Friday, January 21

Mario Garcs: “Throwing down a statue of Columbus is a narcissistic moral rebellion”


Mario Garc
  • The Final Interview The end of THE WORLD

Jaca, Juesca, 1967. Jurist, actor, former Secretary of State, PP deputy and author of The Spanish footprint on Route 66, a book on the role of the Spanish in the construction of the United States.

Polls say anti-Americanism in Spain is extremely high. Why
First, because the Anglo-Saxon world erased us Spaniards from its history in the 19th century due to colonial rivalry. Their magazines represented us Spaniards as savages and that campaign carried until the outbreak of Maine, where we definitely lost the battle for our image.
I’m sure the Italians were also treated as barbarians.
With a difference: the Italians were in the forge of the cities. They may have been marginalized and fought with the Irish but they fought for their spaces. We disappeared.
And after?
Then in the twentieth century, we erased ourselves from American history. We are erased by the trauma of the war, by the disinterest of the Francoist ruling party … The surprise is that, after 45 years of democracy, our common past has not been recovered due to a certain destructive and biased revisionism of our history, a certain manipulation that it has to do with political interests. We are creating a Spain with an unpredictable past. Sometimes we don’t know what will happen in the past.
That phrase was ready.
Yes, I have said it in the gallery a couple of times and it always looks great. It should be patented. But I really believe it, there are those who argue from the denial of the past.
I suppose you mean the politicians who reexamine colonization as guilt. I understand the argument against that theory and against the Black Legend, but when I hear about an anti-Spanish conspiracy I don’t know what to think.
The conspiracy existed, of course it did: there was a rivalry and the world worked like that. Spain also conspired against its enemies. From there: I do not believe that the Spaniards are determined to inflict self-defeats in our past. But what we assume is ignorance of our past. It is almost worse.
They also throw statues of Columbus and Churchill around.
It is a kind of narcissistic and moral rebellion at the same time. And it has something generational, it has happened to all of us. It is the child who says that he would not have done what his parents did, who emancipates himself ideologically and anthropologically. I can understand that in a family. As a political program it seems worse to me.
A biography came out this year of Julin Maras. He adored the United States but thought that the 60s ended the happiness of the country.
Of course, because the liberal consciousness of the 1940s, the idealism with which they had fought against fascism, succumbed to a generation that turned to maximalism. Maximalism is saying: I want everything, I want it now and, if I don’t get it, I demand it from the State. In return, I am willing to give up a part of my freedom. I understand it and I know that it was a necessary answer, just like the 15M. Sometimes the liberal state shows signs of exhaustion and it is only fair that people protest: But the fighting spirit is lost along the way.
I speak from outside but I would say that what torments the US today has to do with its problems of cohesion, rather than with a melancholy liberal.
I answer him like a liberal who was Secretary of State for Social Services: it is true that there are lack of assistance and chronic inequalities based on sex and race, above all. Now, let us not forget that the best thing the United States has given the world is its concept of freedom, the way of understanding the freedom of a country that made itself by way of expansion. But that is a tough country from the point of view of violence.
When did you first travel to the United States?
I was 16 years old and I went to perform on Broadway with Jos Antonio Labordeta. I fell in love with New York, I fell in love with America. With my pay I bought a book about Route 66 and since then, until here. I have never done the route, by the way.

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