I believe, as I always have, in freedom. The freedom which rests on the sense of responsibility. I consider discipline indispensable, but it must be inner discipline, motivated by a common purpose and a strong feeling of comradeship.
From my earliest years, the first thing that I saw was suffering. And if I couldn't rebel when I was a child, it was only because I was an unaware being then. But the sorrows of my grandparents and parents were recorded in my memory during those years of unawareness. How many times did I see our mother cry because she couldn't give us the bread that we asked for! And yet our father worked without resting for a minute. Why couldn't we eat the bread that we needed if our father worked so hard? That was the first question whose answer I found in social injustice. And, since that same injustice exists today, thirty years later, I don't see why, now that I'm conscious of this, that I should stop fighting to abolish it.
I don't want to remind you of the hardships suffered by our parents until we got older and could help out the family. But then we had to serve the so-called fatherland. The first was Santiago. I still remember mother weeping. But even more strongly etched in my memory are the words of our sick grandfather, who sat there, disabled and next to the heater, punching his legs in anger as he watched his grandson go off to Morocco, while the rich bought workers' sons to take their children's place … Don't you see why I'll continue fighting as long as these social injustices exist?
It is possible that only a hundred of us will survive, but with that hundred we shall enter Saragossa, beat Fascism and proclaim libertarian communism. I will be the first to enter Saragossa; I will proclaim the free commune. We shall subordinate ourselves neither at Madrid nor Barcelona, neither to Azaña nor Companys. If they wish, they can live in peace with us; if not, we shall go to Madrid … We shall show you, bolsheviks, how to make a revolution.
We make war and revolution at the same time. Militiamen are fighting for the conquest of the land, the factories, bread, and culture … the pickaxe and the shovel are as important as the rifle. Comrades, we will win the war!
Interview (3 October 1936), as quoted in Durruti in the Spanish Revolution (1996) by Abel Paz, as translated by Chuck W. Morse (2007), p. 536
You don't fight a war with words, but with fortifications. The pickaxe and the shovel are as important at the rifle. I can't say it often enough.
Interview (3 October 1936), as quoted in Durruti in the Spanish Revolution (1996) by Abel Paz, as translated by Chuck W. Morse (2007), p. 537
I have been an Anarchist all my life. I hope I have remained one. I should consider it very sad indeed, had I to turn into a general and rule the men with a military rod. They have come to me voluntarily, they are ready to stake their lives in our antifascist fight. I believe, as I always have, in freedom. The freedom which rests on the sense of responsibility. I consider discipline indispensable, but it must be inner discipline, motivated by a common purpose and a strong feeling of comradeship.
No government fights fascism to destroy it. When the bourgeoisie sees that power is slipping out of its hands, it brings up fascism to hold onto their privileges.
Variant: No government in the world fights fascism to the death. When the bourgeoisie sees power slipping from its grasp, it has recourse to fascism to maintain itself.
As quoted in Revolution and Counter-Revolution in Spain (1963) by Felix Morrow
We know what we want. To us it means nothing that there is a Soviet Union somewhere in the world, for the sake of whose peace and tranquility the workers of Germany and China were sacrificed to Fascist barbarians by Stalin. We want revolution here in Spain, right now, not maybe after the next European war. We are giving Hitler and Mussolini far more worry with our revolution than the whole Red Army of Russia. We are setting an example to the German and Italian working class on how to deal with Fascism.
We have always lived in slums and holes in the wall. We will know how to accommodate ourselves for a while. For you must not forget that we can also build. It is we who built these palaces and cities, here in Spain and America and everywhere. We, the workers. We can build others to take their place. And better ones. We are not in the least afraid of ruins. We are going to inherit the earth; there is not the slightest doubt about that. The bourgeoisie might blast and ruin its own world before it leaves the stage of history. We carry a new world here, in our hearts. That world is growing in this minute.
Durruti never strayed far from his fellow workers. Very early in his life, he challenged the position that the anarchists should be the vanguard of the revolution. He believed that "what anarchists had to do was understand the natural process of rebellion and not separate themselves from the working class under the pretext of serving it better. That would only be a prelude to betrayal and bureaucratization, to a new form of domination." All his life he was a card-carrying member of the CNT who valued hard work, sacrifice, and a strong sense of responsibility to his comrades. During the war, he ate, slept, and fought alongside the men in his column.
Buenaventura Durutti, the famous Spanish anarchist, said: "The only church that illuminates is a burning church." He was right, although not in the immediate anti-clerical sense in which his remark was intended: a truereligion arrives at its truth only through self-cancellation.
Slavoj Žižek, in "Dialectical Clarity versus the Misty Conceit of Paradox" in The Monstrosity of Christ : Paradox or Dialectic? (2009) edited by Creston Davis, p. 287