threaten the integrity of the individual from the moment that this exclusiveness aims to extend itself to the non-adherents of the grouping. To call this anti-statist would be doing no more than providing a mask for an appetite for driving a herd of human sheep.
I have said above that it is necessary to insist on this point. For example, anarchist communism denies, rejects and expels the State from its ideology; but it resuscitates it the moment that it substitutes social organization for personal judgment. If an-archist individualism thus has in common with anarchist communism the political negation of the State, of the "Arche," it only marks a point of divergence. Anarchist communism itself in the economic plane, on the terrain of the class struggle, united with syndicalism, etc... --this is its right--, but an-archist individualism situates itself in the psychological plane and in that of resistance to social 'totalitarianism," which is something entirely different. (Naturally, an-archist individualism follows the many paths of activity and education: philosophy, literature, ethis, etc.., but I have wanted to make precise here only some points of our attitude towards the social environment.)
I do not deny that this is not very new, but it is taking a position to which it is good to return from time to time.
II. The two Anarchisms by "LYG"
For E. Armand individualism and anarchist communism are irreconcilable. Of the reasons which he gives for the impossibility of all conciliation, some--those precisely on which he insists the most--are not serious; the others are more substantial.
What is the individualism of Armand?
The Illusory Pitfall
The individualists repudiate all social life, "communal existence being an irremediable injury to our respective liberties" and "the individual being having the ability to develop fully only in an inter-human world."
E. Armand himself rebels against all that which is "power," against the State and also against "all political, economic, intellectual, esthetic, ethical and scientific domination which would be exerted on a group "if it accepts in a given field all the possibilities of activities and realizations." One can only approve, and approve equally his intransigence when he declares: "The only social body in which it is possible for an individual to evolve and develop is that which admits a concurrent plurality of experience and realization."
What objection has he to communist anarchism? This, according to him, would be a snare, for its internal logic inevitably leads to totalitarianism and dictatorship." It resuscitates the State the moment that it substitutes social organization for personal judgment." Against such a regime, according to E. Armand, "the individualists of our school rebel and form such fronts as they are able, isolated or in voluntary association."
Very good! Rebellion will be legitimate against a self-styled anarchist communism which presents a single solution outside of which there is no salvation (the federalist organization of production and of exchange) and refuses to accord a place to those dismayed by the totalitarian aspect of a planned society.
But if pluralism is admitted, what more would the reasonable individualist demand? Despite his preference for the small fraternal group, this system would imprison--if he remains true to his anarchist logic--those who prefer more extended and substantial bodies.
Since he claims to mock no one, by what right does he refuse to those who desire it the possibility of a general understanding, even planetary, with agreed-upon discipline? It suffices to specify that the intransigents are able to organize themselves apart and to their own tastes. Why not the peaceful coexistence of all forms of economics: of private, competitive enterprise and communitarian organization for the regular functioning of vital public services? Partisans of a patriarchal, property or artisan economy would live in oases of areas proportional to their number and means. They would not have to be indignant that others arranged their affairs as they liked; that is, sacrificing a little of their social liberty in order to be, thanks to techniques (which, for the time, would be fully expanded only on a large Scale), delivered as much as possible from slavery to material needs.
There is not a conclusively larger amount of freedom in a limited association than in a larger one--and one is not the more anarchist for preferring to dig a hole with a spade rather than with a bulldozer. It will only be required that the organized economy (probably accepted by the majority), not be obligatory, with each choosing his sector.
This solution (total freedom of association) would be inapplicable... not viable? The optimists know nothing... but the pessimists know nothing more. Moreover, are not the small fraternal groups themselves guarantees against the risks of internal disintegration and destruction from without?
A general scheme of economic organization is thus not inevitably a monolithic system. Further, it does not necessarily imply totalitarianism in all domains. Because railroad timetables are strictly fixed, does it follow that everyone must bend themselves to a strict obedience outside their professional activity?
It is necessary to ask of all consumers who would profit from the labor of others their quota of work (the refusal of all socially useful service being a form of exploitation and oppression), but for all the rest "make what you wish" should be and would be the rule. Individual initiative should and would be general for the majority of activities. Cultural activities, sports, sexual relations, leisure would provide the occasion for autonomous federative movements, of all natures, free to spontaneously form and dissolve.
