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Forum LockedSpanish Civil War

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Poll Question: Which Party would you have joined or Supported?
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Al Jassas View Drop Down
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    Posted: 28-Aug-2008 at 10:47
Hello to you all
 
The Spanish civil war was probably one of the most decisive, devisice and of course brutal events in the 20th century. It was truelly more an international affaire than a Spanish one. This event was a battle which pitied communists and democracy advocates in one camp, and religious and social conservatives as well as hard core capitalists on the other. It was a rallying point for many people who for probably the first time since the crusades rallied not for a territorial gains but for ideas because the war was first and foremost an ideological war.
 
Now, I know this might be a contentious issue for many but I hope that the argument becomes civilised.
 
So, if you lived in those days, which party would have you joined or at least supported? Why did you make that choice?
 
I am not that experienced in the topic so I will refrain from voting but I hope you will join in the discussion particularly our Spanish friends Ikki et al.
 
Al-Jassas


Edited by Al Jassas - 28-Aug-2008 at 10:48
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Bankotsu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28-Aug-2008 at 10:52
The Spanish Tragedy, 1931–1939

 From the summer of 1936 to the spring of 1939, Spain was the scene of a bitter conflict of arms, ideologies, and interests. This conflict was both a civil war and an international struggle. It was a controversial problem at the time and has remained a controversial problem since. For twenty or more years, the bitter feelings raised by the struggle remained so intense that it was difficult to determine the facts of the dispute, and anyone who tried to make an objective study of the facts was subjected to abuse from both sides.

     The historical past of Spain has been so different from that of the rest of Western Civilization that it sometimes seems doubtful if it should be regarded as part of Western Civilization. This difference is increased by the fact that, since the late fifteenth century, Spain has refused to share in the experiences of Western Civilization and, if many powerful groups could have had their wish, would have remained in its fifteenth- or sixteenth-century condition...

http://real-world-news.org/bk-quigley/12.html#43


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28-Aug-2008 at 11:20
I don't see how that contributes much.
 
Anyway, I put Republican, because the Falange was simply part of the 'fascist' movement that was sweeping much of Europe. Most of the English fighting there joined the same side.
 
Like Orwell though, I might have been disillusioned by the way the legitimate Republican government was taken over by the Soviet communist movement.
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pikeshot1600 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28-Aug-2008 at 15:42
When the guns begin to shoot, idealism is always the first casualty.
 
The "Republican" side was doomed, as gcle says, once it was co-opted to the USSR's half baked anti-fascist efforts of the 1930s.
 
The USSR did not support the Republican government with the level of support needed, first, because Iberia was far too remote and inaccessible for substantial Soviet aid, and second, because the USSR was still in process of its own industrialization.  Soviet needs came first and they still needed help from some in the West.
 
In addition, Stalin was the only ideologue who mattered, and he was never much of an internationalist.  He already in the 1930s had his eye on his perceived domestic opponents.
 
Ultimately, I think the republican government was the victim of Soviet association.  I cannot think of an ideology more foreign to socially conservative, Catholic Spain than Communism.
 
 


Edited by pikeshot1600 - 28-Aug-2008 at 15:46
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Cryptic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28-Aug-2008 at 16:09
 
 
I picked nationalists only because the actions of the extreme left.  
 
The main troble with the republicans was a huge lack pf orgainization.  Anarchist and Communists fielded autonomous militias for much of the war. Battlefield tactics were often the result of a group vote among independent leaders rather than a military style command and control.
 
This orgainizational breakdown extended to Republican rear areas as well. Economic policies were in chaos. Moderate Socialist policies were implemented by Madrid. In some areas, competing anarchist groups then collective all private property, "liberate" middle class property and on some occasions outlawed money and banks.  Prisoners were released by republican authorities only to be re-arrested executed by anarchists.  These same anarchists then murder Catholic clergy, destroy churches, works of art etc. . 
 
Meanwhile Franco....
-Placed all Catholic and right wing Secular militias under a centralized command
-Implemented a working economy
-ensured that order (however brutal) prevailed in Nationalist rear areas
 


Edited by Cryptic - 28-Aug-2008 at 16:16
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Temujin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28-Aug-2008 at 20:10
Originally posted by Al Jassas Al Jassas wrote:

 
The Spanish civil war was probably one of the most decisive, devisice and of course brutal events in the 20th century.


i think the Russian Civil War by far eclipses the importance of the Spanish Civil War and it's status as most important Civil war of the 20th Century.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Maharbbal Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28-Aug-2008 at 22:18
I would have joined the Republican even though as glce I would have been at odds with the extreme left.

