Freedom Press (London)
A Letter from Barcelona
(From our Spanish Correspondent).
ALTHOUGH rather late, from causes beyond my power, I wish to speak to you of the 11th of November. This date is in Spain a workers! holy, day, and also an occasion for Anarchist demonstrations and propaganda. In all the great cities, and in many country towns, the people commemorate the death of the noble workers, whose martyrdom instead of ,degrading them, glorified the instrument, at the same time that they, view with horror the disgusting and untimely social institutions which now exist. At Barcelona this holy day has had a special solemnity. The great hall of the Palace of Fine Arts, which is estimated to be large enough to contain 12,000 people, was packed with workers and their families, for the announcement of the awards of the jury in the "Certamen Socialists," or Literary Socialist Competition. Such an exhibition of the popularity of the Anarchist idea called forth the surprise of the middle-class and the admiration of the workers, for the middle-class did not believe the enemy to be so numerous and powerful, nor did the workers know that the doctrine by means of which they would be able to raise themselves from the depths of misery and subjection, to the heights of their dignity and well-being could show itself to be so strong.
Most enthusiastic and noteworthy meetings have been held also at Madrid, Valencia, Seville, Sabadell, Carme, Capellades, Jativa, Cadiz, Sangervasio de Cassolas, San Martin de Provensals, Gracia, Alcira, Coimbra, etc., etc.
From this it will be seen that Anarchy is cry popular in Spain. Perhaps, Spain is the country where it is most popular. In other countries the workers may have shown more revolutionary action, or developed more striking personalities from among them, but certainly in no country have the workers shaken off prejudice and tradition so completely as in Spain, in no country have they so thoroughly separated themselves from the middle-class liberal parties. Clerical stupidity has made the only religion here, Catholicism, repugnant to the Spanish Workers. In the same way the effrontery and charlatanism of the politicians, together with the fact that they have all taken part in the government without showing any ability or desire to do anything useful for the people, has disillusioned everybody with the result that the Republican Party is composed almost entirely of chiefs, and is quite apart from the masses of the people. The most radical fraction of the republicans ax trying to get their party to adopt a program, to be carried in to effect immediately after the triumph of the Republic, which, they think will rally the masses. it consists of the following articles: 1. Disestablishment of the Church. 2. Secular, compulsory and gratuitous education. 3. The State to provide employment for the unemployed worker on Public Works, or to guarantee him a minimum wage sufficient to provide himself And family with necessaries. 4. A law to protect the worker from the tyranny of capital. A more feeble attempt to get hold of the workers I have never seen. It is an utter waste of time on their part. Political lying promises no longer deceive anyone.
It is certain that monarchy cannot last much longer in Spain, but a capitalist Republic will not be able to succeed it. No, the next movement will be one in which the worker swill take part by burning all the title deeds and parliamentary laws and papers, abolishing public offices; and officials, and taking possession in a revolutionary sense of all the wealth which the workers, have created, so that there will no longer be the possibility Of My authoritarian class being constituted. The fact that the bodies of workers who are not Anarchists have no serious positive ideal contributes to the popularity of Anarchy. The chiefs of these bodies, however, who seek to constitute a workers! State, are stupid nobodies who discredit themselves by their bickerings. For instance, El Socialista, the organ of the Marxists of Madrid, and El Oberro of Barcelona, which represents the cotton workers of Catalona, a section of the workers which is always imploring the protection of the middle-class, are now carrying on a most absurd wordy war.
The Anarchist journals of Spain at the present time are El Productor Of Barcelona, La Revolucion Social of Gracia, El Socialismo of Cadiz, La Alarma of Seville, La Victima del Trabajo of Valencia, El Jornalero of Alcoy, and La Voz del Trabajo of Jativa. Other journal are likely to appear soon.
I salute you fraternally in the name of the Social Revolution and Of Anarchy.