On this day 80 years ago, the workers of Barcelona made their last desperate attempt to take power and defend the social revolution, rising up against the government of Stalinists and bourgeois democrats.
-Bolloten, Burnett. 1991. The Spanish Civil War: Revolution and Counterrevolution. Chapel Hill and London: University of North Carolina Press. xxxii + 1074 pp.
-Paz, Abel. 2007. [Translated by Morse, Chuck] Durruti in the Spanish Revolution. Oakland, CA: AK Press. 795 pp.
The following factual errors have been identified in the video: * No such article was ever published in Pravda. Quoting Bolloten (1991: 414): “[T]he POUM organ, La Batalla, reprinted, as proof of the growing danger, the following excerpt from a news release by the Transocean Agency, dated Moscow, 17 December 1936, which appeared in the Mexican newspaper Universal Gráfico: ‘The Soviet press expresses the hope that the cleaning up of the Spanish Anarchists and Trotskyists in Catalonia will be carried out with the same energy as in the USSR.’ [… T]he Soviet consulate general in Barcelona denounced the statement as false—and indeed no such statement ever appeared either in Izvestiia or Pravda[.]” Moreover, quoting Esenwein in Bolloten (1991: 864, n. 2): “[I]t is hard to imagine that the Kremlin at that time would publicly proclaim its intention to destroy the Anarchosyndicalists, for Vladimir A. Antonov-Ovseenko, the Consul General, was attempting to curry favor with the CNT-FAI leaders[.]” ** Despite the traditionally cited figure of one million casualties, the death toll of the Spanish Civil War was substantially lower according to most historians. Quoting Payne (1987: The Franco Regime, 1936–1975, p. 218): “Concerning the total loss of life inflicted by the Civil War, for some time it has been appreciated by scholars that the millón de muertos (one million dead) cherished by both sides for years was a mythic and emotional concept that did not correspond to facts.” The actual number might be closer to 365,000 (Thomas 1977: The Spanish Civil War) or 300,000 (Payne 1987). *** It is incorrect to refer to the Soviet secret police in 1937 as the GPU. Quoting Bolloten (1991: 817, n. 36): “By a decree of February 1922, a State Political Administration (GPU) [Gosudarstvennoe Politicheskoe Upravlenie] was established in the People’s Commissariat of Internal Affairs (NKVD) [Narodnyi Komissariat Vnutrennikh Del]. In 1923 the GPU was taken out of the NKVD and transformed into a Unified State Political Administration (OGPU) [Ob’edinennoe Gosudarstvennoe Politicheskoe Upravlenie] attached to the Sovnarkom (Council of People’s Commissars). In 1934 a new reorganization took place. By a decree of 10 July, the functions of the OGPU were transferred to the NKVD. Nevertheless, long after 10 July 1934, the Soviet secret police was still commonly referred to as the GPU, or OGPU[.]” For a critique of the actions of the CNT-FAI during the war, as well as for a critique of the Spanish anarchists’ vision of “communism” as a network of self-managed communes of producers trading with one another via designated committees, see: http://libcom.org/library/anarchism-s… http://www.leftcom.org/en/articles/20… http://protikapitalu.org/kpk-spain-mo…