Hispanic Harakiri

Rosana Atilana Guerrero Sánchez

One of the most seemingly irrational actions a person can take is suicide. Indeed, we say “apparently” because Benito Espinosa, the 17th century Spanish-Dutch philosopher, warned us against such an adjective “irrational”. Basically, the suicide’s reasoning is of impeccable logical neatness: if I am the cause of my evils, by putting an end to the cause, I put an end to the evils. But the truth is that, as the Jewish atheist says in his Ethics, it is the external causes that lead us to discomfort, so we would do better to modify those causes before we kill ourselves.

Well, we bring this idea up in the light of the recent declarations, no less shameful for being repeated, by the presidents of Peru and Mexico, who in the course of these summer days have once again placed their nation on the brink of suicide, no longer personal, but political.

And we do not think we are wrong to identify as a kind of “national harakiri” the ceremony by which a president with Spanish surnames addresses his fellow citizens, all of them Spanish-speaking and mostly educated in the Catholic religion, in Spanish, to tell them that the Spanish conquest was a failure and that their ancestors practised the exploitation and annihilation of the “original peoples” of America, with the result that their current identity as a country is itself, consequently, a failure.

Human Sacrifice To The Aztec War God, Huitzilopochtli

Human Sacrifice To The Aztec War God, Huitzilopochtli

Fortunately, this ceremony is a complete sham and no one in Peru or Mexico is going to stop speaking Spanish or reject modern technology as if Rousseau’s “good savage” were possible. This is just the strategy of political populism in search of a culprit, and if he lived 500 years ago, so much the better, because he is already dead.

What really worries us is that no one draws the thorny conclusion with which we began our column, namely that we must find the real “external causes” of the origin of our ills and not place it in ourselves, irremissibly incapacitating us to solve them, as these political swindlers outrageously do. Or do Castillo and López Obrador believe that among those who listen to them there is any representative of those “original peoples” massacred by the Spanish? Do they not know that the current citizens of their respective countries are a result of the racial and cultural mixing with which Spain reproduced itself in those conquered and populated territories, following the maxim that all its inhabitants should be subjects of the same King and children of the same God?

We are by no means the victims of a historical failure, but of the greatest success that civilisation has ever known, unparalleled among today’s empires. Hispanic America is today one of the most powerful cultural communities, in all the manifestations in which it can be measured, whether we are talking about its literature, its music, its religion or its philosophy. And what can we say about science, without which the conquest itself would have been impossible, since it was the Greek theory of the terrestrial sphere, due to Eratosthenes, that was tested and demonstrated by the Spanish navigation of Magellan and Elcano.

The concept of “original peoples” is too close to that of “pure race” which led to the murder of millions of people in Europe in the last world war for it to spring up now, without further ado, in Hispanic America, precisely the land which has taught the world that the mixing of races does not make peoples degenerate, as the French and English zoologists of the 19th century still believed, but strengthens them. But while the Hispanic nations were experiencing the historical episodes that eliminated the concept of the “aristocracy of blood” from the world political chessboard, creating, by the way, the political term “liberalism”, those nefarious theories of Protestant origin were being elucidated in old Europe on account of the biological racism that was later inoculated in Anglo-Saxon America until today.

It is a pity that among the “external causes” of our malaise is the action of these ideas of racist origin which our historical enemies have been responsible for spreading to the extent that they have been assimilated, in their negligence, by our own leaders. Now, certainly, it is no longer the Nazi myth of race, which is too crude, but the more elegant myth of culture, which so many “innocent anthropologists” have disseminated among us on behalf of the imperial states, which is making the Hispanic nations believe that their history is a catastrophe.

If this national suicide is perpetrated, as is already happening in Spain itself, it will be due to our ignorance of the success of our history. And then the famous adage of José de Maistre, that every people has the leaders it deserves, will, unfortunately, have no better representatives than us.


This post was translated from:

Guerrero Sánchez, R.A. (2021) ‘Harakiri hispano’, ABC, 15 August. Available at: https://zoepost.com/harakiri-hispano/ (Accessed: 16 August 2021).

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1534 Sebastián de Belalcázar founded the city of Quito (Ecuador), with the name of San Francisco de Quito.

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