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TO GAIN an idea of the future of the Spanish Republic we must examine the various ideological tendencies of the social and political forces now struggling to dominate and transform it. As a point of departure for our study we shall analyze the state of these forces in November and December of 1933, because two events of extraordinary importance took place during those two months: the second general election of the Republic and the fourth anarcho-syndicalist insurrection to occur since the fall of the monarchy.
Superficially, the elections (which took place, first on November 19, and secondly on December 3) would seem to spell a disaster for the Republic which was declared under such smiling auspices on April 14, 1931. In the constituent assembly elected in June of that year the non-republican parties of the Right -- the Agrarian Party, the Basque Nationalists, etc. -- had some 30 deputies. In the new Cortes they have 200 out of a total of 473. The republican parties of the Left -- Radical-Socialists, Acción Republicana, Federalists and Regionalists of Catalonia and Galicia -- which counted some 130 deputies in the constituent assembly, returned only about 30 to the new parliament. Four ministers found themselves without seats. The Socialists had 70 deputies, scarcely more than half the number in the first parliament. Alone the Radical Party, commanded by Señor Lerroux, preserved and even somewhat augmented its original strength.
What is the explanation of so profound a change of public opinion? The explanation is very simple: the change is more apparent than real, as will be seen when we analyze the election results, and in any case is much less than the change which previously occurred in the parties themselves and in their relations with one another. First, I shall set forth some preliminaries.
In 1931, the old monarchist oligarchies and their cacique organizations throughout the countryside, frightened by the sudden advent of the Republic and by certain acts of popular violence, such as the burning of convents, allowed the electorate to vote as it pleased at the July elections, the freest and least corrupt ever held in Spain. In these elections were lacking the three coercive elements which traditionally affected Spanish voters (especially in rural districts) and determined their votes: the coercion of the public authorities by various devices adopted in the days of the monarchy to confuse the popular will and the results of the ballot; the moral coercion of the Church in pulpit and confessional; and the economic coercion of the landed proprietors. The result was a tremendous triumph for the Left, because the immense majority of the Spanish people, age-long victims of injustice and poverty, desired, as they still desire, a policy which will put an end to oligarchical privilege. During the two and a half years of the Republic the classes defeated at the polls in 1931, but actually intact, have reformed and reorganized themselves.
The Republican-Socialist government wished to smash caciquismo (bossism) by means of three basic laws: agrarian reform, mixed juries, and municipal districts. The agrarian reform proposes chiefly to place in the control of the people and of the rural unions the huge estates of Andalusia and Extremadura, with a view to their collective exploitation. The passage of this law would have given the agrarian population of the south and east of Spain economic independence, without which political liberty has been and will remain a pure myth. But the agrarian reform so far has been little more than a law on paper, because the men and organizations charged with its execution have shown perhaps the lowest level of efficiency in the entire government of the Republic.
The law of mixed juries, or arbitrators, between masters and workers, which already existed to deal with conflicts between capital and labor in industry and commerce, and which the Republic extended to agriculture, was aimed fundamentally at ending the system of starvation wages which has obtained for centuries in the country districts of Spain. When the Republic was inaugurated, wages of one-and-a-half and two pesetas were current for a day's work from sunrise to sunset, and that only for five or six months of the year. During the rest of the year unemployment was almost absolute. Even during the first year of the republican régime the average agricultural daily wage rose to five or six pesetas, and at harvest time to eight or ten pesetas, and even more in certain districts, thanks to the work contracts arranged by mixed juries.
This improvement was also induced in part by the law of municipal districts, perhaps the most revolutionary of all the laws dictated by the Republic. This law strikes the old caciquismo at its very heart. It simply prohibits the admission of workers from other districts so long as there are unemployed in the district itself. Under the monarchy, the migration of workers from one locality to another was fomented, with a double purpose: first, to lower wages by providing unlimited supplies of labor; second, to compel the workers in each district to vote at election time for those who controlled the local caciques, on penalty of being replaced by strangers. The new law tended to restrict the economic and political power of the landowners over the workers in each district, by eliminating the competition of cheaper and more submissive labor.
