Once Aryan Skynet Goes Live It Doesn't Matter Who Pulled The Switch
Because so much of the history of the twentieth century, and particularly the thirties and forties, has been falsified for political purposes, a powerful temptation persists among identitarians to react by embracing the opposite of the establishment’s hollow propaganda. This writer, too, has at times been susceptible to this line of thinking – or of not thinking, as the case might be. Spain’s Francisco Franco furnishes an instructive case. Macho man of action, charismatic dictator, collaborator with Hitler and Mussolini in freeing his country from the clutches of Bolshevism and anarchist violence – what is not to like about Francisco Franco? One of the regular Right Stuff commenters (as well as a
contributor to The Daily Stormer) even goes by the screen name “Francisco Franco”. The Daily Stormer once carried a Fox News story about a rally honoring the Spanish dictator, retitled it “Fascist Rally Defies ZOG to Honor Franco”, and captioned one of the accompanying photographs, “Fascism is for all generations” – implying approval of the actions of the infamously brutal victor of the Spanish Civil War. “Where have all the Francos gone?” asks Richard Spencer in an article in which he suggests that the general possessed “the vision one needs to take wise, decisive action.”1 That Franco was a decisive actor few would be willing to dispute; but were his actions truly wise and was the caudillo, moreover, motivated by the concern for his people’s dignity one would expect in a nationalist?
Adam Hochschild, writing for The New York Times, describes a leader who was less the paternal protector of his people than their whip-wielding overlord:
In Homage to Catalonia, his memoir of the Spanish Civil War, George Orwell remarks that Francisco Franco’s military uprising against Spain’s elected government “was an attempt not so much to impose fascism as to restore feudalism.” […] Fascism may belong to the 20th century, but Franco’s grab for power evokes earlier times: the parading soldiers who flourished enemy ears and noses on their bayonets, the mass public executions carried out in bullrings or with band music and onlookers dancing in the victims’ blood. One of Franco’s top aides talked of democratically chosen politicians as “cloven-hoofed beasts,” and anything that smacked of modernity […] seemed to draw the regime’s violent wrath. Echoing the Inquisition, Franco ordered particularly despised foes put to death with the garrote, in which the executioner tightens an iron collar around a person’s neck.
There’s also something medieval in the fierce class divisions of 1930s Spain, with its great latifundistas, whose estates were worked by landless peasants so hungry they stole acorns from pigs’ troughs. [Paul] Preston describes the “near racist” loathing Franco’s officials had for the lower classes; one contemptuously referred to unionized farmworkers as being like “Rif tribesmen.” […]
With Hitler and Mussolini supplying arms to Franco, and the Soviet Union to the embattled Spanish Republic, the death toll of the 1936-39 war was enormous. Some 200,000 soldiers died in battle, and a further large but unknown number of civilians were killed by Franco’s bombing of Spanish cities and of vast columns of refugees in flight.2
The dictator’s idiosyncratic notions of Spanish racial pride are hardly likely to endear Franco to most identitarians, either. Joshua Goode, in his book Impurity of Blood: Defining Race in Spain, 1870-1930, explains:
Franco’s  screenplay Raza remains famous today mostly as a curiosity, a mediocre film written by a dictator not normally associated with literary pursuits. Almost always overlooked in the discussion of the film is the meaning of the title Franco chose: Raza (Race). What could a Spanish dictator who had courted the Nazis [as] allies in the Spanish Civil War mean by the word “race”? Franco’s racial ideals certainly appeared to have little to do with the kind of pure lineage that obsessed the Nazis. Indeed, his idea of race – that of a National Catholic state as the happy meeting ground of many different peoples willingly blended together – differed from most European conceptions of race in this period. Franco believed that racial strength was based on mixture and hybridity – the fusion of peoples.3
Francisco Franco, like other generals during the period leading into the Civil War, has been characterized as an “accidentalist” who “cared little for political forms, provided they maintained ‘order’.”4 Franco’s vision of order for Spain was, as events would prove, not incompatible with the importation of Moorish butchers to perpetrate sex atrocities against the indigenous working class.
