30 thoughts on “Franco’s Victory Was Necessary, But Ultimately Meaningless

  1. RE: “Usually, conservatives are less candid about their fascist sympathies. ”

    Since the Roman Catholic element of Franco’s support is decisive for the writer of the article you share, do you mean to imply that Catholicism is fascist?

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        1. RE: “your very own words”

          And correct ones. Obviously, liberation theology was not a factor in the reasoning of the author of the article. Logically, there is no reason for you to bring it up.

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          1. Let me walk you through the “logic.”

            I posted an article from a guy saying (a propos of nothing) he would have fought for Franco. You replied,

            “Since the Roman Catholic element of Franco’s support is decisive for the writer of the article you share, do you mean to imply that Catholicism is fascist?”

            I interpreted that as you saying that it was Franco’s Catholicism, rather than his fascism that attracted the writer. You then asked if just because Franco’s Catholics were fascists, were all Catholics fascist? I then replied that there is of course (as an example) the rich history of liberation theology in Catholicism, but the author chose to write about Francisco Franco rather than Oscar Romero.

            If the writer were simply a militant catholic, as you seem to posit, his modern day affinity for Franco is still reprehensible because, writing the article in 2019, he is, no doubt, aware of non-fascist strains of Catholicism. If he wanted to be a soldier for Christ, he could have fantasized about any of those other strains. This is the article he chose to write. This is the Catholicism he identifies with.

            Liked by 3 people

          2. RE: “Let me walk you through the ‘logic.'”

            No thanks. You claimed the author of the article is a conservative with “fascist sympathies.” I read the article and found the author expressed no fascist sympathies at all, only sympathy with traditional Catholicism.

            I also looked into the history of the Spanish Civil War and found that Franco was not himself a fascist, but only a recipient of military aid from Fascist Italy, and the leader of a nationalist movement that had many factions.

            So it is you who is conflating Franco, fascism and Roman Catholicism, and doing so incorrectly/dishonestly, apparently to discredit Catholicism. Hence my original question to you, which you still have not answered in any decisive way.

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          3. PP1. He is a conservative, writing in the “American Conservative” about fighting for Franco. It’s less a claim on my part than a synopsis of the article which I’m beginning to think you didn’t even read.

            PP2. I’d suggest you look a little further into it because there’s almost no historian who would agree with that assessment. The author of the article concedes that Franco was fascist, as does Rod Dreher, with whom the author says he agrees and cites in the article.

            PP3. In the case of Spain in the 20th century, “Franco, fascism, and Roman Catholicism” are inextricably linked. To pretend otherwise is disingenuous.

            RE: Your original question. Not all Catholics are fascists. I’d go so far to say the vast majority aren’t. These particular Catholics were. Is that “decisive” enough?

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          4. RE: “PP1. He is a conservative, writing in the ‘American Conservative’ about fighting for Franco.”

            Yes, but fighting for Franco, not fighting for fascism.

            RE: “PP2. I’d suggest you look a little further into it because there’s almost no historian who would agree with that assessment.

            I’d suggest you take your own advice. Wikipedia’s article on Franco, for example, refers to five sources in this paragraph:

            “Although Franco and Spain under his rule adopted some trappings of fascism, he, and Spain under his rule, are generally not considered to be fascist; among the distinctions, fascism entails a revolutionary aim to transform society, where Franco did not seek to do so, and, to the contrary, although authoritarian, he was by nature conservative and traditional.[119][120][121][122] Stanley Payne notes that very few scholars consider him to be a ‘core fascist’.[123] The few consistent points in Franco’s long rule were above all authoritarianism, nationalism, Catholicism, anti-Freemasonry, and anti-Communism.”

            RE: “PP3. In the case of Spain in the 20th century, ‘Franco, fascism, and Roman Catholicism’ are inextricably linked. To pretend otherwise is disingenuous.”

            They may be linked in your imagination, but the author of the article pursues a completely different line of reasoning.

            RE: “Your original question. Not all Catholics are fascists. I’d go so far to say the vast majority aren’t. These particular Catholics were. Is that ‘decisive’ enough?”

            Yes. Wrong answer, but a clear one.

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          5. I’ll not presume to argue with Payne’s definition. But the author of the article, as well as Dreher seem to concede that they found Franco’s theocratic Falangism to be preferable to the democratic government that preceded it.

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          6. RE: “But the author of the article, as well as Dreher seem to concede that they found Franco’s theocratic Falangism to be preferable to the democratic government that preceded it.”

            “Theocratic Falangism is a term you made up. It has no relevance to the author’s argument, which he summarizes, thus: “For the first time, I saw why Franco’s supporters referred to the civil war as ‘La Cruzada’” As one of the traditionalist Catholic meme pages I follow so unambiguously put it, Franco’s rebellion was nothing less than “open war against Satanism.”