The common denominator of the reactionary parties is control of the land, and thereby political and economic control over the working classes. But there are different shades which distinguish the various parties; and these I shall now briefly explain. There are four leading parties. The largest, with 110 representatives, is the C.E.D.A. (Confederación Española de Derechas Autónomas), a group of provincial political organizations which has adopted the parliamentary title of the Minoría Popular Agraria. It is controlled by Señor Gil Robles, a professor at the University of Salamanca, and the majority of its members are relatively young men, between the ages of thirty and forty. The two main planks in their platform are the preservation of landed property and the defence of the Catholic religion. Their aim is to organize Catholic trade unions such as existed in Italy prior to Fascism and in Germany prior to National Socialism, and such as still exist in Belgium. In accordance with the opportunist doctrine of the Catholic Church, their leader has declared his indifference to the actual form of government and his support of the Republic as the existing régime. If the Republic is consolidated as a parliamentary system, this Catholic Party may become a powerful force permanently, though it can hardly maintain its present numerical strength.
The next largest, with 36 representatives, is the Agrarian Party proper, which is also Catholic, but places its landed interests ahead of all other considerations, political or religious. Although most of the members came from the old monarchist parties, shrewd opportunism and the chance of influencing the destinies of the Republic have caused them also to regard the form of government as incidental. The future of this party is not very clear. It is probable that an irreconcilable minority -- like the C.E.D.A. minority -- will join the frankly monarchist party, and that the others, in the course of time, will merge with the party led by Gil Robles. The program of these two parties is simplicity itself: to abrogate or distort the new social laws, as well as those which restrict the power of the Church, particularly those prohibiting the religious orders to teach or engage in lucrative industrial or commercial activities. In general, these parties accept the separation of Church and State, but demand a Concordat with Rome.
Amongst these parties of the Right there remain to be mentioned two avowedly monarchist parties, both of no numerical importance: Renovación Española -- 15 representatives -- whose aim is to restore the Bourbon-Hapsburg dynasty, overthrown on April 12, 1931, and the traditionalist group -- 20 representatives -- who are survivors from the old Carlist Party. From a parliamentary point of view, these two parties have no future; their rôle will be that of the Camelots du Roi in France, but they lack the talents of l'Action Française.
Outside the national orbit of this constellation, but akin in tendency, there is a fifth group, the Basque-Navarre minority, which is likewise Catholic and ultra-conservative. But as soon as autonomy has been granted to the Basque country, as will certainly be done by the present or next Cortes, this minority will lose interest in national politics and concentrate on regional problems. This is happening with the Catalan parties, now that they have achieved local autonomy, and it also will happen to the O.R.G.A., or Galician autonomist party.
To the Left of these parties of the Right is the Centre Party of the Republic, the Radicals under the leadership of Alejandro Lerroux. Demagogic and bordering on Anarchism in its remote origins -- it is the oldest republican organization -- this party is situated in the temperate zone of the Republic, and represents, or aspires to represent, the non-agrarian interest of the Spanish middle classes. Its importance in the development of republican politics has been immense. It separated from the Republican-Socialist government, of which it was a part, on learning that, being the largest and most historical republican force in the constituent assembly, next to the Socialist minority, it was being passed over in favor of newer policies and in favor of younger men, like Señor Azara. He was president of several cabinets, breaking angrily with the men and parties with whom he had collaborated in the setting up of the Republic. He contributed more than anybody else to the dissolution of the constituent assembly in October 1933, by reason of his prolonged and powerful opposition to the Republican-Socialist government, when the latter had not yet completed their labors and some of the Republican parties were torn by internecine strife.
The first government of Señor Lerroux, formed in September 1933, hastened to suspend law of municipal districts, and also began to maladminister the law of mixed agricultural juries. Both laws had been bitterly opposed by the parties of the Right, who essentially represent the interests of the rural proprietors of the feudal and large landowning type.
Since the time of Romero Robledo, the great master of the art of currupting elections under the monarchy, there had not been an electoral contest in Spain as corrupt as that of 1933. The parties of the Right, in alliance with Señor Lerroux, squandered money by the handful -- it is calculated that at least ten or fifteen million pesetas were invested, principally donated by the landed aristocracy -- not on legitimate propaganda, but on buying votes, taking advantage of the unemployment and poverty of a section of the rural population. If the voters were so heroic as to resist bribery, in spite of their hunger, they were threatened with not being taken back to work if they did not vote for their old bosses; and when they also resisted this, the threat was fulfilled. At this moment, in thousands of Spanish villages, workers affiliated with the Socialist Party, or with the unions connected with the Unión General de Trabajadores are everywhere denied work. If there is a shortage of men in one locality, they are brought from another. The law of municipal districts does not function at all.
