The Grand Camouflage: The Communist Conspiracy in the Spanish Civil War

By Burnett Bolloten | Go to book overview

14
Against the Revolutionary Committees

W HILE the Anarchosyndicalist leaders fostered the hope that the Libertarian movement's participation in the Cabinet would enable it the more successfully to defend its revolutionary conquests, the Communist leaders, on the other hand, their eyes turned towards the Western democracies, hoped that this participation, by enhancing the government's authority among the rank and file of the CNT and FAI, would facilitate the reconstruction of the shattered machinery of state, and would, moreover, enable them, under cover of a democratic superstructure, to gather into their hands all the elements of state power appropriated by the revolutionary committees at the outbreak of the Civil War. Furthermore, they hoped that the CNT's entry into the government would hasten the supplanting of these committees -- which, in addition to assuming powers of state, had superseded the normal functions of the municipalities and of other local governing bodies -- by regular organs of administration, organs which had either been thrust into the shade or had ceased to function from the first day of the revolution.1

This policy represented a radical change for the Communists, who, at the time of the left-wing rising in the Asturias in 1934, had called for the substitution of the Republican state by revolutionary organs of power.2 It was also in contrast to the policy pursued by the Russian Bolsheviks in 1917; for whereas the latter had directed their efforts during the first months of the Revolution to supplanting the old governing bodies by the soviets, in the Spanish Revolution the Communists strove to replace the revolutionary committees by regular

____________________
1
See p. 38, above.
2
See, for example, Los soviets en España (La lucha por el poder, por la república obrera y campesina en España).

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