Andrés Cala, Consortium News:
In Galicia, an area in Spain’s northwest, the mayor of another town under Popular Party rule proudly showcases in his office a picture of fascist dictator Francisco Franco. The mayor also plays the fascist anthem to anyone who will listen. Yet, he has faced no official reprimand.
And earlier this month, a small town near Madrid, also governed by the Popular Party (or PP), allowed a fascist group to put up a stand in a public school exhibiting Franco-era and Nazi memorabilia. Officials later apologized and said that they weren’t aware of the stand.
Though anecdotal, these incidents fit with a rising public nostalgia for the Franco era in Spain and are symptomatic of a broader resurgence of extreme right-wing ideology in Europe and globally.
Another point of concern is that nationalist, populist and fascist movements have historically found fertile ground during times of economic pain… mainstream democratic parties have seen their legitimacy questioned and their political support drained.
In Spain – and to a lesser extent in some other European countries – the immediate danger is not so much from a handful of incipient reactionary movements, but rather from the underlying official permissiveness from more mainstream conservative parties, like the Popular Party, bordering on patronage.
Some elected Popular Party officials and party militants are openly making the Nazi salute, proudly displaying fascist flags and other memorabilia, and posting pro-Franco messages on social media sites.
Amid the Popular Party’s recent political success, with its latest high-water mark the gaining of an absolute majority in parliament, many of the party’s stalwarts have reminisced about the Franco era as a prosperous time, though it wasn’t.
Secessionist plans from Catalonia, Spain’s economic motor, have served to unite nationalist forces and radical fascist groups, but the most forceful opposition to Catalonian separation is coming from the right wing of the Popular Party, led by former Prime Minister Jose María Aznar. (emphasis added)
Cala goes on to add that this is a Europe-wide, if not a worldwide phenomenon, with France’s Marine Le Pen’s French National Front, Greece’s neo-Nazi Golden Dawn, and Progress Party leading the way into the abyss. Spain isn’t quite that far down the road… but the tolerance of the Popular Party for fascist expressions could end up mainstreaming it.
When will people learn that reaction doesn’t–almost by definition, can’t– solve problems?
Posted, with an addition about how the proper response to the rise of ultranationalism, anti-immigrant sentiment, and outright fascism is an extension and affirmation of human rights, at Daily Kos