In addition to these means of economic coercion, pucherazo was practised as never before. This classical word in Spanish electoral slang signifies counting in favor of a candidate the votes which have not been cast, either due to the voluntary abstention of the voters or because they have been forbidden access to the booths by the armed agents of the parties protected by the government and its immediate embodiment, the local authorities. This method is usual in remote villages, in inaccessible mountain regions, where the parties of the Left, being very poor, have no inspectors to prevent fraud, nor notaries before whom they can testify. As many victorious candidates cynically confessed, there were more pucherazos in the last elections than in the best days of the monarchy. Those elections, so far as the methods were concerned, were typically monarchist.
In passing, I must also say that the Church worked as never before, with its powerful press, from the pulpit and the confessional, for the triumph of the Catholic candidates. The campaign was directed by the active and intelligent Nuncio at Madrid. As Henri IV found that "Paris vaut bien une messe," the Roman Church must have decided that the desired abrogation or modification of Article 26 of the new Spanish constitution was worth some sacrifices. This is the article dissolving the order of the Jesuits (without, however, expelling them from Spain, as did His Most Catholic Majesty Carlos III in 1767) and limiting the scholastic and economic activities of the other orders and of the clergy in general.
One of the greatest errors of the constituent assembly was the passing of the electoral law now in force. According to this law, a candidate must win forty percent of the votes cast. If no candidate achieves this figure there is a second election; and this result stands, whatever the proportion of votes. The authors of this law thought that the Republican-Socialist parties would maintain the coalition of 1933, and that, in almost every electoral district, those parties would win by the necessary majority. The law puts a premium on large coalitions. All these calculations proved erroneous. The Republican parties and the Socialist Party fought separately in almost every district. On the other hand, the Radical Party joined with the parties of the Right, with the avowed monarchists and with those who were wavering.
The following was the result: Of the thirteen millions, in round numbers, listed in the last electoral census -- including both sexes -- somewhat more than eight millions voted. The coalition of Centre and Right obtained 3,385,000 votes. To this coalition belonged the C.E.D.A. (Confederación Española de Derechas Autónomas), the Agrarian Party, the monarchist Renovación Española, the Traditionalists (the old Carlists), the Conservative Republicans (of Miguel Maura), the Republican Democratic Liberals (of Melquiades Alvarez), the Radical Party, and maybe others. At least seven parties in all. The Radical Party fought alone in some districts, getting 700,000 votes; that, added to the others, gives a total of a little more than four million votes, that is, one half of the votes cast. Proportionately, therefore, this would give the Right and Centre parties half of the 473 deputies composing the Chamber, in other words, 236. Nevertheless, according to the data available as these lines are written -- incomplete data, as the Chamber has not been constituted -- it is calculated that these seven parties will have 335 representatives, that is, 42 percent more than the number of votes they secured.
The Socialists obtained 1,722,000 votes in the districts where they fought independently, and they would be entitled to 102 representatives instead of 60, or 70 percent more than they now have. Allied with the Esquerra (Catalonian Republicans), and with the Republicans in a few districts in the rest of the country, they certainly polled 700,000 votes more which, added to the previous figures, bring the total to 2,400,000. This number of Socialist and Republican-Socialist votes is the equivalent of some 142 representatives; but there are scarcely 80 in the new Cortes. The votes of the Republican parties who did not ally themselves with the Radicals or Socialists, and the Communist votes (some 145,000), amount to 785,000. This would call, on a proportional basis, for 45 representatives; but there are only 11.
As may be seen from these facts, the Republican parties were crushed, not by the Right but by an absurd electoral law. If the Republican parties had remained united for the elections, even supposing that the Socialists did not join the alliance, it is doubtful whether all the parties of the Right together would have totalled even a hundred representatives; with any sort of proportional representation, they would probably have gained even less, especially if the authorities had refrained from political and economic coercion.
Despite appearances -- the result of an absurd electoral law -- Spain continued in 1933 to be as republican as it was in 1931. Rarely in any country has any parliament so falsely represented the national will as the second parliament of the Spanish Republic. It is not possible to calculate the votes obtained by each one of the coalition parties. But there can be no doubt that none of them would approximate to the 1,700,000 votes polled independently by the Socialists, not to mention those of the aforementioned coalitions with the Republicans. The Socialist Party undoubtedly represents the greatest electoral force in Spain. Born in 1872, under the influence of Lafargue, Karl Marx's son-in-law, who had come to Madrid, its development has been slow, because of its simultaneous struggle against anarchism and monarchism. But though slow it has been steady. The advent of the Republic showed that it had back of it huge masses of citizens who until then had had no way of making themselves felt.
