Homage to Catalonia - Orwell (must read)

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Offline notravelingfellows

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Homage to Catalonia - Orwell (must read)
« on: July 14, 2017, 04:42:37 AM »
George Orwell's first-hand account of the Spanish Civil War just before World War 2. You have to read this if you're a history buff or want to understand Orwell better. The war stories and politics are required learning for the time period and the future. I'm reminded of this book by situations that arise on a weekly basis, at the least. There are free versions out there somewhere, but I'm not going to link them. You find it yourself.

And remember what always follows socialists. Rats. Actual rats...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homage_to_Catalonia
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Offline TahoeBlue

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Re: Homage to Catalonia - Orwell (must read)
« Reply #1 on: July 14, 2017, 10:42:26 AM »
https://libcom.org/files/Homage%20to%20Catalonia%20-%20George%20Orwell.pdf
George Orwell's famous 1938 account of the Spanish Revolution and Civil War, from his point of view as a volunteer in the POUM militia.
Though the POUM were socialists, he wrote "as far as my purely personal preferences went I would have liked to join the Anarchists."
His vivid descriptions of classless anarchist Barcelona following the revolution and terrorized Stalinist Barcelona after the counter-revolution are a timeless reminder that a 'revolutionary state' is a contradiction in terms.
...

This was in late December 1936, less than seven months ago as I write, and yet it is a period that has already receded into enormous distance. Later events have obliterated it much more completely than they have obliterated 1935, or 1905, for that matter. I had come to Spain with some notion of writing newspaper articles, but I had joined the militia almost immediately, because at that time and in that atmosphere it seemed the only conceivable thing to do.

The Anarchists were still in virtual control of Catalonia and the revolution was still in full swing. To anyone who had been there since the beginning it probably seemed even in December or January that the revolutionary period was ending; but when one came straight from England the aspect of Barcelona was something startling and overwhelming. It was the first time that I had ever been in a town where the working class was in the saddle.

Practically every building of any size had been seized by the workers and was draped with red flags or with the red and black flag of the Anarchists; every wall was scrawled with the hammer and sickle and with the initials of the revolutionary parties; almost every church had been gutted and its images burnt. Churches here and there were being systematically demolished by gangs of workmen. Every shop and café had an inscription saying that it had been collectivized; even the bootblacks had been collectivized and their boxes painted red and black. Waiters and shop-walkers looked you in the face and treated you as an equal.

Servile and even ceremonial forms of speech had temporarily disappeared. Nobody said ‘Señior’ or ‘Don’ or even ‘Usted’; everyone called everyone else ‘Comrade’ and ‘Thou’, and said ‘Salud!’ instead of ‘Buenos dias’. Tipping was forbidden by law; almost my first experience was receiving a lecture from a hotel manager for trying to tip a lift-boy. There were no private motor-cars, they had all been commandeered, and all the trams and taxis and much of the other transport were painted red and black. The revolutionary posters were everywhere, flaming from the walls in clean reds and blues that made the few remaining advertisements look like daubs of mud. Down the Ramblas, the wide central artery of the town where crowds of people streamed constantly to and fro, the loudspeakers were bellowing revolutionary songs all day and far into the night. And it was the aspect of the crowds that was the queerest thing of all. In outward appearance it was a town in which the wealthy classes had practically ceased to exist.
...
Behold, happy is the man whom God correcteth: therefore despise not thou the chastening of the Almighty: For he maketh sore, and bindeth up: he woundeth, and his hands make whole ; He shall deliver thee in six troubles: yea, in seven there shall no evil touch thee. - Job 5