The 'Friends of Durruti' and the 'People's friend' part 2


In the first issue, there is an article on page 4 with the very title "war and revolution". Here are the main passages.

"...From the first moment of clashes with the soldiers, it was already impossible to disentangle the war and the revolution. We would be unjust if we believed that our Francisco Ascaso fell valiantly out of a simple desire for combat. Francisco Ascaso gave his life because he knew that the blood expended by him and by his comrades who fell in the July days would give a boost to the flight of revolutionary conquests.

(...)As the weeks and months passed, it was specified that the war which we support against the facists has nothing in common with the wars which states declare.

(...)The petit-bourgeois parties and the official marxists were the ones who vented the most steam in disassociating the revolution from the war. They say to us, us anarchists, that we have to wait until the war is won, to carry out the revolution. They tell us not to be impatient, that there will be time enough for everything. But during this time, those who defend the position that the revolution must be deferred until after the war, strive to monopolise the positions of command and the levers of power in order to strangle the revolution.

we, anarchists, cannot play the game of those who pretend that our war is only a war of independance with a few purely democratic aspirations.

To these pretences we, the Friends of Durruti, respond that our war is a social war.

The armed war which the Spanish workers are waging is identical to the epic saga of the Parisian workers who in the 18th century gave their lives fighting against the oligarchy of crowned heads. Our war is comparable to the Paris commune. Our war possesses the same social sense as the struggle waged by the Russian workers against the whole world.

It is impossible to talk of the war without at the same time talking of the cause which engenedered it. Some present-day critics are trying to present the war as a consequence of the military uprising. This is certainly materially the case, it was a case of legitimate defence which embraced the whole of Spain in a few hours.

But we must reflect. The Spanish illness goes back many centuries. We have to go back to far-off dates to see that a conflict exists in Spain which the petit-bourgeois wasn't able to resolve and now concerns the proletariat in its turn, due to the inability of the mesocracy(Translators note - power of the middle classes)

Starting from the Cortes of Cadiz, through the leap in time, we arrive inevitably at the 19th of July which weighs so heavily. But it is impossible to say that if the soldiers hadn't come out on the streets, whether we, the arnarchists, wouldn't have taken up arms. I am absolutely certain that if the assasin generals hadn't provoked this bloody war, a conflict would have come about in any case...Political reasons abound to show that the working class is currently struggling to destroy its age-old enemies who are the latifundists, the church, soldiers, financial capital, the speculators. The workers are also fighting for the dissappearance of statist bodies whose powers are exploited by the petit-bourgeois so they can entrench their few priveleges. And to these enemies of the proletariat must be added international capital which lends its unconditional support to Spanish facism.

Can we tolerate that, after 9 months of a bestial war which is sadistically killing our women and children, that it should be said that we will talk of the revolution later?

(...)No. The fighters, the workers who sacrifice themselves in the trenches do not share this counter-revolutionary point of view

The war-revolution dillema is taken up again in issue 2 but with a different slant. This article, still entitled "The war and the revolution", on page 3, denounces the profits and abuses which have free-rein in the rear while the militia men lack everything at the front. It denounces the enormous wages and perks awarded to the president of the republic, Manuel Azana, to Companys, to the judiciary, to the deputies of the central and Catalan parliaments which meet once a month. It denounces the upper bourgeois who send representatives to lead comfortable lives in Paris, the profits of the war-shirkers, the newly rich. It denounces

"the increase in traffic of taxis used by bureaucrats, the villains, the prostitutes, all those who frequent luxury establishments, cabarets and dancing-shows while the workers are hard pressed with the difficulties of everyday life, and the militias lack petrol and supplies. To top it all, the Valencia government which organises street-collections to pay for the war effort, is all the while paying the debts contracted by the bourgeois government to English financiers."

The article thus shows, in a practical manner, that it was neccassary to socialise the wealth of the country, putting everything in common ownership in service to the struggle, and it thus concludes that the war can't be dissociated from the revolution.

In every issue of Amigo del Pueblo, this topic is raised, in its plain form, or regarding other problems, as we have already seen in examining the escalation of the counter-revolution. We will only mention the long article on page 2 of issue 6, again entitled "The war and the revolution". It goes over the evidence which has already been put forward, but we will merely extract a few expressions which seem significant to us. The article opposes the call for "war" with which "the marxist leaders, who are in no way marxist, deceive the people" qnd the call for "war and revolution", alone capable of mobilising the working masses which implies, "revolution in the economy, revolution in politics, revolution in the army". Therefore what is in question here is the entire revolutionary programme and also the perilous problem of the defence of the revolution, the revolutionary army, the people in arms. MILITARISATION

The armed struggle of the militias during the first few weeks didn't pose any theoretic problems as it was an expression of revolutionary self-defence. The combat in revolutionary detachments was a form of action of the people in arms. It was with the neccessity of a tight coordination of large bodies, that the problem of militarisation came up.

