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The Fascism We Lived With

Francisco Franco

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The most clear-cut war between the political Right and the political Left took place in Spain in a horrible spasm of violence which lasted from July 17, 1936 to April 1, 1939.

The Spanish Civil War was a testing ground for new military equipment and tactics which still have a modern ring. This includes tank warfare, close air support, strategic bombing, strategic airlift, long-range precision fires (i.e. the 88mm Flak Gun), and information warfare.

The Spanish Civil War has all sorts of implications for our own metapolitical struggle, but even more importantly there are plenty of false analogies and the Spanish Right carried out its struggles in vastly different circumstances from the North American New Right.

A number of famous people spent time in Spain during the war, including Errol Flynn, George Orwell, and Ernest Hemmingway. Orwell and Hemmingway both wrote outstanding books based on their experiences in Spain. The leader of the rightest faction, Francisco Franco, ended the conflict as the most powerful man in Spain, where he ruled until his death in 1975.

“Loyalist Militiaman at the Moment of Death, Cerro Muriano, September 5, 1936,” by Robert Capa. While the photo could be staged, it is without a doubt that this image captured the pathos of the Spanish Civil War during the conflict.

The Long Fuse to War

Although there were non-Spaniards involved and there was plenty of Rightist propaganda about a Judeo-Bolshevik-Masonic conspiracy seeking to destroy Spain, the Spanish Civil War grew out of the long-standing cultural and political tensions entirely internal to Spain and Spanish culture. The war was thus more like the US Civil War than the Iraq War of 2003–2011 or the push for American involvement in World Wars I & II. The settings on the fuse for war were the following:

  • The Spanish Inquisition continued even after the subversive Jewish “Marranos” were extirpated. In Jew-free Spain, the Spanish Inquisition became unmoored in purpose. It moved from dealing with Jewish Subversion to suppressing unconventional thinking and free speech. Additionally, any jealous Spaniard could turn in his neighbors to the Inquisition. The Catholic Church became as much an oppressive force as a place of spiritual nourishment.
  • The Spanish Crown kept Spain unified through the institution of the Roman Catholic Church when it would have been better to promote unity through Iberian Blood. Nationalist, or sub-nationalist movements, such as in Catalonia, naturally became fiercely anti-clerical.[1] In such circumstances, anti-clerical Leftist movements such as Communism found a ready audience.
  • Spanish society didn’t develop its own large-scale financial industry.[2] There is no equivalent to the Federalist Party which was culturally “Right wing” and yet comfortable with complex commercial activity. There is no Spanish version of Alexander Hamilton. Year after year, the gulf between rich and poor stayed vast and unbridged. The upper class did not work and viewed money with disdain. In Spain the joke went, “Those that worked didn’t eat, those that ate didn’t work.”
  • Then came Napoleon. Spain in the early 1800s was the scene for a vicious insurgency. The term for such – “guerrilla” – is the diminutive of the Spanish term for “war” (guerra). The French brought what could be called “modernist” ideas to Spain, but at the point of a bayonet, to be a republican or a Freemason, or anything that was outside Catholicism or a something with roots in the Spanish Middle Ages was like being a collaborationist for an occupying power.
  • In the 19th century there was a series of coups and disorders that brought a violent edge to domestic politics. Additionally, there was a contested succession in the Bourbon Dynasty. Those that supported the Pretender Don Carlos became known as Carlists. Spanish political culture was so unstable that a series of coups and guerrilla wars (often involving the Carlists) resulted, and since some of the monarchists supported a different king, there wasn’t a central figure that could inspire nationwide loyalty.
  • In 1898, the United States captured Spain’s remaining Empire in a lightning-quick war. The Spanish Right’s vision of throne-and-altar clearly couldn’t resist the Yankee upstarts. The Spanish Left was energized.
  • In Spain at the time, what we view as the center of American politics contained a considerably radical Leftist revolutionary force – Revolution as religion. Freemasons really were violently anti-clerical subversives, trade unionists were really anti-capitalists, and anarchists were willing to kill for their ideas. Landowners and peasants mutually hated each other. The longstanding tensions in Spain became a pent up force, ready to explode.

The Languages of Spain. From left to right: Galician, Asturian and Leonese, Castilian (Spanish), Basque, Aragonese, Occitan (in red), and Catalonian.

