Madrid 1936 - Kyiv 2022

root's picture

Some people say that history repeats itself. That is partly true. But rather than a cycle of eternal return, it is a spiral. And indeed certain epochs repeat themselves with similar events. These are a kind of Deja Vue. Something tremendously familiar because we have already experienced it.
 
But it is not an eternal return. Things are similar but inverted—a kind of black humour of the one who weaves destiny.
 
Some dates
 
1919 the Spanish flu and 2020 coronavirus. 1922 Lenin's Soviet Union invades Ukraine; 2022 Putin's Russia invades Ukraine.
 
The Deja vue mentioned above refers to the Spanish Civil War, the prelude to World War II and the current Ukrainian conflict.
 
Today's conflict is posed as the invasion of fascism reconverted from Russia into a democratic republic like Ukraine. Clearly, the reason is on the Ukrainian side. In the case of Franco's attack with his blitzkrieg Spanish version, it corresponds to the rapid war of the Russians. In both cases, the conflict stalled after a fast advance.
 
Kyiv and Madrid were encircled (not totally) by the aggressor army. Passionaria's phrase: No pasaran,  is very much present in Kyiv today. Throughout the ex-socialist world, this phrase is mythical.
 
Another interesting topic is the international brigades. Freedom fighters came from all over the world to defend the republic against fascism. The Ukrainian president has asked foreign fighters to go to Ukraine. Not everybody knows that foreign volunteer fighters also fought with Franco. The Irish brigade and many convinced fascist Italians. Putin has also called his volunteers from Chechnya and Syria.
 
War censorship is another common point between the two wars. Taken to another dimension: the internet. In a certain artistic way, a lot of media icons are being created at the moment. All this reminds me of Picasso's Guernica and many other works by artists committed to the republic. It is the same creative zeal in the service of an idea.
 
But the dark side is here too. Censorship is not good, and the West has no problem with the suppression of Russian media. Censorship in a dictatorship is logical; it should not be so in a free democracy. But the free world is a utopia. Big media control the press with their own interests. In the Ukrainian war, there is no impartial reporting.
 
Another fundamental aspect is geopolitics. In 1936 a new fascist order was being created in Europe and Asia. The axis. Now also, the Western free world against another bloc that we could call Russo-Chinese. The great fear is a new world war with Europe as the battlefield. When the Spanish civil war ended, the II world war began. All this is in the collective unconscious. The fears are there—the Russian devil. 
 
Another common aspect is the refugees. I am talking about the Moscow children as they were called in Spain, although they were also sent to Mexico, France and England. Most of the exiled mothers and children never returned. The same will most likely be true of today's Ukrainian refugees. Out of three million, one and a half million will stay in Western Europe. Life in Ukraine was difficult before the war, and the youth wanted to emigrate. It is the perfect opportunity to start a new life in the West. In the case of Spain, it is also an ethical obligation to accept refugees. As a fair payment to the Spanish refugee children in Ukraine after the civil war. Many stayed and fought for the Soviet Union. One more paradox of history.
 
Because there are many paradoxes, Putin calls for a holy war to defend the oppressed Russian minority in Ukraine and defeat the Ukrainian fascists like the Azov battalion and even some politicians, like the mayor of Kyiv.
 The Russians who defeated the Nazis in the World War and liberated Ukraine are now the invaders. But before Hitler, it was the Russians who invaded in 1922 and caused the great famine called Holodomor.
 
In the case of Spain, Franco won the war and remained in power until 1975. His death was the entry of democracy and into the European Union a few years later. Franco's system changed during all these years and became more manageable for the defeated to bear. Communism lasted 20 years longer than Francoism and also changed and evolved. Many old Spaniards say that life was better under Franco. I have heard the same from more senior people in Russia and Bulgaria. Dictatorships evolve to become more bearable. They usually collapse with the death of the dictator. That was not the case in the Soviet Union. The system was maintained after Stalin's death, and why? Quite simply. Because there was a common enemy: the West for the Soviet Union. The same West tried to destroy Russia since the revolution 1919 and maintained armies and wars for years inside Ukraine.
 
Indeed Putin is still in this cold war mindset just. Franco was also in a war against the comunism. And Franco was able to sell his anti-communism to the Americans to stay in power after the fall of fascism in Europe. Another paradox, fascism is accepted in the post-fascist world.
 
And we come to the vital point of this whole dissertation. We repeat history in cycles, but in a spiral. As we move forward, something changes, but the essence is repeated. After the civil war fascism emerged in Europe and led to world war.
 
I am afraid that fascism rebranded as nationalism will again take hold in Europe, censorship will return, and we will go back to the cold war. A new iron curtain between West and East. Let us be aware that the only winners in this situation are the United States. The new England with a decaying and decaying empire. Let us not forget one thing; the United States has built its empire through wars outside its territory. Conflicts that allow it to sell arms and supplies. Europe's misfortune is America's economic fortune.
 
A tremendous economic crisis is looming in 2029, repeating the same as in 1929. The world's financial system of consumption is unsustainable. It is not normal to bring products from the other side of the world when it is possible to produce them locally. Dependence can be critical in cases of a catastrophe like the pandemic. We have not learned any lessons from speculative economic bubbles. Every few years, they repeat themselves, a new bubble bursts.
 
Only a European war and then a III world war could save the United States from losing its empire. Putin is nostalgic for the tsarist empire that grew up in the Cold War. A bipolar world would give Russia its place in the world. But just as Stalin used Mao, who outlived him and created his new China. It is possible that China will use Russia in this new world order.
 
But history is a spiral. A new scenario is possible. In the 36 Spanish civil war, only Stalin sent arms to Spain. Not for free, the republic paid for it with the entire national treasury sent to Moscow. In 2022 all Europe sends arms. The isolationist neutrality of the Europe of 1936 does not exist. It is possible that this will change the scenario. And two Ukrainians will be created after peace, the Russian-occupied one and the free western one. Like the two Germanies, two coreas or two Vietnams.
 
 
But the most likely scenario is a return to the 1922 borders. Stalin never wanted war with Germany, only to mark his territory and zone of influence.