Three main reasons for that:
1. They had been legally elected.
2. They were not complete monsters even though they commited some awful stuff they didn't bomb Guernica, nor did they shoot the best Spanish writer of the 20th century. The violence was ingrained in the nationalist side (the so-called African soldiers had proved they were butchers in the Rif, Franco had shown what kind of man he was in the Asturias strike, etc.).
3. They were not supported by Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy.

Should be enough
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Władysław Warnencz Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28-Aug-2008 at 23:43

When fascists and communists fight,the best thing to do is let them kill each other and then finish the survivor off. LOL Seriously,how can a man be choosing between atheist barbarians and nazi barbarians?They both murdered innocents,they both commited awful crimes and they both proclaimed wrong ideology...I guess however Spain had better future under nationalist than would under leftist rule...At least some fundamental values were saved so i guess i would have chosen nationalist if forced to make a decision.



Edited by Władysław Warnencz - 28-Aug-2008 at 23:43
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sekko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29-Aug-2008 at 01:27
Originally posted by Władysław Warnencz Władysław Warnencz wrote:

When fascists and communists fight,the best thing to do is let them kill each other and then finish the survivor off. LOL


That is a good strategy and also the strategy advocated by british prime minister Stanley Baldwin:


There is one danger, of course, which has probably been in all your minds - supposing the Russians and Germans got fighting and the French went in as allies of Russia owing to that appalling pact they made, you would not feel you were obligated to go and help France, would you? If there is any fighting in Europe to be done, I should like to see the Bolshies and the Nazis doing it.


http://books.google.com/books?id=qVMXHWtCeAUC&pg=PA183&dq=The



Edited by Sekko - 29-Aug-2008 at 01:32
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Watch the copy pasting without ample commentary to back it up.

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Originally posted by pikeshot1600 pikeshot1600 wrote:


Ultimately, I think the republican government was the victim of Soviet association.  I cannot think of an ideology more foreign to socially conservative, Catholic Spain than Communism.

 

 


Oh, you obviously haven't been exposed to politics work in the Hispanic world Marxism actually fits quite nicely in a Catholic world view. You have a big prophet, saints, articles of faith, and the promise of the second coming.

I will have to study more about the Spanish Civil War to make an opinion on this subject.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pikeshot1600 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29-Aug-2008 at 04:03
Maybe in Mexico; not in Spain.
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote hugoestr Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29-Aug-2008 at 05:55
Well, Pike, from where do you think that we in Mexico (and the rest of Latin America, for that matter) got it?

Moreover, Mexico is at the same level or out-catholics Spain, so your statement should be more true about Mexico. Yet that is not the case.

And using just deduction, there were obviously enough supporters of the Republic to have a Republic in the first place and then to fight a civil war, even when people knew that Communists were involved among the Republicans.

Edit: Okay, I checked wiki, and my suspicions seem to be confirmed. Normally, those with the better and most toys win wars. The nationalists counted with a better army and better foreign support than the Republicans. From the quick sketch, it seems that they counted with most of the military. The nationalists had support from Portugal, Italy, and Germany. Three countries and all of them close, more or less, to Spain. The Republicans had a bunch of organized amateurs and the Soviet Union and Mexico. If anything, what is surprising is that the Republicans lasted for as long as it did.

Edited by hugoestr - 29-Aug-2008 at 06:18
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pikeshot1600 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29-Aug-2008 at 16:08
Originally posted by hugoestr hugoestr wrote:

Well, Pike, from where do you think that we in Mexico (and the rest of Latin America, for that matter) got it?

Moreover, Mexico is at the same level or out-catholics Spain, so your statement should be more true about Mexico. Yet that is not the case.

And using just deduction, there were obviously enough supporters of the Republic to have a Republic in the first place and then to fight a civil war, even when people knew that Communists were involved among the Republicans.

Edit: Okay, I checked wiki, and my suspicions seem to be confirmed. Normally, those with the better and most toys win wars. The nationalists counted with a better army and better foreign support than the Republicans. From the quick sketch, it seems that they counted with most of the military. The nationalists had support from Portugal, Italy, and Germany. Three countries and all of them close, more or less, to Spain. The Republicans had a bunch of organized amateurs and the Soviet Union and Mexico. If anything, what is surprising is that the Republicans lasted for as long as it did.
 
