Generalissimo Francisco Franco’s Speech to Falangist Party Council Praising German, Italian, And Spanish Fascism
Madrid, December 8, 1942
I want my first words inaugurating the task of this third national council of the Falange to be clear regarding the statement of our political faith.
For three years of war and for three years of what we wrongly called peace we have had to struggle on in concerted endeavor. No one will be astonished if now, when this phase may be considered overcome, we throw off whatever and whoever would like to deflect us from marching toward fulfillment of our movement.
On this depends the destiny of Spain and the preservation of her eternal values, the suppression of which would imply slavery and chaos. On this path we must be intransigent in exacting sacrifices from all for the benefit of our national unity-a guarantee of Spain’s future.
The people might not be with Spain, but what is inadmissible is that any one should be against Spain. The foundations of our policy were laid in the beginnings of our movement, when our youth prepared itself for fight and engendered a spirit of our crusade that they derived from our soundest traditions of spiritual values and merged them with the social yearnings of our times. [There was an indistinct sentence at this point.]
We are living through historical moments that have so complicated a nature that, just as external events produce reaction in the internal life of a nation, so the internal life has had effects beyond its frontiers. For this reason our political attitude sought to correlate our actions in the international sphere with the supreme needs of our own country.
We are actors in a new era in which we can have no truck with the mentality of the past. Spain’s way of thinking cannot go back to the nineteenth century, accursed by so many false conceptions. It is necessary for Spaniards to abandon the old liberal prejudices and take a survey of Europe in order to analyze contemporary history.
We do not belong to a world of our own, as distinct from Europe, even though we have our own characteristics and spiritual reserves.
All contemporary events show us we are witnessing the end of one era and the beginnings of another; that the liberal world is going down a victim to its own errors, and with it are disappearing commercial imperialism, financial capitalism and mass unemployment. The happiness promised by the French revolution became nothing but barter business, competition, low wages and mass insecurity.
Wealth did not go hand in hand with equitable distribution. The important part of humanity was prey to misery. Freedom is impossible as long as bondage and want exist. Cleverly exploited Marxist slogans caught on with the masses because they deceitfully promised a change in the justice of the pressing situation.
The liberal world, in giving adult suffrage, made them conscious of their own strength. Then the revolutionary process, accelerated by various crises, started. During the last war Russian demobilization led to a situation in which communism seized power and established a barbarian dictatorship of the proletariat. A similar phenomenon manifested itself in Italy after the war, but Mussolini’s genius instilled all just and human elements interested in the Italian revolution into the Fascistis’ aims.
Mussolini welded the two elements closely and united his own heart into the synthesis of the fascist revolution-a social urge and a national idea. Later, Germany found a new solution for the popular yearnings in national socialism, which unites the national and social idea for the second time in Europe with the special peculiarities of race thirsting for international justice.
Those are not isolated movements, but rather aspects of one and the same general movement and mass rebellion throughout the world. On the face, a new useful consciousness emerged, which reacts against the hypocrisy and inefficiency of the old systems.
Youth marched conscious of its historic responsibility toward a goal sensed but not clearly defined. The goal then was defined by current events and by the leaders. These facts should explain to many people why so many Spaniards welcomed the republic with naive emotion. [At this point there was an indistinct passage, referring to century-old unrest in Spain filled with indignation against “the unjust order.”] The greater the hopes, the greater the disillusionment. Anger, indignation and revulsion grew against the vile outfit. [There was another indistinct passage here.]
When the Russian Comintern was about to make the country prey of communism, it was a national movement that saved it and gave hopes for the revolution, its channel and direction. Collaboration-organized youth of Spain was a new facet of the general movement of European youth, which twenty-five years ago launched forth in open rebellion against the old, decayed and senile selfishness. Liberalism succumbed to its impetus. Empty slogans and vacillations were swept overboard and the task attacked in a revolutionary manner.
In our opinion, this maturing youthful enthusiasm still represents the strongest and most positive social factor. There not only was a fusion with our national and social ideals, but also with our catholic soul, our country’s raison d’etre, our history and our greatness. The Spanish solution was a union between national and social forces with supremacy of spiritual forces. On those true, unassailable principles our whole political work was based and will appear greater as time passes.
What the masses of the people in England think is not different from what the German masses think, nor do the dissatisfied people of Old Europe think differently from the disinherited in New America. Liberal propaganda may distort these facts and hide the truth for a time, but in the end truth will prevail.
The moment of disillusionment is not far distant. When the war ends and demobilization begins the moment will arrive to settle accounts and to fulfill promises.
Then, whatever projects there may exist now, the historic destiny of our era will be settled, either according to the barbarous formula of bolshevist totalitarianism, or according to the spiritual, patriotic formula Spain offers us, or according to any other formula of the fascist nations.
Neither the feelings of the most numerous social classes, nor the exigencies of the post-war economy, nor the grave problems facing nations, will allow any other path.
Those are mistaken who dream of the establishment of democratic liberal systems in Western Europe, bordering on Russian communism. Those err who speculate on liberal peace agreements or a bourgeois solution.
The world is marching on other roads. And the sentiments by which it is animated are so strong and just that, be it victory or defeat, they will overrun whatever may try to stop them.
The problem is not to permit that brute force of the torrent to destroy everything in its way, but rather to canalize and harness it, so that it becomes the fertilizing element of the new era.
For this reason, because we know that ours is the truth, and because we have labored for it for six years, we look upon events with serenity.
In these days our generations are not merely faced with territorial and political problems, but also with supreme issues of the existence of our faith, our civilization and our culture, which are now at stake once more. This makes our presence in the international sphere so very important. [An indistinct passage.]
Even without commands our destiny in the world implies such contentions are too empty to be taken into account. Neither the highest cause of all, God, a cause never better served than under our regime, nor the interests of the country, never as well defended as in our days, nor the general welfare of our nation, embodied in our restored economy, reborn industries and flourishing fields, are safe from our enemies. What price, in the face of these truths, those remnants of the old minority groups that still clutch their old ideas?
Is it permissible to indulge in differences and divergencies when the fate of the country is at stake? What interests us is how to reach our aim. We cannot make any truce while we are on the way. We are ready then to install-if Spain’s interests demand-the traditional system that reigned through our history, under the condition that everything appertaining to the realization and lasting character of our national revolution is safeguarded.
Certain people wished to be in our ranks in order to create among us a controlling body or a new minority group. That could not be permitted. The phase that begins now is that of unity and perfection in work, and of preparing ourselves for the great moment that the world offers us.
We have called you together to carry our work to completion. It is heralded by continuous triumphs of our State, magnificent work of our youth organizations, silent productive labor of our feminine section, and pious endeavors of our social institutions. But our country demands more from us. The essential task lies before the new national council. It may well be that life will become more difficult. Our paths are strewn with thorns, but there can be no flagging in pursuit of our ideals.
It is not enough to set our goal. It must be pursued with constancy and sacrifice. Fortitude, as well as good-will, is needed. When we have all this, the triumph will be complete, because we shall feel strong and secure. We have the strength of our truth, backed by the reality of our power. We promise a hard life, but a Spanish life worthy of our country and its destiny.
We do not work for ephemeral ends, but for a resplendent tomorrow. Our army has in it the flower of youth. Divine assistance clearly has shown itself to us. With it, nothing and nobody shall vanquish us. If we fought hard on our crusade, we would fight even harder if the new danger of new war should threaten us. We know that with us is life, without us, death.