I wish to dissuade those on North American right who might be tempted to imitate the Right of Spain in the early 20th century. The Right wing in Spain had no religious reformation or “Great Awakening.” In Spain the Catholic Church really had one foot in the medieval tradition. The Spanish Leftist critique of the Spanish Right was not without considerable merit.

As with the rest of Europe, World War I changed everything in Spain. Since it is common wisdom that Spain is where small armies are defeated and large armies starve, Spain easily maintained her neutrality and traded with all sides. The result was economic expansion, a baby boom, and Catalonia surpassed the rest of Spain in industrialization. When the economically depressed 1930s dawned, Spain had a large population of military age youths, an unstable, polarized political culture where coups and violence were the norm, and vast ethnic tensions. Spain became a Republic in 1931 after Alfonso XIII abdicated.

Symbols of the Spanish Republic.

Republics work well unless the political culture is so polarized that one domestic political faction cannot bear losing to a different domestic faction. In early 1936, a coalition of Leftist groups in the Popular Front won the election. Many of these Leftists were out-and-out Communists at a time when the Bolshevik menace was well understood. There were threats of “land reform” at the same time Spanish agricultural prices were down due to the Great Depression. The infantilism of the Left was everywhere in 1936. The only thing missing was transsexual story-hour for children.

The key factions of the Spanish Civil War consisted of the following:

The most important political Rightists:

  • The Falange: founded by José Antonio Primo de Rivera. This was a fascist party which was culturally Right wing, but it otherwise embraced modernity.
  • Carlists: a Roman Catholic group mostly from Navarre that grew from the contested dynasty issues in the 19th century.
  • Alfonsists: Monarchists that supported the return of the deposed Alfonso XIII.
  • CEDA: Roman Catholic conservatives that were anti-Communists.

The most important political Leftists:

  • Popular Front: a coalition of Leftist political parties whose leadership manned the official government of the Spanish Republic.
  • Pro-USSR Communists
  • Trotskyists: supporters of Trotsky, they would be hounded by the pro-USSR Communists throughout the war and were more a disruptive phantom for the Spanish Left in general than a real force.
  • Anarchists: organized in two groups the CNT and the FAI.
  • The International Brigades: foreign Leftist volunteers. George Orwell was one such soldier. American International Brigades included the Abraham Lincoln Brigade, the John Brown Artillery Battery, and the George Washington Battalion.
  • Other leftists: trade unionists and liberal intellectuals.

Also on the Leftist side, but not necessarily Leftists in the strictest sense, were Basque nationalists and Catalonian nationalists.

Shortly after the election of the Popular Front, political violence commonly spilled into the streets of Madrid. The fuse met the explosive on July 12, 1936. That day Falangist gunmen killed Lieutenant José Castillo of the Leftist Assault Guards in Madrid.

In response, a Leftist Madrid Police Captain named Fernando Condés arrested and had murdered a Rightist elected official named José Calvo Sotelo. Although Sotelo was murdered by rogue police carrying out an illegal arrest, the Leftist government of the Spanish Republic was blamed.

The Spanish Right went into an uproar. Meanwhile, from the end of the French occupation until 1936, the Spanish Army, however inefficient, had become the Deep State. Since the end of the French Occupation, the Spanish Army had a history of taking over in lighting coups and providing conservative stability and national unity in a pinch. The Spanish Army’s best troops were in North Africa, they consisted of the Spanish Foreign Legion and Moroccan colonial units. They’d been used by Francisco Franco to suppress a 1934 rising in Asturias.

Three days after the murder of José Calvo Sotelo, this army was airlifted from Spanish Morocco to Spain and they headed towards Madrid. The army expected to carry out a rapid coup and restore order, but the Leftist philosophy had seized the minds of many talented Spaniards. Much of the Spanish Army garrisoned in Spain stayed loyal to the Leftist Republican government. Most of the Spanish Navy’s sailors also remained loyal to the Republic. The rebel army (who came to be called Spanish Nationalists) were stopped by Republican militias at Madrid. The Deep State coup had failed. A bloody civil war followed.

The frontlines of Spain during the Civil War. Nationalist areas are in grey.

