Hugh Thomas, 9 April 1992
During the Spanish Civil War the Communist Party established a stranglehold over the Republican Government and Army. They were able to do this for many reasons. First, they could present themselves as the collaborators of the Soviet Union, the chief provider of armaments. They acted as agents for the International Brigades. In addition, they adopted a conciliatory domestic policy, suggesting that the Anarchists, Left Socialists and others were all wrong to think of revolution while the war was going on. The consequence was a great increase in Communist Party membership to include thousands of middle-class Spaniards whose ‘Marxism’ merely spelled the need for a refuge from the Anarchists. The novelist Goytisolo recalls that his father, an engineer in a Catalan factory, joined the Communists in order to try and prevent the Anarchists from taking over the plant.