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I wasn't there and the history of the Anarchist movement during the civil war is not something that really gets talked about much in Spain. A cursory google search  reveals very different accounts of what it was like. Anarchist sources paint it like a paradise where there was no coercion and landowners were allowed to not join the communes but eventually chose to. Communist sources excoriate the Anarchists for being economically naive and bringing economic ruin to the countryside and paralysis to the Republican rearguard. Let's not even go into what rightist sources say.

I don't know whether Ken Loach's Land and Freedom is faithful to Orwell's Homage to Catalonia, which I haven't read, but forced collectivisations and the shooting of landowners who wouldn't join the collective are depicted. To be honest, knowing how quickly Spaniards were to kill their neighbours over political differences, old grievances, or nothing at all, I would be very surprised if the "Spanish Revolution" as it is called in English had been peaceful and non-coercive in the countryside as the Anarchist propaganda depicts it.

Any suggested reading?

Can the last politician to go out the revolving door please turn the lights off?

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Jul 6th, 2007 at 06:26:36 PM EST
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