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The POUM attacks the Nationalism of the Spanish Stalinists


The following article appeared in La Batalla on 4 April 1937. It drew attention to the chauvinism of Spanish Stalinism and announced an action programme for the POUM in the Civil War.

Please, let’s be serious. The theoretical degeneration of ‘official communism’ produces truly unexpected surprises. During the early period of the Republic, their agitation called for a soviet Republic ... minus soviets. That was during the bourgeois-democratic stage. Now, at the height of the socialist revolution, they spend their energy in promoting the bourgeois-democratic Republic.

However, that’s not the worst of it. Trying to explain the fact of the invasion by the German and Italian armies, they put their hands on their hearts and speak about the independence of ‘our’ country. They mention the Napoleonic invasion and, the more erudite ones, the Arab invasion. Pelayo, El Cid Campeador, Mina, El Empecinado, Velarde, and many others are the heroes of the day. They justify reactionary movements in this way and, what is worse, claim them as our own. The so-called re-conquest prevented the Arabs extending their superior civilisation over the peninsula and the war of independence prevented the fresh wind of the French Revolution from entering our country. This is the tone of 100 per cent superpatriotic Stalinism.

The official bulletin of the Committee for the Defence of Madrid, of 20 March, publishes a cartoon with a slogan, ‘In opposition to Mussolini and his friends raise the old banner of Bailen’. Here one doesn’t know what sticks out most, ignorance of today’s problems or ignorance of history. The flag of Bailen? Do you know what this flag of Bailen is? It’s the red and yellow symbol of the monarchy which Franco has decreed the ‘national’ flag.

Faced with this we can ask for nothing but a little sobriety.

The POUM’s central committee held on Sunday of last week, published a note regarding the crisis of the council of the Generalidad, reiterating a 13-point programme which a government formed by all the workers, political and trade union forces would apply as the only rational, logical and viable solution of the crisis. We reproduce these specific points as they are of interest at this time.

  1. Socialisation of the big transport undertakings.
  2. Nationalisation of the banks.
  3. Municipalisation of housing.
  4. Formation of an army controlled by the working class.
  5. Constitution of a single internal security force based on the security patrols and the investigation force, created by the revolution, incorporating the previous forces which have shown their loyalty to the working class.
  6. An immediate offensive in Aragon.
  7. Reduction of high salaries.
  8. A monopoly of foreign trade.
  9. The creation of a strong, rigidly centralised, socialised war industry.
  10. Nationalisation of the land, giving its use to those who work it, and extending the necessary credits to them. Collective working of the large estates and economic aid to collective enterprises created in the course of the revolution which have demonstrated their viability.
  11. An implacable struggle against profiteers and hoarders through a rigorous and direct control of goods and prices.
  12. The calling of a conference of workers’ and peasants’ unions and of soldiers’ organisations which will establish the basis of the new regime, and elect a workers’ and peasants’ government which will be the most democratic we have ever known, as it will express the unequivocal will of the immense majority of the country and will have the authority to maintain the new revolutionary order.

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