The Tragedy of Spain [Unduh pdf] - Rudolf Rocker

Ebook Title          : The Tragedy of Spain
Ebook Thickness  : 56 Page
Language : English

July 19 was the anniversary of the day on which a gang of militarist adventurers rose against the republican regime in Spain and, with the assistance of outside powers and foreign troops, plunged the country into a bloody war. This murderous war has thus far devoured nearly a million human lives, among them thousands of women and children, and has transformed wide stretches of the country into desert wastes. The profound tragedy of this bloody drama lies in the fact that it is not just an ordinary civil war, but a struggle, as well, between two different foreign power-groups that is being waged today on Spanish soil. Two hostile imperialist camps are struggling for the natural resources of a foreign country and the strategic advantage of its coasts. The prosecution of this war is, moreover, having an unmistakable influence on the struggle of the Spanish people for freedom, and this influence is today constantly manifesting itself more clearly in the intestine warfare between the revolutionary and the counter-revolutionary forces of the country.

One cannot understand the significance of these occurrences at all unless one takes sufficiently into account the powerful influence of the foreign capital that is invested in Spain. Here is the key to the attitude of England and France and their so-called “policy of neutrality,” and at the same time the explanation of the ambiguous role which the government of Soviet Russia has played from the beginning, and still plays in the bloody tragedy of the Spanish people.

A point of decisive importance lies in the relation between Spanish agriculture and the industries of the country. So far as the ownership of the land is concerned, the soil of the country was before the revolution almost exclusively in the hands of Spanish owners, although the conditions in individual sections of the country were very different. In many provinces, especially in the north, small landowners constitute the overwhelming majority of the population; in others, in the Levante, for example, and in Catalonia, the soil is worked by small tenant farmers who have no proprietary rights in it; while in Andalusia and Estramadura the whole countryside belongs to a few large landowners, who operate it with hired labor.

In industry, however, a very different condition prevails. While retail trade and the small industries are found chiefly in the hands of Spaniards, the large industries and the most important commercial enterprises of the country are almost without exception controlled by outside capital, English capital being most strongly represented.

English capital is very extensively interested in the rich iron mines in the vicinity of Bilbao, even where the mines are nominally in the possession of Spanish owners. The very rich iron mining district of Orconera is almost completely under the control of English capitalists; the same is true in numerous other iron regions, especially in the iron works of Desirto. The greater part of the dock facilities at Bilbao is owned by English capitalists; likewise the railways which carry the ores to the coast. English ship lines complete the connection between England and the Basque iron fields. Spanish iron plays a tremendous part in England’s present rearmament program. And it is a fact that from the outbreak of the Fascist revolt till the fall of Bilbao the export of iron from there went to England exclusively.

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