The Spanish Civil War was a war between whites who were passionately attached to their particular causes. The stories of individual actions, last stands, epic charges, and bold action by both sides during the Spanish Civil War are as colorful as any told by Homer. The military action of this war is less important than the metapolitics. Suffice to say, both parties brought in foreigners to fight. It was Franco, however, who dealt the foreign forces card from the bottom of the deck. His non-white Moroccan troops were as horrible to Spanish civilians as French Moroccan troops were to the people of Italy a decade later. The most militarily advanced force was the German Kondor Legion. Writing in the Field Artillery Bulletin in 2001, Major Prisco Hernadez called the Kondor Legion a “firepower package” and such a package can be an “option when use of force is deemed necessary but national interests are not immediately threatened.”[3]

Although they held on month after month with their valiant militias, the Spanish Left was never able to get it together. Anarchists fought the Communists, and the Communists fought the Trotskyists. When the Republican government relocated to Barcelona they irked the Catalonian nationalists.

Meanwhile the Right formed a cohesive government. “The stakes were very high” writes Warren Carroll, “Military coups have been frequent in the history of Hispanic countries, and sometimes their governments last for many years, but none endure for very long, historically speaking. Military men can rescue a country and rule it through a time of crisis; a particularly gifted general like Franco my rule for a lifetime; but in the end the soldiers will return to their barracks, and civilians must be found to govern. Without clear new principles to guide it, civilian government would reflect at best the personal interests of its leaders, at worst a renewal of revolution.”[4]

Francisco Franco came out on top. As Abraham Lincoln positioned himself at the center of the Republican Party during the polarized 1860 election, Franco positioned himself in the center of the Right-wing forces in Spain. He spoke about Carlist points as much as Falangist ideas.

Francisco Franco. In this portrait, the red beret represents the Carlists, the blue shirt represents The Falange, and the flag represents the conservative parts of the Spanish Right.

Franco’s Rightists won the war. They were able to deny the Republic support from Great Britain and the United States while getting some support from American corporations like the Texas Oil Company and Standard Oil. They carried out a cold-blooded repression of Leftists in their zones of control while capitalizing on the atrocities, in particular the anti-Catholic repressions, of the Leftists in the information war. The Falange turned out to be a key asset, in that former Leftists were able to join that movement rather than be backed into a corner and forced to fight to the death.

Their most important ally though was what came to be called “The Fifth Column” that is to say, the Republican-controlled areas held many quiet Rightists who didn’t support the Republic and turned against the Left the moment that it was safe for them to do so. Day after day the Nationalists won people to their cause and territory. The final moments of the Spanish Republic took place in the port of Alicante, where thousands of Republicans sought to escape the advancing Nationalists and there was a flurry of panicked suicides after the last ships carrying refugees withdrew.

Franco carried out a Spain First agenda during the Second World War. He sent a division of Spaniards to fight for the Germans in Russia, allowed some support for German U-Boats, but otherwise he gave little help to his former fascist allies.

At the end of World War II, with the Americans ascendant in Western Europe and the Cold War rapidly becoming unpleasant, Franco needed to win over US President Harry Truman. There was a catch, though. Truman grew up in a deeply Protestant part of the United States where the threat of the Spanish Armada to Protestant England in 1588 and the repression of the Protestant Dutch in the Spanish Netherlands remained part of the folk memories of the population. Additionally, Truman’s first attempt to join the US Army was during the Spanish American War. (Truman was too young and rejected.) He was widely seen as anti-Spanish. The Spanish turned directly to the American People through metapolitical lobbying efforts:

The Spanish government tried to bring domestic and international attention to its few supporters in the United States — mostly — those affiliated with Catholic institutions or organized anti-Communist groups. Petitions, letters to the editor, and articles in the American Catholic press all made the point that Spain was firmly in the Western camp, a bulwark of Christian civilization against godless Communism, and so should not be persecuted. In 1945, however, these were just initial inklings of what would later become the Spanish Lobby. This was a dedicated campaign, organized by the Spanish Embassy, to promote initially the restoration of normal ties, then improved trade and cultural relations, and finally a bilateral security arrangement. One such early effort, a newsletter known as Today’s World, was published in St. Louis from 1946 to 1947, with support from the Knights of Columbus. Reprinting speeches by Franco, along with anti-Communist columns by Clare Booth Luce and others, it warned of Soviet aggression and of the necessity to support the enemies of Communism.[5]