It must be said that this term, laden with bourgeois conotations, was imposed by sectors which wished for the re-establishment of the type of functionning of the classic army. The Friends of Durruti didn't run from the difficulties of finding a solution which would take account of the necessity for a modern armed conflict of great scope and at the same time safeguard the revolutionary character of the combat.

The hostility of the Friends of Durruti to the militarisation measures of the government has already been cited but it is in issue 5 of Amigo del Pueblo that the question is discussed in detail. We find precise propositions made by militiamen of the Durruti column on 16th January 1937, activists who made up a large number of the Friends of Durruti. These militants held the Gelsa sector of the Aragon front and belonged to various units, centuries, machine-gun sections, artillery batteries, etc...

Under the title "The problem of militarisation", the text is an appeal "to companions, to confederal columns". For starters, it declares that to lay stress on the form of organisation of the centuries, when the fundamental need is for war materials, is to misplace the problem. But the question of organisation is by no means brushed aside, notably concerning the "single collective command" of the Aragon front:

"We, as activists, propose the present scheme to the organisation and to the confederal columns, which we believe is suited to our anarchist beliefs:

Companies will constitute the following: - 4 squads of 12 men = 48 which will make up a section. - 4 sections of 48 men = 192 which will make up a company. - A batallion will be made up of 3 companies of infantry and one of specialists. - A company of specialists (machine guns, morters, heavy guns) will be composed of 84 men and added to the three infantry companies will give a total of 660 men in a batallion. - A regiment will consist of 3 batallions giving a total of 1980 men. - A brigade will be composed of 2 regiments of infantry, cavalry, artillery and special services. - A division will be made up of 2 brigades.

All these units will be commanded by technicians who have graduated special war schools. We will take care so that these specialists on the Aragon front should, wherever possible, come from the special war schools of the Libertarian Youth.

In each of these units a political delegate will be named, elected by the members of these units, having power over the administrative and morale upkeep, leaving the technicians their particular activity.

No distinctive signs indicating the different positions of everyone will be accepted. The technician will be able to be sacked at the request of the unit who will place their request in front of a tribunal of the company, batallion etc...

The commitees of the batallion will consist of delegates from the companies, those of the division, of delegates from the regiments, and the commitee of the single command of the Aragon front will be made up of delegates from the divisions.

Taking into account this guarantee of representation, right up to the single command of the Aragon front, orders for implementing operations will not be allowed to be discussed. Tribunals will be made up to pronounce sentences for disciplinary breaches, in the company itself if the charges are light, at the divisional level if they are serious. These tribunals will be made up of the political delegates. The degree of guilt to the charge will be established according to the highest standards of justice, the accused will always be given the benefit of any doubt when sanctions are applied."

The preceding text, despite some lack of precision, can be considered as a serious effort to reconcile the needs of a coordinated armed fight and a refusal to have faith in military formalism and pretended apoliticism.

In fact it takes up the theses of Camillo Berneri on militarisation [*13], and in number 8, the last issue to come out on September 21st 1937, a large bordered article on page 4 entitled "A confederal army", inisists on the necessity of a politically orientated army.

"The revolutionary army is the revolution in arms. Its members are the revolutionaries themselves who fight for it, tooth and nail, from the first instant.

To be the most combatitive abode of the revolution, it must remain faithful to its essential revolutionary character. When the revolutionary spirit dissappears from the army, it is transformed into a war instrument of professional character which betrays the revolution itself in the end.

History gives us the case of the French army, created by the convention. The amalgamation of volunteers and line-troops didn't throttle the revolution, so widespread was the spirit of the sans-culottes. But once a professional spirit was imposed, with hierarchies and ambitious leaders, the army that had been fighting to extend the rights of man beyond its borders, became a toy of a war-mongering adventurer-general.

In the USSR, exactly the same thing happened. The seasoned soldiers who made the whole world hold its breath, in their St Petersburg ghettos, are no more than a memory. The revolutionary spirit of the first few days has changed into a clinical professionalism which serves only the designs of Stalin.

