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Adolphe Thiers and Jose Antonio Primo de Riveral

Adriana Pena says:"I believe that the attraction that Jose Antonio has for many owes less to his specific proposals than to what was behind them.

At a time when both the Left and the Right used the language of extermination (the Left based on the hopes of a Revolution Russian style, and the destruction of whole social classes which stood in the way, and the Right, praising the example of Thiers and the thousands of dead from the repression of the Paris Commune, which they said, gave peace to France), Josˇ Antonio was actually speaking of synthesis, of pacific coexistence, and the mutual respect that was needed for any political system to work.

He mentions it, as something that is so obvious that does not deserve comment, in one of the letters he sent to the military. Of course he inspired himself in fascism. Fascism at that time was a success story, and people mentioned it, trying to rub off its aura of success. I suspect that there was as much opportunism in people proclaiming themselves fascist then as there was in denying any connection with it after the war."

French influence was great in Spain, and the suggestion that the right was inspired by Thiers is interesting. Adolphe Thiers (1797-1877) was the founder and first president of the Third Republic. He would appeal to rightist intellectuals, since he wrote a 10-volume History of the French Revolution. and a 20-volume study of Napoleon I. It was the Napoleonic legend which brought Napoleon III to power, and Thiers represented that tradition. After the French defeat by the Prussians, he crushed the Commune ruthlessly He lost power to Patrice MacMahon, a royalist who became the second president of the Republic. Thiers continued to lead the conservative republican opposition. I have not seen a study of the influence of Thiers in Spain, an interesting topic. Likewise the memory of the Paris Commune survived in the subconscious of the European left. Jose Antonio appears as a conciliatory man of peace

Ronald Hilton - 11.05.03