All theoreticians of libertarian communism have combated authoritarian communism because it tends towards integral militarization: It is thus an injustice to accuse them of aiming for such unanimity in behavior.
A libertarian social milieu should, by definition, more than any other, permit to each the search for happiness where it pleases him. It cannot fix a uniform and immutable norm of universal happiness. It leaves the way clear for each to follow his own fancy, taking his chances in the search for the secret of his own happiness. Why should those who unite under an authoritarian regime to "conquer their internal equilibrium" not be able to do so with libertarian institutions?
How, finally, could an anarchist society, founded on ideological diversity, interdict criticism of its structures and even of its basic principles without denying itself? It should "accept reproach when compared with other social solutions superior to its own." Otherwise it would be only a totalitarian system which communist anarchists should reject and do in fact reject. They would be impelled there nonetheless? That is undeniably a risk, a danger to be avoided.
The specific role of individualists should be to oppose this tendency, and not to represent their ideological comrades as irreconcilable enemies. Far from being adversaries, communist anarchism (pluralistic evidently) and anarchist individualism harmonize with and complement each other; the former attempts to create the society in which the latter can fully expand itself.
Are the non-conformists skeptical as to the reality of an anarchism which is at once organizational and pluralist? If the works of the great theoreticians do not seem convincing, they should send to Mlle. Dufourd, 14, rue de Metz, Toulouse; for the statutes of the M.E.E. and the explanatory brochure. For 50 francs, they' can become informed.
But they will do nothing. Moreover, whether they are informed or not, their anti-organizational phobia will not diminish.
The Real Pitfall
Because, despite everything, the individualist feels himself, knows himself to be different from the communist anarchist.
1) The individualist has not, like his comrade, a concern for material amelioration. E. Armand exaggerates when he suggests that "the others" are occupied exclusively in this quest. The only difficulty is that "the conquest of bread" does not have for him and his disciples the importance attached to it by the disciples of Kropotkin. For the former, freedom of speech and thought is linked to individual or quasi-individual property in the means of production. For the latter, it is conditioned on a general transformation of the social and economic structures.
2) Is such a transformation possible? The one group thinks so, while for the others such a belief is an indication of naiveté following on cretinism.
3) Is this transformation desirable for the good of the greatest number?
Yes, says the one group. The state of mind and the past and present behavior of the masses inspires in the others serious doubts as to the future: "I ask myself," says Armand, "whether men will ever be able to reflect and judge with an independent mind."
In short, the individualist anarchist who belongs or imagines himself to belong to the true intellectual aristocracy are capable only of ridiculing the social theoreticians who cherish the mad dream of "enlightening" the mass.
People incline towards one or the other of these conceptions--a matter of temperament and taste.
One should smile at the messianism of the "system-builders," but one should also smile at the illogicalities of the rebel who utilizes the commodities of an organized economy and at the same time reproves all general organization. Above all, one should maintain one's sense of humor towards those who reveal their vanity, a trifle ridiculously, in the puerile pretension to a monopoly on "liberation" and on the anarchist spirit.
The Nature of Spanish Fascism
Fascism is a word which has been bandied about very freely and often quite loosely since its inception. But fascism as a social doctrine is very little understood. It is hoped that the following study of the Spanish Falange, the only one of the fascist systems, of the '20s and '30s which still survives, and the only one of the systems with which I am personally acquainted, will help to clear up this confusion in the minds of my readers. In this way we will be better prepared to recognize this form of totalitarianism and combat it in the United States. The reader will also be struck by the similarity between fascism and bolshevism, a similarity by no means accidental.
The first thing which must be understood is that fascism, as embodied in the doctrine and organization of the Falange, was never realized in Spain, or for that matter anywhere else. Hence the phenomenon observable in Spain today, that many of the most bitter opponents of the Franco regime are disillusioned Falangists. However, more of them later.
Spanish fascism is a direct outgrowth of Mussolini's Italian fascism, given a Spanish context by Jose Antonio Primo de Rivera, son of the dictator, Miguel Primo de Rivera and founder of Falange, Spain's fascist party. Jose Antonio formulated his doctrine in a series of speeches and articles written from 1931 to 1936. He also organized Falange, a semi-clandestine organization based on a cellular structure of action groups. He participated in the preparation of the revolt in 1936, which eventually brought Franco to power. Jose Antonio was shot by the Republic in 1936 for his part in the rebellion.