I am not sure where you are coming from here.  My point was that Spain's past (and cultures) were different from Mexico's (and for that matter other Latin American countries).  For the purpose of this thread, the fundamental conservative nature of Spanish society, the influence of the Catholic Church, especially among non urban people, doomed the republic once it became corrupted by revolutionary foreign (USSR) elements. 
 
IMO, the Catholic Church retained greater moral and social authority in Spain than in the Americas.  The overall conservative elements in Spain were much stronger than in Mexico.  I don't see Spain ever providing refuge for Trotsky, and the Moscow "show trials" were well underway during the Spanish C W.  People were not so stupid as to be blind to the nature of Soviet Communism, and, as you say, that was the major support the republic had.
 
As a final comment, if it was a choice between an atheist police state and a Christian police state, Spaniards made the choice they wanted.
 
 


Edited by pikeshot1600 - 29-Aug-2008 at 16:17
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29-Aug-2008 at 16:27
Originally posted by Władysław Warnencz Władysław Warnencz wrote:

When fascists and communists fight,the best thing to do is let them kill each other and then finish the survivor off. LOL Seriously,how can a man be choosing between atheist barbarians and nazi barbarians?They both murdered innocents,they both commited awful crimes and they both proclaimed wrong ideology...I guess however Spain had better future under nationalist than would under leftist rule...At least some fundamental values were saved so i guess i would have chosen nationalist if forced to make a decision.

 
Except that Spain stagnated away for forty years or so under the conservative, devoutly religious, 'nationalist' government. (Much as Portugal stagnated under Salazar.)
 
It didn't start to develop until it moved sharply to the left with Franco's death and the break-up of the Falange. Since then it's been doing splendidly.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Beylerbeyi Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29-Aug-2008 at 16:55
Quote I am not sure where you are coming from here.  My point was that Spain's past (and cultures) were different from Mexico's (and for that matter other Latin American countries).  For the purpose of this thread, the fundamental conservative nature of Spanish society, the influence of the Catholic Church, especially among non urban people, doomed the republic once it became corrupted by revolutionary foreign (USSR) elements. 
 
IMO, the Catholic Church retained greater moral and social authority in Spain than in the Americas.  The overall conservative elements in Spain were much stronger than in Mexico.  I don't see Spain ever providing refuge for Trotsky, and the Moscow "show trials" were well underway during the Spanish C W.  People were not so stupid as to be blind to the nature of Soviet Communism, and, as you say, that was the major support the republic had.
 
Clearly this is the response of someone who had never read a book on the Spanish Civil War, and has no idea what was going on there. Having no information, you are speculating on your prejudices about the Spanish people.
 
In fact everyone knows that Stalin's Communists were a reactionary force in Republican Spain. Spanish Anarchists, Syndicalists and other Left Wing were more radical than the Communists (i.e. pro-USSR Stalinists). Like others wrote Spanish radicals staged a revolution in Barcelona and replaced the government structures, but the Communists under orders from Stalin, rolled the revolution back! To the extent that the Stalinists shot other factions in the streets of Barcelona.
 
If you can't read Homage to Catalonia, see the film 'Land and Freedom' for Spanish Civil War 101.  
 
Stalin was a believer in Socialism in one state, and was a notorious coward who feared the West greatly. He did not want to export Soviet style rule to Spain. To the contrary, he ordered the Communists not to take part in the Spanish Revolution, but to work with the 'bourgeois' government instead. In fact the idiot did this even after World War II, if it was up to him Yugoslavia, Albania and even China would not have become Communists. Ignorant people in this forum believe that Soviets could not cooperate with China 'even though they were both Communists'. In fact USSR had fallen out with China because Stalin supported Kuomintang and asked the Communists not to take power, but to work with the bourgeois parties in order not to make the West angry. Mao and Tito, of course, told him to fornicate off. When Mao entered the Kuomintang capital, the Soviet ambassador was the only ambassador who ran away with the Kuomintang...
 
Quote As a final comment, if it was a choice between an atheist police state and a Christian police state, Spaniards made the choice they wanted.
 
This is a figment of your imagination. If it was a choice, it was between elected democratic bourgeois government versus fascist burgeois barbarism. And the choice was not made by the Spanish people, but by the British and French imperialists, when they decided not to send any help to the elected government.
 
Spanish Civil War exposed the appeasement politics of the Western capitalists and made it clear that they preferred the fascist (Christian) barbarians to working class rule or even social democracy, when they refused to help Spain. Only USSR and Mexico (which is more Conservative/Catholic as Hugo said) helped the Republicans. While the German and Italian fascists helped Franco all the way to victory.


