Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Dolores Ibarruri - La Pasionaria


" The Spanish people would rather die on its feet than live on its knees. And do not forget, and let no one forget, that if today it is our turn to resist fascist aggression, the struggle will not end in Spain. Today it's us; but if the Spanish people is allowed to be crushed, you will be next, all of Europe will have to face aggression and war." When the fiery La Pasionaria made this speech in France in 1938 it was a plaintive cry to a sleeping world. Born in desperate poverty in Gallarta, Spain, on the 9th of December, 1895, Dolores Ibarruri matured to become one of the finest orators of her time. Mother of six children, only two of which survived the grinding poverty and lack of adequate food and health care rampant in oligarchical Spain, Dolores took to heart the teachings of Marx. Were she to need more reason to embrace radicalism, her huspand was arrested during a strike in 1920. My poor words will not do her justice, I will let her speak for herself. "The crude reality, the bare truth, hit me as it did every woman, with its unforgiving hands. A few short, fleeting days of illusion and afterwards, in my own experience, I learned the harsh truth of the popular saying 'Mother, what does it mean to be married? Daughter, it means to sew, to give birth and to cry'. To cry, to cry over our misfortunes, to cry over our powerlessness. To cry over our innocent children, to whom all we had to offer was our caresses soaked with tears. To cry over our pain-filled lives, without prospects, with no way out. Bitter tears, with a permanent curse in the heart and a blasphemy on the lips. "Vincent Sheean, the brilliant journalist and author of Not Peace But A Sword said of her - "Sometimes she gave it to them so straight and hard that you could hear the gasp of the whole audience. Her purpose was, of course, to make such failures and mistakes rarer in the future. She criticized the government not at all, but her own and the other revolutionary parties came in for some terrific lashings. And then, having frightened the audience into breathlessness by her picture of disaster, she set out to prove that victory was possible, and on what conditions. To an ordinary American journalist in the front row of the hall it seemed that she was asking these people to stop being Communists altogether, at least until the war was won. The genius of Dolores - her unquestionable genius as a speaker, the most remarkable I ever heard - worked upon them its customary miracle, and she had the whole audience cheering with enthusiasm when she finished." - La Pasionaria "Passion's Flower".

13 Comments:

Anonymous WhattheH said...

Where are orators of this quality today?
Where are the great leaders?
Ah, a great post. I've looked for a book on her life in the library, but am not having much luck, as yet. I think I'll have to go to the Central library, where they still keep the old books, or the University library.
By the way, I read another post that included a reference to Garcia Lorca. It was written by a gay man in response to the current Poop's - oops, sorry, I meant Pope's visit to Spain, and he brings in Lorca to illustrate his points. If you're interested, you can read it here:
http://montrealsimon.blogspot.com/
under the heading "The Pope's Shameful Visit to Spain".
Simon's quite a firebrand, and gasp, he's one gay who doesn't want to get married, but feels it's a human rights issue (which it is), and he's quite entertaining and engaging in his fury. If my son were gay, I would want him to be like Simon...wait a minute, I want him to live life as passionately as Simon, even if he isn't gay. Anything other than the automatons that the fundamentalist radicals turn out, otherwise, humanity doesn't have a chance.

1:22 PM  
Blogger durrati said...

Thanks, what, I will check out simon and get back to ya!

2:56 AM  
Blogger durrati said...

i fear my comments and postings will be brief and sparse for a few weeks, i damn near cut my arm off at work.....

11:19 AM  
Anonymous WhattheH said...

Durrati, what the heck did you do? Are you okay? What kind of job leads to you darn near cutting your arm off? Is there permanent damage or will it heal, but just take awhile?
Gosh, what a shock. I just come over from Kid's blog, where I'm waxing poetic about life in cottage country, then get cold water down my back. Please advise. And for the Goddess' sake, take care of yourself!!

12:10 PM  
Blogger durrati said...

well, dear what, the occupation in question is glazier. after losing my last gig, i landed a job running a machine that bevels glass. i also have to carry sheets of glass. the job pays well for this area and i was glad to have it. yesterday i mis stepped while carry a four by five foot piece of mirro and the corner hit the floor and the glass broke in half, the upper part falling on my arm. cut to the bone, lost a litre of blood before the ambulance arrived. it could have been much worse, it could have just as easy filleted my forearm. as it was it was just a deep cut and the prognosis is good, i should get most if not all the use back. thank god for my coworkers i could have bled out, artery you know....shoulda went to college i guess :(

2:29 PM  
Anonymous WhattheH said...

