In the course of publishing nearly two hundred short histories for General-History.com we have received many comments. They are a mixed bag indeed; some commentators have difficulty with elucidating their opinion of an article; some have no problem; others become a little mixed up when it comes to spelling, though that issue is being addressed at last by many Ministers of Education. Some are, as is the nature of things today, obscene. These can be treated with the humour they deserve. Others show with startling clarity that the commentator is incapable of separating his own deeply entrenched views on Life from the opinion of others. As the well- known philosopher observed – ‘El infierno es los demás’ (Hell is everybody else). Not to worry! Around 60% of the comments are complimentary, even flattering. Three lady history teachers at university, from France, South Korea and Alaska respectively use General-History.com as material in their classes. This is encouraging.
FAQ in computer-speak means Frequently Asked Questions: We should add a new series of initials – FMC – meaning Frequently Made Comments. One of these is that Dean Swift is a Right-Wing (therefore despicable), Conservative (oh dear how old-fashioned), possibly Fascist (of all the misunderstood, perhaps incomprehensible words in the language) and an Old Fogie. There is a modicum of truth in these appellations, but very little. Mr Swift is not ‘Right-Wing’ because he does not necessarily coincide in his view with the Left. He is not Conservative because he believes Mr Blair was Bad for Britain and Mr Cameron is Commendable for Country and Commonwealth. It is just that Swift did not admire the mendacity of Mr Blair, so charmingly stating one thing when he meant the other. Anyway why should we be plumped into categories?
It is common practice for all Socialists, when faced with dissent from the normal tenets of Socialism, to assault a dissenter by using the term Fascist. But what is Fascism? It is a political ideology stemming from the first half of the last century, holding that the individual should be subjected to the needs of the State, which in its turn should be controlled by a strong leader who personifies the will of the nation. Well, you may say, and with reason, what better description could there be of Hitler (National Socialist) or Stalin (Soviet Communist Party), Hugo Chavez (Bolivariano) or Fidel Castro (Cuba)? But these are or were all Socialists. Who would dare to call them ‘Fascists’. How puzzling it is! Spanish Socialists are given to calling Franco a ‘Fascist’. But this Fascist is the one who introduced National Insurance to Spain, plus a system of free medical advice and free medicines. This does not fit very well into Swift’s notion of Fascism.
We are now in March of 2012. The new government in Spain has been with us eight or nine weeks only, having won an enormous majority in parliament. The PSOE (which will shortly disappear and re-appear with a new name and acronym) finds itself powerless in parliament. In classic Liberal style, the party’s new leader Mr. Alfredo de Rubalcaba encourages Spain’s haters of the Popular Party to go out into the streets and demonstrate their loathing. There is nowhere else to do it. The PSOE can never win in the Congress or Senate, even if all the smaller parties (CiU, BNG, PNV, UpyD etc.) were to coincide in an opposing vote. So parked cars (at the moment – things may change for the worse), and rubbish containers are fired with gasolene, policemen’s hats are knocked off (it may soon be their heads) and rocks break windows. If the police try to stop the vandalism, they are Fascist Pigs.
Logic, as such, has taken a holiday in Spain. It is reminiscent of the age-old philosophy of Women and Men – the one that decrees that if a man is decrepit, lame, as ugly as Sin, lank-haired, black-toothed, covered in warts, luxuriating in halitosis and overfond of the boys – he is a Lucky Chap because some Gorgeous, possibly Very Rich Woman will fall desperately in love and marry him. In Spanish Politics, you cannot win, Right, Left or Centre. The Spanish people voted overwhelmingly for a change of government; they got it, and now (we are told) they regret it and will take to the streets for a nice bit of arson.