Slowly Truman began to warm to Franco’s Spain. The Eisenhower administration continued to embrace the Spanish. Ike even met with the former commander of Spanish forces in the Eastern Front in New York City. It was the American political Right however, that really led the way for an alliance between the United States and Spain. John Beaty writes:

With the Atlantic Ocean, the Mediterranean, and the lofty Pyrenees Mountains as barriers; under the sheltering arm of distance; and above all with no visible internal Communists or Marxists to sabotage our efforts, we can—if our national defense so requires—safely equip Spain‘s eighteen well-disciplined divisions, can develop airfields unapproachable by hostile ground troops, and in the deep inlets and harbors of Spain can secure safe ports for our navy and our merchant fleet. Our strengthening of Spain, second only to our keeping financially solvent and curbing Communists in this country, would undoubtedly be a very great factor in preventing the Soviet leaders from launching an all-out war. Knowing that with distant Pyrenees guarded and American-armed Spain against them, they could not finally win, they almost certainly would not begin.

Our strengthening of Spain‘s army, potentially the best in Europe outside of Communist lands, would not only have per se a powerful military value; it would also give an electric feeling of safety to the really anti-Communist elements in other Western European countries. Such near-at-hand reassurance of visible strength is sorely needed in France, for that country since the close of World War II has suffered from the grave internal menace of approximately 5,000,000 known Communists. In the general election of members of the French National Assembly June 17, 1951, the Soviet-sponsored Communist Party polled more than a fourth of all votes cast (New York Times, June 19, 1951), and remained the largest single political party in France. Moreover, Communist leaders dominate labor in crucial French industries. “In France, the Communists are still the dominant factor in the trade unions” (The Last Five Years, by George Meany, American Federation of Labor, Washington, D.C., p. 11). See also the heavily documented article, “French Communism,” by Andre La Guerre in Life, January 29, 1951. With Communists so powerful and so ready for sabotage or for actual rebellion, the France of 1952 must be regarded as of limited value as an ally. As said above, however, the dependability of France in the defense of the West would be enhanced by United States aid to the military forces of anti-Communist Spain.[6]

Other than hostility from Jews in the United States who supported Bolshevism, never forgot or forgave their expulsion from Spain after they supported the Moors, hostility towards Spain on the part of white Americans was a sort of culture lag. In truth, by 1917 the divisions in Western Christendom, i.e., the differing views between Roman Catholics and Protestants had shrunk considerably. The welfare state, pioneered by English and Welsh Protestants in organizations such as the Labour Party and the Fabian Society provided a salve for the working poor that were so buffeted by the negatives of capitalism. Meanwhile, Bolshevism, the ruthless child of the Jacobin philosophy, was a powerful enemy to both halves of Western Christianity. Stalwart anti-Communist Calvinists could easily see the point of view of anti-Communist Roman Catholics.

Franco’s rule proved steady and resilient. The Spanish economy improved remarkably over the next four decades. At the same time the memory of the Spanish Republic gained a romantic glow that was not unlike the Lost Cause found in the American South. However, had the Communists taken over the Spanish Republic in the 1930s, a great people in Western Europe would have fallen to a dark tyranny. With Spain in their camp it is possible the Soviets could have won all Europe during World War II.

Many Leftists in the International Brigades who fought against Franco’s forces went to their graves feeling that had they been supported by their countrymen World War II could have been prevented. They believed that they were “democracy’s” early warning against Fascism. However, Franco’s handling of the Communist menace proved more an example for anti-Communists in the United States and Latin America during the Cold War. It was Franco who was on the “right side of history” not the Leftists.

