Bunk, Brian D., 1968-; Pack, Sasha D.; Scott, Carl-Gustaf (ed.) / Nation and conflict in modern Spain: essays in honor of Stanley G. Payne
Bunk, Brian D., 1968-
"A shape note of pugnacity" : conservative youth groups in Spain, 1914-1939, pp. 15-29 ff.
Conservative Youth Groups in Spain, 1914-1939 charged with the vaguely militaristic task of "[defending] the principles of our society."3 The regime of General Primo de Rivera, following the model of the Fascist party in Italy, attempted to create a national youth movement.36 Owing in part to fears that such a party would be uncontrollable, the Juventud de la Union Patritica (JUP) never became an effective national organization. Throughout the regime the JUP's role was largely to hold rallies, attend patriotic ceremonies, and sponsor soccer tournaments. Its stated goals of indoctrinating and mobilizing young people to defend Spain and the dictatorship remained largely unrealized. One local leader of the group complained in a letter to the dictator that JUP's lack of development had created "youths who sleep like octogenarians."3 In addi- tion, when organized groups of university students began the first serious protests against the regime in 1928, the JUP proved unable to respond to this threat and failed to mount an effective defense of the regime's policies.38 In the final years of the dictatorship, some effort was made to increase the combative potential of the JUP. The organization's rhetoric be- came increasingly heated and the group began to take a more ambivalent attitude toward the use of violence, declaring that they would defend Spain "to victory or death."39 Despite such efforts the organization, like the regime itself, was unable to stem the tide of discontent.41 Nevertheless, the JUP, like other rightist youth groups before it, had served as both training and, more importantly, as a lesson to the conservative youth groups that emerged in the final years of the monarchy and into the Republican period.4' The succeeding groups that formed in the wake of the dictatorship took from the JUP's failure to staunch the student rebellion the lesson that a militarized youth organization was essential to defending the existing social order. The small groups formed at the end of the dictatorship, such as the Juventud de la Uni6n Monatrquica Nacional and the Juventudes Monarquicas Independientes encouraged street fights with both leftist students and the growing ranks of young socialists.42 Such activities would be taken up by the next generation of conservative youth organizations, including the Juventud de Accioin Popular (JAP) and the Falange Espafiola (FE). One of the most original groups formed in the wake of the dictatorship was the Juntas de Ofensiva Nacional-Sindicalista (JONS), which began in October 1931. The organization resulted from the fusion of two smaller groups led by Ramiro Ledesma Ramos and Onesimo Redondo Ortega. Throughout its brief history, the JONS would be one of the few conserva- tive youth groups whose ideology posited a truly revolutionary role for young people and was not simply an organization designed to mobilize them on behalf of a traditional political cause. The JONS developed a program that celebrated both the destructive and creative role of young people in Spanish politics. The speeches and writings of both men emphasized the need to rally young people into action, both to defend true Spanish values but also to topple the existing political and social system.43 Ledesma described the type of individual wanted by the movement: "we seek militant young squads without any hypocrisy about guns and military discipline."'44 Redondo echoed such sentiments: "Young people must be trained in physical combat, must love violence as a system, must arm themselves with whatever they 2 1
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