The Short Summer of Anarchy

The Short Summer of Anarchy

Initially devoted myself to research on the world libertarian I read this book should be considered a classic example of innovative historical essay. However, perhaps because my skills were still precarious (although many lies had forgotten I had been taught at the Faculty of Arts), either because the Spanish edition of the book (the Grijalbo, published in Mexico in 1972) it seemed a good translation, the impact on me was limited.

The reinterpretations usually always more profitable reads. Especially when two separate actions in time. Maybe because now I know a bit more, perhaps because the translation of Anna Soler Pont is excellent, perhaps because I witnessed some distance to the process of publication of the Catalan version of the first book, perhaps because Hans Magnus Enzensberger is the best essayists and European intellectuals living’ve been fascinated by the quality and validity of a work.

The biography, first published in Germany in 1972, in the context of a hangover in May Parisian takes a fascinating and aesthetically groundbreaking on a major European myths: Durruti and the revolution of 1936. There is no biography or a report or even an analytical essay. With a documentary technique, the author tries to reconstruct a fragmentary and kaleidoscopic and contributions from different viewpoints, the origins, development and projection of the myth of militant lions forged as a leader in the Barcelona libertarian practicing gymnastics Revolutionary between 1917 and 1936 until his tragic death and controversy.

Beyond the facts, the interest lies in establishing solid story Enzensberger. Revolution 36 is not coincidental but a long and thoughtful experience heuristic as the emancipation of workers is made by workers themselves. And indeed, Durruti just be a natural leader who reflects from its sober and austere personality, values, collective moment. Not only. Durruti, as the revolution itself, as hundreds of thousands of Catalans libertarians are exempt from paradoxes and contradictions, often painful and unresolved.

What gets me surprise of all is the story of the German writer, ignored by official historiography or forgetfulness of the Transition, it assumed a gracious speech, I would say mainly in the new transformative forces. A speech (the revolution escamotejada and fascinating) that making the gap between old-new forms of dissent regarding the current monarchy and order imposed unequal locally with global excuses. To some extent, both the libertarian tradition embodied Durruti and many of his followers, as proposed by various groups dissidents, separatists and anti-capitalist or anti-neoliberal current, it is possible to organize a society and an economy regardless of hierarchies , based on cooperation. Well, it is not only possible, it is morally obligatory.

Although the author maintains a certain equidistance also seen between the lines of a revolution that fascination certainly full of problems and contradictions, becomes a dazzling example. And valid in the context of the seventies. And true today, we might add. Precisely one of the most interesting things about the book is the prologue he writes, over forty years after the publication, Hans Magnus Enzensberger, in correspondence with the editor Patric de San Pedro, held an interesting exchange of views. Enzensberger, which already has more than eighty years, reveals some facts and revealing transcendent throughout the book’s publication.

In perspective, then reread and check extraordinary quality, I have no other declared that “The short summer of anarchy” as one of the great classics of European contemporary essay, required reading for anyone who wants to investigate the present reality in the shaping of past myths.


Exhibition in Agullana about Catalan exile of 1939

Exhibition in Agullana about Catalan exile of 1939

Yesterday I had the pleasure of visiting the permanent exhibition on exile a few months ago opened Agullana. As the town is part of one of the essential places of memory related to the withdrawal of 1939 with emblematic areas like Mas Perxès as a place of passage of much of the political elite, social and cultural in our country, the village of Alt Emporda few kilometers from the port is more suitable to become a Branch of MUME (Exile Memorial Museum) with its epicenter in La Jonquera, and the success it has become an archipelago of other border areas of memory (especially with iconic sites such as maternity or Elna Beach Argelers and soon the Rivesaltes camp confinement).
The tour I was guided by Enric Pujol, curator, author of the project MUME museum and one of the people who know more deeply the Catalan exile after the civil war. The show concentrated in a small room, containing a valuable and well-ordered (which is all you can ask an exhibition), which is accompanied by three audiovisual reports on various aspects, which expresses the historical significance of the Exile (with its catastrophic impact for the country and for those affected), while the unknown history of the organization of exiles scattered around the world, as well as personal and professional significance of most of those affected.
One idea that is transmitted correctly in the room is an issue that detects anyone who has devoted several hours to investigate the phenomenon. The best of Catalan culture and society had to leave the country. Exile could be exterior and interior (and often both at the same time taking into account the public banishment of the returnees). In a Catalonia that had undergone a creative exuberance and cultural fascism with the flag’s current state, expelling, according to the motto engraved by Millán Astray intelligence. In this respect, the Spanish institutions Franco put in practice the same as did the German forces occupying Poland eradicate any person or core intellectual ability, artistic talent or to reduce the population to poverty morality.
When we look at the quality of work in all spheres (literary, scientific, musical, artistic) of exile and cultural contrast with the misery of inland Catalonia where any literary work in Catalan and Catalan themes had to being subject to the ban, censorship and secrecy, we believe the overall project Spanish: genocide identity. Hence the importance of understanding and knowing the size of the exile. That which deprives the majority of Catalans.

