Visual Index (Entire Poster Collection)


Chronology of the War


Lists of References

Afterword: Herbert R. Southworth Collection


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.

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