We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Orwell and the Spanish Civil War

Click here to access this 53 minute interview with Adam Hochschild from KPFA, a listener sponsored radio station in Berkeley, California, 

This interview is for younger Americans who have no idea what happened in the Spanish Civil War in the 1930s. This ignorance is no accident because our masters in the One Percent do not want people to know about the dangerous (to them) ideas and practices that emerged during this period in Spain, and because of their embarrassment about the history of all the major capitalist countries of that time in relation to this war: US, Britain, France, Germany, and Italy.

I listened to most of this recording and found that Hochschild's understanding of this war corresponds with my own. There were only a few indications of a liberal bias in the form of references to the "democratic" countries. Both Hochschild and the interviewer, C.S. Soong, made such references to the capitalist fake version of democracy found in US, Britain, and France. Like all liberals, both regard this version of democracy as in a different category from fascism when in reality the latter is simply capitalist class rule without the soft gloves of their fake democratic forms.

The great significance of this event was clearly the revolutionary ideas and practices that the anarchists and other leftists put in practice in this brief period in Spain. They were fundamentally at odds with the entire history of class rule that has plagued societies since the beginning of civilization. Obviously, the directors of capitalist countries, whether fascist or pseudo-democratic, could not let this exist. Meanwhile Russian policies toward Spain, under Stalin's leadership and narrow nationalist perspective, was only looking out for Russian security in the face of the growing fascist threat.

After listening to this, I recommend that you continue your studies of this event by reading George Orwell's Homage to Catalonia.