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Randall Webster

Historical Methods


I. This Conference has . . . take resolutions . . . which tend to turn the International, which

is a free federation of autonomous sections, into a hierarchical and authoritarian organization.

Bakunin wrote, criticizing the International. Less than a year later Marx led a movement within

the International to ban all members associated with Bakunin's faction, signifying the first

formal break between Anarchists and State Socialsts, about which Otto Von Bismark said,

Crowned heads, wealth and privilege may well tremble should ever again the Black and Red

unite!. This schism between Anarchism and State Socialism would continue to take its toll on

any potential unity of the far-left for years to come. Most representative of this are the events of

the Spanish Civil War; an event in which the conflicts between Communists and Anarchists,

who's origins can be linked back to the same ideological differences that caused the first Red

Black divide, played a major role.

II. The Red Black Divide.

A. Set up the ideological bases for both Marx's State Socialism and Bakunin's


B. Uses the split in the International to highlight the main ideological differences

between them.

III. Linking the Divide to the Spanish Civil War

A. Frame Lenin's Bolshevism as a legitimate ideological successor to Marx's state


B. Describe how Anarcho-Syndicalism became the major current of anarchism at

the time of the Spanish Civil War and the idea's it inherits from Bakunin's Anarchism.

C. Discuss the prevailing differences between the tendencies of Communism and

Anarcho-Syndicalism. Bureaucracy vs direct action. Representation vs participation.

IV. Spanish Civil War

A. Catalonia Collectivization: the start of the anarchist revolution via the

spontaneous organization of peasants through trade unions.

B. Growth of Communist influence in the republican government and the waning

power of the Anarchists.

C. The Barcelona May Days: The battle between Anarchists and the Republican


D. Demoralization and the loss of the war.

V. Conclusions

A. Alternative motives of the Communists

B. Conclusion.


Of the general works I chose, Bolloten's The Spanish Civil War: Revolution and

Counterrevolution is undoubtedly the largest and most extensive. It gives a great in depth look at the

Spanish Civil War in this book, specifically he focuses on the revolutionary aspects of the war and the

interplay with the soviet union. It will be the on of the most important sources that I use to understand

the events of the war. Contrasting it with my other sources on the war will, hopefully, give me a well

rounded view of the events that took place. The major purpose of this book, as can be seen in the title,
is to frame the communist influence as a suppressive force against the anarchists. That intent is useful

for me but hardly ignorable in the scope of my paper.

Cattell's Soviet Diplomacy and the Spanish Civil War goes into depth on the extent of Soviet

interference during the Civil War. This is essential because knowing the extent at which the USSR

effected the Revolution is kind of a prerequisite to arguing why they influenced events. He also

provides arguments for the Soviet's actions that I can selectively ignore or use when addressing

possible counterarguments. Most notable being the non ideological motives that the soviets had for

influencing the revolution.

Meaker's The Revolutionary Left in Spain is another summery of the Civil War, this time, as the

title insinuates, focusing explicitly on the Revolutionary Left. It provides numerous accounts from the

peasants and workers involved in the revolutionary movement while also providing information about

the conflict with Communist party. It goes into depth on the underlying motives behind many factions

during the time period.

Stanley's The Spanish Revolution Another summary work of the Spanish Revolution. This time

giving a more generalized overview of the Spanish revolution. Focusing more on painting a picture of

the events rather than arguing a point or presenting a narrative. It covers from the ideological roots of

anarchism all the way to their defeat at the hands of Franco.

Overall, the works chosen should give me an extensive understanding of the events that took

place along with possible alternative frameworks in which to view the actions of both the Anarchists

and Communists during the revolution.