Source: Revolutionary History, Vol.2 No.2, Summer 1989. Used with permission;
First published: La Voz Leninista, no.1, 5 April 1937.
Translated into English in The Alarm, February/March 1981.
While the politics of the Popular Front lead events toward a reactionary solution, whether through transformation of the civil war into an imperialist war, or armistice with the Fascists, or the triumph of the latter, in the mind of the masses there has emerged a praiseworthy reaction against that course, which it is necessary to channel, directing it toward well-determined objectives.
We were the first to formulate the need for a Revolutionary Front of the proletariat as the only force capable of defeating all the dangers, and of giving a vigorous impulse to the war and the revolution. A little after that, the Madrid newspaper CNT launched the slogan of a Revolutionary Workers’ Alliance, and Juan Andrade, in the Daily Political Note in La Batalla (the POUM’s paper] called for the revolutionary workers’ front. This suffices to show that in the consciousness of the masses there gravitates the need for a United Front that will renew the implacable struggle of class against class, to the point of ending the political and economic power of the bourgeoisie, whose most solid pillar today is the Popular Front. On the decision of the parties and organisations not linked to the reformist and Stalinist bureaucracies, to break their coexistence or tolerance, more or less hidden, toward the Popular Front, depends the beginning of this road.
It is necessary to declare that until now neither CNT nor La Batalla concretised the thrust of their respective slogans or fixed their immediate objectives. They invite the danger of falling into a limited or leftist Popular Front which will not save us from the dangers to which the current one has led us.
CNT bases its alliance on the necessity of avoiding the ‘embrace of Vergara’ and of opposing itself to the manoeuvres of the ‘old style politicians’, that is to say the Stalinists, reformists and Republicans. But it goes on to declare that the Revolutionary Workers Alliance will not be an instrument opposed to, but rather an auxiliary weapon of the Popular Front. This is like raising the hand to strike and ending up offering it to the enemy. Such an alliance would be a fine libertarian tonic for the Popular Front, the representative of the bourgeoisie, which carries in its heart the spirit of the ‘embrace of Vergara’ as well as of the murders committed by Noske and Stalin. In La Batalla Andrade also plays dishonestly with the United Front. A typical centrist, however often he ventures to declare that he should be opposed and irreconcilable toward the Popular Front. In a burst of audacity Andrade points to the example of the youth. But the Revolutionary Youth Front is an example to be corrected, not followed. Its fundamental error, which condemned it in large part to sterility, lay in not separating itself from the capitalist state, but aspiring to control it. ‘Win the war and make the revolution, is the mission of the Revolutionary Youth Front’ reads the first paragraph of its basic document, but all the justice of the proposal, as in general with all its other slogans, disappears when one sees they have forgotten it is the bourgeois state that is preventing making the revolution and winning the war.
Inspired by this unbreakable principle, common to every proletarian revolutionary, the Bolshevik-Leninist Section has pointed out the dilemma: either with the Popular Front against the revolution or with the Revolutionary Front of the proletariat, and for Communism. All the wounds suffered by our workers’ movement – the military defeats, the reorganisation of the repressive apparatus of the bourgeoisie, the repression against the press and the revolutionaries, the extension of speculation with its train of miseries for the workers, as well as the greater dangers of armistice or imperialist war – originate in the political power still held by the bourgeoisie and supported by the workers’ organisations belonging to or tolerant of the Popular Front. The first basis for any genuine united class front is opposition to bourgeois and petitbourgeois governments, whatever shadings of proletarianism they adopt.
The war situation in which we find ourselves and its revolutionary nature, impose on the Revolutionary Front the double obligation of stopping its degeneration into an imperialist war and its sabotage by the friends of reconciliation of all Spaniards. This is the second indispensable basis.
But it is necessary to prevent the Revolutionary Front of the proletariat constituting a governmental bloc, whatever may be its programme. The Spanish revolution has developed without having matured, in the proletariat, any ideological current capable of guiding it victoriously. Furthermore, the government of social revolution will have to be based in organisms directly elected by the masses, in no way on political or union organisations. The struggle for Committees of Workers, peasants, and soldiers, is the third indispensable condition for the Revolutionary Front.
Only on these three fundamental bases can a great class movement be organised that will rapidly turn events around.
The slogans of revolutionary rationing, repression of speculation, war on manoeuvring and on political lying will lose all viability if they do not take these three points as their bases and any initiative towards class regroupment which is attempted without them is condemned in advance to sterility.
Last updated on 25.9.2004