Saturday, August 30, 2003

Yesterday El Periodico, Barcelona's working-class newspaper, printed a three-page "dialogue" between "actors" Carles Flavia and Pepe Rubianes. Here are a few of the highlights:

Flavia: ...Hey, listen, Pepe, you should have come to the Club (Barcelona de Natacion, where some of the events at the world Swimming championships were held). They insulted the American anthem!

Rubianes: I'll tell you something really kick ass (cojonudo) that I saw in Egypt, in a hotel in Cairo: the TV was on and I saw all the people watching and applauding. I thought there was a football game. No way. It was some scenes from Iraq, Yankee soldiers...And you know why they were applauding? They applauded every time an American got killed.

Flavia: Did they do the wave?

Rubianes: And they cheered...One day, when they killed three of them, I thought Cairo was going to explode...

Rubianes: ...What's happening in the world has me completely traumatized. I really mean it.

Flavia: You pick up a newspaper and it makes you bitter.

Rubianes: I never thought that humanity could reach such levels of barbarity and of moral and ethical misery. The Iraq war, Israel and Palestine, so much injustice that we're seeing and so much arrogance and so many lies. Today everything is OK, everything is justifiable. We've reached a terrible point of human evolution, above all because power is in the hands of a bunch of mental retards, morally handicapped, who always have the ace up their sleeves.

Flavia: We could have a very bad time.

Rubianes: They talk about terrorist groups, Al Qaeda and all that, and it turns out that it is the army of the poor. It's their defense against the rich. When I was a kid, my dream was to kill Franco. I didn't want to be an engineer or a lawyer or a doctor. I wanted to kill Franco. I would have been thrilled to kill him when I was 18 or 20 years old. And, of course, I'm a terrorist. I'm very proud of having been one, although only mentally, because I've never killed anyone. Of course, later they tell you that innocent people die, but there's nobody innocent in this world. We're all guilty from birth.

Flavia: Original sin.

Rubianes: People defend themselves the way they can. State terrorism is as bad as these groups' terrorism. Isn't what Israel is doing in Palestine terrorism? Isn't what Bush is doing terrorism? You see this and your soul falls down to the floor. People are good. But the problem are those four sick people who govern, who live far away from the people's reality.

Flavia: All this is creating, in addition, a huge abyss between civilizations, a bestial hatred.

Just one comment, from the historian Stanley G. Payne:

(Andreu) Nin (leader of the semi-Trotskyist POUM in Catalonia during the '30s, killed by the Communists) was a sincere and courageous man who died an martyr to his cause. Yet it is well to remember where he stood on the question of revolutionary violence. There is no evidence that he did anything to limit the mass killings in Catalonia in 1936, and in 1922 he penned the following justification of the Bolshevist liquidation of the revolutionary extreme left in Russia:

"The Russian Communist Party is the only guarantee of the Revolution, and in the same manner as the Jacobins saw themselves obliged to guillotine the Hebertists, in spite of the fact that they represented a tendency to the left, in the same manner that we ourselves (in the anarchist CNT--Nin was none too stable in his affiliations) have eliminated those who constituted an obstacle to the realization of the objectives we pursued, our Russian comrades see themselves inevitably obliged implacably to smother any attempt which might break their power. It is not only their right but their duty. The health of the Revolution is the supreme law."

Like most of those who seek to justify revolutionary murder, Nin assumed that he was justifying the elimination of other people, not himself.

Source: The Spanish Revolution, p. 301.

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