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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.

Page 22

can, and must be prepared to finish off by whatever means a few dozen Marxist
Later, as the Republican system grew increasingly polarized, Ledesma penned
a tract that 
identified youth as the only force capable of creating a new and powerful
Spain based on the 
principles of national socialism. He justified the use of violence by arguing
that such actions 
constituted a moral force overthrowing false values and defending the nation
against its en- 
emies.46 Although not initially very significant, the JONS probably represented
the first true 
example of generic Fascism to emerge in Spain prior to the Civil War.47 Only
after February 
1934, when the group fused with the nascent Falange Espahol (FE), did it
begin to play a 
significant role in political developments. 
The FE had been formed scarcely three months earlier in the fall of 1933
by Jose 
Antonio Primo de Rivera, son of the former dictator. From the beginning the
received financial support from the most ardent monarchist groups including
Calvo Sotelo's 
Renovacion Espafiol (RE).48 Along with personal connections, the two organizations
a desire for both a moral and political change in Spain, followed by the
creation of an author- 
itarian state. Unlike Ledesma, Jose Antonio and the FE never made youth a
central focus of 
the party's ideological formation. To be sure the "vocabulary of mystical
exaltation, sacrifice 
and violence, national mission and revolution" clearly resonated with
young people and they 
formed the backbone of the organization's support.49 From the start the FE
remained open 
to the possibility of using violence to effect political change. In his remarks
at the founding 
of the FE in October 1933, Jose Antonio declared that violence was justified
in defense of 
justice or the nation, and he famously spoke of the "dialectic of fists
and pistols."50 
Although FE never achieved any real position of political authority it proved
in two important respects. To begin with, the rhetoric of violence made the
FE the target 
of attacks by the increasingly radicalized socialist and communist youth
groups, especially 
during the spring of 1936. The response of the FE, although muted at first,
soon escalated 
into a series of street fights and shootings that left dozens of young people
dead. The level 
of political violence gave the impression of a society on the brink of collapse,
and as such 
contributed to the general climate of polarization that soon exploded into
outright war.5' 
The FE also became the scaffolding upon which Franco constructed the political
regime that 
emerged during the course of the Civil War. FE's original 27-point program
(minus one) 
was soon promulgated as the movement's official ideology and important members
of the 
organization continued to serve in the new administration. Perhaps the most
prominent was 
Sancho Daivila, one of the closest allies of Jose Antonio from the start
of the FE, who was 
named the first director of the Francoist Organizaciodn Juvenil (OJ) during
the Civil War.52 
Although the FE was probably the most famous youth group in Spain prior to
Civil War it was not the most successful or powerful. Instead the largest
and most influential 
conservative youth organization of the Second Republic was the JAP.53 The
party drew on 
previous conservative youth organizations for both its inspiration and its
leadership. One 
scholar has called the JAP, the direct heirs to JM, especially concerning
the emphasis on 

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