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CHRISTIE, Stuart. We, the Anarchists! A Study of the Iberian Anarchist Federation
(FAI), 1927-1937
Article published on 12 September 2004
last modification on 29 November 2015
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Hastings : Meltzer Press, 1996. 105 p. ; 30 cm. ISBN : 1901172023

"Since the official birth of organised anarchism at the Saint Imier Congress of 1872, no anarchist organisation has been held up to greater opprobrium or subjected to such gross misrepresentation than the Federación Anarquista Ibérica, better known by its initials - the FAI. There are two dimensions to this book. The first is descriptive and historical: it outlines the evolution of the organised anarchist movement in Spain and its relationship with the wider labour movement. At the same time it provides some insight into the main ideas which made the Spanish labour movement one of the most revolutionary of modern times. The second is analytical and tries to address - from an anarchist perspective - the problem of understanding and coping with change in the contemporary world; how can ideals survive the process of institutionalisation? In tracing the history of the CNT and FAI it is clear that anarchist organisations, like all other organisations and civilisations before them, are subject to a process of rise and fall. Whether or not they achieve their short- or long-term objectives - unless they are that rarest of things, a genuinely ad hoc body whose members know when to hold and fold their cards - even the most committed libertarian and directly democratic organisations degenerate. From being social instruments set up to meet real social needs they become transformed into self-perpetuating institutions with lives and purposes of their own, distinct to and in tension with the objectives which called them into being in the first place."

Chapter 1: 1872­1910: Roots ­ The First International
1
Chapter 2: 1910­1923: The Confederación Nacional del Trabajo (CNT)
4
Chapter 3: 1923­1927: The Dictatorship 1
3
Chapter 4: 1927: The Federación Anarquista Ibérica (FAI) 17

Chapter 5: Founding Aims 21

Chapter 6: Secret Society ­ Revolutionary Elite 2
4
Chapter 7: "Dirty Tricks Department"? 26

Chapter 8: A Parallel CNT? 28

Chapter 9: Unionism versus Anarcho-syndicalism 31

Chapter 10: A Revolutionary Instrument 37

Chapter 11: 1931: The Bourgeois Republic 41

Chapter 12: The "Storm Petrels" Return 43

Chapter 13: The Conservatorio Congress 47

Chapter 14: The Manifesto of "The Thirty" 54

Chapter 15: 1932: Insurrection "The Revolutionary Gymnasia 66

Chapter 16: Legitimacy Crisis 71

Chapter 17: The Road to 1936 77

Chapter 18: 1933: "Millenarians" or "Conscious Militants" 80

Chapter 19: The "Planners" Move In 82

Chapter 20: 1934­1935: Interregnum 8
7
Chapter 21: 1936: Plots, Plans and the Popular Front 89

Chapter 22: 19 July 1936 96

Chapter 23: The FAI Turned Upside Down 107

Index 119


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