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THE BLACK AND THE RED
For the classic historians of the anarchist movement, the culminating act of the drama lay in Spain.  Both George Woodcock’s Anarchism (1962) and James Joll’s The Anarchists (1964), after bows to Godwin and Proudhon, began by describing the tireless work of Bakunin and his disciples, Fanelli, Malatesta and the rest, building sections of the First International—Marx’s International Working Men’s Association—in Italy, Switzerland and Spain. Proudhon’s notion of production and exchange organized by free associations of workers was expanded by Kropotkin and Reclus. After the crushing of the Paris Commune, clandestine anarchist groups took to the ‘propaganda of the deed’ and scored an impressive number of hits on ruling monarchs and heads of state. But as Kropotkin himself wrote in La Révolte in 1891, however inspiring individual acts of heroism might be, ‘revolution is above all a popular movement’. Early trade unions had been largely reformist in scope, but the mass syndicalist movements that exploded onto the scene in the early 1900s—the cgt in France, the iww in the us, the militantly anarchist cnt in Spain—mobilized hundreds of thousands of proletarians around revolutionary aims. The cnt had half a million members when the Spanish republic was declared in 1931. In the popular uprising against Franco in 1936, cnt workers in Barcelona seized control of the factories and streets. For Woodcock and Joll, the tragic epic of Catalonia in 1936–37 remained the central experience of the anarchist revolution; the curtain fell as Franco’s fascism drowned the black-and-red flag in blood.
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- Benedict Anderson: Nitroglycerine in the Pomegranate Literary interactions between world capital and colonial periphery in the late nineteenth century—how rebel Filipino novelist José Rizal transformed elements of decadent aestheticism in Huysmans’s À Rebours, to explosive political effect.
- David Graeber: The New Anarchists Is the ‘anti-globalization movement’ anything of the kind? Active resistance is true globalization, David Graeber maintains, and its repertoire of forms is currently coming from the arsenal of a reinvented anarchism.