Spectre of Communism

How the Spanish Revolution was betrayed

The Spanish Revolution and Civil War (which began this week in 1936) represent a profoundly heroic period of struggle by the Spanish working class and peasantry. The masses gave their all in the fight against Franco, only to be failed by their leadership. Both the anarchists and the Stalinists at the head of the fight against fascism failed to lead the workers and peasants to victory. Especially the latter consciously sold out the revolution, ushering in a period of reaction and dictatorship that would last for decades.

This week’s episode of International Marxist Radio welcomes Arturo Rodriguez, a Spanish member of the International Marxist Tendency, based in Portugal. Arturo discusses the role of both the theoretical confusion of the anarchists and the counter-revolutionary policy of the Stalinists in the ultimate defeat of the Spanish Revolution.

For more on the role of Stalinism in particular during the Civil War, we recommend Arturo’s latest article, published on

Listeners interested in the topic of this podcast should keep an eye out for Arturo’s forthcoming article on the role of anarchism in the Spanish Civil War.