Are We Like Spain Before It’s Civil War?

Corruption and Lies History Law and Order Liberty/Politics

I have heard it said that the situation today in the US is like the situation in Spain that led to the Spanish Civil War. Not remembering a lot about the Spanish Civil War, except that there were three sides – Republicans, Communists, and Fascists and the Fascists won under Generalissimo Franco, (who remained neutral during WWII and Spain was, therefore, the only fascist country to survive the war,) I thought I should look into it.

I think it is timely to look at this not only because someone said that the current situation in the US reminds them of the Spanish Civil War era but because, from what I know of history, it seems like fascist movements are the only ones who have been able to meet and overcome communist manipulations and subterfuge once they have gained the degree of infiltration and domination that they have already achieved in the US. It remains to be seen how republican ideals will fare against communist subversion and treachery but so far, in history, they have been overcome by communist treachery and lies unless aided by a powerful outside influence (like the US).

However, our government was largely set up for an ethical people, and communists (as well as many Americans today,) deny that there is even any morality at all. They reject it as the manipulation of those in power to keep others under control. I disagree with that, as you know, and believe that there is a truth and behavior that underlies humanity. It is a truth and norm of behavior that either evolved over tens of thousands of years to facilitate our survival in community with one another or it is a morality that has been imprinted on our soul by an eternal creative force that guides our development and existence, or both.

Greetings Freedom Troopers and friends of SabersEdge, I apologize that I have not been more prolific but I am working 7 days this week and we will continue doing 6-day shifts for the foreseeable future because we are severely short-handed at work. For now, let us look at the Spanish Civil War and its philosophical martyr Jose Antonio Primo de Rivera.

Quotes from Antonio are taken from the book Jose Antonio Primo de Rivera; The Foundation of the Spanish Phalanx, by Nick W. Sinan Greger (A Biography & Ideology of KDP Publishers, 2018 1st Edition). I finished this book two weeks ago and this post doubles as a bit of a book review. I found the book very readable and well-written and it made some interesting points. I think Jose Antonio Primo de Rivera and his father would have both been interesting people and both were well-known to be principled, friendly, and charismatic.

Generalissimo Franco was still in charge of Spain when I went there in 1979 although he later returned the government to a Constitutional Monarchy. When I was there as a student counselor with my sister (who was taking her High School Spanish Class to Spain,) it was a beautiful, but different, place. I really liked Spain, especially the castles and centuries-old architecture, but when we went to see the Palace and seat of government we were told that no assembly of people was allowed of more than two people. Since my sister, I, and her son were there that was inconvenient for us. However, every time a group of three or more would form one of the grey-clad, iron-helmeted, sub-machine gun-carrying members of the La Guardia Civil, would begin walking over toward the group and it would rapidly dissolve long before he arrived there. The government police were not someone you went to for help. They were feared.

This was the heritage of the Spanish Civil War when demonstrations became a threat to the government as people became increasingly dissatisfied with the situation in their country.

Although I was taught Mexican Spanish in High School, I had to get used to a few differences in how the language was used in Spain. The language varies in use and the accent and use of language are noticeably different from country to country. I often marvel at people who think all Hispanics are the same, it is a kind of racism that dumps people into boxes and then expects them to conform to their box. The friends and acquaintances I have had from Spain, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Argentina, and Chile have all had a different way of speaking the language and I know that native speakers can readily tell what nation or area other speakers are from. Just as we distinguish a Bostonian from a Georgian, from a Scotsman, or someone from London.

Language use is just one example among many of the myriad of differences that make all the cultures and peoples of the Earth unique and interesting and I oppose any philosophy, political view, or prejudice that wants to make everyone look, talk, think, or speak the same. For me, I have always embraced the Vulcan IDIC philosophy from Star Trek: Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations is the way of the universe and it keeps life interesting. Unlike the sameness that is seen in 1984 or Communist societies. That is why I support Germany remaining German, France remaining French, and Poland remaining Polish, just as much as I support Algeria remaining Algerian. Once a culture is lost it is generally lost forever and Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations is what true diversity and Inclusion are about. The culture and national history of Spain was very important to Jose Antonio Primo de Rivera and he believed his country had a destiny and that it was tied to their national identity as a people.

