The revolution in Spain was the 20th century’s greatest experiment in economic democracy and worker self-management.
Anarchists in the CNT and the FAI had been preparing for this for over 50 years. Spain’s workers and peasants built a new economy in the midst of the chaos. Altogether, approximately 18,000 enterprises in Catalonia, including just about all industries and 1,700 villages were collectivized between 1936 and 1937. For two years workers and peasants were in control of the economy.