Franco, as an elitist general, provided the common people of Spain with a vivid exhibition of the profound contempt in which he held them with his conduct of a campaign of pacification in Asturias, where a 1934 miners’ uprising precipitated a military response:
General Franco, apprehending that Spanish soldiers would not shoot the miners, sent to Asturias Moorish troops from Africa and contingents of the Foreign Legion. The sending of African troops to Asturias led to P. Preston’s remark that “The nationalist values on which the Right claimed to stand rested on the central symbol of the struggle to reconquer Spain from the Moors. Now they shipped Moorish mercenaries to Asturias, the only part of Spain never dominated by the Crescent to fight against Spanish workers” […] The repression was brutal.5
An indication of how brutal is given by Brian D. Bunk in his study Ghosts of Passion:
The leftists often blamed the African troops and the soldiers of the Foreign Legion for the sexual crimes committed during the repression, since many of the soldiers were clearly foreign and, in the case of the Africans, racially and religiously distinct, as well. Pro-revolutionary accounts often accused these groups of perpetrating the worst crimes of sexual assault and mutilation. […]
Solano Palacio also tells of soldiers raping girls and then killing them in front of their own family. He writes that “the Moors raped women and afterwards slashed their throats and cut off their breasts.” The purposeful mutilation of women’s bodies, especially the breasts, represents the symbolic destruction of motherhood. Solano Palacio asserts that by destroying and mutilating women the Moroccan troops demonstrated their contempt for motherhood and for [Spanish] society in general. After her visit to Spain in 1934 Leah Manning reported that a nursing mother was tortured “particularly upon the breasts” simply because her husband had participated in the revolt. […]
During the electoral campaign of 1936 the Popular Front coalition used references to the use of Moors to denigrate the patriotic claims of the right. As one broadsheet explains: “They say that they are Spain and they brought Moors to Asturias to ‘raid’ the homes of upstanding Spaniards and to satisfy the most dirty and obscene appetites.” The passage contests the patriotism of conservatives by referring to those who it perceived as the true patriots: the honorable workers whose homes were threatened by the use of foreign soldiers.6
Historian James A. Baer describes the momentous aftermath of the Asturias unrest:
More than thirty thousand prisoners were taken; many were tortured, and most of the leaders who were not shot on the spot were quickly sentenced to death. […] Perhaps as much as the repression that followed the uprising, the government’s use of African troops to put down the insurrection galled many Spaniards and brought mounting criticism of the government.7
These and subsequent events only served to exacerbate the political tensions in the country and hasten the coming of the Spanish Civil War. The inevitable outbreak of the rightist insurrection would again find General Francisco Franco in command of his merciless army of North African invader-occupiers, as Filipe Ribeiro de Meneses relates:
Franco benefited from his position as rebel commander in Morocco in many ways. With the situation in Spain locked into a stalemate, all eyes turned to him, especially those of his colleagues who, in an ever more difficult situation, considered his arrival on the Spanish mainland to be the only means to achieve victory. […] The foreign legion and the Moroccan regulars, 32,000 of the most professional troops in the Spanish army, were now under Franco’s direct command. […] The transfer of the grandly titled Army of Africa to the mainland was to prove significant in a number of ways. Franco’s forces allowed the transformation, on the rebels’ side, of the coup into a war […] Until its arrival at the gates of Madrid, the Army of Africa proved to be an irresistible force. Finally, the need for aircraft to fly the Army of Africa to Spain led to the involvement of Germany and Italy on the rebels’ side, a factor that would prove crucial to both Franco’s rise within the Nationalist hierarchy and his eventual military victory.8
The New Republic’s Timothy Snyder, summarizing the work of historian Paul Preston in an article titled “Savagery”, offers the following observations:
Franco and his allies also railed on about the “Africanization” of public life. They equated the Republic’s attempts to aid the peasantry with the barbarism they believed they were fighting in Africa, and presented Spanish peasants as racial inferiors comparable to Moroccan tribesmen. This revival of the second specter haunting Spanish nationality, the inferior Moor along with the conspiring Jew, carried with it an eerie irony. Franco’s African Army itself brought the practices of colonialism to Spanish shores. Officers and men boasted that they treated conquered Spanish towns like they treated Moroccan ones. They killed the wounded and the prisoners and the local elites for the same reasons they had in Africa, so as not to leave any possibility for resistance in the rear, and to intimidate the surrounding countryside.
During the civil war of 1936 to 1939, the Spanish Foreign Legion and the Regulares, fighting for the nationalist side, mutilated corpses, massacred prisoners, and raped working-class women. The Foreign Legion, despite the name, was composed mainly of Spaniards, with a few Cubans and other Latin Americans. The Regulares, again despite the name, were Muslim troops recruited in Morocco, and promised pillage in Spain. Preston is as restrained as he can be in the presentation of the regular gang rape of Spanish women by Muslim mercenaries under the command of Spanish nationalists. This was part and parcel of Franco’s policy.9
None of this is meant to suggest that the anarchist revolutionists and the Stalinists fighting Franco were somehow right, nor that the utopian nightmare these groups might have attempted to implement in the event of their victory would have been somehow preferable to the comparatively peaceful and prosperous years over which the Francoist government presided until the dictator’s death. The Spanish Civil War, as with all of European history’s important episodes, is not a matter of “good guys vs. bad guys”. No war that rips a nation apart can be considered “good”. It is difficult, furthermore, to imagine any context in which the abuse and mutilation of European women – even fanatical communist zealots – by imported African mercenaries would be an acceptable course of action for men presenting themselves as ethnonationalists. This, again, is not to say that Francisco Franco was totally “bad”. Gregory Hood, in a characteristically well-written piece at Counter-Currents, draws a depressingly stark picture of the decline into which the country fell after the fascist caudillo’s passing in 1975. But the last thing Europeans need at the present is more heroes to worship blindly.
Ideals, yes. Idols, no.