I think the same holds true for us.

Somehow, many people have forgotten that all Hispanics have a Spanish heritage and that heritage is grounded in Europe as much as it is in the Americas; much like our own heritage in the United States is grounded in Europe. Both Spain and the US have roots that go back to Greece and Rome. But the truth is anathema to political cultists.

I think that open borders are going to hurt the Left, in the end, because the people from South of the Border are overwhelmingly traditional, devoutly Catholic, family-oriented, proud, and very often fleeing the same type of Socialist Paradise that they are trying to create here. That cannot go well for them. Although, a flood of unassimilated immigrants means that we may well lose our national identity as well. As so often happens, Leftists will have destroyed everything and left nothing but misery in their wake.

The elite are only looking as far as “cheap labor” as is revealed by the comments of our Democratic leaders. I specifically remember Rep. Nancy Pelosi saying at a news conference how horrible it was that DeSantis was sending immigrants to New York and Washington because “we need these people in Florida picking fruit and tending gardens.” And supposedly it is the Republicans who are racists?

But we were talking of the Spanish Civil War and its similarity to the situation in America today. Were my sister still alive I would have called her and talked to her about it but I have had to live too many years without her companionship for my liking and I look forward to when we can be together again. If there is still a world left I think we will probably pass through this way together again in the future, as I believe we have done in the past.

Without her, my next option was to look at my bookshelves in the Spanish History section. My largest Spanish History book was from my sister and it is in Spanish so I would need to review the language before I could tackle that one. However, I had a biography on Jose Antonio Primo de Rivera, son of the former (short-lived) dictator Generalissimo Miguel de Rivera who assumed power briefly at the request of his generals and King Alfonso XIII to restore order to Spain in a dangerous time. He abdicated and moved to France when opinion turned against him but even his political enemies said that he was a nice and a good man (which is unusual for a dictator.)

We will never know how Jose Antonio Primo de Rivera would have ruled because as a representative of the political opposition in their parliament Jose Antonio Primo de Rivera was arrested on trumped-up charges and executed by a government that used its police and the courts to attack its political enemies (a tendency of totalitarian governments that is striking uncomfortably close to us in America today). I chose to look at him for this study because he became the inspirational martyr of the winning side in the Spanish Revolution. Rather than listing the facts of the Spanish Civil War, we will look at what he said in letters and speeches during his political career leading up to that war.

From what I have read, I am pretty sure that Antonio would have been at odds with Generalissimo Franco as betraying the principles of the revolution, however, as Thomas Jefferson found when he was president sometimes what works in philosophy needs to be altered when philosophy collides with reality. Adolf Hitler, to go to the other extreme from Jefferson, once said something to the effect that National Socialists had to be true to their worldview but they also had to understand that politics is an art that requires one to make compromises (sorry I don’t have the exact quote but I am not as up on my Hitler as I am on my Jefferson.) Hitler and Generalissimo Franco were both Fascists but fascism was a very different creature in every country where it appeared. Now on to Jose Antonio de Primo de Rivera.

“For several decades we had been listening to defeatist teachings and propaganda, and we had almost reached the stage of losing faith in ourselves…the heir of weaknesses, of limping indecisions, of picturesque posturings…we got accustomed to a life of mediocrity and coarse pretentiousness.” – Parliament October 9, 1934.

“When we…of our generation, look about us, we find a world in moral ruin; a world split by every kind of differences: and as regards what concerns us most nearly, we find a [country] in moral ruin, [a country] split by every kind of hatred and conflict.” Speech Madrid October 29, 1933.

“We need two things: a nation, and social justice. We shall not have a nation so long as each one of us regards himself as the holder of a separate interest, the interest of a group or faction. We shall not have social justice so long as each one of the several classes, in a system of conflict, seeks to impose its own domination on the rest. Therefore, neither liberalism nor Socialism is capable of providing us with the two things we need…there is something that lies hidden…something that clamors more insistently every day to be brought to light…a revolution that has two veins: the vein of profound social justice…and the vein of a deep traditional feeling, springing from a tradition in the very marrow of our bones.” speeches in parliament 1934

“It is possible to say in any situation that one should wait until things get worse. But if the matter can be attended to earlier, what purpose is served by waiting till the situation becomes desperate?” – Jose Antonio Primo de Rivera, 1934.

