The memory that will not die

From Slack Bastard, neat-o anarchist blogger, but with a couple of added links:

schalom libertad notes that “The title of this blog is lifted from Arno Lustiger’s book “Schalom Libertad!: Juden im spanischen Bürgerkrieg” (Hello Freedom! Jews in the Spanish Civil War).”

Speaking of Spain, the 73rd anniversary of the outbreak of civil war and social revolution in that country has been noted by some bloke from Boston called Julius Purcell. He writes (‘The Memory That Will Not Die: Exhuming the Spanish Civil War’, Boston Review, July/August 2009):

I live in Barcelona, whose leftist regional government is one of the few in Spain to have enthusiastically embraced historical memory. Payne’s warning note strikes a chord here, in a city with its own historical taboos. As Catalan separatism grows, and with it the tendency to lay all blame at the door of reactionary Spain, certain things are best not mentioned. The brutality of Barcelona’s anarchist mobs during the Republican era itself, for example, is rarely discussed in liberal dinner party conversations. Likewise, the violent anti-clericalism and church-burnings.

The ‘liberal’ account of those years was famously dissected by Uncle Noam in ‘Objectivity and Liberal Scholarship’, parts of which were originally “delivered as a lecture at New York University in March 1968 as part of the Albert Schweitzer Lecture Series”, and published in the collection American Power and the New Mandarins, Penguin, 1969.

With the crowd of commonplace chatterers, we are already past praying for: no reproach is too bitter for us, no epithet too insulting. Public speakers on social and political subjects find that abuse of anarchists is an unfailing passport to popular favour. Every conceivable crime is laid to our charge, and opinion, too indolent to learn the truth, is easily persuaded that anarchy is but another name for wickedness and chaos. Overwhelmed with opprobrium and held up to hatred, we are treated on the principle that the surest way of hanging a dog is to give it a bad name. ~ Élisée Reclus (March 15, 1830–July 4, 1905)

Published in: on July 23, 2009 at 4:11 pm  Leave a Comment  
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