Arturo Reque Meruvia, «Kemer»: Alegoría de Franco y la Cruzada (1948 – 1949)


[1] Walter Russell Mead argues in his 2006 study of Anglo-Saxon society that the Protestant Reformation gave Anglo societies a degree of philosophical stability that the Catholic societies of France and Spain lack. To explain, the societies of France and Spain are split between two poles, on the one side is a rational humanism (reason) and on the other side is Catholicism (tradition). As a result the politics of such societies get split between social movements based on humanist reason (i.e. Marxism/Jacobinism/Bolshevism) or reactionary Catholicism. On the other hand, the Anglo society has both humanist reason, traditional Catholicism, and a third pole, Reformed Protestantism (revelation). Mead explains, “Consider a three-sided pyramid whose sides gradually become less steep until they reach a flat top. The top area will be triangular in shape; on every side of this triangle the slopes of the pyramid gradually become steeper. Now think of a gyroscope spinning on the top of the pyramid. It moves as it spins—now toward what we can call the “reason” side of the pyramid, now toward the “tradition” side, and now toward the “revelation” side. As long as the gyroscope doesn’t stray too far from the flat area on top, it can move freely back and forth among the three sides. But if it strays too far, it will pass a point of no return and begin a descent toward the ground.” (p. 247). With only two sides, Spanish society began a descent towards the ground in the 1930s.

[2] Michael Pye, in his excellent book The Edge of the World: A Cultural History of the North Sea and the Transformation of Europe, claims that the indigenous Europeans who lived around the North Sea, the Anglo-Saxons, Scots, Frisians, Dutch, Danes, etc. had a complex financial and maritime trade system as early as the Dark Ages. Banking and stock markets are cultural creations of Nordics. While there are Jews involved in banking and the like, these financial industries are not items that naturally arrive out of Jewish cultural norms. A key thing about banking is that the parties involved must be trusted to safely store and transmit money – this is not a specifically Jewish trait. Jewish financial practices are more along the lines of vulture capitalism, which under certain conditions can transfer, but not create, wealth, as well as Ponzi schemes, usury, and embezzlement.


[4] Carroll, Warren, The Last Crusade, Christendom Press, Front Royal, VA, 1996, p. 44

[5] Bowen, Wayne H.. Truman, Franco’s Spain, and the Cold War, University of Missouri Press, 2017. Page 69

[6] Beaty, John, The Iron Curtain Over America, 1952, pp. 96 & 97

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  1. RVBlake
    Posted January 6, 2020 at 3:47 am | Permalink

    I am glad you mentioned Franco’s use of non-White troops against his own people. The French in World War II heavily used Saharan and Sub-Saharan troops, both Free French and Petainists. These actions trump whatever ideology they espouse.

    • keryx
      Posted January 6, 2020 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

      The use of non-white toops was merely a tactical decision which proved to be a wise one since it offered the Right the necessary firepower to defeat the Left. I don’t think that installing terror (the way only savages can) into the hearts of white communists and traitors is a bad thing.

      The Spanish Civil War was a crusade to save Spain from communism, there are no parallels with the current racial problem in the US and in Europe.

      Moreover, had the Germans not been blinded by their antislavism and they had actively promoted and supported the anti-communists in the USSR their war aims might have been achieved. Interestingly, the nazi official mostly opposed to the use of slavic volunteers was Martin Bormann who according to Reinhard Gehlen’s Memoirs (and other sources) was a soviet spy and instrumental to the defeat of the Reich.

      • RVBlake
        Posted January 7, 2020 at 3:53 am | Permalink

        The “tactical use” of these non-Whites was surely employed against more than just Communists and traitors. More likely, against the type of people who always suffer most in any war: Innocent peasants whose only ideology is getting by day-to-day. As was the case in World War II when Free French General Juin unleashed his Moroccan savages against Italian peasants after the battle of Monte Cassino. Wikipedia states that the Moroccans acted against French orders, and French officers were shooting Moroccan “ghoumis” found guilty of these savageries. A revisionist history site, I forget whether IHR or CODOH, reports the Moroccans were reaping the promises made by Juin. Regardless, the result is the same. Non-White savages attacking White civilian populations with approval, tacit or otherwise, of their White commanders.

        • Greg Johnson
          Posted January 7, 2020 at 4:28 am | Permalink

          Honestly, Franco was right to use all forces at his disposal to kill communists and save Spain. He would have been a traitor to his nation to have done otherwise. He should have done his best to maintain order and disciple among his troops, especially the Africans. Maybe he did. Maybe he didn’t. But the rewards were worth the risk in my opinion. I am not going to second-guess him on this matter.

          • RVBlake
            Posted January 7, 2020 at 7:38 am | Permalink

            My concern is with the peasants who most likely reaped the results of Franco’s “tactical” correctness in deploying Africans. As regards the point of treason, if he led an uprising against his government, was he not already a traitor to his country? Most especially if he enlisted the services of Germans and Italians. I know, plenty of horrors on both sides…And the Leftists have the deaths of Catholic clerics on their side of the ledger.