The Radical-Right alliance, formed with a view to the elections, called itself the anti-Marxist coalition. In their press and campaign speeches its leaders represented the Spanish Socialists as savage hordes, who had burst up from below in order to destroy wealth, culture, religion, the family, and all other traditional values. What was the basis for this terrifying image of Spanish Socialism? None. Any liberal party in any civilized country would subscribe to its work in the administration of the Republic. It had helped to build seven or eight thousand schools in a country where three or four times as many are necessary, and where more than half the population can neither read nor write. Through mixed juries and the laws of municipal districts and of agrarian reform it had tried to put an end to starvation wages and to shake the immense power, social and political, of the landed aristocracy and bourgeoisie. It had tried to stimulate the development of the national wealth and to diminish compulsory unemployment (the unemployed are estimated at something more than half a million) by promoting irrigation and other public works.
The destructive activities of Spanish Socialism consisted in sanctioning a few modest lay laws which cannot scandalize anyone who realizes the necessity for a nation to be sovereign in its own borders, and some exceptional measures of expropriation, dictated by Señor Alzana's government against the authors and accomplices of the monarchist rising of August 10, 1932. It has not even modified the system of taxation, which relies chiefly on indirect taxes. Spain is the one country in Europe where the rich contribute less and the poor more to the support of the state. If the Socialists sinned at all, during the time when they had three ministers in office, it was in the direction of excessive moderation; the working classes accepted that moderation with resignation, for the sake of the general welfare of the Republic; the privileged classes would not accept it, but instead tried to discredit the collaboration of the Socialists by depicting them as a monstrous creation of Marxism.
It would matter little if this hostility towards the Socialists were merely unfair. But it is also highly dangerous. Those who are anxious to destroy the Socialist political organizations and unions seem to forget that, if they succeed, they will also remove the last bulwark which now keeps the working classes within the laws and politics of gradual change. If that bulwark falls what will prevent the onrush of communism and anarcho-syndicalism, that is, the most violent forms of social revolution?
Hitherto the development of communism in Spain has not gone very far. There are three or four tiny communist parties, all fighting amongst themselves for the title to purest orthodoxy. They lack leaders, and such as they have are mostly disgruntled deserters from other political camps. There is only one communist representative in the new parliament. Nevertheless, in some manufacturing districts in the north, like Bilbao, in certain towns in Asturias, and in a few provinces of Andalusia, there was a noticeable increase in the communist vote at the last elections. If the Socialist Party should decline as a result of processes of natural attrition, or as a result of persecution by the Right, a part of the disillusioned or antagonized masses would go to swell the ranks of the Communist Party. The conservative classes who would like to silence socialism in Spain do not perceive that they are thus contributing to the increase of communism. As they leave Scylla they approach Charybdis.
But this would not be the worst. After all, communism is a theory of government like socialism and as such it is not repugnant to historic reason, even though its postulates may displease certain social classes. The same cannot be said for anarchism which, as we know, denies the state and authority in any form. It is an ideal of perfection which can exist only in the world of utopian imagination and abstract philosophy. In the real world in which we live, anarchism could only lead us to social chaos and, as a reaction, to instinctive dictatorship. The greater part of the masses who follow socialism in Spain today, would, if it were to degenerate or be destroyed, take refuge in the F. A. I. (Federación Anarquista Iberica) and the C. N. T. (Confederación Nacional del Trabajo), which represent anarcho-syndicalism, anti-state syndicalism.
The history of Spanish socialism is chiefly the history of the struggle to turn the working classes away from the myths and methods of anarchism and anarcho-syndicalism. The two doctrines penetrated into Spain almost simultaneously. In 1868 arrived an Italian deputy, Giuseppe Fanelli, who came as representative of the Social Democratic Alliance, anarchist despite its title, which had been founded in Switzerland by Bakunin in opposition to the International Association of Workers, or First International, under the influence of Karl Marx. Fanelli created the Spanish Regional Federation, allied to Bakunin's organization.
