Heil controversy in Catalan school book

El Mundo apparently says that Catalan schools are using a book which encourages small children to give the Hitler salute. Not so: heil is afaik an old-fashioned and regionally-specific greeting, along the lines of the English hail. The publisher is wrong to believe that this is the normal greeting–that’s hallo–and El Mundo is wrong, as it often is, to ascribe neo-Nazi traits to the Catalan system, which is actually closer to neo-falangism/-fascism. So, another glorious moment in Spanish institutions’ struggle with foreign languages.

Similar posts


  1. Yes, my German colleague confirms that it would mainly be used only by the same sort of chap who’d use ‘Hail’ in English. Oh, and Austrians.

    Oh, and as far as I know, ain’t no violent nuns or Cara Al Sol at the local Institut.

  2. “the Catalan system, which is actually closer to neo-falangism/-fascism”

    Exactly, children are taught to hate foreigners and that’s why you are regularly beaten up by a mob of black shirts every time you venture into the streets of Barcelona.

  3. Neo-falangism isn’t the same as falangism. The 00s aren’t the same as the 30s. What they share, however, is

    1. An obsession with the supreme reality of the nation, and a belief that the primary task of the collective is elevate and enlarge the nation. The interests of individuals, groups, and classes are subordinate to that goal.
    2. The belief that the nation’s universal destiny is to be one. And the hell with separatists.
    3. A sense of imperial destiny, be it in the “Hispanic” or “Catalan” “countries”.
    4. A determination to supersede party differences present a unified front to the enemy, and a belief that not to do so is betrayal.
    5. The belief that human dignity, integrity and liberty are eternal and intangible values that can only be realised in those who form part of a strong and free nation. To use one’s liberty against the union, the strength and the liberty of the country is betrayal.
    6. The conviction that private initiative should only be tolerated to the extent that it is compatible with the collective interest, and that the state should proactively protect and stimulate “useful” initiative.
    7. A belief that capitalism and class struggle need to disappear, and specifically that the primary purpose of wealth is to improve the conditions of the people.
    8. A recognition, however, of the right to private property.
    9. A desire to see the banks and public services nationalised.

    I’ve got to have my tea now, but I’ll post more tomorrow if you continue to insist in your folly, neo-falangists. (Why is Duran y Lérida called José Antonio?)

  4. El Culito – you’re focusing on details, dear fellow. Never let the details get in the way of a foolish conflation. Trev, why do you insist on hispanicising people’s names? Are you desperate to be the new Iberian Notes?

  5. I see… So, basically, what you are referring to as “neo-falangism” is what the rest of the world calls a “liberal democracy”. Then, yes, we can say the “Catalan system” (i.e. the Constitution of Spain) is “close” to “neo-falangism”. Of course, you know, if we take any random ideology (neo-confucianism, proto-zoroastrianism, psycho-anarcho-materialism, you name it) and redefine it in the appropriate terms, then we could ascribe such an ideology to the Catalan system as well. The ting is, why would anyone want to do a thing like that?

  6. Children in Albacete leave school without the faintest idea of, or interest in, their glorious nation, the dangers facing their glorious language or the necessity of state intervention to combat cultural decline. They live in a liberal democracy.

  7. I don’t know what children in Albacete think, because I, unlike you, never attended school in Albacete. I do know, however, that the government of Spain spend billions each year promoting their glorious language and subsidising cultural industries, and that Spanish judges deny citizenship on the basis that the applicant can’t speak Spanish.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *