Farewell to Munis, a revolutionary militant
Manuel Fernandez Grandizo, known as G. Munls, died on 4 February 1989. The proletariat has lost a militant who devoted his whole life to the class struggle.
Born at the beginning of the century, Munis began his life as a revolutionary very young, becoming a militant of Trotskyism at a time when this current was still in the proletarian camp and was waging a bitter struggle against the Stalinist degeneration of the parties of the Communist International. He was a member of the Spanish Left Opposition (OGE) which was formed in February 1930 in Liege, in Belgium, around F. Garcia Lavid, known as ‘H Lacroix'. He was active in the Madrid section where he supported the Lacroix tendency against the leadership around Andres Nin. The discussion in the Left Opposition revolved around the question of whether or not it was necessary to create a ‘second communist party' or to continue oppositional work within the existing CPs in order to regenerate them. This latter position, which in the 30s was that of Trotsky, was in a minority at the third conference of the OGE, which then changed its name to Izquierda Comunista Espanola (Spanish Communits Left). Despite his disagreement, Munis continued to militate within it.
This orientation towards creating a new party was concretized in the foundation of the POUM in September 1934. This was a centrist party, without any real principles. Regrouping the ICE and J Maurin''s ‘Workers and Peasants' Bloc'. Along with a small group of comrades, Munis opposed the dissolution of the revolutionary current into the POUM and founded the Bolshevik-Leninist Group of Spain.
The circumstances of his life had taken Munis to Mexico, but as soon as he received news of the 1936 uprising in Barcelona, he returned to Spain, reformed the Bolshevik-Leninist Group which had disappeared, and later on participated with courage and determination, alongside the ‘Friends of Durruti', in the May 1937 insurrection of the workers of Barcelona against the Popular Front government. Arrested in 1938, he managed to escape the Stalinist prisons in 1939.
The outbreak of the second imperialist world war led Munis to break with Trotskyism, on the question of the defense of one imperialist camp against another, and to adopt a clear internationalist position of revolutionary defeatism against the imperialist war. He denounced Russia as a capitalist country and this led to the Spanish section breaking with the IVth International at its first post-war Congress, in 1948 (cf ‘Explicacion y Llamamiento a los militantes, grupos y secciones de la IV Internacional,' September 1949).
After this break, his political evolution continued to move in the direction of greater revolutionary clarity, in particular on the union and parliamentary question, and notably after discussions with militants of the Gauche Communiste de France. However, the ‘Second Communist Manifesto' which he published in 1965 (after he'd spent a number of years in Franco's jails) showed a continuing difficulty in breaking completely from the Trotskyist approach, even though this document is evidently situated on a proletarian class terrain.
In 1967, along with comrades from the Venezuelan group Internacialismo, he participated in efforts to restore contacts with the revolutionary milieu in Italy. Thus, at the end of the ‘60s, with the resurgence of the working class onto the scene of history, he took his place alongside the weak revolutionary forces existing at that time, including those who were to form Revolution Internationale in France. But at the beginning of the ‘70s, he unfortunately remained outside the discussions and attempts at regroupment which resulted in particular in the constitution of the ICC in 1975. Even so, the Cerment Ouvriere Revolutionaire (FOR), the group he formed in Spain and France around the positions of the ‘Second Manifesto', at first agreed to participate in the series of conferences of groups of the communist left which began in Milan in 1977. But this attitude altered during the course of the second conference; the FOR walked out of the conference, and this was the expression of a tendency towards sectarian isolation which up to now has prevailed in this organization.
It's thus clear that we have very important differences with the FOR, which has led us to polemicise with them a number of times in our press (see in particular the article in International Review 52). However, despite the serious errors he may have made, Munis remained to the end a militant who was deeply loyal to the combat of the working class. He was one of those very rare militants who stood up to the pressures of the most terrible counterrevolution the proletariat has ever known, when many deserted or even betrayed the militant fight; and he was once again there alongside the class with the historical resurgence of its struggles at the end of the ‘60s.
We pay our homage to this militant of the revolutionary struggle, to his loyalty and unbreakable commitment to the proletarian cause. To the comrades of the FOR, we send our fraternal greetings.