Spanish Intellectuals Oppose Cancel Culture

"In the last decade, we have witnessed the advent of ideological currents, supposedly progressive, which are characterized by radicalism."

“A point of delirium has been reached: tearing down and painting statues, the demand that Columbus didn’t discover America… A process that leads us straight to cultural illiteracy.” (YouTube)

Spanish – Today, censorship is the most prominent form of controlling discourse, and progressives are the chief executors. Through mass campaigns and the use (and abuse) of social media, they manage to put professionals who disagree with their opinions out of work. In rejection of this authoritarianism, more than 150 intellectuals, writers, artists, and journalists issued a letter in English to end the “cancel culture.” Now, Spain has joined the initiative:

“We want to make it clear that we join the movements that are fighting not only in the United States but globally against the evils of society such as sexism, racism, and contempt for immigrants, but we also express our concern about the perverse use of just causes to stigmatize people who are not sexist or xenophobic or, more generally, to impose censorship, cancellation, and rejection of free, independent thought, and unyielding political correctness. Unfortunately, In the last decade, we have witnessed the advent of ideological currents, supposedly progressive, which are characterized by radicalism, and which appeal to such causes to justify attitudes and behavior that we consider unacceptable. Thus, we regret that there have been reprisals in the media against intellectuals and journalists who have criticized the opportunistic abuses of #MeToo or new age anti-slavery. The retaliation that has also become evident in our country through discreet or noisy maneuvers of ostracism and oblivion against free thinkers unjustly branded as sexist or racist and mistreated in the media, if not lynched online.

The signatories include Mario Vargas Llosa, Fernando Savater, César Antonio Molina, Mercedes Monmany, Luis Alberto de Cuenca, José Manuel Blecua, Adela Cortina, Arcadi Espada, Ignacio Martínez de Pisón, Juan Soto Ivars, Sabino Méndez, José María Merino, Carmen Posadas, Elvira Roca Barea, Borja Sémper, and Óscar Tusquets.

“Respect for freedom of expression precedes political confrontation,” explained one of the signatories, Juan Soto Ivars, to ABC.

During the coronavirus pandemic, the Socialist coalition government in Spain aggravated censorship, aimed at the press, passing journalists’ questions through an official filter.

This filter is even deeper in regions that want to be autonomous. Spain’s most prominent case of censorship is experienced mainly through nationalisms that seek to impose their regional language over Spanish. That is, they not only seek to regulate what is said but even the language in which it is said.

The anti-Spanish sentiment is not limited to the current situation; it extends to the past. Statues of Christopher Columbus are being destroyed in Spain, and the statue of San Junípero Serra, like the one in California, U.S., was also vandalized.

“A point of delirium has been reached: tearing down and painting statues, the demand that Columbus didn’t discover America… A process that leads us straight to cultural illiteracy, a return to caves and dictatorships,” explained writer Mercedes Monmany, one of the signatories of the manifesto against cancel culture.

“Demand for one party, one thought, one trend”

Monmany assures us that it is “reaching exaggerated levels of hysteria, copying the totalitarian methods of the dictatorships. In the latter, censorship was made clear, and in democracies, it is covert, the gag is subtle. Moreover, we have the problem of social media, where everything is very aggressive, black or white. People immediately resort to insults instead of arguments. These are societies that have lost the ability to argue, debate, exchange opinions… and it produces self-censorship, people who are cowed, a society that lowers its head. It calls for a single party, a single thought, a single trend.”

The rejection of parties on the outside of the left is frontal. The separatists even physically attack their detractors, as happened in the Basque Country during the visit of the Vox delegation during the parliamentary elections. Congresswoman Rocio Meer was hurt by the Basque nationalists when they threw stones at her.

“Fascists,” a term used to silence people

“Fascists out of here!” was one of the many threats shouted and painted against politicians in the Basque Country.

The term “fascism” has been popularized by far-left groups as a tool to silence and attack their opponents. They even use it against more “progressive” politicians, such as Citizens political party.

At the demonstration held March 8, “Working Women’s Day,” the women of Citizens party were expelled under the cry “fascists out from our neighborhoods.” The protestors included the deputy mayor, Begoña Villacís.

Socialists exclude right-wing women from feminism

The vice president of Spain, Carmen Calvo of the Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party (PSOE), made it clear: “Feminism belongs to all of us; it is not pretty, we have worked on the genealogy of progressive thought, of socialist thought.”

In theory, feminism defends women. In practice, it does not apply to women who are not left-wing.

“Why do (Carmen) Calvo or (Irene) Montero have to speak in my name just because we were born with the same organs,” exclaimed Cayetana Alvarez de Toledo, spokeswoman of the Spanish People’s Party.

“Women are not blocks; we are not an identitarian and unshakable collective. We don’t all think the same way. No one can speak in my name, neither a man nor a woman,” she said.

It is in rejection of this collectivism that assumes loyalties according to sex and nationality that a growing number of intellectuals confront the radicalism of the extreme left that seeks to impose a single discourse.

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