The Destruction of Memory

I read today of the Catalan or Mallorquin government’s decision to take down the Spanish Arms as they were presented under the rule of General Francisco Franco (although they can still be seen apparently in other places in the Mallorquin capital), and replace them with a rather insipid dedication in Catalan in order that those who are victims of civil war or dictatorship are “not forgotten” (whatever the content of that idea may be).

Of course, it is entirely for the Spanish to decide whether or not they want a “recovery of historical memory” along the terms set down by the Socialist Government who, at the same time as attempting eradicate all memory of Franco are also trying to use state money to force churches which commemorate El Caudillo or those who were the victims of the Republicans and Communists to remove their memorials.  Quite apart from my feeling of repugnance at the destruction of the memorials of a period in Spanish history which reminds us that even in the modern world a Catholic state is possible (notwithstanding the severe conditions experienced by those who opposed it) and the misunderstanding which causes people to confuse the Francoist ideology and regime with those of Facism, I cannot understand what is served by destroying the artistic past.  For good or ill it is part of the psyche of a nation, and, regardless of what the Permanent Commission of the European Parliament may say, Spain should not be ashamed to have been ruled for forty years according to its authentic values as opposed to those of Socialism which is everywhere and always the same (only its method and vocabulary alter).

Someone will argue that terrible things were done under Franco’s regime.  But it is not always the case that to be authentically Catholic and Christian the ruler of the Christian state must always be pacifical or fail to exercise the power which he has been given to establish the state as a genuinely Catholic one; it may even be that he is obligated to use the powers of a ruler in order to ensure that the state does not lapse into opposition to the law of Christ.  Even if this is not agreed, or even very palatable to many people, the idea that such a regime’s actions can be either eradicated from history or cast as “facism” in order to entirely discredit any good which came from them, is really revisionism of the worst kind and the imposition of an ideology not only entirely opposed to authentic European and Christian culture, but to the real values of human existence.

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