            • Greg Johnson
              Posted January 7, 2020 at 7:57 am | Permalink

              Treason only if you regard the communists as legitimate.

          • d.diconez
            Posted January 9, 2020 at 9:15 pm | Permalink

            exactly, Mr. Johnson. as much as one may dig Orwell’s or Hemingway’s writings, or hate Franco’s Moor forces, or remember Guernica… the alternative was worse. the side of the Internationalist Brigades should not be considered legitimate, ever, at least around these parts.

            plus, it was not only clerics who got killed by leftists, pretty much anyone who was considered a kulak. the main lefty intellectuals such as Machado eventually fled btw (some to nonwhite Latin countries, to boot!), so it’s not like they stayed to fight. and eventually, as always, the republicans got into faction wars; for example the anarchists obviously were brave but ultimately terribly disorganized units, and the Stalinist faction was of course trying to overpower the others. people yap now Monday quarterbacking about “defending democracy”, but Spain never had a democratic tradition (dare I say genes, too?) in the first place, and the Republic had thus failed miserably. the liberal monarchy that came after Franco fixed some mistakes but enabled others, and by now has also broken down…

            (and maybe the British one has broken down too, btw, and other North Sea liberal monarchies are proving inept globalists… even the Danish socialists that promised strong borders then turned on their voters… so, while moderate liberalism happens easier among North Sea peoples, as can be seen now, liberalism maybe just takes longer in them to break down into internationalist corpo-communism…)

  2. Irena Uderska
    Posted January 6, 2020 at 7:07 am | Permalink

    The Spanish Civil War is my favourite Civil War as – for once – the side that I support won a resounding victory. A victory that they were able to maintain until Franco’s death. Now all is in ruins. The Catholic Church in Spain – like elsewhere – is a citadel of left wing filth. Apart from a few brave priests, the Catholic Church failed to protest the exhumation and removal of General Franco’s body from the Valley of the Fallen. Indeed, the Spanish Bishops also refused to accept copies of a republished book that proclaimed Franco as an exemplary Catholic. The Monarchy too – in the person of Felipe VI – has failed. Felipe VI – a Monarch who above all else failed in his duty to provide Spain with a suitable Consort of Royal or at least noble blood. Instead he has debased the Monarchy with a plastic creature of left wing republican views. Felipe VI – a Monarch who is weak in every way. Even the once strong Carlist cause is fragmented and for the most part abandoned. And Spain is now a country that is falling prey to the siren song of separatism. Only here and there are there scattered bands of men and women who fight on regardless of personal cost – these are the true heirs of the Nationalist cause and the spiritual successors of Jose Antonio and General Franco.

    • d.diconez
      Posted January 6, 2020 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

      which is why i disagree with the article’s initial negative view of the unifying role of the Spanish Catholic throne and altar. Spain is supposed to be a crown, not even a single kingdom; it is not unified by language, nor even by blood as Basques are different genetically from the rest of Iberian peoples, and Galicians and Catalans probably are at least partly descended from other slightly different groups. since Roman times the Iberian provinces were a hodgepodge of peoples (Celtiberian, Basques, Greeks and Phoenicians in the Medi coast), and their lands were also occupied by a lot of Roman army retirees and then different Germanic chieftains (Goths in Toledo, Vandals in Galicia/Portugal, etc); then the deluge of Moors and Mozarabs and even some Jews, and the consequent mixups that happened; ending with the limited but significant exodus to the colonies, which drained some of the productive classes and also some of the lower nobles that may have provided… so of course, only the Catholic mission of restoring Christianity to “all the Hispaniaes” would unify this country. otherwise, we see what you poignantly describe now, the disintegration of the former Spanish crown into fuzzy shards of nation-states that could only survive if subsumed into the EU… thus, maybe it would be better to serve Toledo/Madrid/Rome united, as oppose to groveling under Brussels/DC/Tel Aviv disunited?

