Talk:Spanish Revolution of 1936

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70th Anniversary Push?[edit]

Should we maybe do lots of work on this article as the 70th anniversary of the whole thing is coming up soon. There's lots to expand on for both the begining and supression of the revolution? Chaikney 16:35, 30 May 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

This article[edit]

It's the same as what I wrote for it under Anarchism in Spain, but I feel that it could be further expanded here. Also, it used to redirect to Spanish Civil War, which is false and misleading. 23:39, 21 Sep 2004 (UTC)

I think it's misleading to say that communist policy was simply to postpone the revolution until after the war. The communist didn't want an anarchist revolution at all, and they even murdered some of the anarchist leaders. I will look up the sources for this and make a proposition for an amendment to the article. -anonymous


I removed the the merge tag from this page. The revolution is complex and important enough to merit its own article (to anarchists it is one of the most important events in history). This article will be longer at some point, whenever I get around to organizing my margin notes and everything from a few books I've recently read and update the article. 03:13, 7 Mar 2005 (UTC)


Hey, can we get some sources for the statements in this article? - Nat Krause 10:06, 23 May 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

See Anarchism in Spain. 17:54, May 23, 2005 (UTC)
Well, I suppose the questionable statements in the article are in this passage: "In some places, money was entirely eliminated, to be replaced with vouchers. Under this system, goods were often little more than a quarter of their previous cost. // Despite the critics clamoring for maximum efficiency, anarchic communes often produced more than before the collectivization. The newly liberated zones worked on entirely libertarian principles; decisions were made through councils of ordinary citizens without any sort of bureaucracy." Can you say specifically which sources give these facts? - Nat Krause 13:51, 28 May 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I've seen the money thing in a number of sources, here's a quote from Bookchin's To Remember Spain: "In the more thouroughly anarchist areas, particularly among the agrarian collectives, money was eliminated and the material means of life were allocated strictly according to need rather than work..." There are several references to this in Robert Alexander's The Anarchists in the Spanish Civil War: "Reflecting a widespread anarchist belief that money was one of the major roots of the evil of the capitalist system, a large number - probably a majority - of the collectives abolished the circulation of legal tender money within their confines..." He then goes on to discuss various alternatives to a money system, including simply letting people take what they needed from storehouses, or issuing vouchers, etc. Information on this can be found in other sources listed. I can't find precisely where the information about cost is, I think in Alexander (I'll look harder if you'd like). For the information on efficiency, my source is a few paragraphs and a table in Hugh Thomas's The Spanish Civil War which I don't have on me at the moment but is probably in your local library. The fact that decisions were made without bureaucracy or hierarchy is well-documented and can be found in a number of sources fairly easily. If you need further information about sources, just ask, some things may take more digging to rediscover than others though. 17:51, May 28, 2005 (UTC)
I don't remember the primary sources, but you can probably find them in Rockers "Anarcho-Syndicalism". Also Chomsky has written an essay on this, which is published in his book "Anarchism", where I bet you can find sources. --anonymous

Still in dire need of sources and/or rewriting for the last couple paragraphs of Social Revolution, which as noted below by Tomorrowsashes sound extremely POV and possibly synthesis/OR. I've just added tags for it so hopefully someone with the knowledge will see and help fix it up a bit. Inkwiry (talk) 13:47, 23 December 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Could be used[edit]

Sort of unrelated to the actual article, but has anyone seen The Ex's 1936: The Spanish Revolution? There are only 4 songs but the great part is the book that goes along with it! The cd's (there are 2 small discs, each with 2 songs) are stored on the inside covers and the book is in spanish and english and has tons of pictures from the civil war (actually, it's mostly pictures, but there is some text). It's pretty cool. Two of the songs are in spanish.


Do you think it's right to talk about POUM as Trotskyists? I think they didn't have direct connection with Trotsky except the person of Nin. I think it would be better to write there simply POUM. --Vladimír Fuka 12:34, 4 April 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Orwell has them as Trotskyist (chapter 5 of Homage to Catalonia, p.61 my edition) but it's in "quotes", so it's not clear if they self-identified that or were just labelled that by the Stalinists or the Anarchists. Chaikney 16:30, 30 May 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

It is clear that Orwell was not meaning to label the POUM as trotskyites, hence the quotation marks - 06:32, 4 August 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