The duration and intensity of the war require large mobilisations of manpower. But we should keep in mind that this was not the origin of our army. It was born in July, at the Atarazanas, on the Parallel, and on San Pablo road, there where open-shirted men, emaciated and trembling with rage fought and became true soldiers of the revolution.

The CNT should have had an army. That enthusiasm of the first few minutes would have allowed us to create our own army and thus we would have avoided the corruption of the essential character of July.

The instruction which has been issued from Valencia forbidding propaganda in the ranks of the army is a myth. Soldiers of the revolution must speak of the revolution, of ideas. To put up with the harshness of the campaigns, and to jump out of the trenches in pursuit of the enemy, splashing across terrain flooded with gunfire, one needs to have an ideal, felt with deep passion, a deep revolutionary conviction.

We, CNT comrades who have spilt our blood in the Aragon campaigns have to keep our sacred propositions of social redemption untainted. And for this, the ranks of the confederal columns must be tightened.

In July we would have been able to create a confederal army, in May as well. Today let us do what we can so that the CNT divisions are the army of the revolution and its guarantee."

The texts which we have just translated are to be found, summed-up, in the propositions of a programme presented by the Friends of Durruti, as we shall see later on. But before broaching the fundamental question of the programme, we still have to examine a major aspect of the theoretical effort accomplished by the Friends of Durruti: the relations between revolutionaries and the petit-bourgeois.


The reader could remark on many occasions in all the preceding that the problem of relations with the petit-bourgeois and its political representatives was constantly present in the preoccupations of the FOD. However, it is indispensable, in our opinion, to give the main passages of an article on the question, published on page 3 of issue 4 (June 22nd 1937) and entitled "The petit-bourgeois and the revolution".

After indicating that the supposedly marxist parties ("which are marxist in name only") like the PSUC, were in fact the defenders of the petit-bourgeois while they claimed to be representatives of the proletariat, the author deplores the fact that clearly proletarian organisations, of which the revolutionary past is well known, are also adopting ambiguous positions with regard to the petit-bourgeois.

He goes on:

"The petit-bourgeois...must be radically suppressed, not only its political leadership, but also the autonomous management which it maintains in the economic domain thanks to the benevolence of our organisations.

This class, whose egotism is the direct cause of all the outrages of the social order, knows perfectly well that if the revolution was to triumph (which could only be proletarian in this case), their privileges and other advantages would be automatically suppressed. And in the actual situation which concerns us at the moment, they are not blind to the fact that our homegrown facism, like that from abroad, gives them all sorts of guarantees of keeping their positions and perogatives.

That is to say, concretely, that the petit-bourgeois is closer to Franco than to the Republic, never mind the revolution.

(...)The petit-bourgeois is a danger in every domain for the advance of the revolution and if we don't manage to neutralise their offensive and defensive weapons, then we run the risk that, thanks to their reactionary activities, the revolution could be extinguished in its infancy, after having started with so many sacrifices.

(...)The petit-bourgeois, as was evinced above, is closer to facism than those who support the worker-revolutionary stance. In consequence, the petit-bourgeois is sabotaging the economy - as it will continue to do as long as we accord it respect - which is the same as to sabotage the revolution.

Small industry and business, in the hands of the bourgeois, are arms brandished by facism against the revolution. We are tolerating - the economy is also a weapon of war - an enemy blessed with offensive weaponry, in our own house. Franco is fighting us to our faces and shooting us in the back. Tell us who is part o fthe famous fifth column in the rear, of which the departed Mola talked on a certain occasion, if not the petit-bourgeois? The aristocracy? The large capitalists? The former have disappeared, the latter have been suppressed. They can't form the fifth column. Thus who are its members? We repeat, there is no doubt, the petit-bourgeois.

(...)We do not adopt ambiguous and confusing positions. Our strength is rooted in the authentic proletariat. The petit-bourgeois is against us which is to be against the revolution. We shouldn't be thanking the petit-bourgeois, we must fight it and eliminate it. That certain anti-facist sectors give themselves over to singing its praises and set themselves up as its inconditional defenders should not surprise us. This is the position which best characterises them and proves them to be enemies of the working class. But the CNT and the FAI must neither directly nor indirectly respect their position, worse still maintain a state of passivity and indifference in the face of this problem. Publically and privately this class must be fought until its complete elimination. It is it which is increasing the prices of essential items, which will stop at nothing to increase its wealth. It is it, at the sides of its political representatives, which propagates incomprehensible and tendentious arguments. It hates the revolution and is toiling with all available means to prevent the triumph of the revolution. It is sabotaging the revolutionary economy, speculating on the most indispensable goods. It nourishes the 5th column. It will serve as the denouncing finger if unfortunately facism wins one day. It was the most ferociously /s'acharnerait/, if that is possible, on the proletariat. Therefore it must be fought and eliminated..."

