Andres Nin

Toward the National
Workers’ Alliance in Spain

(April 1934)

From The Militant, Vol. VII No. 20, 19 May 1934, p. 4.
Originally Editorial in La Antorcha, new fortnightly organ of the Spanish Communist League – Bolshevik-Leninists – May 1st, 1934.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for the Marxists’ Internet Archive.

Catalonia gave the signal and it resounded with un echo of clamorous enthusiasm throughout the country. The idea of the united front was translated into a hope-inspiring reality, the Catalonian Workers Alliance became the first step towards the formation of the proletarian block, towards united action of all working class political and trade union organizations, in order to withstand the ever-increasing Fascist menace.

The Catalonian pact contained at least one virtue: that of instilling into the Spanish proletariat confidence of its own strength, of overcoming the momentary discomfiture that might result from the electoral victory of the rightists. With extraordinary rapidity the idea of the Alliance won great sympathy among the masses, and it can today be roundly affirmed – it is the burning aspiration of the immense majority of the working class.

Vitality of Alliance

The example of Catalonia was immediately followed by Valencia. The Catalonian Alliance demonstrated its vitality on the 13th of February, declaring a general strike, which, while it is true that it failed in Barcelona due to the period of transition through which the working class movement is passing, was carried through successfully in over forty towns throughout the region. At the present moment the Valencia Alliance is showing its numerical strength and efficiency in combat.

For the moment only these two Alliances exist on a regional scale; but very shortly, the united front will be a beautiful reality in Asturias, and in the rest of the country it has already been established in many cities and towns and is in process of formation in many others. Finally, the proletariat of Zaragoza, without even having established the united front formally, but thanks to the effective united action of syndicalists, communists, anarchists and socialists, has sustained an admirable general strike which constitutes one of the brightest pages in the Spanish labor movement.

Lesson of Experiences

The lesson to be drawn from these experiences is that the cause of the united front is definitely won, in the sense that it counts on he adhesion of the immense majority of the workers. The stupid sabotage of the Stalinists, who, with a consistency worthy a better cause, fulfill their fundamental mission of throwing obstacles into the path of the revolutionary movement, and the stubborn sectarianism of the leaders of the Iberian Anarchist Federation (F.A.I.), which is surprisingly close to the anti-Marxist ultimatism of the official communists, do not substantially alter the reality of the general adhesion ol the workers to the Workers Alliance movement. On the other hand the idea of the united front is making its way irresistibly among the anarchist and communist workers. This sweeping movement will inevitably crush all who oppose its advance.

But it is necessary to build this movement, it must be organized rapidly and without losing a single minute, if we wish it to render the enormous potential efficiency contained in it. And the first step in this direction – and which may be decisive – is the constitution of the Workers Alliance on a national scale. If the leading central organisms will accept the pact now in effect in Catalonia, Valencia, and other localities of the country, the united front can within twenty-four hours become a living reality throughout Spain. This would be of immense importance, it would produce overflowing enthusiasm in the whole working class and would radically change the course of political events, altering immediately the correlation of forces in favor of the proletariat.

For a National Conference

In the Regional Conference to take place in a few days, the Workers Alliance of Catalonia will take the initiative of calling a National Conference. No moment could be more opportune for this step. All of the necessary premises exist for the immediate establishment of the national united front. The gravity of the situation, the dangers threatening the working class, demand it. The Communist Left, which has labored untiringly throughout the whole country, in favor of the united front, which has already expended tenacious efforts in order to achieve a national pact, will derive new hope from the initiative of Catalonia, and will not rest until it achieves, with the aid of all willing to cooperate sincerely, the task of forming the proletarian block, in order that the Spanish Workers Alliance may become a reality with the rapidity required by the gravity of the situation. The local organisations and Regional Committees should consider the achievement of this end as the central objective of their activity.

Barcelona, April 22, 1934

Andres Nin

Last updated on 13 May 2016