Durrati, my dear, thank goodness you are going to be allright. Don't ever regret what you did - I've spent a lifetime doing that and it hasn't got me anywhere, except I have a boatload of regret , a regular perscription that I must take every day and clinical depression. Do not regret your choices, learn from them. My former neighbour, who I still see time to time as he's now dating my other neighbour (both divorced, both been alone for a long time, and they are so cute together, in spite of their 50+ age), got a degree and ended up as a glazier. He went through many mishaps involving injuries that were life threatening (as are all when glass and sharp objects are involved), and today owns his own business and is doing very well, thank you very much - much better than I did after 35 years in a Corporate Management position. He even figured out how to get the base plate off my rear view mirror, so I could glue it back up on the windshield, so I'm ever in his debt (not to mention the storm windows he gave me and installed at no cost - by the way, there was no screw in the mirror/base like most setups.). He's found his niche, in spite of his education, and you will too. Just get yourself well.
If you enjoy the glazier business, then learn all you can and think about branching out. One thing both of our country lacks is skilled tradesmen, which accounts for a lot of the illegal immigration. About thirty years ago, it became all the rage to take our children out of trades and send them to college, even though trades demanded an equivalent amount of schooling - apprentice, journeyman, master. Trades became synonymous with blue collar, beer guzzling, loud mouth do nothings, which was not true. There are Ivy League beer guzzling, loud mouths who are ignorant and racist and disgusting, but we don't tarnish all Ivy leaguers with the same brush, so why do we do it to blue collar, professional, skilled tradesmen? I watched a program last night about a training school for drywallers, that has been established in my neck of the woods, financed by the Building industry in conjunction with government programs, in order to train a work force that is sadly lacking in Canada.
Due to the recent deportations of skilled illegal immigrants (most of who had lived here for 10 years and up - Yup, our PM is GWB's new poodle), there is a definite need for skilled labour. These folks are being taught how to drywall, and industry estimates are they will make more than 65K (Canadian) per year when they graduate (which at today's exchange rates would probably translate to 50+K - at an entry level).
Don't ever feel bad about what you do, unless of course it's harming others. Feel proud that you have the gumption, the get up and go, to learn and continue learning, which is more than I can say about some of my very well education acquaintances.
By the way, my other neighbour, when she moved in about 18 years ago, was working three jobs - all of them cleaning other people's houses and industrial buildings, while she was raising two boys, and putting up with mental and physical abuse from her husband. She is originally from Ecuador, where the men are always right, and the family must be kept together regardless. She finally told him to get out, but he came back and beat her so badly, that the other neighbour called the emergency number. The first responders are always the firemen, as they have advanced training in rescusitation, and that's how Len met Mercedes. They went through a really rocky beginning. She divorced her ex, but when he was diagnosed with terminal cancer, she took him into her home and nursed him until he died - because he was her son's father. Me, I would have slipped him a mickey, but Mercedes was a saint. Today, from a cleaning woman, she is a full professor at one of our major universities, she has translated numerous books from Spanish to English, her fireman friend went on to become a Captain and married her 10 years ago, and I've never seen a more content, or happier couple. There is a silver lining, and I want you to look for yours, because if you don't look, you'll miss it! Them's orders, Bub.

Yes, when I get back into balance, maybe I will look, but today my passion seems to be for my friends happiness. So living vicariously through my friends, I need you to have a happy life, and to write about it. Get that. Stand down soldier!
By the way, if I were twenty years younger, I'd be lining up at that drywalling course. I like that kind of work (I do all my own at home - necessity cause no money) and I would like to be good at it. I also work really well at flooring and plumbing. I'm adequate at electrical - can put in fixtures, run a new circuit (although I still haven't got the nerve to connect it at the electrical box), and fix shorts etc. See, I should have been a tradesperson rather than a Project Manager. I would probably be a lot happier today and still be working.

3:36 PM  
Blogger KidKawartha said...

