Manual The Village Against the World

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In Spain at large, nearly half a million families have been evicted since In Marinaleda, new houses have been built by their occupants. In the face of a hollowed-out national democracy serving the interests of the elite, Marinaleda makes decisions in weekly open assemblies. Can it be all it seems? Hancox is an enthusiastic and partial guide. His easy-going prose is a pleasure to read; the village and its characters well drawn. The charismatic mayor Sanchez Gordillo's beard is an "unruly socialist mess" and later, "a beard that could topple empires".

And while Hancox is sympathetic he's not sycophantic. While opponents might want to brush the project aside as a historical anachronism, its roots go deep. But Spain's anarcho-communist tendency stretches back beyond even the short-lived revolution to at least , when Francisco Pi y Margall instituted what Hancox describes as "the world's first and only anarchist nation state". Indeed, some have argued that anarchism is the natural state of the country, particularly in the south where each village has its own distinct character and there is a strong tradition of mutual aid forged through the necessity of poverty.

Hancox visits a vast worker's co-op during the olive harvest and dresses up to join in the revelry of the pre-Lenten carnival. He leaves us with a set of conflicting signals about what might lie ahead for Marinaleda. A new wave of headline-grabbing direct actions in — the expropriation of essential food supplies from supermarkets for redistribution to the poor, occupations of military land and an aristocrat's palace, and a three-week march across the south calling for a debt strike by local councils — has given the project a new profile.

But Marinaleda was born from grim circumstances and, as one resident suggests, "The crisis is not just here, but everywhere… this can be a beacon for the world if we remake it and start again. You can find our Community Guidelines in full here. Want to discuss real-world problems, be involved in the most engaging discussions and hear from the journalists?

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The Village Against the World by Dan Hancox – review

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The Village Against The World by Dan Hancox

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Interview with the writer of a "The Village Against the World" Dan Hancox

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Unfortunately, you will be liable for any costs incurred in return to sender parcels if the information you provided was inaccurate. Buy securely. Book of the Month. Authors Tim Winton Sarah J. Top Pick. The extraordinary story of Marinaleda, a communist utopia against all the oddsOne hundred kilometres from Seville lies the small village of Marinaleda, which for the last thirty-five years has been the centre of a tireless struggle to create a living utopia. This unique community drew British author Dan Hancox to Spain, and here for the first time he recounts the fascinating story of villagers who expropriated the land owned by wealthy aristocrats and have, since the s, made it the foundation of a cooperative way of life.

Today, Marinaleda is a place where the farms and the processing plants are collectively owned and provide work for everyone who wants it. A mortgage is per month, sport is played in a stadium emblazoned with a huge mural of Che Guevara, and there are monthly 'Red Sundays' when everyone works together to clean up the neighbourhood. Leading this revolution is the village mayor, Juan Manuel Sanchez Gordillo, who in became a household name in Spain after heading raids on local supermarkets to feed the Andalusian unemployed.

As Spain's crisis becomes ever more desperate, Marinaleda also suffers from the international downturn.


  • The Story of Marinaleda, the Communist Village Against the World.
  • Village Against the World.
  • Village Against the World.

Can the village retain its utopian vision?