In the Spanish civil war, the Communists and the Capitalists sided with one another against the Fascists. The Fascists won, and led to a repressive regime that lived in relative peace without freedom until the death of Franco. Spain, as a result, did not see the subsequent battle between the Communists and Capitalists, which was to define the latter half of the 20th century. They lived in a bubble of needs met and few aspirations attained, with true liberty – religion not least among them – thwarted.
But Franco did not stop the positioning. He had to, after all, meet with every man’s fate and die. And so the cold war lived in muted form, to the satisfaction of those who run cold – the communists – as opposed to those who run hot – the capitalists. But in certain places the dream of the republic lived. It would come to live in the hearts of former communists as well as capitalists, as the fate of a government of central command was realized in the USSR, not only Spain.
There are still those inclined to socialism, and sometimes they are in the right. Nevertheless, the will of the people is freedom – civil and economic – and there is no place in the world where this will is stronger than in Barcelona. Catalonia has been reluctantly paying dues and homage to Madrid for too long, and it is time for Madrid to realize that they really ought to be more like Barcelona. I have been here for a short time, and I can tell the city is alive and open unlike any I’ve seen. Despite occasional opposing forces at play, it is a city ready to shine to the world. Madrid, you should play along – you have something to learn and gain.