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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 10

dary, caught between the meek class collaborationism of Carlist orthodoxy
and their own 
tendencies toward worker exclusivism. The volatile social atmosphere of postwar
and participation in an explicitly class-defined entity brought this latent
contradiction to the 
surface, and Libre leaders began to call for the destruction of the existing
economic order 
through class war. This-as the development of Libre ideology would show-was
not the 
goal of even the most radical Carlists, but neither was it a temporary aberration
caused by 
anarchist influence. Once they had appropriated the tactics and rhetoric
of class and syndi- 
cal struggle, there was a strong temptation to make ends conform to means.
The Libres 
were left with a hand-me-down version of the Marxist class struggle-but one
which, when 
married to the practical benefits of bread-and-butter trade unionism, proved
attractive to a 
sizable segment of the Catalan working class. 
It should be noted that the divergent interpretations found among Libre militants
of obrerismo reflected the rift in the union between moderate Carlists and
the stream that 
emerged from the tradition of Dalmacio Iglesias and La Trinchera. Librefios
in tune with 
official Carlism saw the union as having a fundamentally counterrevolutionary
role of con- 
taining the left; a different socioeconomic regime was desirable but it was
a long way off 
and should never be pursued at the expense of social disorder upon which
the left might 
capitalize. Obrerismo was to this current merely worker solidarity, which
had to be married to 
a corporatist or productivist outlook as a way of establishing harmony within
the workplace 
and easing social tensions. The radical Carlists, however, inched toward
a right revolution- 
ary position in which establishing a new political and socioeconomic order
was as important 
as crushing the left. This tendency was not new, but only during the acute
social crisis of 
1919-1923 and under the impact of direct participation in the class struggle,
did radical 
Carlist political revolutionism take on a clear socioeconomic tinge. The
resulting ideological 
formula was vague, ephemeral, and shot through with contradictions. But it
was sufficiently 
radical and threatening to worry the Liberal government and much of the Catalan
geoisie. The gendarme who had appeared to protect its privileges now seemed
almost as 
dangerous as the thief whom it had chased away. 
A third Carlist-derived element that enabled the Libres to thrive was the
willingness to participate in Barcelona's postwar terrorist struggle. The
refusal of Church- 
sponsored unions to engage in the violence and coercion that dominated the
syndical scene quickly sealed their fate. The Libres, however, joined the
terrorist struggle 
against the CNT with veritable gusto, forming action groups composed of young
exaltados who had emerged from a background that virtually equated politics
with violence. 
While the union suffered many casualties in the war against the CNT, its
comparative ad- 
vantage in street fighting and assassination--especially during 1921-1922,
when Martinez 
Anido openly colluded with the union-helped it survive in the rough-and-tumble
world of 
Catalan industrial relations. 
A cult of death and martyrdom, clearly derived from the radical Carlist obsession

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