By Giles Tremlett
The Spanish are reputed to be among Europe's such a lot voluble humans. So why have they saved silent concerning the terrors of the Spanish Civil conflict and the rule of thumb of dictator Generalísimo Francisco Franco? the looks - sixty years after that warfare ended - of mass graves containing sufferers of Franco's dying squads has ultimately damaged what Spaniards name 'the pact of forgetting'. At this charged second, Giles Tremlett launched into a trip round Spain - and during Spanish historical past. Tremlett's trip was once additionally an try and make experience of his own adventure of the Spanish. Why do they dislike authority figures, yet are cowed by way of a doctor's white coat? How had girls embraced feminism with no males noticing? What binds gypsies, jails and flamenco? Why do the Spanish visit plastic surgeons, donate their organs, stopover at brothels or take cocaine greater than different Europeans?
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Extra resources for Ghosts of Spain: Travels Through Spain and Its Silent Past (2nd Edition)
8). Then, during the eighteenth century, European identity reconstruction led to the creation of what I refer to as ‘implicit racism’ which led on to the idea of the moral necessity of the imperial ‘civilising mission’ (ch. 10). Imagining the East to be backward, passive and childlike in contrast to the West as advanced, proactive and paternal was vital in prompting the Europeans to engage in imperialism. For the European elites sincerely believed that they were civilising the East through imperialism (even if many of their actions belied this noble conception).
Moreover, the Eastern bourgeoisie was thoroughly repressed by the despotic or patrimonial state and was confined to ‘administrative camps’ as opposed to the ‘free cities’ that were allegedly found only in the West. In addition, European rulers were also balanced against the power of the Holy Roman empire as well as the papacy, which contrasted with Eastern caesaropapism (where religious and political institutions were fused). Finally, while Western man became imbued with a ‘rational restlessness’ and a transformative ‘ethic of world mastery’, in part because of the energising impulse of Protestantism, Eastern man was choked by 18 e a s t e r n o r i g i n s regressive religions and was thereby marked by a long-term fatalism and passive conformity to the world.
16 After 610, the Middle East began its rise to global power with the ‘revelation’ of Muhammad. Before i s l a m i c a n d a f r i c a n p i o n e e r s 37 then the Middle East was highly fragmented and subject to various colonising efforts by Persia, Syria and Byzantine Egypt. One of Muhammad’s greatest contributions was to forge a unity through the power of Islam. And one of the most significant aspects of Islam was its penchant for trade and rational capitalist activity. It deserves emphasis that this immediately stands at odds with the Eurocentric assumption that Islam was a regressive religion that blocked the possibility of capitalist, let alone rational capitalist, activity.