It is only in the last decade or so that Spain has experienced the mass immigration which northern Europe underwent starting in the 1950s. I think that in consequence racism and the multiculturalist reinvention of the same underlying philosophy–that humanity is divided into discrete (quasi-)racial blocks, and that a recognition of this is both natural and healthy–constitute for many Spaniards imported cultural phenomena.
I also think that in borrowing these twin ideologies they may have failed to import with them the elaborate system of signalling that in the UK creates the impression of a stark dichotomy, of an epic battle underway between good and evil, marshalling the forces of dear old Ken Livingstone, with his gospel of a cultural Bantustan-centre in every neighbourhood, against those of dear dead Enoch Powell (“Keep ’em out!”).
This is all explicable in terms of a strategic error on the part of Comrade Lenin, as he struggled to build a coalition to achieve whatever mysterious goals he had in mind:
Developing capitalism knows two historical tendencies. The first is the awakening of national life and national movements, the struggle against all national oppression, and the creation of national states. The second is the development and growing frequency of international intercourse in every form, the breakdown of national barriers, the creation of the international unity of capital, of economic life in general, of politics, science, etc. (“Critical remarks on the national question”, quoted in Black World/Negro Digestion)
As can be seen both from the importance attached to folk-dancing and dialectal variation in formal politics, and from the relaxed attitude with which news of football trainers’ problems with their niggers is received, Spain is clearly still very much focused on phase one. While all this may puzzle and amuse foreigners, it is at least intellectually coherent.
The UK on the other hand appears to be marooned in a gauzy limbo, believing perhaps mistakenly that it has superseded phase one, but unprepared to accept the implications of accession to phase two, when we will all become free individuals with broad interests and rich identities, clad of course in Lenin suits kindly made available by Gazprom.
- Unnacompanied into the woods?
The other day someone gave me the (impeccable) English translation of Gabriel Tortella’s classic El desarrollo de la España contemporánea. Historia económica de los siglos XIX y XX. I don’t really understand why he uses 1900 to divide the period in two – on the basis of most of the indicators he cites, a tripartite split …
- I am burning with desire to teach the Spaniards how Nordic women can love
“This incendiary message was broadcast from Berlin to hot-blooded Spain by dazzling, blonde Brita Brager. It had a coldblooded purpose: to persuade Spaniards that signing up for work in German munitions plants would be a short cut to a life of opulent lechery.” According to this Time story from 1943, Ms Brager was the 23-year-old …
- Black liberals and white virgins
Here’s an interesting little anecdote to add to my list of fake/bleached virgin stories:
Barcellona [sic] has always been celebrated for the zeal of its priesthood, and for the pains taken by them to hoodwink the people; and even in these days, religious bigotry is far more prevailing than might be expected in a city so
- Catalan language policy: Marxist, Stalinist, Francoist or fascist?
The precedents for, and some possible implications of, the Catalanisation of Barcelona’s cinemas. Plus some crowd-pleasing video of the Quebec language police in action. (Allez! Allez! Allez! And the hell with the economy!) All in somewhat fevered response to an article by Martin Dahms in the Tages-Anzeiger.