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Emotions, Moral Batteries and High-Risk Activism: Understanding the Emotional Practices of the Spanish Anarchists under Franco's Dictatorship

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  02 October 2014

EDUARDO ROMANOS*
Affiliation:
Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Campus de Somosaguas, 28223 - Pozuelo de Alarcón, Madrid, Spain; eromanos@ucm.es

Abstract

This article studies the reactivation of activist networks in high-risk settings through a longitudinal analysis of the emotional practices of Spanish anarchists under Franco's dictatorship (1939–75). The anarchists mobilised a series of emotions in their discourse, seeking to change the degree and quality of emotions among potential supporters in order to inspire action. This emotion work focused on hope and indignation, which were crucial tools in the strategic framing of their movement. The use of hope in the anarchists’ discourse allowed them to positively evaluate the effectiveness of their challenge to the authorities. Furthermore, the activists participated in a strategic dramaturgy in front of domestic and international audiences with the intention of reproducing indignation in these onlookers and thus gathering support for their challenge to the regime. The combination of hope and indignation served as a moral battery during two periods of additional intensification of clandestine activity. Other emotions are also analysed, specifically, the resentment provoked by internal struggles in the middle of the 1940s, and the combination of anxiety and fascination towards the visibility achieved by the communists within the anti-Franco opposition in the early 1960s. In the end, longitudinal analysis of the anarchists’ emotional practices seeks to contribute to a better understanding of important questions still little studied in the emerging subfield of emotions and social movements, namely the combination of emotions in collective action and the historical evolution of the emotions.

Les émotions, les motivations morales et l’activisme à haut risque: tentative d’explication des pratiques émotionnelles des anarchistes espagnols sous la dictature franquiste

Cet article se penche sur la réactivation des réseaux d’activistes dans des contextes à haut risque à travers une analyse longitudinale des pratiques émotionnelles des anarchistes espagnols sous la dictature franquiste (1939–75). Dans leur discours, ces anarchistes faisaient appel à une série d’émotions, en cherchant à modifier le degré et la qualité des émotions ressenties par leurs sympathisants potentiels afin de les inciter à l’action. Ce travail émotionnel était centré sur l’espoir et l’indignation, des outils fondamentaux du cadrage stratégique de leur mouvement. Le recours à l’espoir dans le discours des anarchistes leur a permis d’évaluer d’une manière positive l’efficacité du défi qu’ils posaient aux autorités. Ces activistes participaient en outre à une dramaturgie stratégique mise en scène à l’intention d’un public national et international, avec pour objet de susciter chez ce public la même indignation et d’obtenir son soutien pour leur opposition au régime. Cette combinaison d’espoir et d’indignation a servi de motivation morale lors de deux périodes d’intensification accrue des activités clandestines. D’autres émotions sont également analysées, plus précisément le ressentiment provoqué par les luttes intestines du milieu des années 40, et la combinaison d’anxiété et de fascination suscitée par la visibilité acquise par les communistes au sein de l’opposition antifranquiste au début des années 60. En fin de compte, l’analyse longitudinale des pratiques émotionnelles des anarchistes vise à contribuer à une meilleure compréhension de questions cruciales encore peu étudiées dans le sous-domaine émergent des émotions et des mouvements sociaux, en plein essor, à savoir la combinaison d’émotions en jeu dans les actions collectives et l’évolution historique des émotions.

Emotionen, moralischer antrieb und riskanter aktivismus: ein beitrag zum verständnis emotionaler praktiken spanischer anarchisten unter der diktatur francos

Dieser Beitrag untersucht anhand einer Längsschnittanalyse der von spanischen Anarchisten während der Diktatur Francos eingesetzten emotionalen Strategien, wie Aktivistennetzwerke unter hochgradig riskanten Umständen reaktiviert wurden. Anarchisten setzten in ihrem Diskurs gezielt emotionale Strategien ein, um die Intensität und Qualität der Emotionen potenzieller Unterstützer zu beeinflussen und sie zum Handeln zu bewegen. Ihre Bemühungen konzentrierten sich auf die Emotionen Hoffnung und Empörung. Beide waren entscheidende Werkzeuge bei der strategischen Definition ihrer Bewegung. Mit dem Hinweis auf Hoffnung verliehen die Anarchisten der Wirksamkeit der Herausforderung, die sie für die Behörden darstellten, in ihrem Diskurs eine positive Konnotation. Sie setzten zudem vor einheimischem und internationalem Publikum eine strategische Dramaturgie ein, um bei ihren Betrachtern Empörung hervorzurufen und ihre Unterstützung für den Kampf gegen das Regime zu gewinnen. Die bewusste Verbindung von Hoffnung und Empörung diente während zweier durch eine Intensivierung illegaler Aktivitäten geprägter Perioden als moralischer Antrieb. Neben diesen beiden Emotionen analysiert der Beitrag den Unmut, der durch interne Kämpfe Mitte der vierziger Jahre hervorgerufen wurde, und die Mischung aus Angst und Faszination angesichts der starken Präsenz der Kommunisten in der antifrankistischen Opposition in den frühen sechziger Jahren. Diese Längsschnittanalyse der emotionalen Strategien spanischer Anarchisten soll zu einem besseren Verständnis wichtiger, aber von der Forschung bisher vernachlässigter Fragen auf dem noch jungen Teilgebiet der Erforschung von Emotionen und ihres Einflusses auf soziale Bewegungen beitragen. Der Schwerpunkt liegt hier auf der Verbindung von Emotionen im Rahmen kollektiven Handelns und der historischen Entwicklung von Emotionen.