From the very beginning, anarchist propaganda caught on in Spain with an enthusiasm and intensity unknown in any other country. Proof is that whereas in the rest of the world anarchism has either totally disappeared, or has evolved into legal forms, or has simply been reduced to a school of philosophy, in Spain alone it preserves its original organization and virulence. We saw this in the four anarcho-syndicalist risings which have occurred since the inauguration of the Republic: the first in July 1931, the second in January 1932, the third in January 1933, and the fourth in December 1933, all four with increasing range and intensity. In the last, the insurrectionists had thousands of guns at their disposal and more than a hundred thousand bombs. There were revolutionary centers in numerous provinces, particularly in those where the socialist influence is weakest, and hundreds were killed and wounded. It was undoubtedly the most violent civil insurrection which has occurred in Spain for a century.
Why does anarchism persist in Spain? Some attribute it to racial reasons, to the peculiarly individualistic psychology of the Spanish, as manifested in certain Hispano-Arabic thinkers, in our mystics, in our art, and in the discoverers and conquerors of former centuries. Without denying racial and national influences, which obviously transform a universal political or religious idea into one of another type, adapting it to the character of the people in question, I believe that the reasons for the persistence of anarchism in Spain are more cultural and historical than anthropological. In the first place, it is noticeable that anarchism and syndicalism succeed better in those regions where the proletariat is least educated: in certain parts of Catalonia, in Aragon, on the Mediterranean coast, and in some provinces of the south and east. In Catalonia it has been not a cultural problem only. Anarchism, hostility to any kind of state, is complicated there by Catalan nationalism, sometimes federalist, sometimes autonomist, sometimes frankly separatist, which sees in the central state its historic enemy. On the other hand, we must remember that, even in Catalonia, the great anarchist contingent is drawn from the most illiterate provinces of the rest of Spain and from the ranks of the most unskilled labor.
Consider, for example, Hospitalet, a large suburb of Barcelona with some fifty thousand inhabitants. Hospitalet was one of the chief centers of the anarchist rising last December. The majority of the population is anarchist, and there are dozens of schools in which the children are taught arithmetic by setting the problems in terms of bombs, pistols and machine guns. In these schools the boys and girls practice complete nudism, and from the age of fourteen they are given complete sexual liberty. Further, I am assured that in Hospitalet sexual communism is widespread amongst the adult anarchist population. Note that the inhabitants of this suburb come, for the most part, from provinces other than Catalonia, and particularly from Murcia, in the south.[i] They are predominantly illiterate, and most of them are stonecutters. The typical anarchist usually begins as a young man, almost a youth, who generally can neither read nor write, and has not a skilled job. Anarchism is a seed which finds a rich soil in primitive and anti-historical mentalities.
Historically, anarchism has a further explanation in Spain. While in other countries education was spreading amongst the working classes, and while the state was becoming more humanized by the extension of political rights to all classes, the monarchist state in Spain, under a constitutional disguise, preserved all the characteristics of an Asiatic or Egyptian autocracy. To the Spanish anarchists the monarchist state was not only hateful intrinsically, but also because it was specifically a brutal and despotic state. This explains the otherwise strange fact that in the last third of the nineteenth century some of the republican parties were tinged with the federalist and anarchist ideas of Proudhon and that the anarchist organizations sometimes allied themselves with these parties.
Nevertheless, this thesis seems to contradict what has happened during the two and a half years of the Republic. The new régime has multiplied the schools and granted political and social liberties which did not exist before. Despite this, anarcho-syndicalism has revolted four times against the Republic. Those who revolted were not moved by any question of wages or hours. Nor could it be said that economic conditions were worse under the Republic than they had been under the monarchy. On the contrary, as I have stated, wages rose considerably, not only in agriculture, but also in industry and commerce, and the eight-hour day is rigorously enforced everywhere. What, then, could be the motive of those four risings?
In the first place, there was probably an assumption that the republican state was much weaker than the monarchist state and, therefore, that it would be easier to overthrow it and establish libertarian communism. Secondly, there was the hope that if the rising failed the Republic would not be very harsh in suppressing it, and that it would be indulgent in the hour of punishment -- which was the case. In the third place, there was the fear lest the new social legislation of the Republic should detach from the F. A. I. and the C. N. T. great numbers of workers, bringing them into the U. G. T. (Unión General de Trabajadores), which follows the ideas of the Socialist Party -- as is indeed now happening. In this case, the object of the insurrections was to plant anew in the working classes the syndicalist myth of the general strike and the utopia of libertarian communism, maintaining by the magic of violence what cannot possibly be preserved by reason or by the experience of history. In the fourth place, there was the necessity for justifying the large subscriptions of the workers affiliated with the F. A. I. and the C. N. T. These two organizations, unlike the U. G. T., give their members no account of expenses incurred. The Republic voted a law to control the accounts of all union organizations, but it has been only half-heartedly enforced. The financial abuses in the anarchist and syndicalist organizations have always been enormous. The only justification for their secret levies is revolutionary activity. Hence in these anarchist and syndicalist insurrections the ingenuous utopianism of the masses is mixed with plain criminality on the part of many leaders.