Edited by Beylerbeyi - 29-Aug-2008 at 17:01
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pikeshot1600 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29-Aug-2008 at 17:04
It's an opinion, Bey.  Both sides behaved like barbarians, as civil wars often show.
 
I disagree with you on Mexico being so conservative.  Mexico has a history of being anti-Clerical and has had her share of revolutions.  Spain is a European land with European cultures.  Mexico is not.
 
On what happened in Barcelona, etc., you have the advantage there.  Maju was our resident expert on the SpCW.
 
I just can't see Communism taking root and surviving in Spain.
 
Good discussion. 
 
 


Edited by pikeshot1600 - 29-Aug-2008 at 17:21
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Beylerbeyi Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29-Aug-2008 at 17:43
Quote I disagree with you on Mexico being so conservative.  Mexico has a history of being anti-Clerical and has had her share of revolutions.  Spain is a European land with European cultures.  Mexico is not.
 
I just can't see Communism taking root and surviving in Spain.
 
Good discussion. 
 
Spain was more advanced socio-economically than Mexico, so class based politics had a wider appeal there. Whether a Spanish revolution could have survived, who knows? 
 
Also, historically speaking it is quite debatable how 'European' Spain is. Their history is often out of synch with the rest of Western Europe. The Spanish were quite anti-clerical, as they amply demonstrated during the revolution, more so than any similar Mexican performance AFAIK.
 
'Culture' does not play a big role in revolutions (popular or imposed from above), anyway. Russia, Turkey, Iran, China, none of them known for lack of culture, religion, backwardness, conservativeness, ignorance or peasants, but all had revolutions at some point or other, when modernity came knocking.   
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Władysław Warnencz Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29-Aug-2008 at 19:27
Originally posted by gcle2003 gcle2003 wrote:

Originally posted by Władysław Warnencz Władysław Warnencz wrote:

When fascists and communists fight,the best thing to do is let them kill each other and then finish the survivor off. LOL Seriously,how can a man be choosing between atheist barbarians and nazi barbarians?They both murdered innocents,they both commited awful crimes and they both proclaimed wrong ideology...I guess however Spain had better future under nationalist than would under leftist rule...At least some fundamental values were saved so i guess i would have chosen nationalist if forced to make a decision.

 
Except that Spain stagnated away for forty years or so under the conservative, devoutly religious, 'nationalist' government. (Much as Portugal stagnated under Salazar.)
 
It didn't start to develop until it moved sharply to the left with Franco's death and the break-up of the Falange. Since then it's been doing splendidly.
 
The economy wasn't developing under Franco,while communist economies in Eastern Europe aren't just not-developing,but going back.After a few years of development after the war all communist states started to fall into foreign dept until their economies were dependant on foreign ones.When communism fell in Eastern Europe all those countries had huge foreign dept and no working market or economy,while ater the death of Franco Spain didn't have such huge problems.Yes,it didn't develop as other countries did - that's why i wrote i wouldn't really chose any of the two,but at least wasn't that bad.I don't know wether you have any idea what kind of things were happening in the first few years of commie rule in Eastern Europe...Have you heard of people's courts?Or red brigades?It was way better under Franco,than it would be with the communists...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mixcoatl Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31-Aug-2008 at 11:46
Originally posted by Beylerbeyi Beylerbeyi wrote:

Spain was more advanced socio-economically than Mexico, so class based politics had a wider appeal there. Whether a Spanish revolution could have survived, who knows? 
 
Also, historically speaking it is quite debatable how 'European' Spain is. Their history is often out of synch with the rest of Western Europe. The Spanish were quite anti-clerical, as they amply demonstrated during the revolution, more so than any similar Mexican performance AFAIK.

I wouldn't really say so. Mexico at the time had one of the most anticlerical constitutions of the world (although by the 1930's not everything was enforced any more). Priests were not allowed to vote, public display of religious symbols or rituals was banned, political organizations were not allowed to be based on a religion, churches were not recognized as a juridical person and therefore not allowed to have property.

In fact in the 1920's they were warring in Mexico about pretty much the same issues as they were warring about in Spain 1936-1939.  The difference is that in Mexico the other side won. So it's no surprise Mexico supported the Republicans in the Civil War (and was together with Yugoslavia the only country that continued to recognize the Republican government in exile as the legitimate government of Spain until Franco's death).  Also the Mexican phalangists were supported by Franco's Spain.


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