      true, Spain’s peasants could have learned how to read and used steam engines and “enterprising” a century or two earlier and stuff… but aside that, and the temporary inflation caused by royal-priestly Hapsburg bureaucracy and excessive gold mining, the Spanish didn’t have it worse than the rest of Europe economically. what was true, is that the interior of Spain was never really fertile land (nor its peasants that hardworking), so eventually the minority-majority periphery gained the economic upper hand (see a pattern?) and people started fleeing there and elsewhere. but this could have been denied by avoiding modernist pro-urban reforms. also, the Inquisition only executed relatively few people over the centuries, many less than the witch trials in Northern Europe and North America – please don’t drink the black legend koolaid. not to mention, Catholic societies had relatively more holidays, fairs, and higher tolerance of drinking and dancing (lest we forget the Cromwellians). barring the stupid mercantilist decision of only allowing the Seville port to trade with allll the American colonies, and the excesses of Hapsburg absolutist-mercantilism overall, for the average person the Spanish system worked, as proven by how many Spaniards were okay with staying in Spain serving the priests and nobles in the fields, rather than fleeing to the cities or the New World (which only started happening when both liberals and conservatives tore the Spanish peasantry apart in the 19th century). meanwhile the English wanted to flee the barons taking over clerical lands and erasing the rights of tenants on them (precursor to the 19th century Corn Laws later enabling the bourgeois, descendants of these barons, to shove the remainder of peasants into assembly lines), and the beginning of factories and industrial living, so they moved en masse across the globe. true, the English may have been more genetically prone to cold sober industrious life in the first place (which may not reflect in the current English populace, so degraded from drugs, welfare, mass media, and more causes and effects of dysgenics), and they did defeat the Armada and take down many galleons; but, by the same token, one could not pretend the Spanish peoples should compete industrially at the same rate, with different genes…

      to me, Spain’s woes really started when the Bourbons came in with their enlightened despotism, the even more awful precursor to the enlightenment (and perhaps an upcoming mode of elite government in these future days). the Spanish Bourbons may have had some initial material success (seen even today), but they imitated the mistakes of their French cousins in destroying the French landed nobility by moving them to the cities, and breaking up old fiefdoms and monasteries that may have needed reform but counterbalanced the royal bureaucracies and bourgeois urban capitalists. this move made a little bit of more sense in France, where “the ile de France” Parisian central government has for a millennia always been interventionist over the country to hold it together (and even then, the merits of such centralization could be argued, as France is forever split between city and country, and ancient white minorities of France are near culturally extinct). but in Spain, the central government was built up organically from the earlier medieval governments, meaning that erasing these old institutions effectively moved the floor beneath a ton of people; while still keeping the nobles but now as a parasite class in Madrid (which was a newer centralizing capital, as opposed to each kingdom having their courts), AND in collision course with the bourgeois industrialists that were leading everyone into hungry tenements and funding liberal uprisings and secessionism; thus, both elite classes were leaving the peasants behind, who then increasingly crammed into the industrial ports, the capital, and abroad…

      no wonder tons of peasants at the turn of the 18th century went hungry and wanted revolution in both countries. in Spain, however, the discontent went deeper, because the erasure of the kingdoms of Aragon, Navarra, and other special “fueros” (sort of local liberties that certain cities and territories enjoyed, even the colonies, which rebelled originally to restore these ancient liberties and not necessarily to break away), meant that people lost not only rights and privileges but their current identity too. therefore, the people either retreated into a ultraCatholic/Carlist posture that admitted no change at all, or became razorsharp modern anticlericalists that only thought of permanent modernization and change (no wonder so relatively many were anarchists), while reverting to dividing each other by ethny and language in the last few decades – with the difference that there are now some Castilian-speakers among Galicians, Basques, and Catalans, and no doubt genetic intermixing too. this is a similar problem Scotland has, there are many identified with Great Britain and even some blood ties; thus making a natural organic secession of peoples in both cases near impossible, without civil war at least. plus, even if these minority secular ethnostates successfully break away, what is the guarantee they even remain white? the Catalans upon separation are not going to become Calvinists or even have a national faith, they will skip ahead in the liberalizing process as they want to join the EU and feed Moorish refugees right away…