However, it would be a mistake to suppose that the revolt was organized and carried out exclusively by the Falangists. They were a small, if potent, factor in the movement as a whole. Participating in the revolt, in addition, were the Roman Catholic Church, the Monarchists, and the military; and Catholic Action (whose groups were also organized on a semi-clandestine, cellular basis) was the organization which, with Falange, was to support the military garrisons in the revolt throughout Spain by underground terroristic action.
Thus Falange was only one part of a complex movement, although its pseudo-revolutionary doctrine was used to obtain whatever small popular support the revolt eventually received. And when the War ended in 1939, Falange was only one of several groups to divide the loot which power brought them.
It would also be a mistake to suppose that Franco is primarily a Falangist--that is, a fascist. He has been often called a fascist, and, inasmuch as the term signifies a savage totalitarian, he is a fascist. But Franco is first and foremost a military man, a representative of the classic Spanish military caste, He took over leadership of Falange during the Civil War, disposing of the real head of the organization, which, together with his proclamation of himself as regent for the king, was part of his effort to unite in his own person the four functions of representative of the military, savior of the monarchy, leader of Falange and Protector of the Faith. That is, the human incarnation of the Spanish Right. That he was successful in this can be seen in the fact that he has lasted 20 years by skillfully juggling the various and frequently contradictory forces in his regime.
Contradictory because the Falange calls for a "syndicalist" state, and is thus opposed to the Monarchists; because the Falange calls for the destruction of capitalism, and is thus opposed to the capitalists, who also support Franco; and because Falange contains a considerable element of anti-clericalism, although this is not implicit in its doctrine, and is thus opposed to the church. Its anti-clericalism is perhaps due in part to the fact that the Falange attracted a number of disillusioned radicals, who retained their anti-clericalism, and in part to the fact that Falange's call for expropriation and national ownership endangers the extensive holdings of the Church, which openly or through front corporations owns most of Spain's land and industry.
It must also be realized that the Camisas Viejas or old guard of the Falange regard Franco as an upstart who forcibly seized control of Falange but who in reality is no Falangist at all. The old guard also regards those who joined Falange during and after the Civil War as mere opportunists who corrupted the values of Falange, thus creating a deep division within the ranks of Falange itself.
This brings up the question of just what kind of men joined the Falange. The aforementioned division is a real one, and those who are not Camisas Viejas are certainly opportunists The opportunists make up the bulk of the party and had no ideological reasons for joining. But the Camisas Viejas, the founders of the Falange, are a different breed. At considerable personal risk they joined the cadres of the party and worked for the triumph of the "National-Syndicalist Revolution." As I said many of them were disillusioned ex-radicals Others were idealistic young men. I have no idea as to the proportions of the two groups, but I have no doubt from personal observation that most of them were convinced idealists, fighting for a cause in which they believed, Nothing else can explain the extreme disillusionment of these men after the war was over when they saw what their "revolution" really amounted to.
These bitter, disillusioned men are an important element in Spanish politics today. Some of them have broken with the party, and others have formed an opposition bloc within Falange and are working to "purify" it. Both tendencies will be heard from increasingly as the crisis within Franco's regime grows.
An idea of the nature of the opposition within Falange can be formed from the following excerpt from one of the flood of clandestine leaflets currently inundating Spanish cities and reproduced in the October 15 issue of the Spanish exile magazine IBERICA: the leaflet calls for "the formation of clandestine cells" and demands of those 'authentic' Falangists, those of the first hour, the pure ones, those of endeavor and sacrifice, those who dreamt of the grandeur of Spain on the Castilian mesetas and on the Russian steppes, those "old shirts" who heard in the voice of Jose Antonio the echo and resonance of the voice of the prophets, to go out into the streets again and fight for liberty, justice, bread and the rights of the people."
What of the doctrine of Falange itself? Just as the National Corporatism of Mussolini and the National Socialism of Hitler, the National Syndicalism of Jose Antonio is a skillfully contrived mixture of socialism of all kinds and of reactionary concepts, all scrambled together and dressed up in a mystical, revolutionary language. It was designed to attract disgruntled radicals and at the same time obtain working class support. In this latter attempt it was unsuccessful and would never by itself have obtained any measure of power.
