Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Lessons from the Spanish Civil War

Lessons from history ... at first, Franco's uprising against a mildly left-wing government, backed by the aristocracy and the church, was less an attempt to impose fascism (a la Mussolini or Hitler) and more an effort to restore feudalism.

When the allies, pretty much boxed around the ears by Japan, Italy and Germany, refused to back the government, the Soviets came to its aid, because they saw it as a fight against fascism, whatever its brand, and certainly against the aristocracy and the church and their support of class structures.

Once the Soviet Union entered on the side of the government, the allies distanced themselves even further (triggering however a flood of volunteers from the West, including George Orwell of England and the likes of Ernest Hemingway who eventually wrote For Whom the Bell Tolls).

Seeing how it was shaking out, Mussolini and Hitler jumped at the chance and poured men and equipment into the fight, eventually securing Franco's victory, and fine-tuning their equipment and battlefield tactics.

Lessons: 1) the aristocracy and the church will mostly always lean toward fascism, which, in turn, supports the aristocracy and the church - a Ménage à trois made in hell. 2) Fascism often possesses a certain "holy" energy that intimidates others. 3) Fascism aways ends badly.