Enric Pujol, comisario de la exposición./ M. D.
When visiting the exhibition, and reflects on its contents, we conclude that independence is the natural consequence of the existence of our country. Franco was unrelenting exile ended and the Transition to finish it. Since 1977 the regime is based on amnesia, also in Catalan exiles were still victims. However, they do not get to assess its size just good part of the written works and created the world, keeping in ignorance of a phenomenon historically transcendent. Four decades of relative normalcy and democratic institutions, has also led our country to create their own benchmarks. Referents increasingly distant and somewhat incompatible, in a state that still aspires to the same goals that Franco: reducing a nation and its culture in poverty. The best tribute we can make to that true lost generation, is to follow the path of independence.

Pending Utopias

Pending Utopias

Xose M. Núñez Seixas, Las Utopías pendientes. Una breve historia del mundo desde 1945, Crítica, Barcelona, ​​2015, 383 pp.

Clearly the turbulent years in which we live requires us corresponds to rethink the look back. Historians such as Tony Judt helped us globally reread a world in which a quarter of a century, the Cold War ended and forces us to redefine a new historical account. The great global crisis of 2008 has prompted historians to make new readings of the past and the present. Some have resulted in brilliant analysis, as has recently published Josep Fontana, revising old historical paradigms. Other views on the crisis of nation states and the role of the West in modern history (John Darwin), the reasons for the failure of the company (Daren Acemoglou and James Robinson), a return to the logic of geopolitics as an engine of conflict in international relations (Robert D. Kaplan and Mark Marzower), or the social, moral and political globalization processes (Naomi Klein) consequences force us to analyze the past in new ways. Because, you know, look at the past is often a formula to try to understand the present.
In a newly published book by the summer, Xosé M. Núñez Seixas (Ourense, 1966), proposes a new reading of the years since the end of World War II. In line with points coinciding with the recent work of Fontana, Galician historian presents the recent past as a dynamic succession of successes and failures (particularly failures) of the past seventy years of history. Núñez Seixas, one of the most brilliant historians of my generation, located on the outskirts of the (certainly more interesting than the official) Spanish historiography, presents a comprehensive analysis from core issues of contemporaneity: The Rise and fall of the welfare state, the conflict between history and memory, return to the question of nationalism as the core of the historiographical debates, the lights and shadows of emancipation (?) women, the ecological question, the tensions between civilizations, or the divergent evolution of the various geographical areas of an increasingly multipolar world. All this, with (although often with excessive political correctness) brilliant academic rigor.
Especially useful is bright and the last part, where the author addresses the immediate history from the court which is the fall of the Berlin Wall (1989) and the subsequent chaos and disorder. Chaos and disorder closely binding to the hegemony of neoliberal paradigm and its dramatic (and ambiguous) consequences. Perhaps here, shyness, just being overly cautious and telegraph. However, all this makes me think that the next university textbooks on contemporary history should set 1989 as the starting date.
It was a summer reading, but there is nothing light reading. As with good historians, it is a well written and documented work, and proposes several avenues to explore. It is a work of international projection in a world that, at least intellectually and academically, is increasingly interconnected. A good guide for approaching the chaotic world left by the end of the cold war.

Open letter to Pablo Iglesias

Open letter to Pablo Iglesias

Dear Pablo

A few weeks ago, one of those strange mental connections, thought a lot about you. It will seem a bit strange because it was after an endless transatlantic flight, landing in Vancouver. In the unbearable through customs, I read all the official labeling in English and French. The fact is that Quebec was more than 3,000 kilometers of the city of the Pacific, and although it was not the first time I was in that country, and in the Anglophone area, reflected on the effort put Canadians to maintain union country. Because the proportion of French-speaking Quebecers is even lower than that of the Catalan within the Spanish state. And, curiosities of life as well as in English-speaking areas find a scrupulous respect for linguistic diversity of the country, hard to find anything written in English in the Quebec area.

All these thoughts came to mind for you legitimately consider that it is better to maintain political unity of the state. Although (not without some ambiguity) you have shown in favor of self-determination of our country, Catalonia, prefer that there was more than likely segregation. To be convinced, you talk about a kind of hypothetical refounding the state, a constituent process where this time, a space of comfortable coexistence would find so many Spanish politicians, softly, called diversity (word used by the same Franco political) will, and that without euphemisms, is nothing but “plurinational”, ie, the coexistence of various nations of identical validity, and yet are organized based on the Castilian supremacisme, and uses the denial to preserve this inequality in rights.

