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Bunk, Brian D., 1968-; Pack, Sasha D.; Scott, Carl-Gustaf (ed.) / Nation and conflict in modern Spain: essays in honor of Stanley G. Payne

Winston, Colin M., 1955-
Carlist worker groups in Catalonia, 1900-1923,   pp. [1]-14

Page 6

long pondered the advisability of such a move and Vazquez de Mella himself
had toyed with 
a catastrophe theory of politics whereby Carlism achieved power only after
a failed socialist 
regime.17 Iglesias went further, emphasizing that he wanted no mere agreement
political leaders but an alliance between the Carlist and republican masses
for revolutionary 
change. He realized that conservatives would castigate him as "revolutionary."
In such a 
case, Iglesias advised his followers "not to let it bother you. Revolution
is all rapid change in 
the slate of things; and just as there is a bad revolution there can be a
good one."'" Iglesias 
never elaborated his ideas, which were hailed by the radical current and
rejected by the 
party's leadership. The Lliga denounced Iglesias' advocacy of a "strange
marriage" between 
"the red beret and the Phrygian cap," but breathed a sigh of relief
that the "sensible" ele- 
ments in Carlism had scotched his project.19 
Although worker Carlism never articulated a coherent revolutionary ideology
strategy, potentially revolutionary social and economic postures existed
in the movement 
and contrasted sharply with the paternalist social Catholicism of party leaders.
Party radicals 
rejected vague populism for explicit obrerismo, a positive identification
with the aspirations 
of the working class. At times, Carlist youth came close to adopting the
rhetoric of class 
struggle, championing worker rights as opposed to those of other classes.
Such a stance was 
congruent with a total spurning of capitalism, and not merely of its excesses.
The radicals 
perceived what their elders failed to recognize: that as long as traditionalism
was associated 
with the socioeconomic status quo, its political ambitions would remain a
dead letter. 
Thus the radical worker current broke with the Catalan Catholic (and Carlist)
paternalistic approach to worker rights. The radicals rejected charity as
a basis for social 
action because it perpetuated the exploitation of the proletariat by the
rich, estranged the 
worker from the Church, and insulted human dignity. Likewise, the radicals
lauded the left 
for taking a sincere interest in the workers' material needs, in contrast
to social Catholicism's 
obsession with confessionalism and pious acts. The radicals, unlike the social
Catholics and 
the ASP, accepted May Day as a positive manifestation of the nobility of
work and the eman- 
cipation of the poor. They described it as the prototypical Catholic holiday
because "the 
basis of all catholicization of the workers is, without doubt, their economic
Radical Carlists translated their spirit of worker solidarity into extensive
support for the 
Barcelona labor movement. They were wildly enthusiastic about the 1912 railroad
strike, and 
from then until 1914 (the period for which data are available), backed many
other work stop- 
pages, all conducted by non-Catholic resistance societies.2' The chasm between
radical Carlist 
and mainstream social Catholic attitudes explains why Carlist workers (with
a few exceptions, 
such as the previously mentioned group in Igualada) generally spurned the
ASP's Catholic 
unions. Unconcerned with preserving capitalism and willing to provoke short-term
and disruptions to improve their lot, Carlist workers chafed at the Catholic
insistence that so- 
cial peace be preserved at all costs. And radical Carlist obrerismo generated
hostility to unions 
pald for and controlled by non-working-class elements. When the Marques de
Comillas was 

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