Why Catalonia today and then?

Anyone observing the recent suppression of the independence vote in Catalonia by the Spanish Government should be reminded immediately that this is not the first bid of Catalonia for independence. In fact you cannot understand what is happening today if you do not grasp what happened in the region that declared independence from 1936 until it was brought down by the Fascists in 1939 under the name of “Revolutionary Catalonia.”

 

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I highly recommend George Orwell’s autobiographical record Homage to Catalonia for a day by day account of the effort to resist Fascism in that region. You can find the text of the book here. Of course the current politics are far from the radical views of the communists and anarchists who tried to create a classless society in Catalonia at the time. Yet the effort to break out of an increasingly restricted social environment was perhaps similar to what we are seeing today. I wonder why nothing about that period in history is mentioned in any of the news accounts about current events.

 

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