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An Uncanny Honeymoon: Spanish Anarchism and the Bolshevik Dictatorship of the Proletariat, 1917–22

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 December 2018

Arturo Zoffmann Rodriguez*
Affiliation:
European University Institute

Abstract

The Russian Revolution became a beacon flare for anti-capitalists across the world, including many anarchists. The Spanish anarcho-syndicalists became ardent supporters of Bolshevism, and many endorsed the concept of the dictatorship of the proletariat. Here, I try to arrive at a political and historical understanding of this uncanny honeymoon, and question empirical explanations that present it as a simple misunderstanding. I firstly historicize the evolution of the concept of the workers’ dictatorship in the Spanish labor movement and assess it through the prism of the antagonism between the anarchists and socialists. I then set the reception of the Russian Revolution in the context of social ferment that emerged in Spain after 1917, which generated enormous enthusiasm and clouded theoretical differences. I finally relate the reception of the Soviet dictatorship to the intensification of class violence in these years, which rendered many anarchists hospitable to the authoritarian methods of the Bolsheviks.

Type
Articles
Copyright
Copyright © International Labor and Working-Class History, Inc. 2018 

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References

NOTES

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