Friday, 25 October 2013

Jose Antonio Primo de Rivera: The Spanish Contribution To Political Thought

THE extracts contained in this 1947 anthology were originally selected by Gonzalo Torrente Ballester and issued in a pocket-sized, 292-page volume by Ediciones Almena of Madrid. The publishers, themselves loyal to the great Falangist tradition, were keen to bring the inspiring words and stirring deeds of a certain José Antonio Primo de Rivera (1903-1936) to the English-speaking world for the first time. The most remarkable and admirable thing about José Antonio, is that despite having been a respected lawyer and wealthy son of a Right-wing dictator, he was vigorously opposed to both Capitalism and Communism and adopted a 'third way' strategy which essentially transcended the nullifying sterility of these notoriously materialistic and exploitative systems. On October 29th, 1933, José Antonio established the Falange Española de las Juntas de Ofensiva Nacional Sindicalista (Spanish Phalanx of the Assemblies of the National Syndicalist Offensive), a group opposed to democracy and partly-influenced by other European currents such as Action Française and the radical Anarchist thinkers of the Cercle Proudhon. National Syndicalism was a fusion between the patriotism and cultural identity of Nationalism and the economic idealism of Anarcho-Syndicalism, but the Falange itself was also inspired by Catholic Integralism. One year after its formation, the Falange was merged with the Juntas de Ofensiva Nacional-Sindicalista, which was led by Onésimo Redondo Ortega (1902-1936) and Ramiro Ledesma Ramos (1902-1936) and, just two years later, the organisation was fighting in the 1936 Spanish Civil War. José Antonio, a brave and courageous young man who had led many fierce street-battles against the movement's Communist adversaries, was then arrested on the orders of the Popular Front government for possessing illegal weapons and eventually forced to pay the ultimate price on November 18th, 1936, when he was executed by firing squad in Alicante Prison. But not only was he murdered by the Red thugs of the Spanish Second Republic, he was also betrayed by General Francisco Franco (1892-1975) and the Fascist opposition who, sadly, went on to ensure that an alliance of Capitalists, Monarchists (Carlists) and other treacherous Right-wing reactionary elements remained in power for the next forty years. The Falange, then, was clearly not an ordinary Right-wing entity and it is said that even those on the Left spoke highly of José Antonio. It is with some pleasure that we make available this early translation of José Antonio's finest writings and speeches for a new generation of revolutionaries. José Antonio himself spoke fluent English and was a great admirer of the English people. It is to be hoped that this volume will go some way towards reciprocating that respect by bringing his political, social and economic views to the readers of the twenty-first century. José Antonio Primo de Rivera: writer, orator, idealist, fighter and revolutionary.

November 29th, 2013, Black Front Press, paperback, 200pp. The cover was designed by the brilliant Polish artist, Zbigniew Bogusławski.

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