Anarcho-syndicalism is not necessarily a danger to the state; but it can be dangerous to a state of the liberal and democratic type, like the Spanish Republic. The dictatorship of 1923, imposed by General Primo de Rivera, had its origins precisely in Barcelona, and many people justified it as a remedy against anarchist and syndicalist agitation and the terrorist shootings which had preceded it in various regions of Spain, but more especially in the capital of Catalonia. The idea of a similar dictatorship still haunts the minds of some Spaniards. What are the possibilities that it might succeed?
We may at once set aside any probability of a restoration of the monarchy. The private life of Alfonso XIII, financial aspects of his record, his great political blunders, and his flight on April 14, leaving his family behind, rendered him definitely unacceptable to the vast majority of Spaniards. His children suffer from an hereditary illness; they are the end of a race. Another dynasty, as in the nineteenth century, is not to be thought of. In the twentieth century when monarchies fall they fall forever; the republican idea is universal.
People talk of a secret fascist organization. In Spain there can be no fascism of the Italian or German type. There are no demobilized men, as there were in Italy; there are no hundreds of thousands of young university men with no future, nor millions of unemployed, as in Germany. There is no Mussolini, nor even a Hitler; there are no imperialist ambitions nor sentiments of revenge, no problems of expansion, nor even a bad Jewish problem. Out of what could Spanish fascism be concocted? I cannot imagine the recipe.
People refer to the military dictatorship of 1923, which lasted seven years, in the belief that history may repeat itself. The analogy is false. The apparent submission of the Spanish people to the coup d'état of General Primo de Rivera was more apparent than real. We all knew and said that this was the monarchy's last card, that the fall of the dictator would drag the throne into the abyss. It actually happened. Even the very stones would rise today against a military dictatorship. It might be pieced together secretly, although there are few regiments whose officers can count unconditionally on the non-commissioned officers and men. But if there is a dictatorship, there will be revolution. This was solemnly agreed to and proclaimed by the Socialist Party in plenary parliamentary session. It will certainly be supported by the U. G. T. and probably by the F. A. I. and the C. N. T. The dictatorship might conquer the revolution, but not without much bloodshed. If the military dictatorship were conquered, Spain for a certain time would be governed by a working class dictatorship of socialist tendencies.
Such are the forces today in Spain, political and non-political, visible or latent. The antagonisms which separate them are so profound and violent that it is not easy to fit them into the framework of parliamentary democracy. The new Cortes has aggravated the situation. As I write, we have the Lerroux Government, without a real parliamentary majority. It is a minority government whose life depends on how long it can count on the votes of the Right; and it can count on these only so long as Señor Lerroux, like another Penelope, is willing to unravel the social and lay legislation of the Republic. When he tires of this labor, or his partisans do, his government will be at an end. With the present Cortes no other government is possible, since a new parliamentary coalition of all Republican and Socialist parties is unthinkable. The parties of the Right, in turn, have also no parliamentary majority, and it can hardly be assumed that they would govern with the help of Señor Lerroux, if the latter's government falls because it lacks the support of those parties.
Everything points to the fact that the life of the present Cortes will be brief -- a few months perhaps, just long enough to sanction the taxes, a new and more equitable electoral law than the present, and some minor matters. With this new electoral law, and with a genuinely republican government presiding over the elections, guaranteeing the freedom of the ballot against the coercion of all the old oligarchies, Spain may be given representatives in harmony with the national will. Then it is possible that the Republic will recover its political equilibrium and that parliament will again function efficiently. Another electoral mix-up like the last will finish the Republic as a parliamentary régime. For many it is, in fact already finished; they look only for extraparliamentary measures.
One thing however is clear. The first and relatively peaceful stage of the Spanish political revolution terminated with the elections of November and December. They ushered in a new stage which, according to all indications, will not be so peaceful and will probably be less political and more social, whether we take the road to counter-revolution or resume the revolutionary route. All prophecy is bold. In this article I have tried to be a dry, if realistic, expositor rather than a prophet who prophesies what is agreeable.
[i] I am indebted for these facts to Francisco Madrid, author of a forthcoming book entitled "La F. A. I."