Europe, Spain, Politics

Crying Wolf: Fascism in Spain After the Francoist Regime

Since the fall of Franco, the citizens of Spain have lived in fear of a new dictator, the population’s commitment to voting for more socialist parties stemmed from this fear due to conservative parties historically having supported Franco’s dictatorship.

Up until recently, the majority of the population that was involved in politics were older generations – those who had lived through the regime and their children. With these generations growing older and dying there has been room for the younger generations to begin getting involved with politics.

Opposed by their parents, and often their peers, younger generations have found it difficult to get involved. Much to their chagrin, many of their peers do not care to get involved, and the older generations will not support change because “that’s how things have always been done”. Many young people feel alone in their desire to change the way Spanish politics work, and in feeling alone and angry, have turned to more radical parties.

PP (People’s Party) and PSOE (Spanish Socialist Worker’s Party) have been the two dominating parties in Spain’s elections until 2014, when Podemos was founded. Podemos – “we can” in English – was founded after the Indignados movement, using the platform (similar to that of the Occupy movement) to gain support. Since 2014 it has become apparent that the political climate in Spain has been changing rapidly because of this new party. That same year, shortly after the founding of Podemos, Spanish politics became violent. Bombings of the political offices of the PP and PSOE took place, each party attempting to blame the other, while Podemos continued gain support. In fear of these radical actions, supposedly taken by PP and PSOE supporters, more people turned to Podemos for change.

Pablo Iglesias Turrión, the secretary general of Podemos, soon became the most talked about politician in Spain. Older generations were shocked that this man, who openly supports the dictatorship of Hugo Chávez, was gaining so much power. But their opposition to change, to the improvement of their country, their neglect of promoting political literacy, and their mismanagement of the economy pushed the younger generations into the cold embrace of a new fascist.

On December 20th, 2015 the Spanish government changed course with the results of the general elections. There was practically a three way tie between three parties: PP, PSOE, and Podemos. Though PP won, the tie has led to an attempt to create a new government in Spain where the different parties work together. With this attempt to change the government there has been talk about reforming the constitution, adding new civil rights, and changing the electoral system. Though these things are not bad, in fact would be beneficial to the Spanish people, the involvement of Podemos is troubling.

After so many decades of crying wolf about fascism, Spain’s worst nightmares may be coming true sooner than anticipated. With the government in such turmoil, the citizens losing hope, and Podemos requesting power over half of the government, they are leaving room for a takeover. Iglesias, the leader of Podemos, has made it clear he wants power to enact change, and considering his ideas on current dictators, the citizens of Spain should fear what those changes might be.

Spain’s crisis only grows more severe, its economy a wreck, the people confused and fearful, and the power struggle between the three main parties is not helping. If there were going to be a dictator, this would be their perfect opportunity to take over the government. The ideas peddled by Podemos are quite similar to those of the Bolshevik revolution, and this new “progressive government” proposed by Podemos may be tantamount to Lenin’s Soviet Union. The world should be keeping an eye on Spain, and especially Podemos.

About Emma Saxby

Emma is an egalitarian, activist, freelance writer, photographer, and artist residing in the United States. She studies nuclear engineering, plasma physics, international politics and culture. Emma spends a lot of time hiking, geeking out about Star Wars and keeping up with current events.

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