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General Francisco Franco May NOT Be So Dead, After All

Fran­co Sup­port­ers in Novem­ber of 2013

Dave Emory’s entire life­time of work is avail­able on a flash dri­ve that can be obtained here. (The flash dri­ve includes the anti-fas­cist books avail­able on this site.)

COMMENT: Years ago, come­di­an Chevy Chase intoned on Sat­ur­day Night Live’s news broad­cast par­o­dy that “Gen­er­al­lis­mo Fran­cis­co Fran­co is still dead.”

That analy­sis may not apply to his polit­i­cal lega­cy.

Spain is among the most eco­nom­i­cal­ly and social­ly beset of the South­ern Euro­zone coun­tries, with very high unem­ploy­ment, espe­cial­ly among the young.

Spain has been man­i­fest­ing an aggres­sive stance against the British ter­ri­to­ry of Gibral­tar, scape­goat­ing it (in part) for Spain’s fis­cal malaise.

Through­out the Euro­zone, the Ger­man-imposed aus­ter­i­ty doc­trine has cre­at­ed social con­di­tions fer­tile to the rise of fas­cist groups. 

In addi­tion to the scape­goat­ing of eth­nic minori­ties for social ills, dire eco­nom­ic straits also facil­i­tate hyper-nationalism–both are sta­ples of the fas­cist agen­da.

It remains to be seen how much of the devel­oped world suc­cumbs to a “Let Them Eat Fas­cism (and/or Xeno­pho­bia and/or ultra Nation­al­ism)” polit­i­cal eth­ic.

In that con­text, the polit­i­cal her­itage of Mar­i­ano Rajoy and his Peo­ple’s Par­ty are impor­tant to bear in mind.

In essence, Rajoy’s PP is a vehi­cle for the polit­i­cal resus­ci­ta­tion and res­ur­rec­tion of Fran­co’s fas­cist Falange

As can be seen in the arti­cle below, the heart­beat of Fran­co’s fas­cism remains, long after his has stopped. It is also worth remem­ber­ing that Spin was the epi­cen­ter of a Third Reich gov­ern­ment-in-exile in the post­war peri­od.

“Fran­co’s Lega­cy Rat­tles Spain” by Matt Mof­fett and David Roman; The Wall Street Jour­nal; 12/2/2013.

EXCERPT: A series of head­line-grab­bing inci­dents in recent months has prompt­ed soul-search­ing among Spaniards over dic­ta­tor Fran­cis­co Fran­co’s endur­ing legacy—and the dis­rup­tive poten­tial for extrem­ism to flare at a time of deep eco­nom­ic dis­tress.

Over the sum­mer, sev­er­al Spaniards post­ed pic­tures of them­selves hold­ing fas­cist flags or giv­ing Nazi salutes on social-media sites. In Sep­tem­ber, a self-described fas­cist group assault­ed a cul­tur­al cen­ter in Madrid rep­re­sent­ing Cat­alo­nia, a region that was repressed by Fran­co and is now home to a grow­ing polit­i­cal move­ment seek­ing inde­pen­dence from Spain.

A week lat­er an Argen­tine judge sought the arrest of some Fran­co-era secu­ri­ty offi­cials for alleged crimes against human­i­ty. That was a marked con­trast to the pas­sive approach of Spain’s own judi­cia­ry, which has left the Fran­co regime’s abus­es unpun­ished in the inter­est of pre­serv­ing the coun­try’s peace­ful tran­si­tion to democ­ra­cy.

Now some Spaniards wor­ry that the fail­ure to thor­ough­ly con­front Spain’s author­i­tar­i­an past—what has been dubbed “the Pact of Forgetting”—has left the door open to an emer­gence of extrem­ism in a new gen­er­a­tion dev­as­tat­ed by years of eco­nom­ic cri­sis and 50% youth unem­ploy­ment.

“In these moments of cri­sis and dis­ap­point­ment with pol­i­tics, this cre­ates a Petri dish for extrem­ist move­ments, as they pro­vide sim­ple answers to com­plex prob­lems,” said Jor­di Rodriguez, pro­fes­sor of pol­i­tics at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Navar­ra.

Este­ban Ibar­ra, pres­i­dent of a group called Move­ment Against Intol­er­ance, said Spain was expe­ri­enc­ing its worst wave of far-right extrem­ism since the mid-1990s, dur­ing a pre­vi­ous eco­nom­ic and polit­i­cal cri­sis. . . .

. . . . In 1977, Spain’s par­lia­ment passed an amnesty law that pro­tect­ed offi­cials of the dic­ta­tor­ship and those involved in Civ­il War-era crimes, includ­ing sup­port­ers of anti-Fran­co forces, from pros­e­cu­tion.

Since then, many Spaniards who were sym­pa­thet­ic to Fran­co were absorbed into the con­ser­v­a­tive PP, and began to embrace more-cen­trist posi­tions. That has had the effect of drain­ing the poten­tial mem­ber­ship pool for extreme-right par­ties, ana­lysts say. . . .

. . . . But the absorp­tion of the Fran­co lega­cy into the polit­i­cal main­stream has cre­at­ed some con­tra­dic­tions that bedev­il Spain and the PP to this day.

Mon­u­ments to Fran­co and his fol­low­ers still dot the Span­ish land­scape, despite a 2007 law that prod­ded offi­cials to start remov­ing them. “This is the only coun­try where you can be a demo­c­rat with­out being an anti-fas­cist,” said Rafael Escud­ero Alday, a law pro­fes­sor at Madrid’s Car­los III Uni­ver­si­ty.

That para­dox was evi­dent in the recent flur­ry of pho­tos of young PP activists offer­ing fas­cist homages. In one of the pho­tos, a small town PP coun­cil­man posed at Fran­co’s bur­ial place hold­ing a fas­cist ban­ner. In anoth­er, a local leader of a PP youth orga­ni­za­tion is shown mak­ing a Nazi salute. . . .

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