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The Communist Party Calls for a Professional Army


The article following appeared in Catalan on 10 February 1937 in Treball, the daily paper of the PSUC (United Socialist Party of Catalonia), the Catalan Stalinist party set up by a merger of Stalinists, right social democrats and Catalan nationalists in July 1936. It was an essential part of the Kremlin’s plan to create a professional army commanded by bourgeois officers responsible to the Republican government, and to reduce the workers’ militias to impotence, disarm, and finally dissolve them, as a full counter-revolution could not be achieved whilst so many weapons remained in the hands of the workers’ organisations. Naturally this propaganda was justified by the military situation at the front; the justification for it in this case was the fall of Malaga to Franco’s troops.

‘Facts are obstinate’ – once, twice and a hundred times we have insisted and will continue to insist until the necessary measures are taken, until we see a unanimous desire to achieve what the people want and which can’t be denied if we want to triumph.

We don’t intend here to analyse the causes of the fascists’ easy entry into Malaga. Rather than bemoan the causes of this or that loss, however recent, we wish to insist on the only measures which will ensure the triumph of our cause and make possible lhe regaining of all our losses.

A Popular Army is what all the organisations want, but it encounters many obstacles which impede its realisation.

Working people of all tendencies are able to judge for themselves and are clamouring for the victory which some people’s suicidal irresponsiblity puts in peril.

Malaga has fallen into the hands of the fascists just as San Sebastian, Bodajoz and Toledo, while there are still people who believe that we can win without doing anything. We have repeatedly said that the people must be told the truth. We have to tell the truth whether it’s favourable or unfavourable and decide to do what the situation demands.

The people want victory. It’s necessary because millions of families want to return to their ruined lands occupied by the enemy forces.

And time presses. We don’t have much time to act. The enemy is lurking in ambush and is preparing new attacks.

We lack a Popular Army, the mobilisation of the necessary recruits for whom we have arms, and the others whom we need to give military training: strengthening of the fortifications. Live for the war! It’s time to finish with everything which gets in the way, with everything which attacks us in the rear, with everything which opens the doors to the enemy! Genuine unity, unity in war, unity for victory! A strong, new, determined campaign by the whole country will encourage the popular will for victory.

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Last updated on 30.12.2002