The following is a selection from the writings of Jose Antonio, translated from the collection of his works published in Madrid by the Vice-secretary of Popular Education:
In order that the State can never become a party, political parties must be destroyed. Political parties are produced as a result of a false political organization: the parliamentary regime. (p. 491)
A true State, such as that which Spanish Falange desires, will not be based on the falsity of political parties, nor upon the parliament which they engender. (p. 492)
And the fact is that universal suffrage is useless and prejudicial to the peoples that want to decide their politics and their history with the vote. (p. 768)
... the liberal system is the system of perpetual disunion, of perpetual absence of popular faith in the profound community of destiny. (p. 498)
Liberalism is, in one aspect, a regime without faith: the regime that hands everything, even the essential matters of the destiny of the Fatherland, over to free discussion. For liberalism nothing is absolutely true or false. The truth is, in each case, what the greatest number of votes decides. (p. 497)
For no one, the liberty to perturb, to poison, to arouse passions, to undermine the foundations of all lasting political order. These foundations are: Authority, Hierarchy and Order. (p. 494)
If something truly deserves to be called a workers' State, it is the fascist State. (p. 467)
... fascism... in Italy, after ninety years of liberal masonry, has reestablished the crucifix and religious teaching in the schools. (p. 473)
Those whom, referring to Italy, believe that fascism is bound to the life of Mussolini, do not know what fascism is nor have they troubled themselves to find out what the corporative organization implies. The fascist State, that owes so much to the firm will of the Duce, will outlive its inspirer, because it constitutes an inexorable and robust organization.... What we are looking for is the complete and definitive conquest of the State, not for some years, but forever. (p. 917)
In order to light a faith, not of the Right (that in the Last analysis aspires to conserve everything, even the unjust), nor of the Left (that in the last analysis aspires to destroy everything, even the good), but a collective, integrating, national faith, fascism was born. (p. 467)
Fascism is not a tactic--violence. It is an idea--unity. Facing Marxism, that affirms as a dogma the struggle of classes, and facing liberalism, that demands as mechanism the struggle of parties, fascism sustains that there is something above parties and above classes, something of a permanent, transcendent, supreme nature: the historical unity called the Fatherland. (p. 465-466)
Political Structure and Economy
Spain is a unity of destiny in the universal. (p. 519)
Our State will be a totalitarian instrument at the service of the country's integrity. (p. 520)
We have the will of Empire. We affirm that the historical fulfillment of Spain is the Empire. (p. 519)
We conceive of Spain, in the economic field, as a gigantic syndicate of producers. We will organize Spanish society corporatively by means of a system of vertical syndicates through branches of production. (p. 521)
We repudiate the capitalist system. (p. 521)
The State will recognize private property as a lawful medium for fulfilling individual, social ends... (p. 522)
We defend the nationalization of the service of the Bank, and, through corporations, of the great public services. (p. 523)
The State will be able to expropriate without indemnity lands whose ownership has been acquired or enjoyed illegitimately. (p. 525)
By its feeling of Catholicism, of Universality, Spain won the sea and the unknown barbarous continents. It won them to incorporate those who inhabited them to the universal enterprise of salvation. Thus, then, all reconstruction of Spain must have a Catholic meaning... the new State will be inspired in the traditional Catholic religious spirit of Spain and will agree with the Church on the considerations and aid that are due to it. (p. 495)
It is the essential mission of the State, by means of a religious discipline of education, to obtain a strong and united national spirit and to instill in the soul of the future generations happiness and pride in the Fatherland. All men will receive a premilitary education that will prepare them for the honor of entering the national and popular army of Spain. (p. 525)
With respect to the countries of Spanish America, we tend to the unification of culture, of economic interests and of power. Spain alleges its condition of spiritual axis of the Hispanic world as title of preeminence in universal affairs. (p. 520)