In this same issue 4, the editorial on the bottom of the last page, under the title "A new phase of the revolution", denounces not only the petit-bourgeois, but also the confusionism of the CNT and FAI.

"...We have not been wise enough to wipe out the petit-bourgeois parties who, dressed up in scarlet, are getting ready to bar the road of the insurgent workers.

The handling of the petit-bourgeois has weighed heavily against the workers' desires. The politically and militarily organised mesocracy is fighting to make us return to a situation similar to that which existed before the July days. And as we progress in the analysis of the regression which followed the initial days of the rising of the proletariat, we will discover the series of contradictions which were fatally destined to occur by the simple fact that we are hitched to the cart of the petit-bourgeois.

The May struggle displayed the same characteristics as the July explosion. We didn't know where we were going! We only knew that the enemy was proposing to snatch the conquests of July from us and that we were going to defend them. But a guiding idea was missing which could have been decisive in those supreme moments.

May's echo is starting to fade. Soon it will be a memory...

There are two undeniable realities. One of them is economic, the other social. With regards to the economic question in Spain, we have unions which have a high constructive capacity which can't be denied, nor even questioned. As to the social and local functions, the commune is the most suitable for freeing the exercise of activities within both rural and urban areas.

Whatsmore, something fundamental must be agreed. The constitution of a revolutionary junta is indispensable. This junta should not interfere in the functions of the unions and the communes. This revolutionary junta shoudl be democratically elected by the working class.

This last article is important since it signals the start of the attempt at an analysis to which the FOD were going to apply themselves from this issue 4 of AdP on, since the events of the May days no longer held all of their attention.


The positions taken by the FOD on the problems that we have reviewed so far are not only thought out positions, they were also responses to the questions posed by events as they happened.

In issue 4, the first page is partially given over to a concise presentation of a series of concrete propositions. Here is the complete translation, under the headline

"we agents-provocateurs and irresponsibles propose:

-management of economic and social life by the unions;
-free comunes;
-The army and public order must be controlled by the working class. Dissolution of armed forces. Maintenance of defence commitees and councils of defence;
-Arms must be under the power of the proletariat. Rifles are the ultimate guarantee of revolutionary conquests. Nobody other than the working class should have access to them;
-Abolition of hierarchies. The proletariat's enemies should be thrown into fortification batallions;
-Forced unionisation. A worker's bank. Suppression of the need for references to obtain work;
-Socialisation of all the means of production and exchange. Fight to the death against facism and its propagandists. Purging of the rear. Creation of residents' commitees;
-Immediate introduction of the family salary without bureaucratic exceptions. The war and the revolution must affect everybody equally. Suppression of the bourgeois parliament, suspension of passports;
-Mobilisation in the face of the counter-revolution;
-Total disobedience to the coercive mechanisms of the state like the application of censorship, the disarming of the working class, the state confiscation of radio transmitters;
-Determined opposition to the municipalities taking over the means of production insofar as this would mean that the working class would not be absolute masters of the country;
-Return to the largely revolutionary spirit of our organisations;
-Total opposition to governmental collaboration which is, as events have shown, contrary to the emancipation of the proletariat;
-War to the death against speculators, bureaucrats, those who cause the price of basic goods to be increased;
-Readiness to go to war against any armistice;"

It is obvious that this list brings together programmatic points which don't belong in the same level of discussion[*14]. But the following issues were to supply more details.

Issue 5 of 20th July elevates itself to the level of theoretic thought and brings us an unambiguous response to the questions asked. The editorial on the front page is without doubt the most elaborate thing the FOD produced. Here are the most edifying passages.

"The turn which events have taken since the May days is full of lessons. In the balance of forces which was demonstrated during those days, a visible transformation happened. That gigantic mass which revolved around the CNT and FAI a year ago, has suffered a notable relapse. It is not an inherent quality of the confederal organisation or the specific organisation [*15] that the working masses should be distanced from the revolutionary spirit...

The downward spiral has to be entirely attributed to the absence of a concrete programme, the lack of a few immediate gains and the fact that we fell into the nets of the counter-revolutionary sectors, at the precise moment when circumstances were unfolding favourably for the crowning of the proletariat's aspirations. As a consequence of not having given free rein to July's Èlan, in a clear, class-based orientation, we have rendered a petit-bourgeois dominance possible. This would not have come about at all if, in the confederal and anarchist circles, a unanimous decision had been taken to install the proletariat in charge of the country.

