New blogs: self-governing socialism and radical archives

What looks like it will be a great blog, Self-Governing Socialism, here. Read about the Catalan collectives here, and the CNT here. The blogger is also a bit of a Poumista.

On new blogs and stuff, see also Slack Bastard Bloggy Tuesday. Among its links, just recently added to my blogroll too, is radicalarchives, a blog cataloging enticing tidbits of radical thought. So far, extracts from the following: (more…)

Published in: on January 15, 2010 at 1:04 pm  Comments (3)  
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Abel Paz


A Great of the Workers’ Movement: Abel Paz (1921 – 2009).

Abel Paz, pen name of Diego Camacho, has died.

Brought to politics in the 1930s as a  member of the Confederación Nacional del Trabajo (CNT) (CNT Obituary) Diego fought in Spain against Franco and the counter-revolution. A member of the legendary Durruti column he took part in some of the most violent batttles.  As a supporter of the libertarian syndicalist side he participated in the – failed – 1937 Barcelona combat against the Stalinist take-over. At the end of the war, when Catalonia finally had gone down in 1939,  Paz survived and fled to France. The author of a number of important histories of the Spanish war, he remained a committed anarchist all his life, saying that,

El anarquismo invoca una vida completamente diferente. Trata de vivir esta utopía un poco cada día.

Anarchism means a completely different  form of life. Try to live a little of  this utopia every day.

If anyone on the left dismisses anarchism,  one should contemplate the life of this hero of the international workers’ movement.

Hat-tip to Entdinglichung (here), some more details (in French) of his initial internment in France, and  later war-time armed opposition in the Spanish maquis to Franco (here.)

Read “Barcelona in Flames”, an extract from his Durruti book, here.

The Last of the Durruti Column

From Francis Sedgemore:

Last of the Durruti Column

last of the Durruti Column

It’s not the usual kind of character portrait you see on the BBC News website, but yesterday there was published an article on Antonio Garcia Baron, who is the sole surviving member of the Durruti Column. Baron and his anarchist comrades held Franco’s fascist forces at bay in Madrid during the Spanish Civil War of 1936–39.

Baron fled Spain following the defeat of the Republicans. In 1940 he landed in Dunkirk, and there was captured by the German army and imprisoned in the Mauthausen concentration camp near Linz in Austria. After World War II, Baron, who was by now stateless, relocated to Bolivia. There he briefly did psychological battle with a local catholic priest before settling down and founding a libertarian community in a remote jungle location 60 kilometres from San Buenaventura.

During his interview for the BBC article, Baron told Alfonso Daniels about his time in Mauthausen, including an exchange with Heinrich Himmler. The SS chief agreed with Baron that the Roman Catholic Church was a fine ally of the Nazis:

“He replied that it was true, but that after the war I would see all the cardinals with the Pope marching there, pointing at the chimney of the crematorium.”

Read the rest of the story of this fascinating man.

See also: NY Brit