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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
(2008)

Getman-Eraso, Jordi W.
Pragmatism unveiled : the meanings of revolutionary rhetoric in Spanish anarchosyndicalism,   pp. 31-50


Page 44

NATION AND CONFLICT IN MODERN SPAIN 
workers were finicky about who led them and under what circumstances they
would follow 
them onto the streets to challenge the establishment. The workers' pragmatism
made them 
well aware of the likely consequences of rising up against the establishment.
The loss of one's 
job, jail time, or maybe even death were great prices to pay for workers,
especially those with 
a spouse, (or compafiero/compafiera) and children to feed. They were not
ideologically blind 
and, as such, did not join revolutionary movements just because the militancy
issued direc- 
tives encouraging them to do so. Theirs, after all, was the ideology of pragmatism.
Though 
they had made theirs the language of revolution, workers were not willing
to carry out an 
insurrection until it seemed practicable. In a society where the intensity
of popular response 
was inherently linked to the level of government repression, the lack of
any effective political 
authority led to a groundswell of popular power that quickly snowballed beyond
any local 
authority's control, even that of the CNT. 
Notes 
1. Stanley Payne has played a critical role in this scholarly effort. From
his first book, Falange: A Study 
of Spanish Fascism (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1961), to his most
recent, The Collapse of the 
Spanish Republic, 1933-1936: Origins of the Civil War (New Haven: Yale University
Press, 2006), 
Payne has sought to explain the reasons for the breakdown of what he called
Spain's "first democra- 
cy." Stanley G. Payne, Spain's First Democracy: The Second Republic,
1931-1936 (Madison: University 
of Wisconsin Press, 1993). Payne's leadership in the field is also reflected
in the wide and varied 
gamut of studies about the period that his students have assembled over the
years. His first gradu- 
ate student, Robert Kern, published the first comprehensive study of Spanish
anarchosyndicalism in 
English: Red Years, Black Years. A Political History of Spanish Anarchism
1911-1937 (Philadelphia: 
Institute for the Study of Human Issues, 1978). Colin Winston contributed
the only serious study 
of rightist worker organizations in the interwar and Republican period in
his Workers and the Right 
inSpain, 1900-1936 (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1985). More recently,
Daniel Kowalsky 
has contributed a much-needed study of the Soviet involvement in the Civil
War with his Stalin and 
the Spanish Civil War (Project Gutenberg-e, 2004) http://www.gutenberg.e-org/kodOl/.
Lastly, 
Brian D. Bunk's Ghosts of Passion: Martyrdom, Gender, and the Origins of
the Spanish Civil War 
(Durham: Duke University Press, 2007) is a groundbreaking study of the manipulation
of the histori- 
cal memory of the October 1934 revolution by both the political left and
right in the months leading 
up to the outbreak of hostilities in July 1936. My own work on Spanish anarchosyndicalism
can be in- 
cluded as well: "Rethinking the Revolution: Utopia and Pragmatism in
Catalan Anarchosyndicalism 
(1930-1936)" (Ph.D. diss., University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2001). 
2. The most noted is Jose Maria Gil Robles, No fue posible la paz (Barcelona:
Ediciones Ariel, 1968). 
Elements of this argument have resurfaced in recent scholarship, most notably
in Pio Moa's copious 
work on the Civil War. See especially his Los mitos de la Guerra Civil (Madrid:
Esfera, 2003) 183-95, 
and Los origenes de laguerra civil espafiola (Madrid: Encuentro Ediciones,
1999). 
3. This was a central argument of Burnett Bolloten's The Grand Camouflage
(London: Hollis and 
Carter, 1961) and his later The Spanish Civil War: Revolution and Counter-Revolution
(Chapel Hill: 
University of North Carolina Press Hill, 1991). For partisan accounts, see
Communist youth leader 
Santiago Carrillo's Memorias (Barcelona: Editorial Planeta, 1993) as well
as Victor Alba's Elsproble- 
mas del moviment obrer a Catalunya (Barcelona: P6rtic, 1976). Additional
documents have recently 
been made available in Ronald Radosh, Mary Hableck, and Grigory Sevostianov,
eds., Spain Betrayed 
(New Haven: Yale University Press, 2001). 
4. Among the more significant studies are: Stanley Payne, The Spanish Revolution
(New York: Norton, 
1970); Santos Juliai, Origenes del Frente Popular en Espaiia 1934-1936 (Madrid:
Siglo Veintiuno 
Editores, 1979); Ronald Fraser, Blood of Spain. The Experience of Civil War
1936-1 939 (New York: 
Pantheon, 1979); Raymond Carr, The Spanish Tragedy (London: Weidenfeld and
Nicholson, 1977); 
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