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Friday’s library snapshot …

January 24, 2014

I have not before featured book on my Friday Snapshot from the Main Library; I usually promoted something pretty from the Special Collections. My daughter found the Anarchist Collectives ; workers’ self-management in the Spanish Revolution 1936-1939 edited by Sam Dolgoff; first noticing its very lovely cover illustration by Karin Batten and some very evocative posters within.  The book as the title suggests is about the Spanish Revolution; the first of its kind in English devoted to the experiences of the workers and their self management both in factories and agricultural industry and went on to become one of the most remarkable revolutions in our time.

Between 1936 and 1939 the Spanish Revolution came very close to becoming the ideal of the free stateless society on a large scale.  The Spanish Revolution, Sam Dolgoff  says is an example of a libertine social revolution where genuine workers’ self-management was successfully tried. It represents a way of organising society that is increasingly important now.

The earlier Russian Revolution in 1917 was controlled by the elite and was a political revolution. It set the pattern for the authoritarian state capitalist revolutions in Eastern Europe, Asia, and Cuba.

The Spanish Revolution, Dolgoff suggests ‘marks a turning point in revolutionary history.  Others say that ‘a proletarian revolution is more profound even than the Russian revolution itself’

Yet it has been ignored; overshadowed by the Civil War and relegated as unsuccessful … it is only now that it being adequately evaluated.

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