But there was no vision of /incidence vÈcues/. In July we didn't understand what a momentous time it was. We were afraid. The cannons of the foreign squadrons were inspiring pusillanimity in a growing percentage of activists. We gave ground to the sectors which later opposed the typically revolutionary organisations with pretences of a coming reactionary turn.

We don't think that failures have to be exclusively imputed to individuals. We have sufficient evidence which shows that immorality certainly contributed to the discreditting of other events. But what really contributed, in our view, that which clinched the obvious loss of a revolution which should have been able to escape from the tutelage of a few incompetents, is the absence of a guiding vision which would have clearly marked out the road to follow.

Improvisation has always yielded pitiful results. Our assumption, according to which social realities would be forged without the existence of a directing force to jealously safeguard the premises of the revolution, is completely debunked. In July, what was decisive was that the CNT and FAI acted so stupidly as to believe that a revolution of the social type could share its economic and social aspects with enemy elements. This was the greatest error since it gave strength to the petit-bourgeois which turned furiously against the working class as soon as it had obtained firm support from the supposed democratic powers through the effect of /dÈtours de guerre/. In May, once again the same conflict was on. Again supremacy in the leadership of the revolution was in question. But the same individuals, who in July were fretting at the danger of a foreign intervention, committed the error of vision during the May days which culminated in the fateful 'ceasefire'. An error which, despite the agreed truce, translated into the instant disarming and pitiless repression of the working class.

We have indicated the reason. We have a lot of evidence. During the July days certain activists, who participated in hybrid formations publically announced that libertarian communism had to be renounced.

But what can't be understood is that after this disavowal, a clear and categorical reaffirmation was not put forward.

Something along the lines of saying that, in doing away with our programme, that is to say libertarian communism, we wholly gave ourselves up to our adversaries who were and are putting forward a programme and instructions. From that moment, our marginalisation was laid out, as we handed victory to the parties which we had fought so furiously. We meekly surrendered to these parties our resolve to be masters of the situation. The lack of class spirit contributed to the stage of decline which we are witnessing. In the course of guiding speeches, expressions with counter-revolutionary implications were thrown out. And in our interventions we have been trailing behind the mesocracy, when it should have been the organisation with the majority of involvement in July which disposed, in an absolute sense, of public affairs. As to the petit-bourgeois parties. They ought to have been wiped-out in July and May. We think that any other group, in a situation enjoying an absolute majority like we did, would have made itself arbitrator of the situation.

In the last issue of our paper we detailed a programme. We advocate teh necessity of a revolutionary junta, of union predominance in economic matters and a free organisation of communes. Our grouping wanted to create an example, lest we should proceed in the same way given circumstances similar to those of July and May. Triumph resides in the existance of a programme which must be backed up, without hesitation, by rifles.

Despite the accumulation of errors, it is to be assumed that, sooner or later, the proletariat will show itself anew. But what we must labour to do, is that in the case of an immediate oppurtunity, we should not fall victim again to the fears and weaknesses which have brought about our current position beset by major difficulties.

Without a theory, revolutions can't come from below. We, the FOD have formulated our ideas, which may be the object of revisions arising from great social upheavals, but which are rooted in two essential points which can't be avoided: a programme and rifles.

We have to maintain keen judgement in the unions and workplaces. We have to try to make our proposals prevail. Without /nervosismes steriles/, without /precipitations contre-indiquee/, we are preparing the working class to have the wisdom next time to seize, from the outset, the position which has been lamentably lost for want of a revolutionary theory."

The editorials of the following issues, the last three, again take up the theme of the necessity for a revolutionary theory and programme. There was one such article in issue 7 of 31st September, under the headline "A hard experience" and in issue 8, "To triumph a programme is needed". But these articles don't give us anything new. On the other hand, issue 6 of 12th August 1937 goes into detail about one of the fundamental points of the programme, and its editorial is entitled "Necessity of a revolutionary junta". On this crucial point we are given further enlightenment and it is indispensable to translate the essence:

"One of the aspects which we consider to be the most transcendent of that conception ... regards the defence of the revolution.

We, CNT and FAI activists, who are grouped together in "the FOD" strongly believe that the purity of the essence of the revolution must be watched over during the feverish days of the insurrectional frenzy, and we are completely convinced that during a certain period, guidance must be exercised in order to orientate the rhythm of the revolution on the path which always appears in the firt moments.