POUM was not trotskyst as they broke with Trotsky in 1935 on the role of unions in revolution. POUM defended unions. And POUM didn't want to join to the socialist party. They considered themselves as marxists-leninists. During the war there was a tiny trot group called Sección Bolchevique Leninista Española. They were about 100 members, while POUM was about 70 000. mk.-

LET me correct a few things above. The "Trotskyist" terminology used to describe the POUM lays with the Comintern, who sought to banish and suppress the POUM by labeling as such. This was carried further by Hugh Thomas, whose terrible book "The Spanish Civil War" stood for decades as the authority on the Spanish Civil War and revolution. The author above is correct that Trotsky broke with the POUM. It was only, however, over one issue: the proposed fusion of the Left Communists (Nin's group prior toward the fusion with the independent Workers and Peasants Bloc that became the POUM) with the Socialist Youth, who were being courted by the Communist Party. That was it, nothing more substantial than that.--Dwalters

The POUM never had more than 10,000 members and 30,000 in it's militia (membership in the latter doesn't presume membership in the former). 75,000 is a wild exageration.

Old random text[edit]

This article, particularily the last two paragraphs seems a little POV. I tweaked one sentence in the last one from "oppressive traditions" to "traditions some found oppressive" and I think that helped a little bit. I consider myself an anarchist, so I'm not the best person to remove any pro-revolutionary bias from the article, but I can see another seeing this article as idealizing the revolution. Tomorrowsashes 22:24, 7 Nov 2004 (UTC)

The Spanish Revolution is NOT the same as the Spanish Civil War, they certaintly deserve two different entries.

You're absolutely right. Go on, then -- get scribbling! Hajor 03:53, 12 May 2004 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Severely lacking sources[edit]

I added the "Unsourced" tag to the article just now because the article as it stands right now makes a wide variety of claims with only a single person's memoir as a source. If this event was so important and caused such fantastic effects there should be more sources available. - DNewhall 22:48, 24 January 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

There are lots of sources. There is material written by particpants and observers (journalistic, polemical etc). Lessons of the Spanish Revolution, by Vernon Richards (3rd ed, Freedom Press, 1983) is written from an anarchist perspective, as is the pre-revolution study by Murray Bookchin, The Spanish Anarchists: the heroic years, 1868-1936, AK Press, 1998. The largest study I'm aware of is the comprehensive The Anarchists in the Spanish Civil War, by Robert Alexander. 2 vols, Janus Publishing Company, 1999. It's not a committed anarchist text like the other two. If and when I get time I may do some work based on these and other sources, but really I'd invite others to get hold of these and incorporate some facts because it's unlikely I can do anything much any time soon. --Dannyno 10:35, 5 February 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It needs more sources, especially since this is claiming to be the ONLY collective society to ever have created a surplus of anything. 2 sources, both socialists, is not enough to prove to me that it actually worked, let alone improved efficiency by 20%. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:27, 3 July 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Minority Report[edit]

The article reads like a minority report next to several other articles describing Spain in 1936. The overly long quote by Orwell is interesting, but alas page 4 of Homage to Catalonia is not representative of his whole impression of the Spanish Civil War.

A lot of stuff sounds rather unlikely, like the claims

For instance, women were allowed to have abortions, and the idea of "free love" became popular. In many ways, this spirit of cultural liberation prefigured that of the "New Left" movements of the 1960s.

Wouldn't some actual Spanish sources be helpful here in preference to American Sam Dolgoff and Englishman George Orwell? patsw 01:54, 6 July 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

