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By Jose Peirats

An account of the Spanish Revolution via a lifelong member of the CNT.

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Outside the official bodies of the New Deal state, the liberal journals the New Republic, the Nation, Christian Century, and Common Sense published a substantial amount of antifascist commentary and reportage by such writers as Lewis Mumford, Bruce Bliven, Malcolm Cowley, and Waldo Frank, some of whom developed close ties to the Roosevelt administration. The radio work of Norman Corwin and Archibald MacLeish also marked crucial interventions. Finally, liberal pressure groups such as the Friends of Democracy, AJC, the American Committee Against Fascist Oppression, Samuel Untermyer’s Non-Sectarian Anti-Nazi League, the American Council Against Nazi Propaganda, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the academicled Institute for Propaganda Analysis, and the later Committee to Defend America by Aiding the Allies all engaged in antifascist lobbying and organizing.

Much the same picture is presented in France. There the outspoken criticism of the Chamberlain-Daladier policy comes from the Socialist and communist press. The left wingers, not only in Europe but also in this country, prefer the risks of war to the risks of peace. Left wing and pacifist are no longer synonymous, as they were twenty years and even ten years ago. The left wing has given its full support to preparations for war in all the important democratic countries and today, by and large, it is whooping for war and characterizing the refusal of Chamberlain and Daladier to resort to arms as both stupid and craven.

33 To cite a personal example, when I lived in Germany and was learning the language, I once asked a friend there if a certain politician from the Christian Democratic Party was right wing (rechts). Taken aback, he politely informed me that conservative politicians prefer to be called conservativ because in Germany rechts is generally associated with Nazis. No major scholar in this field has attempted to actually define the terms left and right when assigning fascism to a place on the political spectrum.

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