Remember, durrati, chicks dig scars. ;)
Everything else, ditto what whattheh said....
Now that's the quote of the year- "my passion seems to be for my friend's happiness". Not only does it speak to the depth of character of our dear friend, it is one of those things that is both crucial to having a friendship with me and seems to be a characteristic of many of the left side of the spectrum. Compassion. Putting other's happiness before your own. (which is a core and often ignored by the right, teaching of Christ, by the way) Getting joy out of creating and sharing in other's joy. Very cool.
I think whattheh should take some of her spare time and take a specialist's trade course. I think it has the potential to bring balance to the force of her life, if she finds the right avenue.........
Just a thought. Peace and enjoy the great heat today, friends. I'm going back out to dig and move dirt, gravel and landscaping stones and stuff, because.....I have an S&M personality, yeah, that's it. Here's to involuntary tans.

3:54 PM  
Blogger WeCanFixThisMess said...

I go away for a couple of weeks and all hell breaks lose!

Actually, it sounds like all you guys are doing really well through life's stuff. I'm glad you're gonna be okay Dur.

My head-on collision a couple of months back has turned out to be a slow opportunity for me to take stock and make some good changes in my life. Hopefully, this accident will have a silver lining for you too. I'll send good thoughts that it does. Heal fast.

WhattheH-
As I was reading the comments above a huge smile came over my face. These are not the words of a depressed woman. Lots of hope and energy. Sounds more like your former "chronic optimist" self than someone in the dumps. Keep going.

You guys take good care of yourselves (you too Canuk) and stay cool in this heat wave.

Live has this strange way of shifting and changing. So despite the clusterfuck in the Middle East and corporate fascism trying to take hold in my country-- I'm choosing to focus on the little victories in my life and be encouraged by those of my online friends.

Once again, feel better Durrati. I'm glad you're gonna be okay.

2:33 PM  
Blogger KidKawartha said...

Hey, durrati- Happy Anniversary!

From a diary on Big Orange-

"Today is the 70th Anniversary of the uprising against fascism that came to be known as the Spanish Revolution.

My great aunt was a 19 year-old American nurse who volunteered with the Lincoln Brigades and travelled to Spain to join the fight in defense of this people's revolution. In her honor, tonight I offer this from George Orwell's, Homage to Catalonia".

"I had dropped more or less by chance into the only community of any size in Western Europe where political consciousness and disbelief in capitalism were more normal than their opposites. Up here in Aragon one was among tens of thousands of people, mainly though not entirely of working-class origin, all living at the same level and mingling on terms of equality. In theory it was perfect equality, and even in practice it was not far from it. There is a sense in which it would be true to say that one was experiencing a foretaste of Socialism, by which I mean that the prevailing mental atmosphere was that of Socialism. Many of the normal motives of civilized life--snobbishness, money-grubbing, fear of the boss, etc.--had simply ceased to exist. The ordinary class-division of society had disappeared to an extent that is almost unthinkable in the money-tainted air of England; there was no one there except the peasants and ourselves, and no one owned anyone else as his master."

Here's the post-
http://www.dailykos.com/story/2006/7/19/20400/2090

6:54 PM  
Anonymous WhattheH said...

WCFTM, thanks for the encouragement. There are good days, and there are bad days. One plays with the hand one was dealt, and tries to be optimistic. So glad you posted - missed your pithy comments.
Kid, really neat commentary. I must get over and check it out.
Durrati, are you okay. You haven't been on for a few days and I want to make sure you are getting better. You did say your arm was hurting and you had difficulty with the keyboard, but I'm hoping that with time, it is healing. Take care of yourself.

8:32 PM  
Anonymous WhattheH said...

Durrati, are you closing down the blog? If so, I will miss you. Take care and live life to the fullest. Good luck

7:27 PM  
Anonymous EUBanana said...

You have got to be kidding. La Pasionaria, the most slimy, backstabbing vermin in all of the Spanish Republic.

Yeah, she was a good orator. So was Hitler.

If it wasnt for the PCE the Republic might have won.

1:49 PM  
Blogger durrati said...

I appreciate your point eubanana, but she wasn't the only one to make mistakes in her allegiance and communists of all stripes and nationalities were the only ones willing to risk their lives alongside the anarchists.

She chose her path after the terror of 1919. And as it turned out it was a bad choice. But she would have died for the republic...

2:39 PM  

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