I came to head this effort Canadian, and I came, also in the head, that famous anecdote in which a woman from a Spanish provincial town set up a chicken for the supermarket found a product labeled in Catalan. Indignation ceased from the moment the manager assured that it was Portuguese “Ah, then good” calmed down. Although obviously this is nothing more than an anecdote that I could not assess the extent to which it is representative, yes it is very significant to the absence of effort to set a climate that allows transfers from an increasingly hostile coexistence of different nations within the state, to a true coexistence. As a historian, and as a citizen who has nearly half a century of experience in this state, I have to confess my skepticism. Now, I grant you doubt. The question is, Paul, you who have made a great effort to try to build an alternative project about the decrepit regime of the Second Restoration, you’d be able to do to heal the process that leads us headlong toward divorce, which legally is called independence?

Look, Pablo. I respect deeply. I know you’re a brilliant scholar, you have a powerful speech, have undeniable virtues and have something I admire people: you’re smart. Contrary to what you might think, intelligence is not a political virtue. From this, I imagine, you have to realize. For the living they know often excite the most sordid aspects of individuals, and often the majority distrust the brightest people. I also know that you know the Catalan subject thoroughly. At least, you have close relationships with people who dominate the issue in depth. You know this is not a matter of “nationalism” emerged by spontaneous generation. I would be surprised that you would believe the biased reading of Gramsci did Solé Tura around the Catalan question as a monopoly of a certain social class. I imagine you’re aware that Catalonia is the ability to break with the regime that emerged from the transition, this process was not the continuation of Franco by a democratic veneer. You must understand, therefore, that the fierce anticatalanism dominating the mainstream media (and which is also installed in most of the tribal society Spanish) it is a kind of cordon sanitaire to prevent a contagion effect regarding the possible breakup.

Now, after all these difficult months he has had to live, you know, as a matter of simple correlation of forces, as a matter of numbers and political tradition, the break is only possible in Catalonia. And it is through a process of independence. A process involving independent with respect to a political system that is democratic fraud, regarding a “deep state” with respect to the beneficiaries of Francoism, benefit from the strategic areas of management, compared to a monarchy imposed by a psychopathic dictator. And, even if you letters, you must be well aware that, within the state, and their hypothetical allies we will not have more than enough strength not to change this situation. In Catalonia, yes. Although the price is breaking this state that is prison peoples, social classes prison, jail dissidents, prison everything that does not agree with the musty stale dominant power of extractive aristocracy.

In fact, I think that you and many of your colleagues, could make an excellent role in the Catalan constitutional process, which effectively will take place from the moment we declare independent. It would also be appropriate to strengthen the coalition of forces between the different social groups in an essentially plural Catalonia and with divergent interests. In fact, I think you’d be very welcome to build a Catalan Republic. As you know, contrary to the propaganda that floods the media and the Hispanic bias, we do not ask where you came from or why you came to the people coming from everywhere, but “in which you would like to collaborate.”

Now, I accept and I deal with your aspiration to build a different Spain, even though many of the waivers that we have made for “focus” you devalues ​​the project to the category of “regeneration”. In Spain, the regeneration does not serve as historians know. You can not regenerate dead. Spain, as a state, we must lift again, probably smaller and more egalitarian, abandoning its imperial instincts and hobbies supremacists.

However, what would you be willing to do to maintain a link between Spain and Catalonia? You would accept a differentiated status of nations? It would be Catalonia, the Basque Country and Galicia if they so decide, be “freely associated states” with their diplomacy, their national sports teams (the symbols are extremely important), direct to European and international organizations representation? Together of Spain with autonomous communities? you allow the creation of a Catalan Countries (Valencia and islanders if they deceixen?) You’d do the Catalan official language throughout the confederation?

More things. Send the Bourbons abroad? Here we tolerate no head of a family with a history that would serve for several seasons of HBO. Redo symbols representing Spain? Because, I’m sorry, the official symbols representing Spain are completely incompatible, because they are just Francoist symbols. The actual running well musically represents abominable black and militaristic Spain. If I may, I would propose a different Hispanic hymn like “The hymn to freedom,” Labordeta, able to gather more appropriate sensitivities. And a new Hispanic flag where there was this black to symbolize the dark Hispanic past, and white, while the symbol of equality and start a new page in history as opportunities.

All right. I would like you to have excellent results in the Spanish elections. But you know perfectly well that before touching Catalan. The only way for Spain to leave behind a story to mourn, is to realize his mistakes and a strong will to start from scratch. And that will not happen without the independence of Catalonia. That’s why I think you should be consistent and, above all, courageous.