...Accepting this thesis, we have to concretely seek to work out the way to structure this body, the guide and defender of the revolution.

The state-centred forms, with their complicated wheels and cogs, have completely failed. The state machine suffocates. It finishes by creating new advantages for the privileged and defenders of a few improvements which only concern a small number of people. The nascent society must function properly using a formula which allows us to honorably accomplish the social functions in a manner consistent with the dawning new era.

The formation of a revolutionary junta is an inevitable necessity. This junta will be formed by authentic representation of the workers who came out into the streets with arms in their hands. The men of the barricades are those who defend the revolution and are the ony ones who will neither sell nor betray the results of the triumph.

(...)The duration of the tutelage which the revolutionary workers have to exercise will depend on the time it takes for the new order to become consolidated.

(...)In July an anti-facist commitee was formed which didn't correspond to the scope of that sublime hour. How could it have nourished the spirit which arose from the barricades, when friends and enemies of the revolution sat at each others sides in it? The anti-facist commitee was not, in its composition, the representative of the July struggle.

It is necessary to grasp the most lively desires which appear in the streets. If they are allowed to be corrupted in teh first moments, it is certain that the degenerance shown in the initial forms will continue through following times. There is no doubt that if, at the beginning, a clear and wise direction is kept, the revolution will reach the objective for which so many lives are lost.

Furthermore, there is a certain section of the population which , while coming to accept the new state of affairs, goes along through simple instinct for preservation. These individuals are found in the unions, in the workplaces. We can't concede representation in the new bodies to this sector which must be seen as being divorced from the revolution. Much less should we give responsibilities to those who are declared enemies.

For the preceding reasons we are partisans of the view that the only ones to participate in the revolutionary junta should be the urban workers, rural workers and the fighters who in the decisive moments of the conflict show themselves to be /paladins/ of the social revolution."

On the two other fundamental points of the programme, which refer to the role of the unions and the communes, we will look at two articles. In issue 4, of June 22nd, we read on page 3, under the headline "municipalisation and militarisation", that the tenants of power in Catalonia were demanding the municipalisation of provisionning and of transport, but this meant the elimination of union management for the benefit of the counter-revolutionary municipalities, whereas the FOD were aiming for free communes in the hands of the workers. In issue 7, in the last article on page 4, under the title "Concerning our programme: all economic power to the unions", we read:

"The Spanish revolution is characterised by the fact that the unions are its most solid representatives. And thus, as the soviets were undisputed as the supreme organs of the Russian revolution, in our revolution it is the unions whihc have to exercise all the economic power in the country's life."

Therefore, on these points, the FOD merely repeat, without adding any details, the programme of the CNT from the congress of Zaragossa in May 1936. Without doubt, there is something that may be considered an over-simplification of anarcho-syndicalist ideas in this view. But it seems to us that the discussion should open, especially on the small number of fundamental question for which the contribution of the FOD is invaluable:

-Class analysis, condemnation of bourgeois democracy, and the opposition of the proletariat to the petit-bourgeois;
-Defence of the revolution and the problems posed by armed struggle;
-The nature and structure of the power that the revolutionary proletariat must wield;



13. In the course of the interview of C. Berneri with Spain and the world, he had declared: "for my part I am a partisan of a just mean. We mustn't fall into military formalism or antimilitarist superstition...In total therefore, I think the necassary reforms of the militias would be the following: clear distinction between military command and political control; in the domain of the preparation and execution of war operations: rigorous fulfilling of received orders but conservation of certain basic rights: that of electing and removing officers" (p 29-30 archives of Terre Libre April-May 1938), reproduced by Èditions Spartacus.

14. The Friends of Durruti had published a pamphlet called "towards a new revolution", trying to bring together their historical interpretations and their theoretical and practical views. But these 27 pages are generally on the level of propaganda and it is more worthwhile to refer to the pages of Amigo del Pueblo.

15. In the traditional parlance of the Spanish libertarian movement, the organisation of revolutionary anarchists is called 'specific' (la especifica) to differentiate it from the mass union organisation which is only tangentially libertarian.

16. However, we must point out the programmatic efforts recalled by Daniel Guerin at the end of his preface and pursued today by Alternative Libertaire.

17. We are referring to the organisational platform of the Russian anarchists. This 'platform', sometimes known as Archinov's platform (from the name of one of the editors) advocates a rigorous organisation of anarchist activists and their co-ordinated intervention among the masses.