Glimmers of Light
From Prometeo no. 146, 30 May 1937
In the previous issue of Prometeo we published the manifesto launched by the CNT-FAI in the heat of the events in Barcelona, which signified a real betrayal to the detriment of the proletarians who had taken to the struggle. We are pleased to be able to publish, in this issue, a manifesto emanating from a group of proletarians in Mexico, which shows how they were able to learn from the tragic events in Barcelona and which collides, in its general lines, with the analyses we’ve always made of the events in Spain. We greet these comrades from Mexico in the hope of more continuous relations with them in the interest of the cause of the revolution.
The Barcelona massacre: a lesson for the workers of Mexico. The disaster suffered by the workers of Spain must not be repeated in Mexico!
Every day we are told that we live in a democratic republic. That we have a “workerist” government. That this government is the best defense against fascism..
The workers of Spain believed that they lived in a democratic republic. That they had a “workerist” government. That this was the best defense against fascism.
While the workers were not on their guard – having more faith in the capitalist government than in their own strength – the fascists, with full complicity from the government, prepared their coup in July last year; just as the Cárdenas government allows the Cedillos, Morones, Calles, to prepare their coups, while it numbs the workers with its “workerist” demagoguery.
How was it possible that the workers of Spain in July last year did not understand that the “anti-fascist” government had betrayed them by allowing the fascists to prepare their coup? And how can it be that the workers of Mexico didn’t benefit at all from this painful experience? Because the government of Spain skillfully continued its demagoguery and put itself at the head of the workers by deceiving them one more time with the slogan: the only enemy is fascism.
Taking over the direction of the war that the workers had started, the bourgeoisie transformed it from a class war into a capitalist war for which the workers gave their blood in defense of their own exploiters’ Republic.
The workers’ leaders, selling out to the bourgeoisie, imposed the surrender: no class demands until the fascists are defeated!
And during nine months of war the workers organized no strikes, allowed the government to dissolve their grassroots committees that had sprung up during the July days, to subordinate the workers’ militias to the generals of the bourgeoisie. They sacrificed their own struggle so as not to undermine the struggle against the fascists.
Why does Cárdenas give his support to Azaña?
To strengthen the workers’ confidence in his “proletarianism”! The Cárdenas government has every interest in the workers of Mexico not seeing how the “anti-fascist” government of Spain allowed the fascists to prepare their coup. Because if they understand what happened in Spain, they’ll also understand what’s happening in Mexico.
For this reason Cárdenas gave his support to the legally constituted government of Azaña and sent him weapons. He demagogically claimed that these were intended for the defense of the workers against the fascists. The latest news from Spain has forever destroyed this lie: the legally constituted government of Azaña used these weapons to massacre the heroic workers of Barcelona when they defended themselves against the government that tried to disarm them on May 4th of this year.
Today, as yesterday, the Cárdenas government will help the legally constituted Azaña government, however, not against the fascists, but against the workers.
The bloody repression that followed the workers’ insurrection in Barcelona illuminates the true situation in Spain like a flash of lightning in the middle of the night. It shattered all the illusions that lasted these nine months. With the fierce struggle against the workers in Barcelona, Gerona, Figuera and elsewhere, the “anti-fascist” government unmasked itself!
Not only did it send its special police, its assault guards, its machine guns and its tanks against the workers, but it freed imprisoned fascists and withdrew “loyal” regiments from the front weakening it and exposing it to Franco’s attack!
These facts showed that the real enemies for the Popular Front government were not the fascists, but the workers.
Workers of Barcelona!
You have fought magnificently! You have been beaten. The bourgeoisie was able to strengthen itself. Your forces alone were not enough.
Workers of the rear guard: you must fight together with your comrades at the front against the same enemy, not as your bourgeoisie demands, against Franco’s army, but against the bourgeoisie itself, whether fascist or “anti-fascist”!
You must send agitators to the front with the slogan: rebel against your generals! Fraternize with Franco’s soldiers, as they’re largely peasants who fell into the nets of fascist demagoguery because the Popular Front government did not keep its promise for land reform! Common struggle of all the oppressed, whether workers or peasants, Spanish or Moors, Italian or German, against our common enemy: the Spanish bourgeoisie and its international ally: imperialism.
This struggle requires a party that is truly your own. All organizations today, from socialists to anarchists, serve the bourgeoisie. In the Barcelona May Days they collaborated, once again, with the government to restore “peace” and “order”!
Forge this class-based, independent party – that is the pre-requisite for your victory.
Forward Barcelona comrades, for a Soviet Spain!
Fraternize with the deceived peasants of Franco’s army, for the struggle against our common oppressors, be they fascists or “anti-fascists”!
Down with the massacre of workers and peasants by Franco, Azaña and Companys!
Let us convert the imperialist war in Spain into a class war!
Workers of Mexico!
When will you awaken?
Will you allow the Mexican bourgeoisie to repeat the same deception as in Spain? No! Will it also require nine months of massacres for us to understand this deception? No! Let the example of Barcelona serve as a warning to us!
The deception of the Spanish bourgeoisie was only possible because all the workers’ leaders betrayed the workers, as they have in Mexico, by subjugating the defense of proletarian interests to the mercy of the “workerist” government, and because they had convinced the workers that the struggle against fascism required a truce with the republican bourgeoisie.
Mexico’s social leaders abandoned the struggle for economic gains and yoked the workers to the government.
All the trade union and political organizations in Mexico support the sending of arms by the Cárdenas government to the murderers of our comrades in Barcelona. All give their support to the demagoguery of this government. No organization denounces the true nature of the Cárdenas government.
If the workers of Mexico do not create a truly class-based and independent party, they will end up suffering the same disaster as the workers of Spain!
Only an independent party of the proletariat can counter the government’s move of separating the peasants from the workers, with a laughable distribution of a tiny bit of land in Laguna, in order to bait them into fighting against the industrial workers tomorrow.
The struggle against government demagoguery, the alliance with the peasants and the struggle for proletarian revolution in Mexico under the banner of a new Communist Party, will be the guarantee for our triumph and the best help to our brothers in Spain!
On guard workers of Mexico!
Do not be surprised by the government’s false workerism!
No more arms to the murderers of our brothers of Spain!
Let us fight for an independent class party!
Down with the Popular Front governments!
LONG LIVE THE DICTATORSHIP OF THE PROLETARIAT!
Grupo de trabajadores marxistas (Mexico)