Both Spaniards and Hispanic Americans tend to condemn themselves when they analyse their present reality and their past. It seems that they have done everything wrong as if Spanish culture had been condemned ab initio to aimlessness and inefficiency.
The constant criticism of the civilising enterprises undertaken all over the world never delves into the events. They call the exchange between Indians and whites plunder. Thanks to the use of the horse, the ox, the plough and the horseshoe, which they bought with American metals, the aborigines went from forty days to a single day to sow one hectare of land. From killing, subjugating and eating each other, the pre-Columbian peoples, once scattered and without a sense of belonging to a common territory, became a civilisation shared with the West and unified continentally in language and religion.
That there were abuses? There always are among men. Today, any Argentinean or Spaniard suffers from the plundering of politicians that we have endured for the last forty years. But of the money extracted, only the “Quinto Real” (the Royal fifth) went to Spain, valued at between 7% and 20%, when today’s politicians plunder more than 50% of the income of all producers and leave them with 100% uncertainty about the future that awaits them. With that Quinto Real, when Harvard was founded in the thirteen English colonies in America, there were already some twenty universities in the Spanish Indies, and when Spain left, it had left the New World with twenty-five universities and a whole infrastructure of government.
The Spanish crown was the largest empire on earth. It was built transversally to the others known before, developed from north to south, which is not a minor fact, because this condition is what made it the geographical arbiter of the globe, with a universal currency that circulated even in China and other regions of Asia which allowed it to create a global economy.
It seems that evil had to destroy us in order to bring humanity to the current world disorder. Geography, currency and being the civilising arbiters of half the world were the causes that mobilised their enemies. Their work was not so mistaken, for although the empire was balkanised into more than twenty countries, they did not become embroiled in endless wars between states; they had far fewer internal wars than the Europeans, thanks to sharing one faith and one language. The period of Hispanic Christianity in America went hand in hand with language and this gave a continental consciousness to all its inhabitants. And that is the heritage of the Motherland. That many men and women of the world managed to make a life for themselves in this land was also a heritage of the Motherland. As Eva Perón said:
The Black Legend with which the Reformation contrived to denigrate the greatest and noblest enterprise known to the centuries, such as the discovery and conquest [of America], was only valid in the marketplace of the foolish or the self-interested. It deceived no one who did not want to be deceived.
We are, then, not only legitimate children of the discoverers and conquistadores, but heirs of their deeds and of the flame of eternity that they carried over the seas. …This is my homage to the people who gave us our being and bequeathed us their spirituality. Blessed they be!
Argentina, Spain, Equatorial Guinea, Dos Sicilias, the Philippines and the whole Iberian world were born and forged in the beliefs forged in eight hundred years of terrible struggles for the Reconquest, which cannot be forgotten. If these nations stop criticising each other so much, analyse in cold blood their mistakes, but in order to value their many successes, they will find that sun that unites them to merge in a common spirit and optimistically found the greatness of their future.
Modern society lives in the weightlessness of a lack of objectives as a civilisation; there is nothing better than to look for them in its own history and tradition to find its bearings.