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Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2014 

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References

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27 Olegario Pachón Núñez, Recuerdos y consideraciones de los tiempos heroicos (n.p.: Edición del autor, 1979), 31.

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35 Fragua Social, 18 Nov. 1946. The UN General Assembly finally passed a resolution which recommended that ‘the Franco Government of Spain be debarred from membership in international agencies’ and ‘that all Members of the United Nations immediately recall from Madrid their Ambassadors and Ministers plenipotentiary accredited there.’ (Resolution 39(I), December 1946).

36 Romanos, ‘Radicalization from Outside’.

37 Pleno Nacional de Secretarios, 30 Nov. and 1–2 Dec. 1946, Spain, 25 Dec. 1946, in IISH, CNT-Interior, 4.

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45 Solidaridad Obrera, Cataluña, 14 Nov. 1945.

46 Solidaridad Obrera, Cataluña, 16 April 1946.

47 Fraternidad, Órgano del Comité Nacional de enlace UGT-CNT, 1 Sept. 1946.

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53 Ibid.

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61 Herrerín López, CNT, 176

62 Author's interview with Luis Andrés Edo, Barcelona, 29 July and 5 Sept. 2005.

63 Romanos, ‘Ideología libertaria’.

64 Molinero and Ysás, Productores disciplinados, 62–77; García, Rubén Vega, El camino que marcaba Asturias: Las huelgas de 1962 en España y su repercusión internacional (Gijón: Ediciones Trea - Fundación Juan Muñiz Zapico, 2002)Google Scholar.

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67 Cultura y Acción, May 1962.

68 Letter from Horacio Martínez Prieto to Lorenzo Iñigo, Ivry-sur-Seine, 8 Sept. 1965, in FSS, LI, 55.

69 Moradiellos, La España de Franco, 150.

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72 ‘Ante la problemática sindical española’, Spain, April 1965, in FSS, LI, 55; ‘Mensaje de la CNT de España’, January 1963, in FSS, CNT-Interior, 165. Some even came to ‘spread the idea, because it is true, that the continuing of the hatreds of the Civil War is the malign work of those opposed to the union of all the Spanish people who want to serve the nation.’ (‘Declaración de la CNT ante la realidad política española’, Spain, January 1965, in FSS, LI, 55.)

73 CNT 1932, Memoria del Congreso Extraordinario celebrado en Madrid los días 11 al 16 de Junio de 1931 (Barcelona: Cosmos, 1932), 180–81. ‘Mensaje de la CNT de España’, 1963. See also ASO 1 and 4, January and October 1964

74 The principles of the national movement law (Ley Principios del Movimiento Nacional) of May 17, 1958 stipulated the representation of the natural entities of social life by means of the three pillars of ‘organic democracy’: family, municipality and trade union.

75 ‘La CNT ante el pueblo español’, Comité Nacional de la CNT, Spain, January 1966, in IISH, FGP.

76 ‘Resolución preliminar sobre el sindicalismo obrero español’, 4 Nov. 1965, in Proyección del Sindicalismo Español, in FSS, LI, 55.

77 ‘Declaración de la CNT ante la realidad política española’, Spain, January 1965, in FSS, LI, 55; Proyección del Sindicalismo español, FSS, LI, 55.

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80 e.g. Cultura y Acción, CNT, Vórtice and ASO.

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82 Lorenzo Íñigo, Los cinco puntos (inédito), Madrid, 1985, in FSS, LI.

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86 Hochschild, ‘Emotion Work’, quoted in Van Troost, ‘Emotion Work’.

87 Jasper, ‘Emotions and Social Movements’.

88 Important exceptions are Haskell, Thomas L., ‘Capitalism and the Origins of the Humanitarian Sensibility (Parts I and II)’, American Historical Review, 90, 23 (1985)Google Scholar, 339–61 and 547–66, respectively; Flam, Helena, ed., States and Anti-Nuclear Movements (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1994)Google Scholar; Gould, Deborah B., Moving Politics: Emotion and ACT UP's Fight Against AIDS (Chicago, Ill.: The University of Chicago Press, 2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

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