Ganar la guerra es impulsar la revolución, dice el Partido Comunista...
[To win the war is to spur the revolution, says the Communist Party...]. . Partido Comunista. Ortega. Valencia. Control U.G.T. C.N.T. Lithograph, red and black; 79 x 72 cm.
This poster consists
of a proclamation made by the Central Committee of the Spanish Communist
Party (PCE) with the symbols of communism-the hammer, the sickle
and the red star-in the background. The poster was probably issued
in the summer or fall of 1936, when the PCE launched a campaign
to appear as a moderate party, committed to the Republic and to
the respect of private property. The text on the poster reads:
To win the war is to
spur the revolution, says the Communist Party. The struggle to
win the war is indisputably tied to the development of the revolution.
If we do not win the war, the development of the revolution will
be set back. It is imperative that this idea penetrate into the
masses. We struggle to create a better society, in which such
criminal and monstrous acts as the rebel subversion will be impossible.
However, to all those dreamers or those who are irresponsible,
who want to forcibly impose upon their own province or people
experiments of 'socialism' or 'libertarian communism,' or of another
kind, we must make them understand that all those experiments
will crumble to the ground like imaginary castles if the war is
not won, if we do not squash the military traitors, if we do not
annihilate the fascists tormentors of our country, and if we do
not eliminate the invading troops of German, Italian and Portuguese
fascism from our land.
A number of reasons led
the Comintern to instruct the PCE to publicly defend Republican
order at a time when other factions of the left had already begun
the social revolution. First, the PCE was too weak to compete with
the CNT, the UGT, and the Socialist Party. Since it could not gain
a significant following among the working class, it directed its
attention to gaining a following among the bourgeoisie. Second,
it has been argued that Stalin sought to monopolize the leadership
of the labor movements in each European nation. By implying that
their priorities were inappropriate, Stalin and the PCE were discrediting
the Anarchists, the Socialists, and their collectives in order to
win the working class to the Communists. Third, the USSR sought
to maintain an alliance with France, and her ally England, in order
to rely upon them should Nazi Germany begin hostilities on her eastern
front. In order to protect the alliance, the USSR had to appear
as if it were safeguarding the Spanish Republic, rather than paving
the way for a Soviet satellite in Iberia. Finally, as this poster
suggests, winning the war before starting the social revolution
had its logic, since the collectives would be wiped out if the Nationalists
conquered the land, as indeed occurred.