The Franco dictatorship was not fascist and the regime of Francisco Franco was categorised by its lack of an ideology outside of its determination to maintain power.
Those are the conclusions of the Fundación FAES over which presides José María Aznar, the former centre right Partido Popular prime minister of Spain.
In the latest edition of the FAES publication, ‘Cuadernos de pensamiento político’, the political law professor, Manuel Ramírez, stated in an article that the Franco authoritarian regime was not a fixed state without changes or variations.
In the article entitled ‘Hace setenta años. El regimen politico y su mentalidad’ – published to coincide with the 70 th anniversary of the end of the Spanish Civil War – Ramírez stated that Franco had no ideological base. He argues that at that stage in Spanish history there was no strong ideology as was the case in Hitler’s Germany or Mussolini’s Italy.
Ramírez backs that claim by pointing out that with the death of Franco his regime died with him. He also points to two phases in the Franco regime – the first from the end of the Civil War to 1945 when he paid lip service to the Falange but without accepting the ideas of its founder, José Antonio Primo de Rivera, in their totality. This was followed by a Catholic-Empire phase.
Certainly Franco’s regime was authoritarian, during the Civil War and post war period it slaughtered men, women and children and without doubt thousands of innocent people were oppressed. But was it fascist? Well I believe the saying goes – If it walks like a pig, and talks like a pig, the chances are - it is a pig.