“When confronted with the resolute will to attack, a cold passive intention to resist is not enough. One faith must be opposed by another.” Arriba, January 16, 1936.

Here he could have easily been speaking to us today. What is served by waiting to act? Things will only get worse for everybody if we don’t. He then spoke about areas of autonomy in Spain, and while separatist movements are not as active today in the US as they were in Spain in the early 20th Century I have to think of the increasing efforts by people to separate us into hostile camps by differentiating our gender, politics, and race. What is served by this except more division? Humanity has survived for this long by working together. While a certain pride in one’s culture and individual condition is admirable a division of the people of our countries into hostile camps of us and them is not.

 “It has been said that autonomy is coming to mean the recognizing of a region’s (for us a person’s,) personality; that autonomy is one precisely by those regions which are most highly differentiated…I should be grateful, and I believe Spain would be grateful too, if we all gave some thought to this point. If we grant autonomy as the reward for differentiation, we run the very grave risk that this autonomy may serve as a stimulus towards still deeper differentiation. If autonomy is to be won by distinguishing oneself by deeply marked characteristics from the rest…then in conferring autonomy we run the risk of extending an invitation to deepen these differences…” Jose Antonio Primo de Rivera, 1934.

We also saw a similar problem in the economic structure of our societies:

“Our modest economic resources are burdened with the support of an intolerable mass of parasites: bankers who grow rich by lending other people’s money at high rates of interest; owners of great estates who soullessly and effortlessly charge vast rents…directors of large companies who are ten times better remunerated than thos by whhose efforts the businesses are run [today he would say hundreds or thousands of times better-Daniel]; holders of bonus shares, who in most cases are being recompensed in perpetuity, or are receiving the rewards of intrigue: usurers, money-brokers and middlemen. In order that this thick layer of idlers may be supported, without their contributing the slightest addition to the fruits of other people’s toil, managers, industrialists, merchants, farmers, fishermen, intellectual workers, artisans, and laborers, slaving away with no illusions, are obliged to pare down their scanty means of subsistence. Thus the standard of living for all the producing classes…the middle class and common people, is deplorably low…” Arriba, January 1, 1936.

While our society is still one of the richest in the world, the problem Antonio cited remains. Antonio also cited the Spanish revolution. It was a revolution whose ideals had been betrayed by those who followed as the people began to lose faith in their ideals. He said that Spain was being crushed between the twin millstones of a lack of ambition and belief in their historical heritage and the other millstone of a perversion of justice in the society. Yet, Jose Antonio Primo de Rivera beleived that it was those very ideals that offered hope to the future of Spain and I believe it is our own revolutionary ideas of 1776 that offer the foundation of hope for our future. He said:

“we had arrived at the moment for the breaking of the upper millstone of lack of ambition and historical mission, and the lower on of lack of social justice. The revolution…seemed to hold out the promise, as regards the historical [purpose], of restoring [to the country,] a common interest and a common undertaking.” Jose Antonio Primo de Rivera, address to Parliament 6-6-1934.

“Every time the revival of a common national ambition has apparently been glimpsed, it has quickly been frustrated by the strife of party against party.” Primo de Rivera, A Manifesto to Spain, April 4, 1934.

I think it is the party elites of both parties, who are desperately clinging to their own power and agendas that are the greatest enemy to the survival of the United States today. The Left is pushing for a redefinition of everything according to the Communist Manifesto (whether they realize it or not,) and the Republicans stand back and do nothing because they are afraid of disturbing the status quo that made them powerful and rich. Meanwhile, as Jose Antonio would have pointed out, it is the common people that suffer.

Similarly, if I hear one more time from a party who just managed to eek out a victory by a couple percentage points that they have a “mandate from the people” I am going to barf. But none of this is new.

“We have witnessed the sight of a Parliament which, convinced that electoral victory empowered it to do whatever it saw fit, did so indeed, even up to the point of crushing the rest of humanity.” Primo de Rivera in a lecture to the university in Madrid, April 9, 1935.

