Bad uses of the Spanish Civil War continued

This is a little late, but I just noticed a post at HP linking to a Guardian piece by The Nation’s London correspondent DD Guttenplan, describing his regret at not going to a anti-war demonstration because of all the unsavoury elements on the march. In it, he says:

During the Spanish civil war the American poet Archibald MacLeish was attacked by Trotskyists for his willingness to support a democratically elected Spanish government led by communists, and dependent on the Soviet Union for arms. MacLeish replied:
“The man who refuses to defend his convictions, for fear he may defend them in the wrong company, has no convictions.”

As one commenter, la mano de d10s, responds:

[a democratically elected Spanish government] which brutally massacred many workers and tried to turn back the revolution, yes.
Or because it was democratically elected, therefore it must be politically supported?
And how did this government end, exactly? With the victory of Franco?
Why? Because its politics disarmed the defence against fascism, the working class, and its defence of private property led to huge economic speculation which caused great inflation, which discontented so many of its supporters, that the fascists became more confident and more popular.
This inflation could only have been solved by expropriating those sectors’ property.*

*Liberty taken of improving the grammar slightly.

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Published in: on March 11, 2009 at 11:28 am  Comments (2)  
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  1. […] way in which to judge whether to act or not; as the American poet and Spanish Republican supporter Archibald MacLeish once said: “The man who refuses to defend his convictions, for fear he may defend them in the wrong […]

  2. […] way in which to judge whether to act or not; as the American poet and Spanish Republican supporter Archibald MacLeish once said: “The man who refuses to defend his convictions, for fear he may defend them in the wrong […]


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