      (there are more Iberian minorities and languages btw, such as Asturians, Cantabrians, Leonese, Aragonese), but the strong secessionisms only remained precisely in the more successful industrial ports, which due to trade discontent with Castilian-Sevilian monopoly of colonial trade were being infiltrated by secular/foreigners/nonCatholics, who used discontent to weaken Spain – the English were allies to the Portuguese and Dutch to this effect, cannibalizing most of their empires in the process, funded the Latin secularist independence movements, and supported America’s Monroe Doctrine and 1898 anti-Spain war…)

      again, i know, the priests should have invested in STEM (lol) and not just in land and arts, and the returning monarchy AND Franco should have restored the ancient “fueros” liberties, so the productive people of the ports didn’t flee to the colonies nor become rootless urban anticlericalists. instead, what happened was just rehashing the Bourbon unitarian state with added on modern regions (which on one hand united Catalonia, but divided up Castile), which led to the bourgeois paradigm being reinstated as soon as Franco’s personal fascism died. with this paradigm however came also revolution, and the door-slide to the modern left, that which is now subsuming into globalist corpo-communism even the secular romantic Spanish nationalisms that it overplayed in the past to oppose the priests (these ironically have become less Catholic and more modernist too, trying to fit in with the post-Luther, post-Enlightenment, post-1917 and post-1968 members of the establishment, so it’s not like they could help a lot now, except the few trad ones).

      of course, i know Catholicism alone will not save Spain, but it will remind her of her roots; and the roots of the Spanish kingdoms of the Crown eventually all join together, genetically and culturally, at the feet of Santiago Matamoros and Don Pelayo. and, it would also help if the descendants of Moors and Incans were not accepted in droves as well…
      in short, even if i’m just a castizo colonial that cannot end a ramble, arriba Vox, arriba España…

  3. George Kerby
    Posted January 6, 2020 at 9:00 am | Permalink

    Orwell didn’t fight in the International Brigades, his Trotskyite leanings would have caused his rejection. He joined the militia of the P. O. U. M. a Trotskyite party; after his wounding by a Nationalist sniper, the P. O. U. M was eliminated by the pro-Stalinist Republican government.
    The first and third Carlist Wars of the nineteenth century were far more than coups or guerrilla activity but were (likewise) full-scale civil wars with mass battles and proportionate casualties.
    I can’t quite believe in Franco’s ideological Fascism, he was a middle-class, Catholic army officer who was fed-up with the increasing chaos of Republican Spain. His assumed leadership and unification of the Falange Espanola with the Carlists probably caused their subsequent diminished status. Likely a deliberate move to de-fang the Spanish right after having eliminated the left.
    Franco’s personal courage under fire during the Rif wars was legendary in the Spanish Army.
    An anecdote tells that Hitler claimed that he’d rather spend an afternoon in the dentist’s chair than negotiate with that man. (Franco)

  4. Vauquelin
    Posted January 7, 2020 at 9:07 am | Permalink

    While Franco remains an admirable individual, one could say his rule demonstrated the failure of “[nation] first,” rather than international coalitions of rightism. Under his rule Spain embraced neutrality in the War, and after the fact, sat isolated in a rapidly liberalizing Europe as its nationalist allies lay defeated. Franco’s regime fizzled out like a burning cinder in an ice field.
    I often wonder what sort of a leader General José Sanjurjo, the original leader of the Rightist faction who suffered a premature and accidental death, would have been like.

  5. Hh
    Posted January 7, 2020 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

    This is biased. The world had resounding support for the republic, into the 20th Century. The Left was very different and very enlightened then.

  6. Proofreader
    Posted January 7, 2020 at 11:14 pm | Permalink

    Note to editor:

    [1] Walter Russell Mead argues in his 2006 study of Anglo-Saxon society that the Protestant Reformation gave Anglo societies a degree of philosophical stability that the Catholic societies of France and Spain lack. [rework sentence to include the title of Mead’s book; I presume this is God and Gold: Britain, America and the Making of the Modern World]

  7. Sartor
    Posted January 12, 2020 at 10:38 pm | Permalink

    Mention of the Spanish Constitution reminds me of an amusing personal experience. I was in Toledo for the 40th anniversary and they put on a great show. To underscore the diversity theme, it featured an elegant blonde violinist accompanied by a shaggy African on drums. The incongruity could not have been more illustrative. The point was, of course, entirely lost PC organisers but not I suspect on many of us.
    And, yes, I remember Franco’s Spain as a youth and loved it but still thought this a very balanced overview.

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