“For several decades we had been listening to defeatist teachings and propaganda, and we had almost reached the stage of losing faith in ourselves…the heir of weaknesses, of limping indecisions, of picturesque posturings…we got accustomed to a life of mediocrity and coarse pretentiousness.” – Parliament October 9, 1934.

In closing let us consider his words on 

” ‘Right”]’ and ‘left’ are barren and incomplete values. The Right, through seeking to ignore the distress and urgent economic demands of the times, end up depriving their religious and patriotic appeals of all human validity. The Left, through closing their minds of the masses to what is spiritual and national, end up degrading economic conflict into the savagery of wild beasts. Today two total concepts of the world stand facing one another; whichever wins will finally break off the customary alternation. Either victory will go to the spiritual Western, Christian, [and national,] concept of life with al the service adn sacrifice it involves, but with all the individual dignity and national honor it confers or else victory will go to the materialist Russian [communist] concept of life, which beyond subjecting [our people] to the savage yoke of a Red Army and a ruthless policy, will disintegrate [our nation] into local republics.” – Jose Antonio Primo de Rivera, writing from the dungeons of the national Security Police Headquarters on March 14, 1936 (8 months before his execution by the opposing political party that was in charge.)

He was executed for opposing the government and for having an illegal pistol (which was the initial charge.) Interestingly, he was arrested without charge and a month later they made owning firearms illegal. A police officer loyal to the party in charge then searched his house and found a pistol. The pistol was illegal because he had had two weeks to turn the pistol in and had not done so. The truth that he was in prison for that two weeks and could not have turned it in was irrelevant to the political judge who tried him. What would it be like to live in a country where the administrations political opponents could be arrested on fake or infintessimal charges and executed?

“The Right is the attempt to perpetuate an economic system even though it may be an unjust one, and the Left is at heart the desire to overthrow an economic organization even though in the overthrow many good things should be ruined.” speech, Madrid, October 29, 1933.

“Both of them (Right and Left) cloak their insufficiency with verbiage.” – Lecture, Madrid, April 9, 1935.

“The parties of the Left do see man, but they see him in an uprooted state. The common factor of all the Left elements is a concern for the individual as against all historic [reality] and all political [reality], as if man and these were contradictory terms. hence, “Leftism” is a solvent, it is corrosive; it is ironical, and endowed though it [may] be with a brilliant set of intellects, is nevertheless very good at destruction and seldom much good at construction.” Lecture, Madrid, April 9, 1935.

One last quote:

“Communism subordinates everything to the interest of the state; in no country has there ever existed less freedom than in [Communist] Russia; in none has there ever been a more oppressive suffocation of the individual by the State…In muddled periods like the one we live in, the outlines of these two constants [Order vs Individuality] get blurred…Both the Left and the Right get jumbled together and contradict each other, because they have lost sight of the fundamental idea in their respective constants.” Jose Antonio Primo de Rivera, Lecture: The State, The Individual, and Freedom – March 28, 1935.

OK, I’m not done:

“They joined the Phalanx because they realized that the whole world is going through a spiritual crisis, that the harmony between the destiny of men and the destiny of communities has broken down. They were not anarchists: they were not in favor of sacrificing the destiny of the community to that of the individual; they were not advocates of any form of all-absorbing totalitarian state, and therefore did not wish to see the individual destiny disappear in that of the community. They believed that the way to regain harmony between the individual and the community was this union of the syndical idea with the national, which defends itself, against the lying tongues of those who misrepresent, and against the dear ears of those who will not hear…” and “You have come to a decisive moment; you have a decisive moment before you, from which there can emerge unending consequences for [our country.]” – speeches in 1934.

So, after reading about Jose Antonio Primo de Rivera and the events and speeches leading up to the Spanish Civil War I have found that there may be some truth that there is a similarity between our situation and the one he found Spain in at that time. The question is what are we to do.

I guess for that I would turn to Saint Paul who said: he who knows in his heart what is right to do, and does not do it, for him it is sin. That is the simplest concept of right and wrong I have ever heard.

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