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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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