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.

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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.