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          7. Falangism was the name of Franco’s ideology. Notice I didn’t capitalize “theocratic.” That means I was using the word as an adjective, rather than attempting to invent a new term. Had both words been capitalized, you’d be correct to object, but the careful reader will note that was not my intention.

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          8. The concept of theocratic Falangism, whether formal or informal, has the same problem. You assert that Franco’s ideology was theocratic, but the assertion is utterly irrelevant to the original author’s argument.

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          9. Re: “I also looked into the history of the Spanish Civil War and found that Franco was not himself a fascist.”

            Where did you “find” that? It is ridiculous. Of course, Franco was a fascist.

            Here is a relevant definition . . .

            “A fascist is a follower of a political philosophy characterized by authoritarian views and a strong central government — and no tolerance for opposing opinions.”

            Here is another . . .

            Fascism (/ˈfæʃɪzəm/) is a form of far right-wing, authoritarian ultranationalism characterized by dictatorial power, forcible suppression of opposition, and strong regimentation of society and of the economy which came to prominence in early 20th-century Europe

            Both definitions fit Generalissimo Franco to a T.

            Liked by 1 person

    1. Good point. History has indeed shown us that fascists are famously friendly with socialists and often ally with them. This is especially true of the Spanish Civil War, in which Franco’s fascists fought alongside the communists and anarchists in Barcelona to defend the elected republican government.

      Who can forget the famous battle of Stalingrad where the Nazis and Soviets warmed themselves by the communal fire and sang revolutionary songs together?

      Liked by 2 people

      1. All kidding aside, this isn’t me giving the writer an unfavorable interpretation. This is the writer, in “The American Conservative” saying he would have fought with the fascists. He even seems to make the distinction between fascism and the various leftists. He speaks of them as “good vs evil.”

        It would be odd to make that dichotomous distinction if the ideologies were the same, would it not?

        Liked by 3 people

        1. RE: “This is the writer, in ‘The American Conservative’ saying he would have fought with the fascists.”

          The writer says he would have sided with Franco because the Catholics did, not because the fascists did. That, in fact, is the point of the article: the singularity of Catholicism proves decisive for the author in choosing among various unappealing alternatives.

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      2. Do you think all theocracies or all feudal governments are friends?

        There is a distinction between fascism and socialism and that is the degree of nationalism(or racism) involved. Socialists are essentially one-worlders in that they believe that as socialism takes hold nationality becomes irrelevant.

        Fascists are intensely nationalist. Mussolini, for example, was the Secretary of the Italian Socialist Party prior to his establishment of fascism after he was ejected from the party for excessive nationalism.

        And, of course, Hitler led the German Nationalist Socialist Party. (What did you think Nazi stood for)

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        1. RE: “And, of course, Hitler led the German Nationalist Socialist Party. (What did you think Nazi stood for)”

          I’d be curious to hear your thoughts on the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. Or the Republic of China. Or the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Or the Islamic Republic of Iran.

          Should I continue, or can we finally dispense with this trite?

          Liked by 2 people

  2. I find it fascinating that the efforts to provide affordable, accessible healthcare and education to all, or almost all, Americans, along with a modicum of security in old age, is considered such a threat as to evoke feint praise for one of the most brutal dictators in recent history.

    Couple that with the fact that people, mainly the younger, are leaving Christianity, not because that religion is under persecution, but because organized religion has left them. And for that, the author laments the missing support of a dictatorial regime coupled with the Church for some kind of sectarian greater good.

    Socialism is the central control of the means of production. Communism is socialism on steroids by including a means of distribution as well.

    Social safety nets, which would logically include health, education and pension support in an otherwise capitalist economy is not Stalinist or Maoist, but really a bulwark against such failed dictatorships.

    Entrepreneurial and innovative freedoms are not free. The opportunity to work and build in a capitalist society still needs to cover costs for preserving a clean environment, a healthy and educated workforce, well managed resources, infrastructure, defense, food supplies, water sources and the like. And that is paid for by taxes of one form or another.

    Nostalgia for dictators is so dangerous, so flawed, no matter the imagined “good” that may have provided some side benefits.

    IMHO

    Liked by 3 people

  3. As someone who was a student in Spain when Franco still ruled with cruel and focused brutality, I find the core argument in this piece – that the Fascists were on the side of the angels in their suppression of the democratic republic – laughable in the extreme. Lest we forget, the historical role of the Catholic Church in Spain was one of oppression of the common people and protection of the wealthy and privileged – the polar opposite of the actual teachings of Jesus Christ.

    Liked by 2 people

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