History and Historiography

A MARXIST CAUGHT BETWEEN FASCISM AND STALINISM: THE POLITICAL AND INTELLECTUAL LIFE OF ANDRÉS NIN, 1919 TO 1939

By Juan Villa

The words fascism, communism, socialism, and anarchism often times have been loaded words in terms of how everyday Americans have been schooled to interpret them. Therefore, the objective was to revisit these words through the interpretations of Intellectual Marxists themselves in order to understand these words. The goal was to explore the intellectual life of Andrés Nin, a Catalonian Marxist, who started as an Anarchist early on in his life, but changed in his politics due to the influence of Marxism. The events of WWI and the Russian Revolution of 1917 would dramatically influence his life. He became an activist due to the fervor of the Russian Revolution. Although he initially believed in the possibility of the Russian Revolution, by the end of the 1920s his perception of the Soviet Union would be one of disappointment. Realizing that it was an illusion, he became a contender to the Stalinist system. His analysis of Marxism not only enlightens an alternative method, but also forces the reevaluation of what Marxism truly is—most importantly, what is fascism. Exploring his analysis during the rise of the Second Spanish Republic, up until his disappearance in 1937 is where this story takes place. In addition, in order to better depict the environment that Nin was describing, I felt that it was essential to bring forth the voices of the Italian Marxist Palmiro Togliatti, and the English Marxist George Orwell. Why? Because both figures were participants during the Spanish Civil War. Their observations fill in the gaps within this story—a story of what is fascism and Marxism.

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