C.N.T. U.G.T. Campos y fábricas, para los sindicatos!
[Fields and Factories for the Syndicates!]. Gallo. Información y Propaganda del Comité Nacional de la C.N.T., Lit.: J. Aviño. Valencia, Intervenido U.G.T., C.N.T. Lithograph, 4 colors; 100 x 70 cm.
The flags of the CNT
and UGT at the center of this poster are tied in a knot to symbolize
the commitment of the two organizations to work together to provide
for workers. In the background are representations of fields and
factories over which the members of the CNT and UGT are promised
control. On November 4, 1936, the socialist prime minister Francisco
Largo Caballero invited leaders of the anarchist CNT to join his
cabinet, and when they accepted, a new age of cooperation between
long-time enemies began. This poster, issued by the National Committee
of the CNT in Valencia, must date from shortly after the Socialists
extended their invitation to the CNT to join the government.
The UGT's use of red
for its flag stemmed from its early affiliation with the Soviet
Union and its adherence to the First and Second Communist Internationals.
For Anarchists, Socialists, and Communists, red has traditionally
symbolized the blood of the proletariat. The Anarchists began using
a solid black flag around 1870. It represented the workers' misery
as well as an expression of their anger and bitterness. Anarchists
in Spain used both black and red flags, but the single flag on which
black and red are separated diagonally, as in this poster, was adopted
when the CNT was founded in 1910.
Outright hostility characterized
the relationship between the CNT and the UGT prior to their attempts
to work together during the Spanish Civil War. As the union of the
anarcho-syndicalist movement, the CNT discarded notions of class
and class struggle, and sought the complete destruction of the existing
political and social order in favor of a libertarian-communism directed
by their revolutionary syndicates. The UGT, on the other hand, sought
the fulfillment of the Marxist dialectic in which the proletariat
overcomes the bourgeoisie and the elites to control all factors
of production. Perhaps because of this fundamental difference of
philosophy, the two unions had been in constant competition for
members and authority since 1910, when the CNT was founded. Both
unions flourished during the Second Republic to the point that UGT
membership rose to 1.25 million in 1934, while the CNT's membership
stood at over 1.5 million. The intense fighting between the UGT
and the CNT was constant during the Second Republic and the beginning
of the Spanish Civil War. Often the battles between the unions stemmed
from the refusal of one to support a general strike declared by
the other. It was not uncommon for CNT and UGT members to gun each
other down in the streets or to accuse each other of being tools
of Franco or Stalin.
However, November 1936
ushered in a new attempt by the leadership of the unions to cooperate
with each other. Largo Caballero, who was secretary general of the
UGT as well as prime minister, took the opportunity of directing
the Republican government in the fall of 1936 to extend an olive
branch to the anarcho-syndicalists. The cooperation between the
CNT and the UGT in Valencia, where this poster was issued, was relatively
peaceful. Numerous agrarian and industrial enterprises were jointly
collectivized by the two unions. As the war progressed, the CNT
and UGT were forced to rely upon each other in repulsing not only
the Nationalist troops, but also the Spanish Communist Party, which
sought to break down the communes.
Nothing is known of Gallo,
the artist who signed this poster.