War is inalienable to man. He does not escape it nor will he escape it. It has existed since the world has been a world, and it will continue to exist. It is an element of progress... It is absolutely necessary!... Men need War. If you believe it is an evil, then it is because they need evil. From the eternal battle against evil comes the triumph of good, said Saint Francis. War is absolutely necessary and inevitable. (p. 770)
Thus, then, let us use violence against a triumphant sect, sowing discord, denying national continuity and obedient to strange directives (the International of Amsterdam, masonry, etc.)...(p. 471-472)
I am not a feminist; therefore, it is necessary for me to say that I am not in favor of giving the vote to women... the lack of creative faculties in women is what induces me not to be a feminist. (p. 768)
Women will not do any more than redouble with their vote the masculine vote, with its defects; they do not have, therefore, any transcendency in the future road of Spain. (p. 769)
While we are thinking about elections and other trifles, one of the most detestable laws of the Constituent Cortes continues its corrosive work at the foundations of the fatherland: the divorce law... It is necessary to put an end to this kind of corruption. (p. 945)
From the religious point of view, divorce, for Spaniards, does not exist. No Spaniard married under the Catholic rite, which is the case with almost all those born in our lands, will consider himself released from the bond just because a judge gives him a divorce decree. (p. 946)
- - -
But one thing more must be added to make this brief sketch of Spanish Falange complete. No matter with what ideals the Falangists launched their movement, and no matter whether they were sincere or insincere, the fact remains that they demonstrated the same inhuman brutality toward their enemies as their comrades in Germany and Italy. Horrors were committed in Spain which fully equaled those perpetrated by the Nazi Fascists elsewhere. Just why this element of truly psychopathic cruelty was present in the Spanish movement seems to me to belong more to the province of the psychologist than to that of the political analyst. Nevertheless, the fact that such a quality existed and still exists in Spanish Fascism must be kept in mind while judging the effects and the importance of that movement. However, it must also be remembered that this quality was not limited to the Falange, but was very much a part of the behavior of the Monarchist and Catholic militants as well.
What is the real significance of the Falange? Has it deep roots, or any roots at all, in the Spanish people? I don't believe so, but only the future can give us the definitive answer.
We are now stocking a large group of IWW pamphlets. The following are available currently:
The IWW Its First Fifty Years by Fred W. Thompson (paper cover) $2.00
Battle Hymns Of Toil by Covington Hall $1.00
One Big Union .35
The General Strike .20
The IWW In Theory And Practice .25
Unemployment And The Machine .10
IWW Little Red Songbook .25
The Libertarian Bookshelf
The following books and pamphlets are available through the libertarian league. Prices are held as low as possible. We pay postage on all orders. Make checks or money orders payable to S. Weiner. Address all orders to: Libertarian League, P.O. Box 261, New York 3, N.Y.
Title and Author Price
MUTUAL AID by Peter Kropotkin (paper cover) $2.00
CONSTRUCTIVE ANARCHISM by G.P. Maximoff 1.50
THE GUILLOTINE AT WORK by G.P. Maximoff 2.00:
ANARCHO-SYNDICALISM by Rudolph Rocker 1.00
NINETEEN-SEVENTEEN and THE UNKNOWN REVOLUTION by Voline (two volumes) per volume 3.50
LESSONS OF THE SPANISH REVOLUTION by V. Richards .75
WHAT'S WRONG WITH THE UNIONS: by Tom Brown .10
REVOLUTIONARY MOVEMENT IN SPAIN by M. Dashar .10
ANARCHISM & AMERICAN TRADITIONS by Voltairine de Cleyre .10
WHO WILL DO THE DIRTY WORK? by Tony Gibson .05'
PLACE OF THE INDIVIDUAL IN SOCIETY by Emma Goldman .05
ORGANIZED VENGEANCE CALLED JUSTICE by Peter Kropotkin .05
REVOLUTIONARY GOVERNMENT by Peter Kropotkin .10
THE STATE, ITS HISTORIC ROLE by Peter Kropotkin .15
THE WAGE SYSTEM by Peter Kropotkin .10
COLLECTIVES IN SPAIN by Gaston Leval .05
VOTE--WHAT FOR? by Errico Malatesta .05
ANARCHY by Errico Malatesta .15
PRINCIPLES OF ANARCHISM by Dr.. J.A. Maryson .10
ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH & THE MODERN AGE by F.A. Ridley .05
THE TRUTH ABOUT SPAIN by Rudolph Rocker .05
THE TRAGEDY OF SPAIN by Rudolph Rocker .15
SYNDICALISM, THE WORKERS' NEXT STEP by Phillip Sansom .15
SPAIN by Augustine Souchy .05
THE TRAGIC WEEK IN MAY by Augustine Souchy .10
ANARCHY OR CHAOS by George Woodcock .35
HUNGARIAN WORKERS' REVOLUTION .10