Juan Montseny Carret

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Joan Montseny
Born (1864-09-19)September 19, 1864
Reus, Catalonia, Spain
Died March 12, 1942(1942-03-12) (aged 77)
Salon-de-Provence, France
Nationality Spanish
Other names Federico Urales
Juan Montseny i Carret
Occupation Worker, journalist, activist
Known for Anarchist activism
Spouse(s) Soledad Gustavo
Children Federica Montseny

Joan (or Juan) Montseny i Carret (also known under the pseudonym Federico Urales; August 19, 1864 —March 12, 1942) was a Catalan anarchist.[1]

A tunnelling worker, he joined the Spanish Socialist Workers' Party in 1885. In 1888, he was appointed general secretary of the National Federation of tunnelling workers. Montseny married Soledad Gustavo (pseudonym of Teresa Mañé i Miravet), a secular teacher in Vilanova i la Geltrú, and the two became local figures of Anarchism in Reus. They had a daughter, Federica Montseny. Their political options made the authorities close down their school, and Joan Montseny was detained in Barcelona's Montjuïc.

He took exile to the United Kingdom, returning under his assumed name. Settled in Madrid, he started publishing the newspaper La Revista Blanca in 1898. Although he benefitted from an amnesty, the paper was shut down in 1905. Montseny began working in agriculture, as well as writing literary pieces (essays, plays, and the novels La Novela Ideal - 1925, La Novela libre - 1929, El Luchador - 1931). In 1914, he declared himself in favor of Spanish participation in World War I. Together with his wife and their daughter, he started publishing a new version of La Revista Blanca in 1923. By the side of his daughter throughout the Spanish Civil War, Joan Montseny was forced to flee for France in 1939, as the troops of Francisco Franco defeated the remaining Republican armies. He died in an internment camp on March 12, 1942.

Thought[edit]

The individualist anarchism[2] of Montseny was influenced by Auguste Comte, Charles Darwin, Ludwig Büchner and Ernst Haeckel.[3] He saw science and reason as a defense against blind servitude to authority. He was critical of influential individualist thinkers such as Nietzsche and Stirner for promoting an asocial egoist individualism and instead promoted an individualism with solidarity as a way to guarantee social equality and harmony.[4] His anarchism was a highly idealist one which tried to put itself above other causes and positions.[5]

In the subject of organization he was highly critical of anarcho-syndicalism as he saw it plagued by too much bureaucracy and tended towards reformism.[6] Instead he favored small groups based on ideological alignement.[7] He supported the establishmente of the Iberian Anarchist Federation (FAI) in 1927 and participated in it.[8]

References[edit]