The Spanish CNT-FAI Anarchist Defense Cadre Operating Concept


Observers of many political stripes, but particularly the dissident right, have turned their eyes from the United States’s first Civil War to the Spanish Civil War of 1936-1939 as the analog to a potential North American disruption. This author would like to point out that there are many aspects in which the US of The Current Year + Whatever is not similar to Spain, but the situations largely rhyme. It is also worth acknowledging that some of this framing may be wishful thinking due to the traditionalist victory in Spain. We must be brutally honest in our assessments, and identify our weaknesses and strengths based upon the data at hand. An American Good Guy victory of the sort seen in Spain by their Nationalists – not a monolith, but rather a necessity-driven mashup of multiple factions – likely depends upon the rising of A Great Man of History as was Generalissimo Franco (PBUH).

I’ll save a compare and contrast article for the future, but in the meantime will share some very useful information I have found while researching the Spanish Civil War for the upcoming prequel to my novel Faction. Why is it notable? The CNT-FAI, a leftist underground group, successfully mobilized 20,000 fighters in Barcelona when the Nationalists attempted their coup on July 17, 1936 and secured the city. Please note for the spergs – I’m using extreme shorthand, lest this article go on and on and on.

The CNT-FAI was, and still is, an organized but secretive collection of militant anarchists who are members of the official, above-ground CNT (Confederación Nacional del Trabajo, or National Confederation of Labor) anarcho-syndicalist labor union. From 1927-1936, the FAI (Federación Anarquista Ibérica, or Iberian Anarchist Federation) selected militant members of the CNT for vetting and eventual membership in their collective. There was further secret organization of regional Defense Committees, which established what we might call a cellular building block structure, the defense cadres, to train and prepare for social revolution. Per Agustín Guillamón’s Ready for Revolution: The CNT Defense Committees in Barcelona, 1933-1938, the CNT established a figure of 15% of weekly revenue of CNT member dues to the Defense Committees, and focused intently upon measuring and reporting on the material, technical and morale needs to ensure their growth and effectiveness. From page 12:


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