First of all, this article is specifically about the social revolution which occurred during the Spanish Civil War, rather than the Civil War as a whole. Orwell's impressions of the Revolution appear to conflict with his impressions of the Civil War because they are not the same thing. This article does need a lot of work, and I agree that more Spanish sources would be good. The problem is the scarcity of Spanish histories of the Revolution in English translation. The main interest in the Revolution in the English-speaking world is among the various libertarian socialists - not a large enough market for translations of current scholarship on the Revolution. Off the top of my head I can only think of two Spanish eyewitnesses who have had books published in English - Antonio Tellez and Jose Peirats. I agree that it seems strange to only include foreign accounts of the Revolution, and I would be grateful if someone with these books at hand could edit the article. There are other useful non-Spanish eyewitness accounts as well, for example by Franz Borkenau, Augustin Souchy, and Gaston Leval. Antony Beevor's recent book on the Civil War also has information on the Revolution drawing from more recent Spanish-language research on the subject. -Steve
P.S. The use of the term "free love" here is misleading - in the context of Spanish anarchism, the term referred to such practices and customs as cohabitation, common law or civil unions, the full equality of partners, and the liberalizing of divorce laws. I also don't find it hard to believe that abortions were freely available to women - but such a specific claim does need a citation in my opinion. -Steve
A good source for Spanish eyewitnesses' accounts is actually Beevors own book, under "Bibliography". There are quite a few books to look up there if one speaks Spanish. --Popperipopp 22:29, 4 August 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Agreed, it is mostly a selection of supportive excerpts from books. There's very little detailed information about, for example, the chronology of events. If the Revolution merits its own article separate from the articles of the Spanish Civil War then it merits its own chronology. The entire article is obviously intended as propaganda and not to inform. Informational articles can totally serve as propaganda and it's annoying anarchists aren't trying to write good, informative propaganda articles on here. I'll read your propaganda if you give me the info I'm looking for. Anyways, the more you say, the more opportunities you have to make your points. You can go into detail about how great it was and frame the chronology in the most flattering possible light. Just step up your game is all I'm asking. 2601:602:A80:7940:A4FC:A3EB:6239:CFB6 (talk) 16:57, 12 June 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]


I know that Bork.'s account is already mentioned elsewhere. Perhaps it could be better integrated into the article, I don't know. But it is vital that it be included: even the non-Comintern sympathising Left didn't necessarily think that the "spanish revolution" was all peaches and cream. By accepting Orwell's account uncritically, we are doing a disservice to his legacy of accepting uncomfortable truths. BillMasen (talk) 12:17, 23 May 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

It's just a question of redundancy between articles; this was a cut'n'paste job which is discouraged by WP:CFORK as you often end up having one version which deviates from WP:NPOV. Let's put the Borkenau material that only relates to Catalonia in the other article, and mention it here with a link. And on the question of putting Orwell in context, there must be dozens of critical studies of his writings.  Skomorokh  16:00, 23 May 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Michael Seidman[edit]

I've added a few lines on Michael Seidman's thought-provoking work on self-management during the Spanish Revolution plus a snapshot of the various ways those sympathetic to the revolution have dealt with the difficult contradictions of the period. I hope that's OK with everyone. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Neacc (talkcontribs) 18:53, 18 May 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Your latter paragraph is written from the point of view that Seidman is objectively correct; in the uncited linking sentences, you dismiss the writings of others that contradict Seidman's position as "understatements of the problem", and take as a given the "limitations of the Spanish Revolution" (presumably you mean those which Seidman pointed to). Also the final sentence sounds a lot like OR — do you have a citation for it? I think you added a lot of good salvageable info, but could you try to cut away the POV and OR? I'll start it out by changing "Michael Seidman has revealed other contradictions" to a less POV phrase, and if you want I can try later to fix up more of it myself, but I'd rather give you a chance since you're the one who knows what you're talking about; I'd have to delete a lot of it just assuming that it's OR. -Inkwiry (talk) 14:07, 23 December 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

15M movement[edit]

It would be interesting to update this article with information on the May 15 2011 movement branded Democracia Real Ya (Real Democracy Now), or Spanish Revolution in the social networks. (talk) 20:14, 27 May 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Claim without citation[edit]

This line at the end of the article has not citation

"(Such a radical transformation would, of course, be easier in the 21st century, with its potential for material abundance, than in the Spain of the 1930s, with its harsh poverty and civil war conditions.)"

If you want to make this claim you could use this article by David Graeber as a source

Im a novice Wikipedia editor and not an anarchist so Id prefer leave it up to the experts as to weather or not this is a suitable citation. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Ultan42 (talkcontribs) 17:27, 21 August 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Why is the entire lede of this article a quotation?[edit]

The lede is terrible. I can't tell if this is a topic compounded on by an essay, or a real event. It looks like someone's original research. Why is there a gigantic block of quotation in the lede? (talk) 03:28, 24 March 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Excessive quotation[edit]

This article relies too much on quotes, and most of them are incredibly long quotes. It's ridiculous. I'll come back when I have more time and gut them. Richard75 (talk) 00:50, 25 November 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

When I edited the article I tried to either incorporate the quotations into other parts of the article, or delete the overly extensive ones (as with Orwell). The main problem I had was with the Criticisms section, which I left largely untouched. While criticisms of such an event would be important to keep in, I feel they'd need to be better integrated into the body, maybe re-written using the sources but not the quotes. Grnrchst (talk) 10:55, 17 December 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]