23/04/2021

Fascism was this

2 min
The candidate for the presidency of Madrid, Rocio Monasterio, with the leader of Vox, Santiago Abascal, at a meeting in Fuenlabrada

The Madrid campaign is turning into a pitiful spectacle in which Vox's unabashed fascism is monopolising the attention and making the atmosphere unbreathable, like a kind of 1936 Civil War revival. This Friday's episode on Cadena SER , where the Vox candidate, Rocío Monasterio, questioned the death threats received by Pablo Iglesias and invited him to leave the studio (which he did) represents a turning point and may open a few people's eyes about the real threat of the far right entering the government. Monasterio's attitude exceeds all the limits of what is admissible in a democracy, and exhibits a boundless moral misery.

All this happened on the back of the controversy over the poster criminalising unaccompanied foreign minors, which, by the way, the courts deemed did not have to be removed, and Vox leader Santiago Abascal's manoeuvres to seek confrontation in Vallecas, breaking the police cordon. The fact is that, today, no sincere democrat should accept the presence of Vox in government. This would be viable in Europe, but in Spain the PP will not refuse them because it needs them. If this happens, however, they alone will be responsible for having placed enemies of democracy in the institutions.

The positive side is that all this may help to mobilise the vote of the left, which until now seemed resigned to an overwhelming victory for Isabel Díaz Ayuso. However, seen from Catalonia, it is difficult not to remind the Spanish left that for some time now they have been warned of the Spanish deep state's ideological drift and of the increasingly uninhibited emergence of a new kind of fascism that mixes neo-Francoist nostalgia with the communicative techniques of Trumpism (fake news, lack of respect for rivals, etc.). We were told that Catalonia was a provincial and fractured society because it aspired to hold a referendum, while Madrid breathed modernity and tolerance. And now it turns out that the Spanish capital faces the real danger of becoming a bastion of the most retrograde, xenophobic and ultra-nationalist right. A society, moreover, divided into two irreconcilable camps. Well yes, let us say, with all humility, that fascism was this and you had it before your eyes (remember the "go get them!" when the Spanish police was sent to stop the referendum?), but it seemed that against the independence movement anything goes. Let's hope that in the future they learn their lesson.

Democrats in general are now facing the debate on how to deal with this manipulative and unscrupulous far right. Well, the answer is very simple: with data, data and more data. It is necessary to explain what is the real situation of unaccompanied minors is, what the contribution of immigration to the economy is, what the reality of gender violence is. Dismantle their lies one by one. Without falling into provocations, but firmly. And explaining, for example, that 130 people have died in the Mediterranean in the last few hours, abandoned by the whole world. And that the answer to all these challenges must always be to be more human, not less.