Histomat: Adventures in Historical Materialism

'Historical materialism is the theory of the proletarian revolution.' Georg Luk√°cs

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Blair and 'the spirit of internationalism'

Tony Blair has made the following speech on the seventieth anniversary of the Spanish Civil War:

"There are few alive today who fought in that war but I want to pay tribute to those who did decide to risk so much in the fight against dictatorship - from the writers like George Orwell to the trade unionists like Jack Jones. They lost that war, though the greater cause - the defeat of fascism - was finally won.

"Today Spain is a strong democratic state and a strong partner for Britain in Europe. Its example shows that even after the most oppressive periods and the greatest suffering reconciliation and democracy can flourish.

"The legacy of the conflict, one where the spirit of internationalism shone through, has lessons for us all today."


The mendacious hypocrisy of a war criminal like Blair invoking a passionate opponent of British imperialism like George Orwell to give us all moral lessons on 'internationalism' has left me quite unable to comment any further just now. Spanish Republicans believed in an internationalism spread through the solidarity of working class people - not in 'spreading democracy' through raining down 'smart bombs' on innocent civilian populations.

Labels: , , ,

7 Comments:

At 1:29 am, Blogger Renegade Eye said...

Blair also liked Deutscher's trilogy about Trotsky. Wrong lessons learned.

 
At 10:45 am, Blogger Roobin said...

Reconciliation, eh? What have the Spanish become reconciled to, I wonder? Monarchists wandering about scotfree?

 
At 11:02 am, Blogger Philip said...

It just shows that Tony doesn't mind people who fight for democratic or even leftist causes, provided there are few of them left alive today.

 
At 12:34 am, Blogger El Tom said...

no. they supported arbitrarilly rounding up priests and summary execution. And were the time now, I would be one of them.

The republicans had a just cause... but all war, no matter the side you take, culminates in atrocity.

to suggest otherwise is nought but crude propaganda.

 
At 4:02 am, Blogger Southpaw said...

and Das Kapital as well according to recent research - he also apparently tried to get his student union at Oxford to subscribe to An Phoblact (Sinn Fein's paper) as well. Maybe I have traduced the young Blair in my blog.

I think, el tom, that war, of course, includes violence (which you can sometimes call atrocity) but the question is whether it is necessary violence - if you don't prosecute a revolution succesfully then the counter revolutinary violence is usually a lot worse - even more die.

Something like 500,000 leftists were killed in Indonesia in 1965 in the crushing of the Communist Party - a 'genocide' you never hear about.

Maybe the supporters of the Spanish Republic weren't violent enough in diabling their opponenents - and the church was hardly the benign organisation it is now seen as but a full member of the reactionary coalition.

Republicans paid for not winning - Franco executed between 10,000 to 30,00 afterwards.

 
At 8:11 pm, Blogger Ed said...

Oops, I'm a bit late to this one.

El Tom that's a bizarre comment. Why would you have been 'one of them' (you're left of centre) - not a Francoist priest?

The Republican cause drew in liberals and social democrats as well as socialists, anarchists and communists. I don't see why you should be so hostile.

Incidentally, I think that summary execution and artbitrary killing of priests (which I have sneaky feeling was rather exaggerated by Francoists - no strangers to summary executions of trade unionists and so on) wasn't a very good idea.

 
At 6:57 pm, Blogger Roobin said...

"The republicans had a just cause... but all war, no matter the side you take, culminates in atrocity. "

Yeah, especially in Ken Loach films. (rolls eyes)

 

Post a Comment

<< Home