World Affairs Note: Teaching Spain to Reject Democracy

What the rest of Europe is allowing to happen in Spain is not the lesson in pan-European solidarity and the value of democracy that the West should be teaching the Spanish people, only one generation removed from fascism.

The rescue of Spain from fascism at the death of Franco was an historic victory for the forces of democracy, but Spain remains on the edge, and the Spanish people are not exactly learning the lessons it is in our interests to teach them with their deepening recession, rising austerity they are expected to suffer alone, and deepening recession. Putting a quarter of the population into unemployment (see chart of Spanish vs European unemployment), which has been rising steadily in Spain since 2008 to reach some 2.5 times the average European level, may teach the younger generation a lesson about the relative merits of democracy vs. dictatorship contradicting the one that their  grandparents learned the hard way when the Spanish were caught in the vice of Stalin and Hitler.

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