Tomás Ó Flatharta

Looking at Things from the Left

Your Man Over There Thinks the Anti-Franco Republican Forces Should Not Have Sought Weapons from the Brits, Yanks and French Imperialist Hypocrites during the 1930’s Spanish Civil War – A Proxy War if Ever I saw One!

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In this respect the British writer Paul Mason is correct :

Imagine an alt-history of the Spanish Civil War where, after some initial reversals, the anti-fascist side starts winning. They drive back Franco’s armies largely because France, Britain and the USA reject “non-intervention” and send in heavy weapons, offsetting the support coming from Hitler and Mussolini. In this scenario, does anyone seriously think the global left would have pulled its support for the Republican side because of “imperialist aggression”? Would they have denounced the Spanish conflict as a “proxy war”. Would they have convened an international conference calling for the end of all arms supplies to the anti-fascists in the name of “Peace”? Would they have called for negotiations with Franco, advocating a settlement “acceptable to all”?

The same point is made here, drawing on an example from the actions of Irish revolutionaries during World War 1 – the Easter 1916 Rebels launched an uprising against British Imperialism using weapons supplied by the German Kaiser.

Whilst we continue to support Irish Military Neutrality, we understand that Ukrainians must obtain weapons from any source, just as Ireland received weapons from Germany when we fought for independence from the British Empire.

Irish Left With Ukraine

I agree with Paul Mason’s Ukraine war policy, and his critique of Left Campism. But his history is wonky regarding the Bolsheviks, revolutionary defeatism, and Trotskyist policies during and after World War 2. Don’t throw the baby out with the bath water! Consider this passage :

Bearing this in mind, the overall character of the Second World War must be grasped as a combination of five different conflicts:1.An inter-imperialist war fought for world hegemony and won by the United States (though its rule would be territorially truncated by the extension of the non-capitalist sector in Europe and Asia).2.A just war of self-defence by the Soviet Union against an imperialist attempt to colonize the country and destroy the achievements of the 1917 Revolution.3.A just war of the Chinese people against imperialism which would develop into a socialist revolution.4.A just war of Asian colonial peoples against the various military powers and for national liberation and sovereignty, which in some cases (e.g. Indochina) spilled over into socialist revolution.

5.A just war of national liberation fought by populations of the occupied countries of Europe, which would grow into socialist revolution (Yugoslavia and Albania) or open civil war (Greece, North Italy). In the European East, the old order collapsed under the dual, uneven pressure of popular aspirations and Soviet military-bureaucratic action, whereas in the West and South bourgeois order was restored – often against the wishes of the masses – by Western Allied troops.By ‘just wars’ are meant wars which should have been fought, and which revolutionaries supported then as they do now.”

Excerpt From
The Meaning of the Second World War
Ernest Mandel

Ernest Mandel’s book is recommended 2022 Christmas Holiday Reading.

John Meehan December 21 2022

One Response

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  1. perfecto!

    JOAN McKiernan

    Dec 21, 2022 at 5:36 pm

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