Counterrevolutionary Internationale

34,000 people from across the world went to Spain to fight Franco. 177,000 people from across the world went to Spain to defend him. Since Burke, the counterrevolution has always been a continental affair (“No citizen of Europe could be altogether an exile in any part of it“). The notion that internationalism is an inherently or exclusively left-wing value is not quite right.


  1. John T. Maher December 9, 2015 at 1:11 pm | #

    Now the paradigm might be rephrased as all political notions become subjects of commerce and monetized in media. Viva la Revolucion! Becomes a Visa Gold Card motif or some such. That is the real neolib counterrevolutionary internationale. Venceremos!

    • David Alvarez December 9, 2015 at 7:41 pm | #


      Your last point is valid of course. In our own hemisphere, El Plan Cóndor was an example of state-sponsored internationalism of a counter-revolutionary kind, as was one of its off-duty offshoots, the Argentine Anti-Communist Alliance, with its many Latin American and trans-atlantic connections, including Italian neo-fascists.

      But I’m curious about the figure of 177,000 international Franco supporters you cite, which I’ve never seen cited before. Does that figure include members of the German and Italian armed forces who fought in Spain (or bombed Gernika) or does it refer exclusively to individuals who supported the Francoist cause, even if they may have been collectively organized in some fashion?


  2. Barry Carr December 10, 2015 at 3:12 am | #

    I’m also curious about the source for the 177,000 right wing pro-Franco internationalists . But Corey is absolutely right to note that solidarity and internationalism are not exclusive to the Left. Long before Plan Condor, a whole series of international anti-communist movements grew up from the late 1940s and early 1950s and some of them eventually morphed into the WACL (World Anticommunist League) founded in 1966. There was also a fascist transnationalism- no question – in the 1930s.

  3. Juli Highfill February 16, 2016 at 1:57 pm | #

    This is an astounding assertion, shocking really. The foreign soldiers who fought with Franco’s troops included the following: Italian soldiers (around 70,000-80,000), many of them conscripts, ordered to fight in Spain as part of the regular Italian army; Moroccan “regulares” (around 16% of Franco’s total forces), actively recruited in the Spanish Protectorate by the Spanish colonial army, the soldiers’ motivation being the wages sent to their impoverished families; German pilots and advisers, part of the German military, again ordered to fight in Spain. The total number of 177,000 seems a bit high and I, too, would like to see your source. On the other side, the International Brigades were all volunteers, recruited in large part by Communist Parties, but not soldiers in national armies ordered to fight in Spain. To equate the number of volunteers who fought for the Republic with the number of the soldiers sent under orders by fascist regimes is outrageous. I did not comment when I first saw this statement, because I assumed you would in good faith retract it, after receiving requests for facts. I wish you would now retract this statement, Corey. As someone who has followed your work, at least occasionally, it leaves me very disappointed.

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